I've cruised on Carnival once before. I took the Carnival Destiny and loved everything about that cruise. I've also cruised with Royal Caribbean and loved it! Cruising is the best way to travel; however, it can have it's faults like any vacation. I cruised on the Carnival Splendor on April 10, 2011 and had my ups and downs.
The ship was huge and mostly beautiful. I've heard some people complain about the interior design and that the ship was too pink. This did not bother me one bit. I felt the ship was spacious and comfortable and made for Fun. I dined in the Black Pearl dining area and that could have been designed a little better. There were these weird green pearls all over the ceiling and walls. There was a serious underwater theme that I could have done without but other than that, the ship was nice and new.
There were the usual cruise ship activities but I was actually disappointed because there could have been more. I love art auctions on cruise ships and tons of reggae Bob Marley wannabees! I love great bands and good singing. The one reggae band they had wasn't even a band! Two bored looking guys just passing the time by. They played a lot of R&B music but reggae style. I was truly disappointed in that. They would do two songs and go for a drink. I felt like I was in a loser's pub. Also there was an Asian group and an excellent Latin singer that did songs in the area where the piano is, over near the nice elevators. She was good because she had the crowd rockin. The deck parties and games were typical...hairy chested men, hot grannies, and a lot of drunk passengers. The drunk passengers didn't bother me but I did notice them.
The service was okay, I guess. My only complaint was that some of the staff seemed to ignore the empty plates on tables. They only seemed to notice when you frantically waved your hand at them. On the Carnival Destiny, the staff would not let an empty plate touch the table before they'd run over. I guess I was so used to that treatment that this took me aback.
The steward was excellent. He was friendly but not too chatty and always greeted us with a smile. He'd also make the nicest sea creatures out of towels. I loved that.
The shore excursions were the same...expensive, expensive, expensive. Some excursion were worth it and some, just a waste of time. Also the embarkation was annoying and unorganized. On two or three different occasions I was directed to the wrong line and had to figure out where to go myself. Some of the Carnival staff was useless and even more confused than I was. I also missed my plane home because I could not get off the ship in time. Then I took the Carnival bus to the airport which took forever to fill up and I missed the flight. I was so pissed about that.
Finally, children were running everywhere. That was annoying. Children riding elevators, playing pranks, just running up and down. Parent's smiling all the while. I think that some parents forget that they still need to monitor their children on a cruise.
My cruise was good but could have been a little better. Almost forgot. I so wish I could have gone to Mazatlin. I hated only going to two places and one of them twice.