We are frequent cruisers although mostly cruise on RCCL/Celebrity/Azamara. Since we live in LA, we will drive to the port & get on a ship going to the "Mexican Riviera" occasionally. We were originally scheduled to cruise last year but after the fire, rescheduled to June 5. Carnival was very good about refunding money & giving on-board ship credits for redeployments. Based on reviews I read, I was a little concerned about the embarkation taking a long time.Since we booked a suite, we were identified as "VIP's" and had a separate check-in area. That worked ok but as soon as you left, you were told to go to the side of the line waiting to enter for regular check-in and just show your card to board. That didn't go so well because some of the people in the line just thought you were "butting in". As far as the VIP treatment past the check-in, it was non-existent. No priority tendering, no priority show seating, dinner seating, or disembarkation. Also, repeat passengers were invited to the cocktail party but instead of free drinks,received $1.00 off! However, the last night's farewell party did give free drinks to all.
The Splendor is a pretty nice ship and has high energy from the moment you walk in. This could be in part due to the big pink dots all over the entry and,in fact, all over the ship. Carnival always goes for the over-the-top decor and I think that is part of the "vibe" and fun atmosphere. We had a spa cabin (1024) on the 10th floor, port side and it was very nice. The room was large with lots of closet space and 4 chairs on the balcony. The ship itself has many bars and clubs but I had two concerns: 1) crowds gather in certain locations and stop the flow of traffic; and 2) you can't get from one side of the ship to the other easily. For example, we were on 10-forward and our dining was in 3-aft. In order to get there the easiest way was to go to 5-promenade to the aft elevator and then down two floors. After a while it wasn't so confusing but still not easy.
The staff was very friendly all over and some even remembered our names. Our cabin stewards didn't greet us in the beginning but they turned out to be very nice and thorough.
This ship has major spa facilities and we were looking forward to the therolasso pool. However, the pool was in a separate room in the Spa complex and had no chairs or even space to put your towels. The adult pool was nice but absolutely no shade was available for tables, lounges, etc. - not great if you need to limit sun exposure.
Food was average but there was lots of it. Didn't eat at the specialty restaurant but heard good comments from those who did. The deli in the adult pool area is very good and fresh for sandwiches. Entertainment was average although the production show of Vvroom was worth seeing.
Because of the violence issues in Mexico and the fact we have often been to these ports, we chose not to get off the ship.Of interest,in Cabo although you are there overnight, they make you get on the ship by 10 pm and the ship sails around until about 7am the next morning and then the tendering starts all over. I really think this was so the shops could open & the casino could open although they said it was because of the tenders not operating?
Kids and families seemed to have a great time and were kept busy. Thank you to all the reviewers that previously commented on this cruise - it helped me make some wise choices o this sailing.