Embark process... We got through the process in about an hour. An interesting point is that when I walked through the metal detector no one was watching. A supervisor was yelling at an agent to monitor the people as they go through. She saw that no one was watching, however they did not have me go through again. Carnival is using the old Spruce Goose building.
Tip...Although this was not on any map, if you go on deck 10 to the bow, you will see a door leading outside. Once there you will see a nice deck on the bow, as well as a deck above the pilot station that sticks over the side of the ship. Very nice views of the ship from there.
Once on board (1pm), they told us to go get lunch as the cabins were not ready till 2pm. However, with all of the carry on luggage, this would have been difficult. So I went to our cabin anyway and dropped off our carry on luggage and had lunch. I have to comment on the decor. Where did they get the pink and black zebra stripes? I felt that I spent a week at Circus Circus.
Staff...they appeared only to smile and say hello if you said so first. Having said that, they appeared very friendly if you smiled and said hello first. Perhaps they are used to people not being friendly. Strange, I have never experienced this with Princess or Royal Caribbean.
Food...I will say that the food was above average, the main dining room had good selections and our wait staff was great. The Lido deck buffet was always crowded, and hard to find a table. It was not till almost the end of the cruise that I found the Rotisserie one level up from the Lido deck buffet. I found this area to always be less crowded and had good food. I found it strange that the wait staff had to sing every night, as with other lines it is usually once a week.
Cabin... Our cabin was nice, I like the fact that the bed is near the balcony door. I wish the balcony door was a sliding type that is on Royal Caribbean, however it is a push open type. To get around this and listen to the ocean at night, just prop up a chair against the door to keep it open.
Fitness...the Splendor had one of the best Gyms I have seen anywhere. Great weight room, and many aerobic machines.
Cabo San Lucas...The tender process was horrible, it took over 2 hours to get off the ship. I have been to Cabo many times before on Royal Caribbean, it never took more than 30 minutes to get off.
Also, we pulled up anchor at 6pm and sailed off shore for the evening then came back to Cabo the next morning, so we spent 2 days in Cabo. This moving out to sea for the evening made the time on shore very short. The cruise office said that, this was necessary due to port regulations. I personally don't think this is the case, as a guest at our dinner table was in Cabo a few weeks earlier with Princess. They had tenders till midnight, and the ship never left the port. I am sure that they did this to get all of the liquor and gambling revenue rather than giving it to the city of Cabo San Lucas.
Beautiful city as always. Got a great massage in downtown over the bridge, one hour for $30, and great therapists. Had lunch at the river cafe, great food. I found the vendors downtown to be very hawkish, they never were before. It was not a pleasant experience.
Shows...The dancing shows were not very good in my opinion. However the comedy was great, be sure to get to the comedy club early or you will not get a seat.
All in all a relaxing cruise. I tried Carnival for the second time, I guess it is not for me. I still believe that Royal Caribbean is an experience above Carnival. Perhaps if I was still in my 20's this would be the cruise line for me.