My husband and I finaly got to cruise on the Splendor after waiting since January when our cruise had been resecheduled due to the Splendor fire. It was well worth the wait!! We realized now that it was probably best we waited to do this iteniary in the heat of the summer as it would've been way to cold sailing out of Long Beach in the winter. We flew into LAX and took the Prime time shuttle from LAX to our hotel in Long Beach - Best Western of Long Beach. The shuttle cost for one way with tip included for both of us was $37.00. They were punctual and service as promised. Once arriving at the hotel which was very early from normal checkin (11:00 am) I was a bit apprehensive as to the location I had booked. The area of the hotel is not the best, but very convenient to the Metro Line (train to take you into Long Beach or all the way to the sites of LA if you want)...the line is right across the street. The hotel itself is a bit rundown but no problem for a one night stay before cruising. The staff was very nice and helpful and they provide free Port shuttle the morning of the cruise. Just be sure to sign up for this service when you check in. We took the Metro down to harbor to get some lunch and do a little sight seeing since we had all day. Very easy to get around and very cheap...around 1.30 per person. On way back stopped at the Albertson's to get our 2 bottle of wine to take on board the ship the next morning, then back on the metro and back to hotel to get a good nights rest.
Up the next morning and on the first shuttle to the Port from the hotel at 10:30. Got to the Port and quickly found the first Porter to relieve us from our luggage. Tipped him and prayed our luggage would make it on the ship...which by the way....no problems! Be sure and pack your wine in your carry on or it will not pass security. Carnival allows 1 bottle of wine per person for embarkation day, however in case you cant drink 2 bottles of wine in one day, just save it in your room for another day. Put in the refrigerator in your room till you are ready to pop the cork! Embarkation was a breeze. We were the 3rd zone to actually board the ship and after about an hour wait the boarding process began and we had our picture taken and was having lunch on the Lido deck by 12:15 pm. Smooth!! Cabins are not ready until 2:00pm so plan accordingly. You will have to tote around your carryon luggage with you until your room is ready. Exactly at 2:00 our room was ready and low and behold...there was our luggage outside the door too! We got unpacked and set out to learn the lay of the land of the ship.
We were assigned to "Anytime dining" and it was great! Thanks again to Arthur, Hernan and Aries for such a great dining experience each nite. After nite one, we quickly knew we would like to request the same wait staff each nite, so we would ask for "arthur's area" each nite. We arrived for dinner about 7:00 pm and were seated immediately. Really enjoyed having the option of going to dinner when we wanted and not having a set dining time. Dining rooms ARE FREEZING COLD!!! Be sure to bring a sweater...socks for my feet would've come in handy too, however knew the "warm chocolate melting cake" would soon get me warmed up! YUM!!!!
After dinner would take in a show or two. THe "Vroom" show is not to be missed! My husband and I both agreed it seemed Carnival had taken it up a notch with the ship entertainment. Comedian's were good too!
Off to bed and up early the next morning for first day at sea. Out to deck 9 Aft to get "prime real estate" for the day of sunning, reading, watching people and eating! The mornings can be cool and really glad I had listened to fellow CC reviews and took some longsleeves and capri pants to stay comfortable until the clouds burn off and the sun comes out to warm you up...strip down to the swimsuit and soak in the sun! Husband and I decided early on the sea days were going to be spent relaxing and that is just what we did.
First port day - Cabo San Lucas. I recommend you get in line about 30 minutes prior to designated time to get your tender tickets so you are one of the first off the ship, otherwise, you may wait and waste valuable time getting off the ship. I will address each Port in the Port Reviews.
Second port day - Cabo San Lucas. Same story, second verse. Get in line early for tender ticket.
Third port day -Puerta Vallarta. What a great day! Thanks to me taking advice from fellow CC Member (thanks Melissa!!) we booked and hired Celia Hernandez for our private tour of Puerta Vallarta. It was the best deal ever and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND HER! I emailed her a couple of months before we sailed and asked about her services and pricing and she quickly responded and before long had reserved her. I WILL SPEAK MORE ABOUT CELIA IN MY PORT REVIEW, BUT IF YOU WANT A GREAT TOUR GUIDE FOR A PRIVATE GROUP AT A VERY REASONABLE PRICE - 6 HOURS FOR 100.00 IN AIRCONDITIONED VAN WITH DRIVER EMAIL CELIA HERNANDEZ @ CeliaHernandez95@hotmail.com. YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY!!!!
Final 2 sea days, up, eat breakfast and go out and set up home on Deck 9 for sunning and funning the day away!
PINNACLE STEAK HOUSE - Unfortunately this was not the best! Our potatoes were cold and Steak was not any better then what we had nightly in the dining room. My other gripe is that they have waiters in the Pinnacle that do not speak very fluent english and found it very hard to understand them or hear them. Very disappointed and not worth the $30.00 per person fee when the food in the dining rooms was sooooo good!
The debarkation process was just as smooth as the embarkation. We were off the ship and waiting for our Primetime Shuttle by 9:00 and enroute to LAX for our 2:00pm flight. We really very easily could've made a much earlier flight, but didnt want to chance it.
I recommend this ship, although not sure I would take this iteniary again. If doing Mexico, I think I prefer the Cozumel beaches.