This was our third cruise; we have cruised on Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas, Norwegian Spirit and for this one- we cruised on the Carnival Splendor.
This was the worst of the three cruises. We arrived at the port in Long Beach at 10:30AM. The lines were horribly long, so after dropping our luggage we took the city bus back to Long Beach. Not much to do in December on a Sunday, but we kicked around a few hours only to come back at 2PM to (still) a long line again at the port to check in. They had two places to check in- one inside and one out under a canopy. We chose the outside line and what was funny is they had maybe 30 computers to check people in but only 10 or so people working- so the line moved really slowly- very poor.
I would give it a B plus. Just do not get the pasta or french fries and you will be fine. The chocolate was good in this ship especially when you compare to the Norwegian which was missing both sugar and cocoa- just brown sauce from the Norskis.
The service was overall very good- our waiter Nikki was great and our room steward Puta was also very accommodating and good. The only complaint is the crew seemed tired and not as smile-prone and the Norwegian or the RC cruises.
We did not do any shore excursion so I cannot give any reviews. However the cruise director was a total looser- his idea of fun is bringing three couples on stage and asking them dirty questions for a marriage game --great entertainment. They did not spend five bucks on bringing in any entertainment. I could sing better than most of the singers. One guy was singing a Neil Diamond song and it sounded like a man gagging on a piece of raw meat. We went to one family comedy on Saturday night and not one person so much as laughed. Plan on finding your own things to do because the fat cruise director is not going to be any help at all. You talk about a guy who is in love with himself! Tune into the show when you get to your room. You will see him and his cronie assistant talking about the day ahead and you will see. YUK
We overall liked the Mexico ports better than the ports we have been to in the Caribbean, which really surprised us.
Overall, it was a good cruise and a lot of fun. If you can overlook a few minor things, and have a good attitude you will enjoy t Less
We just got back from a cruise to Puerto Vallarta on the Carnival Splendor 12.16.11.
We were on a tight budget so we did not book any shore excursions from Carnival but decided to go it on our own. First of all, the cruise port at Puerto Vallarta is a difficult place to do much from on foot unless you like Wal-Mart. Our family consists of my wife, our three teenage daughters and myself, so safety is a big concern.
We were going to take the city bus into town, but as we were standing there trying to figure out which way (on a very busy street) was even the right direction toward town, we were blessed to meet a wonderful man named Reinhardt Dressler who seemed to appear out of nowhere.
Reinhardt asked if he could be our personal tour guide for the day. Being suspicious I asked, "How much?" and he replied I could determine that at the end of the day for what you think is right. I felt somewhat uncomfortable with this but since we were just barely out of the port and I was already not sure what bus to take, we decided to go for it.
Reinhardt takes public transportation everywhere, which is by far less expensive and safer than taxi service. Sounded good.
Reinhardt is from Germany and speaks four languages; he has lived in Mexico since 1979. He toured us in the town telling us history and great tidbits of information. Then he took us by bus out of town about 20 miles to a great waterfall and place to swim- we took a walk in the forest and saw much more than you could ever figure out yourself or with a tour from the ship. It was a truly wonderful day and I hope I can someday get back to Vallarta and spend another day with Reinhardt.
I would highly recommend this guy for a tour- but not if you're the type that wants to do the typical 4x4 quick drive or zip line- then stick with the ship stuff.
You can email him at:
Let him know that the blonde guy with four girls told you about him.