This was our 10th Cruise and 6th on Carnival. We LOVE to cruise and try to cruise at least 2 to 3 times each year. We selected this cruise because we wanted to experience Holidays at Sea and we LOVED the itinerary. This was our first Mexican Riviera Cruise but it won't be our last.
Travel To Port of Embarkation:
Our flight was an hour late arriving into LAX at 2:30 PM. However, the Carnival representative was there waiting for us. That really eased our minds. She was so nice and called the bus driver to our terminal. She indicated that they had been monitoring our flight and we would not miss the cruise. Needless to say, we were thrilled!! About 10 minutes after we obtained our luggage, we were on our way to the ship.
About 30 minutes later, we arrived at the Cruise Port. The Long Beach Terminal was really pretty ans easy to navigate. We handed out luggage over to the porter immediately and headed to the terminal. I don't think it took 10 minutes until we were on the ship. Also, our luggage arrived on board within 30 minutes. We were really shocked and TOTALLY excited!! What a way to start our cruise!!
The Dream is a very nice ship. I was really expecting the worse since the fire but I was SOOO WRONG!! The ship was beautifully decorated for the Holidays. It was VERY clean and one of the better ships I've sailed. I would recommend this cruise and ship to anyone. They had both Christmas and Hanukkah activities. One night it even snowed in the Atrium and I believe Santa was there.
We reviewed the Carnival Caper everyday and there were tons of activities. My personal favorite was the cooking class in the Steakhouse. AWESOME!! The food was SOOO good that we scheduled a night to dine there.
The ship was nicely laid out. I don't think we ever stood in lines too long. The only exception being if you were getting the Stir Fry. There's just no way to mass produce those meals. Also, the tables were nicely spaced out and the staff was quick to clean them. So, seating was only a slight problem during sea days.
Port & Shore Excursions:
We visited Cabo San Lucas and Puerta Vallarta during this trip. We did not want to take any cruise line shore excursions during this trip. So, we walked off the ship and headed to see the local sites.
Weather - This isn't a normal area but I think others should know. It was cool the first and last sea day. So, be prepared with long pants. However, once you got to Cabo, you could pull out the shorts.
We had an Ocean Suite. It was pretty typically for an Ocean Suite. The balcony was a nice size and we had plenty of space. The only thing I notice was one closet with shelving versus being totally open. At first I wasn't sure about the configuration. However, once I started unpacking, I LOVED IT!!! Our room was centrally located and we could easily get to any part of the ship quickly.
We had top notch Dinning Room Staff. Fir the first time, we had a table for two. We normally like to meet people and get a larger table. I was concerned that we would get lost in the crowd since there were so many larger parties. I was SOOO wrong!!
These guys took the time to get to know use and remember our names. Sometimes, I think they knew us soo well that they could order our food. Our head waiter, John, provided excellent recommendations and the Team Members (Ali and Justin Bieber, Jr??) were so much fun!! We were always entertained and had great meals. Did I mention that the service was better than I've experience in some 5 star restaurants? Kudos to you guys!!
This was the Best Carnival Entertainment ever!!! Cayle had an outstanding voice she could dance!!! Heck, our cruise director, Tim, could sing too!! I was TOTALLY shocked and surprised when he got out there and sang!!! The talent on this ship was UNBELIEVEABLE!! What an AWESOME surprise!!
The Splendor was an AWESOME ship and this was a great experience. I think people have reservations about cruising her because of the first. The staff was so aware of these concerns and eased every one's mind. They've taken the necessary precautions and I don't foresee any concerns. Based on my experience, I would HIGHLY recommend the Carnival Splendor for everyone!!