Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by Motley Cruise: Just returned 1/8/12 to 1/15/12
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Just returned 1/8/12 to 1/15/12
This is a good bargain for a family or entry-level cruiser. However, do not expect to pay Holiday Inn prices and get a Ritz-Carlton experience. If you know what to expect, you can have a good time.
PROS: Good value. Loved the spa cabin which was larger than other interior cabins I have had on other lines. Enjoyed use of the big hot-tub, aromatherapy room, and other perks of the spa cabin. It was a nice place to get away from the crowds. Shore excursion in Puerto Vallarta was a highlight of my life (Rhythms of the Night) and well worth the $99 a person for a magical experience on an island off the coast. Liked the ability to access dining menus and fees as well as other stuff from the room TV. Extremely hard-working staff. Felt reasonably comfortable as a lesbian couple on a family ship.
NEUTRALS: Food was mediocre. Generally good in the Golden Pearl and loved the people at our table as well as the wait staff (they can dance but they cannot sing). Be sure to try the More chocolate melted cake. Lido deck was hit or miss, mostly miss. Was happy to find the rotisserie upstairs and eat the roasted chicken and good mac and cheese. Was not thrilled with breakfast until I tried the omelet bar and discovered you could get an egg however you wanted there. Overall my strategy was to eat things they cooked right there (Mongolian BBQ, etc).There were areas to get away from kids but the Serenity Deck is situated right below the miniature golf course deck so sometimes noisier than I would have liked. Entertainment also hit or miss. Vroom a great show. Comedian Russ Nagle hilarious. The others not so much.
CONS: Wish we had spent two days in PV and only one in Cabo. Could have spent a week at the island of Caletas (near PV) where our offshore excursion went. Only educational thing on board was a great gourmet cooking demo at the Pinnacle (get there early). Would have loved something about the Mexican culture or Mexican cooking. Spa cabin services not available day of departure as they are giving tours. Had expected tai chi but none offered. Also, interior decor in atrium area was horrid. I actually detoured it as much as I could to not have to see it.
WEIRDNESS: It was strange to turn on my cabin TV on Saturday morning to see a wrecked cruise ship (Carnival owns Costa). Surreal and very sad. At the same time, I felt safe on this ship, and our lifeboat drill was first thing we did. Our captain made an announcement and we had a moment of silence. Unfortunately, it was during the last minute of a playoff game, which was awkward. I have to say he sounded very touched and choked up about the Costa tragedy.
Anyway, to sum up, I would do this again if I could stay in a spa cabin and go to Caletas Island again for Rhythms of the Night. Otherwise, I'll cruise with Olivia Cruises. Less
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