Just got back from a great Mexican Riviera cruise!!! Before I write my review, a challenge to future cruisers. One girl in our group brought a backpack full of clothes to give to some Mexican children when we were at port. She gave the pack to our cab driver who said he couldn't thank her enough. Why didn't I think of this!!!
This was our 5th cruise. Third Mexican Riviera, all on Carnival. One on Costa to the Eastern Caribbean and one on Royal Caribbean to the Western Caribbean. This time we went with 2 other families. 6 adults and 7 teenagers.
Last cruise on Carnival we got to Long Beach earlier in the morning and spent hours in line so this time we got there about 1:30 and there was no line and we practically walked straight onto the ship. Just as other reviewers pointed out, the decorations were a little tacky. Pink and grey and a little too blingy. But whatever. We ate in the Black Pearl dining room. Our maitre-D was Dessi. She was great! We had 13 in our More
group. 6 adults and 7 teenagers. On the second night she took my extremely shy 14-year-old son and danced with him during the "showtime". She made a point every night to come to our table and talk with us and made us feel like we were her best friends. The last night the teenaged kids wrote her a thank you note. Amir was a guy who came to our dinner table and did magic tricks which were really, really good and he was a lot of fun. We all took pictures with him the last night too. Yup, amazing!!!
All in all, we had a great time. I don't think I'll cruise Carnival again. We've cruised Royal Caribbean and Costa before which were much, much nicer ships. Carnival is a little cheaper, but the "feel" of the ship is much nicer. Less
Read more Carnival Splendor cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic's Carnival Splendor Review >>
Cabin review: PT2221 Porthole
Priced as an inside cabin but had 2 portholes, so there was some light. It was typical. Good closet space. There were 2 huge drawers under the couch bed that we didn't know about until the end of the cruise. We were too close to the anchor and motors that pushed the ship sideways so it was extremely noisy when dropping anchor or pushing away from the dock. If I was still paying for an inside room, I'd rather be further away from the anchor and have no light. We were also 1 floor under the theater and occasionally we'd hear a saxophone.
Port and Shore Excursions
On Tuesday and Wednesday we were at Cabo. We had to tender in. When we got off the tender we were approached (attacked) by Richard who talked us into doing a time share presentation the next day which "would only take 90 minutes" and they'd give us free parasailing. We spent the first day in Cabo shopping. We went to an outdoor flee market and some other shops. My 18-year-old daughter had fun bartering. The second day we met the timeshare people at 9:30 a.m. We went to see the timeshare resort and it was beautiful but we spent the entire morning there and wasted our day. Definitely NOT worth it. They only gave us 6 parasailing; there was 13 of us. They weren't going to provide the water taxi back to the ship, which they had promised. Part of the timeshare, we were able to use a resort pool, towels, etc on the beach. It felt like we were sneaking into a resort we shouldn't have been using. Don't fall into the timeshare trap!!! The parasailing was fun.
Thursday we docked at Puerto Vallarta. We knew we wanted to zip line but the package through the ship was $130/person! Seriously??? I had done my research and knew I could find something for $80ish. We got off the ship and Tony found us. He told us he would take us to a zip line, wait for us, then drive us to a great shopping place, and wait for us, and take us back to the ship, for just $60 each (yes, including the zip line). We were worried . . . does "too good to be true" ring any bells? But it was great. If you're thinking about going zip lining, you have to go with Canopy River!! Romero and Juanito were our guides and they were amazing! We had 13 people in our group but 1 stayed back because she was afraid of heights. I think there were 14 zip lines. They crossed canyons and went over rivers. Sooo much fun! The last line he had us go upside down and run our fingers across the river. After one of the lines half way through there was someone there with cold wet washcloths for our faces and fruit! Yea! After the last line they had burrows for us to ride back up to the top which was a blast. We had lunch there and it was the best food I had (yes, including the ship food). During lunch the photographer presented us with his deal. It was $90 but they took about 25 pictures of each of us and they were well worth the money. We did the "Predator" zip line last time we cruised and it was okay but not even close to as much fun and cost twice as much. Tony was there waiting for us and drove us back to town to shop. He was great and pointed out a lot while we were driving. He took us shopping, waited for us and got us back to the ship. When we got to the ship, our teenagers all took pictures with Tony and each tipped him $5! (I think he got $100 tip combined which is a lot fur us but well worth it!)