9 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to Bahamas Carnival Splendor Cruise Reviews

Embarkation - This was the worst experience of the entire trip. We waited in line for approximately 2 hours in an building that had no air conditioner. It was miserable to say the least. It was not a pleasant start to our vacation. ... Read More
Embarkation - This was the worst experience of the entire trip. We waited in line for approximately 2 hours in an building that had no air conditioner. It was miserable to say the least. It was not a pleasant start to our vacation. However, the airport (FLL) was very close and we were at the port in less than 10 minutes. Ship - The ship was overall a fun ship to be on. It was a great first cruise. Of course not knowing what to expect, the ship was huge and we had a lot to explore. Cabin - We stayed in a Scenic Ocean View cabin and IT WAS FABULOUS! We could open the blinds in the morning and watch the sunrise every morning without having to go outside. That alone made the cabin so worth it! We loved being on Lido deck because of the obvious... close to the pool & the food! Dining - Our waiters were amazing. By the second night, they had our names memorized. With as many people on the ship and for them to address us by name made it really special. We were a little shocked at first sitting with another couple, but we embraced it and became friends very quickly. After the initial shock, we really enjoyed being seated with the other couple. Entertainment & Activities - We thoroughly enjoyed the Punchliner Comedy Club! That was the highlight of the cruise nights. Otherwise, we did not participate in many activities because we were new to the experience. If we weren't eating, watching a comedy show, lounging on Serenity, or in the casino - we were in the room napping. LOL Service - The service was outstanding. All over the ship. From the room steward to the dining room staff, they were so personable. Ports & Shore Excursions: Half Moon Cay - We were not impressed by this island whatsoever. The water was beautiful, yes, but there was nothing to do besides play in the ocean or lounge. We love learning the history of the ports and interacting with the citizens of the port. So, for this reason we did not like HMC. It is a tender port, so that was also a whole new experience for us. The tender ride itself was not bad at all. We got on and off the tender very quickly. We planned for months to do the horseback riding and when we got to the actual horses they FINALLY told us that we couldn't get in the water. So we paid to ride horses on land, instead of the advertised in the water. That was extremely disappointing. We felt like we should have been notified PRIOR to beginning the excursion that there were limitations. We definitely would not have gone on this excursion knowing it was only on land. The food served at port was bland and cold due to it being a buffet. Nassau - We loved this port. We got off the ship and found an excursion on our own. We went with a local person and he took us on a historical tour of Nassau to all of the landmarks. Our guide ended the tour and dropped us off at Paradise Island where we rented jet skis for an hour. We got a taxi from there to take us back to the port where we shopped around and then boarded the ship. We did not travel with any children. We are a 24 year old couple who are experiencing traveling and enjoying each other prior to children. This is a child friendly ship IMO. All in all, we would sail back on Splendor; however, we would not return to HMC or Nassau. Port Nassau was a one and done kind of port. We saw it once, but we have no desire to go back. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was my husband's first cruise. So I wanted something that was short because I wasn't sure how he would like it. It was my first time leaving my baby (18 months) at home. I just wanted to have a quick trip for us to get away ... Read More
This was my husband's first cruise. So I wanted something that was short because I wasn't sure how he would like it. It was my first time leaving my baby (18 months) at home. I just wanted to have a quick trip for us to get away and to turn my husband onto cruising! Mission accomplished. He loved everything about cruising, the ports, the ship. Although I did miss my baby this was a great distraction from worrying about her too much. We didn't have FTTF. I don't find it worth the money unless your are at a tender port, even then I didn't see how it was worth it. We flew in same day (thank goodness with Hurricane Irma). Our flight got in about 20 mins early. We got our checked luggage, got an Uber and headed to the ship. The Uber was easy they knew were to come, it was a bunch of people waiting for them. It was my first time using it Uber it cost us less than $5. If it wasn't it was only about $9. Got to the port, the porters were really nice...No one asked us for money. Now FTTF would have been helpful at check in. There line was shorter but our line moved quickly. We were on the ship by 12:30 PM. We got to our room around 1:30 PM. Our luggage was delivered around 2PM. Also even though they have staggered check in. My check in time was 12:30-1:00. We got there closer to 12:15ish they didn't make me wait or turn me away. Then husband and I went on a tour of the ship to get acquainted and to see everything. People talk about the PINK. It didn't bother me one bit. The ship didn't seem outdated. It didn't have all the new fancy restaurants but I didn't miss any of that. We had a regular Ocean View cabin perfect for the two of us. We actually stayed in the room a lot more than we planned so we may opt for a balcony next time. Ocean View was fine. Dining was great we loved our crew Rey was funny and always kept us laughing. The couple we sat next two was fun and entertaining to talk to. We didn't participate in much of the entertainment so I can't say much about that but the 70s and Motown hour was great. MarQ is an amazing Cruise Director. The first one I remembered by name. The service on the ship was not the best I had seen. We opted for evening cleaning. I figured they would get to it while we at dinner. The first night they didn't come by until like 9. I was wore out so I was already in bed sleep. I asked for Robes and get them on the 2nd or 3rd night. By then I didn't really care for them. They only left 2 towel animals and it was the same animal. We went to Half Moon Cay it was beautiful as everyone said it would be but I don't really care for the private islands as you only have entertainment by the cruise line. Loved Nassau..we just hung out at Junkanoo beach. We went to the straw market and got some little gifts for my daughter. We walked around. the port area. Overall it was a great vacation. It hit the spot for a romantic getaway for a short cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was my fourth cruise (second on Carnival) and the first for my friend. We booked within a month of sail date and were very pleased with the price. We chose Carnival Splendor for several reasons: new ship, proximity of departure port, ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise (second on Carnival) and the first for my friend. We booked within a month of sail date and were very pleased with the price. We chose Carnival Splendor for several reasons: new ship, proximity of departure port, which made it perfect for a quick getaway, and the excellent value. We chose the four night itinerary because, this being my friend's first cruise, we felt it would give her a good indication of the overall cruise experience without being stuck at sea for a week if she did not enjoy it. We are 40's professionals, fairly well traveled looking for a quick getaway for some rest and relaxation. We booked the 4 night Bahamas cruise departing Ft. Lauderdale on 17 November and calling at Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk. EMBARKATION/INITIAL IMPRESSION We took the short flight over to Ft. Lauderdale on Monday morning from Nassau, Bahamas and took the short 15-minute ride to Port Everglades via taxi, arriving at about 12:30. The fare, including tip, was less than $20. In my opinion this option is quicker and less stressful than using the Carnival transfers and having to wait at the airport for a bus to fill up with passengers. Pulling up to the terminal and seeing this huge ship up close definitely increased the level of excitement and anticipation. We handed our bags over to the porters, along with the mandatory tip, and joined the lineup of passengers, which stretched outside of the terminal. The line moved very, very quickly through the security checks and then up the stairs to the numerous check-in counters. The actual check-in process took less than 5 minutes as we had completed all of the steps on-line. We received our sign and sail cards and were on our way up the gangway to begin our vacation. Total time from taxi to entering the ship's lobby was about 30 minutes. I had read many Cruise-Critic reviews on-line and many of them went on about the pink dEcor of this ship so we were anticipating this and were not at all shocked or put off by the scheme. My friend, budding artist that she is, thought the dEcor was quite nice. I thought it was a bit loud but not outrageous. The lobby area was extremely crowded when we entered and we quickly made our way to the elevators and headed up to our cabin. However that was the only time during the entire cruise that we actually felt crowded. We had booked a balcony cabin on Verandah deck number 8358. Our room steward had not quite finished cleaning the room so we left our carry - on bags there and went to check on our dining room table and up to Lido deck to get some lunch. The cabin was ready when we returned and we relaxed on our balcony for a while, unpacked and then explored the ship some more. The mandatory lifeboat drill was at 4 p.m. and, save for a handful of latecomers, all passengers assembled at their assigned stations on time, which allowed the process to be completed very quickly. By this time Splendor was underway and we returned to our balcony for the sailaway from Ft. Lauderdale. We had requested early seating dining (6 p.m.) at the time of booking and our request was granted. We were assigned a table for 4, lower level, in Black Pearl dining room, which is mid-ship. This is a beautiful space, two-level with a majestic staircase. We would have enjoyed meeting tablemates but it turned out we had the table to ourselves the entire cruise. The ship did not appear to be full as there were a few empty tables. All of our bags actually arrived at our cabin by 5 p.m. so we were able to change for dinner. THE SHIP We loved the ship. She is big, beautiful, new and very clean. The pink theme really dominates the atrium/lobby area but the rest of the ship is decorated quite nicely in my opinion. The hallways have a nice retro style decoration. The casino, which we avoided due to the constant smoke, is very large and was busy every night. There are many bars, lounges, and nice areas to relax, have a drink, listen to different types of music such as piano, jazz, etc. A few of these do allow smoking such as the adult nightclub, Red Carpet, which is probably one reason it was usually not very crowded. The seas were very choppy for most of the cruise, but, although you do feel the rocking at times, it was not a problem and the passengers did not seem to be having any difficulties. The entire ship, especially dining areas on the Lido deck were always kept spotlessly clean by the crew. The captain and most of the ship's officers are Italian and the crew is multinational. CABIN We were very pleased with the size and layout of our balcony cabin. There was more than enough closet space, which included shelves. There was also a good number of draws and other little storage spaces and ample vanity space for the ladies to set up. There was a mini fridge, fully stocked, a safe, a sofa and a small table. There is a hair dryer, ice bucket, which was always kept full by our room steward and two bottles of water. The bathroom was a nice size with a lot of shelves and good vanity space. The shower is a good size with hand held nozzle, shampoo and soap dispensers, good water temperature and pressure. There was a basket with razors and other complimentary toiletries but it is advisable to bring your own, as these are fairly basic. The balcony is a good size with 2 chairs and a small table; good for enjoying breakfast or just relaxing. We made good use of it the entire week. The bed, 2 twins moved together to form a king, was simply amazing. It was unbelievably comfortable, with nice fluffy pillows and soft, quality linens. We enjoyed some of the best nights' sleep we have ever had. The room temperature setting was perfect but can be adjusted as needed. There was a flat screen TV on the wall with limited programming (hey, who cares about that!). You could also check your charges and carry out other functions on the screen. DINING Overall we were very happy with our dining experience. All breakfasts and lunch were taken in the Lido buffet and all our dinners in the dining room. We had table 140, Black Pearl Dining Room, lower level, early seating. Our waiter, Rudi and assistant Sydney were excellent, very professional and attentive but not too formal. It was nice to interact with them. All of our dinner choices were very good to excellent, with the exception of the chateaubriand, which I had one night. The menu has a very good selection and changes nightly. The fish, lobster, prime rib, shrimp and chicken dishes were excellent. The menu also includes SPA (low fat) and vegetarian options. In addition, if nothing on the menu is to your liking there is always steak, chicken, salmon and a few other options available every night. Desert in the dining room was unbelievable. I tried the chocolate melting cake the first night and ended up having it every night except the last night. It is amazing! Breakfasts were very good. The menu was basically the same every morning but the selection is so varied that you should not get bored. Fruit selection was varied and excellent but juices were not fresh and the pastry selection not very good with the same items daily. The lunch menu was also extensive and there were some new items each day. There was a very good salad bar and in addition there were pizza, deli, Asian, and burgers/hot dogs options. Lunch deserts were average to good. There is also a rotisserie and fish and chips station. Free soft ice cream is also available from dispensers on Lido deck. We were not able to secure a reservation in Pinnacle, the supper club as they filled up very quickly. We heard that the food quality, service and overall dining experience and atmosphere was amazing and were sorry to miss that. PORTS Tuesday we anchored offshore at Half Moon Cay by 8 a.m. This is a beautiful private island beach experience and is a full day stop. The tender ride over is about 15 minutes. The island has an amazing beach with all of the usual watersports activities available. In addition there are nature trails, horseback riding and a small craft market set up around a nice center pavilion where you can sit and relax. There are also a number of private cabanas on the beach, which can be rented. There is a lunch area where a barbecue lunch prepared by the ship's crew is served. Being from Nassau with access to the beach experience we enjoyed the island for a couple of hours and then returned to the ship. The expected stop at Grand Turk did not happen. When we arrived in the vicinity on Wednesday morning there were 40 mile per hour winds. The captain made an attempt to bring the ship alongside the pier but concerns for the safety of the ship and passengers would not allow it. The pier at Grand Turk is not in a sheltered harbor but just juts out into the ocean. In addition they do not have tugboat service. Very disappointing but it seems passengers for the most part accepted that this could not be avoided. Initially the captain said that we would instead spend the day at sea. He came on the speaker a few moments later to announce that we would call at Nassau on Thursday as a replacement stop and spend Wednesday at sea. On Thursday morning we were sure to be on deck for the arrival at Nassau. Being locals we wanted to take the opportunity to experience this stop as tourists and to analyze and discuss what could be improved upon. The view of the port from the ship is actually very nice and the ship docks which is a plus. The ship was cleared very quickly by the authorities and passengers were free to disembark shortly after arrival. We had a leisurely breakfast and finally disembarked at around 11:30 a.m. The Welcome center is rather sparse and was mostly deserted as most of the stalls were closed. Splendor was the only ship in port on this unscheduled visit, which was probably the reason for this. We did walk through the "straw market" (tent) and must admit this was not a pleasant experience. It is very crowded, cramped, hot, and has very little authentic Bahamian straw work. Most of the vendors seem to be selling the same knockoffs and foreign made trinkets. Very disappointing. We also toured Bay Street and visited the Pompey Museum, which documents the slave trade. As "tourists" we found Nassau (Bay Street) to be a bit dirty, with horrendous traffic, and with mostly t-shirt, jewelry, and perfume shops. We did not engage in any of the many tours we know are available which would hopefully give the tourist a better experience. The sail away from Nassau on Thursday evening was the scenic highlight of the entire cruise. Watching the glowing orange sun slowly slip below the horizon from our balcony with the nice cool breeze as Splendor slowly got up to speed was beautiful, romantic and an amazingly peaceful, splendid experience. WOW! ENTERTAINMENT There are so many options on this ship that you should not run out of things to do. There is the usual bingo, game show, wine tasting and art auctions. We did check out some of the art pieces available and were very impressed by the quality and variety. There is a wedding show which was very, very good. There are a number of clubs and lounges with various types of music. There was karaoke every night which was a lot of fun. There were two late night adult comedy shows which were both standing room only and outstanding. We made it to two shows in the main show lounge; one was very good and the other was outstanding. The name was Vroom I believe and this was by far the best show I have ever seen at sea and rivals anything on land. The male and female vocalists were extremely talented and the dance, costumes and lighting, and sets were all outstanding. A must see if you cruise this ship. PASSENGERS Given the time of year there were very few children on board. From what we saw the children's and teenage areas of the ship were almost deserted. This was a mature crowd, mostly American with a few from other countries. There were no incidents that we witnessed and passengers were courteous, and cooperative. Very few of the public venues, including the pool deck areas were ever crowded, except the adult comedy shows. DISEMBARKATION We chose self assist rather than leave our luggage outside of the room by midnight on Thursday. We were docked in Ft. Lauderdale by 7 a.m. but we enjoyed our last morning on board and got prepared to leave at our leisure. We had a nice final breakfast in Lido buffet and then enjoyed our cabin and balcony until about 10 a.m. We were then able to just walk off with very little waiting. The U.S. customs check took less than a minute and we exited the terminal to find a taxi. Total time from cabin to curb was about 10 minutes. This was a very enjoyable cruise. Splendor is indeed splendid, very clean with an excellent crew. Already planning our next cruise on Carnival.This was my fourth cruise (second on Carnival) and the first for my friend. We booked within a month of sail date and were very pleased with the price. We chose Carnival Splendor for several reasons: new ship, proximity of departure port, which made it perfect for a quick getaway, and the excellent value. We chose the four night itinerary because, this being my friend's first cruise, we felt it would give her a good indication of the overall cruise experience without being stuck at sea for a week if she did not enjoy it. We are 40's professionals, fairly well traveled looking for a quick getaway for some rest and relaxation. We booked the 4 night Bahamas cruise departing Ft. Lauderdale on 17 November and calling at Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk. EMBARKATION/INITIAL IMPRESSION We took the short flight over to Ft. Lauderdale on Monday morning from Nassau, Bahamas and took the short 15-minute ride to Port Everglades via taxi, arriving at about 12:30. The fare, including tip, was less than $20. In my opinion this option is quicker and less stressful than using the Carnival transfers and having to wait at the airport for a bus to fill up with passengers. Pulling up to the terminal and seeing this huge ship up close definitely increased the level of excitement and anticipation. We handed our bags over to the porters, along with the mandatory tip, and joined the lineup of passengers, which stretched outside of the terminal. The line moved very, very quickly through the security checks and then up the stairs to the numerous check-in counters. The actual check-in process took less than 5 minutes as we had completed all of the steps on-line. We received our sign and sail cards and were on our way up the gangway to begin our vacation. Total time from taxi to entering the ship's lobby was about 30 minutes. I had read many Cruise-Critic reviews on-line and many of them went on about the pink dEcor of this ship so we were anticipating this and were not at all shocked or put off by the scheme. My friend, budding artist that she is, thought the dEcor was quite nice. I thought it was a bit loud but not outrageous. The lobby area was extremely crowded when we entered and we quickly made our way to the elevators and headed up to our cabin. However that was the only time during the entire cruise that we actually felt crowded. We had booked a balcony cabin on Verandah deck number 8358. Our room steward had not quite finished cleaning the room so we left our carry - on bags there and went to check on our dining room table and up to Lido deck to get some lunch. The cabin was ready when we returned and we relaxed on our balcony for a while, unpacked and then explored the ship some more. The mandatory lifeboat drill was at 4 p.m. and, save for a handful of latecomers, all passengers assembled at their assigned stations on time, which allowed the process to be completed very quickly. By this time Splendor was underway and we returned to our balcony for the sailaway from Ft. Lauderdale. We had requested early seating dining (6 p.m.) at the time of booking and our request was granted. We were assigned a table for 4, lower level, in Black Pearl dining room, which is mid-ship. This is a beautiful space, two-level with a majestic staircase. We would have enjoyed meeting tablemates but it turned out we had the table to ourselves the entire cruise. The ship did not appear to be full as there were a few empty tables. All of our bags actually arrived at our cabin by 5 p.m. so we were able to change for dinner. THE SHIP We loved the ship. She is big, beautiful, new and very clean. The pink theme really dominates the atrium/lobby area but the rest of the ship is decorated quite nicely in my opinion. The hallways have a nice retro style decoration. The casino, which we avoided due to the constant smoke, is very large and was busy every night. There are many bars, lounges, and nice areas to relax, have a drink, listen to different types of music such as piano, jazz, etc. A few of these do allow smoking such as the adult nightclub, Red Carpet, which is probably one reason it was usually not very crowded. The seas were very choppy for most of the cruise, but, although you do feel the rocking at times, it was not a problem and the passengers did not seem to be having any difficulties. The entire ship, especially dining areas on the Lido deck were always kept spotlessly clean by the crew. The captain and most of the ship's officers are Italian and the crew is multinational. CABIN We were very pleased with the size and layout of our balcony cabin. There was more than enough closet space, which included shelves. There was also a good number of draws and other little storage spaces and ample vanity space for the ladies to set up. There was a mini fridge, fully stocked, a safe, a sofa and a small table. There is a hair dryer, ice bucket, which was always kept full by our room steward and two bottles of water. The bathroom was a nice size with a lot of shelves and good vanity space. The shower is a good size with hand held nozzle, shampoo and soap dispensers, good water temperature and pressure. There was a basket with razors and other complimentary toiletries but it is advisable to bring your own, as these are fairly basic. The balcony is a good size with 2 chairs and a small table; good for enjoying breakfast or just relaxing. We made good use of it the entire week. The bed, 2 twins moved together to form a king, was simply amazing. It was unbelievably comfortable, with nice fluffy pillows and soft, quality linens. We enjoyed some of the best nights' sleep we have ever had. The room temperature setting was perfect but can be adjusted as needed. There was a flat screen TV on the wall with limited programming (hey, who cares about that!). You could also check your charges and carry out other functions on the screen. DINING Overall we were very happy with our dining experience. All breakfasts and lunch were taken in the Lido buffet and all our dinners in the dining room. We had table 140, Black Pearl Dining Room, lower level, early seating. Our waiter, Rudi and assistant Sydney were excellent, very professional and attentive but not too formal. It was nice to interact with them. All of our dinner choices were very good to excellent, with the exception of the chateaubriand, which I had one night. The menu has a very good selection and changes nightly. The fish, lobster, prime rib, shrimp and chicken dishes were excellent. The menu also includes SPA (low fat) and vegetarian options. In addition, if nothing on the menu is to your liking there is always steak, chicken, salmon and a few other options available every night. Desert in the dining room was unbelievable. I tried the chocolate melting cake the first night and ended up having it every night except the last night. It is amazing! Breakfasts were very good. The menu was basically the same every morning but the selection is so varied that you should not get bored. Fruit selection was varied and excellent but juices were not fresh and the pastry selection not very good with the same items daily. The lunch menu was also extensive and there were some new items each day. There was a very good salad bar and in addition there were pizza, deli, Asian, and burgers/hot dogs options. Lunch deserts were average to good. There is also a rotisserie and fish and chips station. Free soft ice cream is also available from dispensers on Lido deck. We were not able to secure a reservation in Pinnacle, the supper club as they filled up very quickly. We heard that the food quality, service and overall dining experience and atmosphere was amazing and were sorry to miss that. PORTS Tuesday we anchored offshore at Half Moon Cay by 8 a.m. This is a beautiful private island beach experience and is a full day stop. The tender ride over is about 15 minutes. The island has an amazing beach with all of the usual watersports activities available. In addition there are nature trails, horseback riding and a small craft market set up around a nice center pavilion where you can sit and relax. There are also a number of private cabanas on the beach, which can be rented. There is a lunch area where a barbecue lunch prepared by the ship's crew is served. Being from Nassau with access to the beach experience we enjoyed the island for a couple of hours and then returned to the ship. The expected stop at Grand Turk did not happen. When we arrived in the vicinity on Wednesday morning there were 40 mile per hour winds. The captain made an attempt to bring the ship alongside the pier but concerns for the safety of the ship and passengers would not allow it. The pier at Grand Turk is not in a sheltered harbor but just juts out into the ocean. In addition they do not have tugboat service. Very disappointing but it seems passengers for the most part accepted that this could not be avoided. Initially the captain said that we would instead spend the day at sea. He came on the speaker a few moments later to announce that we would call at Nassau on Thursday as a replacement stop and spend Wednesday at sea. On Thursday morning we were sure to be on deck for the arrival at Nassau. Being locals we wanted to take the opportunity to experience this stop as tourists and to analyze and discuss what could be improved upon. The view of the port from the ship is actually very nice and the ship docks which is a plus. The ship was cleared very quickly by the authorities and passengers were free to disembark shortly after arrival. We had a leisurely breakfast and finally disembarked at around 11:30 a.m. The Welcome center is rather sparse and was mostly deserted as most of the stalls were closed. Splendor was the only ship in port on this unscheduled visit, which was probably the reason for this. We did walk through the "straw market" (tent) and must admit this was not a pleasant experience. It is very crowded, cramped, hot, and has very little authentic Bahamian straw work. Most of the vendors seem to be selling the same knockoffs and foreign made trinkets. Very disappointing. We also toured Bay Street and visited the Pompey Museum, which documents the slave trade. As "tourists" we found Nassau (Bay Street) to be a bit dirty, with horrendous traffic, and with mostly t-shirt, jewelry, and perfume shops. We did not engage in any of the many tours we know are available which would hopefully give the tourist a better experience. The sail away from Nassau on Thursday evening was the scenic highlight of the entire cruise. Watching the glowing orange sun slowly slip below the horizon from our balcony with the nice cool breeze as Splendor slowly got up to speed was beautiful, romantic and an amazingly peaceful, splendid experience. WOW! ENTERTAINMENT There are so many options on this ship that you should not run out of things to do. There is the usual bingo, game show, wine tasting and art auctions. We did check out some of the art pieces available and were very impressed by the quality and variety. There is a wedding show which was very, very good. There are a number of clubs and lounges with various types of music. There was karaoke every night which was a lot of fun. There were two late night adult comedy shows which were both standing room only and outstanding. We made it to two shows in the main show lounge; one was very good and the other was outstanding. The name was Vroom I believe and this was by far the best show I have ever seen at sea and rivals anything on land. The male and female vocalists were extremely talented and the dance, costumes and lighting, and sets were all outstanding. A must see if you cruise this ship. PASSENGERS Given the time of year there were very few children on board. From what we saw the children's and teenage areas of the ship were almost deserted. This was a mature crowd, mostly American with a few from other countries. There were no incidents that we witnessed and passengers were courteous, and cooperative. Very few of the public venues, including the pool deck areas were ever crowded, except the adult comedy shows. DISEMBARKATION We chose self assist rather than leave our luggage outside of the room by midnight on Thursday. We were docked in Ft. Lauderdale by 7 a.m. but we enjoyed our last morning on board and got prepared to leave at our leisure. We had a nice final breakfast in Lido buffet and then enjoyed our cabin and balcony until about 10 a.m. We were then able to just walk off with very little waiting. The U.S. customs check took less than a minute and we exited the terminal to find a taxi. Total time from cabin to curb was about 10 minutes. This was a very enjoyable cruise. Splendor is indeed splendid, very clean with an excellent crew. Already planning our next cruise on Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
I am a travel agent and I won this cruise as an incentive for selling the most Carnival in my region. I really love Carnival so this was pretty easy for me. :-) I brought my hubby but our 2 kids stayed home this time. We flew in from ... Read More
I am a travel agent and I won this cruise as an incentive for selling the most Carnival in my region. I really love Carnival so this was pretty easy for me. :-) I brought my hubby but our 2 kids stayed home this time. We flew in from Charlotte, NC and landed in FLL. We took the $20 cab ride (that included the tip) and we were dropped off at the ship. The embarkation line was very long but organized. I heard a lot of grumbling but I always try to keep in mind that embarkation and disembarkation are up to the Port Authority and NOT the cruise line. We stood patiently and eventually got on the ship. Ship- Wow! This is a the pinkest thing I have ever seen! It looked like a zebra drank too much Pepto Bismol and left it's mark all over the place. It took me about a day to get used to it. Even the lounges, stairs, elevators and dining rooms were pink or zebra. It would have been my 14 year old daughter's dream ship! Stateroom- We were in an Oceanview 6A. It was very large and comfy. I was impressed with how big it was. It is basically the same size as a balcony room but they don't cut into the room to make the balcony. The Carnival Comfort Beds were wonderful as always. The shower was great too. Activities & Entertainment- We enjoyed the lounges. The comedian the first night seemed nervous and started out rough but ended up being OK. The comedian the second night- Percy Cruise II was soooo good! We really enjoyed him. We generally don't go to the vegas style shows so seeing the comedians worked for us. Dining- I have always like Carnival food. I expect it to be "Golden Corral" style food since they feed about 3000+ people but they always go above and beyond. The steaks were tender, the fish was fresh. I cannot complain at all. It was wonderful. Of course, we had to get the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake. It is to die for! Service- We liked our head waitress and assistant waiter. Ken, the Maitre d' was great too. We were singing and dancing each night after dinner. Our stewardess was also very accommodating and friendly. We love Carnival's staff! Shore excursions- I got a room at Atlantis and we hit the waterpark and the casino and then rounded out the day with a little shopping before heading back to the boat. We stopped at Kafe Kalik (in the cruise port terminal) and had a couple drinks. The Nassau Gal is a yummy cocktail and quite potent as well. The Negatives- I only have 2 complaints with this ship and her service. 1. I ordered Room Service and was told my wait for my PB&J would be 1 1/2 hours. I was OK with that but after 2 hours my food never showed up. We called to let them know but they didn't seem to care- it was free anyway! We tried again later that night and we got our food within the 45 minute time period that they said it would arrive. It was yummy! 2. I love pink and all but really, it took me a while to get used to it but I think it needs to be toned down even more. I expect Carnival to be flashy and Vegas like but this was just a bit much, even for me. Disembarkation- This was a breeze! We like the new zone system where you wait in your room until your zone is called (or you eat in the dining rooms or at the buffet). Carnival has come a long way in making this a bearable process. Summary- Of course we will sail Carnival over and over again. You just can't beat it for the price and the value! :-) Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
My wife and I are retired and this was our sixth cruise, the third on Carnival. We booked at the last minute on line and found that we could not complete our registration. It said we had to call Carnival to complete. Being a little ... Read More
My wife and I are retired and this was our sixth cruise, the third on Carnival. We booked at the last minute on line and found that we could not complete our registration. It said we had to call Carnival to complete. Being a little perturbed, I did so and found out that since we were identified as repeat customers, we were given an additional discount with an automatic upgrade. Amazing! The Carnival rep was very pleasant and answered all of our questions. We live in the upper midwest and decided to drive to Florida for the experience of parking at the cruise port so as to avoid the hassle with the airlines, baggage restrictions, shuttles, etc. If you can do this I believe it is the best way to go. Port Everglades was easy to get into, the parking was under cover and close to the ship, and leaving the port on disembarkation after getting to our car was fast and painless. Even though were early arriving at the port, we found that the line for embarkation was quite long. However once it started moving, it was fast and efficient with all Carnival personnel being very helpful. We were on the ship within 30 minutes. This ship is huge!! I was concerned that we would be lost getting around. Not so! It's layout is similar to other Carnival ships. Taking an hour or so after embarkation to explore will be helpful later during your cruise. Yes it is pink with lots of circles in the decor! We liked it, and besides, you will get use to it. We hardly noticed after a while. The cabin hallways were done in a 40's decor, a distinct contrast from the other public areas. This ship with 3,000 passengers never seemed crowded anywhere at anytime except for the casino. When the casino was in operation it was packed. I like to play craps, there was only one table, and I was only able to get a spot on it on the last day. Maybe that was good, I saved some money. Our stateroom, an outside ocean view, was the best we have ever had. It was of good size, well laid out and appointed with real oil painting art on the walls. The bathroom was large and the shower was easy to work and control. Our cabin steward was exceptional and always seemed to know when we were in or out and when to do his work. The dining experience both in the Black Pearl restaurant and the Lido cafe were excellent. The staff in both were friendly and professional. They couldn't have done a better job. Although there were several food choices each night in the dining room, it didn't vary much from night to night. No worry, however, the food was excellent. In the Lido cafe, there were many food choices and seating was always available with clean tables. The cruise director "Goose" did a good job in managing and the entertainment was outstanding. The first night's show was good but nothing special. The two comedians on nights 2 and 3 were also very good but the production show "Varoom" on the final night was unbelievable. It was one of the best shows that I have seen anywhere and to think I saw this on a cruise ship - oh my! The ship had many facilities for activities but were of the same type you will find on most ships, spa, exercise room, camp Carnival, etc. The difference to us seemed to be the larger sizes and efficient layouts. This is easily a ship on which one could spend several "fun days at sea" and not get bored. The staff overall truly were professional and seemed to want to be as helpful as possible. The only exception was in the shops where the staff seemed to have attitudes of disinterest to borderline rudeness. I don't want to labor on this point since we didn't come on this cruise to shop - no big deal. Now on to the cruise itinerary: This was a 4-nighter with 2-ports of call plus a "fun day at sea". It served as a fill in cruise between the arrival from Europe and wintering in the Eastern Caribbean. We picked this cruise not only for the great price but also to try out the "Splendor", Carnival's newest and largest ship and because it was a Bahamas cruise that did not go to Nassau. Nothing against Nassau - just been there before. More on that later. The first day we went to the private island Half Moon Cay used by Carnival/Holland America. This is a wonderful beach experience that you might want to do on future cruises. The sand is different than anything I have ever seen - like fine powdered sugar. Wonderful to walk in but hard to clean off. This island is unique! The second day we were to arrive at Grand Turk. A beautiful day but high winds would not allow us to safely dock. After several tries, the captain wisely decided to abort the effort and not risk ramming the pier or running aground - not good for passenger safety or resumes. Grand Turk does not have tug service or a natural harbor where the pier is located. So we had a "fun day at sea" one day early with our next stop targeted for Nassau. Apparently a couple of other Carnival ships had similar problems with the weather at other ports so we were able to play musical chairs with the itineraries and take the place of another ship at Nassau. I commend to the highest degree the way Carnival handled this and the efficiency with which the staff adjusted to this change! Nassau is Nassau. No one seemed to mind and I think some were pleased. Any experience is what you want to make of it. Having been there before, we had no particular plans other than to walk around and enjoy the experience. People didn't seem to buy much. Prices were high and the locals weren't pushing or particular interested in bargaining. We spent the afternoon on the ship and enjoyed the adults only deck where they had padded lounge chairs and a bar. This is getting long and even though there is many more positive things I could say about this ship I will conclude with a little on the disembarkation. This was the fastest and easiest disembarkation we have ever experienced. We were off the ship, through customs, in our car and on the Florida Turnpike in one hour. The only problem we encountered was initially as we left. It seems that far more people try to "self assist" disembark that "self assist" embarked. This led to a back up on the lower decks as we were getting off the ship. It isn't so bad if patience is applied. This is a great ship on which to take a cruise. It is my understanding that this ship will locate in the next couple of years on the west coast out of Los Angeles and do the Mexican Riviera. We did this itinerary on the Carnival "Spirit" and it should a great adventure on the "Splendor". Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
We traveled with a group of friends, as a quick way to all get away and get to see each other. Of the six, four cruise Carnival regularly, 2 had never cruised before (on a cruise ship, that is. One was Navy for years)We chose the short ... Read More
We traveled with a group of friends, as a quick way to all get away and get to see each other. Of the six, four cruise Carnival regularly, 2 had never cruised before (on a cruise ship, that is. One was Navy for years)We chose the short cruise because it was easier for everyone to take a short time off from work, and we'd wanted to see the newer bigger ships. Travel - We flew into FLL, stayed at the Fort Lauderdale Hyatt. I'd highly recommend this hotel. My husband found it on Priceline for $70 versus $170. It was close to both the airport and the port, and there were lots of stores and restaurants in very easy walking distance. I called the hotel on landing and they sent a shuttle for us at the airport. The next morning, shuttles ran to port continuously. Easy enough. Embarkation - This is my least favorite of all the ports we've left from. I found it to be very poorly managed, and very poorly organized. The line to embark wound aimlessly around the parking lot, which was full of small ponds to dodge. It moved at a reasonable pace. From joining the line to sitting in our rooms took approximately 1.25 hours, which is the longest it's ever taken us. Cabin - We were in Cabin 8429 with our friends on a cabin on either side of us. We chose to do the balcony cabins because we were told we could open the dividers between the balconies, essentially giving us one large balcony. We felt this would be a great way to socialize and gather, and once we got the balcony dividers opened, it was. The cabins were beautiful, obviously very new, with a refrigerator. The bathrooms are different than we were used to with MUCH larger sink space. I've always had a hard time finding room for all the girlie bathroom stuff, and the new bathrooms have AMAZING amounts of space. Loved the rooms.Service - This is the area I felt was most lacking on this cruise. We've cruised Carnival 5 times prior to this cruise, and I've always felt we got surprisingly good service from them. This cruise, it was surprisingly poor. I attributed much of it to the simple newness of the ship and crew, but some was just flat out rudeness. I have always enjoyed our Stewards, this one was just simply rude, and uncaring. We had an issue getting our balcony dividers opened, and his attitude was very much 'that's not my issue, call the purser.' When that failed 'Call maintenance'. One of the cabins had a door that whistled so badly one couple got very little sleep the first night. Upon telling the steward in the morning, he shrugged and said he would call his supervisor. The door did not get fixed till late that night after they made repeated calls to the purser. It was an incredibly simple fix, took the guy all of 2 minutes, but they dealt with the whistle for almost the entirety of the cruise. The morning of disembarkation, one of the couples was still in their room showering and changing (our numbers were not even close to being called) and the woman looked up to see painters standing on their balcony, the curtains open (we were high enough up on the ship, Veranda Deck to never need to worry bout that) staring at her when she wandered naked out of the bathroom. He did not stop until she closed the curtain. Calling the purser elicited an 'I'm sorry' and nothing more till she physically went to the purer desk to discuss it. Our refrigerator was locked about 8pm the night before disembarking with two bottles of my wine inside. When I asked the steward to open it so I could retrieve them, he seemed agitated by the request, and explained to me that he'd locked it because he'd done the final count already. I explained again I merely wanted to retrieve my wines, and he finally unlocked it, again, very agitated over this.Food - We ate in the Pinnacle restaurant the first night. They charge an extra $30 and it's SO worth it. The meal took 3 hours, and the food was amazingly good. I'd highly recommend trying this option. Make your reservations online before the cruise, it seemed to fill up pretty quickly. Main dining room the second night, formal night. Average food, average service, all in all nothing to really say about it, very forgettable. Room Service - Ride staff on the phone, long hold times, long wait times. Shows - We don't do the Vegas style shows, but we did the comedy shows. First night comedian was very average. Second night comedian was absolutely hilarious. Kids Stuff - We did not take our children this time, but I tend to notice the kids areas, because mine generally are involved in them. Club O2 (15-17) had it's own very sleek, attractive 'nightclub' setting, which I think my two teens would have greatly enjoyed. General Ship Decor - Wildly pink and zebra, and frankly, our group LOVED it. It was fun, funky, and fresh. The hallways to cabins have been decorated very differently from previous ships, giving them a retro 40's Hollywood Glamour feel which we found very fun. Disembarkation - We went to the Lido and hung out while waiting for our number (25) This was absolutely, hands down the easiest disembarkation we've ever had. When our number was called, we went down to the proper deck and never once stopped moving as we left the ship. Truly, five minutes till we were standing outside hailing cabs. Excellent job here. We'll sail Carnival again. We enjoy the line, and generally find it to be the best value for our money and time, certainly since we often cruise with 3 children. I truly think lots of this cruises issues (which on the grand scheme of things isn't horrible) are due to the newness of the crew and ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
BACK-TO-BACK CRUISES: We sailed on back-to-back cruises on the Splendor from Fort Lauderdale. The first cruise was a 2-day cruise to Nassau and the second was a 4-day cruise to the Bahamas. This was our first B2B cruise and we would do it ... Read More
BACK-TO-BACK CRUISES: We sailed on back-to-back cruises on the Splendor from Fort Lauderdale. The first cruise was a 2-day cruise to Nassau and the second was a 4-day cruise to the Bahamas. This was our first B2B cruise and we would do it again in a minute. TRAVEL & EMBARKATION: We flew on North West on our own. The Transfers through Carnival were fantastic - easy, efficient and a very easy journey to the ship on a first class coach bus. One bad flaw - it was a very crowded port and the line ups were 1-1/2 hrs long due to new ship and small berth, we were told SHIP: Our trip was wonderful and overwhelming just being on this elegant, huge beautiful ship. All 13 decks decor was awesome and fun and gorgeous - especially all the Spa decks and Spa Accommodations like we had. They were in a class by themselves. The passengers were very nice and friendly. The Meet and Greet was so well arranged on the Cruise Critic board and was attended by Greg, our piano player and Goose, our cruise director and was held in the beautiful Piano bar. DINING ROOMS AND FOOD: The beautiful Dining rooms and food overall was delicious and fresh. Our waiter, Ismail, was the best waiter we have ever had. Kudos to him. Staff service was very friendly and most helpful all the time. All 13 decks decor were awesome especially the Spa decks. Passengers were very nice and friendly. Elevators were very fast but busy at dinner times. SUPPER CLUB: The Supper Club was fantastic and out of this world in every way. The food and service was top rated and worth every penny. We ate there twice. The food was very nicely presented and the choices were extraordinary and delicious. It takes 2-1/2 hours for such an elegant dinner like this. CABINS: We chose an Interior 4S (for Spa) on the 10th deck and with ONLY the Spa 'Accommodations' we were were treated to many free amenities and membership to the Spa everyday. Services were extra. But the visits to the Spa made my week so enjoyable and totally relaxing especially in the Thalasso pool and the Thermal Suites - they were to die for. The gym was state of the art. It is a wonderful value for your price. Our inside room was decorated very Asian and different from the other inside rooms. The room came with many upgraded amenities as listed on the Spa Accommodations Carnival site. Our room was small but compact and very cosy for the two of us and very quiet and dark at night (which we liked) but we loved it and would do it again in a minute as well. We have had Balcony cabins, Deluxe Owners' Suites and now Inside and they are all special in their own right. The 4S inside was our best for the value and one can afford many other services on board as well. The 10th deck was right outside our room and very private and great for viewing. SHORE EXCURSIONS: NASSAU is a beautiful Island. I walked around the Port and bought my Rum Cakes, etc. while my hubby walked around Nassau. I love the ship and always to choose to stay onboard instead in many cases and go to the Spa. 1/2 MOON CAY - was the best Island where Carnival put on a wonderful full scale BBQ and fun. The Island is beautiful with miles of sand and free chairs and many Carnival operated bars on the beach. Fantastic tour - my fav. They have private cabanas which a group can rent right on the beach with extra amenities you can purchase like bartender, food etc. Other tours can be bought there also. This, by far has been our favorite Island and now love the Private Island tours the best. Tendering was a snap and enjoyable as well. GRAND TURK: Our ship made two or three attempts to sail into this Island but the winds were too strong so we went back to Nassau ( as on 1st cruise). That was great again also. I stayed at the Port and used their free Internet and listened to the Steel Band. SEA DAYS: The sea days were the best with total relaxation and tons of things to do like golf, bridge, games with many many things to do and mostly on the LIDO deck. The most fun and most amount of things to do were found on the LIDO deck and the big screen was a wonderful thing to sit, relax and watch day and night. The famous Pizza shop is right there which is the best of all pizzas anywhere 24 hrs. SERENITY DECK: For adults like us the best thing about Carnival is the Serenity Deck (the Spa Accommodations cabins and Spa first of course). The Serenity Deck is usually on the top deck and is very private to the public adult crowd. It has beautifully colorful padded special patio furniture and lounges, their own bar and is protected by the wind by glass walls and beautiful soft totally relaxing spa music. DEBARKATION: Our flight was leaving late in the day so we stayed on the Ship on the Atrium Deck (which is out of this world, literally) till 10:30 last call and left in 5 mins. Transfers again to the airport were first class on the first class buses and well worth the money. Carnival reps were there right away with complete directions. Way to go Carnival! SUMMARY: This has been one of the best cruises we have had and mainly because of us being seniors and thoroughly enjoying the Spa Accommodation cabin and Spa. All the rest is first class all the way in every way. The Splendor is one of the most beautiful ships we have been on and we have been on many, many cruises. We are now booked on the CARNIVAL DREAM 2-day cruise to Nowhere next November 2009 out of New York just to try it out. And we can't wait! Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
We sailed on the 11/17 cruise from Ft.Lauderdale. After many years of not cruising with Carnival for various reasons, we decided to try them again as it was a new ship and what could be so bad right?? Wrong!!! Embarkation was very ... Read More
We sailed on the 11/17 cruise from Ft.Lauderdale. After many years of not cruising with Carnival for various reasons, we decided to try them again as it was a new ship and what could be so bad right?? Wrong!!! Embarkation was very disorganized. A security belt broke down so everyone had to go through one security station until they started to reroute people through a security gate at the other end of the port. That really did help the process. Once on the ship we found our Cabin #6364. The rooms were nicely appointed, very pink as the rest of the ship, but very spacious. The bathroom was the largest of any ship we have every been on and the shower curtain didn't swallow you up. The balconies were smaller than any ship we have been on. Our Cabin steward was terrific, friendly, and very conscience of our needs. NO SAIL AWAY PARTY. WE HAD LIFEBOAT DRILL AT SAILAWAY. First time for that. There were several seating areas for the buffet and plenty of tables inside and outside overlooking the pool area. We were disappointed with the buffet, which has always been great on other ships. The evening buffet, unless you got there at 6:30 pm was cold almost always. We had second seating in the Gold Pearl. After the first night, we found the menu to be uninviting and decided to eat at the place we found to be the best on the ship "The Grill" where you will find the best pannini sandwiches, rubens, etc anywhere. I will say there was always something to eat, pizza, fries, sandwiches, burgers, all by the pool at night. Ice Cream is 24 hours and that was great. Now you are probably thinking we only eat junk food, but we are in the restaurant business, my husband a chef, and thought the dining room food to be underpar (our opinion only). For the size of this ship, the motion was very bad. Yes the wind was wild at times, but the seas were not bad enough to warrant the amount of motion we felt. We still think the Captain felt he was driving a Ferrari instead of a ship and was in the race of his life. That we feel caused much of the motion. Due to weather, we did not stop in Grand Turk but sailed a day at sea and back to the Bahamas. Our first stop was in Half Moon Cay, the highlight of the cruise. The best beach I have ever seen. Clean, clear, blue, blue water. You must get off the ship early, or you will not find a beach chair which is free there and will have to pay to get a clam shell in which a chair comes with it for $20.00. The entertainment was just okay. Sailed the Crown Princess in March and the Enchantment of the Seas in September and the entertainment on those ships were fantastic. Movies under the Stars was covered by the non-working retractable roof which did not allow any air onto the pool deck. We thought the staff was personable and accommodating, but found the entertainment and food to be below average. Room Service being among the worst ever encountered. Disembarkation was the quickest and easiest we have ever encountered. For the very reasons we stopped sailing with Carnival years ago are the same reasons we will probably think long and hard before booking with them again. We have taken into consideration that this ship was new and there will be issues, but the disappointments were the normal everyday Customer Services things that Carnival should have down pat after all these years on the High Seas. Now, we cruised Princess for the first time in March and our review on the Crown Princess was a 5+ because they really took care of their passengers and everything from the moment you stepped on that ship to the time you got off, someone was asking you if you were enjoying yourself and if you were complaining about anything they were at your cabin in minutes. They truly cared about our Cruise Experience, where I think that Carnival has a very large loyal following and that keeps them in the waters. Sometimes you get what you pay for !!!!! Happy Sailings !!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
Carnival Splendor Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.3
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 3.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 1.0 3.3
Service 3.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 3.0 4.2

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