Oh Colourful Carnival: Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by Canadiankaratemom

Carnival Splendor 4
Member Since 2005
235 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Oh Colourful Carnival

Sail Date: November 2012
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
Having cruised mainly with Princess, a few times with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and NCL, decided to try Carnival given the pricing and timing.

We usually travel as a group of 7 to 13, but this time it was just my husband and I.

We spent 2 days in Long Beach, stayed at Long Beach Hilton. Met fellow cruise critics at Yardhouse, which was awesome.

Embarkation: Smooth and efficient. We got there around 1 pm. Within 15 mins we were in our cabin. Half hour later, our baggage arrived.

Sficient, but no time for any thing else.

Dining - we had early seating at Gold Pearl Restaurant. Very colouful decor . Disaapointed that dress code was not enforced as we had passengers showing up with flip flops and shorts even on Elegant night. They should have been politely turned away and offered alternative dining options.
Food was luke warm on most nights. Variety was there for meat lovers, vegetarians, seafood etc. Like their everyday menu. Disappointed More with overdone Mahi Mahi on our last night, which was also the roughest night, so half the dining room was empty and we did not finish our dinner due to motion sickness.

Our head waiter Werner was from Peru. He was very efficient, but once again little time for idle chitchat and we really did not get to know more about him the way we always did with other waiters on other cruiselines. Believe, Carnival is cutting corners and have cut back staffing so dining room staff are always on the run and rushed. Love the table top dancing by the waiters. But 3 nights of this is more than enough.

Alternate places to eat: Recommend the Grill and Tandoor on Deck 9 - very tasty and a nice change from regular buffet.

Lido buffet - liked the Mongolian wok, but had to wait 20 mins for food to be cooked. Need more people cooking.

Rotissserie on deck 10 - hidden gem just above Lido deck - corn on the cob, juicy roast chicken and some salad - another welcome change to Lido buffet.

Pizza and hot dog stand - good for food on the go, but not my favourite.

Sushi bar - opened most night from 5 pm to 8.15 pm.. not too bad, many passengers snacked here before their dinner.

Photographers- Don't like how they were set up everywhere and made the hall ways on Deck 5 congested, especially around the Sushi bar and Casino area.

Gift shops - pleasant staff, but they need to set up their watch sales and special item sales in larger rooms like El Morroco instead of the narrow hallways in front of their stores. Their $10 and $19 watch sales were a gong show, with passengers pushing and shoving and sratching.. calm down people, they are only watches and bracelets and they are not free!

Shows - Ok.. standard cruise shows.. Vroom was the best. Stand up comedian - good and always reminded that we will be offended and have option to leave if we are offended.

Deck chairs and pool area - needs to be cleaned more frequently. Same with tables at Lido buffet. Seems like once again, cut back in staff by Carnvival or is this the norm. Not used to seeing empty tables with dirty dishes and deck floors and dirty deck chairs. Other cruise lines have staff cleaning regularly.

Public washrooms - difficult to find amongst the gaudy pink polka dot decorations on the walls and doors. Not clearly visible when you are in need of a washroom.

Adult Serenity area was nice, but why bother when the putting green is just above it, so it is noisy with kids ?

Gym -was good, lots of machines, treadmills, bikes etc.. Dont like the curtains around the windows.. take it away.. blocks the view and will attract dust.

Cabin - we opted for Oceanview and were on Deck 1 - very convenient when we came back from shore as all we had to do was walk one flight from deck 0. Very spacious compared to Princess. Lots of drawers and storage. Bright orange colours in the rooms.. ok with us. Loved being greeted by towel animals after dinner every night.. Best one was our Monkey hanging from the ceiling. Need more electrical outlets to charge our cell phones and cameras.

ATM = loved having ATM on board since we needed some extra cash and our Canadian cards worked.. Also found there was never any line ups at the guest services as once could check on their account from their room or from a machine located right infront of the guest services area.

Casino- please make it completely non smoking!!

Disembarkation - we were amongst the last to disembark, so enjoyed the last of the sunshine on deck 9 before heading down to deck 3 to disembark. Smooth

Overall not too bad of an experience, considering this was our first Carnival cruise. We will sail with Carnival again if we are looking for value and variety of ports of call. At times too many kids running around, but then Carnival is priced as an affordable cruising experience for families. Passengers were mostly down to earth and friendly. Definitely not the party ship reputation they used to have. Heard there was a drug bust on Deck 2.. but then that should not be a surprise, given the Mexican ports of call. Less

Published 12/11/12

Cabin review: 6A1382 Ocean View

Cabin - deck 1 - ocean view. Spacious bathroom and cabin. loved number of drawers and storage.

Read All Ocean View (6A) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Our favourite port of call... Loved having 2 days to spend here. Have not been here in the past 8 years, lots of changes. We booked private tour with Benji and Raul who took us around downtown Cabo, San Jose, Chileno Bay and a man made oasis golf course where J Lo and Michael Jordan have homes within this private, gated golf resort. Loved seeing the different varieties of cactus and aloe vera plants. Raul took us to Marquina Gallery in San Jose who had an amazing selection of art work and jewellery. Bought my fire opal ring there and found the pricing very reasonable. Highly recommend this place. Not pushy and very genuine. The silver rings and bracelets were of good quality and had designs to suit broad spectrum of clients. 2nd day we booked with Raul again to head out to Lovers beach, Arch etc via glass bottom boat and 4 hours at Chileno bay - public beach with no vendors. Very clean and sandy beach.

Beach Break

Well organized and enjoyed our tour guide. Disappointed with his recommendation of Jimmy's jewellers and the leather store - prices at leather store were inflated. Designs at Jimmy's not up to par and the silver felt very light. Did not feel comfortable buying from Jimmy's. We also did not like the beach where Blue Shrimp restaurant was as we were hounded by beach vendors every 5 mins even though it was supposed to be roped off. The calarmari and coconut shrimp was yummy at Blue shrimp. We opted to make our own way back to the ship as we wanted to have more time to explore and to walk along the Malecon. Found many interesting stores along the Malecon. Leather store called Rolling Stones - lots of purses, shoes, boots, wallets to choose from and very reasonably priced. Also felt safe with police presence in every block.

Compare Prices on Carnival Splendor Mexican Riviera Cruises

Read more Carnival Splendor cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Carnival Splendor Review >>

Compare Prices on Carnival Splendor Mexican Riviera Cruises

Member Since 2005
235 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Carnival Splendor deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Carnival Splendor 66% Loved It

7 Day Exotic Western Caribbean
See all Carnival Splendor Deals >>