Carnival offered a terrific deal for its Splendor repositioning cruise from the Mexican Riviera run to New York. We bit even though we knew the Splendor had a troubled past and some bad reviews. After signing up, we read a lot of bad stuff about the last cruise to Mexico and the final run to Hawaii and back. Then the Carneval Triumph took the news for weeks and friends declared us crazy.
But it was a dandy cruise all in all. Good food mostly, and mostly in the main dining rooms as we tried assigned seat dining for the first time. Better than average cabin service. Pretty good entertainment. Lost of push for Fun Fun Fun! And a dandy CD, Malcolm (WooHoo!) who merits his high repute.
Splendor is too big for our taste -- three feet wider than Panamax. The crew seems to have conquered chair hogging, but we didn't get a lot of good sun days and the lid over the Lido deck never got opened. We took only two cruise company excursions -- to and from the ship. Both illustrated the main problem: the ship was in uncharted water, using pickup crews for embarkation, debarkation and excursions. (We had several great excursions; thanks CC pals.)
We had an inside handicapped cabin on Deck 6 midships, on the ship map handy to most everything, but in reality long hike to the forward elevator for the theater or the aft elevator down to the entry to the Gold Pearl main dining room. We infer the plan is to guide folks through the casino and shops, but it isn't fun for someone who needs a walker or chair. The bathroom is huge including a roll-in shower. Closet and drawer space is barely adequate, and the desk is tiny.
We got a really great excursion from a company contacted through the roll call. Went out to Estancia Halbertson and took a Zodiac out to an island in the Beagle Channlee with thousands of Magellanes penguins, several hundred gentoo breeding pairs and one odd visiting King. I think I am not allowed to mention the company in this review, but I may get an opportunity to answer a question in the ports threads.
Another great excursion arranged through CC roll call, but the weather didn't let us see the volcanoes and the hike up to see the falls was really wet.