We were attracted to this cruise by both the price and the itinerary. We had never taken a cruise down the West coast of South America, and this seemed like a a great opportunity. Although the ship was going all the way to New York from Long Beach (48 days) we had only the time to go to Santiago Chile (17 days). We were a little hesitant about taking the Splendor because of its history (caught fire and towed back to Los Angeles in 2010) but we also knew that this history would result in a great bargain, which it was. We had an ocean-view room, and the whole thing, including gratuities but excluding shore excursions, came to less than $100 per day per person.
To start at the beginning, embarkation was a nightmare, since Carnival had not specifically warned passengers who were continuing to Brazil that they would need a visa, even if they stayed on the ship. Many didn't realize this, and had to make long and complicated changes at check-in. Check-in wasn't helped by the fact it was superbowl Sunday, and there were just five clerks (there were 16 possible stations) who showed up for work. We got there at 11:30am and ended up waiting 2.5 hours to board, but we know of others who got there a little later and waited six hours in line to check in.
Throughout the cruise there were many more glitches, with announcements about ports and activities often being confusing or wrong, and not enough forethought in organizing things. The naturalist who was supposed to be on the ship never made it, and they pressed the photography expert--Mickey--into doing that, but it clearly wasn't his thing. The cruise director--Malcolm Woo Hoo Burn--was personable and seemed to try hard, but was just not up to organizing things properly.