Long and Detailed Review: Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by RajMehta

Carnival Splendor 4
Member Since 2014

Overall Member Rating

Long and Detailed Review

Sail Date: July 2014
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
I took Carnival cruise to Eastern Caribbean and just returned. This is my first cruise. This is going to be an extra long review with all detail. I will divide the review in 3 parts. By category, by day on cruise and summary:



1. Lunch buffet variety

2. Hospitality


1. WATER: they want you to buy or die. Its really horrible. I will provide more detail in latter part. In short, get your own jug for your room or remain thirsty.

2. No respect for Vegeterian and Vegan in dinner.

Review by days:

Day 1 - Embarkation:

Embarkation was smooth. They really don't check your luggage. All the policies mention online are not really enforced. I saw people taking crates of bottled water and beer with them. I wish I had taken bottled water with me. Embarkation is easy. You drop your luggage in beginning of pier with your luggage tag. Check-in is easy. There was a line but moved fast. We entered More the cruise and interior was amazing. I was really impressed. You will not find a single corner of ship not decorated & maintained properly. Here we got first shock. There was a welcome drink as soon as we entered the ship. We were under impression that it is a welcome drink, supposed to be free. Wow! it was $8 per person. We simply ignored and walked to guest service to get our sail cards. The process was smooth. We went to our room, luggage was already there before we reached there. We had two rooms. Steward for both were different. As soon as we reached, they came and introduced themselves. Room was quite clean. We asked for king bed but they had 2 separate beds. We were told that it will be fixed as soon as embarkation is complete and it did. We visited few floors on ship. I will cover lunch & dinner part in review by category.

Day 2: Sea day

Different activities and show in the evening.

Day 3: Sea day

Different activities and show in the evening.

Day 4: Grand Turk Island:

Grand turk is not a developed island. All cruiselines together have developed a small portion of island where ship drops you.

We bought power snorkeling. This was best 2 hours spent in my life. It was amazing. We saw small shark and lot of other things. Excursion manager was very good. The location is far from ship. They also give a good tour when they take you there - so no need to buy island tour. There is not much to see on the island too. Beach was OK and there were stones hurting you. There are beach chairs lying for visitors. Margaritavile restaurant's swimming pool was great, my son really enjoyed it. Be advised: all the excursions are monopolized and controlled by cruise line people. Even if you try to buy it at shore, they will send you back to cruise line counter.

Shops really don't have much variety. One Indian owner's store (sorry forgot the store name) was the best. Small huts outside were useless. They sell all mass production stuff in name of hand-made things.

Food was OK. Margaritavile was bit expensive.

Getting back to ship is painful. I don't why Carnival can't manage this better. There was a long queue of more than an 45 minutes in hard sun. I even don't understand why the island time has to be done by 3pm. It is not really not that far from next destination.

Day 5: Half Moon Cay:

This is a private island leased by Holland America Cruise line for 99 years from Bahamas. Only 40 HA employees live there to maintain the island. Cruise ship can't go there, so they transfer you to a small boat and take there. Try to go to theater early to make it less painful.

Island is the best among our 3 locations. Water was so clear and sand was great. Kids and us enjoyed water for 2+ hours in morning. To our surprise, Carnival arranged a barbeque there, so no need to spend money :). As I mentioned, there are no locals, there are practically no local shops. There is one shop managed by HA that sells gift items and souveniers. There were 2 other small shops - completely unimpressive.

There is horseback ride and stingray excursion that were good. We took island tour. This was good too. All excursions are ONLY managed by cruiseline as there are no locals.

Again, getting back to ship was painful. I still don't understand why can't they manage without long-long queues.

Day 6: Nassau:

Contradicting to first two islands, Nassau excursions are not lineontrolled by cruise lines. DO NOT book excursions from cruise. All of them are available outside with discounted rates. For example, Jet Ski, cruise was charging me $90. We decided to go by ourselves and got it for $55 including tips.

Nassau is not as beautiful as Half Moon Cay. More it is a city and has its unclean streets and nuisance.

After submarine boat excursion in the morning, we went to Paradise island. There are fixed prices for cab. There will be cab-drivers asking more, just ignore them. We paid $4 / person to Atlantis where he dropped us. Atlantis is OK, not as expected. One special advise, don't go to beach from Atlantis by road, just take a short cut from inside Atlantis itself. Way is great. It will take you to Cabbage island where all water sport activities are. Bargain - Bargain - Bargain. Don't pay what they are asking for. They will come down like anything (and you will save some money for shopping).

After getting tired from cabbage island, we were hungry and family wanted to do some shopping. We took a cab back to welcome center. There is Subway, Burger King, McDonalds & Dunkins nearby. Near Dunkins, there is a pirate museum. My younger son is crazy after pirates and we took him there. Walk from Dunkins to welcome center on Bay Street is all shopping. Do not go to open huts. They practically sell same items available in store for double price. We visited few stored and my kids and wife managed to spend good amount of money (and increase number of bags in my hand). We went back on ship - completely tired.

Again, why long lines getting back to ship???

Day 7: Sea day

Different activities and show in the evening.

Day 8: Sea day

Different activities and show in the evening.

We learned that we have a right to get back our prepaid graduity and pay people manually. We did it and paid it by our hand. Steward, dining room staff - they were all very happy with out gesture. We were supposed to debark next day morning - so packing. They give you an option to carry your luggage by yourself or they carry it for you. I had to rush to office ASAP, so I chose self option. They clear self-carry first and then start wtih ported luggage.

Day 9: Debarkation

Had a breakfast, took our luggage and left. Custom officers are more concerned about your identities than your purchases outside. Buy good stuff from duty free. Less

Published 07/19/14

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