Just arrived home from our sail on the official Shakedown Cruise on the Carnival Splendor, 7/2-7/10. The ship is beautiful and very pink! This was an interesting surprise for me as I absolutely love the color pink. Not so sure how others feel...My family of 4 stayed in a suite on the Empress level. It was lovely with a large balcony and big bathroom complete with whirlpool bath. Our steward was wonderful and quite helpful. The dinners were top notch, service and food in the Blackpearl were excellent. The staff was wonderful they really worked hard to insure a great experience! Breakfast and lunch Buffets were pretty typical fare. The outdoor pizza stand and deli were good. Long lines at these alternative venues. Entertainment was good. A lot of song and dance shows. Choreography and talent were good, not great. The classical music played in the Atrium Bar was outstanding, the talent tremendous. Also, the troubadour style musician outside of the casino was outstanding playing 1960s and 70s folk songs. The comedian was quite good and John's (Cruise Director) old routines sound and look new all over again. The workout facilities were state of the art, very nice. We worked out daily and it was a pleasure to have such great equipment and to overlook the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. The only complaint I have is that there are too few laundry rooms. We tried to use the one on 7(our floor) and there was typically a line down the hall with people reading books waiting for a washing machine. There was a broken machine that had a sign on it but was never attended to. Someone removed this sign and people were quite frustrated when it filled with water and nothing more happened. Thank goodness for our large whirlpool as we actually washed 3 loads of laundry in it. My husband fashioned a drying line and tied it across our double balcony and yes, we dried our clothing out there. It was during our 2 seadays and yes, we did look like the Beverly Hillbillies but we had clean laundry! Also, the sneak smokers made a walk down our hall pretty disgusting. I think this is why there was a plumbing issue during the entire cruise. Trying to flush butts disrupts the entire system. The itinerary of ports of call was fantastic. We toured each port and really enjoyed our time. Monaco, Barcelona, Lisbon and LeHavre all had sights to see and history to learn about. Debarkation was simple as we were able to stay in our room until called to leave. Then began the next leg of our journey to London!