Carnival Splendor--the Good, the Bad, and the Not So Sure: Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by jlindercrow

Carnival Splendor 4
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Carnival Splendor--the Good, the Bad, and the Not So Sure

Sail Date: January 2010
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
Who cruised? My husband and I--early 60s, cruising alone just for a little rest and relaxation. Have been on one Carnival ship before (the Spirit). Departure date was January 3rd. Let me say that we had fun--but I'm providing this honest assessment so it might help someone who is choosing a ship or cruise line.

Pros: Great cabin! Chose the Ocean Suite for the room, rather than the aft cabin with wraparound balcony. I peeked in the aft cabin before leaving the ship and was SO glad we had the suite instead. Very roomy, with wonderful bathroom with full tub and shower (no flyaway curtains--great glass doors!). Double sinks too, with nice amenities. Nice robes, great bed, and nice balcony furniture. Cabin steward was excellent! Also--and this is important--the suite entitled us to VIP check in, so we skirted the huge lines, checked in at a separate area in about 10 minutes, and then went right on the ship. SO worth it!

Very good massage in the spa, and pedicure. Pizza More was great, as was the ice cream. Food in general pretty good (not spectacular).

Cons: Where to start? In the fitness room, a very odd design that resulted in curtains that completely blocked the view of the ocean when on the treadmill, bicycle, etc. Weird...there were windows, but the curtains covered the top part precisely at eye level--I kept bending down to see the water. In the spa--this "new" spa concept means that you have to pay extra to use the steam room, sauna, etc (unless you are in a Spa cabin). That seems a little "chincy" to me. The "serenity" lounge area for adults was literally wall to wall with chairs (and people)and oddly enough is right under the miniature golf, so not exactly serene most of the time. And windy! Luckily we had a balcony, which was quite pleasant and quiet. Everywhere else was crowded and loud. Admittedly, the hairy chest contest and beer drinking contest aren't really our cup of tea, but for the twenty-somethings on the ship this kind of entertainment seemed to be a hit. But it was hard to find a quiet spot anywhere on the ship other than our cabin.

Whole ship felt really crowded most of the time. Timing was everything with the lines on Lido Deck. Dining room was pretty standard, and food was mostly good. The Pinnacle ($30 surcharge a person) where we had anniversary dinner was nice--the food at a much higher level. But no live music or really special feel to the place.

Last thing--entertainment was really disappointing. On previous Carnival ship we were impressed with the shows (and on other cruise lines). They missed it this time around--sorry to say. Other entertainment (like pianist in the lobby bar) were quite good, but the "big" shows left something to be desired.

So, all in all we had an overall good time because we had a really nice cabin and we were on the ocean! Will definitely cruise again, but probably wouldn't do this ship again. Less

Published 01/28/10

Cabin review: OS7339 Ocean Suite

Cabin was great. Ocean Suite. Starboard side, so of course on one leg of the journey we didn't get sun most of the day. Roomy balcony, very nice furniture. Two chairs that reclined, one other chair and a small table. Roomy cabin--great bed with a sofa and chair. Plenty of storage. Dressing area just outside the bathroom was nice. Very nice bathroom. Double sinks and great jacuzzi tub with shower, and sliding glass doors. Suite came with VIP status which was particularly important during Embarkation. A little too near the front of the time would try to be more mid-ship, but it's not a huge thing, just preference. Quiet (except for the first night when the kids across the hall were partying).

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Port and Shore Excursions

Tender off the ship, and it's a beautiful area. Nice port area for walking around, and strolling on the streets surrounding the port area. Good shopping if you do research beforehand. Nothing unexpected...all the ports are similar. Just watch for the hawkers at the port...just politely say No.

Not much to do really (again, didn't do the excursions). Walked around the Old Town and had an ok lunch, but then back to the ship. Next time I would stay on board and enjoy the pool, etc while everyone else was on shore.

Read 496 Mazatlan Reviews

You can walk off the ship (no tenders) but need to take a cab into town. Have them drop you on the Malecon (the boardwalk) and you will be in the middle of everything. Nice walking town...along the Malecon and to the Zona Romantica and the island shopping area. Good for strolling along and enjoying the sun. We didn't do any of the excursions--prefer the "do it yourself" approach. Ended the day at a restaurant overlooking the water--very nice.

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Member Since 2009
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