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We sailed on the Carnival Splendour in February out of the port of LA for a two day stop in Cabo San Lucas, a one day stop in Puerto Vallarta, and three days at sea. This was our sixth cruise with Carnival and the fourth time we have traveled this route. Traditionally we have sailed on spirit-class cruise ships with about a capacity of around 2000 passengers. This was our first time aboard the Carnival Splendor which has a passenger capacity of 3006 passengers. On our other cruises parking at the Long Beach terminal has been easy. We would arrive about 1-1:30 ish and there would be plenty of parking spaces left. This was not the case for this cruise. We got what we believe was the last parking space in the parking garage (On the top level far corner). I did not see signs for where the overflow parking was supposed to go. Some advice is if you are not arriving early perhaps call in and ask where to go if the parking garage is full. Or get dropped off. Luggage drop off has always been well organized with the porters outside the terminal next to the parking garage and this has not changed one bit over the 15 years we have sailed with Carnival. Cruise check in is no longer at the airport style counter. There are several “Pods” set up with a Carnival team member taking your information and issuing you your sail and sign cards. It was well organized and moved along efficiently. On board the ship cleaning staff I will say do a great job and put in some long days. Just an observation on my part that I believe Carnival has cut back on the amount of cleaning staff over the years. Despite this I have always found the staff to be very friendly, helpful, accommodating. During our fire drill we waited in an area that had recently been or was in the process of being re-painted. The smell of fumes was very strong and put a lot of passengers off. I thought this would be a singular event but it was not. On the entire seven-day cruise there were paint crews working in many areas of the ship. You could smell paint fumes one day in the breakfast buffet. The next day while sitting outside the ship at port. The next day on your deck. You get the idea. I understand that ongoing painting of a ship is normal maintenance. It’s just I have never seen that much of it. As a byproduct of old paint being removed you could see paint chips on the glass, on the exterior areas of the ship. It was even on our two balcony deck chairs. Our room was a normal balcony room. Aside from the afore mentioned paint chip chairs the mattress and pillows were completely past the point of wearing out. I’ve been in the army, believe me I’m not fussy when it comes to sleeping accommodations but when you drop 3K on a cruise you expect a mattress to be of the same quality as an average priced motel. The room problems were further complicated by the fact that the bed of our neighbors and our bed were on the same wall. This means we could hear everything. And I mean everything. Our neighbors must have been excited about being on a cruise because you could audibly hear them at least seven times a day. And I believe the gal was particularly excited because she kept repeating the mantra “Oh Yes”. I am not sure if these rooms are different from other Carnival ships but man the walls seemed thin. We have never had this problem on any of the other five Carnival ships we have sailed on. The ship pool area always seemed crowded on sea days. It did not seem like there was enough public space to accommodate the number of passengers onboard. Most of the public areas outside seemed crowded. Apart from the splash park and the Serenity adults only retreat which didn’t have much of a crowd at all. The slash park I am not sure why this is. It’s for kids, and seemed will built and maintained. Maybe you have to ask kids why they didn’t like it. Our five-year-old had fun anyway. The Serenity adults only area is traditionally at the aft of most ships. On the Splendor it is on the port side one deck down from the mini gold course. The location was not well thought out as you could hear the noise filtering down from the mini golf course. That is if one of two giant industrial fans weren’t drowning out everything with white noise. They retrofitted some baffles in front of the fans but this blocked the wind only. The sun beds in the serenity were old and worn out. Overall it didn’t attract a lot of traffic. Not like I’ve seen on other ships where it was well planned and well maintained. We did not eat in the specialty restaurants and we did not eat in the formal dining room so we cannot comment on these. We did eat at the buffet and found the food to be cold. All the time cold. It was so predictably cold that one time we found a hot pot of soup and joked about it for two days. I watched them set up for a buffet one afternoon. The food was sitting for an hour prior to being open to the public. This was while the staff worked to set up. And by staff, I mean the two team members who were assigned to that area. They worked hard there just wasn’t enough of them. The 24-hour pizza was good as well as the burger and fries station. The ship itself had a bit of a “Goofy” layout. You would have wide halls leading to a public area, but just prior to entry into the public area you were funneled into a narrow entrance. This led to constant human traffic jams. The entertainment was good. The ships dancers put on a pair of great shows. They were not large productions. The shows consisted of about seven to eight performers. The ship does have a “Dive in Theater” with two nightly showings. This was the first time we experienced this and find it to be a neat feature. There was free popcorn, which was cold. From what I understand this ship will be sold to a sister company in Australia later this year. After this cruise we will be re-evaluating any future cruises for quite some time. If we do cruise again we will be very careful in picking our ship. If I was to offer some advice to Carnival it would be to stop cutting back on staff, re-evaluate where you are, and add staff back in to increase the experience for your paying passengers. At this point my family believes we can get much better value for our money. I hope Carnival can make us change our minds again. Have fun and stay safe D

Great staff, cold food, better value out there

Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by Winter_in_LA

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2018
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
We sailed on the Carnival Splendour in February out of the port of LA for a two day stop in Cabo San Lucas, a one day stop in Puerto Vallarta, and three days at sea.

This was our sixth cruise with Carnival and the fourth time we have traveled this route. Traditionally we have sailed on spirit-class cruise ships with about a capacity of around 2000 passengers. This was our first time aboard the Carnival Splendor which has a passenger capacity of 3006 passengers.

On our other cruises parking at the Long Beach terminal has been easy. We would arrive about 1-1:30 ish and there would be plenty of parking spaces left. This was not the case for this cruise. We got what we believe was the last parking space in the parking garage (On the top level far corner). I did not see signs for where the overflow parking was supposed to go. Some advice is if you are not arriving early perhaps call in and ask where to go if the parking garage is full. Or get dropped off.

Luggage drop off has always been well organized with the porters outside the terminal next to the parking garage and this has not changed one bit over the 15 years we have sailed with Carnival.

Cruise check in is no longer at the airport style counter. There are several “Pods” set up with a Carnival team member taking your information and issuing you your sail and sign cards. It was well organized and moved along efficiently.

On board the ship cleaning staff I will say do a great job and put in some long days. Just an observation on my part that I believe Carnival has cut back on the amount of cleaning staff over the years. Despite this I have always found the staff to be very friendly, helpful, accommodating.

During our fire drill we waited in an area that had recently been or was in the process of being re-painted. The smell of fumes was very strong and put a lot of passengers off. I thought this would be a singular event but it was not. On the entire seven-day cruise there were paint crews working in many areas of the ship. You could smell paint fumes one day in the breakfast buffet. The next day while sitting outside the ship at port. The next day on your deck. You get the idea. I understand that ongoing painting of a ship is normal maintenance. It’s just I have never seen that much of it.

As a byproduct of old paint being removed you could see paint chips on the glass, on the exterior areas of the ship. It was even on our two balcony deck chairs.

Our room was a normal balcony room. Aside from the afore mentioned paint chip chairs the mattress and pillows were completely past the point of wearing out. I’ve been in the army, believe me I’m not fussy when it comes to sleeping accommodations but when you drop 3K on a cruise you expect a mattress to be of the same quality as an average priced motel.

The room problems were further complicated by the fact that the bed of our neighbors and our bed were on the same wall. This means we could hear everything. And I mean everything. Our neighbors must have been excited about being on a cruise because you could audibly hear them at least seven times a day. And I believe the gal was particularly excited because she kept repeating the mantra “Oh Yes”. I am not sure if these rooms are different from other Carnival ships but man the walls seemed thin. We have never had this problem on any of the other five Carnival ships we have sailed on.

The ship pool area always seemed crowded on sea days. It did not seem like there was enough public space to accommodate the number of passengers onboard. Most of the public areas outside seemed crowded. Apart from the splash park and the Serenity adults only retreat which didn’t have much of a crowd at all. The slash park I am not sure why this is. It’s for kids, and seemed will built and maintained. Maybe you have to ask kids why they didn’t like it. Our five-year-old had fun anyway.

The Serenity adults only area is traditionally at the aft of most ships. On the Splendor it is on the port side one deck down from the mini gold course. The location was not well thought out as you could hear the noise filtering down from the mini golf course. That is if one of two giant industrial fans weren’t drowning out everything with white noise. They retrofitted some baffles in front of the fans but this blocked the wind only. The sun beds in the serenity were old and worn out. Overall it didn’t attract a lot of traffic. Not like I’ve seen on other ships where it was well planned and well maintained.

We did not eat in the specialty restaurants and we did not eat in the formal dining room so we cannot comment on these.

We did eat at the buffet and found the food to be cold. All the time cold. It was so predictably cold that one time we found a hot pot of soup and joked about it for two days. I watched them set up for a buffet one afternoon. The food was sitting for an hour prior to being open to the public. This was while the staff worked to set up. And by staff, I mean the two team members who were assigned to that area. They worked hard there just wasn’t enough of them.

The 24-hour pizza was good as well as the burger and fries station.

The ship itself had a bit of a “Goofy” layout. You would have wide halls leading to a public area, but just prior to entry into the public area you were funneled into a narrow entrance. This led to constant human traffic jams.

The entertainment was good. The ships dancers put on a pair of great shows. They were not large productions. The shows consisted of about seven to eight performers.

The ship does have a “Dive in Theater” with two nightly showings. This was the first time we experienced this and find it to be a neat feature. There was free popcorn, which was cold.

From what I understand this ship will be sold to a sister company in Australia later this year.

After this cruise we will be re-evaluating any future cruises for quite some time. If we do cruise again we will be very careful in picking our ship. If I was to offer some advice to Carnival it would be to stop cutting back on staff, re-evaluate where you are, and add staff back in to increase the experience for your paying passengers. At this point my family believes we can get much better value for our money. I hope Carnival can make us change our minds again.

Have fun and stay safe

D
Winter_in_LA’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Ages 3 to 6
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8B
Our room was a normal balcony room. Aside from the afore mentioned paint chip chairs the mattress and pillows were completely past the point of wearing out. I’ve been in the army, believe me I’m not fussy when it comes to sleeping accommodations but when you drop 3K on a cruise you expect a mattress to be of the same quality as an average priced motel.
The room problems were further complicated by the fact that the bed of our neighbors and our bed were on the same wall. This means we could hear everything. And I mean everything. Our neighbors must have been excited about being on a cruise because you could audibly hear them at least seven times a day. And I believe the gal was particularly excited because she kept repeating the mantra “Oh Yes”. I am not sure if these rooms are different from other Carnival ships but man the walls seemed thin. We have never had this problem on any of the other five Carnival ships we have sailed on.
Empress Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins