Stinky but mostly Splendid: Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by CruisinCutsie

Carnival Splendor 5
Member Since 2006
202 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Stinky but mostly Splendid

Sail Date: April 2010
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
This was my DH's and my 4th cruise. We traveled along with his parents/sister (2nd cruise) and my parents(5th cruise). We booked in December 09 and decided on the Mexican Riviera because of the incredible...I'm talking amazing, deal we couldn't pass up!

PRE-CRUISE: We flew into LAX on 4-17-10 and stayed at LaQuinta Inn and Suites LAX (also due to the awesome online booked deal of $75. The hotel included hot breakfast, free hotel shuttle, spotless comfortable rooms, and was stop #1 on the Ocean Express Trolley route to Manahattan Beach. We caught the trolley ($5 r/t)to Manhattan Village shopping area and ate at Chili's. Nice little shops and plenty of eats. Next morning our Super Shuttle driver picked us up at 12:00pm and we were off to Long Beach.

EMBARKATION: We had gotten a call from Carnival the Thursday before saying to arrive at the pier no earlier than 2:00pm. Like anyone listens to that! There were already about 500 people in line and we didn't expect More different. Nice and sunny but a tad chilly outside the terminal. The line moved quickly even when computers went down for a few minutes, and we were on the ship by 1:00pm eating lunch on Lido!

SHIP: Pink, Pink, ahhh, ahhh, whine, whine....You've probably already read stuff about blah blah too much pink. Ask yourself people...does the primary color on the ship ruin your cruise experience? NO! So don't worry about it. I didn't even notice for the most part and those that are putting all their focus on it need to get a life. The ship was beautiful but the decor was not on the beauty level that Carnival Liberty or Carnival Valor are. The Spectacular Theater left lots to be desired. Very plain, low key decoration and flair. The artwork around the ship was fine, nothing outstanding. Lido deck is set up differently than on other ships, due to the retractable deck cover I believe. The dancing space is not as large and deck 10 is not as open cutting down on some sunning spaces. We were in the Black Pearl dining room (aft) which was nice, not really different from others we've been in. General layout of the ship is the same as Liberty and Valor so we were right at home there. Cabins were same old same old for us although this ship has flat screen tv's. Warning Ladies: only shampoo and Shower Gel in the shower dispenser, NO conditioner, like some other ships have.

FOOD: Restaurant choices were excellent! Only complaint was the Mongolian Grill. Loooong wait and although the veggies/meat choices were great, the end product never has enough sauce, it's just plain bland! Soy sauce helps a little but after trying it twice we'll never try it again! Ate in the dining room every night as usual, late seating. Everything was delicious (lobster,prime rib, steak, pasta, chocolate melting cake...) 24 hour ice cream/frozen yogart is delicious especially the strawberry! Don't forget the Rotisserie on deck 10. The mac and cheese is award winning!! Breakfast on Lido was good but waffles weren't. Best bet is the cooked to order omelets. I'll include drinks from the bar in this category too. Every drink of the day was delicious and highly alcoholic so I guess you almost get your $7.50's worth in the souvenir glass or $6.75 for a refill. Buckets of BudLight (qty 4) came to just over $26 with the 15% grat. Checkout the 5:00pm-8:00pm drink specials at the Casino Bar (martinis, mojitos, margaritas) they were excellent and came with a $5 bet for a table of your choice. As always, we never waited long for a bar waiter to ask if we wanted a drink.

ENTERTAINMENT: All the shows in the theater were great. We especially loved Vroom. The Welcome Aboard show we had seen 2 other times but it was still good. The live entertainment such as the Highlights Band and other live music was ok but not on par with our past cruises. The Highlights mostly played 70's and some 80's. Each night it was mostly the same line up, very predictable. Liberty had Music Boardwalk Band which was totally awesome!! Didn't hang out in any of the lounges really except the El Morocco. The Rock and Roll Deck Party started out great until they let the Carnival Singers and Dancers move in on our dance floor and start performing a sock hop show. Some really enjoyed it but to us it kinda killed the night. We would've enjoyed more electric slide and cupid shuffle, not a Grease sing-along! Past Guest reception was a nice "drink all you can quick" with free drinks and fancy little snacks. Didn't attend the infamous Legends show since it's the same characters every cruise even though it's different singers, only a handful that can even do a decent job.

ACTIVITIES: We enjoyed the Cruise Director Goose. He's a young, good looking guy who kept us informed and laughing. There were many trivia games (sports, movies, music...) of course BINGO which we never play, and plenty of karaoke. I know there were movies under the stars too but we never went to them.

THE SMELL: Ok, you knew it was coming by the title of this review. We've only ever had a cabin on deck 1 Riviera on both past Carnival Cruises and on Royal Caribbean. Never have we smelled anything remotely like on the Splendor. From cabins 1427 to 1361 there was an absoultly reeking stench down the hallway and in the elevator area that could kill a T-REX!! It was a rotten fish/onion/death smell that knocked you into the next world. We had to hold our breath everytime we passed the area to get to out cabin. At times the smell came thru the elevator shaft all the way up to Lido (deck 9) aft. If the smell would've started towards the end of the cruise we wouldn't have wondered so much but it was the whole week! And I know ships have cold rooms for trash so wtf?? Less

Published 05/06/10

Cabin review: 6A1449 Ocean View

Cabin 1449 on Splendor was great. Typical basic OV category 6A. Never heard a peep at night except for one night when drunk/rude/pot smoking people were going back to their cabin at 2:30am. This cabin was exactly what we've had on previous 3 cruises so we were right at home and comfortable.

Read All Ocean View (6A) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Unfortunately, our Chileno Bay Cruise and Snorkel got cancelled. We were notified our 1st day at sea. I had booked with the ship in February so they credited our Sail and Sign card. We didn't switch to anything else and just had a shopping and cantina day in port. Tendering was a breeze, we waited maybe 15 mins in the theater for our # to be called. It was very chilly on the water over and very windy that day maybe 73 degrees all day. It is very pretty there. Lots of great shopping and TONS of excursion peddlers, I'm talking an annoying amount that were very pushy and loud! They were having a power outage so most stores had no lights, some so dark it was impossible to shop at all! Enjoyed drinks, chips and salsa at the No Worry's Bar. We made our way to Hard Rock Cafe, Puerto Paraiso Mall, and Cabo Wabo Cantina. We had very little time in port so we couldn't get into much and many people were hurrying to get in line for the last tender. Enjoyed watching sea lions play around the marina while in line for the tender. Back on Splendor about 2pm eating lunch and relaxing on Lido with a drink of the day :) If it had been warmer it would've been more enjoyable over all but would definitely love to go back again!

This industrial area port isn't so appealing at first site. We caught the shuttle to the terminal area where all the excursion peddlers are. In March I had booked the Stone Island Beach Break with Johann and Sandra Mazatlan Tours. For only $36pp we got a 1 hour cruise of the bay to see the caves and sea lion colony, 3 hours on Stone Island with lunch and open bar and your choice of 2 activities on the beach. We found our meeting place and boarded the catamaran. Once on Stone Island we grabbed drinks and looked around. There were lots of vendors on the beach selling dresses, blankets, and jewelry. Lunch was good but nothing one got sick at the end of the day so I guess it was ok. My DH, sister in-law, and I chose the horseback riding on the beach which was lots of fun although the cowboy leading us was a jerk who refused to speak English unless he was yelling at you to slow down your only Spanish understanding horse who didn't respond to a "WHOA!" in English!! Next activity for us was boogie boarding and man was it AWESOME!! We did that for 2 hours and wished it had been for longer! Headed back to the ship around 4pm but ended up hanging out at the bar area of the terminal where there were buckets of beer for $14 and $4 margaritas. Great music and fun galore. Shopped a little in the craft market before catching the shuttle back to the port. I definitely recommend this excursion but make sure you book private or it's $75 with the ship for the same thing!

Read 496 Mazatlan Reviews

We had Rhythms of the Night planned for this port so during the day we just planned on catchinga taxi to Malecon shopping area to hit the Hard Rock Cafe, Bubba Gumps, etc. We caught a taxi for the 7 of us $3 pp (we did not exchange our money so that was US dollars). Malecon was about 3 miles from the port so during our ride our perfect English speaking taxi driver pitched us an excursion for $25pp (instead of the $3 pp ride). We all decided it sounded great. Jod (taxi driver) stopped at a convenience store for us to buy snacks while he filled his cooler with beer, coke and ice. The tour included a drive to a thick jungle area of the mountains where ziplining excursions went, a hike along and sometimes thru the river to Nogalita's restaurant where we had a drink and got in on tequila making a tasting presentation, then on to more sightseeing along the coast and finally 2 hours of shopping at Malecon. It was the perfect 86 degree day!! We were SO pleased with our decision to do more than shop that day. Back to the ship by 2:30pm, bite to eat and then got ready for our Rhythms of the Night. This excursion was highly recommended in reviews I read before booking it (with the ship). It was about an cruise with open bar, and full service to Las Caletas. On the way we saw MANY dolphins and also Goose the cruise director dancing with some of his buddies along for their own fun. Candlelight dinner on the beach (at our table for 7) was delicious!! Chicken, beef, shrimp salad, beans, rice...Open bar during dinner and an incredible show with fire dancing and ancient dress costumes. The sail back to the ship is beautiful at night and we were back in time for the 9pm show. Overall, Puerto Vallarta was very nice. Never felt unsafe and would love to visit again!

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Member Since 2006
202 Forum Posts
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