Cruisin--ultimate vacations: Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by Sassy216

Carnival Splendor 5
Member Since 2009
6 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Cruisin--ultimate vacations

Sail Date: July 2011
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
My husband and I finaly got to cruise on the Splendor after waiting since January when our cruise had been resecheduled due to the Splendor fire. It was well worth the wait!! We realized now that it was probably best we waited to do this iteniary in the heat of the summer as it would've been way to cold sailing out of Long Beach in the winter. We flew into LAX and took the Prime time shuttle from LAX to our hotel in Long Beach - Best Western of Long Beach. The shuttle cost for one way with tip included for both of us was $37.00. They were punctual and service as promised. Once arriving at the hotel which was very early from normal checkin (11:00 am) I was a bit apprehensive as to the location I had booked. The area of the hotel is not the best, but very convenient to the Metro Line (train to take you into Long Beach or all the way to the sites of LA if you want)...the line is right across the street. The hotel itself is a bit rundown but no problem for a one night stay before More cruising. The staff was very nice and helpful and they provide free Port shuttle the morning of the cruise. Just be sure to sign up for this service when you check in. We took the Metro down to harbor to get some lunch and do a little sight seeing since we had all day. Very easy to get around and very cheap...around 1.30 per person. On way back stopped at the Albertson's to get our 2 bottle of wine to take on board the ship the next morning, then back on the metro and back to hotel to get a good nights rest.

Up the next morning and on the first shuttle to the Port from the hotel at 10:30. Got to the Port and quickly found the first Porter to relieve us from our luggage. Tipped him and prayed our luggage would make it on the ship...which by the problems! Be sure and pack your wine in your carry on or it will not pass security. Carnival allows 1 bottle of wine per person for embarkation day, however in case you cant drink 2 bottles of wine in one day, just save it in your room for another day. Put in the refrigerator in your room till you are ready to pop the cork! Embarkation was a breeze. We were the 3rd zone to actually board the ship and after about an hour wait the boarding process began and we had our picture taken and was having lunch on the Lido deck by 12:15 pm. Smooth!! Cabins are not ready until 2:00pm so plan accordingly. You will have to tote around your carryon luggage with you until your room is ready. Exactly at 2:00 our room was ready and low and behold...there was our luggage outside the door too! We got unpacked and set out to learn the lay of the land of the ship.

We were assigned to "Anytime dining" and it was great! Thanks again to Arthur, Hernan and Aries for such a great dining experience each nite. After nite one, we quickly knew we would like to request the same wait staff each nite, so we would ask for "arthur's area" each nite. We arrived for dinner about 7:00 pm and were seated immediately. Really enjoyed having the option of going to dinner when we wanted and not having a set dining time. Dining rooms ARE FREEZING COLD!!! Be sure to bring a sweater...socks for my feet would've come in handy too, however knew the "warm chocolate melting cake" would soon get me warmed up! YUM!!!!

After dinner would take in a show or two. THe "Vroom" show is not to be missed! My husband and I both agreed it seemed Carnival had taken it up a notch with the ship entertainment. Comedian's were good too!

Off to bed and up early the next morning for first day at sea. Out to deck 9 Aft to get "prime real estate" for the day of sunning, reading, watching people and eating! The mornings can be cool and really glad I had listened to fellow CC reviews and took some longsleeves and capri pants to stay comfortable until the clouds burn off and the sun comes out to warm you up...strip down to the swimsuit and soak in the sun! Husband and I decided early on the sea days were going to be spent relaxing and that is just what we did.

First port day - Cabo San Lucas. I recommend you get in line about 30 minutes prior to designated time to get your tender tickets so you are one of the first off the ship, otherwise, you may wait and waste valuable time getting off the ship. I will address each Port in the Port Reviews.

Second port day - Cabo San Lucas. Same story, second verse. Get in line early for tender ticket.

Third port day -Puerta Vallarta. What a great day! Thanks to me taking advice from fellow CC Member (thanks Melissa!!) we booked and hired Celia Hernandez for our private tour of Puerta Vallarta. It was the best deal ever and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND HER! I emailed her a couple of months before we sailed and asked about her services and pricing and she quickly responded and before long had reserved her. I WILL SPEAK MORE ABOUT CELIA IN MY PORT REVIEW, BUT IF YOU WANT A GREAT TOUR GUIDE FOR A PRIVATE GROUP AT A VERY REASONABLE PRICE - 6 HOURS FOR 100.00 IN AIRCONDITIONED VAN WITH DRIVER EMAIL CELIA HERNANDEZ @ YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY!!!! Final 2 sea days, up, eat breakfast and go out and set up home on Deck 9 for sunning and funning the day away!

PINNACLE STEAK HOUSE - Unfortunately this was not the best! Our potatoes were cold and Steak was not any better then what we had nightly in the dining room. My other gripe is that they have waiters in the Pinnacle that do not speak very fluent english and found it very hard to understand them or hear them. Very disappointed and not worth the $30.00 per person fee when the food in the dining rooms was sooooo good!

The debarkation process was just as smooth as the embarkation. We were off the ship and waiting for our Primetime Shuttle by 9:00 and enroute to LAX for our 2:00pm flight. We really very easily could've made a much earlier flight, but didnt want to chance it.

I recommend this ship, although not sure I would take this iteniary again. If doing Mexico, I think I prefer the Cozumel beaches. Less

Published 08/01/11

Cabin review: 8C7377 Balcony

Great location! NEar elevator and stairwell, but not too close to be noisy!

Read All Balcony (8C) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

First day in Cabo....spent the first day taking the water taxi with "Captain Willy on his boat the "Sex Machine"! As we walked onto the island after tendering in you are quickly approached by vendors wanting to take you around the island or by water taxi to the beaches etc. This is how we happened upon Captain Willy and the Sex Machine. The cost was 10.00 per persOn for a 45 minute boat ride to see the famous Arch and other scenery and then to be dropped off at Medano Beach and picked up and returned to dock to tender back to ship. At the point of drop of Captain Willy set up a time to come back and pick us up to return to the dock to tender back to the ship. He was VERY PUNCTUAL..even a few minutes early. Defintely go to Medano Beach for a nice "calm beach" and restaurants and people watching, but be prepared for the CONSTANT vendors trying to sell you their wares. Remember to barter offering at least 1/2 of their asking price. Go to the Mango restaurant right on the beach for "happy hour" all day long with buy one get one drink specials. We also had great chips/salsa and quesadillo. Very good!

DO NOT GO TO LOVERS BEACH OR PELICAN BEACH! This is where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet causing a double riptide with strong crashing waves and undertows..which are EXTREMELY DANGEROUS! Also a very rocky area. We watched many people rescued from these waters as they tried to snorkel or just swim in this area. We, unfortunately, actually witnessed a young man get revived after nearly drowning. His body crashed up on the rocks and he also sustained many cuts as well as nearly drowning and taken by the water paramedics. It was very scary and we quickly found our water taxi and left this beach!

The Mercado is a nice shopping market right off the Pier where you tender in. Again bargain and shop around as each vendor has basically the same type of merchandise Women, if you want some peace while you shop, send your husband to the back of the MErcado for 2.00 Corona's!!!

Downtown Cabo - easy walking distance from Medano Beach but found only high end shopping and restaurants.

All in all...2 days is really too long in my opinion in Cabo unless you have some other expeditions planned.

First and foremost for the best deal on the island contact CELIA HERNANDEZ @ to arrange her for a private tour. I had got her name from a fellow CC member so I took a chance and emailed her and made the best decision of my vacation. In my email I even gave her my cell phone as she had given me hers and it came in quite handy as she contacted me before we left the states to confirm our reservation. She is very trusting and does not require any deposit of any kind and assumes if you trust in her, going into this "blind", then she trust you will keep your reservation and show up. She picked us up just outside the cruise ship terminal where she stood with a sign welcoming us by name to Puerta Vallarta. At the moment of our meeting I felt safe! We were picked up in an airconditioned van with Celia as our tour guide and Husson the driver! The cost was 6 hours for 100.00 and they literally took us all over the entire island! She tailors the day around your requests. She provides great information about the island, etc as Husson drives. We even stopped for Corona's which we were able to put in the cooler she had provided us along with ice water and cold cloths for later in the day. She got us a deal on a Zipline advenure as we had missed our scheduled reservation in Cabo due to the weather. She is very very accomadating and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND HER! They drove us up the mountain about 30 minutes to Zipline and waited on us some hour and a half then stopped to take us to the Tequila tour for tour and tasting (very quick -but very good Tequila) then to Old Town to shop. She would translate for us if needed and even went back to a vendor to retrieve change they had tried to scam us for. Unbelievable service!! She and Husson stay with you the entire day and are ready to go when you are! Dropped us off at the Walmart, which is directly across from where the ship is docked. We were able to go in and purchase some Pepsi to carry back to the ship. There is a Sam's club, Walmart and Puerto Vallarta mall right next to each other and directly across from where the ship docks. Can't say enough good things about CELIA HERNANDEZ!!!!!

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Member Since 2009
6 Forum Posts
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