• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In

Carnival Splendor Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1446 reviews
5 Awards
See all photos
Editor Rating
4.0
Very Good
Tiana Templeman
Cruise Critic Contributor

Carnival Splendor is a big vessel with a huge personality -- and it sets itself apart from the Carnival pack in grand style. Splendor is designed around the loosely realised theme of "splendid things" with cheery and playful -- if sometimes jarring -- decor. We're not architects, but when we first walked onboard -- and we are not alone in reacting this way -- we felt under assault by a design that we can only describe as overwhelming.

Carnival's longtime interior designer Joe Farcus sees "whimsical" in the massive dining room chandeliers. We see a DNA helix. He sees "drama" and "excitement" in the squiggly pink and black image that appears on table tops, elevator panels and walls. We see an amoeba. And we've never stayed in a cabin that had bright-pink crown molding. Let's just say there is nothing understated about Splendor.

However, decor notwithstanding, Splendor has great bones and a festive spirit. We talked to a lot of passengers, many of them Carnival loyalists, and asked a single question: "Are you having fun?" In just about every case, the answer was an emphatic "yes". Splendor has 14 decks and touts enough diversions to appeal to everyone from kids to seniors. Remarkably, there is only an occasional sense of overcrowding, and there are plenty of quiet spaces -- like Serenity, the adults-only sun deck -- to seek respite.

The 113,300-tonne Splendor marks its own class of vessel for Carnival, basically a larger version of the ships from the line's earlier Conquest Class. One of Splendor's most impressive features is its expansive spa, among the most elaborate in the fleet. Pan-Asian in design, the Cloud 9 Spa spans two decks and includes a state-of-the-art fitness centre that easily rivals any at sea. With more than a dozen lounges and bars, water slides, mini-golf, multiple age-appropriate kids' programs, nonstop activities and a singing wait staff, Splendor makes good on delivering what Carnival passengers have come to expect: fun.

Pros

Have fun and unwind with lively shows, a huge spa and great kids' programming

Cons

Pink-splashed ship decor can border on tacky, and cabins could use an upgrade

Bottom Line

A larger Carnival ship that delivers ample activities, entertainment and great-value pricing

About

Passengers : 3,006
Crew : 1,160
Passenger to Crew : 2.59:1
Launched : 2008
Shore Excursions : 172

Sails From

Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • Meals in the main dining room and buffet, and at Pizzeria del Capitano, Guy's Burger Joint, The Carnival Deli, and Masala Tiger.
  • Access to the adults-only Serenity sun deck area
  • WaterWorks waterslides and Splashy Cove kids water park
  • Movies at the poolside Carnival Seaside Theatre
  • Most daily activities unless noted below
  • Use of the fitness centre
  • Use of Carnival's Camp Ocean kids club until 9 pm for children aged two to 17
  • Gratuities

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • All drinks beyond water, tea, coffee and select juices in the buffet
  • All Cloud 9 spa treatments, along with fitness classes and personal training
  • Access to the Cloud 9 thermal area
  • Specialty coffee
  • Room service
  • Shore excursions
  • Wi-Fi
  • Activities such as casino gaming and bingo
  • Photos and artwork
  • After-hours babysitting in the Camp Ocean Kids Club

Fellow Passengers

Carnival Splendor sailings attract an overwhelming majority of Australian residents, followed by New Zealanders, looking for close-to-home, value-packed cruise vacations. The ship attracts lots of families and groups of as many as 80 people. The age spread is all over the place -- from retirees to kids in strollers. Shorter sailings and itineraries that overlap with school holidays host the most kids onboard. The focus remains firmly on fun, so passengers are looking to have a good time, whether it's by the pool, catching a show or hitting the dance floor in the lively Red Frog Pub.

Carnival Splendor Dress Code

Daytime: During the day you'll see all kinds of T-shirts, shorts, sundresses and bathing suits with cover-ups. Remember to bring appropriate clothes and gear for shore excursions and other activities. Note that even in the Lido buffet, shirts, bathing suit cover-ups and footwear must be worn.

Evening: There are two evening dress codes on Carnival Splendor: "Cruise Casual" and "Cruise Elegant." On casual nights, men will want to wear longer dress shorts or pants -- jeans are OK -- and a collared shirt. Women can wear sundresses, skirts and tops, dress shorts and capris.

Cruise Elegant nights, of which there are usually two on a seven night cruise, calls for a slightly fancier outfit, such as dress slacks and dress shirts for men and dresses, fancy blouses and pants or skirts for women. Some people go all out in long gowns or a suit, but that's the exception, not the norm.

Not permitted: Swimwear is only allowed in open deck and pool areas. Flip-flops, sleeveless shirts (for men), cut-off jeans, T-shirts and gym shorts are not permitted in the dining room.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Carnival Cruises.

Sign Up for Price Drop Alerts

Get Carnival Splendor price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Find a Carnival Splendor Cruise

More about Carnival Splendor

Where does Carnival Splendor sail from?

Carnival Splendor departs from Sydney

How much does it cost to go on Carnival Splendor?

Cruises on Carnival Splendor start from null per person.

Is Carnival Splendor a good ship to cruise on?

Carnival Splendor won 4 awards over the years, including Best for Shore Excursions in 2019.
Carnival Splendor Cruiser Reviews

Great fun

We had sailed on the Splendor back in 2011 & the Carnival Splendor once again gave us a great cruise!... Read More
User Avatar
jspqld

10+ Cruises

Age 40s

Insufficient Facilities for the Number of Passengers

Would do Carnival again but not Splendor.... Read More
User Avatar
Milcho

2-5 Cruises

Age 50s

First Splendor Cruise out of Sydney

As always the staff were very obliging, polite and helpful and we did have a lot of fun, as always with Carnival.... Read More
User Avatar
vicmoor

10+ Cruises

Age 60s

Budget cruise

Please be aware if you have sailed on the Carnival Spirit and expect this ship to be on par, you will probably be disappointed. We will not be returning to Splendor even at the budget price.... Read More
User Avatar
Lisa.I

6-10 Cruises

Age 50s

Carnival Cruise Line Fleet
Carnival Ecstasy
Show more
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.