7 Night Exotic Eastern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Sail Date: December 13, 2008 Ship: Carnival Splendor Cabin Type: Balcony Traveled As: Family (older children) Reviewed: 9 years ago
Overall, the Splendor is marvelous (except who thought pink and charcoal grey go together, really?)!
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
We really like the amenities, the food, of course, was delicious. We tried to eat at every venue, but didn't make them all due to timing, ports of call or just plain laziness. Thge Gold Pearl was exceptional, period!
5 out of 5
We really lived it up. If we wanted to dance, they had it, from ballroom, to disco, to salsa. It was just all there. If we wanted live jazz, they had it, live classical (a trio!), they had it, live duet (Vegas cheesy, but nice), they had it.
5 out of 5
You can't really complain about the amount and number of things to do for the kids either. They had programs age specific, though our 11 year old alternately felt like a giant among the 9 year olds and a midget among the teens. Still, if he wanted to play, they had the venue for him, video games, kid games, arts/crafts. Amazing opportunity. Our 13 year old was better off, but she didn't take advantage of everything. She did the spa day and a couple of other activities. The kids were really content to hang out and relax, they were just as tired as we were (school's hard nowadays).
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
Nice staff, need more time together.
5 out of 5
The Splendor is ridiculously large, but laid out well, so it doesn't feel overwhelming. You get multiple pools, hot tubs, clubs, live music, the works. When I say ridiculously large, I mean, way too much to do. A week just gets you exploring, especially if you have no agenda, just louging and relaxing.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Rough seas made our trip a little less than perfect, but the rooms kept us cozy and warm against the sea. Great stateroom!
Learn about real pirates, like Blackbeard! We took an excursion that picked us up near the ship and dropped us off about a mile and a half away (!). They said, "Just pick up a cab to get back to ship." That was a weak end to a great tour of the island. We swam in Magen's Bay (an absolute must, great beach), saw Blackbeard's Castle and lots of history. We decided to eat at a local restaurant for authentic food and got it. Gladys' Cafe is the real deal if you want West Indian eats! We decided to walk and shop our way back to the ship. Though not for the fainthearted, we ended up having a great self-guided tour of the neighborhoods and people. Nice mix of tourism and local flavor.
Don't waste your money or time, go to Santo Domingo and leave this made up city to the factory that bought it. La Romana, Dominican Republic, was our LEAST favorite. If we had to do it all over again, we'd simply, jump a cab straight to Santo Domingo, the oldest European city in the western hemisphere. Rather than belabor the point, we'll say this: La Romana is not ready for prime time tourism, the people do not know how to make you welcome and secure, they don't know how to accommodate your needs and they don't present the best face (unless you go to a resort). Altos de Chavon is NOT a place we recommend at all. It is like a very sorry Disneyland--only worse. There was nothing there that really said, "you're in the Dominican Republic." Even the locals were scarce.
Walk through old San Juan and enjoy history! We had too short a time in San Juan, PR (only about 6 hours in the evening), but we made the most of it by walking through the old city near the governor's mansion. With more time/foresight, a Segway tour would have really hit the spot.
Beautiful people and beaches. Just enjoy the day, it is too nice to hate! That place is gorgeous and restored our faith in ports of call. We took a local tour (vs. the ship arranged) and got the flavor of the island and people. We really enjoyed that tour, to say the least.
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