Enjoyable cruise overall.
Carnival Splendor Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Sail Date: January 11, 2015
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 8439
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 2 years ago
Embarkation was organized but a bit slow. We were pleasantly surprised with the colorful, festive decor upon entering the ship. Our balcony stateroom was a good size with plenty of storage space. The balcony itself was on the small side. When making reservations I always request a foam topper for the bed. It hadn't been put on and mentioned to the room steward. He tried by adding a comforter under the fitted sheet but wasn't enough. We went to Guest Services and within a short while we had a foam topper on the bed. Ship and room were always kept clean.
Buffet food was good to very good with a large variety. The thin crust pizza was excellent and available 24 hours. There was a nice omelet station every morning. There were items every day, such as the very delicious grilled sandwiches, grilled cheeseburger and French fries, salad bar, fruit, ice cream and frozen yogurt machines. But there were also different items daily, for example Mexican or Italian dishes. Lemonade, iced tea, hot tea, coffee, water and ice were available 24 hours.
In the main dining room, the Anytime dining was a complete disaster. Very long waits, no organization for seating and not enough waiters. The first night seating time and service was acceptable. The second night which was formal, we waited close to an hour and once seated, service was very slow. We noticed many tables available and yet many people were still waiting to be seated. The third night they were giving out pagers, but had run out. Too make a long story short, after waiting about an hour, we decided to switch to the 8:15 seating. Our table happened to be ready at this time, but we spoke to the maître d, Ramesh and told him we wanted to switch. Not a problem! We had our choice of two tables for two. Since it was around 8:15, Ramesh escorted us to the table we selected. Turned out the waiter, Howard, and his team were one of the best we ever had. (On the NCL Epic we had no problems with the Anytime dining.) Food was good. The beef dishes were better then the fish, which were very dry. We also tried the dining room for one of the sea day brunches. We were seated at a large table which had very slow service, but noticed the tables for two were much quicker. Some interesting selections, food was good.
Compared to RC Oasis with its ice skating and diving shows, the NCL Epic's Blue Man Group and the Michael Jackson show on the MSC Divina, we found the evening entertainment lacking on the Splendor. The Las Vegas/Broadway style shows in the main theater, sadly, were boring except for maybe the last show of the cruise. The dancers were great, but needed some fresher, new choreography. Then there were the comedy acts, mostly adult shows. There were a few different comedians which performed many shows each. We saw one of the shows which was funny but nothing special. The décor in the main theater and the El Morocco room where the comedy acts performed were beautiful, though. And there were several very good bands playing throughout the ship.
During sea days, it was almost impossible to find a deck chair anywhere. Unless you went early and saved them, which you aren't supposed to do. During the evening, the main areas and walkways inside were very congested. It didn't help that along these areas were the many photographers crammed in taking pictures with the different backgrounds. Some of them very annoying and aggressive. We had a few taken and even though they weren't bad we didn't purchase.
On the RC Oasis there were twice as many guests, but you would never know. The Splendor just had too many passengers for the size of the ship.
St. Maarten is a great island for jewelry shopping. You just need to take a short water taxi ride. It's $7RT pp. There's a nice little beach right there as well. In San Juan we also did a little shopping right off the pier. It was our first time in Grand Turk. There was a small newly built shopping area right off the pier. It was nice but very expensive. It took us about 45 minutes to walk through. Then we spent some time in Margaritaville. Best margaritas! Looked like a lot of others decided to do also, as it was packed.
The debarkation process went smoothly and at a good speed. The suitcases were on a turntable like the airport, rather than on the floor like they usually are.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Check out the Taste Bar. Great for a quick little bite while walking through the ship, without having to go to the buffet.