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Carnival Splendor Cruise Review to Mexico

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 30

Overall rating:

4 out of 5
Carnival Splendor

7 Night Mexican Riviera (Los Angeles Roundtrip)

Sail date: February 03, 2018

Ship: Carnival Splendor

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 6454

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Overall satisfaction was great, even though we had a couple of snags. I can fully recommend Carnival. I have also been on Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity, NCL, Holland America, and American Hawaii. Carnival delivers a good product at a great price. There is fun for all!


5 out of 5
Embarkation was quick and easy, but we're Platinum so maybe our experience isn't representative. Our son and his family went along also. They're not Platinum but they were amazed at how quick and easy it was.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
All 7 of us found the food in the main dining room to be excellent. Just as important as the food is the service. This was far above expectations, and we have pretty high expectations. It was flawless. I sometimes think that the secret to great service is to have a kid or two with you, as the main dining room staff gives a lot of attention to them. We had 5-year old twin grandkids with us, and they were treated like royalty. As for "drink", hubby and I drink very little booze; mostly wine with dinner. My 40-something son and his wife would have liked to drink a lot more but couldn't afford the bar prices.


2 out of 5

Pizza was a BIG disappointment. To say the crust was thin is an understatement. And yet, somehow, the center of the pizza was always actually raw. Once the edges were blackened when served, and then the center was almost cooked. Very disappointing.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Only a C grade here. Admittedly, hubby and I are older so don't choose to engage in hairy chest or smallest leg contests, but I have to say similar activities were available to those who like them. There were no "special" or unique alternatives (as we've found with other cruise lines) such as speakers on various topics. I need to say the activities did not significantly decrease our overall enjoyment. The grandkids attended Camp Ocean and absolutely loved it!! The adult-only Serenity area lacked a whirlpool. It seemed like a afterthought, stuck on an area of the deck where they could squeeze in some deck chairs. Disappointing, even compared to other Carnival ships like the Miracle.

Fitness Center / Aerobics

5 out of 5

My husband and 17-year old grandson used the gym daily. They said it was well equipped. Their only complaint was that sometimes it was overcrowded. However, sometimes it was sparsely populated.


4 out of 5
We've learned to like the new Playlist program in the main showroom, which initially took a lot of getting used to, compared to the old traditional shows. As always, the performers were extremely talented. Our only complaint was there needed to be at least one or two more shows for the week.

Spectacular Spectacular Main Lounge

4 out of 5

This review is specifically about the Punchliner comedy club, but I didn't find a tab for it. Punchliner is, for us, a big attraction for Carnival. Other lines don't have a designated comedy club. Comedy is, of course, very subjective. What one person laughs at can offend someone else. We loved the first 2 comics but didn't especially like the one for the second half. It could be made better by having shows every night of the cruise. We want more! :-)

Children's Programs

5 out of 5
The grandkids loved it! It took their parents a few days to get over the guilt of feeling like they "parked" their kids in there, but when they realized how much the kids loved it, they lost the guilt. I can't over-emphasize what a great program Camp Ocean is for kids. The looked forward to going there, and asked to go there.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
This is for the staff in the main dining room only. Please read the review about it at the top. Since I have different stars for waiters and room stewards, this is how I'm writing the reviews.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
This review is only about the cleaning service in our cabin. Apparently Carnival has changed the "routine" for servicing cabins. As Platinum cruisers, we have experience from over 25 cruises, and this sets expectations. For the first time ever (since 1983) we were not provided with clean towels in the evening. When I complained to Guest Services the woman said the policy of providing service only once per day had changed "over a year ago." This doesn't match our experience. This was our 4th Carnival cruise since Jan 2017 (13 months). The woman only wanted to defend the staff, and I felt like she was not interested in fixing my problem. She did eventually fix the problem, but she made me feel stupid while doing so.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Carnival is known to have the largest cabins, and I can say that on other cruise lines our cabin was so small that one of us had to sit down in order to let the other one pass by. The arrangement is the same as nearly all Carnival ships, which is functional. We had an aft balcony, which we discovered had zero shade, due to the shape of the ship. The inside of our cabin was 2-2.5 feet shorter than our son's oceanview cabin. The sofa in our cabin actually touched the bedside table in our cabin, but in our son's there was a space big enough between the sofa and the table that a chair had been placed there. Seems odd.

Ship tip

If possible, get a cabin that is near to an elevator to increase efficiency. Know that on both 3rd and 4th decks you cannot get from the front to the back of the ship because of the restaurants. You have to go up and around. It's not so much an inconvenience as a time waster when you realize you've chosen a path that doesn't go through. Know that for the dining room in the back of the ship, there is a lot of noise and shutter from the engines. Try to request a table on the upper floor of the two-floor dining room for a quieter place. You could also request, when possible, a dining room in the middle of the ship.

Ports of call

Long Beach (Los Angeles), California

5 out of 5

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

3 out of 5
Just OK. But it's the cruise that we love.

Mazatlan, Mexico

3 out of 5
Just OK. But it's the cruise that we love.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

3 out of 5
Just OK. But it's the cruise that we love.


1 out of 5
Terrible, every step of the way. A letter put in our cabin said Platinum guests should go to deck 3 at 8:45 AM. We arrived at 8:30 and found that the Platinum guests had already left! We were told to just get in line. When we got to baggage claim there were many, many people there to "help" guests. The problem is that when we needed to re-ask the questions to another of these people (because it proved that the info given to us was faulty), we got different answers every time. I admit this was a new system in Long Beach and had only been in use for about 2 weeks, but guests need better help.
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