Our first cruise. Was more than we expected, very fun. The staff of the Carnival Splendor make sure you feel like family and at home. We have already booked our next cruise with Carnival, can't say enough about how great they are.
5 out of 5
Embarkation was smooth and fast.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
All the food and drinks were great.
4 out of 5
Fun onboard activities. Could use a little more variety.
4 out of 5
About what was expected.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Top of the line service from the staff we had.
3 out of 5
Ship was kept clean, layout was fine, just a little dated and could use some renovation (guess that is why the Splendor is scheduled to over go just that before moving to it's new port, lol).
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
Was bigger than I expected it to be. Could have used better air conditioning. I wish they washed the windows more often. But overall a good cabin.
Great port, lots of fun. We did the catamaran cruise and snorkel with open bar excursion booked through Carnival. This one was definitely worth the cost and our favorite of the trip. It is kind of disorienting when you get off the tender and first onto the dock, but it doesn't take long to figure it out (just really crowded as all the ships in port are dropping off at the same place). Once they get you organized and head for the catamaran the fun really starts. You get a nice look at everything on the way as they set you up with gear and a safety talk. Then get to your snorkeling spot and into the water. They feed the fish in the area so lots of colorful fish are all around you. Don't forget a camera capable of underwater photography, beautiful pictures. After snorkeling they head off for a tour around the Cabo San Lucas Arch (El Arco de Cabo San Lucas or Lands End). You see lots of marine life on the tour. By the way after snorkeling ends, it's open bar time. They do mix some great drinks. All the crew had one thing on their minds, the guests! Great crew, fun adventure, big recommendation! After the excursion we went shopping in port and had lunch at the Tequila Shark. Great!
The port was okay, most of the stuff we did was away from port. We went on the all inclusive beach resort getaway, booked through Carnival. This excursion is a little overpriced (my opinion), but with that out of the way. The staff are very nice, our bus guide was great with all kind of fun information. The beach part is overran at times by peddlers selling everything from hats to blankets, wood carvings you name it, lol. The El Cid staff does try to control them, they are only supposed to be let out by the guest in small numbers and have a security guard trying to control that, but a lot of the peddlers ignore the security staff and get run off just to pop back up when security turns it's back. The drinks offered were very good and on the beach it seemed every time you finished your last swallow a waiter was their to see if you wanted another (great service). We were among the first into the buffet when it opened and that seemed to be the downside of the excursion for us. The food was all cold, we informed the staff and a chef came right out and tried the food then went immediately to getting more warmers and apologized. The food other than being cold when we ate it was okay. Nice selection of Mexican dishes and I'm sure had it been hot we would have enjoyed it. After eating we went on to the pools. The pool with the caves is the best and made the trip worth it. Great service on drinks again and iguanas everyplace. The pools definitely make the trip. The major downfall for this excursion is time. Not enough to fully get comfortable and enjoy it all before it's time to go. Add 2 more hours and this excursion would be great and worth the price.. After the excursion did some shopping at the port markets. Fun and lots of stuff to be had there.
We did the Mexican fiesta - tequila tasting with lunch booked through Carnival. This unfortunately was our least favorite of the excursions we went on. It was the one I was looking forward to the most. The bus ride starts by taking you downtown to a gem shop the tour is hooked up with. A lot of build up on the way there about it, and a high pressure push to purchase from them when there. You get drinks when you walk in, but it is way overcrowded and if it seems like you are not going to buy anything good luck getting a refill. Prices are way high also. After our mandatory time at the shop we get moving along and seeing some sights walking (if you want to stop to shop anyplace the guide wont let you). Finally we get to see the Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral, and I was surprised it was still a functioning church (Mass was going on when we got to it). Kinda made me feel like an intruder. Then it is back on the bus to the tequila factory (the part I really wanted to see). It was a small place but the worker their took his time and explained how tequila is made, it was fun. Then into the tasting room, I believe we tried 5 different kinds. This was fun, had to buy the coffee tequila for my girlfriend she liked it so much. Then on to lunch, no bones about it, they did up a great lunch. They start the show after everyone has lunch in front of them. The show was fun. After the show they let you shop at "the outdoor market", which is really just about 4 vendor tables right by where you eat. Nothing worth buying, extremely overpriced if you did want something. A captive sales audience. Then the bus trip back, I have to say if I could have walked I would have rather did that. The whole way back felt like a shaming us experience and a lecture on how bad the people of that area of Mexico have it. I'm sorry they are a poor area, but honestly I came on vacation, not a guilt trip ride, but that is what it was the whole way back. If you just are interested in the tequila tasting and learning about tequila, the great lunch and fun show "AND" can bide your time through the rest, go for it. I am glad I took this excursion for what it was. I will give it a recommendation for the good parts of it. Just be for warned about the rest. As for the port itself, the port market was way overpriced and very little selection. Next time I think we will just take a cab downtown and look and shop on our own.
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