Great cruise, average ship

Carnival Splendor Cruise Review to Mexico

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 24

Overall rating:

3.8 out of 5
Carnival Splendor

7 Night Mexican Riviera (Los Angeles Roundtrip)

Sail date: June 08, 2019

Ship: Carnival Splendor

Cabin type: Oceanview

Traveled as: Family (young children)

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

This cruise was good and I'm glad I went, but it was one of the most lowkey cruises I have been on. The fun squad seemed inexperienced and overall just not the type of energy I have come to expect from Carnival. The clientele for this particular cruise also seemed to be unenthused and was difficult to get excitement going.


5 out of 5
Planned to park at the port, but all parking was closed. They redirected everyone to a parking lot about 15 minutes away and bused people back to the port to check in. Carnival should provide notices that parking at the port is closed. Other than that, actually checking in and getting on the ship took less than 15 minutes. It was the easiest embarkation I have experienced.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
I did not go to any specialty restaurants, so cannot comment on those. I always enjoy the main dining rooms. Unfortunately this menu was heavily seafood and 2 of my group don't eat seafood and 3 don't eat mushrooms. That eliminated 90% of the menu options for them. The buffets were just okay. This is probably the most lackluster buffet options on any cruise I have been on. They also close down one of the main buffets for dinner, leaving the only non-dining room option either long lines at the single buffet, pizza, or sandwiches.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Plenty of pools - not overcrowded. Tried to do putt-putt several times, but was closed due to the wind. The kids loved the waterslide and splash park. They do not have much else - no rock climbing walls, no shuffle board, etc.


3 out of 5
The shows in the spectacular lounge were good and the Cruise Director - Lee - was amazing. You knew it was going to be fun if he (or Connor) was involved. However, the rest of the fun squad seemed like they were either new or barely qualified for the job. Trivia was very difficult because the main person hosting had a very thick accent and had difficulty pronouncing the words to the point where she would have to ask how to say something. Other events hosted by the fun squad were just lackluster. There is no fun, no excitement - like they were just there to read a script with a smile and that's it.

Children's Programs

5 out of 5
Kids spent only 1 day in Camp Ocean (9-11 yrs) and enjoyed it.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Room steward was Joselito. He was like a ghost, but in a good way. We didn't see him much at all, but our rooms were always clean, always fresh towels including pool towels, and the girls loved the daily towel animals.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
The ship is VERY pink and dated, but it is clean. Even though it holds 3k passengers, it feels very small, but not in a good way. There are no good places to host events other than Lido deck or the theatre. The spaces are just too small. For many things there were only 20-30 seats available (trivia, karaoke, piano bar) and limited standing room so if you didn't arrive 30+ minutes early you may not even get to participate at all. The Cool Lounge was the worst for this, followed by the Spendor Lobby.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Standard Oceanview.

Ship tip

Manage expectations - Enjoy yourself, but don't expect the same atmosphere as a Carribbean Destination

Ports of call

Long Beach (Los Angeles), California

3 out of 5

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

2 out of 5
If not interested in paying to visit a resort, there is nothing to do here. Also it's a tender port. We walked around for 40 minutes and returned to the ship.

Mazatlan, Mexico

4 out of 5
Took and open air taxi to the beach and stayed for 3 hours. Our taxi driver agreed to pick up back up at a specific time and he arrived promptly. Everything everyone says about the vendors is true - they do ask every few minutes for you to buy things and are very insistent for an answer. Just keep saying no.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

5 out of 5
Booked the Las Caletas Beach Resort. It was pricey but we all had so much fun. The kids ziplined, rode a donkey, had a toucan sit on their arm, snorkeled, canoed and swam. The lunch was just enough to fill you up. The pina coladas were made with fresh coconut and tasted waaaay better than what's on the ship. The only thing I wish I knew what that the boat ride from the dock to the beach resort is an hour. So when they advertise a 6 hour excursion, you only get 4 hours and it goes by VERY quickly. We were on boat #6 with Nathan's team out to the resort and the entertainment on board the boat was fantastic and made the hour ride go by fast.


5 out of 5
Off the boat, bused to the off-site parking garage and to our car within 50 minutes.
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