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Carnival Splendor (May 2017)


Carnival Splendor

8-Night Southern Caribbean
05/13/2017: Ft Lauderdale, FL (Port Everglades)
05/14/2017: Sea Day
05/15/2017: Grand Turk
05/16/2017: La Romana, Dominican Republic
05/17/2017: Aruba
05/18/2017: Curacao
05/19/2017: Sea Day
05/20/2017: Sea Day
05/21/2017: Ft Lauderdale, FL (Port Everglades)




"ONE OF A KIND SHIP"



Pros
- Allowed to bring on your own soda with your carry on luggage.
- Check in was quick. On the ship and to our room by 11:25am.
- Cabin had a good amount of storage.
- Our cabin Steward Jesus was very, very nice.
- Muster stations now scan your cards, making it faster.
- Food in the steakhouse overall was good.
- Doesn't seem like much but the croissants were HUGE!
- Hallways were very wide compared to other ships.
- Loved the Tandoori station, excellent food!
- Tip, let the crew take your pictures (not the photographers), they did such an amazing job.
- Casino's were open during a few ports.
- For Anytime Dining, the hostess came our prior to door opening to take table requests which made getting in much smoother.
- Ship was very cool at times, make sure to bring a jacket and pants. Also coming from someone who hates wearing extra layers.
- Best drink, Twilight Zone! OMFG! Thank you to the woman in the casino who told us about it!
- Comedy club held a lot of people, don't mind the long lines they go in quickly and tons of seating. Not many standers and plenty of open seats.
- Overall comedy was good.
- Loved the Carnival app. Download it and go onto airplane mode. Has every transaction you make and everything that is going on around the ship from now until the morning you get off. You can even add things you want to do to your favorites and you will get a reminder about 15 minutes prior. If they added a location map that would be awesome!
- Very friendly staff overall on this ship.
- Tons of trivia with Lee, he was really good as a host!
- The internet station had USB ports for charging your device.
- Decor in the dining rooms were great, very open feeling also Under the Sea Little Mermaid feeling.
- Holy macaroni with the Smores Parfait, that thing is amazing!
- Dining room allowed us to walk in and order a dessert to go, not sure about regular entrees or apps.
- Hypnotist Doug MacCraw was the best hypnotist we've ever had.
- Comedian Diane Ford was very funny.
- Jeff "The Fun Dude" was also very funny.
- Room service food that we ordered, Grilled American Cheese, BLT & Rueben were all excellent!

- Loved the live Morning Show with MarQ.
- Easy Breezy was a great band.
- Nothing like a Royal Caribbean commercial on a Carnival cruise, hmm trying to tell me something?
- Elevators were very quick......at times.
- Enjoyed the Feta Flatbread.
- Head to deck 10 for great seats for the movies.
- Loved the style of the Lido Deck.
- Enjoyed the layout of the ship.
- Curacao was a beautiful port, tons of shopping and things to see.
- First time coffee was good, not bitter at all!!
- 88 Keys was an incredible show!
- Pizza station was fast and at times delicious.
- Trivia with MarQ in the atrium was so much fun!
- MarQ did a great job with the Love & Marriage show.
- Got to be on Hasbro, again! Lost.....again!
- Quest was f***ing amazing and hilarious!
- Charging stations at a few of the internet stations was a great addition.
- Getting off the ship on the last morning was a breeze. We docked at 6am and went to the theater at 6:40am when they started letting people off and outside waiting to be picked up at 6:55am.
- Loved our CD MarQ, will sail with him again!
- Enjoyed our entertainment team which included Sly & Lee as well as Rex and Brittany who were just with us on Conquest.



Cons
- Porters were non-existent.
- Area for priority boarding was horrible compared to other ports.
- Luggage took forever to get to our cabin, finally got to us at 7:45pm.
- Location of the steakhouse was in a horrible location.
- Taxed at the steakhouse due to the ship leaving later than scheduled.
- Lack of options at the buffet for breakfast and lunch.
- No ship shot-glasses anymore.
- Captains formal night didn't have many people dressed up at all, also dining room were letting people in wearing shorts, hats and t-shirts.
- Dining staff was not to good with service, overall friendly but service was horrible.
- Chairs for watching the movies on the Lido were very uncomfortable.
- The photographers need to learn more poses, they are very limited and don't like to allow you to do your own.
- Formal night food was not good at all.
- Grand Turk was too rocky, not enjoyable at all.
- Stateroom movies were horrible, maybe one or two good movies the entire time.
- Did not like Epic Rock on this ship. Music volume and vocals were both off too much.
- Room service menu was very limited, miss the old one.
- No ship map on the stateroom TV or on the promenade deck to tell you the location of the ship.
- La Romana was a bad port, either book an excursion or stay on the ship. Local area is too dangerous to walk around, makes Ocho Rios look like Disney World.
- Check the policies on Shore Excursions prior to booking them. The stateroom TV does not tell you about it. If  you have a question as the shore excursions team or better yet ask anyone from the entertainment team, they usually get out there more than anyone else.
- Did not like the BBQ on this ship, Conquest was much better.
- Tour operator, Mitro in Aruba was a real a-hole. Very rude to guests that were upset about losing time at the beach due to the ac breaking down in the bus. Not informative at all.
- Beef Wellington was more like Pot Roast.
- Lobster Bisque in the MDR was more tomato-based and not nearly as good as the one in the steakhouse.
- Although our stay was extended to 12:30am in Aruba, but a lot of things closed at 7pm.
- Our excursion in Aruba was a waste. Tip, take a taxi to a local beach and enjoy yourself.
- Didn't understand the shots that were being sold during dinner every night, felt it was a bit trashy.
- Majority of the food and coffee was all served lukewarm.
- Brunch service was terrible as usual. I will compare it to arriving to your ship early and being one of the last people to receive your luggage. Some people who came in after us had food and drinks before we even ordered.
- Second formal night the food was horrible. Rubbery Clam Chowder which was canned and tiny shrimp for an entree. Left to go to the buffet.
- Comedian JR Brow was horrible, not funny at all. Walked out during is distasteful impersonations of Rodney Dangerfield and George Carlin.
- Damn chair hogs! Horrible on this ship. Many mornings they took  the chairs and no one was even around.
- Did not enjoy being woken up at 2:30am by two girls sitting on the floor outside of our cabin eating food and talking very loud in the hallways. Nothing two calls to security didn't fix. If they even came or the girls just left. Was about 20 minutes of it.
- Did not get any receipts from any purchase on board, keep track of what you buy. We were charged for things we didn't even want or ask for.
- Bar service in the main theater was horrible. Either wrong drinks or gave us things and charged us for things we didn't even want.




Carnival, Carnival, Carnival.....Here we are again! This was a cruise booked solely on Aruba. We've wanted this for years and years and finally we took a trip down to Aruba.

We looked, like usual for a while prior to booking this cruise we wanted something different and thought it was finally time to go down to Aruba. We preferred another line since we've done so many Carnival cruises but not many other lines go there and pricing was very important to us making this decision.

Getting to the port we had family take us since it was very local for us. We had VIP check in and it was somewhat smooth. Stepping back for a moment when we had our luggage and looking for a porter we almost just took our luggage right on with us. The reason is the porters were around but not attentive at all to anyone. Finally we found one who took our one bag. Then we headed inside the terminal. We got from the outside the terminal to our waiting area in a matter of minutes. Now when you check in our room cards were not given to us, they were outside of our cabin doors in the mailbox. Personally I'd rather have them in hand before I board. One thing I did not care for at all was our VIP check in area, it was just a smaller holding area upstairs, nothing impressive about it at all, kind of a letdown. We were on the ship by 11:20am and to the room by 11:25am, one of the quickest, so they win points there! Also a side-note, which this is always a toss up, you are allowed to bring canned soda with your carry on luggage, wish we did.

The first day the pools were empty for the most part, we decided to swim on the first day which maybe was the second time ever for us to do this. During the early part of the cruise the pools did have people but not many people were actually in the pools swimming, very odd. We did have a aft pool (which is now kid-friendly), the mid-ship Lido pool and the pool near the slide.

Back to the bag that we checked. Seems like the earlier we get to the port the later we get our luggage, really doesn't make a difference of the line. The one bag that we checked with the porter, still at 4:10pm was not to our cabin and we were still waiting for it. We did however plan for this and made sure to pack anything that we would need for the first day (including a formal outfit), one thing I forgot was dress shoes since we switched our reservation from later in the cruise to the first night. So I wore my sneakers, not a big deal, actually very comfy. Still at 5:45pm still no luggage. We left for a little bit and returned to our cabin around 7:45pm and had our luggage.

Food on Carnival for us personally is not too good anymore, we are foodies and food on Carnival is just very lack-luster. The steakhouse was okay and the dining room was fair at best. Buffet was decent at times, I found myself creating things just to eat. The ship had a small variety of food. One of our favorite foods, which was a first for us was the Tandoor Station, food changed a little bit everyday and we managed to eat there at least half of our cruise. Service in the dining room was also pretty bad at times, especially at the brunch. My opinion go back to lunch and breakfast in the dining room, the brunch is totally not worth it anymore.

Formal night was very disappointing for us. For starters not a lot of people dressed up, then in the dining room the food was just horrible. The lobsters my wife got were actually better here than the steakhouse, the ones I got were half the size and overdone. The second formal night we didn't even make it to dessert and just left mid-way through our entrees to go to the buffet to eat, we were the best dressed that night there.

Our cabin was very nice, we choose to do an ocean view category. It was roomy and had plenty of storage space. The fridge you had to get stock if you wanted upon request. Can't complain about service, our stateroom steward Jesus took great care of us and probably the one person we say day and night.

Did notice that the casino was open throughout several port days such as Grand Turk. Didn't like the casino since it ate a lot of our money.

One the more positive of this trip we loved our cruise director MarQ, who has been a CD for a short time. He made that cruise so much fun. We went to his morning shows and a few events and he was just very funny. Saw him around here and there, very approachable person. We will sail with him again if we can. We do love Jamie a lot but MarQ is a very energetic guy and maybe our new favorite active CD. Still loved Butch and Big Sexy, but both are currently not doing the cruise directing right now. Butch is doing more of an office role and Josh (Big Sexy) is a PVP and staying home with his beautiful baby.

We had a decent variety of shows, our favorite was the Piano show, that has to be our new top favorite. I'd say one of our top 5. Epic Rock we had for a 3rd or 4th time and it was our least favorite of them all. The thing that the theater team did which we didn't care for was boost the music very loud and at times we couldn't even hear the singers sing. The were not too much of powerhouse singers and couldn't get those high notes on a few power songs, mainly rock, but the cast was pretty good with most of the other shows.

Our ports were not a great as we would have hoped for. Grand Turk the beach was just so rocky it made it unbearable, so we headed over to Margaritaville and hung out there until too many people came, which was about four hours or so. Good thing we arrived early instead of last time when it was mid-afternoon and it was already packed. La Romana we didn't take an excursion like we originally hoped to do and the bus/taxi system we had to wait for a large enough group and wait for them to come and wait 3 or 4 hours for them to come back and to take a taxi on our own was very expensive. Also heard that you're not allowed beyond the gates to walk around if you do not have a tour or taxi since it is so bad. We were off the ship maybe 20 minutes or so. Aruba was a letdown for us, since it was our first time and only reason to go was it was a bucket list for my wife the port and what we did was a waste. Would we come back, yes but only for the beach and hopefully earlier on, it was a beautiful island, don't get me wrong just the excursion was a joke. Finally Curacao, an underdog and underrated port. Although we didn't do the Renaissance Resort as planned originally, we walked around town and got to enjoy the local sights. Very nice port, but much like parts of Aruba, very rocky waters and windy.

The Carnival Splendor was originally built for another cruise line but was finally sent to Carnival and in it's own unique class. The layout is very similar to their Destiny/Conquest Class mixed in with a little of the Dream Class ships. We did not have the 2.0 upgrades such as Guy's Burgers or the BlueIguana Cantina, but we really didn't miss any of it. The ship was really great! Loved the "Pink" decor throughout the ship.

Overall the cruise was pretty good, we are getting to realize more and more with sailing Carnival is that we need to do other lines more often. Not that we hate Carnival, it is home for us but things are just too predictable. Same jokes, same shows and same Love & Marriage show with the same questions. After 6 years its just getting to be played out. Luckily MarQ did an amazing job hosting everything. Also the food was a HUGE letdown for us, not like we expected much but we just hoped it would be better along with the service.

Off to our review and tour of the Carnival Splendor!



Arcade
Here are some images of the arcade aboard the Carnival Splendor.







Aruba
Aruba for us was a letdown. For starters we booked the party bus, which we should have stuck with. We ended up cancelling it prior to sailing for some reason, still kicking ourselves for that one. We did look while we were in our room at the available excursions, we found one and it did have a beach break but did not say for how long. We only booked it because we wanted something and were totally unaware of their cancellation policy which I will shortly explain. So later on that day we went to the Shore Excursions desk to talk to them about the excursion, they said that the beach was a 50/50 just depends on if the tour had time or not, we then asked about cancelling and they said we could but get hit with a penalty or we could wait to see if it'd be cancelled since not too many people were going or just book something else. We asked about other excursions and finally found one with a 1.5 hour beach break, which included a few stops at other locations on the island. Just a heads up do some research and go with your gut on what you want, Aruba is a very nice island and we highly recommend the beaches, they are about a 5 to 10 minute taxi ride and all beaches are public. The Shore Excursion team wasn't too much help on this ship at all, the could only talk about their excursions and the woman we talked to never went on most of them. Basic questions she had no answers to. So on to our tour. That morning we were set to meet in the main theater for our group. What they did was pack in on level 3, all of the shore excursions that were set to meet. We sat there for about 30 minutes waiting and waiting. Basically they got the rush of the first guests off the ship then us, row by row to all go into the terminal and find our excursion, which was easy but totally pointless, wasted too much time with that. Our tour operator was Mirto, who at first was okay but towards the end was a complete prick. Our tour included the rock formations was at first was really cool but when we got off the bus it was never once mentioned on how to get to the viewing area, so a bunch of us had to climb up and crawl through to get to the top only to find an easy way down on the other side. Also almost forgot to mention how nice these locals were when they say pretty girls and catcalling them. Our next stop was the Natural Bridge & Baby Beach, the views were amazing here and one of the nicest parts of the tour. Afterwards we headed to the California Lighthouse which on our way our a/c decided not to work. Luckily it was not a hot day and we were promised that a new bus would be waiting once we arrived. We were only supposed to be here for 15 minutes but ended up being here for close to 45 minutes waiting. Finally we got our new bus and headed to what we've been waiting for, the beach. We drive through the high rise resorts and low rise resort, wow look at the beaches. You'd think that's where we would go, nope! We ended up next door to the Costa Linda Resort, which was very unattractive and not worth stopping at. On top of that we were supposed to have 1.5 hours here, but since we had bus issues we were only allowed an hour. An hour to get off the bus, find a spot, go in the water, dry off and head back to the bus. Yea that was enjoyable. We were too focused on time, along with others that we just felt rushed and could barely enjoy the beach. We enjoyed it as much as we could, we wish we would have been there earlier in the day but it was still nice. The sand was as fine as glass and water as smooth as silk. Our tour operator said prior to dropping us off at the beach that we would only have an hour, we all were pissed off but he didn't care one bit. The guy was a real, you know what. At the beach the locals do what they do best, sell! We saw people putting things down on some of the chairs and the local beach vendors rushing over and wanting money for the chairs so you can use them. I get it's like that everywhere but seriously, makes me not want to go back. We decided to put our stuff down on a towel and go in the water. I always keep an eye on my stuff and I saw a worker drag over a chair near our stuff, I come back a few minutes later from the water only to find sand all over our stuff. Honestly save your money and just take a taxi over to any one of these public beaches and relax there. The taxi would have cost far less and could have enjoyed the beach for far longer. We wished we would have knew that prior but we're always hesitant on our first time at any port. That is why we are here, to help you out! So the tour, wasn't worth it. We were going to complain, as others were as well but Shore Excursions only works an hour a day during the dinner rush. I let Carnival know once we returned about our experience. Our departure time in Aruba was extended to 12:30pm, bad thing is everything outside the port closed around 7pm. The casino on the ship was open during our day here.




(Waiting area for a lot of the excursions was in the Spectacular Theater.)

(First stock was at the Rock Formations. Above is the view from the top of the peak. All around was very unique with the desert-like island.)




(Natural Bridge)


(California Lighthouse was our third stop. Also where our a/c had broken down and ended up here for 45 minutes.)

(In the far distance you can see the high-rise resorts. This beach was nice in the water but not to great with the surrounding area.)




Black Pearl Restaurant
Food sucked, that pretty much sums it up! Also the service was close to the same. The first night of the cruise we ate at the steakhouse so our first official night was on the second night of the cruise, which happened to be formal night. We were seated next to a staircase and felt that it was a horrible spot so we switched to a booth, however they would have to seat others with us. We said why would you need to do that on a four-seater, never had to for the most part before and it was early and the dining room was far from being full. So we switched to another table, this already annoyed us. The servers become so frazzled whenever you do something out of the ordinary. Also speaking of formal night, we noticed a lot of people not dressed up, very casual. The staff let people in the dining room with shorts, hats and t-shirts. Most of the food was not good at all for us personally. Cooks were good, but flavor was bad and variety was even worse. On the first formal night we each got two lobster tails. My wife had two perfect lobster tails, me on the other had had a small one and a burnt one. Yet they were still better than the very salty ones at the steakhouse. We signed up for Anytime Dining, which I think we should go back to assigned dining, looses the connect. About 15 minutes before the doors opened one of the hostess came out to start the process of getting table request and headcounts and assign us table numbers. It did speed up the initial rush. Have to say that a majority of the crew here along with on board were all very nice. The decor of the dining rooms felt more like something from the Little Mermaid with pearls all over, really loved it. Also the dividers that are at each of the booths usually have a design and are very distracting, this ship they were all glass and made the dining room feel very open, looked great! Prior to our cruise I asked on one of the groups if I went to the main dining room if I could get something to go, people all had different responses. One woman said everything that is served in the dining room is on the buffet, so I asked "even the lobster?". Yea I know it's not, but it should be!! One of the nights we ordered two smores parfaits, holy macaroni! These things were AMAZING! So after dinner we went around the ship and just couldn't get over them. So I asked my wife if she wanted more, she kept saying no, but I know what my wife really likes. We went back to the dining room and asked if we could get a few to-go. The girls in the front were all very, very helpful and went in back to get us a couple to-go. The maitre'd came up and talked to us for a bit, such a nice gentleman. Now this may not be doable every time but for us this time it was. Forget the Chocolate Melting Cake, that thing is so overrated, this needs to be their new signature dessert. Also where is my Cherries Jubilee? Another notable mention was the Beef Wellington, which was more of a pot roast in puff pastry. We ordered one medium rare and the other medium well on purpose, both came medium well. Skip the Lobster Bisque, more of a tomato-based soup. The Feta Flatbread was the best we've had. Very good! One thing we did not understand, nor care for was the bar staff towards the end of our dinner they would come around with shots. Felt it was a bit trashy to do, in our opinion. Dinner for the second formal night was horrible and maybe the worst meal we had. From rubbery canned clam chowder to the tiny shrimp main entree. We just ended up leaving and going to the buffet. Dinner on the last night of the cruise was the best the for the entire trip, think they wanted something?



(Always wanted to take one of these home. Am I the only one?)

(Hard to tell from this angle but compared to my wife's lobster tail this one was half the size.)

(Beef Wellington. The best part of this meal was when they took it away. Had to at least try it. More of a pot-roast consistency.)

(Prime Rib, this was decent, nothing great. I also always forget to get my own so this time I did. I do have to remember to stop getting that potato, just becomes to be too much food.)

(I think this was the Shrimp Creole dish. So damn spicy, but one of the best dishes I've had the entire cruise. I suffered through the pain!)

(Chocolate Melting Crap, I'm so over this. Can't remember when it was actually cooked properly.)

(Smores Parfait, best dessert ever!)
 

Coffee Shop, Internet Cafe & Future Cruise Desk
We had pretty good service here for coffee throughout the cruise, make sure to get you card stamped each time. Also if they are not open head to the atrium, they make it just as good!


(Coffee was pretty good on this ship, from the dining room coffee to all of the specialty coffees.)

(Future Cruise Desk. Also if you need a PVP book through our friend Josh Waitzman.)

(Heading down the Promenade.)



(Internet Cafe. Also all of these stations have a USB charger for your phones or tablets or cameras. Or anything else you took with you that you wanted to charge.)

(My major complaint is it's a fortune if I just wanted to check my email and bank everyday.)

Cool Lounge
This is where all of the trivia is head along with nightly karaoke and other events. We did a couple trivia games on a few days with Lee who is one of the amazing hosts.





(Won a couple of trivia games.)

Curacao
This was one of the underrated ports that we went to. This was a very nice port, but very windy and rocky when we were here. Tons and tons of shopping around the port area. You can get some really good deals and the locals will work with you on pricing. Once you get off the ship head to the right down the path and go towards the Renaissance Resort & Casino, more shopping and a casino which wasn't packed at all. They do have a day pass for their beach/pool which we were going to do for $20pp but it was just too windy out. We saw it from the ship later on and never saw many people in there at all. Looked incredible though. Past this area you have the famous bridge that you can cross over, very cool with the waves making it go up and down. Also even more shopping areas. Locals were very nice here. Did not feel unsafe or harassed by the local at all. Would love to go back very soon!




(This was only a small fraction of the Resort & Casino area, plenty of restaurants and shops around.)

(Watch your step while you're on the bridge, it does move with the waves and looks incredible when you're on it.)

(Wasn't impressed with the view that was on everything that they sold.)


(That was an awesome looking bridge. Next time might have to get up there for the views.)

(Another shot of the bridge.)



(In the far right of the picture you will see a beach-pool. For $20pp you can go to the resort and use it for the day. For $40pp is another option which includes a few other things. Contact them for more information.)

Deli & Tandoor Station
The deli was good, the one woman who worked there was such a sweet person. The Tandoor was our first experience to this type of food and wow, was it delicious! It changed a bit daily, unlike the rest of the buffet. The food is known to be spicy but it wasn't the case here. Not too spicy at all. We felt it was perfect! Probably some of the best food on the ship was located right here!


(Food is so good here!)



(Doesn't look like much but it had a ton of flavor!)

(Just a tip, you can get meats here and add them to you pizza and other-way-around from the pizza toppings to here.)



El Mojito Wine Bar
Here are some images of the wine bar on board the Carnival Splendor.







El Morocco Aft Lounge (Punchliner Comedy Club)
Unlike the setup of the Destiny/Conquest class, the Splendor is similar to the design of the Dream class but with more space. We were blown away with the capacity of this room. One of the first nights we went to the 9:30pm comedy show, and at 9:10pm the line was from the door all the way back and down the Promenade to the casino. We were at 9:10 standing next to the coffee shop and seated by 9:15pm near the stage (off to the side) still with tons of space. At 9:20pm still some seats available. Standing room was also open for a majority of the shows. We saw a couple comedians, we did enjoy Diane Ford, who was great! She talked a lot about getting older and what to expect and just about scared the hell out of the 20 year old girl who was in the front row who was with her boyfriend. She may have been scared for life. We didn't expect to enjoy here as much as we did. Another comedian we had was Jeff "The Fun Dude" who was our comedy club manager. We had a set prior of comedians and another set later in the cruise but tonight was just Jeff. He talked a lot about ship life in an R-rated setting, such a great time! One final comedian we saw was JR Brow, he was not funny at all. A slight laugh at a joke here and there but mainly a total bomb. At one point he asked who was at the show the night prior since a lot of people were just sitting there in silence, maybe 10 people clapped out of a few hundred. We decided to leave somewhere between him trying to impersonate the late great Rodney Dangerfield and George Carlin. You just don't do that in that distasteful of a way, not to them. Besides comedy this lounge also held other events such as the Quest. This is something that Carnival, and I think a few other lines do at some point throughout the cruise and we've only heard of tales from this. A good friend of mine has been telling me for years to go to this at least once. So that night it was getting late and we were thinking about heading to the room and going to sleep, so I asked my wife if she wanted to go, we agreed and headed to it. It started at 11:30pm and didn't get back to the room until close to 2am the next morning. Now this is not for the easily offended. MarQ hosted this insane event and he did an amazing job doing it! He went from Peter Parker to Deadpool in minutes. He did punish his co-host Rex a lot, kinda felt bad for him. I'm not going to talk much about it but if you're looking for something crazy, make sure to go to this, it was so much fun to see. Also you can either participate or sit and watch, we sat and watched and non-stop laughing! All I can say is that you will see everyone in a whole new way in the morning!











(Diane Ford, very funny!)



Ft Lauderdale, Florida (Port Everglades)
We were dropped off by family. The process for priority was fairly quick, we got to the port around 10am and on the ship by 11;20am. Not too happy with the porters, hard to get a hold of one of them and even thought about just carrying it on ourselves. The terminal was a warehouse, much like all of the others. The priority was almost embarrassing compared to other ports. Felt more like a holding area than a waiting area before my cruise.


(Priority holding area, yea I know!)


(Currently the largest cruise ship in the world, Harmony of the Seas. Don't worry Symphony of the Seas is going to be larger and out very soon!)


Fun Shops
The ship does do a lot of giveaways so make sure to check your Fun Times for all of the raffles throughout your cruise.



(If you look hard enough you will see a G.O.A.T.)


(Almost bought one but didn't since the Lido and Aft areas were different but didn't reflect on the model. Also wifey didn't want me to have another one.)

(The bottle behind it is the normal sized bottle.)

(Is this really a good deal?)



(Damn cravings on a late night! $20 later!)




Gold Pearl Restaurant
We dined here for brunch which again for another cruise was a pain in the butt. Service was horrible, people who came in after us were just about finishing before we even got an order placed, food was good compared to other times. Wish they would go back to the breakfast and lunch options rather than the brunch. We just don't get how service can be so bad with so few guests to crew ratio. The decor was much like the Black Pearl, same Pearl theme which looked incredible.









Grand Piano Bar
We came here one of the nights of the cruise. It was very mellow and we hung out for a few minutes. The decor was very Piano-theme and looked great, probably one of my favorites behind the Piano bar on the Breeze.










Grand Turk
We headed out and went towards the beach near Margaritaville, which has become more and more rocky over the years and more and more beach chairs, never remember seeing this many here. Not sure if you had to pay for them or not. We couldn't even swim here because the rocks were so bad, we headed next door to Margaritaville to hang out. This is usually a very nice port to be at. Last time since we arrived so late in the day we really didn't have a chance to enjoy it. This time we hungout in the pool from early on until it got a bit busy, which was a good 3 hours. Margaritaville does offer free wifi (if it works) and the password is "flip flop". My Samsung S8 didn't get it but my wife's iPhone S6 got it after she reset the phone. I have to say on a nice day Grand Turk does have some very beautiful water.



(Beach area to the left when you get off the ship. Seems to have more umbrellas than times past. Let us know if they were free.)




(Very empty, just the way I like it!)


(No where to sit!)










La Romana, Dominican Republic
This port was a bust, I really feel like we could have just skipped it all together. We heard if you don't do an excursion don't even bother to get off the ship. We decided to get off and maybe go to the beach, so we were prepared for that. Once you get off the ship you head up a small hill right into the liquor store and out to a few local vendors who were not pushy at all. All so far seemed nice, a few shops and a few places to eat and drink inside the terminal/port area. The excursion loading area did have much larger buses than the small ones at most of the other ports. They were all very organized and the locals were all super helpful to us all. We went up to the taxi booth and asked about taking one to the local beach. We were told we can, but it's better to go with the group because the price would be far, far less but you'd have to go with that group and come back with them when they came back which would be about four hours. We asked what if we wanted to come back early, they said that we would have to pay more and take a taxi direct from that location. For us personally it wasn't worth doing it. So we headed back to the ship and relaxed in the pool. That day we did have a lot of back-to-back trivia for everyone. We heard this port did not have much around and a lot of people stay on. We did talk to a couple who were told that them along with other were not allowed to go out of the port area unless you were with an excursion or a taxi since it was too dangerous. I think it was a port we'd rather have had skipped. A lot of people did go to Riu, which we had thought about down but didn't since it would have been a good amount of money for a short timeframe. They opened at 10:30am and advise to come back a few hours early since its a good drive away, that leaves with with about 3 hours there. Not worth the price.







(The first store when you come up the hill. As you can tell, everyone is so happy to be here!)

(One of the small places to sit and grab something.)

(It's Five o'clock Somewhere!)

(Area for the tour buses and taxis.)

(I really thought it was the same guy from MSC Divina who did Starwalker!)



Library
Here are a few images of the library on board which is located on deck 4 near the atrium staircase.






Lido Restaurant
The buffet did not change much from day-to-day, the "theme" dining did but options were very, very limited. The food for dinner actually looked better than during lunch. I do have to say for breakfast their croissants were the biggest we've ever seen, almost like mini footballs! I made a breakfast sandwich almost everytime we ate their for breakfast. Again variety was not a lot, hard to find something good. The front buffet and back buffet were the same foods. The area did fill up but lines were never too insane. Outside of the buffets you had the grill and pizza near the mid-ship pool and Tandoori and the deli in the aft. Also BBQ upstairs, which wasn't too good at all compared to Conquest. Also had the Wok Station on the ship, did not care for it at all.










(My way is a crispy bottom with extra cheese. Their way is however they want it to be.)

(Biggest we've ever had on a ship. Hard to tell from the picture, but believe me!)




Liner Lido Aft Pool & Bar
This was our main go-to pool on the ship. Never had kids at all, come to think about it really didn't see many kids at all on the cruise. Around this area you have the deli and the Tandoori station, both pretty decent for food. The pool did get packed but noticed in this pool along with the others that not many people at times were swimming, they were just relaxing. We headed here for our first day as soon as we got on, I got sunburned before we even left port!






(I wanted to show how it looked on a sea day. Pool was packed with people, yet no one in the water.)




Ol' Fashioned BBQ
This was not "Ol' Fashioned BBQ" and if it was it was pretty bad! The meats were decent, nothing like they were on Carnival Conquest. The mac and cheese was soup. Didn't care much for anything here at all. They did get pretty full and the line was pretty long. No longer a hidden gem on the ship.








Our House Sports Bar
This was the sports bar on Carnival Splendor, located off of the Fun Shops and Casino on deck 5.








Pinnacle Steakhouse
We always didn't care for the location of the steakhouses on some of the Carnival ships. It was located next to a good-walking area where our view was of people in their swimsuits, very nice! On to the food, the first came with some really tasty bread, for the first night of the cruise we were happy! It was so soft and very fresh! The spreads were also very good, the best one was the one on the left in the picture below. The chef sent us over, along with everyone else a mini slider. It wasn't anything too good, I've had much better. Not sure why they would make this. Make something steakhouse worthy. For our apps, which you can order as many as you want we ordered the mushroom and crabcake. Both dishes were really good. The balsamic reduction on the mushroom was amazing, the cooked cheese on the bottom just didn't sit right with the flavor of the dish. Crabcake had great flavor. We both also ordered the Lobster Bisque, starts out great-tasting but after a while it becomes too overpowering. The pieces of lobster were so tasty and the biscuit inside was excellent. For our main course we decided after looking at the cart of dead animals that they wheel over to you before you eat to go with the Surf & Turf. Our steaks were really good, cooked perfectly. The lobsters were overall good, just a bit salty for us. Our sides were baked potatoes with the trimmings, these were great just a lot of food! The most lackluster part was the dessert, it wasn't that tasty at all. We had the cheesecake and the apple, not as good as they usually are. Wouldn't get either again. Seems like Carnival is cutting back a lot of the quality of their food. One part of our dining experience that I was not too happy with was getting hit with a tax on our bill. We were delayed leaving due to not having enough fresh water. So as our meal ended we were just outside the port area. Now any other night, if we left on time we wouldn't be hit with that tax. We felt that we should not have been hit with that tax, didn't make much of it on the cruise just a little shocked that they charged us even since we were already at sea.


(Dead animal tray!)

(Remember the one on the left was the best one.)

(Just give me a batch of these to go!)

(A little upset. I come to a steakhouse and the chef gives a mini burger. Step it up and give me something worth-while!)

(Crab cake, this was really good!)

(Some Mushroom thingy, it was good as well.)

(Lobster Bisque....before.)

(Lobster Bisque....after! It's very, very good, but can become very over-whelming after awhile.)

(Surf & Turf, lobster was a bit salty. Steak was cooked perfectly.)

(They give you an option for three sauces. I wanted all three.)

(The potato strikes again. I'm weak when it comes to food, I can't say no to it sometimes. I mean it was a perfect potato. You know how hard it is to find a perfectly cooked potato on a cruise. Nothing worse than when it comes to your table all loaded and looks amazing then when you open it and find a teaspoon of sour cream and a raw hard potato center.)

(I think this was the cheesecake, ehh it was okay.)

(The Apple dessert, also ehh.)

(Our view of Ft Lauderdale. I remember when that bridge on the left was going up, my dad had a big role on that project. I was coming to this port way before I feel in love with cruising.)




Pizzeria & Grille
The pizza I usually hate going to since it is always a long wait and the cooks are never prepared. This one was the total opposite. We had pizza a couple of times, one time it was too burnt, other times perfect. Also if you want different toppings on different pizzas, let them know and they will do it. Also they pre-did a bunch of doughballs which sped up the process greatly. It took about 4 minutes from me placing my order to getting my pizza. I'll put it to you this way in the time it took them to take my order and to get my pizza, my wife went inside to get us hot chocolate, by the time I got into the buffet area (steps away) she was just finishing up and was in shock that I got it that quick. It was a custom pizza as well. The location was next to the main pool, which was a really good location and never too busy considering the location.











Red Carpet Dance Club
Here are some photos from the Dance Club on board.









Robusto Bar
Not sure what was even held here, wish they had changed this dark-lighted area into something bright and fun!





Royal Flush Casino & Oceanview Bar
We hate the casino, but the machines are just so much fun to throw money into and hope to win! So did we win? Nope! I was up here and there but in my head I think "I can win more!", don't do it, just stop and cash out!
















Serenity Deck
Only came up here to take a few pictures. I'm sure next time at the rate Carnival is going this will be the Club O2 Serenity Deck!





Spa
We came here just to check out the area. Looked nice but for us personally who just wanted the pool and heated chairs just wasn't worth the pricing.












Spectacular Spectacular Theater
Not sure why it's named twice but oh well! Here is our main show theater. We saw all of the shows, some we've seen several times before. Some shows we hated others we loved. The major complaint we heard was that the sound during the shows from the music is so much louder than the singers singing. We found this to be very true, some of the singers were unable to hit those high powerful notes on certain songs that needed it. A tip for the Welcome Aboard Show, they will do a couple of guest interaction pieces. One of them they will bring out two black board and the game is called "sticky balls". Basically for going on stage, win or lose you will get priority seating in the third row for the entire cruise for the show also a few other perks. One of the shows was Studio VIP, it was decent. We're both not big into the 70s era of music. As always we are fans of guest interaction throughout the show. When you get to the theater (on the rightside) and want to be a part of the show they will take you in and you get to be part of the show doing something as a "big star". Then you take your seat in a set area so you can take the stage at certain parts of the show. Epic Rock was our second show, and it was not that good at all. The vocals were so low that you couldn't hear the singers and for some of these songs you need some powerhouse performers. We get that some of these shows are not for every singer. A lot of people agreed to not enjoying the show too much at all. After seeing it for the first time on Carnival Sunshine nothing really compared, they were untouchable and amazing on that ship! One show that we loved and one of our new favorites was 88 Keys. This was our first time seeing this show, our piano player Skip hosted the performance with the signers beside him. The entire show was amazing from start to finish. This was in our top 5 shows cruise-wide for us. We also had some variety acts on the ship, first being Doug MacCraw who was a master hypnotist. We've seen a couple prior but he was the funniest and the best we've seen. Don't worry if you don't get on stage, the entire room will be able to (if you want) to participate in the event. Some of the best guests that were under were in their seats. I didn't try it but my wife did and she swears she didn't go under but she was dosed off for enough time for me to worry and remove the glass from in front of her just in case. It was a great show! Our CD MarQ did the morning show in the theaters several mornings of the cruise, we sat upfront most of the time. I've said it before, and I'll say it again he is an amazing CD with a ton of energy. On the first night during the Welcome Aboard Show I said to my wife that we needed to go to the Love & Marriage show, even though we didn't want to sit through another one of those. I had a feeling that MarQ was going to hit it out of the park. He did a slight spin on this which we enjoyed but he was just so funny with the contestants. We also had Hasbro: The Game Show on our cruise a few select times. I was able to get on stage (by dancing on the table), our team did lose but it was fun. Also my wife saw Big Sexy on the screen for the qualification mini-games. Nice to have him with us, in some way! One horrible thing about this theater was the bar service, mainly the server was mainly clueless. We ordered one drink on one of the nights and when she took the other she said just one, we said yes. Then she put down two napkins and at that moment I thought to say something but didn't. She came back with two drink, we said that we only wanted one and so she took the other one back. Then when she came back with my check it had just the one and I asked to confirm that the other was taken off, she replied yes. A few moments later another drink magically appeared. I sent her back to take it away. So needless to say we were charged and refunded several times. I think she messed up with our credits as well for drinks. Wasn't worth the hassle. The second time another server on the last night of the cruise (after 5pm) we ordered two drinks with our vouchers and we were charged for three. So had to go back and forth with guest services on the phone the last night of the cruise, well that was fun. They fixed it the next morning and three calls later.



(I peaked, then I got caught.)




(Our awesome cruise director, MarQ. Really great and funny CD. Will sail with him again if we can.)

(Two CD's for the price of one. MarQ & Mike, who was taking over on the next cruise. Also heard he will be rolling out with Carnival Horizon when she comes out.)


(Q & Awesome!)

(MarQ & Mike)

(The Twilight Zone, so good!)

(Hasbro: The Game Show!)

(I hate this game that they are playing more than anything. Mainly because I get confused with it way too quickly.)

(Carnival Splendor Playlist Production Cast)




(Hey Piano Man, play my song!)






Splendido Lido Pool & Seaside Theater
This was an indoor lido pool, which was a first for us. It was retractable but mainly always opened. Loved the entire decor of this area, very nice. Also hot tubs were on the floor above. Also if you want more comfy chairs head upstairs for the movies and watch it from up there, great views! We did have the chair hogs on this cruise big time! Also kinda pissed us off the morning that they did the towel animals outside. By 7:30am at least a quarter of the area was destroyed by these chair hogs, yet not one person was in a chair. The cute little animals were all destroyed by them. I get that they eventually will be from them but that early!? Not a single person sitting on any of the occupied chairs or in the pool.









(Don't ask!)

(Selfie!!)

(Damn chair hogs!!!)





(When you're out in the sun drunk and need some assistance!)





(Up on the second level you have hot tubs on both sides, below is a picture of what the hot tub looks like that are up here.)


(Learned something new, these tables fold in half so you can play with yourself.......What did I say?)

Splendor Atrium (Guest Services & Shore Excursions)
This was a very beautiful atrium also very active. They had music every night in the atrium, Easy Breeze was a noticeable standout, they were really good and had a great selection of music. The other performers were good but I can only hear the same Jimmy Buffet and Johnny Cash songs so many times. MarQ also did a few music trivia's, we did the 90s one on the last night of the cruise. He was an amazing host. He likes to get people out of their comfort zone. When he get the songs going and see you, you better get up there and have fun!






(Nightly music in the atrium.)

(Guest Services for all of your complaints!)

(The 20 minutes of the cruise that this desk was open, wait as you can see from the picture no one was there behind the desk.)


(These are located on deck 3 and deck 5 right outside the atrium elevators. Use them as much as you can before waiting in line at Guest Services.)

(These are the charging stations that are at the computer terminals around the ship.)



Sports Deck
Here is a few images of the Sports Deck.




(Came across this little place when I was walking around, it was for kids only.)

(Hi sexy!)




Stateroom 1298
Our stateroom was an Oceanview and was good in size. Plenty of storage. Our stateroom steward was Jesus, really nice guy. Out of any cruise he was probably hands down the one person we saw constantly doing the rooms. Always around and always a HUGE smile on his face all the time. Guy was as nice as can be. I really wanted to switch with him at times so he can take a break and relax. In our cabin we had a fridge, just not stocked that along with ice can be requested at any time. The stateroom (and outside) movies lacked big time, such a crappy selection, almost as bad as the selection of food on this ship. We ordered room service on one of the nights, we miss the old menu, this new one is very limited (but really good), they push for the new payable items. When I'm ordering room service the last thing I want to do is pay extra. During a few days of our cruise we ran into and talked to Firyuza who was the floor supervisor, we talked to her for a bit about our blog and what we do. She was very intrigued with it. Such a nice woman.



(I have every single daily guide from all of our cruises.)







Taste Bar
USELESS!!!!! It was open at night during dinner and the food was very limited and done way too many times before. Please get rid of this and bring back sushi!






Thunderball Pool & Waterslide
This pool was actually really nice-looking, not like the others where the water looks disgusting. It was tucked away and had its own hottub. We never went in or used the slide.










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