Carnival Splendor

Inexpensive Large SET SAIL 2008
SHIP HIGHLIGHTS
The thermal suite in Cloud 9 Spa
The Sky Deck magrodome over the mid-ship pool
Thalassotherapy pool, included with Spa Cabin or you can purchase a day pass
Pinnacle Steakhouse (Pro tip: Book it on the first night of the cruise and get a free bottle of wine.)
Spa Cabins surrounding Cloud 9 Spa
SPECIALTIES
Fun

Carnival Splendor may be the pink-bedazzled one-off in the Carnival fleet, but the ship's build and offering has many commonalities with the Conquest class. For starters, it’s big, busy and multi-generational: 13 decks, 1,503 staterooms, and a 21,000 square-foot Cloud 9 Spa (the first spa of this kind in the Carnival fleet). From her current home port of Miami, the Carnival Splendor specializes in group-friendly, week-long cruises to the Caribbean. 

Carnival Splendor OVERVIEW


Its nickname among cruisers is “The Pink Ship” for its design motif—from the beveled kaleidoscopic pink foyer to the salmon-trim staterooms.  We might dub it Big Pink instead, as it’s one of the bigger ships in the Carnival fleet. Early in its build, it was intended to be a Costa ship. It was soon switched to the Carnival fleet, and is extremely similar to Conquest class ships, with just a few differences. The main one is the magrodome—a retractable glass ceiling over the mid-ship pool.

As with all Carnival ships, even entry-level cruisers get comfy digs, choosing from some of the largest basic cabins offered by any line. The ship's latest dry dock included aesthetic enhancements like new furnishings and tile work.

Dining

The Pinnacle steakhouse is the signature culinary experience, and frequent cruisers rate the $35 surcharge well worth it. The rest of the dining options on this ship are Carnival standards: the Splendido buffet, Black Pearl and Gold Pearl main dining rooms, and casual offerings like grill fare and stir-fry from the main Lido restaurant. The 24/7 offering is pizza made-to-order poolside at Pizza Pirate on deck 9.

While this ship is casual, people who opt for a formal evening meal should expect more of a traditional cruise experience. People dress up for dinner, and the wait staff are known for excellent service.

Bars and Lounges

There are a total of 22 bars and lounges spread across Carnival Splendor’s 13 decks—perhaps a few are just for drinking, but most offer some sort of organized entertainment. Smoke a stogie at Robusto, take a martini-making class at Mojito, or enjoy live jazz in “The Cool” jazz bar.

The largest lounge, El Morocco, doubles as the smaller showroom onboard. This is where standup comics reign-- sometimes as many as five shows in a single night. Carnival is one of the only cruise lines to offer family-friendly comedy –7:30 early show is popular all-family night out. On alternating nights, El Morocco features karaoke or other special programming.

Entertainment & Recreation

Introducing the Cloud 9 Spa experience to the Carnival fleet was a big deal, and Splendor doubled down on spa traveler appeal by being the first Carnival ship to offer spa cabins as well. These continue to be popular fleet-wide, and together with the Serenity adults-only area, really support Carnival’s brand promise to appeal to all ages and types of cruisers. Including the adults cruising child-free, who want peace and quiet and pampering.

In most of the rest of its entertainment and rec offerings, Splendor, like the rest of the Carnival fleet, offers a perfect blend of kid-focused fun featuring the Seuss at Sea partnership; family-friendly entertainment like Hasbro, The Game Show; and adult-oriented offerings such as mixology contests and an 18+ comedy show. The Spectacular Spectacular Main Show Lounge offers games by day, and full-on production shows in the evening.

There are three full-sized pools, plus a kiddie pool on Deck 11 with a small water splash park next to it. The highlight of kid-focused splashy action is the 214-foot Twister waterslide. The magrodome (retractable glass ceiling) over the mid-ship pool is highly convenient during those unexpected rain showers that come with cruising Caribbean territory during the rainy season.

Onboard Activities

Splendor’s jam-packed program offers Carnival favorites like the Mixology Game (a drink-creating contest), the Hairy Chest Contest, and the Love and Marriage Show.

For those who seek more sedate adult-appropriate entertainment, there are fitness classes in the gym, mini-golf on the sky deck, “Behind the Fun” ship tours (for a surcharge) and Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments many evenings in the casino.

The protected mid-ship Lido pool deck doubles as the outdoor “Seaside Theater,” showing “Dive-In Movies,” TV shows or concert broadcasts  in the evening. At least one family-friendly flick is guaranteed per sailing. The family-friendliest signature event of all is the Parade and Story Time, where Seuss costume characters promenade from one end of the ship to another, and then the cruise director reads the Cat in the Hat in costume. Audience participation is encouraged.

Downsides

Trying to book excursions in advance can be a challenge in cases where there aren’t enough people to run an excursion, or if it’s canceled for other reasons.

 

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With most trips from her home port in New York, she voyages to the The Bahamas and the Caribbean and also offers some treks to Canada and New England.

WHAT´S ONBOARD THE Carnival Splendor