What I Did On My Winter Vacation--onboard the Splendor 11/7 cruise

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98 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
I was on the Nov 7th sailing of the Splendor with 6 others in our little group of friends/families. Lots of things have been reported but I thought I’d post about our experience. We’ve cruised the Caribbean 6 times and decided to do the Mexican Riviera just for something different. We definitely got something different! It was not the cruise we expected and I wouldn’t want a repeat, but what an adventure and oh the stories we have to tell! I wouldn’t say we had “fun”, but we certainly did make our own fun. Our group had 2 inside cabins on Deck 8 aft and one balcony cabin on Deck 9 forward.

I’ll start by saying the crew members on board were so very awesome! They went above & beyond to make us as comfortable as they could, all the while they were facing their own nightmare. We were told by a few that the bilge pumps were not working and their cabins were flooded with a few inches of water…unclean, nasty water. One poor steward we talked to said he was so exhausted by trudging up and down stairs that he fell into bed in his wet cabin with a pillow over his face to block the stench. Those folks have our gratitude.

We started off the trip on a bad note when our flight was delayed for 2 hours on the Friday beforehand because the incoming airplane was struck by lightning and we had to wait for a replacement aircraft. However we made the best of it by joking and laughing through the delay. We spent Friday & Saturday nights at the Residence Inn in Long Beach. Gorgeous city and the perfect hotel for cruisers!

Embarkation on Sunday was extremely disorganized and was not helped by delay caused by the USCG inspection. We finally made it on board then watched the workers try to fish luggage out of the water where a dozen or so bags had fallen out of a luggage crate. We watched a few sink. We joked that with our luck so far, those were probably our bags. Little did we know!!

We were asleep in our inside cabins on Deck 8 aft when we were awakened at 6 am Monday by the violent shaking. We were in the midst of getting dressed when the announcement came to move to the open decks. Our friend in the next cabin had popped out of bed & jumped in the shower immediately after the shaking stopped…the last hot shower for the next 3 days. We went up to Deck 9 aft pool area and staked out our little piece of the deck where we pretty much remained most of the day. At one point a couple hours into it I ran back to our cabin to grab a jacket for my daughter & found a tag stuck into our door that read “Cabin Evacuated”. That was pretty unsettling to say the least. The Deck 8 corridor remained smoky for several hours.

After it got dark each night we hung out in the corridor outside our rooms. We called it our front porch and we really got to know our neighbors. A couple neighbors were magicians onboard for a convention and they did some tricks for us. We had no working toilets until Tuesday overnight. We slept with our cabin door open and a chair the blocking the door with the minimal corridor lighting keeping us from being in total darkness. Over the next 3 days we used the light from our phones, I-Touch, and DD’s Nintendo DSI, especially in the bathroom once the water was back on. (Our across-the-corridor neighbors kept their door open as much as possible during the day to give us a little light from their balconies, but once the sun went down we were all in the same boat.)

The low point for me personally was Tuesday evening. John Heald made the announcement that we’d be going to San Diego & wouldn’t get there until Thursday evening, our toilets still weren’t working, they had closed whatever outside doors that had provided airflow through the Deck 8 corridors, and our cabin was hot & smelly. We just couldn’t stay in our room that night. We had friends with a balcony cabin but it was way too small for 5 extra people to crash there. We went to Guest Services to see if they could open those outer doors and she basically told us there was nothing she could do. She told us we could sleep wherever we wanted-- wherever we thought we’d be most comfortable. So we spent the next couple hours climbing and descending steps looking for a camping spot. We ended up on Deck 12 in the corridor by the spa. There are those nice wooden lounge chairs with the pads on the outside deck there. We dragged 5 chairs into the hallway, took 5 pads off other loungers to give us double-padding, found a crewmember that scrounged 5 sheets for us and lugged the comforters and pillows from our beds up the 4 flights of stairs. It turned out that the Coast Guard folks were camped in the spa that night too. They were onboard to help with the food drops, and by the time that was finished it was too dark and the sea was a little too rough for them to go back to the cutter in their little dingy.

Among the highlights was seeing the Ronald Reagan up close & watching the planes take off and land on the carrier deck. We’d been feeling pretty vulnerable out there in international waters, basically a sitting duck. The Mexican navy ship was there but it just didn’t give us the same warm, fuzzy feeling as seeing that magnificent United States aircraft carrier. Go Navy!

Yes, the food we ate was pretty horrible. But at least we didn’t go hungry. I will say for the record that it’ll be quite awhile before I have a hankering for watermelon or pineapple again. Those poor cooks were slapping everything on a sandwich that they could possibly find. Some more exotic selections that we experienced: “mayo and onion on a hot dog bun”; “corned beef, lettuce, and butter (Butter?! Just serve it dry for goodness sake!) on white bread”; “hot dog salad consisting of cut up raw hotdogs and some sort of slaw-like concoction”. We started calling them Wonder Bread Sandwiches because every time we got one we would wonder what was in the bread.

Carnival made our hotel arrangements for Thursday night at the Sheraton & flight arrangements for Friday. And if you asked us right when we disembarked, that would’ve been exactly what we wanted. But once we had a hot shower, a decent meal, and a good night’s sleep we decided, hey, let’s explore San Diego while we’re here. So we called Carnival to change our flight to Sunday…certainly NOT expecting them to cover our hotel for the next 2 nights. However that is what they offered to do, as well as give us a daily stipend for food. We did have to move to the Hilton Bayside as the Sheraton was booked. We packed in Old Town, Coronado Island, and the Gas Lamp district in 1-1/2 days of commando sight-seeing. Oh my, San Diego is beautiful!

We are very pleased with the way Carnival has handled this and have no complaints whatsoever. They have already processed the cruise refund credit back to our credit card, we have instructions on how to submit the documentation for the transportation refund, and we are already discussing where to go on our free cruise.
633 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
good for you for having a good sence of humor .sounds like you got some planning to do i hope your next one is great
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1,203 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
What a great attitude you have! It's clear how hard the crew must have worked and what a great group of passengers were on the ship when I read reports like this.

Enjoy your free cruise! You sure earned it!
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Moncton, NB
139 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
It's good to know that a lot of you tried to make the best out of a bad situation. I know I'd be freaking out a little over the wonder bread sandwiches...

It seems you have a fondness for the Ronald Reagan, maybe a seven day cruise to nowhere on her would be a new wrinkle to you upcoming cruising itinerary?
Charleston, SC
5,133 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Thanks for your first hand account, glad you could make the best of it.
Welcome home.
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Riverview, Florida
2,486 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
I'm so glad you made it safely home! That will certainly be a vacation you will remember. Were the other passengers are resourceful as you finding light and a place to sleep?
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Cape Canaveral, FL USA
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Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us! Glad to hear you were able to make the best of it and are looking forward to taking your free (well-earned) cruise. It sounds like Carnival did (and is doing) everything they could to make things right for everyone.
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3,488 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
LMBO @ the Wonder Bread sandwiches! I'm sorry your cruise wasn't as hoped, but it sounds like you held up well. If I was on board, I'd have wanted to hang with YOU!

Thanks for taking time to tell us about your experience.
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Niagara area, ON CANADA
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Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by Georgia Peach2
We are very pleased with the way Carnival has handled this and have no complaints whatsoever. They have already processed the cruise refund credit back to our credit card, we have instructions on how to submit the documentation for the transportation refund, and we are already discussing where to go on our free cruise.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience with everyone - we are glad to hear you got home safe and sound !
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NONE YET - but very soon !

" If I can't wear my flip flops - I'm not going ! "
1,082 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Your review was funny--very entertaining and you have the right kind of attitude. I saw a pic of a SPAM and beet sandwich. I guess if there's nothing else to eat, I would eat it for sure! I have several cans of SPAM in my just in case food pantry just waiting for the day when an emergency should come my way. I want to ask:

What would you pack on the next cruise that you didn't pack on the Splendor?
2,046 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by Georgia Peach2

Carnival made our hotel arrangements for Thursday night at the Sheraton & flight arrangements for Friday. And if you asked us right when we disembarked, that would’ve been exactly what we wanted. But once we had a hot shower, a decent meal, and a good night’s sleep we decided, hey, let’s explore San Diego while we’re here. So we called Carnival to change our flight to Sunday…certainly NOT expecting them to cover our hotel for the next 2 nights. However that is what they offered to do, as well as give us a daily stipend for food.
Wow! Carnival really did go to great lengths to try and make it up to y'all, that's great!
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North Carolina
758 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Though certainly not what one would plan for vacation, I must say your attitude about the whole thing is fantastic. And on another note, I don't think anyone can have a bad thing to say about the way Carnival has handled this mucked up situation. Accidents happen, it's a fact of life. It's why they are called accidents. However, they have gone above and beyond to compensate everyone for something that can be called nothing short of a disaster.
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Allen, Tx
35 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
It sounds like your group made the best of a difficult situation! I would bet your free cruise will be something really special!
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Lancaster, PA
834 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Attitude, attitude, attitude! It's what will get you through most ANYTHING! As long as it's a GOOD attitude, that is...

Glad you made it home ok. Glad you made it into an adventure...
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Long Island, New York
1,256 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Better read than the Poisoden Adventure I would have had a melt down. I HOPE YOUR NEXT CRUISE EXCEEDS ALL YOUR EXPECTATIONS
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Thunder Bay Ontario
3,875 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
I think CC members are in a class of their own. Most of the posters who were on the Splendor and posted here had a very positive attitude - yes things were bad but they faced it and made the best of it. I think exchanging stories, ideas, opinions etc over the years gives us all a go with the flow attitude - "we can't change things but we can make the best of it". Thank you poster and to the rest of you - WE RULE
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so. cal.
3,535 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Well with lightening delaying your plane, I think you brough the bad luck with you. So now we know who was at fault. Just kidding. I am glad you were able to make the best of the situation. Hope fully your next cruise will be awesome.
7,085 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I rarely believe what I hear on the news anymore, so its nice to hear from someone who was actually there!!
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Near Houston, TX
4,949 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Thank-you so much for sharing your review of the trip with us!!!
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