Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
mrscastle

May 21-27 Splendor Review (Nassau, Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, Amber Cove)

Recommended Posts

I got off the Carnival Splendor just a few hours ago and am chilling in a hotel room in Miami before going to a Marlins game tonight and flying home tomorrow. I thought I'd get a head start on a thorough review, as I was obsessed with reading them in the weeks and months up to our cruise. There was good and bad, and not all the bad was necessarily the fault of Carnival or the ship (nor could all the good be attributed to it! :p)

 

So, to start off, a few details:

  • The cruise was six days, with ports in Nassau, Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, and Amber Cove. We did non-Carnival excursions in Nassau and Amber Cove.
  • I traveled with my husband of six years (both in our 30s) my son (age 3), my parents (mid 60s) and my sister and brother-in-law (also in their 30s)
  • We all had balcony cabins on deck 6, mid-ship.
  • My husband and I, as well as sister and BIL, got the Cheers package. We also got the Premium Internet package.
  • The ship, which holds 3,000, was sold out (or so it was told to me)

Pictures will accompany! I'll try to start with our pre-cruise day in Fort Lauderdale sometime today!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back! Looking forward to reading all about your cruise and seeing your pictures. :cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can also count me in as looking forward to your Review. We just booked this same itinerary for Spring Break with our kids next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can you confirm that the aft pool was adults only again.

 

Yes, there was a sign that said adults only and, although I didn't spend much time there thanks to that pesky 3-year-old, I never saw kids there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yes, there was a sign that said adults only and, although i didn't spend much time there thanks to that pesky 3-year-old, i never saw kids there.

 

Awesome!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, there was a sign that said adults only and, although I didn't spend much time there thanks to that pesky 3-year-old, I never saw kids there.

 

 

So happy to hear. Hope still that way by the end of November.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

love to know what you did in the ports. How was the entertainment? How did you get to MIA from Port Everglades? thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello from the friendly skies! Well, they're friendly so far, but no one seems to have a birthday cake on board. We're in route from Miami to Chicago, because we thought it would be an awesome idea to take one of the most inconvenient ways home to Baltimore. I purchased the Internet plan, so I could do some "work" (and if my husband asks, that's definitely what I'm doing), but of course, not a single password I've ever created will work on my CruiseCritic account, so I am writing this in Word to post later. And, I swear, I'm also doing work (and listening to the Hamilton for the first time in 10 days, but that's neither here nor there).

 

I gave a little background in my first post, but here's a few more details. We booked this cruise last September or so. Originally, we booked a cruise for this upcoming Labor Day; however, after a few weeks of discussion and mulling, we changed it to the week before Memorial Day. This was most because we didn't want a year for a vacation, but also because my sister is antsy to start a family and, as we're all aware, pregnancy and the Caribbean don't mix well together these days. Therefore, each of us paid the $150 administrative fee to change to this particular cruise. Tip #1: Actually think about when you want to go on a cruise before paying the deposit.

 

I really like going the week before three-day weekends because you get back with at least a day or two to get your bearings and prepare for the week ahead.

 

Also, I'm a writer by profession, and have the professional tendency to write way too much. This is going to be particularly problematic because I'm not immediately posting, so I'll have a few a-ha! Moments and return to add more to the top, which has only happen 4 times so far in writing this.

 

 

Without further ado, let's get started.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DAY ONE

As I mentioned, we live near Baltimore, about 15 minutes south of BWI, so that's obviously where we fly out of. Southwest has a mind-boggling TEN flights from BWI to Fort Lauderdale each day, and I scored us each $64 one-way tickets in December 2016. Coming back was another story, but I'll get to that later. We had a relatively late flight, 1:45 PM, which was a lovely change from the crack-o-dawn flights we usually book when traveling. On the way there, it was just the three of us – my parents inadvertently booked the flight after us, and my sister and BIL were traveling from the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We took a Lyft to the airport, easy-peasy. It's really the way to go these days, unless you have friends or family to drop you off.

 

Now, I tend to get a little frazzled when traveling with the 3-year-old, between the luggage and the logistics and the fact that my toddler is, well...."spirited." So, once we finally checked our bags and go through security (surprisingly light and simple), we settled in at the first restaurant/bar that we saw, ordered lunch and I got started with a Bloody Mary. Vacay, right? Husband enjoyed a couple of beers, and toddler refreshed himself with a stiff glass of water.

 

 

C399F9BE-CF10-4DDB-A5BD-0E37F0E7FF1B_zpsjgboy5xw.jpg

 

 

Anyway, the flight to Fort Lauderdale was uneventful, other than the flight attendant had the audacity to buy us a couple of drinks – service on airplanes these days, I swear! She was a lovely woman who has a 4-year-old and understands the stress of traveling with little ones, so basically, she's a saint and an angel and deserved to be promoted to captain. Tip #2: If you want free drinks on Southwest, pick up a spare toddler along your way.

 

On second thought, don't.

 

One in FLL, we took another Lyft to our hotel, the Hilton Marina. It was a fine hotel, and the pool looked super-lovely on the website, but we never got to it. We walked about a mile to a plaza that had a Total Wine, where we each bought a bottle of wine to bring on the boat. What we obviously did NOT buy was a bottle of grapefruit vodka and spiced rum to put in Rum Runners. We obviously did not do it because though we had already bought the Cheers package, we didn't want to have anything available in our cabin in case we were feeling lazy. And, obviously, I don't like a challenge.

 

So, after we didn't buy those, we had dinner at Carraba's because it was right there and I love pasta. I can't even remember the last time I ate at a chain Italian restaurant, but I was actually pretty impressed with my scallops and linguine with vodka sauce, plus half-price glasses of house wine.

 

By that time, my parents had arrived at the hotel; my sister and brother-in-law arrived shortly after, and we spent the rest of the evening catching up in my parents' hotel room, while the 3-year-old used his aunt and uncle as a personal jungle gym, since he hadn't seen them in about 9 months.

 

Day one, out.

C399F9BE-CF10-4DDB-A5BD-0E37F0E7FF1B.JPG.be3dc35f6ab539308d76e5006e3199dd.JPG

Edited by mrscastle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DAY TWO

Cruise day! The whole gang had purchased Faster to the Fun on my advice, because I tend to think anything that allows you to skip lines is smart. (If you ever head to Jamaica, Club Mobay – on the flight in, anyway – is the smartest thing you will do the entire trip.) Therefore, we weren't super-concerned as to what time we were going to show up to the port, opting for our original check-in time of 11 a.m.

 

Oh, look! You can see the ship from the front of our hotel! How exciting!

 

1D9218C7-6AC6-4377-99EA-CC49A6488629_zpsonqbbzem.jpg

 

After a bagel and coffee breakfast at Einstein's Bagels, about a half-mile from the hotel, we hopped in the hotel's shuttle to Port Everglades ($6 per person; they didn't charge for the toddler, though it was unclear if that was actually the policy.) After dropping two passengers off at Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas (did you know it's the second-largest cruise ship in the world? Because we were told 18 times), the driver let us out at terminal 19, where the Splendor was docked.

 

Drop our bags off, and hit the FTTF line to check in. CRISIS NUMBER ONE. I have my husband and the toddler's passport in my hand, but WHERE THE EFF IS MY PASSPORT? We're searching the floor, assuming I dropped it as I was pulling them out. I'm going to cry. It's not here. I don't have my birth certificate with me because, duh, I have a passport. The woman checking us in goes to get her supervisor, and I start digging through my bag.

 

Oh, there it is. Yeah, I used it as ID the day previously on the flight and didn't return it to its rightful spot. Oops. Crisis averted. Tip #3: Put things back, just like your mama taught you.

 

But, then she says that it won't check in my boarding pass, so I have to go another desk.

By this time, the rest of the group is ahead of us, but they didn't have their trusty travel agent (did I mention that I planned this whole trip? They might have wandered in the ocean without me), they ended up in the area for general boarding. We rounded them up and headed to the priority waiting area, and then I returned to a secondary check-in desk with my passport and boarding pass. There, the lady informed me that it's not checking me in because it says I'm pregnant.

 

I literally laughed in her face. She asked if I'm pregnant, and while I'm not going to judge people who don't know instantaneously when they're pregnant like I did, because I know someone who it happened to, I still laughed in her face and told her that if I was, I've already done a lot of damage to the fetus. While waiting, I texted my husband with this information and he just responded, "ummmmm." After sorting it out and returning to my family, they all congratulated me on my impending non-existent baby.

 

We waited around another 20-30 minutes, and they began boarding at 11:45. We happened to have stationed ourselves immediately in front of the priority boarding door on the left side of the waiting area, so we were the first ones in! Getting on the ship was so easy – picture taken, up the gangway, and there we are in the PINK atrium lobby. OK, I won't harp on the pinkness of the Splendor because any research done on the ship will share that information, but yeah, it's pink. I tuned it out pretty much immediately, though.

 

Because we had FTTF, we immediately headed back to our rooms to drop off our carry-ons. Like I said, we all had mid-ship deck 6 balcony cabins. Ours was configured into a king-sized bed with a sofa for the little one (which we ended up rotating sleeping on because god forbid the little guy sleep by himself through the entire night – even though he does at home). Our room actually wasn't fully ready (but the rest of the groups' were), as the bed hadn't been made, but we just dropped off our bags and left.

 

To be continued...

Edited by mrscastle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
love to know what you did in the ports. How was the entertainment? How did you get to MIA from Port Everglades? thanks

 

The first two questions, I will definitely get to! Unfortunately, we didn't get to experience as much as the entertainment as I would like, but I'll cover what we did see.

 

We took a Lyft from Port Everglades to our Miami hotel. It was about $40.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, there was a sign that said adults only and, although I didn't spend much time there thanks to that pesky 3-year-old, I never saw kids there.

Thanks for the reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The first two questions, I will definitely get to! Unfortunately, we didn't get to experience as much as the entertainment as I would like, but I'll cover what we did see.

 

We took a Lyft from Port Everglades to our Miami hotel. It was about $40.

You did not miss much because the entertainment was the worst in our 35 cruises as far as the theatre shows goes, thank God for the comedians.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm back! Unfortunately, that means I'm also back at work and in front of a computer for the next seven hours. Despite having premium wifi (necessary because my husband is in his final online class for his master's degree), I don't think I've spent so little time on a laptop/phone/internet since around 1998. Two reasons: 1) I really did want to disconnect for the week -- I didn't even want to purchase the wifi, and 2) Despite buying the premium wifi, it was. so. slow. Unless it was a must for you, it really wasn't worth it on this particular ship (I've heard it's better on other ships).

 

IMG_0513_zpscrjgxvuj.jpg

 

Alright, so when I left off, we had just dropped off our bags in our room. We immediately headed to the Lido deck for some food, and given that it was only about 12:15, it was completely empty. Another benefit of FTTF! Around 1:30 or 2, it was jam-packed. We all just ate a hodge-podge of food from the buffet, though I should have taken advantage of the short lines and gotten a burrito! (The one food I never tried.)

 

IMG_0515_zpspui75s2r.jpg

 

Then, of course, it was time to get started with the Cheers package! A quick note on this: Yes, I hit 15 drinks one day, but it was only one day and I wasn't aiming to hit it -- I just happened to go out to the nightclub with my sister and, next thing I knew....However, we really felt like it was worth it for us. I liked being able to get specialty coffee, water to take off the ship and, of course, any drink at any time. The liquor on the ship is pretty good quality -- Grey Goose vodka, Hendricks gin and some whiskeys that I didn't pay attention to, but that my husband liked.

 

Next, we headed up to the Kids Club to register our 3-year-old for the week. Unfortunately, this was really a futile effort, as he didn't want much to do with it. But, we got the cell phone so that they could contact us, and Toddler played for a few minutes (he was super-excited about it at this point).

 

He really wanted to go swimming, though, so we headed back to the room. At this point, it was about 1:30, and our bags had arrived! I had stashed a swimsuit in my carry-on, but it turned out I didn't even need it. Our bed had also been made by this point.

 

We spent the next couple hours in the pool. A quick note on the pool decks -- who the heck designed these and WHY were these materials chosen? The deck was hotter than Hades, and it was very slippery. Therefore, you had to wear your flip-flops until you hit water, and then toss them back over the benches. One day, both me and my toddler fell on the deck because of the slipperiness. I'm surprised there haven't been more complaints!

 

Next, we went back to our rooms, changed and congregated on my sister's balcony with drinks (that were not made of grapefruit vodka and cranberry juice that I had purchased prior to the cruise) to watch sail away from Fort Lauderdale.

 

IMG_0538_zpscwz8j35b.jpg

 

Bye-bye, America! See you in six days!

 

We chose the 6 p.m. dinner (due to the little one; plus, we're just early eaters!) and were assigned a table on the second floor of the black pearl. Our waiter was Achmed, and although he forgot a few things here and there, he had a great personality and remembered our names, favorite drinks, the toddler's nightly dinner order and more. We would also run into him on the Lido deck for breakfast - he must have worked long days!

 

Menu for night one (cruise casual):

IMG_0539%202_zps90fagmjm.jpg

 

IMG_0541%202_zpsp2q9z55i.jpg

 

IMG_0542%202_zpsc258laeh.jpg

 

I ordered the Vietnamese Roll and vegetable lasagna, while toddler had chicken nuggets and fruit. Unfortunately, it had been a long couple days for the toddler, and he started rebelling midway through dinner, so I abandoned my very delicious lasagna and took him back to the room for the night. So, sadly, that ended day two for me.

 

I will be uploading Fun Times as soon as I unpacked and take photos of them!

Edited by mrscastle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few additional photos that didn't make it into previous posts.

 

IMG_0504_zpsorzc5pjf.jpg

 

Priority Waiting Area in the terminal

 

IMG_0535_zps2dube65b.jpg

 

PINK polka-doted bank of elevators!

 

IMG_0526%201_zpsnd2clb4o.jpg

 

Checking out the igloo in Camp Penguin

 

IMG_0531_zpsqpdhzl9w.jpg

 

Swimming with daddy before the pool got overly crowded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so excited to follow this review as I will be on this same itinerary this October.... EXTREMELY happy to know that we will have an adults only pool... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...