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Quick Splendor Review (No pictures)


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I sent this review in to CC and it's on the Splendor portion of their reader reviews.  Thought I'd stick it up here since I'm too lazy to do a stand-alone review for this page. We were on this cruise in February.  If you have any questions, just ask.

 

The best time to cruise the Mexican Riviera is between December and February due to the number of humpback whales that reside off Cabo San Lucas during that time. Alaska isn't the only destination for whale watching.

Drove to the port of Long Beach and was faced with a parking lot that was closed. We had an 11:30 check-in time but weren't allowed to enter the lot until noon. Once inside the terminal we were directed to the Priority line and which had next to no wait. Dropped our backpacks off in our cabin and headed to the lido deck for a buffet lunch.

Muster was relatively fast and finished before sail away. 

Entertainment: We only went to one show, Studio VIP, which was OK. Enjoyed the live music around the ship throughout the cruise. Never made it to the comedy show, even though we say we're going to at every sailing. 

Dining: We initially had a booth and requested a change through the Maitre 'd for the following evening and through the rest of the cruise. Went from table 414 to table 529, which is a 6 top. Ended up going to the dining room only one night. The service on that one night was efficient. 

Visited the steakhouse for a filet and some of the new sides. The price keeps going up, now at $38 pp, and I'm not convinced the food is worth that amount of money. We also made a reservation for the Chef's Table which was wonderful. Tipping is added to the Chef's Table cost at 18%.

No Guy's Burgers on the Splendor, but the burger bar offers the old favorites of chips and cheese sauce, grilled onions, chili and fries. Tandoor is always a crowd pleaser as is the pizza and deli. The couple times I visited the deli there was only one food preparer which increased the wait. The deli menu has changed as well to pre-made sandwiches. I'm not a huge fan of ball park mustard and my ham and cheese sandwich had a little too much smeared on it. There are a few buffet items I always enjoy and these were absent. Lunch in the buffet now offers some layer cakes that are quite good, though these replaced some of my old favorites like the Napoleans. 

Service: Carnival tends to have personable employees and this is true on the Splendor. For the most part, employees that interact with guests are pleasant and helpful. Cabin was cleaned thoroughly each day and robes provided when asked.  

Excursions: Booked Salsa and Salsa in Mazatlan. We were directed to an open-air tram for the 20 minute ride to Mazatlan's Golden Zone and a hotel. There were about 80 of us all together and we shared tables for 10 where we made Margaritas and several different salsas. The tables were set up in the outdoor, though covered, area of the hotel. It was breezy and very cold. Servers brought pool towels around to all so we could wrap up and keep warm. Once done with the salsa and Margaritas, we all learned the steps to the salsa dance. At the end, we were allowed to have some time on our own before being placed in taxis for the return trip to the pier. 

Puerto Vallarta had the Rhythm of the Nights excursion waiting for us. I would invite other cruisers to look up cruise line reviews of this excursion. This was one of the best excursions I've ever been on and we're planning on going again during our next Mexican Riviera cruise. The food was good, the entertainment fantastic, and the island of Las Caletas is just beautiful. 

We stayed on the ship at Cabo San Lucas, parked on our balcony with binoculars watching the whales breach off the point of Cabo San Lucas. We've done a whale watching excursion there before and it was very, very good.

The last two sea days were spent watching Dive In Movies by the pool, snacking and napping. Love the popcorn for the movies and I ended up bringing a box back to the cabin for later. We attended the veteran's appreciation meeting in the theater. It's a nice gesture by the cruise line and is usually well attended by veterans and their families.

Disembarkation: We were directed to the Black Pearl dining room for priority disembarkation. The staff asked all to line up their luggage in order of arrival at the dining room. This was our placeholder in line. When it was time, we stood by our suitcases and were lead out. We were in our car by 8:00 in the morning.

Though the Splendor isn't my favorite ship, the Mexican Riviera is one of my favorite itineraries. We'll be back and ready for more fun soon.

 

Cabin 8C 7340 
 
Basic balcony cabin. Fridge worked great when I cracked the cabinet door a bit to allow for some air circulation. Mattress for me was too soft and I ended up with a backache. I like a squishy pillow and these weren't as squishy as I like. Except for kids running up and down the halls yelling at each other, the room was quiet. TV screen is smaller than some ships I've been on. Thermostat is nothing more than a dial on the wall by the bathroom. Turn it to the blue area to cool and the red area to warm. Seemed to work fine. The balcony itself had a whole lot of paint chips scattered around and never felt clean. One of the chairs had a gift from a seagull that had stained the back of the chair. I never wanted to sit in that one. The steward never asked if we wanted morning or evening service. Just gave us both.

 

Edited by fyree39
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39 minutes ago, marcia014 said:

Thank you for the review.  I leave in 2 weeks and am so excited to do the Mexican Riviera for the very first time!

Do you have some excursions booked? The Rhythms of the Night was surprisingly good! The two vocalists were very, very talented. I highly recommend it! The trip over to the island on the catamaran is a fun adventure in itself. Two thumbs up!

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44 minutes ago, fyree39 said:

Do you have some excursions booked? 

 

I booked whale watching in Cabo and zip lining in PV (neither are ship excursions).  Not sure what to do in Mazatlan.  Due to the security concerns, I don't want to book independently but none of the ship excursions look exceptional.  If I end up spending the day on the ship, that would be fine, too!!

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45 minutes ago, marcia014 said:

 

I booked whale watching in Cabo and zip lining in PV (neither are ship excursions).  Not sure what to do in Mazatlan.  Due to the security concerns, I don't want to book independently but none of the ship excursions look exceptional.  If I end up spending the day on the ship, that would be fine, too!!

 

We went horseback riding through Maria's Happy Horses  in Mazatlan and I cannot recommend it enough.  They pick you up right outside the cruise terminal, take you to Stone Island for the horseback riding, and then you can stay on Stone Island for as long as you want before they take you back.  Really enjoyable way to spend the day and although I went a few months ago, I never felt the least bit unsafe.  

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Mazatlan:  This was my first time in this city and I was floored at the number of caucasian tourists/residents.  The city is  like any large town you'd find in the US, with multi-story apartments and hotels, restaurants and shops.  Many, many Americans buy homes in Mazatlan and it's really driven up the price of real estate.

 

Americans are afraid of Mexico, which is funny because if you're Mexican living in Mexico, there are travel advisories for Mexicans against travel to the U.S. due to all of our gun violence. Mexicans see US as the gun nuts shooting each other on roads, in restaurants and in our schools.

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8 hours ago, southbayer said:

Thanks, I'm surprised no Guys Burgers, they already have them on the smaller fantasy class ships:classic_unsure:

The Miracle doesn't have them either: The 2 large ships Carnival gave to California.  The Panorama will have all the fun eateries.  With luck, she'll stay on the west coast for years to come.

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11 hours ago, jtnokia said:

Thanks for the review. We head out in a few days and I was wonderings if there was a place for snacks throughout the day? If there is a restaurant open during embarkation?

The only thing open during embarkation is the Lido buffets. Tandoor is open for lunch as is the deli (aft on deck 9), the burger area, pizza (mid ship by the pool) and the usual steam tables with buffet style foods. There's a ham and pasta dish in the steam tables on embarkation day that, for me, is particularly good. No MDR for embarkation day.  It's open for brunch on sea days only.

 

If you DO go to brunch and like popovers, you have to ask for them.  They're no longer just brought to the table (*****?!). We sat in Kadek's station, who we had in the MDR for early seating on our October Hawaii cruise, and he filled me in on this latest attempt at saving money.

 

As for snacks, you'll have to go back to the places I just mentioned. The coffee shop has sweets after noon for a price, cakes and such. For savory it will again be the lido deck. Of course, the ice cream is always available. Between about 3:30 and 6:00 there's really nothing but ice cream and pizza.  Same with late night foods.  Oh, there might be a midnight buffet, but I'm out like a like by then.

41 minutes ago, JaniceB said:

Thanks for the review.  How is the weather during the best months for whales?

It's mild.  "Cold" would be in the 50s, so bring a jacket or sweatshirt. We tend to cruise in Jan-Feb each year and it's always on the cool side.  Of course, the ship ALWAYS feels cold to me and when you then step out into cool weather on the weather decks it makes me wonder why we don't ever cruise in July.

 

It can rain, of course, so if you're planning a cruise to the Mexican Riviera in the winter months, check the forecast and pack accordingly. We had a very wet winter here on the west coast so we had a couple of days where there were squals and the seas were temperamental. But port days were dry and cool (high 50s with a breeze).

 

 

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On 3/13/2019 at 9:15 AM, fyree39 said:

The only thing open during embarkation is the Lido buffets. Tandoor is open for lunch as is the deli (aft on deck 9), the burger area, pizza (mid ship by the pool) and the usual steam tables with buffet style foods. There's a ham and pasta dish in the steam tables on embarkation day that, for me, is particularly good. No MDR for embarkation day.  It's open for brunch on sea days only.

 

If you DO go to brunch and like popovers, you have to ask for them.  They're no longer just brought to the table (*****?!). We sat in Kadek's station, who we had in the MDR for early seating on our October Hawaii cruise, and he filled me in on this latest attempt at saving money.

 

As for snacks, you'll have to go back to the places I just mentioned. The coffee shop has sweets after noon for a price, cakes and such. For savory it will again be the lido deck. Of course, the ice cream is always available. Between about 3:30 and 6:00 there's really nothing but ice cream and pizza.  Same with late night foods.  Oh, there might be a midnight buffet, but I'm out like a like by then.

It's mild.  "Cold" would be in the 50s, so bring a jacket or sweatshirt. We tend to cruise in Jan-Feb each year and it's always on the cool side.  Of course, the ship ALWAYS feels cold to me and when you then step out into cool weather on the weather decks it makes me wonder why we don't ever cruise in July.

 

It can rain, of course, so if you're planning a cruise to the Mexican Riviera in the winter months, check the forecast and pack accordingly. We had a very wet winter here on the west coast so we had a couple of days where there were squals and the seas were temperamental. But port days were dry and cool (high 50s with a breeze).

 

 

 

Thank you for letting me know. It isn't like Princes and Royal where they have that 24-hour snack place. Even if they did have an MDR open, they most likely will guide you to the buffet anyway. Thanks again. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/9/2019 at 3:08 PM, fyree39 said:

Do you have some excursions booked? The Rhythms of the Night was surprisingly good! The two vocalists were very, very talented. I highly recommend it! The trip over to the island on the catamaran is a fun adventure in itself. Two thumbs up!

We are on the upcoming April 20th sailing for Mexican Rivera.  This will be our 4th time so it's safe to say we love this itinerary.  We did the Rhythms of the Night excursion for the first time on our last trip.  Loved it so much we booked it again for next week.  You are absolutely correct when you say the trip over and back on the catamaran is a fun adventure in itself!  Its like getting a two for one excursion.  

Edited by MT_Sea_Cruisers
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