Mar 06 2011

My Top Ten Carnival Splendor Tips

Carnival Splendor had a rough season this year, but she’s back in service now and good as new.  Just back from a week-long cruise to the Mexican Riviera aboard Splendor, I have some tips to offer others cruising on this ship.

  1. Best place to eat when dining on the Lido buffet: Go up the stairs behind the dessert bar to the Rotisserie area, where it’s much less crowded and you can almost always find a place to sit by the window.
  2. Best deck when coming into port: Go through the “secret doors” (all the way to the front of the ship, may be at the left or right side with or without high wind warning signs) on decks 6, 7, 9, or 10 and you’ll have the same view the captain has from the bridge.  This was especially beautiful when coming into Cabo San Lucas.
  3. Best entertainment: If you like country music, be sure to catch Chris Ray either in the lobby or at the Piano Bar.  He’s a one-man show, just him and his guitar, and though he neither plays the piano nor has much singalong participation in the singalong shows, he’s a good singer.
  4. Best dining choice: Your Time Dining offers Main Dining Room flexibility; you can eat at any time between 5:45 and 9:00 p.m.  It was nice to be able to eat a little earlier some nights and a little later on others.
  5. Best drinks: The free ones!  If you’ve cruised with Carnival in the past, you’ll get invitations to the Past Guest Party, and the Fun Farewell Party on the last evening also offers free drinks.
  6. Best bargain: A 1A room with portholes.  There are only a few of these on the ship, so book early.  Our room, 2211, had a single bed and comfortable sofabed, plenty of space to move about, and two portholes from which we could see the weather and watch the sea.
  7. Best appetizer in the main dining room: I loved the creamy chilled fruit soups.  Give them a try to see if you agree.
  8. Best early-afternoon snack: Ask for a basket of chips from the Burrito Bar, and enjoy some of the tasty salsa with them.  The Burrito Bar is open from 12-2:30 most days.
  9. Best place to curl up with a book (or a Nook)–sea days: On cooler days, the cover over the Lido pool was closed, allowing the sun to peek in but keeping out the chilly wind.  It was a hit in my book.
  10. Best place to curl up with a book–port days: Serenity Deck adults-only area.  The padded deck chairs are comfortable and the winds are calm on port days.  On sea days it can be quite windy there.

Have you sailed on Splendor?  What were your favorites?

To learn more about my Splendor cruise, visit my Carnival Splendor Review on Cruise Critics.

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5 Comments to “My Top Ten Carnival Splendor Tips”

  1. [...] My Top Ten Carnival Splendor Tips Tips from an Expert First-Time Cruiser Planning Your First Cruise addthis_url = ''; addthis_title = 'Cruises+for+Large+Families'; addthis_pub = ''; [...]

  2. Spring Break Family Idea? Take a Cruise! on 14 Mar 2011 at 9:00 am

    [...] Linda (minnemom) writes about family travel at Travels with Children, where she offers her Top Ten Carnival Splendor Tips. [...]

  3. [...] my husband and I sailed on Carnival Splendor recently, we had one free day in Los Angeles.  We debated at length what we should do during that [...]

  4. [...] Getaways Before our cruise, I joked that I’d be happy anywhere as long as there wasn’t snow.  Imagine my dismay [...]

  5. [...] two cruises, one on Carnival Liberty to the Western Caribbean and eastern Mexico, and the other on Carnival Splendor to the Mexican Riviera.  We enjoyed these cruises as a couple, but wondered what it would be like [...]

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