Carnival Splendor

Splendor in Martinique

Carnival Splendor

While officially part of Carnival’s Conquest class, the Splendor is a unique ship in a class of its own somewhere in between the Conquest and Dream classes. At a length of 952 feet, with double occupancy passenger capacity of 3,002 and max passenger capacity of 4,914, it is a bit larger than the other conquest class ships. It has unique features like a mini splash park for small children. Other differences include the sky dome placed near the front of the ship rather than rear and the movie screen at the forward end of the lido. Splendor also has more variety in its itineraries than many other ships.  It has a number of home ports with sailings out of Miami, New York, Norfolk VA and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The ship’s registry is from Panama.  Splendor is most famous for its mishap in 2010 when it lost power due to an engine fire and had to be towed to shore.  The ship now carries multiple generators.

Carnival Splendor splash park

splash park for small children (water is off in this photo)

The ship holds 1150 crew and has a cruising speed of 22.5 knots. Built in 2008 by Fincantieri Navali Italanie Shipyard in Genova, Sestri/Ponente Italy, it has a pearls themed décor most evident in the Black Pearl and Gold Pearl dining rooms and by all the pink spots on the walls throughout the ship. Much of the décor in other places has circular patterns as well.

Carnival Splendor decor

pink pearl dots adorn walls throughout the ship

Décor in some areas of the ship looks reminiscent of an old fashioned steamship ocean liner. It has models of the 1930’s ships Queen Mary and Normandie displayed at the stern of the lido, which is decorated to resemble the Queen Mary.

Splendor ship decor

model of old steamship

The ship design and décor of the Splendor differs from other Carnival ships as this ship was originally intended for Costa so much of the décor is done to European taste rather than American. It includes nudity in statues and paintings around the ship which the Europeans are more comfortable with due to the ancient Greek and Roman statues they are accustomed to seeing.

inside Carnival Splendor

decor inside the Lido restaurant resembles an old steamship

The Splendor has 13 passenger decks. Some have guest rooms, some public areas, and some both. The Sky Deck containing the mini golf course is labeled as deck 14, while the next deck down called the Sun Deck is Deck 12. Deck 13 apparently does not exist. You can actually go one level higher than deck 14 at the entrance to the waterslide, but it is just a little platform for entering the slide rather than an actual deck. Great view though.

Carnival Splendor waterslide

waterslide on Carnival Splendor

Guest cabin categories include everything from low-priced inside rooms to much more expensive suites. There are several categories of each room type, with higher decks increasing the price as well as larger and fancier rooms or suites. Each room includes dispensers of shampoo and shower gel in the shower and a couple bars of soap and a few product samples in a bowl on the bathroom counter so plan on bringing most of your own toiletries. Spa cabins have a number of spa products in little bottles in their bathroom, which are replenished throughout the cruise. Spa cabins also include use of the thermal suite at the spa so naturally they come with a higher price than regular cabins.

inside the Carnival Splendor

Black Pearl Dining Room

Splendor has two main dining rooms, a Lido buffet with a variety of food stations serving different types of food, and for those who want a culinary experience and not just a meal it has a steakhouse. Most itineraries include one or two elegant nights and for the rest the dining room dress code is cruise casual. Elegant nights do not require gowns or tuxes. The dining room dress code for elegant nights just bans shorts, t-shirts, jeans, flip-flops and sportswear in addition to the normal nightly ban on cut-off jeans, men’s sleeveless shirts, gym or basketball shorts, baseball hats or caps, beach flip-flops and bathing suit attire. Anyone not wishing to abide by the dress code of the evening can always eat dinner at the Lido buffet where the food choices include pizza and ice cream 24 hours a day as well as a number of different things served at mealtimes. Room service has a limited menu, but it is free any time of day. Dining room menus are available in Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, and Italian as well as in English.

Carnival Splendor steakhouse

Steakhouse Chefs

It you’re sailing on the Splendor and want a really good meal, try the steakhouse. It costs extra, but they work wonders with the food there. I had a meal that included a salad with blue cheese and tiramisu for dessert. I don’t like blue cheese or coffee, yet both those dishes tasted good.

Carnival Splendor

Lido pool area with the sky dome closed

Carnival recently revised their smoking policy to ban smoking on stateroom balconies. It is still allowed on the starboard side of the open upper decks 10 and 11 and in select areas of the casino and at a bar and nightclub. People who wish to avoid smoke may not want to book rooms on deck 6, particularly near the midship or forward stairs as smoke from the casino sometimes wafts up the stairways there during busy times.

Carnival Splendor movie screen

movie screen on Lido

According to Hotel Director Niksa Pelic, it’s not the décor or the boat itself that makes the ship, it’s the crew. People have a far more enjoyable time on their vacation if the crew is friendly, the ship clean, and the food and service good.

Carnival Splendor putt putt golf

Pirate themed mini golf course

Middle class people are Carnival’s typical customers and everything from more casual attire being allowed in the dining rooms and steakhouse to the level of service from the cabin stewards is aimed toward that demographic. The stewards are quite adaptable though and will adjust the service given to a particular cabin to what the occupant wants. For instance they don’t automatically fill the ice buckets, but if a person asks for ice then their bucket is normally filled for the rest of the cruise. On some ships bathrobes are found in the closet at boarding, but if they are not there they will be brought to the cabin upon request. I’ve only once had to ask, and can’t remember now which ship that was.

Carnival Splendor in the Caribbean

Splendor at the dock on a port stop

Splendor is unofficially scheduled for 2.0 upgrades in March 2016, but they will be minimal rather than a full ship overhaul. The ship already had new engines and generators installed after the fire. Most likely they will add popular features like Guy’s Burgers and the Alchemy Bar, but not update the décor. If the washers and dryers in the self-serve laundries have not been upgraded from the sort that takes quarters to the newer ones that use the sail and sign cards before it gets the 2.0 upgrades, it should get them at that time. In the meantime if you sail on the Splendor plan ahead if you want to do laundry while the ship is in port because if the front desk runs out of quarters they won’t get more until the casino opens when the ship gets underway, so get your quarters at the casino ahead of time.

Copyright My Cruise Stories 2014

About LBcruiseshipblogger

MyCruiseStories blog tells stories about adventures in cruising on ships big and small. Things to do onboard and in port. Anything connected to cruising. Also food, travel, recipes, towel animals, and the occasional random blog.
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9 Responses to Carnival Splendor

  1. Margo says:

    Good story,enjoyed the tips.

  2. aFrankAngle says:

    I’ve never been on a Carnival ship, and odds are I won’t because our styles differ. Nonetheless, good review!

    • I’m quite the opposite. I look for the best price and often find it through Carnival, so I have been on more of Carnival’s ships than those of any other cruise line. I enjoy every cruise. Every ship big or small has something to offer. Everyone looks for different things. This particular cruise we had my grandson along so a ship with a waterslide was a must.

  3. As you know, I’ve had laundry on the brain this week, so I must ask: what are the hours of the Splendor’s self-serve laundromat? I’m not saying that I would take a cruise just to do laundry, but it is a plus to know that one can wash one’s clothes on a cruise ship.

    • Tough question. They did have a sign posted on the laundry door with the hours. I read it once. If I remember right it said it was open from 8am to 10pm, but I’m not guaranteeing that I remembered that correctly. Passengers can also opt to have the crew do laundry for them. Carnival has self-serve laundries on all their ships. So far I have not come across any other cruise lines with that option so sending laundry out for the crew is usually the only option other than handwashing if you need laundry done during a cruise. Of course laundry service is not free for the average passenger. Free laundry service is often a perk for suite guests or people who have a lot of points in that cruise line’s loyalty program (which means they have sailed many times with that cruise line.)

  4. chris says:

    Laundry can get expensive on the ship. They charge per item not per load if you send it out.

    • That’s one of the benefit of ships that have launderettes where you can do your own laundry because then you can do it by the load. Free laundry service is often a benefit for people who cruise with the same cruise line enough times to make it up to one of the higher levels of their loyalty programs so that’s a good benefit for frequent cruisers.

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