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Launched in July of 2008, the 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor
is the second-newest and second-largest ship in the Carnival cruise fleet (after the new Carnival Dream), and features many of Carnival's "biggest ever" onboard features as well. When she launched, Carnival Splendor had the largest spa ever built onboard a Carnival cruise ship (at 40,000 square-feet, called Cloud 9 Spa), as well as the largest children's playroom ever onboard a Carnival cruise ship (at 5,500-square feet).
Also found onboard the Splendor, which were new to the Carnival fleet upon her debut, are her spa accommodations. The spa staterooms feature exclusive amenities including private access to the spa and extra in-room luxuries, such as Elemis products and special spa packages. The special spa packages include the following amenities: priority spa appointments (including concierge consultation), complimentary fitness classes (2 classes per person), Carnival Splendor spa towels, bathrobes and slippers (all only for use during the cruise), and unlimited use of the Thalassotherapy Pool and Thermal Suite (a $40 per person per day value).
There's really a ton of things to do onboard the Splendor. From its Serenity adults-only retreat and its giant LED outdoor theatre, to its water park, casino and many dining venues, you're sure to find exactly what you're looking for while onboard the Carnival Splendor.
Carnival Splendor will be featuring cruises in the following regions (subject to change, based on the cruise line's discretion):
2012: Mexico 2013: Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean, South America
Carnival is well known for having staterooms that are larger than that of the industry average. There are many categories of staterooms onboard the Carnival Splendor, from basic interior staterooms to very large suites. New to the Carnival fleet, starting with the Splendor, are spa staterooms. All of Carnival's staterooms onboard this ship come with a private bathroom, hair dryer, flat screen TV and phone. There are connecting staterooms available on the Splendor, for families and friends that want such accommodations.
Interior Staterooms: The most basic (and least expensive) staterooms onboard the Carnival Splendor, known as category 1A staterooms, have upper and lower beds (bunk beds). All other (non-1A) interior staterooms have twin beds that convert to a king-size. So be sure when booking a cruise on this ship that you're aware of the type of bedding you're getting in your stateroom. The category 4S staterooms are interior spa staterooms.
Ocean View Staterooms: Ocean view staterooms onboard the Carnival Freedom feature either an obstructed view (meaning that there's something blocking your view from outside of the ship, such as a lifeboat or beam - found in category 6B staterooms), two portholes (found in category 5A staterooms), a picture window or floor-to-ceiling windows. Category 6E staterooms are ocean view spa staterooms. Ocean view staterooms feature twin beds that convert to a king-size bed.
Balcony Staterooms: A really nice way to enjoy a cruise is in a balcony stateroom. This gives you a private balcony right off of your room. Balcony staterooms feature twin beds that convert to a king-size bed. Category 8S and 8P staterooms are balcony spa staterooms. Category 9A balconies are larger than the other category balcony staterooms.
Suites: There are three types of suites onboard the Carnival Freedom. Category 11 suites are the basic suites (featuring a large private balcony and twin beds that convert to a king-size) while category 12 suites are Penthouse suites (which are larger than the basic suites). Category SS staterooms are spa suites.
Carnival's dining program is called "Total Choice Dining." They call it that because their goal is to give as many choices as possible to their passengers. Breakfast is served in the main dining rooms, on the Lido deck or even in your staterooms (via room service). Lunch can be eaten indoors or outdoors (at a buffet), or (of course) via room service. Dinner is served in the main dining rooms, or in the Supper Club (see below for details). Again, if you're feeling like a meal in your room that is possible as well.
There are two main dining rooms onboard the Carnival Splendor, The Black Pearl Restaurant and The Gold Pearl Restaurant. Breakfast is typically served in the main dining rooms from 7:45 am to 9:00 am. Lunch is usually served there from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm. Dinner is split up into two main seating times. The "main seating" starts at 6:00 pm, while the "late seating" starts at 8:15 pm. Please be aware that Carnival does not guarantee that they will give you the dining time that you've requested when booking (as it is on a request basis only). All dining rooms onboard Carnival are Smoke-Free.
One of the Lido deck's casual dining options is The Lido, serving buffet-style meals. At this particular venue you can enjoy a wide variety of food, including Asian, salads, steak, pasta, chicken and more.
The Supper Club (called The Pinnacle onboard the Carnival Splendor) is Carnival's optional specialty restaurant, typically open from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm. The cover charge for this dining venue is $30 per person (subject to change). Yes, it's not free...but it's worth trying at least once! It's a true upscale meal that's sure to add to your Carnival cruise experience. A typical meal at the Supper Club can take up to 2 hours to complete. Among the entrees on the menu are lobster tail, prime rib, porterhouse steak, filet mignon and lamb chops (subject to change). The Supper Club is available on a reservations-only basis.
The first passenger deck onboard the Carnival Splendor is the Riviera deck. This deck is filled with various interior and ocean view staterooms. The next floor up is the Main deck, also only containing interior and ocean view staterooms.
The third passenger level deck onboard the Splendor is the Lobby deck. Forward on this deck you'll find the first level of the main showroom (called Spectacular Spectacular). Right before the entrance to this theater you'll find The Splendor Lobby, where the Shore Excursions Desk and Information Desk are located. Midship on this deck is the first level of The Black Pearl Dining Room, one of the ship's main dining rooms. At the rear of the ship is the other main dining room onboard the Splendor, The Gold Pearl Dining Room.
The Atlantic deck, which is the next deck up, is where you'll find the second level of Spectacular Spectacular. Also on this deck is the second floor of each of the main dining rooms. Robusto Bar is also located on the Atlantic deck.
On deck 5, the Promenade deck, you'll find the third floor of Spectacular Spectacular, as well as The Fun Shops of Carnival (where you can do some duty-free shopping for popular items such as alcohol, jewelry, perfume and watches). The Royal Flush Casino is also located on this deck, and get quite crowded (especially at night after one of the main shows end). There are quite a few lounges and bars on this deck as well. Among them are Red Carpet, The Cool, El Mojito, Grand Piano and El Morocco (which features a performance stage). Also located on the Promenade deck are Club O2 (the teen club's main area) and a video arcade.
The Upper deck is the sixth passenger deck in the Carnival Splendor. This deck is filled with a wide variety of staterooms, from interior staterooms to various balcony staterooms. The Empress deck is the next deck up on the Splendor. On this deck you'll also find a wide range of staterooms, including quite a few suites. Deck 8, the Verandah deck, is another stateroom-only level on this ship.
Deck 9, the Lido deck, is one of the most popular places to be onboard the Carnival Splendor. This is because on this deck is the ship's main buffet area (known as The Lido), as well as the Splendor's main swimming pool (the Splendido Lido Pool). There is also an outdoor performance stage, located right by the pool (along with a few bars as well). Also on this deck is 24-hour pizzeria, especially great for those looking for a quick late-night snack. Towards the rear of the ship on the Lido deck you'll find the Linear Lido Pool, along with a couple of hot tubs. Forward on this deck are various staterooms.
The Panorama deck, one level up from the Lido deck, is where Camp Carnival (the ship's children's program) is located. Located midship on the Panorama deck is Carnival's popular Seaside Theatre, a 12-foot-high by 22-foot-wide LED screen that shows various shows, sporting events, movies and concerts throughout the day and night. Also on this deck you'll find Rotisserie (serving tasty rotisserie chicken), and some staterooms.
The Cloud 9 Spa is one of the premier onboard features on the Carnival Splendor. Its first level is located on the appropriately named Spa deck (which is deck 11). It's a feature-packed spa, featuring a thalasso pool, oriental steam bath, fitness center, thermal suite, salon, sauna (one for men and one for women) and much more. There are several balcony spa staterooms on this deck as well. Also located on the Spa deck is the fun water park and the Thunderball Pool, where the giant waterslide ends. The Pinnacle, the Supper Club (optional specialty restaurant), is located at the rear of the ship on this deck.
The twelfth deck of the Carnival Splendor is the Sun Deck. Toward the front of the ship on this deck is the second level of the large spa. This portion of the spa features a flotation therapy area, as well as a mud treatment area and two V.I.P. suites (with spa tubs). Serenity, the special adults-only retreat area of the Splendor is located on the Sun deck as well. At the rear of the ship on this deck is the jogging track and sports deck.
On the Sky deck, the highest deck of the Carnival Splendor, you'll find the entrance to the giant waterslide. Also on this deck is the mini golf course. As can be expected, there is usually a lot of kids in this area of the ship.
The casual dining dress code onboard a Carnival cruise is as follows: For men: sport slacks, khakis, jeans (no cut-offs), dress shorts (long), collared sport shirts. For women: Casual dresses, casual skirts or pants and blouses, summer dresses, Capri pants, dress shorts, jeans (no cut-offs). The following is not permitted in the dining room during the Cruise Casual dinner for ladies and gentlemen: gym shorts, basketball shorts, beach flip-flops, bathing suit attire, cut-off jeans, and sleeveless shirts for men.
For those that don't want to dress up, the Lido restaurants are open nightly (except for the last night of the cruise). The Lido restaurants have a casual dress code.
The number of formal nights on a Carnival cruise depends on the length of the cruise. On a 7-Night cruise there will typically be two formal nights. The dress code for children is the same as that for adults.
Carnival calls their Formal Night dress code Casual Elegant and considers it as follows: For men: Dress slacks and dress shirts. A sport coat is suggested. Suites and tuxedos (tuxedo rentals are available on the ship) are also more than welcomed. For women: Cocktail dresses, pantsuits, elegant skirts and blouses. Evening gowns are also a nice way to get dressed up.
Not permitted in the dining room during casual elegant nights are shorts, t-shirts, beach flip-flops, bathing suits, jeans, sleeveless shirts for men, sportswear, and baseball hats.
Carnival has a wonderful supervised youth program onboard each of their ships. This program is split up into three main groups, based on age. Camp Carnival is for 2 through 11 year olds, Circle "C" is for 12 to 14 year olds, and Club O2 is for 15-17 year olds.
Camp Carnival is split further, into three groups. 2 to 5 year olds are in the Toddlers group, 6 to 8 year olds are in the Juniors group, and 9 to 11 year olds are in the Intermediates group. Kids in Camp Carnival get their own special kids' menus, featuring lots of favorites (such as pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken nuggets). Some of the activities that will be available to your kids include board games, reading & story time, finger painting, talent shows, dance parties, video games and lots of outdoor activities.
Circle "C" is a fun time for 12 to 14 year olds. Activities for these kids include various games, dance parties (each night of the cruise), scavenger hunts, pool parties, outdoor movies and more.
Club O2 features video games, teen-only shore excursions, dance parties, pool parties, sports, board games, card games, karaoke and a special Club O2 Lounge. The Club O2 Lounge is dedicated to the kids in the Club O2 program and is a real hot spot on the ship. This area features comfy seating, a state-of-the-art dance floor and multiple video screens.
Babysitting services are available from 10 pm to 3 am, at an additional charge. Babysitting is available for 6 month olds through 11 year olds. The babysitting is offered in Camp Carnival and is provided in a "slumber party" format. During this time kids get to enjoy movies and cartoons. Pillows, blankets and cribs will be available. The cost for this service is $6 per hour for the first child, and $4 per hour for each additional sibling in the same family. In-cabin babysitting services are not available on a Carnival cruise. There is an After Hours program available for 9 to 11 year olds, at the same cost of the babysitting service. This program runs from 10 pm to 12 am, and provides kids with a variety of activities to participate in. Among these activities are board games, karaoke, video games and theme nights. Children are not allowed to sign themselves out of these programs (parents must return to do so).
Carnival automatically charges your onboard account $10 per person per day, to cover for the gratuities for your dining and stateroom staff. The $10 is based on the following guidelines that Carnival recommends:
$3.50 per day for staterooms services
$5.50 per day for dining room services
$1.00 per day for alternative services (distributed to kitchen and other hotel service staff)
For cruises to nowhere, gratuities of $10 per guest per day must be prepaid.
If you're not satisfied in some way with the service you receive while on your cruise, you can go to the main purser's desk and ask them to adjust the gratuities being charged, to any amount you see fit. A 15% charge is automatically added to all beverage purchases. Tipping of room service employees and your Maître d' is at your discretion.
The official minimum drinking age on all Carnival cruise ships is 21 years of age. Proof of age is required.
Guests that are 21 and older are allowed to bring one bottle (750 ml) of wine or champagne per person on the cruise, at embarkation only (the first day of the cruise). A $10 corkage fee will be charged if you'd like them to open the bottle at dinner. A $14 corkage fee will be charged if you'd like them to open the bottle in the Supper Club. All other alcoholic beverages are restricted from being brought onboard at embarkation.
Alcoholic beverages that are purchased at a port of call and are brought onboard the ship will be confiscated at the gangway by the Carnival staff and will be returned to you at the end of your cruise.
The official minimum gambling age on all Carnival cruise ships is 18 years of age. Guests under 18 are not even allowed to be inside the casino. Proof of age is required.