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Joel

Age: 53

Occupation:Professional Numismatist

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Splendor

Sailing Date: 03-31-2009

Itinerary: Baja California

Wonderful new ship - but too large and too crowded. With over 3000 passengers there seemed to be constant lines and crowds. This is a good ship for those who like crowds or families who want to bring the kids along. It is not a good choice for someone who wants a quiet, relaxing vacation.

Dining rooms are pleasant. Our waiter was attentive and friendly. Food was tasty, but not gourmet.
The Buffet is a disaster, with long, slow lines and mediocre food. It would frequently run out of beverages. It is poorly laid out so that guests have to dodge one another to get around.
Hamburger grill, pizza stand, sandwich stand, etc. all had good food and helpful staffers, but again, there were frequently long lines.

We had a wonderful, large (by cruise ship standards) balcony room. Room was comfortable and the staff was friendly and attentive.

Musical entertainment in the bars and nightclubs was very good. The nightly shows were excellent. The Cloud 9 Spa is very nice, but the staff seems more interested on selling you product to take home than providing you with the services requested. You have to be careful, as they tried to charge us for post-treatment products even though we did not request any. It is a good ship to get drunk on. There must be something like 20 bars. The cocktail waitresses we encountered however were tended to be unfriendly and unhelpful, unlike most of the other crew and staff of the ship.

We took the Blowhole tour in Ensenada. Really not much to see. There are a lot nicer towns in Mexico than Ensenada.

We enjoyed Kayaking and Snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas. We recommend that excursion. Just wish we could have spent more time in that port. We only had a few hours there.

We had a pleasant trip, however I would not take the Splendor again. Getting around the ship was often difficult due to the number of people on board. There are long waits for the elevators (much faster to take the stairs). Numerous photographers and tables selling merchandise often blocked the aisles, which made crowding worse and getting round more difficult. Pool area and hot tubs were usually crowded, making it difficult to enjoy. I spent far too much time trying to on and off the ship at ports due to the large number of people aboard. The ship was late leaving Cabo San Lucas as it took an hour longer than planned to get all the passengers back on board.

There were a lot of kids on board (over 600)! and they seemed to be having a good time (or at least running around and making a lot of noise). There were a number of activities especially for children and youth.

For the most part, the crew and staff were very friendly and helpful.

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