My wife and I are thinking about going on the Carnival Splendor in April, but have some concerns. First, I understand that one of the stops in Mexico is cancelled, so what happens. How bad are the waiting lines to board, to leave, for food, etc.
The Mexico situation is fluid. I read that Carnival is working closely with the Mexican officials in an effort to make sure the main tourist areas of Mazatlan are secure. The cruises in April have not been changed yet to my knowledge and still include Mazatlan so far. The cruises that were changed were switched to two days at Cabo. Again, the situation is fluid and this could change. Sorry I can't help with the lines question.
They are replacing the stop in Mazatlan with a second day in Cabo San Lucas. I have been on this cruise, trust me... Cabo is a much better place to go. Some people are also choosing to stay overnight in Cabo (at their expense) instead of returning to the ship. But having 2 days to explore Cabo is not a bad trade off.
Having said that, the situation in Mazatlan could change by the time you take your cruise in April and they may stop there for your cruise. Carnival is working closely with the authorities and will resume the port when things are safe. Note that the cruise passengers were never in danger but its better to be safe than sorry is the stance Carnival has taken.
As for your other questions, the lines were not bad. Getting off the ship at the end of the cruise was a bit confusing because the baggage claim and customs clearance procedures were not the best organized. But I have heard that when John Heald was the cruise director, he helped change tings up in order to move things along, so maybe that problem is resolved.
Other than that it was a Fantastic cruise. I would go again even without Mazatlan.
wow, thank you for the prompt replies...still have some questions that I hope you don't mind answering. First, we are looking at booking a balcony room(not spa) can we smoke in our room. Is there going to be a lot of noise to deal with and is the room a good size.
Dining- for the formal nights, do I have to wear a jacket or is a shirt and khakis, or dress pants fine and what about my wife, can she wear a simple shirt and matching slacks or does it have to be dressier. If you dine at the steak house, I understand there is a $30 fee, but if you do go there, can you get seconds, for example an extra lobster tail?
Finally, how bad are the crowds on the ship, is there a lot of lining up involved for pretty much everything.
I can answer some of the questions. The Standard Balcony Cabin is 185 sf. with a 35 sf. balcony. They are of good size in my opinion. The noise is always subjective to cabin location and other factors. Empress Deck would be a good pick as you would have decks of cabins on top and bottom instead of say the Galley or Dance Club. Yes, you can smoke in all cabins on all Carnival ships *except Spa Cabins.
The Dress Attire described is perfectly acceptable on Cruise Elegant nights. It has became more relaxed in recent years. Sorry can't help with the extra lobster tail in the Steakhouse question. I would like to know the answer to that myself.
I'll answer the others- Steakhouse.. nope, the $30 covers one serving. Though you probably won't want more. The porterhouse steak I had was bigger than the plate and about an inch and a half thick. The lobster tails are huge Main Lobsters, not the little tails you get in the main dinning room.
Lines on board- no, I did not observe any lines that were what I would consider to be long. IF you went to the buffet at the peak serving time there would be a line but they have 4 buffet lines so it was never bad. Some ships (like the Victory) do not have enough buffet service lines so there would get to be a long wait, but the Splendor does not have this issue. The ship is plenty big so it does not feel crowded. I don't think you will have an issue there.
Every Carnival ship I've saled on has had such wonderful food in the main dining room that I've not tried the extra pay restaurants. I did try the ones on the Emerald Princess and can attest to the fact that the portions are so huge, I know you wouldn't want another lobster tail. My hubby had the lobster in the Crown Grill on the Emerald and it covered a serving platter, it was huge. He didn't get it with a steak, just two huge lobster tails.
Be sure to try the chocolate melting cake, at least once, it is awesome! We're doing the Mexican Riviera in December. I, too, have no clue it Mazatlan will be there or not. Although I'd like to experience the "Love Boat" itinerary, it will not hurt my feelings if the port is cancelled.
Even on Carnival's smaller ships, like the Jubilee and the Holiday, I didn't think the lines were that bad. Like Jim said, at peak times, they can be a bit of a wait, but I've never stood there for more than 15 minutes. We try not to eat when everyone else is, but sometimes you just can't avoid it.
I honestly believe you will enjoy the Splendor, she's a beautiful ship. We've not sailed her, but have seen her in ports. I believe she's about the same size as the Valor, which I sailed last May. If it's the same layout, which I think it is, she's very easy to navigate.
You won't miss Mazatlan. Theres really nothing there except stuff to buy that you can get anywhere else. The wife and I have been to Mexico 2 times and we are going again in Sept of this year and I hope they cancel Mazatlan and replace it with an extra nite in Cabo. Much prettier port, although the locals can be a bit aggressive with their sales tactics. I would be happy going to Cabo for 2 nites and maybe check out the night life or at least just relax on the ship and enjoy the scenery. When we booked this cruise we had allready decided we weren't getting off the boat in Mazatlan and it had nothing to do with the drug lords and crime. It's just an ugly port and town. More fun to stay on the boat and have your pick of lounge chairs and relax. If you do go and want to do an excursion in Cabo check out the Americas cup sailing adventure. You sail on one of 2 Anericas Cup sailing boats that were used in the races. We did it the last time we went 2 yrs ago and had a blast. It's a hands on sail and you actually race the other ship. Lots of fun.
Hi goducks, welcome to CruiseReviews! We did the America's Cup sailing in St. Maarten. It was a blast. I had planned on snorkeling in Mazatlan, but if it's cancelled, then we'll go snorkeling in another port. It will just be a new itinerary for us since we normally do the Caribbean. I'm looking forward to the cruise, Mazatlan or not
I hope you and your wife have a marvelous cruise in September!