Launched in 2008 and slightly larger than Carnival’s earlier Conquest-class ships, the 113,000-ton 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor is just as bright and playful, but with a few tweaks, including a larger playroom and a great water “sprayground” up on deck.
The glittery nine-deck-high atrium is anchored with a bar and is a great place to meet or people watch. In all, there are 22 bars and lounges that play off the ship’s “splendid things” theme, from a sports bar with famous stadiums displayed in glass cases to the Red Carpet disco covered in deep red hues, with mannequins waiting in line behind a classic velvet rope. There’s a piano bar, jazz club and the El Mojito promenade bar that mimics an Old Havana café with Spanish-style columns, lanterns and terracotta floors. The casino packs in almost 300 slot machines and about two dozen gaming tables. The three-level theater is the venue for pull-out-the-stops Vegas-style song and dance productions accompanied by live orchestras.
Dining options include a pair of two-story main restaurants as well as an intimate, extra-cost steakhouse serving USDA prime aged steaks and seafood for a mostly adult clientele looking for a more upscale experience. Meals are also served in the two-story lido buffet where you’ll find separate stations for Asian and American dishes, deli sandwiches, salads, pizza, burgers and more—not to mention a replica of the Statue of Liberty.
The ship’s four swimming pools include the main pool flanked by a pair of huge hot tubs, a stage for live (and really loud) music, and a giant movie screen for videos and ship events. A 3-deck-high spiral water slide takes thrill-seekers on a 214-foot-long ride. For young kids, there’s a great water park with sprinklers and sliding boards.
The 5,500 square-foot Children’s World playroom has an arts-and-crafts station, video wall, computer lab, PlayStation games, and lots of toys for younger children. Hard-to-please tweens have their own separate space and so do teens, theirs with a soda bar and dance floor flowing into a huge video game arcade with air-hockey tables which is open to all passengers. Kid of all ages can have a zap-fest in the inflatable laser tag arena.
The oceanview gym is stocked with the latest exercise machines, while the Cloud 9 Spa measures 21,000 square feet and boasts 17 treatment rooms, plus an elaborate thermal suite and thalassotherapy pool. The adults-only Serenity deck area is a respite of padded chaise lounges, oversized umbrellas and a pair of large hot tubs sequestered from the fray.
Splendor’s standard outside cabins measure a roomy 185 to 220 square feet, and offer amenities like stocked, pay-as-you-go minifridges, robes to use while on board, and super-comfortable mattresses and bedding. Sixty-eight special spa staterooms feature Asian decor and private elevator access to the spa.
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