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   Cruise Travel - Cruise Ships


Carnival Cruise Line

MS Carnival Splendor

Rating:Four Stars
Submit your review hereSubmit your review
Operator: Carnival Cruise Lines
Year Built / Last Refurbished: 2008 / 2008
Length / Tonnage: 951 / 113,000
Number of Cabins / Passengers: 1,487 / 2,974
Officers / Crew: Italian / International
Operating Area: Year round Mediterranean

The 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor is a new class of vessel for Carnival, with a number of innovative new features, including a luxurious 21,000-square-foot spa -- the largest in the “Fun Ship” fleet. Carnival Splendor is scheduled to launch Carnival’s first-ever northern European cruise program July 13, 2008.

Public Areas
The CARNIVAL SPLENDOR features an interior design theme that celebrates “Splendid Things,” a celebration of the magnificent, lustrous and elegant.

“When I thought about the name of this ship, it brought to mind all the splendid things there are in the world,” said Joe Farcus, Carnival’s ship architect. “The central idea that ties the rooms together is the concept of fine, luxurious, sumptuous elegance. So we used elements like pearls, gold leaf and wood grains to give the ship a feeling of richness,” he added.

The center of it all is the Splendor Atrium, which Farcus describes as “pure design.” The walls are decorated with a composite material made of stainless steel and four-inch circular cutouts backed by pink-stained wood with black pigment rubbed into the grain, along with gold-leaf beams and arches illuminated with hundreds of sparkling lights.

The atrium balcony and main staircases carry on the stainless steel motif with railings that have a circular textured glass infill with orange and red glass jewels fused on and topped by a pink-and-black-grained wood handrail. The common areas — elevator lobbies, stairwells and promenade — have the stainless steel, gold leaf and wood elements adapted to the location.

“The overall effect is striking,” said Farcus, “with all these rich, elegant materials mixed with stainless steel and stylized wood laminates.”

The central Lido pool deck features a large open glass-walled, two-deck-high area that can be enclosed with a retractable Sky Dome, along with two hot tubs repositioned on either side of the deck and inset into the deck to provide unobstructed sea views. Also featured within this dramatic space is “Carnival’s Seaside Theatre” with its 270-square-foot outdoor screen, along with two bars and two food-service lines.

“With the addition of the Sky Dome, the mid-ship pool area becomes another public room, not just a pool deck,” said Farcus. “Decorated with plants, it can become quite an attractive room for gatherings of all types and is the largest public room on any Carnival ship.”

Located above the two-level, art deco–styled Splendido poolside eatery is the Pinnacle Supper Club. A skylight provides spectacular nighttime views of the stars for supper club diners, while a glass dance floor suspended over the mini-atrium created by the three-deck configuration is sure to be a conversation starter.

Carnival Splendor’s aft pool deck is an airy and open space and in the tradition of the grand liners, provides guests with unimpeded views of the ship’s wake.

The outdoor aft deck area pays homage to the great liners of the past. The walls are beautiful teak molded paneling while the bars and serving lines recalls the hulls of these ships. Throughout the area are large half models of some of the most famous ships that sailed the oceans of the world. The aft deck also houses two serving stations – one featuring authentic Indian Tandoori items and the other a New York-style deli offering sandwiches and traditional side dishes.

Also located within the Lido Deck area is an expansive two-level, 5,500-square-foot children’s play area which serves as the focal point for the extensive activities schedule for the line’s top-rated “Camp Carnival” program. Sure to be a hit with kids of all ages is a new feature for Carnival – a water spray park – located just above the main playroom with a private secured stairway leading to the facility.

Carnival Splendor also houses one of the largest health and wellness facilities afloat featuring 68 spa cabins and suites – a first for the line.

Including the exclusive spa accommodations, the Carnival Splendor’s spa encompasses some 40,000 square feet and includes Carnival’s first thalassotherapy pool covered by a glass dome, an elaborate Thermal Suite, 17 treatment rooms; and indoor and outdoor relaxation areas.

As he has done with every ship in Carnival’s fleet, Joe Farcus has designed the main public rooms on Carnival Splendor in a variety of whimsical and inventive themes.

The Royal Flush Casino takes a “splendid, winning hand” as its principal design element. Various combinations of royal flush hands are set along the walls, with the characters on the cards emerging from the wall like a sculpture. The ceiling is decorated with card images that gradually change electronically into different hands.

Splendor Spectacular, the main show lounge, features sparkly fiberglass stage curtains all around the room. “The idea is that the whole room is the stage,” Farcus explained. Large chandeliers are draped domes with strings of beads hanging down, creating a dramatic effect.

The Red Carpet dance club turns every guest into a celebrity as they walk the VIP line past a series of mannequins waiting in line on the other side of the velvet rope to enter. Once inside, a wall of images of reporters and paparazzi — complete with camera flashes — greet would-be revelers.

The El Mojito promenade bar has the feel of a sidewalk café in Old Havana, with Spanish-style columns topped with domes and classic lanterns hung throughout the room, along with terracotta floors and the aged stucco walls festooned with colorful Cuban posters.

The Cool jazz bar taps into the legendary coolness of jazz greats. The walls are decorated with artwork inspired by jazz innovator Miles Davis, with photos of the trumpeter and sheet music of his compositions.

El Morocco, the aft lounge, re-creates the famous 1930s New York club of the same name. Banquettes are covered in zebra-patterned leather, with palm trees and lanterns adorning the walls, which feature murals of Moroccan scenes.

Our House sports bar celebrates a team’s home field advantage, with models of famous stadiums displayed in glass vitrines located around the room, accented by red, white and blue bunting. Bar tops and tabletops are inlaid with photos of famous sports stadiums.

The California Roll sushi bar sports large models of koi goldfish in iridescent paints. The bar front is river rock, and all tile work on the walls and surfaces is made of natural mother of pearl shells.

The largest “Fun Ship” ever constructed, the 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor makes maximum use of its size, featuring the widest variety of formal and casual dining options at sea with delicious, palate-pleasing offerings from around the world.

In addition to multi-course meals served in spectacular two-level main dining rooms, a diversity of global choices await diners in The Lido restaurant, which boasts a tandoori oven offering Indian-style chicken, fish kebobs, breads and other delicacies, a Mongolian wok where guests can select vegetables, seafood, meat and spices and have it prepared right before their eyes, and the ever-popular 24-hour pizza with seven kinds of pies and calzone. Carnival’s successful supper club concept is taken to new heights with The Pinnacle serving the finest dry-aged U.S.D.A. prime steaks and other dishes in a refined atmosphere.

“Today’s consumers are savvier than ever when it comes to cuisine, and they want not only longtime favorites but also the opportunity to enjoy new choices they typically wouldn’t try at home,” said Natko Nincevic, Carnival’s senior vice president of hotel operations. “Carnival Splendor’s size has enabled us to explore different culinary options for our guests’ enjoyment and raise the bar on our ocean-going cuisine,” he added.

In keeping with the theme of culinary diversity, Carnival’s main dining rooms, the Golden Pearl and the Black Pearl, offer guests a choice of six different appetizers and soups, two salads, and six entrees, and the ever-popular Broiled Lobster Tail served once each voyage, Additionally, Carnival Classics – a selection of popular appetizers, entrees and desserts -- is available daily.

A variety of decadent desserts, including Carnival’s legendary Chocolate Melting Cake, and an extensive wine list, featuring a number of reserve selections, is also available.

For those seeking a more intimate meal, there’s The Pinnacle, a reservations-only supper club, which offers the finest cuisine in elegant and memorable surroundings that include a glass dance floor suspended over a mini-atrium that’s sure to be a conversation starter.

Modeled after New York’s top steakhouses, The Pinnacle’s menu includes a nine-ounce filet, 14-ounce strip loin, and a 24-ounce porterhouse, along with lobster tail, veal and lamb chops, Dover sole and surf and turf with seared lobster and grilled filet mignon. Traditional steakhouse accompaniments such as creamed spinach, wasabi mashed potatoes and sautéed mushrooms, also are available. Impeccable, leisurely-paced service, the finest china and stemware, and one of the most extensive wine lists afloat – hand selected to match the cuisine – make dining at The Pinnacle a truly unforgettable experience.

Continuing Carnival’s efforts at expanding the quality and variety of its casual dining choices, Carnival Splendor’s poolside restaurant, The Lido, offers a wide range of breakfast, lunch and dinner alternatives served buffet-style.

In addition to Indian tandoori and Mongolian barbecue venues, The Lido includes a New York–style deli with piled-high sandwiches and popular sides, a 35-item salad bar, pasta and meat-carving stations, and a grill serving hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken and steak sandwiches. Carnival Splendor also feature a rotisserie upstairs on Panorama Deck, serving rotisserie chicken with the cruise line’s signature spice rub, along with traditional accompaniments.

Carnival Splendor’s culinary choices don’t end there. The ship also features The Coffee Shop, offering espressos, lattes and cappuccinos and decadent sweets, and California Roll, a sushi bar offering complimentary Asian specialties prior to dinner each evening.

There’s also 24-hour stateroom service – complimentary, of course – where guests can have freshly made hot and cold sandwiches, salads and other fare delivered to their cabin any time of the day or night. Late-night buffets with a different theme each night, including the Gala Midnight Buffet and Chocolate Extravaganza, are featured, as well.

Carnival Splendor also offers the popular “Fountain Fun Card,” offering unlimited soft drinks throughout the voyage for a one-time fee. Adult and children’s versions of the card is available.

Who Goes
EVERYBODY who likes cruises ought to cruise with the CARNIVAL SPLENDOR at least once. A typical passenger load includes a pretty fair cross section of the bulk of America's people. More clean cut and well scrubbed than you might think, and a lot younger than you will find most anywhere else, CARNIVAL SPLENDOR can and does appeal to any age group from cradle to grave.

Is the CARNIVAL SPLENDOR really perfect for everyone? Theoretically, yes....but practically, no. This is not a ship for you if you need the quiet ambience of a retirement home, the soothing confines of the nave of the Cathedral of Notre Dame...it's also probably not the ship for the insecure who need to be front and center, the star attraction among cruise passengers...because very few people are likely to be noticed for long here.This does not mean that you won't get good service, because you will...but don't expect this crew of over 1000 to remember your name. Nor is it for anyone demanding a high level of constant personal service and attention. Other ships in Carnival's extended family would be better choices for someone seeking that.

Carnival Splendor is slated to debut July 13, 2008, with a series of 12-day Northern Europe cruises from London (Dover) through Aug. 30, followed by a schedule of 12-day Mediterranean cruises from Rome (Civitavecchia) through Oct. 17, 2008.

The ship will then sail on a trans-Atlantic crossing departing Rome (Civitavecchia) Oct. 29 and arriving Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Nov. 14, positioning the vessel for a series of seven-day exotic Caribbean cruises from that port beginning Nov. 22, 2008. Carnival Splendor will then reposition to Long Beach, Calif., to launch year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises, continuing the line’s expansion of its West Coast operations.

If you still don't think Carnival's got the fun, you would be wrong....and if the other ships in this amazing fleet aren't for you....and we guess there are some people out there who wouldn't like them....you need to check out the CARNIVAL FREEDOM. Enough said.

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