***Hints and Tips for the Carnival Splendor

A few months ago I had the opportunity to cruise on the beautiful Carnival Splendor. We went out of New York and visited the Bahamas and Port Canaveral. We had a great time. The ship never felt crowded. I would like to share some hints and tips that might be helpful to you.

-If Platinum or Diamond VIFP level, drop off your luggage at the Platinum/Diamond drop off point. The porter will put a ‘Faster to the Fun’ luggage tag on your bags. Your bags will be delivered to your cabin very quickly (quicker than other luggage).

-If interested in relaxing during cruise and you do not have a Spa room, you can purchase a pass for access to the treatment pool and hot tiled loungers (designed by chiropractor), and steam rooms for $149 for 1 person or $225 for 2 people. Unlimited access for the entire cruise (8 days). The special pool has minerals, including dead sea salt, added to the water. The water is body temperature. There is room for at least 17 people in the pool. The pool has many jets and fountains similar to a whirlpool. There is a beautiful view from all these spa locations.

-Go to the gym and use all equipment for free. Take advantage of the free ‘Stretch and Relax’ class at 7am every day and the ‘Fab abs’ class at 7:30am every day. Great way to start the day. Pick up a schedule from the gym since not all activities will be in the Carnival ‘Funtimes’ daily paper. There is also a free stretch class at 5pm in the gym. Many free lectures are offered in the gym on sea days also. Lockers are available across from the gym, inside the Ladies changing room. Great for going to the gym then to the therapy pool and/or the thermal/sauna suites.

-In each room, there is a beautiful set of bathrobes that can be used during your Carnival vacation!

-Check out the Relaxation Room above the gym on Deck 12. Get there by the back stair case behind the gym on Deck 11. The Relaxation Room is there for people waiting for their spa treatments but anyone can go in. There is all types of hot teas available, lemon water, and orange water. The view from this location is beautiful. There are comfortable chairs and loungers. It is a great location to go to relax and listen to your ipod or quietly read a book.

-Try out the different samplings available at ‘The Taste’ on deck 5. Check out the schedule, many times The Taste is available on sea days. They have a sampling of food from all the different specialty restaurants on Carnival ships (Red Frog Pub, Pinnacle Steak House, the Blue Iguana bar,…) Most of the time ‘The Taste’ is open 5:30 to 8:30.

-In the dining room, order as many meals/starters/desserts that you would like that you have room to eat. For example, we get 2 orders of lobster when they offer that choice.

-Brunch on sea days is awesome. Great selections for starters and desserts. Entrees are either breakfast or lunch foods that can be ordered any time while brunch is being offered (8:30-1:30). Brunch is in the Gold Pearl restaurant in the back of the ship, deck 3. Some offerings are salmon fillet, steak and eggs (Filet Mignon), and any type of omelette. You can get side orders of bacon, sausage, … also. They give you a basket full of delicious pastries to start your meal also! They offer an awesome double brownie for dessert!! Remember, if you are at the Gold, Platinum, or Diamond VIFP level, you can get any kind of drink with your coupon, at the brunch (ex- mudslide, pina collata,…). Another thing to keep in mind is that you can get any size table. If you prefer a table for two, all you have to do is ask before they seat you.

-To get to 1 side of the ship from the other, you can use deck 5 or to cut down on congestion between guests, photographers, and groups hanging out, you can cut over on any deck with cabins. For example, we were on deck 7 aft and when we left the theatre in the front of the ship, we went up to deck 7 and then just walked down the hallway.

-There is an on board ‘future cruise’ person that can help you book your next cruise. Your travel agent will get credit for your booking, You will get a $50, $75, $100, or $200 on board credit for booking your next cruise while on board depending on the length of the cruise. You will also receive 2 coupons that can be used by any family or friend to get the same amount of on board credit that you receive if booking the same cruise within 60 days of when you deposit.

-Laundry rooms are available if you have clothes that need to be washed so they do not stain. There are also multiple areas on the ship where you can iron your clothes.

-There is usually sitting space in the back of the buffet. Many people do not know that the same food is available in the back of the buffet area. We never had to wait for a seat. Another option is to go upstairs to deck 10, the ‘The Rotissiere’ and there is usually seating there. Besides the regular buffet lunchtime, you can go to sit down lunch, get a pizza (available 24 hours), a sandwich at the deli, a burrito and nacho chips at the Burrito stand, Indian food at the Tandoor area, stir fry at the Mongolian Wok, or chicken and comfort foods at the Rotissiere.

-Soft serve ice cream is available 24 hours a day!

-Go to the Spa raffle drawings (Splendor had at 4:30) on embarkation day. They give away around $500 worth of services. At least 4 or 5 prizes given away.

-Your Time Dining is wonderful since you can go to the dining room anytime between 5:45 – 9:30. Request when making booking. It will fill up.

-If want to go to Mongolian Wok, go to wait in line around 11:45. They open at noon. When we did this, we had lunch by 12:05 or so. Otherwise, you will need to wait in longer lines.

-Use stairs instead of elevators to keep weight gain to a minimum! Many times it is faster also!

-If not doing excursion, get off ship and just walk around. Then get back on ship, not crowded at all.

-Go to an art auction and get a free print. Allocate at least 1 ½ hours.

-Go to shore talk. Will be introduced to captain and senior staff.

-Carnival has a ‘Care’ team to help any guest that unexpectedly needs to leave for home or needs special assistance…

-Check out the chocolate extravaganza, many times offered the same time as the lunch in the Splendido Restaurant on Lido deck. Many times offered on 2nd to the last day. Usually on a sea day.

-The evening entertainment and shows are excellent! Choices include singers and dancers in broadway style shows (The Beat, Vroom, Fiesta Latina), hypnotists, jugglers, magicians, and also different comedians giving shows throughout the entire cruise…

-Free or low cost wifi is available at most port stops. Watch where the crew go to log on. That will be one of the best places to access wifi. The wifi at Freeport, Bahamas, is called ‘Freeport HarbourFr’. A great location to access this connection is outside ‘Seaman’s Rest Sports Bar’. If you have a smart phone, just take it out to see what connections are available and if any are open and unlocked. Wifi is available at restaurants and bars in Nassau, Bahamas (Burger King, Dunkin Donuts,…)

-Bring your bathing suit in your carry on for Embarkation day. Even if leaving from New York, there is a roof over the pool in the Lido area so very comfortable temperatures. The roof slides open on nice days!

-Get a spa room if possible, not much more expensive but get so much more. Extras include: special spa robes and slippers, Elemis products in your room (lotion, shampoo, conditioner, soap), 2 complimentary pilates or yoga classes, and full access to the therapy pool and thermal suite!

-Carnival does a great job with celebrating holidays also. We were on the Splendor on Thanksgiving. A wonderful traditional turkey dinner was available for dinner!

If you are interested in booking a cruise on the beautiful Carnival Splendor, let me know. I would be happy to help you find the best cabin so that you can have a memorable vacation!! Email me at dreameztravel@gmail.com. Reach me on twitter with @dreameztravel.

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