Carnival Splendor operates year round out of Sydney visiting Australia and the South Pacific. My cruise was due to visit the New Caledonian ports of Noumea, Mare and Isle of Pines but Tribal Chiefs closed the ports of Mare, Lifou and Isle of Pines due to Coronavirus so it was a much reduced itinerary, visiting Noumea only.
Carnival Splendor can carry up to 3012 passengers and was launched in 2007. She had her maiden voyage in 2008.
Significant renovations done in late 2019 have given her an updated feel, but I didn’t think Carnival Splendor was very well laid out. Guests are reliant on crossing deck 5 to get from back of the ship where the restaurants are to the theatre, spa and fitness centre at the front so be prepared to spend a lot of time walking up and down the stairs!
I took hundreds of photos of Carnival Splendor during my time on board which demonstrate the beauty of this ship and the array of areas.
Here are the best ones – come for a virtual look around!
The Splendor Lobby
The first and final moments of your time on Carnival Splendor will be spent passing through the Splendor Lobby as you embark and disembark in an otherwise blur.
During the cruise there is a bar, live music and entertainment and it’s a popular place to gather in groups or just look out at from the glass elevators as your travel up and down the ship.
Snaps from Carnival Splendor’s Spectacular Theatre
A spectacular aerial illusion show is the current entertainment highlight in the Spectacular Theatre on board Carnival Splendor but it was cancelled for safety reasons in rough seas during my cruise.
There was certainly something for everyone though with singing, dancing, game shows, comedy, music and more.
A range of comedians and talented musicians performed at other various venues around the ship and there were classes and trivia events guests could get involved in. However the lack of entertainment during the daytime was obvious when sea days when bad weather forced guests to remain indoors.
Carnival Splendor’s Dining Rooms
Cruises are the last bastion for fine dining and the main dining rooms Black Pearl and Gold Pearl are lovely. The mechanics of ordering and having food delivered from the cruise ship’s galley via large, heavily stacked trays is fascinating.
Carnival Splendor Waterslides
Carnival Splendor features two waterslides – the 104 metre Yellow Twister slide being my favourite of the two which will be sure to keep the kids entertained for hours.
The Green Lightning waterslide is deemed the ‘steepest waterslide at sea”. It starts in a capsule with a floor which drops away into a 11.3m free fall which I was incredibly nervous about (to the amusement of small children ahead of me in the queue), however once this is over the ride to the SplashZone at the bottom is a slow and soothing one.
The best views of Carnival Splendor are from the waterslide platform itself, particularly on a sea day when there’s nothing but vast ocean in sight.
Pools on board Carnival Splendor
The main pool (pictured above) was always full of children so I spent all my poolside time at the adults only Serenity Pool on Deck 8. There were two whirlpools as well as a larger, colder pool, a bar and a heap of deckchairs (which you still want to grab early in the day before it gets too packed!)
Main deck areas on Carnival Splendor
Outside on deck there’s a mini-golf course and other games, an outdoor walking track (which gets more than a tad windy!) and stacks of deckchairs to watch the sea go by from.
Our cruise came into Sydney at night so I had the pleasure of being up on deck as we sailed past the famous Sydney Skyline and other cruise ships parked up in Sydney harbour.
Cloud 9 Spa
Keep an eye out for discounted treatments at Cloud 9 Spa. We used some of our free onboard credit for pedicures while looking out over the ocean. The ladies in the spa regularly see dolphins out the window!
All treatment prices come with an additional compulsory service tax.
There is no shortage of venues to hang out, no matter your preferences, including Alchemy cocktail bar, a library, piano bar, nightclub, cafe areas, several pubs and the gym, which is full of new equipment to work off all the food.
While I understand my cruise was only at around 70% capacity there still seemed to be lines and crowds everywhere, perhaps due to a reduced number of staff. There seemed a lot of artificial lighting and when the weather was terrible outside (often given we were in proximity of a tropical cyclone) there was no escaping the music, noise or crowds in the public spaces.
But who can beat a cruise!