Although I am not that new to cruising (NCL Pearl 11/07)...I'm, seriously considering trying Carnival. I mean....how will we know which cruise line we prefer if we dont try all of them right? So anyway I have my eye on the up and coming Splendor. Despite the fact that its the youngest ship on Carnival...it had sail dates that coincided with our time-off from work.
And i got more excited when I got a glimpse at the ports of call for east. Carrib. Its alot of places in 7 days, well worth the money.
My concern is that since we had our first cruise with NCl and they have free-style dining ...how different will the experience be with Carnival's traditional one? We had an awesome time at the NCL Pearl so we expect alot from future cruises. Also it says on their website that the spa is surrounded by the suite staterooms so does this follow that passengers staying in the suites will have access to the spa?
The "spa" usually consists of two parts - the "for free" part that includes the gym and sauna/steam rooms, and the "for pay" part that includes the massage rooms and where they do facials/manicures/etc. I don't think having a suite on the Spa deck gives you anything above and beyond what all passengers have access to.
With Carnival, you will have a fixed dining time in the main dining room. We don't see this as a problem, and have enjoyed all our dinners this way. Princess has "anytime dining" which is more useful to us, but we can live with the fixed times. There will be two semiformal nights, the others are resort casual.
I love Carnival. LOOOVVVEE them. I am taking my first Royal Caribbean this summer so we'll see if that changes anything...but let me tell you Royal Caribbean has a lot to live up to. I am very loyal to Carnival and have had my best vacations aboard their ships.
You can do the fixed dining on the Splendor-I always like eating at the late seating. Seems more relaxed and you can be in there as long as you want. Or you can choose to go upstairs to the buffet on the Lido deck.
All passengers have access to the spa. I don't think there is direct access from statesrooms (i.e. connecting doors). It's on deck 10 forward. The spa is really nice with a great gym and hot tubs.
I hope you have a great time. Where all will you be going?
The Spa Cabins give you unlimited access to parts of the Spa that will cost extra to the rest of the passengers.
The Thalassotherapy Pool and the Thermal Suites will be free to Spa Cabins but cost extra for any passengers not staying in a Spa cabin.
The Spa Cabins also have special slippers and spa "products" to sample.
Also note that there is no smoking in Spa Cabins.
These Spa amenities are only given to the 1st and 2nd person in each Spa Cabin.
COMPLETES THE FLEET
If it is Carnival and it floats....we have sailed it!
Hubby ... DIAMOND (every ship except the Carnivale)
Me ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale)
20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND