Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Carnival Splendor 2014

DSCF1306Last week we cruised on the Carnival Splendor. We had cruised on her before but it has been a long time. Our Captains were Luigi De Angelis and Candeloro Donato, Hotel Director is Niksa Pelic, and the Cruise Director is Malcolm “Woo Hoo” Burn.  I don’t know why our captains switched in the middle of the cruise but I noticed the different names on the daily schedule. The d├ęcor is pink and in some areas it looks like a pink zebra attacked. I like it but I think it has to grow on Don.

Here are notes about our adventure:

Here is the link to our pictures!

On the Way:
The three of us (our neighbor, David went with us) left SC around 3pm and arrived in Miami at 2am. We stopped at McDonalds for dinner and fun taking pictures of David wearing a McDonald’s bag around his head. It was impossible to find a hotel room so we ended up driving to Miami Beach and looking around. It was party central at 3am there and we were amazed. Around 4am we found a Colombian restaurant for a bite to eat which was packed with people. Then we decided to go to a public parking lot and take a nap until we could go to the port.

Day 1 (Embarkation):
On Sunday we drove to the port and boarded the Carnival Splendor. We met lots of nice people! We also saw another couple who cruised with us in August and they are at our dinner table. After lunch we walked around the ship. Then we decided to take an hour nap before the life boat drill. In the afternoon after the life boat drill we went up to the aft bar on Lido deck and bought a bucket of beer. We found the Facebook group and it was great meeting them face to face. Then since we were so exhausted, we took a nap until dinner time. After dinner we went to the Welcome Aboard show but was too tired to go to the late night comedy show. I decided I am way too old to do all night partying anymore!!

Day 2 (At Sea):
We ate breakfast in the dining room with Walt and Maggie and 4 other ladies from Illinois and Iowa. They were a lot of fun! Then we sat around and visited until it was time to go to the food demo. They have the same menu but I like tasting them! After the food demo we walked 3 miles around the track. We took a nap before dinner and it was formal night which means I had lobster tail and prime rib for dinner. After dinner we skipped the show and went to bed early.

Day 3 (Grand Cayman):
We ate an early breakfast and headed to the Spectacular Lounge to get our tender tickets. While we were there, we found out that our shore excursion (Cayman Shore Snorkel) was cancelled due to rough water. In fact, it was so rough that we didn’t drop anchor near Georgetown as expected but instead docked at Spott’s Bay. We were disappointed but decided to get off the ship and see what we would do. David found a vendor selling a snorkel excursion for 3 hours for $40 so we decided to go. We left at 9:15 in a bus which took us to a boat (Captain Bryan’s Sail and Snorkel). Jake, the Captain, took us to the Stingray Sand Bar where we held the stingrays, kissed them, and let them rub our backs. After that we went to the barrier reef and went snorkeling. The water was choppy and we didn’t stay in the water long. After that, we went to the coral garden for more snorkeling. We got back to the ship around 1:30. We were so hungry and tired! After a big lunch on the ship, we took a nap. We sat and listened to one of the bands before dinner but after dinner we went to bed.

Day 4 (Cozumel)

We had a lovely day in Cozumel on Wednesday! We took a cab to downtown ($8 for 3 people) and walked around town for a while. We found a place that sold $1 Coronitas so we had one when we got hot. Then we walked some more until lunchtime where we found this neat place to eat. Don and I had nachos while David ate some seafood soup. After that we shopped some more and David got a 15 minute massage for $10. Finally went to the grocery store to buy some diet pepsi (12 oz. for .50). Then we took a cab back to the ship and went across the street to this little bar. Don and I had a couple of buckets of beer before going back to the ship. We had a little snack before taking a nap until dinner.

Day 5 (Belize)
We met in the Morocco Lounge at 8am but we didn’t get off the ship until around 9pm. We met the group ashore for Cave Tubing and Lunch ($69). The bus ride was 1 ½ hours and our tour guide, David Brown, talked nonstop for the entire time. He was very interesting though and had a lot of great information about Belize. Then we got to the cave tubing where I got a large locker for $6 and left my bag there. We were given a life vest, helmet with light, and tube. Then we walked about 30 minutes up a trail before getting in the water. The guide, Elmer, tied all 8 tubes together and we floated through the caves. The caves with the waterfalls always amaze me. After tubing we had a lunch of chicken and rice. Then we got back to the tender around 4pm. We were the last ones on the last tender back to the ship so I’m so glad we took the tour with the ship instead of on our own! After cleaning up, we went to the lobby bar and listened to the band before going to the 6:30 show Vroom which was really good. We went to dinner after the show.

Day 6 (Roatan, Honduras)
We got off the ship around 8:30 and walked over to the beach at Mahogany Bay (about a 5 minute walk). We got 2 chairs in the shade and went snorkeling. We stayed at the beach about 3 hours and returned to the ship for lunch. I ran to arts and crafts which involved this girl giving me the kit and directions and then telling me to go figure it out. The ribbon flowers were too complicated for me so I brought them home as a gift for a friend. In the late afternoon we had a reception for Gold, Platinum, and Diamond members. After a nap, we had dinner and went to the show called Motown with Consuela Ivy.

Day 7 (At Sea)
This day went really fast! We had brunch in the dining room and off course I overate. After that we packed our suitcases and by then it was lunch time. I was still too full from brunch to eat anything. Then we walked 3 miles on the track. At 3, we went to tea and it was met some nice people. After that we took a nap until dinner. It was sad that it was our last dinner on the cruise but the prime rib was wonderful. It was time to say good bye to our wait staff and dinner mates.

Day 8 Debarkation
We had zone 1 tags and had to meet in the Black Pearl dining room by 7:30. By 8am we were off the ship and in our car. The luggage was on a carousel and we got our bags easily. It was the smoothest debarkation from Miami that we ever had. On the way home we stopped by my parents for about 40 minutes and we were home by 8pm.

Things I Learned:
1. It is always fun to meet people online and then get to meet them in person!
2. At Sea days can be just as fun as port days.
3. You can order a banana split at dinner off the children’s menu.
4. It is not too smart to book an excursion at the port after they cancel the ship’s tour due to bad weather. Luckily the weather turned out nice and all went well but it could have gone wrong too.
5. When you ask if the seafood soup has fresh or frozen seafood, it is a good place when they show you the kitchen and the fresh seafood.
6. Learn the exchange rate in a foreign country so you can change the local prices into your own currency to see if the prices are reasonable or not.
7. Belize used to be known as British Honduras.
8. There are about 350,000 people who live in Belize.
9. There are 4 major ethnic groups in Belize.
10. There are no trains in Belize at all.
11. It is illegal to cut the mangroves without a permit.
12. The fish and coral are more plentiful near the dock in Mahogany Bay.
13. I can’t help but overeat on a cruise ship. I really need to eat healthier on the ship.
14. It was fun cruising with a first time cruiser and seeing things with a fresh perspective.

Original photos by Pat Hensley

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