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My Solo Splendor repo cruise (with pics) 10/24/14

Discussion in 'Community Message Board' started by Jamman, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    Hello again everybody!! I'm Jeff "Jamman" Maskall, and I am a Cruise Addict!! I've just returned from another GREAT cruise on Carnival, this time back on board the Carnival Splendor. This was an 8 day repositioning cruise that started in New York, and ended in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In between were 3 sea days, followed by port calls at St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Antigua, and St. Maarten. I had never been to St. Kitts or Antigua before, so I was excited to be going to these ports for the very first time.

    I did this cruise as a solo, because since Patti is a teacher, there was no way she could take off. I look forward to the day when she is able to retire, and we can cruise anytime of the year together. Shortly after getting off the Liberty in August, I received one of the Diamond offers, for the "almost" free cruises, which I'm sure by now, almost everybody has heard about. Book an inside for $100, get $100 OBC, just pay the port taxes and fees. Yes, that one. How could I resist? So with Patti's blessing I booked it, though I did upgrade to a balcony cabin, and because I was sailing solo, I had to pay double, but it still was a very good deal for me. I will tell you that in 36 Carnival cruises, this was the FIRST time an offer like this came my way, so there is hope for everyone out there!!

    I just want to mention that my cruise was really just the first half of the Splendor's repositioning cruises. The cruise after ours would be sailing from San Juan, and ending up in Miami, which will be the Splendor's winter home. They will be visiting completely different ports as well. My picture review buddy gapearl is aboard that cruise, so I know we'll be hearing from her once she gets back. Hope you are having a GREAT cruise Kim!!!

    As I said in my previous reviews, my goal is to make you feel like you are along for the ride, to see if the Splendor is the right ship for you, and to give you a glimpse of the port of calls. So without further ado, let's get this party started!!

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    Friday, October 24th is finally here!! It's a cloudy, cool day, but it's better than the previous two days where it rained nonstop. The weatherman says that it will be sunny and about 60 degrees for our sail away this afternoon. I'll take it!

    The car service arrived right on time at 9:30, for what should be about an hour ride to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. It took a little longer because traffic in midtown was horrific, so I was dropped off just before 11am. I gave the porter my one bag, watched him put the orange FTTF tape on it, and then made my way inside the terminal.

    Before you could get in any line, you had to fill out a health questionnaire, which only took a minute or so. Then as you entered your line, an agent would review your form, and then sign off on it. This was no big deal. The big deal was what I saw after going through the scanner, and that was the line extending out from the VIP lounge. Then it hit me. With the Diamond offer that was later offered to some of the Platinum members, this cruise was going to be overflowing with VIP members. There was no way that the VIP lounge was going to handle that. So what they did to expedite the VIP's was take small groups of VIP's at a time, take their boarding passes, go get their Sail & Sign cards, and then lead them to the regular lines to be processed. It still was slow getting checked in, took me about 45 minutes or so, but I was done before boarding began. At 11:50 they began boarding Diamonds and Platinums, so I was among the first 30 or so to board the ship, and as you can see, I'm smiling ear to ear.....

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    It's great to be back on the Splendor again. My first view is of the Atrium elevators.....

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    The Shore Excursion Desk in the Lobby, port side.....

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    Shore Excursion Desk info.....

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    Guest Services, in the Lobby, starboard side.....

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    To be continued......
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  2. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    The Splendor Lobby Bar.....

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    My first Thirsty Frog Red of the cruise.....

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    I am planning to purchase the Cheers program, but on New York sailings, they don't start selling them until 7pm. I'll talk more about the Cheers Program later.

    The Welcome sign for Diamonds, Platinums, and FTTF on the big doors.....

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    My cabin is located right by the Atrium elevators, on the port side.....

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    It is a standard balcony cabin.....

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    To be continued.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  3. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    Here is my balcony. It came with two chairs, one which reclined, and a small table.....

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    Looking forward from my balcony towards the bridge....

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    Looking aft from my balcony. You can see we are being refueled.....

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    Standard Carnival bathroom sink.....

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    And shower.....

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    To be continued.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  4. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    The safe is the keypad type.....

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    The fully stocked mini bar.....

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    Welcome Aboard drink coupon and ship's pin.....

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    Muster instructions on the cabin door.....

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    Looking down to the Lobby floor from Deck 8.....

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    The Splendido Pool area.....

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    To be continued.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  5. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    The Splendido Pool Bar, port side.....

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    The Splendido Pool Bar, starboard side.....

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    My version of the Carnival webcam view.....

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    Another view of the Splendido Pool area.....

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    Off the Grill. Get your burgers and hot dogs here.....

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    The Pizza Pirate.....

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    To be continued.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  6. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    The Mongolian Wok. Get here when it opens or you could have a long wait.....

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    One of the Grand Buffet lines.....

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    Splendido Lido Restaurant seating, starboard side.....

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    The Sweet Spot.....

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    The Burrito Bar.....

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    To be continued.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  7. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    Go up these stairs to get to the Rotisserie, located on Deck 10 aft.....

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    The Rotisserie.....

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    The salad bar. The tomatoes and mozzarella cheese were missing. In fact they were missing every time I went up there!!

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    Baked potatoes, corn, chicken and macaroni and cheese.....

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    Cornbread, gravy, and other fixings.....

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    This was my first lunch of the cruise. It was all good except the potato salad, which was very bland.....

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    To be continued.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  8. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    Seating on Deck 10 by the Rotisserie was never crowded, even during the breakfast and lunch rushes.....

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    Looking down at the Sweet Spot.....

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    The Liner Pool and hot tubs, Deck 9 aft.....

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    The Deli, Deck 9 aft, port side.....

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    At 2pm it was time for the roll call informal meet and greet to take place at the Liner Bar, Deck 9 aft, port side. We had a pretty good turnout and a good time was had by all, as the following photos show. As usual, to protect the identities of the guilty, (and innocent), I will not identify anyone by name, but if you are following along, and I know some of you are, feel free to chime in and identify yourselves if you want to.....

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    To be continued.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  9. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    Here are some more photos from the informal meet and greet.....

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    To be continued.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  10. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    The Muster Drill was scheduled for 3:45, so the meet and greet broke up around 3:30, as everyone wanted to get ready for the drill. I went back to my cabin expecting to unpack my luggage, but to my surprise my bag had not yet arrived. I swore I saw the porter attach the orange tape to my bag! Anyway, a couple of minutes later my bag did show up, and I was quickly able to unpack. The muster drill didn't begin until 4:10, and lasted a good half hour, as they wanted complete silence before they would begin the announcements. Thank goodness it was cool outside, as you know how crowded and cramped these drills are...

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    After the drill was finally over, I made my way back to the Liner Bar to have a few beers before we sailed away. Then I would roam the open decks taking pictures as we sailed down the Hudson River. This would be my 16th time sailing out of Manhattan, but it never gets old, and yes I would probably be taking the same pictures that I (or Patti), have taken many times before, but each cruise is a little bit different. So, right about 5pm, we backed out of Pier 90 into the Hudson River.....

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    A view of Pier 88 next door.....

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    We will be heading this way, south down the Hudson River, and under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, (VNB for future reference), way off in the distance. It will take about 45 minutes to get there...

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    Looking north up the Hudson River towards the George Washington Bridge.....

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    To be continued.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  11. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    Here is the Intrepid Museum.....

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    The Circle Line Pier.....

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    The Splendor is leaving the Manhattan Cruise Terminal behind for the last time this year.....

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    The Empire State Building.....

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    Sailing south, down the Hudson River.....

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    Sailing past midtown Manhattan.....

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    To be continued.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  12. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    The Chelsea Piers.....

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    This is a multi tiered golf driving range.....

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    Coming up on lower Manhattan.....

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    The Freedom Tower.....

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    Sailing past lower Manhattan.....

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    To be continued.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  13. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    Jersey City, New Jersey.....

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    The sun is setting in the west, over New Jersey.....

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    Ellis Island.....

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    The passengers line the rails as we sail past the Statue of Liberty.....

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    Lady Liberty in the setting sun.....

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    Another view of Lady Liberty.....

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    To be continued.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  14. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    We are leaving Manhattan behind.....

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    The Staten Island Ferry. You can cruise all day for free on there.....

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    We are approaching the VNB!!

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    Sailing under the VNB.....

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    Looking up.....

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    To be continued.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  15. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    We are now officially heading out to sea....

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    At this point I head back to the Liner Bar for some beers, and to wait for the Cheers Program to become available. Gusti, my favorite bartender back there, keeps checking the computer for the go ahead to sell it. Three beers and a half hour later I finally can purchase the Cheers Program. My cost was $37.50 a day plus gratuities for a total of $345 for the 8 day cruise. I found out later, that the very next day, the price was jacked back up fleet wide to $49.95 plus gratuities per day. It's funny because back in August when I sailed on the Liberty, I purchased the Cheers Program the first day the price dropped to $37.50, and now I'm purchasing it on the last day at that price.

    As soon as I purchased the program, all the drinks that I had purchased individually up to this point, were credited back to my account, and now counted towards my drink limit for the day. To summarize my Cheers experience on this cruise, I wound up about $100 ahead of the game. At $49.95 I would have been about even, and that being the case, I would not purchase it, because of the restrictions on the program.

    That being taken care of, it was time to head back to the cabin to get ready for my first dinner of the cruise. Here's a night time view of the Atrium from near my Deck 8 cabin.....

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    I had traditional Late Seating in the Gold Pearl Restaurant, all the way aft. I was seated at a table for 10, table #438, on the lower level, Deck 3. Once again, I had a wonderful wait staff. These guys were GREAT the entire cruise. Let me introduce you to Inyoman, Elvir, and Satriva.....

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    Now for my tablemates. I had hoped that a few from our roll call would have been assigned to my table, but that didn't happen. I do not have any pictures of my tablemates because a few mentioned that they really didn't want their picture taken, so in deference to them, I honored their request. But that doesn't stop me from telling you about them, so here goes.

    Our table was made up of middle aged and up solos, except for one couple, so I'll start with them. Their accents and style of dress, made me think they were from the island of Jamaica. Wrong, Jamaica, Queens!! Next to them was a gentleman named Roger. He never returned after the first night, though we exchanged hellos in the Sports Bar a few nights. Next to him was Mary, the Slot Queen, from the Cleveland area. She was very vocal and energetic. She enjoyed taking the active and unusual shore excursions, and every time I went in the casino, day or night, she was there. Next was Daryl from Detroit. He was the Slot King, though he said he was not doing very well on this cruise. The Players Club must have liked him because they sent him a bottle of wine to the table every other night. Next to me was Gary, the retired ATF agent, who sadly lost his wife recently. He was in the midst of 8 almost back to back cruises. He had gotten off the Glory, flown to New York to join the Splendor, was flying to Miami to get on the Conquest following our cruise, and after that, was getting back on the Splendor again when she finally gets to Miami. Rock on Gary!!! After the third night, he stopped showing up.

    To my right was Don from Brooklyn, and he looked and talked like a Don, if you know what I mean. Nice guy, who loved his red wine, maybe a little too much. Lol. Next were a mother and daughter from Westbury Long Island. Very nice people, though for the life of me, I can't remember their names. Finally, a man I'll call the bookworm. He came to the table every night carrying a book. He was now on the Splendor for the third straight cruise, and the wait staff knew him well. His purpose was to get through his meal in a half hour or less. So, as the rest of us were looking at our menus, he was already being served his starters. He was done and out of the Dining Room before we were served our mains. Needless to say, not much in the way of conversation came from him! So that's it, my tablemates for the cruise. Quite an interesting bunch to say the least!

    For starters tonight, I had the chicken tenders, and the spring rolls pictured here.....

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    For my mains, I had the sweet and sour shrimp, and the linguine with sausage, mushrooms, and peppers.....

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    For dessert, I just had two scoops of chocolate ice cream.....

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    To be continued.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  16. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    After dinner, I decided to skip the Welcome Aboard Show in the Spectacular Theatre, and went to the Our House Sports Bar to watch the World Series game, and have a few Thirsty Frog Reds. After the game, I felt too tired to gamble, so I made my way back to the cabin for the night. Here is tonight's turn down service.....

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    Tomorrow's Fun Times, my shore excursion tickets, and tonight's towel animal, are waiting on the bed.....

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    Tonight's towel animal.....

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    It was a GREAT first day. Good Night!!

    Coming up next: Our first sea day and the formal meet and greet. Whooo Hooo!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  17. kpopperwell

    kpopperwell Well-Known Member Community Sponsor

    Great pictures. Thanks for making feel like we are with you.
     
  18. seamom

    seamom Well-Known Member

    Great! Enjoying it again and reading interesting bits aloud to hubby. Fun to try a different liner. We did the Hudson River on October the 4th and thought it was spectacular but you really got some great shots of the Empire State building and the Lady Liberty.
     
  19. The Cruiser

    The Cruiser Well-Known Member

    Great read Jeff. :doubleup:
     
  20. Lurline63

    Lurline63 Well-Known Member

    Great review so far! I'm looking forward to more.

    I was on Splendor for a few hours while she was docked in Boston several weeks before your cruise. So, it's like seeing an old friend. The Liner Bar was a wonderful area, I thought. I loved the funnel design -- and did you get any photos of the ships that are by the elevator? (I will say no more other than that they were stunning.) I love when the interior designers add touches that appeal to us liner fans.

    I just published a review of my lunch at Mongolian Wok. You are so right about the lines. I had a wait and it was a port day with many still off the ship. But well worth it, IMO.

    Thanks again for bringing us onboard with you!
     

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