Written on: 13/07/2008 by lostinvegas (1 review written)
Nice big ship, staff were very good, especially in the dining rooms, my partner has a wheat allergy and they made her gluten free bread as well as other gluten free meals.
The public areas are quite small. The ship has almost 3000 passengers and to cater for them all at dinner there are 2 massive dinning rooms. This takes up a lot of space onboard.
We had a very pleasant cruise form Dover to Amsterdam and back. Our only other cruise experience was with P&O on a 14 night journey around the med. I would say P&O and Carnival are a very similar standard. The staff were a little better on P&O and it was a little more up market but the atmosphere on Carnival is a little more lively. Avoid the art auctions at all cost. The splendour was a very smooth ride and its best feature is the Lido deck with retractable room. We spent most early evenings up their after dinner watching the film on the big screen. The casino is a good size but they play black jack from card shuffling machines which is disappointing if your a card counter. Drinks are expensive, I am not sure why as its supposed to be tax free but to me $5 + 15% mandatory gratuity is a lot for a bottle of Bud when they are less than $1 to buy wholesale. The tipping is confusing if your a Brit like me, its supposed to be included (or so I thought) but they still give you an envelope to leave tips at the end of the cruise confused? I was.
Food was great, lots of it all day and all night, the restaurants for dinner were particularly good. The ship layout takes a little getting used to but its okay. Smoking is permitted in some places like the casino so beware if your a non-smoker. The entertainment was the average caberat stuff, I did not watch much of it as I work in the music business so wanted a break from that sort of thing, but its looked good enough.
Parking at Dover is a nightmare, book well in advance and make sure your not at the hoverport as we were. As you disembark you have to get a coach, well imagine my surprise as 100's of pensioners fought there way to the front with elbows in your face as they got in the scrummage for the coaches. I thought at 29 I was too old for that sort of behaviour but some people more than twice my age were being very rude pushing and josseling, so we got a taxi instead.
All in all it was a positive experience and I have only highlighted the negative stuff so you know about it. Don't let it put you off as its all minor stuff really. The cabins are clean, the service is good and the ship is splendid.
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