I recently did my first cruise ever on Carnival Splendor. It was the Mexican Riviera trip out of Long Beach, California with stops in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. My husband and I went with 2 other couples and we had such a great trip! The cruising vacation is much different than any other vacation I have experienced before. There is always so much to do on the boat and when you get off the boat you don’t always have a lot of time, so I really had to work at finding ZEN on this trip. (aka, it was 7 days of go, go, go) But, with that being said… I definitely did find my ZEN in the process of having so much fun!
Getting on the Carnival Splendor in Long Beach, CA
The boarding process can be crazy and the line to get on the boat is quite long, but we were lucky enough to have the pass to skip the line so we were able to walk right on. (Yes, that was very zenful!)
Carnival Splendor (The Pink Lady)
I loved the decor on the ship! It was pink and gold and everything reminded me of pink donuts! (Just what you need as a constant reminder while on a cruise ship!) Since I was wide awake every morning at 6am, that was the perfect time to check out everything on the cruise ship.
This was one of my favorite places to find zen! (The Serenity Deck)
Rocking chairs to sit in while looking out at the ocean!
Dining on the ship
The dining on the ship was probably the best part of our trip! We ate almost all our meals in the “Golden Pearl” Dining Room. The food was so good and the plating in the dining room is amazing! Our wait staff became like family and took such great care of us! We also enjoyed the BBQ, Pizza & Sandwich options on the ship. We only ate a couple of times at the buffet, but we enjoyed it as well. There were several bars on the ship and our favorites were the Martini Bar and the Poolside bar where we got drinks most of the time. We chose to have one meal at the Steakhouse and let me tell you, that was a very good decision. The food was incredible!
Martini Bar – Our favorite place to get drinks before dinner each night!
Activities on the ship
There are some many fun activities to do while on board. Our favorites were ping-pong, giant chess board, miniature golf, gambling in the casino and the poolside movies.
Entertainment on the ship
There are fun shows to see every day as well as comedy shows. We really enjoyed all the entertainment.
Our dining staff dancing for us at dinner!
We chose to do one outside excursion in Puerto Vallarta. We did the Los Veranos Canopy Tour and let me just say… It was amazing!! I highly recommend it to everyone! It includes several zip lines, river fun, an animal sanctuary, a restaurant and bar, tequila tasting and a speedboat ride. We booked it directly through the company and not through the cruise ship. It cost $150 for 2 people and was well worth the money! It was for sure our favorite event on this trip.
We loved Puerta Vallarta and can’t wait to go back and visit it someday when we have more time to explore
Cabo San Lucas:
We stayed on the boat at Cabo San Lucas because we have been there several times and wanted some quiet, alone time. It was a very zenful day for us! We spent most of our time on the Serenity deck.
In Mazatlan, we didn’t do an excursion, but we walked around the historic Old Mazatlan and enjoyed all the sites. My favorite was Basilica of Immaculate Conception, a cathedral built in the 1800s. It was incredibly beautiful and peaceful. We also walked along the beach and saw the many statues on the Malecon and stopped to watch the cliff divers. We purchased some beautiful jewelry from the local vendors and we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Mazatlan.
Food, food & more glorious food!
We were lucky enough to be invited into the kitchen to meet the head chef and sample some of the food being prepared for that evening. This was definitely a trip highlight for me! We also tried out the steakhouse and the food was incredible.
My Favorite Things
One of my favorite things to do on the ship was to get up early and watch the sunrise and just walk around the ship. There were very few people up early and this was my favorite time of the day. My next favorite thing was the cute animal towels that were left on our bed every night! And lastly, I love having an excuse to dress up, so for me, the formal nights were a favorite. (probably not so much for my husband!)