Carnival Splendor Revisited

Carnival Splendor cruise ship

Carnival Splendor in New York


The first time that I saw Carnival Splendor was a few months after she entered service in 2008. She was doing a series of Caribbean cruises from Miami before heading around South America to her new home port, Long Beach, California. This year, she returned to the East Coast to take up station as Carnival Cruise Lines’ year-round ship in New York. In between much has happened to the ship including a fire that attracted media attention and subsequent repairs and upgrades that did not get much news coverage. Consequently, I felt it was about time to go back and look at the Splendor again to see what kind of cruise experience she is providing these days.


Carnival Splendor is a unique ship in the Carnival fleet. Her design can be traced back to Carnival Destiny. However, no other Carnival ships are this variation on the design. She lies between Carnival’s Conquest class ships and the line’s latest ships, the Dream class. As a result, Splendor has more features than the original Conquest ships but not as many as the Dream class.


One feature that makes her well-suited to sailing year-round from New York is that her main pool area has a retractable glass roof. Consequently, her pool deck is still usable during cold weather sailings from New York. Another notable feature is her large spa area, a precursor to the spas on the most recent Carnival ships.


Her interior décor is more flamboyant than the newer ships. It is the work of Carnival’s long time designer Joe Farcus. The object was to lift the guests out of the ordinary and into a holiday world. Along with the strong colors and unusual shapes are some intellectually interesting features such as the giant half hull models of the original Queen Mary and the Normandie in the Liner Lido Pool area.


Overall, I found Splendor little changed from the way she was in 2008. Also, as in 2008, her passengers seemed to be clearly enjoying themselves. Why not, the food was certainly quite good.


Our updated profile of Carnival Splendor is at We have also updated our photo tour of the ship with many recent photos.


A new feature is a menus page with copies of menus from Splendor’s two main dining rooms and from her specialty steakhouse.


We also have a new daily programs page with programs from a recent cruise.


Finally, we have added a new photo essay with exterior photos of the ship in New York.


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