Carnival Splendor Review

Though this is my fourth cruise, I don’t consider myself a cruise person. I go on cruises to spend time with friends and family. Cruise #1 was with 7 female friends, Cruise #2 was with three other couples, Cruise #3 was with four other couples, a toddler, and my in-laws.

This time I cruised with my parents, my in-laws, my aunt Ying and uncle Yan, and of course G. I picked the Carnival Splendor because it sailed out of New York (dad hates to fly), and because I liked the itinerary, a 7 day cruise visiting Boston, Portland, Saint John, and Halifax. I am big on planning so before booking the trip I read pretty much every review on Cruise Critic and knew what to expect. I did not have high expectations but was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this trip despite injuring my left foot three days before we sailed off.

Embarkation: Carnival asks that you arrive after 1pm. My group arrived at Pier 90 at 11:20 and was on the ship in under half an hour with no waiting whatsoever. All four of our rooms were also ready so we dropped off our luggage before heading to the buffet.

Food: Out of all the cruise lines I have sailed with: Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Carnival, I actually like Carnival’s food the best. In my experience I would rate Carnival’s food offerings better than Celebrity, and Celebrity’s food offerings better than Royal Caribbean. In fact on my Alaskan cruise with Royal, I was craving an instant noodle so bad because all the food seemed bland. One pregnant friend that I was traveling with on the same cruise felt the same way I did and she got one off of our really nice waiter from Bali and then tipped him generously. Note: I did not try any speciality restaurants on any of my cruises because I don’t believe in paying extra for dinner when dinner is already included in the price especially when I eat very little for dinner in the first place. If it wasn’t for my relatives, I would opt for the buffet every night and just eat some veggies and fruit.

I found the lunch buffet to be well set up with three buffet stations serving the same kinds of food (various cold salads, 6 hot entrees, some days were better than others, especially on the day they served roast turkey with gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce). Additionally there were other smaller stations such as the Indian food station (tasted good most of the time), the burrito bar (not so good), the sandwich bar (not bad), The Grill (hamburgers were decent, hotdogs looked too scary to try), The Rotisserie (Never knew what the big deal about roast chicken was and still don’t especially when fried chicken is so much better), Mongolian Stir Fry (sucked, G can make better food than this and he is a very much a newbie when it comes to cooking).

With that said here are some of the food I enjoyed most on the cruise:

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In A Good Way / My Freedom Era 我的自由年代

In A Good Way

It's been a long time since I enjoyed a Taiwanese drama series. Most of the time I find them draggy and fluffy so I have stayed far far away. I watched In A Good Way during its live broadcast earlier this year and waited until now to blog about it … [Continue reading]

A Jackson Heights Food Tour


Where else can you eat authentic Columbian, Mexican, Himalayan, and Thai within a 4 block radius? Two weeks ago, G and I did a food tour with M aka Chef Kimchi. Our first stop was Arepa Lady 2, where the famous arepa lady opened a brick and … [Continue reading]

Understanding What Makes You Happy


Living life trying to meet other people's standards and expectations is no way to live. For years I listened to the advice given by my parents, my friends, so called experts, magazines, talk shows, other people's blogs etc. At best it only brought me … [Continue reading]

How My Dysfunctional Relationship With My Father Turned Functional

My Parents

The other day I was telling friends that my dad and I have always had a great relationship. As soon as the words were out of my mouth I realized how utter false my statement was. The truth is that our relationship had always been dysfunctional up … [Continue reading]

The dreaded C word

My mom just told me that my favorite uncle has been diagnosed with cancer. I don't come from a family that expresses their emotions. But there is no need for words. I love him as I know he loves me. I didn't pick up the phone to call him and … [Continue reading]

HK Tycoon’s Canteen aka Fook Lam Moon 福臨門


Fook Lam Moon is a world-wide high end Chinese chain serving top rated Cantonese Cuisine. But the only branch I have been to is their flagship eatery in Wanchai as purported to be the best tasting. I have visited there twice during our 14 month of … [Continue reading]

Homestyle Chinese Cooking


On most days I eat two meals: lunch and dinner. For lunch I either eat out or get takeaways. Dinners I cook. Lunch is usually unhealthy as it's mainly, fried chicken, fried pork chops, fried shrimp, fried fish, steak, pad thai, pizza, blt's, etc. But … [Continue reading]

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

When G and I first showed up to J&K's July 4th BBQ, the first thing J said to G is "You lost a lot of weight!" G laughed and said that's what everyone has been telling him but he actually gained some weight recently. And then J said "Well you are … [Continue reading]

Smorgasburg 2014 at Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5

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Due to my limited stomach space, the huge amount of vendors, and the horror stories I heard about the long lines, I worked out a plan of attack the night before. First G and I arrived at 10:45am to grab a picnic table in the shade near the … [Continue reading]