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: