By David G. Molyneaux, editor, The Travel Mavens
And Carnival Cruise Lines’ newest vessel is as pink as you’ll ever see at sea. The Carnival Splendor is Carnival’s largest ship at 113,300 tons.
That means more cabins (for 3,006 passengers), including 68 clustered forward at the Asian- themed spa, decorated with Buddhas and with dragons that guard a bubbling thalassotherapy pool (seen at right).
Carnival has expanded the children’s’ area and added a deck water park, with a 214-foot twisting waterslide.
There's more room for casual dining, including open kitchen stations for Indian, wok, rotisserie chicken and sushi.
And more places for splashes and splotches of pink, mixed with copper, brushed aluminum and glossy black.
A carnival of flashy colors
Cruisers new to Carnival should be prepared for a decor that is typically over the top, starting with a towering atrium, left, surrounded by pink pop art walls that give it an “Alice in Wonderland” look.
Joe Farcus, the entertainment architect who has designed interiors of all 22 splashy ships for Carnival, has mixed pools of soft pink with his usual bold images, such as the whimsical spa dragons and sparkling manikins that guard the glossy, blinking red disco.
Says Farcus, pink is a good color to enhance a feeling of well being.
The Splendor’s theme is that everything is splendid. So, the name of the casino is Royal Flush (a splendid hand), the sushi bar is California Roll (a splendid concoction), and all over the ship, you’ll see pearls of varying sizes and colors (splendid jewels), some strung, some sitting in the middle of oyster shells, some twinkling. The pool deck, with a roof that slides closed for warmth in chilly weather, is called the Splendido Lido. The spa, above, is Cloud 9.
The Splendor has quite an odyssey ahead. Following the summer in Europe, and cruising the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale in the fall, she will spend the winter in South America, then do West Coast Mexico cruises starting in late March 2009 out of Long Beach, Calif.
Looking for a Joe Farcus gem
Part of the fun in sailing on a ship designed by Joe Farcus is that you could spend a week aboard and still miss something, a twist or a touch, that Farcus has sneaked into a decoration or slapped on a wall.
“I don’t want passengers ever to be bored,” says Farcus.
Happy hunting. Even after a full cruise, I’m sure there will be an undiscovered pearl somewhere aboard the Carnival Splendor.
A like, a dislike on the Splendor
LIKE: The casual dining Lido (picture at right) is the best of the fleet. Carnival does its usual outstanding job of food preparation, with a range of tastes from the traditional fare of burgers, roasts and 24-hour pizzas to Indian-style fish and chicken kebobs from a tandoori oven; a sushi station every night before dinner; a wok station where passengers select the seafood, meat, vegetables and spices; and an upstairs nook featuring rotisserie chicken.
DISLIKE: On a ship full of bars, I couldn’t find a bright ocean view spot for a beverage in inclement weather. The outdoors bar at the aft end is a good gathering place, except when the wind is blowing. Inside the ship, most lounges seem dark and have an interior feeling, a world away from the ocean outside, and some are too full of cigarette smoke.
The best is the casino bar, which is bright and open and offers a nice view of the passing parade of passengers.
Pictures were taken by Andy Newman for Carnival Cruise Line.