Come on board with us and discover why more and more families are choosing a Carnival cruise for their family vacation! Is a family cruise just what you need right now?
We just returned home from our Mexican Riviera cruise with Carnival Splendor!
So, how was it??
With this being our first-ever cruise, we were finally able to learn firsthand why families love cruising with Carnival. We’ve heard from others how their family loves a good cruise, but I was skeptical if it was the right choice for us.
A Carnival Cruise looks like an awesome vacation choice, millions of families have gone cruising and love it… but is cruising for us? Is a Carnival Cruise the right cruise line for our family? Should we choose a Carnival Mexican Riviera cruise or how about a Caribbean cruise?
Maybe you’re asking yourself the same questions we did.
No one wants to risk their hard earned vacation time and money without knowing for sure everyone will have a great time.
Thankfully the Traveling Islanders have gone ahead once again and we’re ready to help you with your big vacation decisions. Here we go!
10 Reasons Why Families Love A Carnival Mexican Riviera Cruise
1. The Delectable Food Of The Carnival Splendor
Pizza, burger bar, old fashioned BBQ, Indian food, deli sandwich bar, buffet, room service, sea day brunch, Pinnacle Steakhouse, upscale dining at the Black Pearl and free ice cream all day long! There is so much great food on a Carnival cruise ship it’s tempting to literally eat ALL day long.
The best part about cruising with hungry families is you’ve already paid for the food so there is no stressing about the bill.
Our family’s favourite spot to eat was the Black Pearl restaurant with a new three course menu each night to choose from. Some of the cuisine options we enjoyed were fillet mignon, lobster, fried shrimp, escargot, swordfish, stuffed portobello mushrooms, spaghetti carbonara, shrimp cocktail and much, much more. There was a kid menu as well, but we had our children order off the full menu and were more than satisfied.
2. Rocking Out With Carnival Splendor’s Evening Entertainment
Every night after dinner Gretta and I made our way to the Spectacular Lounge right next door to take in the evening stage show. We are guilty of not making enough time back home for regular date nights, so on Carnival Splendor we made up for lost time with 6 dates in a row.
Rock N’ Roll Piano Show, 70’s and 80’s Pop To The Max, 90’s Rock and Roll, we covered pretty much every decade and enjoyed it all. The stage designs, elaborate costumes, lights, special effects, singing and dancing exceeded our expectations.
3. The Carnival Cruise Shore Excursions Of The Mexican Riviera
On our Carnival Mexican Riviera cruise we enjoyed port visits to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerta Vallarta.
Choose from scuba diving, horse back riding, zip lining, dolphin encounters, kayak tours, all-inclusive resorts, deep-sea fishing, surfing, whale watching, snorkelling tours, city tours, ocean safaris just to mention a few. There is so much to see and do you’ll wish you can spend a week in each one of these astounding Mexican seaside locations.
In Cabo we hung out at a nearby beach for snorkelling and had an unbelievable up close dolphin encounter tour with Cabo Adventures.
In Mazatlan we thoroughly enjoyed an El Cid El Moro all-inclusive beach resort, complete with boogie boarding, beachfront massage, kids activities, Mexican food and an elaborate family-friendly pool area. El Cid is the perfect resort for a Mazatlan cruise shore excursion.
You don’t have to go on an elaborate shore excursion to have a great time at a port visit. On our third port visit of our Carnival Mexican Riviera cruise we ventured out on our own in Old Town Puerta Vallarta for a beach day.
What will you choose? Visit the Carnival Cruise website for a full list of Mexican Riviera shore excursion options and start dreaming.
4. Camp Carnival and Camp Ocean Kids Clubs
An all-inclusive cruise includes Summer camp for your kids on the high seas. From age 2 all the way up through teenage years, there is a spot for everyone according to their age category. Starting times begin as early as 7:45am on port days and kids programs end at 10:00pm followed by Night owl child care until to 1:00am.
Caring and fun camp counsellors lead the kids through both organized activities and kid’s free choice all week long. For the younger ones like our kids, activities included science discovery, arts and crafts, group games, and theme evenings. If parents and kids need a break from each other, this is the perfect option. Camp Ocean even includes meal times to make it easier for date night!
Our kids jumped in on Camp Ocean on the sea days of the cruise and couldn’t get enough.
5. Carnival Splendor Knows How To Have Both High Energy Fun And Laid Back Family Fun!
If you’re looking for a cruise line known for fast-paced family fun, lots of entertainment options, and laid back vacationing, then Carnival is perfect for you.
You get the luxury and first class service of a high end cruise, but with Carnival there is a running thread of, well to put it simply, FUN. The way they make announcements, the plethora of entertainment and family fun activities, the kids programs, the music, the shows, the sail away parties, the staff, the shore excursions, everything is geared towards giving you the best possible fun experience first and foremost.
Will you be the type of cruiser who also likes to pull away by yourself and have a quiet and relaxing time?
Then be sure to dine in the formal dining room, splurge on a few on-board spa treatments, sign your kids up for Camp Ocean, choose more relaxing shore excursions, take advantage of the adult-only areas and most definitely spend a little extra money for a balcony state room to have your own private deck.
6. World-Class Staff & Service Of The Carnival Splendor
You feel it the moment you come aboard. There is something special about the Carnival staff and we noticed it everywhere.
After a day ashore, the Carnival Black Pearl restaurant servers make you feel like family. They are genuinely friendly staff from around the world. Our kids didn’t want to say good bye!
The examples of the Carnival staff difference was everywhere.
The room attendant met us with a smile and knew the names of our family the first time we met. The personal care and attention blew me away!
Our lead server at dinner noticed we had three kids and after he delivered the food to our youngest he literally picked up a knife and fork and cut his veal parmesan into smaller pieces. We looked forward to seeing our servers every night and they really made our dinner extra special.
Try a Carnival Splendor cruise and you are guaranteed to see this world class service for yourself.
7. Summer Sunshine Warmth And Palm Trees
On a Mexican Riviera cruise you are almost guaranteed beautiful sunshine and hot weather year-round. For Canadians going from frigid cold snowy weather straight to +25 celsius (85F) and sunny, it is heavenly.
On our trip we did run into some unusual colder weather when departing and arriving in Long Beach California, but that was unusual. Take advantage of the waterslide and miniature golf on the nice days because if it’s windy, they do shut these activities down.
Be sure to reapply that sunscreen on the first day hanging out at the pool! That Mexican sun is crazy hot and can burn your skin fast (and Lips!).
8. Complimentary Morning Room Service & Evening Turn Down
Waking up in the morning to a knock at your door followed by “room service” was the perfect way to wake up the family. I would throw on a bathrobe, pull back the curtains and our fresh coffee, tea, juices, fruit and small breakfast pastries would be brought in. My favourite was leaning over our balcony railing looking out over the ocean with a cup of tea in hand.
The kids loved this special morning wake up in their room too with their favourite treat being the small sugar cereal boxes we would never get them at home.
It was perfect for “sea days” sleep in mornings as it gave us all more time to enjoy our rooms and wake up slowly.
During dinner, our room attendant snuck into our rooms for turn down service and to freshen up our space. The best part is they replenish the fruit basket and on the first couple days we received treats like cookies and chocolate covered strawberries. We loved that special touch.
9. Our Home Away From Home In Our Carnival Splendor Balcony Stateroom
Much bigger than I thought, our Carnival Splendor balcony state room was more than comfortable. We were in 6448 which was a unique “L shaped” room on the sixth floor in the aft of the ship. That means we had a little less floor space in the inside of our room, but double sized balcony more than made up for any loss of square footage.
A king size bed, two oversized windows with a full size glass door gave us nice views and plenty of sunshine when we wanted it and blackout curtains when we didn’t.
The rooms have lots of storage space so you can unpack, hide the suitcases, and move in for the week. It’s ideal to have the freedom to see and explore new cities and locations all week while keeping the same accommodations.
Our kids were across the hall from us in an interior room. We worked out our own safety rules with secret knocks and phone calls, and really had no concern for their safety.
If you prefer to sleep all in one room as a family of 5 then Carnival has you covered with their fleet of ever-growing newer or remodelled ships.
10. Carefree Carnival Cruising On The Mexican Riviera
All-inclusive, first class service, food on the ready, luxurious and comfortable accommodations, on-board spa services, kids programs, built in date nights, high quality entertainment, waterslide, pools, miniature golf, basketball court, shore excursions, sunshine, rest, relaxation and FUN! There is simply so much to do all in one place aboard this moving hotel.
So sit back and relax, or dive in and have fun, either way Carnival Cruise lines will treat you like a VIP and provide you with one awesome Mexican Riviera cruise.
Ready for your own Mexican Riviera Carnival Cruise? Check out prices, ships and sail dates on carnival.com