Our most wonderfully memorable cruise yet

I have told the story of a 23-day transpacific journey, discussing and describing our preparations and the details involved in planning a cruise of this length. Now let me share our adventure with you, our most wonderfully memorable cruise yet.

Our 23-day cruise on the Carnival Splendor began in Seattle, Washington. It meandered its way to the Hawaiian Islands, past the International Dateline, the Equator, and Fiji, before ending in the magnificent harbor of Sydney, Australia.

Our most wonderfully memorable cruise yet

Beautiful Seattle harbor

The trip was incredible, and we saw so many amazing things. The food was great, the people were all delightfully friendly, and the scenery was breathtaking. We were never bored, and there was always something new to try. We even made some new friends on the cruise, which made the experience even better.

Our enormous and fantastic ship, the Carnival Splendor, had everything we needed, including swimming pools, a gym, a spa, live entertainment, and many planned activities. Steve and I never had a chance to be bored but did have unlimited opportunities to relax.

Our most wonderfully memorable cruise yet

We read books, slept, played games, talked, booked spa appointments, and more. The choices are limitless on the Carnival Cruise. It’s really up to you. Overall, we had a fantastic time and would recommend it to others.

Our cruise sailed with a total of 2,581 guests. There were 1,898 US citizens on board, 566 Australians, 103 Canadians, and 19 guests from the US. There were a few young people and children, but most were adults. We loved the mix of people from around the world we met on the cruise.

A truly relaxing experience was walking on the top deck, where I could see blue water for miles and miles. It was a great feeling.


What an unpleasant experience this was! We took a quick taxi from our hotel in Seattle to the cruise port and arrived 15 minutes earlier than our scheduled boarding time. It took us about 20 minutes to get our luggage taken care of, and we just deposited them in a sea of other bags and walked away.

We then joined the extremely long line outside the terminal in the hot sun to wait our turn for check-in. I realize this was a special cruise with special requirements, and another cruise ship was boarding simultaneously, but oh my goodness!

Our most wonderfully memorable cruise yet

We waited in line for three hours before we were checked in and cleared to board the ship. There were many unhappy cruisers in Seattle, Washington, that afternoon. I don’t believe I will ever forget this boarding nightmare. Still, almost everyone, including us, pushed this experience back into our distant memories as we prepared to enjoy this remarkable journey.

The amazing food

Splendor has multiple (as in way more than you could enjoy in 23 days) dining venues and varieties of food on offer. We always had breakfast in the Lido restaurant buffet – outstanding omelets and all the fruit I could eat.

Our lunches were also often at the Lido buffet. We also enjoyed Guy’s burgers, sandwiches from the deli, and barbeque from the complimentary dining restaurants. We did not even have a single meal at any specialty restaurants. There seemed to be no need to pay for food anywhere.

Main dining room

Two fine dining restaurants on the Splendor are the Black Pearl and Gold Pearl. We chose the early dining time of 5:30 pm. and were seated at Table 442 in the Gold Pearl Dining room.

Table 442

Steve and I were seated at a large round table for ten, table number 442. Night after night, our dining experiences at this table became a major highlight of our cruise. We were seated with four other couples, eight of the most exciting and fun people you could imagine.

Our dinner conversations were lively, fun, and full of laughter. More than one of our dining companions should write at least one book about their life experiences. Each one is a master storyteller.

Our most wonderfully memorable cruise yet

Thank you so much, Anne, Don, Bonnie, Jim, Rhonda, Phil, Donna, and Robin – we so enjoyed our dinners with each of you.

Ice cream

It seemed that each meal ended with this not-so-low-calorie dessert. Often we added ice cream to our cake even! I don’t know what it is about a cruise that transforms both of us into ice cream! It is quite possible we recouped the cost of this cruise in soft-serve ice cream.


We tried to catch the theater shows each evening after dinner and enjoyed each one. We watched singers, magicians, dancers, storytellers, and even a rope trick show. They were all professional performances done by talented entertainers.

Ship staff talent show

The staff talent show was our favorite show. The ship staff members shared their fantastic singing, dancing, and musical talents with us one evening. We were stunned to watch such incredible talent.


Steve and I spent more than a few early evenings before dinner listening to a never-ending collection of mostly extremely gifted singers in the Red Frog Pub. So much talent! I have a very different impression of karaoke singing after these experiences.

One memorable performance I remember was the song Frozen, sung by a 3 to 4-year-old little girl. She knew all the words (she can’t read yet) and was a very animated and entertaining young lady.

Comedy club

The Carnival Splendor presented multiple comedians most nights of the cruise, and although we only managed to watch maybe three of them, each one was just pretty darn funny and entertaining.


On this cruise, we saw some of the most beautiful places on earth, and we learned a lot about the natural world from the very knowledgeable Chris, our ship’s very own naturalist. These lectures were fascinating and gave us a new appreciation for the world around us.

We learned about the different ecosystems in the Pacific, the animals that call it home, and the threats they face. We also learned about the region’s history and the people who have lived there for centuries.
The lectures were truly eye-opening, and we are so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from such an expert.

These lectures will be a great way for passengers to better understand the Pacific Ocean and its importance to the planet.

Our most wonderfully memorable cruise yet

One of the exciting sights Chris discussed and pointed out to us was the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Our ship passed just by the edge of it, but we could see random pieces of plastic garbage floating here and there for a couple of days.


One of the many ways we spent time during this lengthy cruise was to do a bit of gambling in the ship’s large casino, which I always enjoy. This was one of the times I ended up leaving the ship ahead of the game – it doesn’t happen too often, but it was great fun.

Cloud 9 Spa

We booked a spa cabin for this cruise simply because, at the time we booked, that was the only bacony cabin available. This gave us unlimited access to the spa and all its thermal suite facilities.

We also received hefty discounts on spa services, enabling me to indulge my weakness for massages. This was a fantastic luxury for me. Steve is not a fan of massages but did enjoy the Thalassotherapy Pool, an enormous and intense whirlpool.

Special memories and events

Crossing the Equator

It’s official. Steve and I are shellbacks! We have certificates, and we kissed the fish!

The ship held an elaborate ceremony to mark its crossing of the equator. It is based on old Navy tradition and illustrates the transformation of a sailor who has not crossed the equator, a pollywog, into a shellback or child of Neptune – a sailor that has crossed the equator.

Our most wonderfully memorable cruise yet

Another part of the ceremony, the initiation, is the kissing of the fish. We both did kiss the fish! I’d love to know the story if you can tell me.

Crossing the International Date Line

September 22, 2022, did not happen for us this year. That day got skipped when we crossed the International Date Line. Kinda weird, but it did not affect us at all. We were “time traveling” throughout the entire cruise.

We reached Sydney, Australia, just in time for their Daylight Savings time to take effect. This time travel is responsible for the longest episode of jetlag we have ever experienced. We have had some sleepy days since returning home.

Animal towel display at the pool

Our most wonderfully memorable cruise yet

One morning we were treated to this animal towel display placed around the pool and bars. What a special treat!

Our most wonderfully memorable cruise yet

This smoke grapefruit bubble martini from the Alchemy Bar was one of our unique experiences during the cruise. I’d never seen such a thing before. Watching its preparation was great fun, and it tasted delicious.

Check back next week as I attempt to describe the fantastic port stops in the Hawaiian ports of Honolulu, Kona, Hilo, Maui, and the Fijian ports of Suva and Port Denarau. So amazing!

We had many memorable experiences, encounters, and friendships during this magnificent voyage, and we plan to take another transpacific cruise whenever we can magically arrange it. We are looking forward to a Panama cruise in the next few months.

This Carnival cruise was quite a big deal and a return to cruising in Australia for this cruise line. Take a look at this video.

Our most wonderfully memorable cruise yetOur most wonderfully memorable cruise yetOur most wonderfully memorable cruise yetOur most wonderfully memorable cruise yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *