Carnival Cruise Lines’ 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor – the line’s newest and largest ship offering a host of innovations – embarked yesterday on its inaugural seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise from Long Beach, Calif., building upon the company’s distinction as California’s number one cruise operator.
On its new schedule, Carnival Splendor departs the Long Beach Cruise Terminal every Sunday on weeklong voyages to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.
Including Carnival Splendor, the company operates four ships from the West Coast which collectively will carry a record 620,000 guests annually from California ports – more than any other cruise line.
In anticipation of the Carnival Splendor’s arrival, the Long Beach Cruise Terminal, owned and operated by Carnival’s parent company Carnival Corporation & plc since 2003, has undergone an $8 million upgrade.
Based on information collected by the Office of Economic Research at California State University, Carnival Cruise Lines’ Long Beach operations have a significant impact on the local economy, with $82.4 million in direct expenditures generating an employment impact of 525 jobs with an annual payroll of $18.2 million. The arrival of Carnival Splendor is expected to generate an additional $14 million in direct annual expenditures – this impact will be immediate.
“Carnival has earned its distinction as the West Coast’s number one cruise operator by offering fun, affordable vacations from two convenient homeports and Carnival Splendor – with its many innovations and features – provides guests with yet another exciting choice for Southern California cruising,” said Ruben Rodriguez, Carnival’s executive vice president of marketing and guest experience. “We are also very pleased with the renovations to the Long Beach Cruise Terminal, which provides our guests with a comfortable, state-of-the-art venue for embarking and debarking on their cruise,” he added.
Steve Goodling, president & CEO of the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, said, “The size, capacity and appeal of the Carnival Splendor will give us the opportunity to showcase the revitalization of Long Beach and our beautiful skyline to the many thousands of passengers who will set sail on this incredible ship. We believe that this experience will generate repeat visits by many of these passengers.”
A new class of vessel for the line, the 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor offers a wide range of on-board facilities and features, highlighted by a two-level 21,000-square foot health spa – the largest in the fleet – featuring a thalassotherapy pool, an elaborate thermal suite and 17 private treatment rooms. Adjacent to the facility are 68 spa staterooms and suites – a first for Carnival.
Carnival Splendor also offers the most elaborate children’s facilities of any “Fun Ship,” including a 5,500-square-foot children’s play area – the largest in the fleet – along with a water spray park and dedicated facilities for ’tweens and teens. Also featured on Lido Deck is Carnival’s Seaside Theatre, a massive 270-square-foot LED screen displaying movies, concerts, and other programming.
Dining options include four restaurants – two two-level main dining rooms, a 1,400-seat casual poolside eatery featuring a 24-hour pizzeria, and an elegant reservations-only restaurant. Rounding out the Carnival Splendor’s many diverse features are 22 lounges and bars, a duty-free shopping mall, full casino gambling, and ship-wide Internet access and cell phone service.