It's been a while since I've cruised with Carnival after sailing with Royal for a while. Even thought I prefer Royal ships overall, the great experience aboard the Carnival glory makes me want to check out the new ships Breeze, Magic and Dream.
Embarkation: The Port of Miami is easily accesible and embarkation was a breeze. However, for passengers cruising with VIP embarkation, the line should be clearly marked to avoid needless lines. My partners Sign & Sail card did not work right when you check aboard the ship, we had to wait about 20 minutes to go in. This definitely puts a damper on the beginning of your vacation, and it seems we were not alone as about 15 people where waiting for a new card.
Stateroom: The stateroom was awesome, we had an ocean view suite and it was amazing. Even though we requested our beds together multiple times, they where still I Love Lucy style twins beds. Fixed easily enough without a problem. Room was spacious, LOTS of closet space.
Crew: I cannot say enough about how nice the crew aboard this ship was. Gladys at the Burgundy bar, you must visit her. One of the nicest people, she even made a martini in our honor, ask for the Honeydew. Dee the comedy club manager was simply spectacular. Trevor and John, the cruise and assistant cruise director where very funny. The cabin crew was splendid always did a great job.
Dinning: We had my time dinning and definitely no complaints. We never waited more then 5 minutes and we went at ALL different times. The food was great, a lot more variety and much better then we have had in Royal, even when sailing from the Mediterranean. The buffet was typical for a cruise. Definitely try the Mongolian Wok by the middle pool in the Lido Deck, also the sushi in midship by the Casino on promenade deck and the Fish and Chips on the second floor of the Red Sail restaurant. We also tried the steakhouse, it was great. Service was impecable. If you can, definitely try the Food and Wine pairing class with the sommelier. And finally, but most importantly, ask to be seated in Novita's section in the dinning room, for my time dinners. Simply one of the best head waiters.
Entertainment: As the saying goes, if you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all. Well, I wont be mentioning the singers and dancers, or the other shows onboard out of which we walked out, or just skipped altogether. Now, the Punchliner Comedy club was outstanding. Mark Simmons killed it the first couple of nights. So much soo about 200 people had to be turned away it was so popular. Good thing they do repeat shows. The love and marriage game was HILARIOUS and hosted by John the
assistant cruise director.
Nassau: Went to Blue Lagoon, option with Lunch for 90 bucks p/p. Worth it for 10 extra bucks to get the lunch, it is good. Beach is very pretty, white sands, blue water, plenty of chairs and hammocks to lay out.
St. Thomas: If you want to do the St. Thomas Skyride, by the tickets from the ship! They ware WAY cheaper on board then at the skyride. The view is worth it for picture taking, however wait a little bit before going on. Dont go exactly when you dock, the lines are huge. Megans bay beach is very pretty, clear water, sand etc.
San Juan: Just walk to get to know the city. There is a cop on every corner, so dont be scared. Visit el Morro, the castle and just everything this historic city has to offer. Stop for some lunch at Raices restaurant in front of the Dona Fela parking lot. It has the best authentic puertorican meals.
Grank Turk: Getting a taxy is CRAZY, very disorganized. Spending money on the excursion is alright, but you could do it on your own, if you want to brave the taxy hassle. Otherwise rent a jeep, the island is not that big. The Carnival beach right off the port is the same if not better than Governors beach. If you go on your own Taxi, stop by the little side shops in the seafront, downtown area and eat conch salad at Conky Joe's, spicy but yummy.
Overall, it is a very good cruise, small but the amicable attitude of the crew takes it over the top.
One more thing, if you have cruised before, you have definitely noticed how on a receipt, even tho gratuity was already included, they would leave a space for it. Not on Carnival anymore. YOu just sign and walk away. Of course you can add tip if you want, but there is no pressure because there is no line. AWESOME.