We sailed the Carnival Glory out of Norfolk, VA from May 15-20 (6 nights), 2012. We live in Richmond, VA, so found it very convenient to drive to Norfolk (1.5 hours) and park the car.
1st Note: don't use the recommended cruise parking lot - it's a long ways off and expensive, while there are parking ramps right nearby! If you do use the cruiseport parking, the shuttle is a long haul (they wait until they are loaded up before they leave and return). We wound up taking a cab to the lot after disembarking. Also note that the majority of cruise passengers live close by, so upon disembarkation, the port is crowded with people trying to get to the parking lot! If you use cruise parking lot, best bet is to drop your luggage off first and then go to the lot before embarkation.
Embarkation was fairly smooth and we were on the ship by 1 PM, but debarkation was a nightmare. Most everyone (because they are from close by) chooses to take their luggage with them off the ship, and they are called first, but by deck number. For some reason, Customs took a long time to clear the ship, and they didn't even start disembarking until 9 AM - and then they were so SLOW. It was a very cumbersome process - not as smooth as most cruises we've been on.
Ports were great - super shopping in Nassau and we took a bottom fishing excursion in Freeport (fun fun fun)! BUT be advised that May is the start of the rainy season in the Bahamas. We were lucky to have only one rainy day in Nassau (unfortunately had to miss our Safari Jeep Excursion, so we shopped instead). But the cruise right after ours was not so fortunate. They hit a tropical storm and rain the whole trip. Always bring umbrellas and rain ponchos!
Notes on the cabin choice: We wanted to try an aft extended balcony cabin (specifically #7446), and the large balcony was very nice to have. BUT we were two decks below the Lido buffet and 3 decks above the restaurant, so around 11 PM - 12 AM we got an awful oily, greasy, smell in our cabin coming through the A/C ducts. They responded very quickly to our complaint, however (sent crew up to verify and ultimately gave us some cabin credit). Other folks in cabins close to ours experienced the same problem, but did not complain; therefore, they suffered through it with no compensation. Our advice: if you are unhappy with something, complain about it! It took a bit of work/time on our part, but once we spoke to the Manager of Operations, something was done for us! Make sure your cabin is not directly above or below food sources.
The cabin itself was roomy, with lots of storage space, especially in the bathroom, which is imperative! We just asked for extra hangers and our steward brought them right away.
This ship offers "anytime dining", and because we love this type of casual cruising (our favorite line of the ones we've sailed is Norwegian, for that reason), we signed up for it. We didn't really have to wait too long for our meals, but there were times when the lines were long. Of 2 large dining rooms, 2 floors each, only one floor of one dining room (25% of space) is set aside for anytime dining passengers. This is really not enough. On Celebrity, they have this option, but you can eat in any dining room you choose. ALSO, on the subject of dining: this ship appears to schedule its dining room hours at their convenience (make sure you always check the daily bulletin for the next day's dining room hours - they CHANGE, especially on port days)!
Restaurants: This ship has the most unbelievable Delicatessen; we ate there a number of times! We loved it, as well as the sushi bar and burrito bar (ALL FREE)!
We had made a reservation at the Steakhouse, but after looking at the menu, we cancelled it. It cost $30 per person, and it just wasn't worth it. They have HUGE steaks (18 oz., you've got to be kidding), lobster tail, lamb chops, etc. (but we got lobster and prime rib in the dining room). They appear to favor Quantity over Quality choices!
A note to Carnival: Add the in-room TV movie times to the bulletin. We had to call the Front Desk to find out when they played. Not a big deal, but a minor annoyance.
We would do this cruise again, just to get away for a week without any major travel hassle (so nice not to have to check baggage and be at the whim of an airline)!
We are just very sorry that the other cruise lines left Norfolk to go up to Baltimore. But we'll try one out of there soon!