Friday, August 10, 2012:
We receive what I'm told is a not so unusual email stating that it would be better to arrive at the NYC cruise terminal a little later in the day to ease over crowding and suggested taking in some of the NYC sites before boarding the Carnival Glory.
Made me a little nervous never received this email before a cruise. Checked it out with other Cruise Critic cruisers who assured me they had gotten the same email for other cruises and it was considered a normal mailing to ease terminal crowding.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
We arrived at the NYC cruise terminal at almost 10 am. The NCL Gem and Carnival Glory cruise passengers are all disembarking and it's a mad house. I see why the email was sent but we love getting to the port early even if we have to wait to get on the ship.
Checked our two bags with a porter, sat in the area on the right closest to the front of the building. We had been sitting there for about not even 15 minutes and one of the port workers made the announcement that if you wanted to be registered to follow them. They directed us to the line where we went through security screening, then on to the registration desks.
We had registered online so the only thing that needed to be done was to verify everything, show our passports, credit card we registered with and answer the health questions. With that finished the port worker went to get our cabin keys. They got them, asked another worker a question, came back to us and said "Follow me." So we walked right behind them and as I saw that we were headed back toward the security area I asked nervously "Where are we going? Ahhh...What did we do?" They just smiled. Finally we reached the VIP Lounge. lol What a nice surprise, we were finally Carnival Platinum members. How nice. Great day for this to happen too.
After settling in at the VIP Lounge and getting use to our new status an announcement was made that boarding the Carnival Glory would be delayed until 1:30 pm. Usually we're on the ship between 11:30 and 12 pm. With the email we got last night and this delayed boarding I became a little concerned as to what had happened. The terminal became more crowded than I have ever seen it all at once. Port workers were working very hard to get the cruise passengers seated or suggesting they do some touring of NYC. We appreciated the timing of our new level of Platinum status, it made things easier that day. We were allowed to board the ship at almost 1:30 pm and it was smooth sailing from there. Picked up our Fun Times daily paper from the Guest Services Desk and headed on up to deck 9 to the Red Sail Restaurant.
Once in the buffet area we could see some very different procedures going on. No one was allowed to serve themselves. Crew members served each and every cruise passenger. Very strong suggestions to wash our hands repeatedly. Our favorite first day place Fish and Chips was not open boarding day nor the Pizza or the Grill until later in the day. The cruise staff was taking being sanitary very seriously. You couldn't touch the plates or utensils. We were starting to think this was very serious whatever happened on the previous cruise.
So we got through lunch with no problems and walked around the ship which was still being scrubbed and sanitized. The crew were working very hard. Passengers were not allowed into their cabins until 3:30 pm. After dropping our things in our cabin it was time for the Muster drill. Longest one I have ever been to. It was much more serious then in past Muster drills with good reason. Though it was late in the day, about 4:30 pm and we pushed off during the drill everyone was very attentive which is a really good thing.
After the Muster Drill we freshened up in the restrooms and went straight to dinner in the Platinum Restaurant. First time leaving NYC we missed Lady Liberty and the Verrazano Bridge, felt very strange. Waited in line to speak with the Maitre'd about a table for two. Couple of passengers before us were giving him a terrible time. When it was our turn we gave him our Sail and Sign card, requested a table for two to which he said "Platinum, you can have whatever you want!" We looked at each other liking the perks of being platinum. Pleased with our table, waiters introduced themselves and we placed our orders. Service for whatever reason is always a little slower on the first night, but the waiters were attentive, was offered bar service, water and bread was flowing. We were having a good time and didn't mind the wait. Our waiter Hubert thanked us for our patience and we said it was not a problem for us. Dinner was very good and we left full and satisfied.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
We woke up to heavy fog and rain. Not a great outside day, so we wondered the ship, lounged on the Promenade deck, read, listened to music and made the time go by. All the restaurants were open so we had Fish and Chips for lunch. Always good but guys change the grease in the fryers. Had dinner that night in the Platinum dining room and went to the Amber Theater show, then the Comedy Club and dancing in White Heat topped off the night.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Saint John, New Brunswick - We've been here at least six or seven times so it's like old stomping grounds. We let the rush die down, though it was cloudy the weather was warm and very humid. We did our usual walk from the ship all the way down and round the harbor to the other dock turned around, went through both malls and over the attached bridges. Came out of the malls sat on the round brick center by the large moose statue a while and headed back to the ship for lunch. Was able to watch some of the Olympics on the big screen on the sidelines when it wasn't sprinkling, went back to our cabin watched a couple of movies and prepared for the evening.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Halifax, Nova Scotia - Like Saint John we have been here several times. This is a very beautiful port stop. Walking along the harbors edge is a great experience. You get to see so many nautical and marine life things. Boats everywhere, ferry's to take you to different places, tall ships for excursions, marine museums, lots for kids to explore, fresh seafood restaurants and the day was perfect. Bright, sunny, low humidity, great for a long harbor walk. When we returned we had a nice early dinner and a couple of drinks before more wandering the ship.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Took a long walk on the jogging/walk track up on deck 12 early this morning. Everyone seemed to be out early. Beautiful cool, sunny start to the day with awesome ocean and Carnival Glory views. Finally made it to the Serenity area of the ship and it could not have been a better spot for an Adults Only space. Only thing that would have made it better is if you didn't hear the band and announcements so clearly. Don't get me wrong, the Caribbean band that played were awesome, they did a wonderful job. But on the CCL Miracle in the Serenity area you hear none of that (except the announcements) just very soothing light jazz music. The seating like on the CCL Miracle were very nice and cushy. Made for great reading and napping. The breeze coming off the ocean was awesome, the view the best. Crew members were very attentive and helpful. Great spot. Stayed all day. We had our best buffet dinner of our cruise in the Red Sail Restaurant. The salmon, crab cakes and roast beef were perfect. Bread was fresh and warm, baked potatoes cooked just right. The meal topped off our evening before packing and seeing shows and our movies.
Here's where the "We Ended As We Started" Happened
While up at the Serenity area the cruise director made two announcements that a passenger needed emergency medical attention and that we would be docking in NYC at 3:48 am. Nothing would be affected that evening but the disembarking schedule would change just a bit. We didn't mind at all and hoped the passenger got the medical treatment they needed. As a matter of fact we always do Self Assist and were off the ship at about 7 am. I think the Carnival Glory crew handled both situations of the previous cruises virus situation and the medical emergency excellently. I saw crew members pull together, do their jobs with a smile, answer any and all questions to be of assistance to cruise passengers. Job well done Carnival Glory.
We found the ship to be in excellent shape, very clean, as beautiful as the first time we cruised on the Glory. The crew and staff were wonderful. We had no problems getting answers, information, they all greeted us in the hallways, elevators and out on the decks. Our cabin steward was awesome! Kept our cabin spotless. Loved the towel animals and was always around whether early in the morning or in the evenings when we were coming in. It was great to see the Security Staff everywhere, they were on top of things. We look forward to cruising Glory again next year.
Very few of them but they mostly are about the food.
Breakfast in the buffet was terrible. The selection was not that great unless you wanted breakfast cereal hot or cold. My other half hated the scrambled eggs, refused to wait in the long lines for an omelet. The bacon and sausage are left to swim in a large amount of grease (very unappetizing), the potatoes are pretty much the same and don't seem fresh. The toasted breads, bagels are not replenished fast enough, seemed I always got the last cold one or two.
The buffet lunches didn't offer many great hot selections leaving us to either decide on pizza, hamburgers, the deli, a salad, or fish. I know that sounds like a large selection but a nice hot main lunch meal would have been great. I looked for pasta with red sauce and I think it was offered once on the day we boarded. The buffet definitely could use some work on the lunch menu's hot offerings and the way they are served. Don't really enjoy seeing food swimming in grease.
The deserts that are offered are very nice but sometimes you just want a piece of plain cake with some icing, nothing fancy. How about a plain yellow or white cake with white icing and coconut, devils food cake with milk chocolate icing, carrot cake with cream cheese icing, more oatmeal and peanut butter cookies, apple pie, peach or cherry pies, apple crisp. Well you get the idea. Have to say though, we never went hungry and appreciated what offerings that were available.
We were on the Carnival Miracle in June for the 8 day cruise and got off not to happy. We were/are reconsidering cruising so often with Carnival with some many cut backs and changes. We didn't enjoy that cruise the way we usually do, a lot was missing.
But just getting off this cruise on the Carnival Glory renewed our faith that Carnival still has what it takes to make cruise passengers return again and again. There are a few things that need tweaking as I mentioned but we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise on the Glory better than our experience on the Miracle. We look forward to cruising Carnival again next year.