It's been a number of years since I sailed on Carnival, and I was pretty skeptical of the Glory based on some of the negative reviews (and the alleged noro virus). I traveled with my sister and 2 nieces, age 13 and 19. I ended up having a good time and a new appreciation for Carnival.
Embarkation: We got to the ship quite early (10:00). Our luggage was quickly checked in, and we were led to a waiting area for a brief period. Soon, they let us begin the check in process, and after another brief wait, we were having board by 11:30. I heard the lines get pretty bad by 12:00, so early is the way to go. We were able to go into our cabin by 12:30, although not all cabins were available yet.
Ship: The Glory is a large ship that was sometimes difficult to navigate. They should do better with the maps and signs. Decor was mostly tasteful, and the ship was generally clean. Lots of bars and lounges, and the Amber Palace was really pretty. The casino is large and noisy, but that's not a bad thing for me. There was a strong smell of smoke, particularly on the last night, as if their fans weren't quite working. The pools on board are small and crowded, but I wasn't brave enough to go into the cold water anyway.
Cabin: Because this was only a 4 day trip, we opted for an ocean view cabin. It was average sized with a lot of storage space. The shower is small, and I recommend bringing a little suction cup basked to put in there if you bring your own shower products. I rarely saw our cabin steward, but our room was always tended to and we had fresh ice twice a day. Our room was directly across from the laundry room, but it was only noisy on the first night of the cruise.
Entertainment: I happened to like the shows, although I do think Carnival should invest some money into costumes and props. Cruise Director Pete wasn't around much, but Assistant Director Kim and the rest of the staff took excellent care of all the games and shows. There are many enjoyable activities on the Glory, but try to participate in the Murder Mystery...so fun!
Saint John: Nice little town with interesting people. We didn't take any excursions but took a cab to Rockland Park. It had beautiful views! We also stopped at the reversing rapids, but to really get to appreciate the phenomenon, you need to be there for low tide, slack tide and high tide. There isn't enough time for that, so I'm glad we didn't pay for a tour there. We did a little shopping around the dock area and were back on board by 2:00.
Cleanliness: I thought the ship was kept quite clean, with one exception. My sister and I were up at the Lido deck every night around midnight, and there were dirty food plates from the buffet and grill all over the place. On lounge chairs, tables & counters. I passed a half eaten burger sitting on a closed buffet that was still there half an hour later. I witnessed a man slip on melted ice cream that no one ever came to clean while we were there (over an hour). There was a broken glass under the grill counter that was still there when we left the area. I did not see much cleaning going on, although I would assumed they got to it before morning. The Grill/Pizza area is very popular at night and I think the Glory just needs to have more staff on hand to clean the area, especially 12:00 to 2:00 AM.
Food: Our wait staff was good. A party breaks out at dinner every night, so try to request lower level seating in the MDR. I'm not going to pick apart the food. Some things were good (chocolate melting cake), some things less than good. Our food in the MDR was never hot, but I noticed that all of the courses (appetizer, salad, main course, etc), except dessert, are brought out at the same time and left on the servers. As soon as I finished a course, the next course would be placed in front of me. It made for fast service, but there was no way to keep the food hot! This seemed the norm at more than just our table. Yes, I could have complained, but I felt this was not the fault of the servers or kitchen, but procedure on the ship. I thought the buffet also had temperature issues. Breakfast in the MDR on the last morning was pretty bad (slow and disorganized), I would choose buffet in the future.
I think the Glory is a lot of fun, and half of the experience is your mindset going in. We had a really good crowd on board, and I had an excellent time. After being on the Celebrity Summit in May, I promised myself I would not compare the two ships, or be too critical because they are very different experiences. The Glory does not pretend to be fancy or too serious, the emphasis is on showing the guests a good time...and I really think they delivered.