My husband (29) and I (28) traveled with our two friend (26 & 30) and had a great time aboard the Carnival Glory. I will try to make this review as detailed as possible for future cruisers on this ship and with this cruise line! :)
EMBARKATION: We arrived at Port of Miami at noon, and was on the ship by 12:30pm. There were not that many people there at that time and I was surprised that we were able to get on-board so early! We waited a lot longer on our last cruise in 2007 and it appears as though for this particular sailing Carnival had everything together and running smoothly with no hiccups!
ARRIVING ONBOARD: Once on-board the Blue Iguana Cantina was open and serving scrumptious tacos and burritos with a full condiment and salsa bar. Guy's Burger Joint was also up and running and their burgers were equally amazing! Try the "Chilius Maximus" - it is great, along with their fries. After eating we decided to see if our cabins were ready - and they were - around 1pm. More
Cabins were spotless and bed was well made. Two minutes after we were in our cabin and had put our carry on bags down our cabin steward, Bernil, came to the door to see if there was anything that we needed and to let us know that if we ever need him, don't hesitate to contact him on the housekeeping line. He was fantastic our entire stay on-board and we felt to tip him above and beyond was warranted. If you have him you will be pleased. Our luggage arrived around 4pm which was the earliest I have ever seen it arrive on my cruises, and everything was there as it was packed.
SHIP DECOR/CLEANLINESS: The ship just went through dry-dock in November and the Funship 2.0 upgrades were added. You can tell that the ship was cleaned and some areas were freshly painted as well. In the Amber Palace / Auditorium, all the seating upholstery has been redone. Each day we were docked you the crew was cleaning the glass elevators one at a time, and you would see them constantly sweeping and mopping. The decor itself was very nice.
For our first breakfast on Monday (our first sea day) we ate in the main dining room and it was the Punchliner Comedy Brunch. The menu was very good and so was the food. My husband had Huevos Rancheros and I had your basic scrambled eggs with bacon and toast (I'm boring, I know). Everything was great. The wait staff also brings pastries to you if you want them including banana bread, lemon cake/bread, lemon and raspberry filled puff pastries, apple pastries, and the such. The other mornings we did open seating or the Red Sail Lido buffet. We preferred the open seating as it was more relaxed and you didn't have to wait in a long line to get your food. Other things we tried was the "Funny French Toast" which is French toast encrusted in your favorite cereal, Eggs Benedict, and various cereals and all were good.
As I mentioned before, for a quick bite to eat the Blue Iguana Cantina and Guy's Burger Joint were the ones we constantly ate at. We never waited more than 5 minutes at Guy's and never more than 10 at Blue Iguana Cantina. The Red Sail Buffet area was almost always slow and had a long line (no fault of the crew, it was the passengers that were slow in getting their food) so we only ate there twice. We ate at Fish N Chips and waited about 20 minutes. The line was long, and the service was slow because everything was prepared fresh. It was worth the wait that day and the fish was fresh and delicious - however we chose to eat at Blue Iguana Cantina and Guy's for lunch most days if we were not in port.
For dinner, we always ate in the Golden Dining Room as we opted for the "Your Time" dining. Each time no matter when we arrived we were seated immediately and always with the same waiter, Christopher. He was a riot! He loved to tell us jokes and always delivered service with a pleasant smile. He was always wanting to know how we liked the food, if we wanted anything more, and got to know our names and likes (coffee at dinner each night) by the third evening. Each dish we had was great and seasoned well, and each night my husband made sure to try their "Didja" selections. Those are items that you may have always wanted to try but never wanted to pay for. Some of the items they ordered for the "Didja" were Alligator Fritters, Sushi, and Frog Legs. Other than those, the selections were always plentiful for the main menu and really good. We had the lobster, prime rib, Chateaubriand, salads, sweet and sour shrimp, and much much more. We also made sure to have our Warm Chocolate Melting Cake nightly. NOT TO BE MISSED!
- ROOM SERVICE
Great each time we ordered, and about a 30 minute wait. We had a wide selection of sandwiches - both hot and cold - and desserts.
PORTS: All reviews for the ports are listed separately below.
SHOWS: I have heard a lot of negative feedback from Carnival seasoned cruisers about the new shows for the "Funship 2.0" upgrades, but my husband and I loved them. They have three that they rotated throughout the week - "Latin Nights", Divas", and "Motion City". All have popular songs being sung by the singers/dancers and the backdrops are now LED lit monitors that are changing with the songs they sing. We saw "Divas" and "Motion City". "Divas" had songs from the more popular Top 40 artists like Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Rihanna, and the sort. "Motion City" was a tribute to the 60's, 70's, and 80's Motown music and had songs by Aretha Franklin, Lionel Richie, The Temptations, etc. - We also did the trivia multiple times (I won a medal, yay!) and watched and participated in the Hasbro Family Show. That was so much fun! My team lost but we still got a consolation prize (a handheld Simon game).
STAFF: Josh, the Cruise Director - was hilarious. Equally funny was his Assistant Cruise Director, Everson! The both of them together were a wild pair and were great fun to be around. Dee, who ran bingo, was a bubbly blond lady and she was upbeat and great. Lolly, who was the MC for the Punchliner Comedy Club was fantastic and she had some pretty funny jokes (if you're not easily offended for the "adults only" show") LOL. I already mentioned Bernil our cabin steward and Christopher our waiter - but again - they were incredible people and if you have the chance to be with either of them whether by chance of room assignment or by requesting the latter in the dining room, you will not be disappointed.
DISEMBARKATION: We chose the relaxed (calling zone numbers) disembarkation process. We were zone 27 out of 31. We were able to have open seating breakfast and relax by the pool until they called us at 10:50am. Once we were off, our luggage came around on the carousel within 3-5 minutes and then we waited in the always slow line for customs. Once we met with the US Customs agent it was done and over in 5 minutes and we were on our way home to central Florida.
We loved our cruise aboard the Carnival Glory and we are already planning our next one for 2013 (this time with the kids)! Less
In Belize we were thankful that we had booked an excursion previously. This is NOT a port that you would want to walk freely through the streets. It is an extremely poor area and crime ridden.
With that said, we booked a tour that came highly regarded from a friend through http://www.cave-tubing.com. My husband, friends, and I booked the zip-lining and cave tubing excursion for $75/per person US. We were SO happy with our tour guide and the company as a whole! They picked us up at the port and our guide was holding a sign with our name on it. We (along with two other families) boarded a van and we were taken on a 45 minute ride to get to the site for the zip-ling and cave tubing.
We zip-lined first and what an experience! There are 7 separate platforms. The first one is a simple "chicken run" as they called it. From there they get higher, longer, and faster! It was so much fun and we were able to take photos and videos while we zip-lined.
Next we went to the cave for the tubing portion. What a beauty of nature. You go on a tube with headlamps and you can see the stalagtites, stalagmites, and different rock formations within the cave. There is a waterfall inside as well, and you can also see the glittering quartz veins on the cave walls. Truly a mesmerizing experience! We then just sat in our tubes down the river for another 25 minutes and throughout the experience our guide was telling us about each rock, tree, leaf, and the local culture.
Once the tour was complete, we were brought back to their tropical "hut" and were fed chicken tamales. YUM! Some of the best I have had. After eating we were able to change out of our wet clothes and then took the 45 minute ride back to the ship port. (PS: We were able to lock our things in the van while we did the excursion. The zip-lining and cave tubing is in a national park there and there are ARMED guards so it is very secure).
My husband and I rented a scooter from Alex right as soon as you exit Puerta Maya and enter the city. He was in a small white alley and was extremely friendly. For $30 US we were able to rent the scooter for the day, and it included liability insurance. SOLD! We saw the majority of the island and were able to go through downtown. In the downtown area we found a small, family owned restaurant where we were able to sample the local cuisine. My husband and I had two tacos each (two pork and two chicken) and then a glass bottle of Coca Cola and only paid $4.50 US! The tacos were incredible, fresh, and the lady made each corn tortilla by hand. Afterward, back on the scooter, we were able to see the majority of the island and were able to take AMAZING photographs.
Once we were off the boat, we went right into the shopping area at the port and there were MANY different companies offering tours with snorkeling and stingray city. We chose the one that approached us first and they were certified and backed by the Port Authority of Grand Cayman. They wanted to charge $40/per person US but we decided we could find cheaper and began to walk away. That is when she stopped us and said she can do $30/per person. So we went with them and saved $40 overall :). We are so glad we did. After a 10 minute bus ride to the marina, we were handed over to our boat captain and his three shipmates. After a 20-30 minute ride we were brought to a coral reef area to snorkel. We stayed for 30 minutes and there was an abundance of fish and seafans and marine life. Bring an underwater camera - the fish are gorgeous and like nothing I have ever seen before.
After snorkeling, we were taken three minutes away to Stingray City. This was one of the coolest things I have ever been able to do! I was hesitant at first but once I saw everyone else get in the water I decided to also. The stingrays are very calm and they were everywhere. I was able to hold one and they are also surprisingly heavy! We got very neat photos and videos of them. We stayed for 30 minutes then were taken back on the boat, to the marina, and then a busride back to the port.
The ship docks at Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan, Honduras. The scenery is breathtaking with all the greenery and trees, the clear waters and the large rocks.
We got off the ship and sat on the beach all day, which is a very short walk from the dock. We were one of the first to get off the boat so we were able to get four shaded chairs on the sand. The way the sun moved they were shaded all day and I was able to take a two hour nap with no sunburn! :)
The only thing I would want to warn about is on Mahogany Beach, apparently there may be a jellyfish or two. My friend was stung after she got in the water on her arm, after being in for around 5 minutes. She went to the local restaurant and they knew exactly what to do and gave her a paper towel soaked in vinegar to "draw out the venom". She held that on there for a little over an hour and the swelling was down and she was only left with some arm pain. She took an Advil and was fine the rest of the day.