We got home from our Carnival Glory cruise late Saturday night, May 28. (we live in Arizona). This was our first cruise and it was great. We had wonderful weather, there was delicious food and we had a great time.
Since we had 5:30 a.m. flight out of Tucson on Friday morning and the airport is an hour and a half, our journey started on Thursday afternoon. Even though we stayed in Tucson overnight, we still had to get up at 3 a.m. so we could take the shuttle at 4 a.m. so we could get to the airport on time. We then stayed at the Crowne Royal Hotel in Orlando on Friday night. The Mears shuttle picked us up at about 10:45 a.m. Saturday morning and we arrived at the docks around noon.
Since this was our first cruise, we didn't know what to expect. They handled our luggage and we waited in line. After about 30 minutes we got to the security station. Then it was up the escalators to another line. This one was only about 10 minutes long. They checked passports and cruise documentation and sent us to another line. We were second in line so it didn't take too long. They gave us our sign and sail card (room key) and we made one more stop before boarding. Why so many lines? Why can't they do passport, sign and sail... at one stop???
We got on the ship and they told everyone to go to the 9th deck for lunch. Our cabin was on the 8th deck (veranda deck and we had a balcony room). The room was a good size, bigger than I expected and there was plenty of storage. We dropped off our carry on luggage and went up to get some lunch. The buffet was great.
Before sailing we had the lifeboat drill. We had early seating in the Gold room (6:15). One of our two pieces of luggage got to the room about 5:45. We went to dinner and the other didn't get there until about 8 pm.Sunday, our first port call was Key West. We got off and had lunch at a seafood restaurant called Oysters. The food was really good. You just can't get good seafood in Arizona. We also went to the Ripley's believe it or not museum, a museum with twelve rooms of unbelievable fact. Then we found the Key Lime Pie Store. We had frozen chocolate covered key lime pies on a stick. Yummy!!!!
Monday was a day at sea. On sea days, everything is pretty crowded, even the gym at 7 a.m. This was also the first formal night which included a reception with the Captain. After dinner there was a Las Vegas like show which was really good.
Tuesday we went on the city tour of Belize City, Belize and an airboat ride. Someone asked what the salary of the school teachers was and we were told $3.00 in Belize dollars an hour which equates to $1.50 an hour American. And we though our teachers were underpaid. On the airboat we saw lots of birds. They even let us use a sheet with all the local birds so the guide could point them out as we passed. We also saw some crocodiles, even some baby ones.
Wednesday we went on a submarine in Cozumel, Mexico. We met our tour guide at the docks and took cabs to the "office". They took pictures and then we took tenders to the sub. There were two rows of seats both facing the windows to the outside. We also got a sheet with the different fish similar to the bird one we had in Belize. The sub went down to 107 feet. There were so many different kinds of fish and coral. It was great. Then when it surfaced, you got on the tender, they passed out OJ and you could have tequila added if you wanted, they showed you the picture they took and told you it cost $10 to buy it and then dropped you off at the pier right near the ship.
Thursday was Progreso, Yucatan. We didn't do any excursions at this port. When you got off of the ship, you took a bus into town since the pier is 6 miles long. We did go into town and went to the beach. There was someone there who set you up at an umbrella with a table and chairs and got you drinks for $1 each for beer or soda. There was no charge for the service; they only requested that you buy drinks. There were many people coming buy trying to sell you their wares. It was a bit confusing trying to find the correct bus that would take you back to the ship. On the dock right outside the ship, there were people with shops where you could buy souvenirs. This was also our second formal night but not everyone dressed up. After the dinner we went to another Las Vega type show. This one was as good as the one on Monday night and they were the same dancers and singers as Monday night.
Friday was a day at sea. The day was spent swimming, packing and working out at the gym. We went to the debarkation meeting. We found out you can leave your luggage outside your door between 10 pm and midnight and they would take care of it or you can take it off your self. They are pros and cons to both of these methods.
Pros if you take it off yourself. You get off the ship first. You have your luggage with you in the morning. The cons are you get no help meaning no assistance from the crew, navigating down an escalator and must be in complete control the whole time.
Letting the cruise people pick it up between 10 p.m. and midnight. Pros are you don't have to worry about it until you go through customs, you can sleep in a little later. Cons, It must be ready at 10 pm, you get off the ship later. You must vacate your cabin by 9 am and wait in a designated area for your cabin to be called.
We chose to put it out at 10 p.m. and we were not called to get off the ship until 10:30 a.m. Had we taken it ourselves, we could have gotten off at 8:30 am. It didn't matter must to us since our flight wasn't until 3 p.m.
What I really liked about the cruse. Great food. Good shows. Excellent service.
What I didn't like much. The ship was really crowded on sea days. They only had 2 step classes on a 7 day tour. (My health club has 4 step classes each day). The casino was nasty because it was a smoking area. It was a major throughway and the smoke was everywhere near the casino. There was no good place for adults only but the casino and that was way too smoky for me.
This was our first cruise and we are already planning for the next. Not sure if it will be Carnival, but I hope I can find something non smoking. The cruise will probably be to Alaska and our cabin will definitely have a balcony. We would also like more adult only areas such as an adult only pool or a show where you won't have kids running all over the place. Any suggestions?