I can't believe that it's really over and I'm now sitting at my desk back at work again...ughhh. My boyfriend and I sailed on the Carnival Glory last week and had an AMAZING time. There were of course a few setbacks (as with all vacations) but the positives def. outweighed the negatives and overall it was a wonderful cruise. I got so many tips and advice from this board I thought it would be a good idea for me to write this review and hopefully answer some questions other future cruisers might have.
Departure day - we took a 6 a.m. flight from NY to Orlando and flew JetBlue. This was our first time flying JetBlue and it was a great experience. The leather seats were soooo comfortable and the individual TVs were awesome. When we landed we waited for our transportation to Port Canaveral. For a few extra bucks we opted to reserve a town car and it was worth it. The company we reserved was Majestic Transport and they were worth every extra penny. The driver was there waiting upon our arrival and our smooth air conditioned drive to Port Canaveral took less than 45 minutes. When we arrived I thought the embarkation process would be relatively fast from what i had read on these boards but i was wrong. While it wasn't painfully long it did take over 40 minutes for the entire process to be completed. We were on the Lido enjoying our buffet by 12:30 and in our balcony room by 1:30.
Balcony room - We went from an inside stateroom to a balcony room and I have to agree with the general feeling of the board - once u have a balcony there's no turning back. we loved our room and spending time on the balcony. our balcony light was out, but we noticed towards the end of the trip so we didn't even mention it to the steward. Our steward, Catherine, was great. our room was replenished with towels twice a day and of course the towel animals were there waiting for us every night when we came back from the casino
Dining - We were in the Platinum 8:00 seating. When we got on the ship we noticed our sail and sign said 8:30 when we had clearly requested the 8:00 so we headed down to the maitre d' and he kindly accommodated us with the time and table we wanted. We had table 333 and our waiter German was wonderful. It really amazes us how the staff can be so friendly and kind week after week. German always had a smile on his face and made us feel at home. His assistant Villi was great. His upbeat and lively personality made dining a very fun experience. We ate in the dining room 6 out of the 7 days and we truly missed our dining table family when we returned. We even the assistant from last year's cruise. Nilu was our assistant waitress last years on the Carnival Paradise and my boyfriend managed to recognize her one morning during breakfast. She was soooo excited to see us and couldn't believe we remembered her, meanwhile we couldn't believe how she managed to remember us. It was a great "Carnival" moment. One side note: Carnival should def. bring back the baked Alaska...it was missed :/
Deli, Oriental and Fish-n-Chips - My boyfriend went to the deli once and had a decent turkey club sandwich. I went to the oriental once as well and had lo mein and shrimp fried rice - it wasn't like the Chinese food I get back home but it wasn't bad either. Unfortunately we never had lunch at Fish -n chips, however on Thursday while we were eating lunch in the dining room we saw the famous fish -- chips on the menu and decided to go for it. great decision because it was sooooo good. so I would definitely recommend stopping by the fish-n-chips for whoever is cruising on the Glory in the future. Also, try to eat lunch in the dining room every chance you get because it is far better than the buffet. The last day of the cruise we had pepper steak for lunch in the dining room. This happened on my previous cruise last year as well. I guess Carnival saves the best lunch for last...for me it was the best meal of the entire cruise, so don't miss it!
Onboard Activities - Last year when my boyfriend and I cruised on the Paradise we had trouble choosing which activity to do because there were so many to choose from. Our schedule was literally filled everyday with activities going on around the ship. Unfortunately, this year on the Glory we noticed that we did not have this problem. We had no trouble picking activities because there weren't many to choose from. There was of course the Newlywed game, the July 4th food eating contest, the hairy chest contest, the welcome aboard show etc., but overall we noticed a significant decline in activities from last year's cruise. This absence of organized activities led us to the casino one too many times. In fact we lost a significant amount in the casino at the end of the trip. We don't regret playing because we had a great time doing it despite the loss, however we feel that if Carnival would have organized more activities we may have strayed away from the casinos. Also we tried to go to the White Heat dance club every night, but once again it was empty every night. I never saw more than 5-8 people dancing.
Cruise Director - Mark Price is a riot and has a real talent for what he does. He had us laughing throughout the entire cruise. For future cruisers...don't miss the welcome aboard show or the talent show because these are two of the best times to see Mark in action. We approached him for some excursion questions as well and he was so kind in answering our concerns. He definitely set the fun tone for the Glory.
Pizza and Ice Cream - The pizza on the cruise is really good and this is coming from an Italian from Brooklyn so I know good pizza when I see it hahahahaha. In all seriousness the pizza is great and by the second night it had become me and my boyfriend's first choice for our before bed snack we made frequent stops to the ice cream machine everyday. My boyfriend stuck to the ice cream and I stuck to the frozen yogurt and it was gooooood.
Pools - If u cruise in June, July or August be prepared for kids, kids and more kids and they all hang around the pool. We heard that on our cruise out of the 3,700 passengers, 1,000 were children! We didn't really mind it and managed to find a spot for us in the pool all the time. Chair hogging on the Lido was evident but once again we always managed to find good seats even after 10 a.m..
Captain La Fauci - We had the opportunity to meet and speak with the Captain and he was very friendly with us. He had some tough decisions to make on this sailing. When we started we had Hurricane Cindy to deal with and on our return we had to speed ahead of Hurricane Dennis. He decided to swap ports (Belize and Cozumel) in order to give us 2 wonderful days of sunshine and eliminate the bad weather we would have encountered had we stuck to our original schedule of ports. For this decision the whole ship was thankful. After Belize on Wednesday, he decided to go full speed ahead for 2 days in order to get way ahead of Dennis and we managed to get to Port Canaveral without ever seeing or felling the hurricane.
Comedy Shows - The bad news is there were only 2 comedians, the good news is the 2 that we had were hysterical. The midnight R rated shows aren't for everyone, especially those who get easily offended, but if u could deal with it you'll definitely get a lot of great laughs.
Key West – We did the trolley tour when we got off the boat and paid $25 each for 1.5 hours. The trolley makes about 9 stops and u are free to get off at whichever stop u want and can hop on the next arriving trolley. We figured this would be the best way to see Key West, but in all honesty we thought it was a waste of $$$ in the end. If you want to see Key West just walk around Duval Street and you’ll save yourself $25 a person. We went atop the La Concha hotel and I recommend anyone going to Key West to find this hotel and go to the top to see one of the most amazing views of the island. We also went to Margaritaville and had a drink (my daiquiri didn’t exactly sit well with me…I learned on this trip that I don’t handle tequila very well).
Cozumel – Sooooo beautiful. When u get off the port u have to pass through a long duty free shop. We found a great deal on Kahlua and cigarettes. When you finally get out of the duty free you’ll be in an area filled with shops and souvenir shops. It’s a very pretty area and best of all all the shops are air conditioned we did some shopping and my boyfriend did the unlimited snorkel tour with Carnival which he enjoyed very much.
Belize – My boyfriend and I decided not to get off and instead opted for the discounted couple’s massage. We enjoyed it veryyy much and since I read these boards before I left I knew I would get the sales pitch at the end. We kindly declined and although I could tell they weren’t too happy with our decision they did not pressure us into purchasing anything.
Debarkation – Extremely smooth. We were off the ship by 9:30 a.m. and once again we had our Towncar waiting for us. This time it was a van and we shared it with another family. Instead of going back home to NY right away, my boyfriend and I decide to stay in Florida and went to Epcot the next day. Winding down after a cruise is a highly recommended tip. After 7 days of wining and dining its hard to go back to reality right away. We returned on JetBlue yesterday afternoon and are back to work today.
Well, my post cruise depression is in full swing now, especially since I know I won’t be cruising again for at least 2 years. Although we wish some things would have been different on this cruise, we had an amazing time and would do it again in a second. We miss our waiters, our balcony, the casino (even though we dropped a hefty sum there), the friendly staff and the friends we made along the way. The Carnival Glory is a wonderful ship and we will always look back on this vacation and remember all the great memories we made.