Carnival Glory Cruise Review by Nukesailor: Carnival Glory - Western Caribbean
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Carnival Glory - Western Caribbean
First of all, let me say that we enjoyed the cruise and found it very restful. This review is based mainly on a comparison to the other cruise lines we've sailed on.
Embarkation: We drove up from Palm Beach Gardens, so no opinion on the airport connections. Carnival has a two-step registration process; first you get in line to present your papers, credit card, etc. to sign in. Then you get in a second line to get your "sail and sign" ship's card. Both lines moved reasonable quickly; however, they need to take a clue from Princess and combine the processes. Hint: don't be in a hurry to get aboard. We noticed that after 2:30PM there was no line at all.
General ship: The theme for Glory is color, which is evident everywhere. Contrary to some of the other opinions on this, we found it fitting for a vacation mood. It is also one of the cleanest ships we've ever seen.
Cabin: Our balcony cabin, 8433, was aft on deck 8. Unfortunately right under the aft pool More area. I expected some noise, but not the constant scraping of chairs, especially after midnight for the buffet and when they clean up around 2AM. Evidently there is little to no insulation between the decks. The cabin itself was nicely sized with a typical layout. On other cruises, we would find a little card introducing the cabin steward and the steward would almost immediately check in with us to be sure we had everything we needed. On this cruise, we never actually met our cabin steward. He, she or they did a good job taking care of the cabin, but weren't too friendly.
Dining: We noticed they condensed the menu by combining the appetizers and soups into one course. Selections for main courses were very limited compared to what we've seen on other cruises, and portions were not large. We were seated at a table for 4 in the Platinum Dining Room, booth style, with another nice couple from Tennessee. They stopped coming to dinner because the portions weren't enough. The traditional lobster night came early in the cruise and only one lobster tail was offered (on the Star Princess in April, they started us with 3 lobsters, then came by with more until we cried "uncle"). Desserts were disappointing, except for the black and white pudding, which was excellent.
Red Sails buffet restaurant: the food was tasty, but VERY limited in selections. Breakfasts got to be repetitive. A selection of deli-type foods could be had at the window on the port side and were quite good. Oriental food was available on the starboard side. The fish and chips upstairs are excellent, plus they have other things like fried oysters (yum!).
Sushi is available at certain times midships along the Kaleidoscope Blvd and was quite good.
Public areas: Best regular (ballroom) dancing was in the Ebony Lounge to the music of Simple Friends. The lounge is comfortable and kept very cold. A Jazz trio held sway in the Ivory Club - they are excellent, but the Jazz Club is also the smoking/cigar lounge. The smoke drove us out after 15 minutes. The casino has an interesting Egyptian theme, but was also so smoky that other than the blackjack tournament, I didn't bother with it. The main theater, the Amber Palace, is gorgeous with good sightlines throughout. The late show (10:30PM) didn't seem to be crowded and seats were available. However, the ship was full and main passageways were always crowded. Picture a busy day at a shopping mall. We noticed the Glory has fewer decks than other vessels with 3000+ passengers. Empty lounge chairs seemed to be available at all times during the day - even around the pools. Also some in the shady areas.
We noticed they did not push the drinks as much as other cruise lines (such as Princess and RCI).
Entertainment: The production shows were good, with very elaborate costumes. The lead singers were excellent. However, a lot of the music was dubbed in (either that or there was a group of singers behind the stage, none of the other performers had mics). We didn't go to the other shows.
General comments: The captain did a very nice job steering us around bad weather. We had a few notable thunderstorms, but the seas were the smoothest we've seen. The crew were very friendly and competent. We did note there seemed to be too few wait staff in the lounges and too few sales staff in the shops. We were wondering if they had a staff shortage. Fellow passengers. Let's see, how to word this without offending too many people... People - when the show starts at 10:30, it means you should be in the theater by 10:30. Not 10:45, not 11:00. When you arrive late and start wandering around looking for seats, you disturb those who got there on time. Why do many people with children assume it's ok to let them run around unsupervised? I'm not talking about daytime activities, I'm talking about children in the 8 to 12 years range running around after midnight with no adult supervision. Cruise ships can be dangerous places between operating machinery and the possibility of falling overboard. We observed large groups of kids gathering in the passageway just outside the video game area late at night. Oh, yes, and kids in Pampers do NOT belong in the hot tubs. Coolest thing I've seen: a young Marine, in full dress uniform, proposed to his girl just before the first 10:30PM show, in front of half the ship's passengers. That's class. And if that Marine happens to be reading this, I have a photo you may want.
Debarkation: This was the first time we tried taking our luggage off ourselves. Our deck was called early and we got off in about 1 1/2 hours. One of the biggest bottlenecks were the elevators - we could only use the forward set and others on floors above us could "hijack" (pardon the word) the elevator so it would bypass our floor. Another bottleneck was the U.S. Immigration and Customs process. This was beyond control of Carnival. We noted that they were doing a more rigorous check on non-U.S. citizens, including photographing and taking finger prints.
All in all, it was a good cruise; but, I think in the future we'll stick to Princess or Celebrity. Less
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