Sailed on the Glory 11/19. Embarkation from Port Canaveral was easy and fairly quick. Only had to wait about 10 minutes to drop off, and then parked right in front of the terminal. Arrived about 12:30 and were on board by 1:15. There is some chaos in the terminal with the huge mass of people jockeying for positions at the counters, but nothing unusual.
Got onboard, found our cabin, met our cabin steward and proceeded to the Lido. The hamburger/hot dog grill on board is excellent, as is the 24 hour pizza and the deli. Unfortunately, I cannot say as much for the buffets or the dining room. Didn't try the fish & chips or the Oriental. I have a reputation among family and friends as a good cook, and I like many different kinds of food, especially southern and Southwestern cuisines. Each day on the ship, there was a food "theme", and all 4 of the buffet lines would serve the same foods, no variety among them. One day was Indian, one Japanese, etc. and we did not care for the offerings. So, we wound up with hamburgers/pizza or sandwiches every day on board for lunch. Dinners were likewise usually lackluster, though somewhat better. The main dishes at dinner were usually good, but we didn't have a decent dessert on the ship for the entire cruise. We tried everything, but it was all bland and tasteless, as though they were not allowed to use sugar or flavoring. It was really weird! I will say the soups were all excellent!
We presented our room steward, Abe, with an extra $20 as soon as we met him, and got a beaming smile and faultless service for the rest of the cruise. I highly recommend this practice, it was well worth the $20! Our head waiter, Reynaldo, didn't seem to speak or understand English, was surly, and made no effort to find out anything about us, or learn what we wanted. He never inquired about our food, or seemed to care if we liked it or not. He didn't smile and seemed very pressured. We sat with empty glasses a lot of the time. Our assistant waiter, however, was a breath of fresh air. His name was Milagres and he was from India. He was very sweet, and if not for him, I don't know what we would have wound up with for dinner each night! These people work very hard. The assistant waiters have to work in the Lido buffets every morning, then also dinner every night. He said they never had a full day off. He worked 7am to 2pm in the Lido, then 5-11 at dinner. According to him, they do not make ANY salary. They are entirely dependent on tips for their incomes. Now, I don't know if this was true, but he was so sweet and kind to us, we each gave him an extra $20 the last night of the cruse. He was at the end of his contract and was heading home to India. Good luck Milagres!
I have been on many cruises, and the food and dining room service was always a daily highlight in the past. This was the biggest let down of this cruise. Thanks God for hamburgers and Pizza!
Onward.... we were supposed to go the Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel, but due to the tropical storm out in the Caribbean Sea, we didn't find out until we got onboard that we would be diverted to Nassau for Sunday. We eventually found our way from there to Costa Maya and Cozumel after much wondering by everyone where we would wind up! We were fine with Nassau as my Mother had never seen Atlantis. We took a cab over and spent a few hours playing in the Casino. Didn't win a penny!
WARNING: this ship rocks like a hobby horse in high winds and moderate seas!!! I have never been on a ship that moved this much. It didn't bother me too much, but my Mother was puking her guts out the first night. After that, she took Bonine and the winds slacked off, and we were fine. That first night was one I would not want to repeat! After Nassau, 2 days at sea burning up the nautical miles to get to Costa Maya. The Glory can certainly move!
Had a massage in the spa. The girl was very nice, and she tried, but $109 + tip was a bit much for what I got in my opinion. The massage room we were in was so cold you could have hung meat in it, and I was freezing! Take a blanket with you! The Camp Carnival is directly above the spa, and I kept hearing loud bangs, gurgling water as pipes flushed and other disruptive noises. Not very relaxing. I didn't see the rest of the spa or use the work out equipment. I was a slug!!
Played several games of bingo throughout the trip, didn't win....but had fun trying!
Costa Maya was a pleasant surprise. The restaurants, and pools in the port village are fun and we had a good lunch there after our excursion. We did the Carnival tour to Chocchoben. It was about an hour ride on a nice a/c bus, and the Mayan ruins there are something to behold. It is very rustic and unexcavated to a large degree. We enjoyed it very much. Only a couple of mosquitos and perfect weather, about 73 degrees. All in all, I would have liked to spend more time there. We only had about 30 unattended minutes to wander about the ruins before we had to get back to the bus.
The next day, on to Cozumel. We had signed up for a Mexican Cooking workshop, combined with some beach time at Playa Mia. The workshop was fun, though of course, they had us cook fish, which I don't eat! The beach is wonderful, and the water like glass. The down side of Coz was that there isn't a tree left alive that I could see. Wilma killed off all the vegetation, and most of the buildings along the 15 minute drive to the beach looked like they had been the victims of a WWII bombing run. The piers are gone, etc. Really, really sad to see. WE had to be tendered in, which frankly is a pain. They hiked us down 4 flights of stairs, from one end of the ship and back again before routing us through the crew corridors to get on a tender. We also had about a 1/2 hour waiting standing on what is left of the pier trying to get back on the ship via tender.
However, the Mexicans we encountered at every point spoke good English, were polite and pleasant, and seemed to truly want to make us happy. The staff at Playa Mia was hopping at my elbow trying to give me a new drink every 5 minutes, and the Pina Colada were excellent! I highly recommend this beach trip, even if you just want to lounge and enjoy the water. They had clean, modern bathrooms and showers with changing room, lockers, towels, waverunners and all the usual beach stuff. Lots of things for the kids to play on, a giant open air pavilion tent under which they served a very good luncheon buffet, and all the drinks (including alcohol) that you could drink while you were there. There was also a small zoo of some kind that we walked past, I saw some monkeys, but we ran out of time and didn't get to go through it. I would have liked more time here as well!
Spent another day at sea, slept in late, packed, played in the casino, etc. The beds are very good on the ship. I usually do not sleep well on any type of regular bed as I am used to a waterbed, but these were fine. We had a balcony which I heartily recommend as well. The casino on this ship is ok with a good variety of machines. We spent a lot of time there as we usually go to Vegas during the Today holiday. Lost money overall, but did win some along and along. Play the "full of sheep" machines at max play if you go! I won $300 back on the last night on this machine! Throughout the cruise, people sitting right behind me would hit jackpots, and I hit my very first Royal Flush during the cruise. It was only on a nickel poker machine, but it was still a thrill.
The ship was already docked when we awoke Saturday morning, didn't feel a thing! The weather was beautiful. We propped open the balcony door and enjoyed our last morning of room service (another think I highly recommend!). We were on deck 10, which was called for debarkation at 8:30. We were in our car and headed out the port gates by 9:10am. I was impressed!
All in all, a good cruise. The ship is lovely, though not nearly as large as I was expecting. The theatre entertainment on the whole was much better than I had expected, other than the comedian which was not good at all. The staff was friendly and helpful on the whole. I did not like the frozen drink mix that they use, so did not enjoy my usual plethora of Pina Coladas, but I didn't need the extra calories anyway. I will say, there were a lot of teenagers roaming the ship in gangs, doing the Goth thing, as well as a large number of smaller children. Saw lumps of gum on the ceilings of the elevators sometimes, as well as glasses and dishes left in the corners by these rude kids. The staff was quick to clean everything up, and most of the time everything gleamed. The food was the biggest let down. This was my second Carnival cruise, and I think I will try something else next time. I prefer a more adult atmosphere with better food, but if you want to have a lot of fun, participate in games and enjoy a lot of noisy pool activities, you will enjoy this ship.