Carnival Glory - Eastern Caribbean: Carnival Glory Cruise Review by msdeb1107
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Glory - Eastern Caribbean
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
Embarkation went smoothly. We had already done our Fun Passes via the Internet, and Carnivals check-in staff was plentiful. Our cabin was really nice with lots of storage space. We did bring a bungee cord for the balcony door, but found it easier to use the rubber wedge provided for our front door. Carnival has a great bedding set which was very comfortable (and which they sell online). I normally have trouble sleeping in hotels but slept like a baby every night in that great bed. Well probably buy a set of the pillows.
Food was varied. The main More dining room had WONDERFUL meals with a GREAT wait staff. We dined there all but one night, when we were too exhausted to get cleaned up. One night I had two entrees (lobster) and our waiter constantly asked if we wanted more of everything! We only ate in the main dining room for lunch once (delicious!), and never ate there for breakfast, but the best meals were definitely served in this area. Service was efficient and never rushed (8:00 p.m. seating).
The buffets were mediocre, with the exception of the carved roast beef, which I loved. The desserts on the buffet were LOUSY. I have a sweet tooth and I could hardly believe that something could look so delicious and taste like plywood. The best sweets on the ship were the room service chocolate chip cookies (which we got every day - LOL) and an amazing Grand Marnier soufflE we had on the last night in the main dining room. The 24 hour ice cream was soft serve, nothing special. The 24 hour pizza and hamburgers on the Lido deck were good, the Oriental restaurant was gross, the Fish and Chips restaurant was closed, and the Deli sandwiches were GREAT. Try the Reuben. Yum! I did not try the sushi nor purchase the pastries in the pastry shop. They looked much better than the rest of the desserts (hmm Carnivals plan to add more revenue probably).
If you are a foodie this is probably not the cruise line for you, but we were there to have a good time and the so-so buffet certainly didnt put a damper on our fun. I gained 4 pounds on this trip (must have been the awesome dining room meals). We also purchased one adult and one childs drink card and used it for all four of us (it was $75 for both, including tips). They DONT look at the names and, as much as the cards cost, I would have felt ripped off had I spent $150 for them. BTW, the bartenders were just as courteous in serving our sodas as they were the alcoholic beverages. We were pleasantly surprised by this.
The ship itself was well-maintained and clean. Our cruise was in late-November, early-December and most of the rooms were FREEZING. I had to wear a light jacket in the Red Sail and in most other inside areas of the ship. I suppose it is geared more towards warmer weather cruising. The rooms do not have heat, so even with the thermostat all the way on warm it was still cool inside. Not a problem, just make sure to pack something warm.
Movement: the Glory does rock a LOT. We had mild weather conditions and the ship rolled like crazy. Fortunately, I brought the ginger root tablets recommended on the cruise boards. The second morning I woke up and felt queasy, but the tablet fixed me right up and I wasnt bothered for the rest of the cruise. Others didnt fare so well.
Entertainment: This is a very subjective topic. We are in our 30s. We went to the shows the first couple of nights and I thought they were pretty lame. If you are under 50, sober, or (worse yet) BOTH, these Vegas-type productions are not for you. The singers were mediocre, though the dancers made up for their lack of talent with their enthusiasm. It was obvious they tried hard. I skipped the Motown show but, much to my surprise, as I passed the Amber Theater I realized that singer was GREAT! I detoured back and listened from the back row. He really was amazing and worth listening to regardless of your age. I remembered thinking he had too much talent to be singing on a ship. Hubby saw the magician with our preschool daughters and enjoyed that show a lot. It was mainly the musicals we thought were pretty bad. Other entertainment: I saw the R-rated comedian and thought he was funny, despite that most of it was gutter humor. If you are easily offended, or upset by the bashing of homosexuals, you might want to skip it.
I played slots in the casino several times and lost all my money every time. They seemed pretty tight. I spent a lot of time hanging out with new acquaintances in the White Heat disco and had a great time there, even on '70s-'80s night. I enjoy SOME older music, but after a while I was ready for some current club music. I talked to the DJ about it he was a hoot! and the next night he played Pretty Rickys Your Body for me. The next time I came in he played it for me within 10 minutes of my arrival. He was really cool and I appreciated the fact that he remembered my favorite song! This seemed to be typical of much of the staff on the ship. The disco usually started up pretty late and I had a good time in there. It is hilarious to dance when the ship is rocking really hard, but after a couple of drinks it seems to go better. LOL
Pools/Decks It was pretty crowded on the Lido deck around the main pool area, but we were still able to find lounges with a little effort. It was easy to find lounges in the front or rear of the decks, which made nice retreats for those who wanted to relax with a book and a frozen drink. The pools seemed very small, but we REALLY loved the slide and the whirlpools. There were several children on the cruise, but we were able to find a hot tub with adults only with no trouble. I was pleased with this set up.
Gym The gym was very nice and not crowded in the middle of the day on sea days. It was a challenge and fun to walk/run on a treadmill when the ship was rocking, and also cool to look out at the ocean while exercising. The jogging track was hopeless. I loved to walk it, but there seemed to be a gale force wind up there, and jogging was tough. I decided Id better stay inside for that type of exertion, and really admired those who were attempting to golf or play basketball or volleyball in the wind. Ping pong seemed pretty hopeless, too.
Staff I cant say enough good for the entire staff. Our room was always neat and spotless. We didnt see our cabin steward often, which was Carnivals intent. The stewards make an effort to clean your room while you are gone in order to stay out of your way. We got five towel animals in all, which were neat. Even more attentively, our steward would turn down one of our pull down beds on the floor, because we didnt want our toddlers mattress on the high bunk.
Our dining room waiters (Adrian and Shaun) were AMAZING, as was our dining room cocktail waitress. The first night we brought our preschool daughters to supper they served chocolate milk in full, large glasses. We poured the chocolate milk into wine glasses, only half full (to avoid spills). The next night our daughters places were set with childrens menus, crayons, and chocolate milk (half full) in wine glasses! We were amazed. Our cocktail waitress was awesome, too. After the first night we had Diet Coke waiting for us before we arrived (which is what we previously ordered). I also ordered a strawberry daiquiri which arrived with a little paper umbrella, which I promptly placed behind my ear. Once our waitress (Nadia) saw that, she brought little umbrellas in everything, even our sodas! When we saw our dinner staff in other areas of the ship and even on the shore they always spoke to us happily. I loved them all. We definitely tipped them extra. Well worth the money. We also liked the other staff members on the ship everyone did a great job!
Camp Carnival -- The indoor CC area was large and well-planned. The staff here didnt bowl me over as amazing, but they were more than adequate. The girls (ages 3 & 4) enjoyed their time there, but didnt clamor to go. The wading pool was right outside CC, which was on top of the ship. The howling wind made it impossible to use, and one had the impression they tried to keep the kids as far away from the rest of the cruisers as possible. Overall, Id give CC a B-.
Ports -- Nassau We were there only 4.5 hours and reserved a room at Atlantis for the day in order to use their facilities. For 4 people this was equal to what Carnival charged to go only to The Dig. We visited The Dig, ate poolside, enjoyed a small lagoon and one of the kids pools. It was a LOT of fun and over way too soon. If there are only two in your party it probably would not be worth the money for the room, but we enjoyed it. Atlantis is a wonder. St. Thomas We planned our own shore excursions. Carnival calls people off the ship giving priority to those who book activities through them based on the time of the tours. Thus, since we hadnt booked through the ship, we got off the ship at noon (after arriving at 10 a.m.). This was aggravating to me, though sitting on the Lido deck looking at the GORGEOUS harbor was a treat. The view of St. Thomas from the ship is stunning! After disembarking, we went through a few of the little shops, then got a cab to Coki Beach. We were told this place was great for snorkeling and we were NOT disappointed. Coki Point has hundreds of hand-fed fish that swarm you in the water, including some lovely large parrot fish, convict surgeonfish, and trumpet fish, as well as a few other species. There are also some interesting corals and sea urchins. However, many of the locals are very unsavory and you feel like you have to watch your stuff like a hawk. There was also an ugly turf war going on amongst the hair braiders, which involved a lot of cursing and posturing. I would not want to go there without a sizable crowd. Also, when returning back to the ship, our taxi driver cut through some extremely poverty-ridden areas to avoid traffic. It scared me to death with our two small daughters. The cruise dock area is really nice, though, and we did go through a few of the duty-free shops upon our return. Many people were mailing packages back to the U.S. in order to avoid Customs.
St. Maarten PARADISE FOUND! I loved this port so much I seriously considered not returning to the ship! LOL The first thing we did was take a taxi out to the Butterfly Farm/Bayside Riding Stables. The plan was for me to take a one-hour horseback ride and my husband take the girls to the Butterfly Farm. These two places are out in an isolated area, so tip your taxi driver generously and arrange to have him come back and pick you up when you are through.
I cant say enough for Bayside Riding Stables. They had a lovely facility, new tack, and awesome horses to ride (all well-fed, well-groomed Paso Finos or Paso crosses). I am an avid horsewoman and the ride through a public park near a bay, then INTO the ocean, was a mountaintop experience for me! I thought we would ride along the shore, but spent plenty of time in the shimmering blue-green, warm water. It was Heaven no other words to describe the trip. I loved it!
The Butterfly Farm was not the success wed hoped for. The girls were freaked out by the butterflies landing on them and fluttering around, so they didnt have a lot of fun. My husband got some amazing photos, though. Really nice for a more sedate group of people.
At that point we taxied back near the cruise terminal and ate at an awesome open-air restaurant on the marina called Chesterfields. The food was plentiful, reasonably-priced, and delicious. I had fish and chips made with hand-battered, fresh-caught Mahi-Mahi that was out of this world. It was served with giant fries and a fresh salad piled high on the plate.
Then on to a scuba diving adventure. Id booked a resort scuba course with Scuba Fun, right next door to the restaurant and within walking distance to the ship. This was interesting and fun, though my mask was fogged up the whole dive. I nearly collided with a sunken submarine! LOL Once I relaxed and got used to the whole experience, I had a wonderful time and would certainly try this again, though the water was not as clear as it was on St. Thomas. BTW, I got the course for $68. Carnival charges $95 for this excursion. I believe we were under water for a longer time, too (30 minutes as opposed to 20). It really does pay to research your ports and plan stuff on your own. Other cruise buddies rented a Jeep and went all over the island, including Marigot and Orient Beach. I wish wed have rented a vehicle, too. In the end, it was very hard to get back on the ship from St. Maarten. I heard lots of fellow passengers say the same thing. This was a lovely port and I plan to return for a longer stay.
Debarkation was a long, drawn-out process, but probably went as best as could be expected with that many passengers going through U.S. Customs. Not a big deal.
All in all, we had a terrific time. Yes, some of the food and entertainment were less than spectacular. But we were there for the experience and certainly NEVER had a dull moment. I completely understand those who say they have post-cruise depression. I was bummed out the entire last day and still miss many of my fellow passengers who live in other parts of the country. I would sail again in a heartbeat with Carnival for the price and encourage everyone else to go with reasonable expectations and a good attitude. You wont be disappointed! Less