Carnival Glory - Western Caribbean: Carnival Glory Cruise Review by ellenswa
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Glory - Western Caribbean
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
Embarkation was extremely smooth. They let us on around 11:45 Am to enjoy the public areas and eat lunch while they finished readying our rooms. While waiting, we ate in the Lido cafe where staff was handing out complimentary glasses of champagne. Our cabin , # 2437, was outside on starboard aft, Main deck 2. All the More outside cabins are located on the first two bottom decks as is standard on the new mega ships with upper levels consisting of inside cabins and balcony cabins. Our cabin was huge and spacious by industry standards, comfortably appointed with plenty of storage space, a large comfortable king sized bed with a wonderful comforter and fluffy pillows. Our cabin steward, Wit , did an outstanding job and room service was prompt.
However, if you are claustrophobic or need fresh air often, dont book anything but a balcony cabin on this ship because I found out to my dismay that access to the outside decks is extremely limited. Although our cabin was directly below the promenade deck, it couldnt be reached except by walking almost the entire length of the ship forward and going up to the main lobby where only two entrances exist virtually side by side on each side of the lobby to the promenade deck. Once on this deck ,which is fairly long, there are no other exits or entrances at either end of the promenade deck and of course no access to the bow or stern either. I found it quite strange that access to the promenade deck was so limited.
At night, eerie blue-white lights illuminate the promenade deck with the effect of being under strobe lights. This was quite disconcerting when attempting to enjoy the night sky , ocean and stars. During the day only a handful of deck lounge chairs clustered at one end are available for passengers to enjoy. This was the only quite, shady nook where a passenger could sit back and enjoy the fresh air and watch the ocean go by. The top decks were full of sunbathers and loud music. The only other way to gain access to an outside deck from our cabin, was to take the elevator to deck 9 aft where the stern pool area is totally enclosed, then walk up a flight of steps.
The public areas inside the ship are dark and decorated in dark colors with almost no windows except for a stretch of walkway along the Camel Club Casino and the small library. The ship was exceedingly difficult to get around on as galleys and restaurants blocked decks 3 & 4 in the middle. We were continuously having to go up and down in order to cross the ship. I felt as if I was traveling in a huge, windowless dark box. One has no feeling of being at sea or on a cruise ship due to the decor and design of this ship. Unlike other mega ships, such as Royal Caribbeans with plenty of glass , sea views and deck space, not to mention their crown lounges with 360 degree views and Holland Americas forward Crows Nest Lounges with panoramic views, the Carnival Glory had no similar areas at all for passengers to enjoy.
Upon sailing on New Years Eve everyone was told there would be a huge party and celebration on the Lido deck. This never materialized. The Lido deck remained deserted, dark and gloomy the entire evening. Our group hung out in the Camel Casino instead, sitting in seats along the side, purchasing our champagne and sipping it (no more complimentary glasses were given out until midnight) there was a huge balloon drop from the ceiling of the central atrium at midnight but quite impossible to go in there and see what was going on due to the crowd of passengers.
The computer room is a joke. A small dark room at the back of the Ivory Club where one is forced to navigate a haze of lounge smoke, (especially cigars) in order to access the computers. There were about 8 desks in this room with only 5 working computers and there was always a line of disgruntled passengers waiting to use one.
Pre dinner music and dancing was entirely lacking on this ship. The Las Vegas type dance shows in the Amber Palace theatre were good but the two comedy and magician shows were mediocre.
The day after New Years no football bowl games were shown on the satellite TVs on the ship. My husband joined a crowd of angry, fellow passengers at the pursers desk where he was told that the system had been switched from analog to digital just that week and that an important piece of equipment had been left behind and couldnt be picked up until the ship returned to Port Canaveral the following week. This was a sea day though and I wonder if the omission of the bowl games was deliberate in order to keep passengers spending money in the casino, gift shops, etc, rather than watching TV.
New Years day we docked at Key West where passengers thought we would have 6 hours to enjoy the port. Wrong!! We got three hours instead. The ship docked at a naval base where due to security reasons we had to be trundled back and forth on the trolleys and endure an inspection on the way back. Only one gangway was opened around 12:20 PM. Hordes of passengers funneled down the crowded hallways and stairs waiting to get off and we stood in line for an hour. When we finally walked across the gangway, we discovered that the ships photographers had stationed themselves there to get individual photos of each passenger as they exited on the gangway thus holding up approximately 3000 people from leaving the ship. Even though the ship was scheduled to sail at 6 Pm, we were told the last trolley to bring us back to the ship would leave town at 5 PM. We walked as fast as we could once delivered to the center of town and barely managed to visit the Hemingway home and the Butterfly House. I felt as though we had been cheated out of part of our port of call visit but the ships staff didnt care. Why on earth couldnt they have opened up another gangway and had the photographers take pictures on the pier? I do not know. Except it may have had something to do with selling more photos.
In our other two ports of call, Casa Maya and Belize, we did get a full day and we chose shore excursions to Mayan ruins at both places: Al tun-Ha at Belize and Chacchoben at Costa Maya. Both were fairly priced and well worth the time and expense. Each involved a one hour bus ride one way. Our bus ride went smoothly in Belize but Costa Maya was a different story. On the way back to the ship the bus had transmission problems, being able to travel only in second gear around 15 miles an hour. Finally another bus was called to rescue us and it took us two hours instead of one to get back to the pier. The rescue bus rode and sounded like it too had transmission and engine problems. I believe the tour group operating this excursion has a very old fleet of unreliable buses. They treated us well though and their guides were very friendly and knowledgeable.
Food in the dining room was sub par for the beef dishes and desserts. I had two beef dishes which were too tough to chew and there were very few good desserts. Towards the last of the cruise, I started ordering two different desserts hoping one of them would be good. They werent. The soups were extraordinarily well prepared and tasty though as were the breads. The dining service was excellent, although at times we felt rushed. The layout for the dining rooms was very poorly planned and crowded . There is a Platinum Dining room located aft (ours) and a Golden Dining Room located in the center of the ship. In our Platinum dining room there are no main walkways to get you to your table. You have to navigate between tightly crowded tables and chairs. Along the side large support posts block the path between the tables and booths. You had to be a skinny passenger to squeeze through these areas. Every evening at the conclusion of the meal, the overhead neon lights would start flashing and changing colors with strobe light effects. The waiters would dance on the serving stands. I found the strobe like effect to be nerve jangling and not a bit enjoyable.
This ship had more than its share of loud, rude, partying passengers, including many drunks. Everyday drunks could be seen getting sick up on the lido deck by the pool. One time I was accosted by two belligerent, hostile drunks while in the elevator. Partying in the hallways outside cabins went on until the wee hours of the morning, thus getting a full nights uninterrupted sleep was impossible. Spilled food, trash, dirty dishes and drinks littered the cabin halls a lot of time. The ship should have provided better security. I wonder if the open deck space access was deliberately limited in planning this ship in order to minimize the danger of the drunks falling off into the ocean.
There were very few activities to choose from the last two days at sea. All the activities are geared around selling you something, such as paintings and prints at the Art Auction, Spa activities, special raffles and sales in the shops, ect. Most of the channels on the cabin TVs were busy promoting Carnival cruise lines, selling videos or other services. I was amazed when in the middle of watching the news on TV in my cabin, it was suddenly interrupted by a sales pitch from the president of Carnival Cruise lines! Also, Carnival is really pushing their new vacation club where you apply for their credit card and earn points towards cruises. No one told us though that the passengers who signed up would get VIP preference in disembarkation. No preference in disembarkation was given to loyal, past passengers as on other cruise lines. Our disembarkation experience was the straw that broke the camels back. Absolutely the worst and most thoughtless experience in 22 years of cruising. We were told to go to the Amber Palace and wait until our color was called to disembark. It turns out that the Glory was scheduled to sail to Virginia and to go into dry dock that day. Masses of crew members were also disembarking the ship. These crew members were called to come to the Amber Palace theatre also to sign off the ship. As passengers were trying to exit the theatre to disembark when their color was called, hordes of crew members carrying luggage and backpacks came down the aisles blocking the way of passengers trying to leave. We did not get off the ship until 12 noon. While waiting in this theatre to disembark we struck up conversations with several crew members, some of who said they were never coming back to work for Carnival and that their jobs on board had felt like being in prison, 14 hour work days, 7 days a week.
No we wont sail on a Carnival mega ship to the Caribbean ever again. The Carnival Glory could not begin to compare to Carnivals mid size ship the Legend we sailed on last year. How can two ships from the same line be do different in quality and design? Our next cruise is scheduled for April 6th this year on Holland Americas Amsterdam, sailing out of San Diego for a 15 day Hawaii cruise. We sailed on the Statendam in Alaska this past summer and thoroughly enjoyed that ship. Hopeful the Amsterdam will not disappoint us. I will write a review and let everyone know when we return. Less
Cabin review: 2437
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