Like the most immediate previous reviewer, ellenswa, I also cruised on the 12/31 sailing on the Glory. Unlike ellenswa, however, I can't say enough good about the ship, the staff, the entire experience. It's almost as if we were on 2 different ships!
This was my 9th cruise overall and 2nd on Carnival.
Embarkation was perfect. We arrived fairly early for this one, at about 12 noon & were on the ship in no time at all. We were in a balcony cabin on the Lido Deck, #9233. We had no drunks, no trash, no untoward behavior, no partying in the hallways. People came and went, saying good morning or hi, perfectly civilized.
We made a dinner reservation on that first night, New Year's Eve, in the supper club (The Emerald Club) and the experience, the food, the wine, the service was equal to any fine restaurant in which we've dined in NYC or elsewhere. After dinner we gambled a little & then went into the piano bar and had the absolute best time! The piano guy, Barry, is so talented and so funny...we made friends in there that night that lasted the remainder of the cruise. There were parties all over the ship that night.
The shore excursions were fine for us. We didn't book anything formally in Key West because we fly to Key West at least once a year, sometimes twice, and are as familiar with it as one can be. We just did the important things: had the obligatory first drink at Sloppy Joe's, bought a new ring at Emerald's International on Duval Street, stopped in at the Wyland Gallery and had a parting drink at the Hog's Breath.
In Belize hubby went scuba diving and I did a beach break. I think they could have let us stay at the beach longer though.
In Costa Maya I did a beach break and hubby did the Chacchoben ruins. If we had gone to Cozumel as the original itinerary had planned he would have been diving there as well. Because our Cozumel shore excursions weren't cancelled until the week before we cruised, we didn't bother to re-book for Costa Maya until we were on board. We found the Shore Excursion staff to be pleasant, helpful and very accommodating.
On the evenings we ate there, the food in the dining room (Golden)was always delicious. Our waiter (Marlon) was attentive, fun, and a heck of a singer & dancer. In addition to the one night at the supper club we also ate one night on the Promenade Deck at the Sushi & Sashemi Bar, (which I highly recommend if the reader enjoys it) and one night we just grabbed casual food in the Red Sail Restaurant.
I have to correct a comment by ellenswa with regard to the Carnival Vacation Club & VIP disembarkation. The Carnival Vacation Club has nothing whatsoever to do with the Carnival credit card/points deal.
We are members of the Vacation Club, having bought into it on this cruise. If you purchase a vacation plan (the levels vary from $5,000-10,000) what you receive is: several cruises on Carnival, Cunard, Costa, or Windstar plus up to 5 land vacations at participating resorts. We thought it was a good deal so we joined. In addition to the cruises/land resorts a member also gets priority seating for dinner, first choices at limited shore excursions, a welcome aboard gift in your cabin, a members-only cocktail party AND priority embarkation and disembarkation. We were off the ship at 7:45 AM. I highly recommend becoming members of the club.
Our cabin was great, always kept immaculate, the towel creatures were a riot..including a howler monkey hanging from the TV one evening.
All in all the whole experience on this ship, this 12/31 cruise, was fantastic. We ate, danced, gambled, sang with the piano guy, went to the spa for a facial, saw some shows, sunbathed by the pool, played deck games, read quietly on our balcony as the ocean went by.
We will be booking the next New Year's Eve Cruise on Carnival, but for the meantime we are cruising on the Carnival Legend 8-day out of NYC in April. Can't wait!