We are moderately experienced cruisers. First time on Carnival. Previously sailed twice with Norwegian and once with Celebrity. Embarkation and debarkation were handled much more efficiently on Carnival.
We were most pleased with our cabin accommodations. The cabin was nicely designed in terms of both space and appeal to the eye. The bed was large and comfortable. Although we used it only once, a minibar was a nice surprise. Great shower!!! Cabin service was outstanding.
The ship because of elevator arrangements was initially difficult to intuitively find your way. As the cruise progressed we learned that using elevators that were most aft or forward led to most direct routes. Some aspects of the ship are winners: great spa/workout facility, Red Sail Lounge (main buffet spot) was very attractive and intimate compared to similar facilities on other ships. Other public spots on the ship were pretty mediocre: Platinum and Golden Dining Rooms, Lobby, Casino, Pools, Hot Tubs.
The food was excellent in the Platinum Dining Room as was the service. The menu had a nice array of choices each evening. The meals were wonderfully prepared and attractively served. Our wait staff was absolutely delightful . . . enthusiastic, fun, and efficient. The Platinum Room was the place where a "spirit of comradery" between and among guest and staff was most present. The buffet fare was quite good but seemed to lack variation in offerings from day to day. Table busing was quite good as we rarely had difficulty finding a table. The staff in the Red Sail Room didn't appear to be as enthusiastic or friendly as their peers in the Platinum Room. Food service in the pool areas was O.K. but busing tables sucked. On several occasions tables with dirty dishes were left unattended long after their users had departed.
Our biggest disappointment on the Carnival Glory was twofold. First, the Glory lacks intimate bars with great entertainment. They had a talented guitar player, but they chose to have him play in a corridor adjacent the casino. Good guitar and vocals don't lend themselves to being backed up by the sounds of slot machines clanging. It's also not a good spot for patrons to enjoy the music. A number of the bars are "semi-public" requiring patrons to sit exposed to the main corridor. A "Musak-like" piano player and a "classical trio" played in the lobby; a large open area with lots of traffic. Again, not conducive to listening.
Our second disappointment was the relatively poor quality of shows and "featured" entertainment. All other cruises we have been on had superlative entertainment. Carnivals presentations were boring. The artists didn't connect with the audience. The cruise director led too many "cheer leading sessions trying to instill enthusiasm. False enthusiasm is not enthusiasm. All other cruises we have been on had a party atmosphere near the pool . . . live Caribbean Music on a near full time basis. Carnival must have worn out the Beach Boys CD.
The port calls were great, Cozumel, Belize, and Costa Maya. Key West has to be cancelled because of rough weather, but the Cozumel substitute was fine. The cost of shore excursions seem quite high compared to our previous experiences. Even the price of "genuine Mexican staff" seemed inflated. The shopping areas in Belize and Costa Maya are very nice and festive. The Wet Lizard is a great place for a drink or two, good inexpensive food, and tourist watching.
On balance, we had a great time on our Carnival Glory Cruise. There were a number of pluses and some real disappointments. Enhancing the entertainment budget/quality and providing musical entertainment in more intimate places more often is our key recommendation. Such places did not exist in the afternoon and were rare in the evening.