Our family just returned from our first cruise. We are both in our mid-thirties and were celebrating our 10th anniversary. We travelled with our children, ages 7 and 5. We drove from Alabama and spent the night at the Radisson at the Port in Cape Canaveral, FL. The two-room suite was great and with the military rate, free transportation to the port, free parking, and pick up after the cruise it was a great deal. Currently the earliest that the shuttle will take you to the port is 11:30, so make sure that you are signed up for that shuttle if you stay there.
Embarkation went smoothly and the lines were long but moved quickly. Within 30 minutes of getting in line we were on the ship. After passing through security your first line is where you present your tickets and passports or birth certificated and picture ID. After than you go to another line and get you keys (sign and sail cards). After picking those up it is a walk up a hallway to have your picture taken and then across the gangway you go to board the ship. When you enter the lobby they have you look into a small camera that takes a picture for security purposes.
After coming on the ship we headed up to find our cabins. We booking two balcony cabins, side by side, on deck 9, the Lido Deck. Cabins 9293 and 9289 are the last two cabins on the port side before you walk out to the pool area. We loved the location. So close to the pools, slide, hot tubs, buffet, and pizza...all without having to leave our deck. I was concerned about noise from the pool area, but the only time it was a problem was when the door to our hallway was left open and the live band was playing. Other than that it was great. We would book these rooms again.
We knew that the rooms would be small, but it is still a shock the first time you walk in at how small they are. I do know that for ship cabins they are good sized, but compared to a hotel they are small. There are laid out well with a lot of closet space and drawers. The bathrooms are small but functioned very well. The shower had great water pressure and I enjoyed the soap and shampoo provided in the shower too. The hairdryer worked well, but you had to keep a button pushed in to make it go. I found that a bit odd, but it worked. You might want to bring yours if you have long or thick hair.
The bed was comfy, but we could feel the crack between the two beds. It did not keep us from sleeping well every night. We enjoyed the balconies and had the steward unlock the doors between them to make one large balcony. That way were able to get to the boys room without going into the hallway. I know a lot of people have their children in the room with them, but I think the cabin is just too small to have four people in one room. We had our space and they had theirs. If you can afford it get two cabins!
We loved the Glory. It is a big, beautiful ship. Three swimming pools and five hot tubs on the Lido deck, plus a giant waterslide were great for keeping the kids busy. The pools were salt water and cold, but the kids still loved them. This is a mega-ship and if you are looking for a small and quiet ship this is not for you. But if you are looking for a ship with lots of fun, music, clubs, dining options,and a great kids program this ship is for you. My kids both loved Camp Carnival. It is divvied into age levels, 2-5, 6-8, and 9-11. My 5 year old loved the playroom and my 7 year old loved the playroom for his age with computers, PS2, and crafts. The first thing the kids asked about every day was when can we go to Camp Carnival. The staff is the best and they really keep the kids entertained.
The food...oh, the food was everywhere and was great. We enjoyed the dining room the best. Our wait staff was great. Ben and Roxanna always greeted us with a smile, got to know us, and were very attentive. Every night they danced and sang and even got us up too. Dinner was an event not to be missed and people who just went to the buffet really missed out. We had the late dinner seating at 8pm. We often sampled the buffet before going to dinner and found it nothing to get excited about. The Red Sail (buffet) is decorated nicely and most tables have a water view. Also located near the Red Sail is the Deli...they make great fresh sandwiches (try the ruben) and the Oriental (never tried it). The Fish and Chips restaurant is upstairs from the Red Sail and the fish is excellent. The pizza place is open 24 hours a day and we used it a lot...my kids love pizza. The pizza is good and was always fresh. They have your normal cheese, pepperoni, meat and veggie, and one with goat cheese. They also serve calzones and Caesar salad. The ice cream out of the machines was very good...rich and creamy. They also have frozen yogurt. Back to the dining room. We were in the lower level of the Platinum Dining Room, table 371. It is a booth for four. I would have opted for a large table so that we would have had others to talk with, but it was also nice to just have our family. The food in the dining room was great. My favorite was the lobster tail and the prime rib. The portions are small so don't be afraid to order two starters or two entrees and if you are still hungry order more! We also ate most of our breakfast in the dining room. It was just easier than standing in line at the buffet. I would much rather have someone put my napkin in my lap, refill my drinks, and bring the food to me. If you have children you will be leaving in Camp Carnival you may want to request the early seating so that you can enjoy the show or something else before having to pick the kids up at 10pm. They can stay later, but you have to pay hourly after 10pm.
We received great service and a friendly crew that always made us feel welcomed. Our cabin steward, Roy, kept the rooms clean, the beds made, and we loved the towel animals. We did bring beer, wine, and soda with us in our locked suitcases and had no problems. There was no room in the mini fridge to keep it cold because it was stocked as a mini bar so we purchased a cheap cooler in Key West and Roy kept it filled with ice everyday. It worked our great and we saved a bundle. Also bring a large insulted mug with you for the iced tea and lemonade from the drink machines. The cups they supply are very small. You can keep them filled with whatever you like and take it anywhere you go on the ship.
The entertainment is endless. Everything from game shows, poolside games, comedy shows, talent shows, live music and dancing there was always something to do. My favorite was the comedy shows. We had 4 different comedians and they were all funny. I laughed so hard one night that my sides hurt the next day! Mark the Cruise Director was funny and so was Wee Jimmy.
Our ports of call were Key West, Belize and Costa Maya. It takes a long time to get transported from the ship, through the Naval Base where you dock, into town. The ride is not that long, but waiting for the shuttle does. We ate lunch and swam until the lines died down and they went into town and had a great time at the Key West Aquarium. In Belize we used a local taxi driver as a tour guide. He took us to Cucumber Beach, picked us up a three hours later, and they took us around the city. The kids loved Cucumber Beach and so did we. In Costa Maya we took the bus into the fishing village of Majuhal and enjoyed the free beach and table and chairs under a hut. The water is shallow and clear, great for kids. We relaxed in the shade while they swam and played.
We sailed during Spring Break and even with all the kids on board we had a blast. We can't wait to cruise again and would sail on the Glory again in a minute. We did not want to get off the boat. We sailed with a full ship, but never had a problem finding a quiet area for ourselves.