Carnival Glory - Northern Europe: Carnival Glory Cruise Review by georgeglaser
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Glory - Northern Europe
Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
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In the words of one of my many Big Cats friends... Hi y'all
The following is my families account, and solely my family's account, regarding our cruise on the Carnival Glory on 9/6/03. This is also my first time posting a review, so bare with me. While I am a veteran on the boards of Cruise Critic, I am a rookie at posting reviews.
This was our fifth cruise, fourth aboard Carnival. We are a family of three, consisting of George, Anne, and our little princess (as she became known by fellow big Cats) Arrielle. With the exception of one cruise, all of our cruises have been to the Caribbean. We hail from the "Valley More of the Sun", otherwise known as Phoenix, AZ. There is something about escaping from the desert (although Phoenix is the fifth largest city now) to the tranquil blue waters of the Caribbean.
So, with all the formalities out of the way, here is our review...
Flight: We flew in a day early on Sept. 5th so that we would be well rested getting on to the ship and wanting to avoid any possible flight problems. Flew out on American Airlines and actually arrived early in Orlando. Nice change if you have been used to flying on Continental or America West, as we have. Note to anyone who got sucked into their promos about extra space between their rows of seats..."BULL"! I'm 6' 5'' and I did not see any difference from any other airlines that I have flown.
We rented a rental car from Budget (on a side note, Budget is now the closest Rental agent to the port, now that Avis has been exiled from the Radisson), and had absolutely no problems with them. On the drive to the Radisson we hit a wall of rain that was so violent, we could not see an inch in front of us. I now what its like to drive blind. We really like how everything is laid out on Astronaut blvd; everything is quite simple to find.
Radisson Hotel/Grill's Restaurant:
The Radisson is a great hotel. I know this hotel has gotten some recent bad reviews, but we found both the grounds and our room to be quite clean. They have a great pool, but unfortunately, due to the weather, we were unable to enjoy it. I highly recommend this hotel to anyone. That night, we met up with fellow "Big Cats" Dawn, David, Jacob and Marie at Grill's restaurant for dinner. We had a great time and the food was excellent and quite reasonable. Grill's is a can't miss if you are looking for somewhere to dine by the Port.
First Impression of the Glory:
I stopped off at a store not far from the port to pick up some "spirits". A gentleman walked in quite disturbed because he could not find the Disney cruise ship as I was walking out the door. As I came up on the Glory, I could not believe the size of this ship. And as I passed it, I noticed the Disney ship, dwarfed in comparison to the Glory that the gentlemen in the store had inquired earlier. There is something to be said when approaching a brand new ship with fresh paint of that magnitude...wowwwww!
I don't know what Carnival and Port Canaveral did, but whatever it was, it works. We took the Budget shuttle over to the Port around 10:45 am and we were walking on the ship before noon. No problems with luggage, no bus rides, very painless process. We were so impressed with how quickly everything went we will be taking our next cruise from Port Canaveral also.
Walking on the ship:
From the pictures that I seen on the internet, the Glory came off as almost gaudy. Nothing could be further from the truth. The ship is quite beautiful in both color and decor. Pictures do not do this ship justice. I will say this though, while I liked the colors, I did not like the layout of the grand atrium. It seemed quite small, and that center pillar spiraling up through the center is a waste of space.
We were in stateroom #7373, which is a category 8B with a balcony. Our cabin was a quad cabin, located about twenty cabins from the back of the ship, with both an overhead bunk bed and a couch that unfolded into another bed. It really is nice getting to sail on a new ship; our cabin still had that new look and smell to it. The only negative about it, was the side to side movement that we experienced throughout the cruise. With that said though, we pretty much experienced the movement throughout the whole ship; the movement just increased steadily the further back you got.
Once again, quite quick and painless when compared to the cruises that we have taken out of Miami. I don't think we were outside in our life jackets longer than ten minutes.
Meeting the Big Cats:
All I can say is "what a great group of people". From the Cruise Critic boards we had no idea how much fun this group of characters would end up being. Without mentioning names, because they are to many to list, these people made our cruise experience the best one for my family and I. We had so much fun that several of us are hard at work pricing cruises for a reunion next year. We have truly made lifelong friends. We were quite surprised at the large turnout that we had. Almost the entire group made it. I would like to go into some of the escapades of this group during our seven days, but they are many and it would take a book to write. I have a lot of photos of the group that I will share, as soon as we get things caught up around the home.
Pool Areas: Yes, they still are saving chairs with just about everything that you can imagine. Some days we were on the lower level, some days we were up high. It wasn't really an issue for us; we just accept it as part of the cruise process. It's not worth getting worked up about, you will still be able to find a chair, just don't expect poolside every time. Also, make sure you watch your towels, or it could grow legs.
We did not meet her until the third day of the cruise, and that was because she had to have us sign off on a piece of paper that we had met. I don't recall her name; but then again we did not see much of her during the cruise. With that said though, she did come to our room once in the morning and once in the evening to tidy things up. She did her job; she just was not a personable type of person. I think we got spoiled with the all the past room stewards that we had from previous cruises. We really enjoyed getting to know them and share stories of our families and our homes with one another. We made the mistake of assuming that this room steward would be just as approachable as those that we had in the past.
Dining Room Team:
We were lucky enough to change tables to one that seated all but one Big Cat. Unfortunately, that was the only good thing about being at that table. Don't get me wrong, we wouldn't have taken another table in its place, just another table waiter. We were in the Platinum dining room, seated at table #438, 8:00 pm main seating. Our table waiter was Kim, and his assistant was Monica. We closed the dining room out each night, and it had nothing to do with our eating habits. Heck, we were lucky just to see the food finally arrive. We were getting out of the dining room each night between 10:30 and 11:00. I can't begin to tell you how bad the service was from mostly Kim, it almost seemed deliberate. All I can say is that even the Maitre'd got all over him to pick it up and constantly had to apologize to us for him. Kim also seemed to have a problem with showing any kind of respect for both his boss and his assistant Monica. Kim was seen and heard by all at the table belittling Monica on numerous occasions, really felt bad for her that she had to put up with that kind of abuse. Several of us complained throughout the cruise, and it took the Maitre'd Ken till the sixth night to finally replace him with a lady by the name of Petra. What a team, they really complimented each other quite well, and made our last two nights of dining memorable. We do somewhat hold Ken responsible for letting Kim go as long as he did, it should have never went past night two, and Kim was obviously not qualified to be a waiter. I will say this though, Ken is the most entertaining/visible Maitre'd you will ever find. He sang for everyone every night, and could be seen mingling with everyone throughout our dining. I think we would have been screaming a lot more, if it had not been for the company and conversation that went on at our table each night.
Food: Lido deck - We saw a big drop off in quality and selections of food, when compared to our last cruise on the Paradise. The grill is still great for burgers and hot dogs, and the Pizzeria is good as ever. Also, big drop off in desserts and the salad bar.
Platinum Dining room - Quite pleased with the food in the dining room, especially the seafood selections. I can only think of a few items that I did not care for the whole week.
Sports Bar: What kind of sports bar only has one channel? Guy's, if you are thinking about seeing the games on Sunday...forget about it!
I'm getting tired, so I am going to be brief on the islands. If you have any questions, please ask. I will be more than happy to answer them if I can.
We visited Nassau last year, and really didn't care to visit again. We mostly walked around taking in the sights and doing a little shopping. Very little shopping that is, we were there on a Sunday, and almost everything is closed. A word to the wise be careful in the straw market. Things can get quite heated between the vendors when they are arguing over your business.
St. Thomas: Anne and I took the Paradise Point tram up to the top. You will not find a more picturesque place to take photos than the top of Paradise point. Awesome ride up, although Anne didn't think so due to her fear of heights. I'm proud of her, although she did not look at anything other than her feet all the way up, she still had the guts to get in that tram and go all the way up there. As far as shopping goes, the best shopping is pretty much right they're by the ship. Probably around one hundred stores to choose from, with something for everyone.
St. Marten: Easily our favorite of all three islands. We spent the day with several other Big Cats on a tour of the island. We hired our own driver for twenty bucks a head, ten for children, and went on a three-hour tour of both the Dutch side and the French side. A great way to see the island if you are not on an excursion.
Sorry I am being so brief on the islands, I'm just tired of typing. In closing, we truly enjoyed this cruise. I think the Big Cats and our frame of mind played a much bigger role in that, than the ship itself. While the ship is beautiful, it's quite harder to find your way around than the Fantasy class ships. We will sail Carnival again, just not next time. We will probably take a break from Carnival and try RCCL for our next one. I hope that my review was helpful (did I mention this was my first review) in some way to you. Like I said earlier, this was our experience, and I am sure there are others who have also sailed the Glory, who will have had an entirely different experience than we did.
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