This was the third cruise for us: Grand Princess 2001, NCL Dawn 2005. Overall, it was a good experience.
Embarkation - Arrived at Orlando airport and took Carnival transfers to the port. Arrived at the port at 1:30 and was crossing the gangway by 2:10. Overall a very smooth process.
Dining - We were somewhat disappointed with the quality of the food at most venues, not nearly as good as we had experienced on Princess and NCL. The food in the dining room rarely arrived hot and the cuts of meat were substandard (striploin was tough and the prime rib was really fatty). The sushi on deck 5 looked like it was thrown together...remember that much of the sushi experience has to do with the "presentation". In general, the food in the Red Sail buffet was a bit bland. Exceptions: Burgers and pizza served by the aft pool were actually pretty good. French toast served in the main dining room was very nice. Dining room service was excellent: our waiters, Warawan and Jacky More
were top notch...very attentive and personable.
Shore Excursions - In Cozumel we did the Discover Scuba lesson, which we booked through the cozumelcruiseexcursions.com website. This was a real bargain...Carnival was offering this for $135 per person (to dive off the beach with a group of 20 or so people) and we paid only $65 per person (with only the 2 of us). The instructor was Cheto Belato (B & B divers)...he gave us a thorough classroom intro and then drove us to the local marina in his van. We went out in a boat and spent about 40 minutes diving around the local coral reef...what a great time we had! In Belize we did the cave tubing with Coral Breeze (Hammerhead water sports). We stood in line to get tickets for the first tender and then when we got to shore, the rest of the tour group was late and we had to wait around for about 40 minutes ... oh well. Our group was 5 people (plus our guide, Gilley) and the tubing was great. I would highly recommend this one. In Costa Maya, we did a tour of the Chacchoben ruins with David and Ivan (www.chacchobenruins.com). This was a first rate tour...we took a bus into Mahajual and were met by David in front of the local restaurant (Cat's Meow). Ivan drove us to the ruins in a nice, clean AC equipped van, and shared many interesting stories with us. The tour of the ruins was led mainly by David and you can tell that he really has a passion for this sort of thing. In Nassau we basically just walked around downtown and spent some time in the Straw Market.
I was a bit nervous about booking excursions privately, but there was a lot of great info available on Cruise Critic. The moral of the story is: Book the excursions on your own...do a bit of research and you can end up with a nice, small tour group and you can save a TON of money.
Ship - the Glory appeared to be very well taken care of and the decor was nice (if not a bit "over the top"). One thing that I would have liked to have seen was a promenade deck that wrapped around the ship...you could walk a bit on either side, but that's it. Smoking was a bit of a problem. We found that even by walking NEAR the casino, we would start to pick up the cigarette smell on our clothes. I wish they would go smoke-free...now that would be a major selling point! The balcony stateroom we had was great (deck 7, port side, slightly aft of midship) and our stateroom steward was excellent...he always greeted us and called us by name, which doesn't seem like a lot, but it really does make you feel nice.
Debarkation - We did the self-service thing where we toted our own luggage. We were able to wait in our room until we were called and the process was very quick and efficient.