Carnival Glory - Eastern Caribbean: Carnival Glory Cruise Review by Former Dean
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Glory - Eastern Caribbean
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
We arrived in Orlando a day early and enjoyed a day relaxing by the pool at the Renaissance Airport Hotel. We arent fans of close connections and this gave us a peaceful start to our cruise. Saturday morning Arts Shuttle Service(phone 1-800-567-5099) picked us up at the hotel and dropped us at the pier ($70 for the two of us plus tip this vs. $50 for the two of us on the Carnival bus and the hassle of hotel to airport and then waiting for the bus to fill.).
Embarkation went very smooth. We arrived at the pier at 1:15 and were in our balcony stateroom by 2:00. Carnival info says embarkation starts at 1:30 but at 1:15 there were many people already boarding. The check-in counters were fully staffed so we were processed quickly. (Make sure all your paperwork is in order when you approach the check-in desk.) More We had roll aboard suitcases and thus handled our own luggage. Its nice to not have to wait for luggage to be delivered to your stateroom.
Debarkation also went very quick as we handled our own luggage thus getting us off the ship right after the priority people. Going through Customs was very speedy and its always nice to hear the Customs Officer greet you with, Welcome home. We tied up around 6:00 a.m. and after a leisurely breakfast we were off by 9:00 and boarded the Arts Van that was waiting to take us to the Hertz lot to pick up our rental car. Again we avoided the hassle of having to go through the airport and wait for the Hertz bus. On Board we experienced the wonders of the Glory and all its trappings. We found the ship easy to navigate and of course, a vast array of ways to entertain and occupy us. Didnt see much of our room attendant but we also didnt want for anything and our room was always tidy with the usual towel animals to greet us. We would highly recommend a balcony stateroom (if your budget allows) and it makes for a very nice place to enjoy cocktails and sunsets and stars.
We never found the lines to be too long even though the ship was full. There were, however, many lounge chairs saved by 8:00 in the morning in spite of the rules to be considerate of your fellow passengers. That being said, there seemed to always be enough lounges. We are not pool side people so we went to the Sun deck where there was no crowding. However, on a couple days we had wing across the deck at 21 kts and since our speed was 20 kts that made for a very stiff breeze and we had to skip our top deck sunning a couple of days.
It is true that there is a lot for sale on board and your Sign and Sail card (also your room key and access to leaving and boarding the ship) can run up a bit of a tab if your not careful. Our only glitch with the card was that we were told a few times that we were overdrawn. Seems someone thought we had lost our card so we were being sent to the desk to clear it up. However, we never lost our card but they kept telling us we did. Not a big deal but an annoyance.
Shows were very good especially the comedians.
The last two days Fun Days at Sea were OK but seemed a bit long after our island stopping. But, we realize its a long way home from St. Maarten. Guess we wouldnt be keen on a trip across the Atlantic.
Meals: We found the food both very good and plentiful. We had the early seating (even though we asked for late seating) which worked out well for seeing the shows. Our waiters were very friendly and attentive without being obtrusive. Food selection was vast as we often wanted one of each. The menu was different each night so if you didnt select the salmon on one night dont expect it to be there the next night. If you wanted double portions all you had to do was ask Keep in mind that unless you a clear you will get double everything. I asked for two servings or the beef tenderloin and got two servings of vegetable and two baked potatoes.
One night we made reservations for the Emerald Supper Club. It was worth the $30 cover charge each for the cuisine and service experience. We would not recommending this for children as the meal takes about 2 ½ hours.
Dress code was enforced except for the first night because some people hadnt received their luggage yet. Too bad we have to tell people no shorts, tank tops or baseball caps in the formal dining rooms. Excursions - Nassau: We didnt sign up for anything at Nassau as we had already been there for a week a couple years back and saw what we wanted then. We left the ship, went to Mass at the St. Francis Xavier Cathedral and then spent the rest of our stay bargaining at the straw market and walking around town.
St. Thomas: We had arranged for a 1:00 catamaran snorkel trip to St. John but due to very rough seas the trip was cancelled. It was too late to book another excursion and we were given a full refund by Carnival. We spent the day shopping (and some buying) and enjoyed walking around the center of town. It is a nice walk along the wharf from town back to the ship.
St. Maarten: Another beautiful island. We arranged for the island tour and the beach rum barbecue ribs outing. The beach was a bit crowded since we arrived while the first excursion was still there - once they left it was quite nice. Rum was strong and ribs were good. The island is both French and Dutch (we were on the Dutch side) with a very interesting history.
All in all a wonderful cruise and were looking forward to our next one - maybe not on Carnival just for variety. We would definitely recommend Carnival and the Glory Less
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