Well we are a family of 4 with 2 teen girls. We were all very excited for this trip and were not dissapointed. My husband and I cruised Alaska on Carnival last August and because I have Celiac Disease it was quite difficult for me to communicate and feel comfortable on the ship as far as eating. Not the case on Glory.
PRE CRUISE - We stayed at Holiday INN Port of Miami, good location..that's all. it was small, packed, slow elevator and no shuttle to the terminal. I don't recommend this place.
EMBARKATION - smooth and fairly quick
OUR STATEROOM- Typical Carnival room BUT here's a tip... porthole rooms are priced as interior and are a few square feet bigger plus windows! We had chosen to go with a cheaper room this time and were happy with the porthole windows. Deck 2 forward was plenty quiet and since we tried to commit to not gaining 10 pounds we actually took stairs the whole trip! deck 2 to deck 9 Lido over and over! (for the record, we still gained but we were proud for sticking to it)
GLUTEN FREE DINING - Carnival GLORY! Upgraded and looking much more trendy, I approached the taco bar with fear and after 2 questions a server directed me to someone who walked me through ordering. THANK YOU. Guys burgers the same...GF fries and bunless burgers with tons of toppings..easy breezy. We tend to stay away from buffets except for breakfast as there are a lot of meats/eggs...lunch is to dangerous to maneuver for me. The main dining room is where we had all of our dinners, and for breakfast they will even make you GF pancakes or french toast. Everyone was wonderful. Because of my food "allergy" we had an assistant come by each evening, tell us what we could order or have changed to gluten free for the next evenings dinner. They also served us GF bread which has improved HUGELY since last cruise. Our waiter, Zoltan (LOVE HIM), was fast, sweet & happy and knew his stuff, I felt completely comfortable. After hours they do offer GF Pizza but sadly, it has not improved and tastes pretty terrible but this could really be my only complaint and at least they are trying to accommodate.
EXCURSIONS - We booked all off the ship and saved a minimum of 50% of ship price, had a blast & felt perfectly safe. Mr Sanchos Beach Resort, a 16$ taxi ride and you can do all inclusive for 45$ or a la carte. The all inclusive was well worth it for the price we got all drinks, all food (amazing menu & delicious) Kayaking & Snorkel. Service was great, the pool was clean & warm. Great Day. Belize - Cavetubing.com...Great trip, well organized, FUN! 45$ with a tamale lunch (great communication beforehand to ask about ingredients) Our guide, Speedy, was on top of everything and pretty funny too. The caves were really neat, the water smooth. Quite crowded. Roatan - Banannarama Dive Resort. Another great deal & the only one I prepaid online. $40 for pick up, use of facilities & snorkel equipment. I met some others off the ship who paid $20 one way just for taxi. Great snorkeling down the beach. Fun area to swim. We rented paddleboards for $10 per hour and had a blast learning. Grand Cayman - We booked a City & Stingray tour through Native Ways. Though the day turned out OK and fun they were a small family company, very disorganized. We read good reviews and were not concerned. Well we ended up leaving late from the start. Another family had to catch up to us as we were all givin wrong times to meet. The van broke down at the turtle farm so we had to wait for another bus to get us and we were quite worried about who would be picking us up after the stingray excursion. All in all they got us back to the ship on time but it was messy & confusing. We did however have a great time at the Turtle Farm and the guys that took us to the stingrays were amazing & we had a blast.
ON THE SHIP - We spent a lot of time in the pool & Hot tubs, the Serenity (adults only area is nice, but why do the tubs close at 10?) The girls didn't do much with the kids activity group but we did have fun watching the Hasbro Game Show. We usually go to most shows but had heard they were short and not so great. The Piano bar seemed to be the place to be and was aways packed with an array of ages. The piano player was funny and knew all genres..a great time.
DEBARKATION - Was the slowest we have ever experienced on Carnival, we took naps on Lido deck.
We had booked SAS transportation before & after the trip. They were 25 min late picking us up pre cruise and at debarkation we got tired of waiting and just grabbed another shuttle, same price. I highly recommend "winging it" after your cruise. There are plenty of taxis & shuttles and much easier than trying to find a specific one in all the chaos.
We stayed at Holiday INN Hollywood afterwards as they had free shuttle to FLL. This is a much nicer hotel, with great pool area. My only complaint is there is nothing but a Dennys nearby so be prepared to be stuck there if you don't have a vehicle. We took a taxi to find better eating a mile or so down the road.
All in all a wonderful Vacation, we love Carnival for it being all around great for all ages and will continue to cruise with them.