This was my second cruise, the first was also with Carnival, on the Paradise. I did a lot of research before choosing this cruise. I chose this based on both the itinerary and the idea of having so many options for things to do on the ship. I was traveling alone and wanted plenty of options. I was not disappointed!
I flew down the morning of the cruise and had booked the transportation from the airport to Port Canaveral through Carnival. Everything was very smooth. The Carnival representative was waiting at the airport, was easy to find, and we had a very short wait. The bus was comfortable and took us straight to the embarkation area. Embarkation was as quick and efficient as can be. The man that checked me in was super friendly and it only took about 10 minutes until I was headed to my stateroom.
I had booked an inside guarantee, so I expected my stateroom to be something like a closet, but I was obviously given an upgrade because my room (1003) was fantastic! I was in the very front room on the 10th floor. I could have done a cartwheel in my room. I had a great window that looked straight out to a small lookout deck on the very front of the ship. My stateroom steward, Rodrigo, was excellent. After the very first meeting, he always remembered my name and even had my "schedule" down pretty well after the first few days. My only suggestion here is that the staterooms need a clock. I had to buy a watch on board because I don't usually wear one, so if I was in my room, I never knew the time. Also, there is only one outlet, and it's in sort of a tight spot. My nightlight that I brought wouldn't fit in the space. Bring a power strip.
The activities onboard were great. The social hosts were wonderful, especially "Doogie." Since I was traveling alone, I sought out places and activities to meet people and it was very easy. I was only alone when I wanted to be. The people were all friendly, it was a very FUN atmosphere. They had several singles "meet and greets" but several solo travelers that I met onboard said that they wish they had been hosted or were for "singles only" because there were so many couples that you couldn't tell who was who. I agree. Overall, it was very easy to meet people, though.
Shore excursions were hit and miss, through no fault of Carnival. I did the Deep Sea Fishing excursion in Cozumel and I do not recommend it. It's not long enough and we didn't seem to go very deep. Our entire boat caught a total of 3 tuna with the biggest being about 9 inches long. The boat operators didn't talk to us at all. In Belize I did the Private Beach excursion. It was raining, which no one could help. The beachside bar and shops were decent, but you couldn't walk on the beach or in the water without shoes. Instead of nice sand, it was all completely covered with broken shells that were very sharp. The pier area and shops in Belize were better than I expected, but I heard a couple of bad stories about safety concerns. Belize was one of the reasons I chose this cruise, but I have no desire to go back. Costa Maya was my favorite. The Jungle Beach Break is well worth it! The beach is wonderful, the water is clear (except some areas of seaweed), the drinks are free and the staff is fantastic. This is also the location of the dolphin swim, so you can see the dolphins from the end of the pier, even if you don't swim with them. I had a beachside massage from Andres and it was one of the best parts of the entire week. $25 for 35 minutes, but he went well over that time for no additional cost. Be cautious with your younger kids in the gift shops in Costa Maya, though, as many of their items are sexually explicit. I didn't do a shore excursion in Nassau. I went to the Pirates of Nassau. It wasn't as great as I was hoping, but worth $12 if you're into pirate history. I found the shopping in Nassau to be far too commercial... many of the items you can buy at your local Wal-Mart type store. Next time there, I will go to the beach.
Dining on the ship was very good. Dinner was especially great, I was at the late seating in the Golden Dining Room. Our Maitre'D was not good, he barely spoke and had no personality at all. He never came to the tables to introduce himself and never announced the team color contest standings. Our waitress, Micky, was wonderful though and made up for it and the food was excellent. You can always order as much as you want and when I couldn't decide between two items, she brought me both! I found the buffet-style food on the Lido deck to be very good and there were always plenty of options to choose from, except for breakfast. My only food recommendation is that they need to change the items on the breakfast buffet at least a couple of the days.
As for the entertainment, I only went to the shows the first and the last night. They were only so-so, but enjoyable enough. I think the best entertainment on the ship was from the folks that performed in other areas around the ship. Jimmy sang every night near the casino lounge and was great. Sort of a mellow-party sound (think Jimmy Buffet). There was good jazz music every day in the Ivory Club and great music (blues and classical) in the lobby bar.
The service was always great, with one small exception... On my first cruise, the bar staff were constantly walking around with drinks and I never had an empty hand. On this cruise, I almost always had to go get my own drink and often had to wait quite a bit. Someone told me they cut back on the wait/bar staff... they should bring them back. But as always, the drinks were fantastic. The bars will give you a little bowl of snacks with your drinks if you ask.
My only real complaint was the debarkation. My group was called at 8am and I was not on the shuttle back to the airport until 10am. Standing in line for 2 hours... there's just got to be a better way.
In summary, this was a great cruise and it's a great ship. I think a cruise on the Glory is perfect for everyone because you can make it what you want. Nearly every age group, social class, ethnicity, etc., seemed to be represented onboard. There is plenty of fun to be had if you take the initiative to go get it and there are plenty of ways to relax if that is what you're looking for. It can be whatever you want it to be!!!