I cruised on the Glory in January 2012 and was under-whelmed. It was okay but not sensational. So, I boarded her for the short cruise from Norfolk to the Bahamas not really expecting much. I did expect it to be my very last Carnival cruise.
Things got off to a great beginning! We met our room steward, Arnold, and were immediately impressed with his gracious good manner. We expressed our pretty simple needs to him and tipped him a little up-front as we always do. We settled into our very clean balcony cabin and set out to explore the ship since we had not seen her 2.0 upgrades. Sure enough, there were Guy's Burgers, the Blue Iguana Bar and Cantina, and the Red Frog Bar ensconced in the Main Pool area on the Lido Deck. Nicely done. We immediately tried Guy's Burgers and really, the raving is deserved -- completely yummy! (Try the pig patty!) Later we got around to the shrimp burritos and fish tacos at the Cantina. Those were also delicious with add-ons like cilantro-lime rice, pico de gallo, guacamole, and black beans to name a few, plus a completely crazy selection of condiments.
We visited the Platinum Dining Room to see where our table was and, just by chance, met our waiter - the remarkable Tiger. He escorted us to the table so we could check out the location and know where it was for later. What a delight he was! We continued to roam the ship noting the new Alchemy Bar, the Taste Bar, and the Cherry on Top candy store. All were nice additions AND the ship seemed remarkably clean.
Dinners in the Platinum were good to excellent. The selections were appealling and the food was very good - from the appetizers to the desserts. The service from Tiger and his Team (Riomar and Raymond) was the best - seriously, it could not have been better. My cruisemate's grandchildren (ages 19 and 20) were with us and her granddaughter said 'I feel like royalty.' Even the maitre'd was a delight - strolling the dining room singing Frank Sinatra songs every night - thanks Konstatyne. And the waiter's cabaret entertainment brought the house down - gangman style! What fun!
Lido deck dining was good also - the addition of several extra omelet stations was a really good move. Even changing the procedure so that bacon is served by the staff rather than selected by the passenger was a good idea - it speeds the line up. Contrary to someone's inaccurate report - the Fish & Chips is not gone - it is alive and well and turning out delicious seafood in the upstairs section of the Red Sail.
So here are the biggest changes that I noticed. In January, there were lots of tabes in the Red Sail and around the Lido pools with dirty dishes and a wait staff that seemed too thin to do all that needed to be done. In the Dining Room - we barely saw our waiter as he seemed to have more tables than he and his team could handle - service was spotty, at best. Our room steward seemed completely overwhelmed by the volume of work to be performed. I think that they - Carnival - had cut back too far and the quality of the product and the morale of the employees showed up in small but significant ways. Not so, this trip. The service was the bomb and the staff seemed happy. The female workers even had new, tailored, becoming tunics. There were sufficient bar and service staff to keep everyone happy. We spoke with Christian - a food service employee - one early morning on the Lido Deck and he talked about how good the morale was on this ship and how all of the management was good - how Carnival employees tried to get on the Glory because of it. It is obvious. It makes it a very good ship and a very pleasant cruise for the guests.
The shows are new in the Amber Palace - very slick and tech-y and fun. There are 8 singers and dancers and they seem to give it their all. Lots of music, some audience participation, really fantastic electronic scenery and a ton of energy. The 3 shows we saw were Latin Nights, Divas, and Mo-Town. Really a lot of fun and then at the end of the show - it spills out into the Old Glory Atrium and the singing and dancing with everyone joining in continues. It is quite a party!
We went to tthe Piano Bar and found it boring and still so horribly red. That place just hurts my head. Can't say that I found the 'talent' in there very entertaining. Also, went to the Adult Comedy - it was okay. I wouldn't stand in line for it again. We avoid the Karaoke bar like the plague but I'm sure some like it. It's a nice room. The grandchildren had a super time at the White Heat Dance Club.
Our favorite spot is the Adults only pool. The music is not nearly so loud as it used to be. You can actually hear yourself talk - that's an improvement, too, in my book. The Main Pool has lots of noise and lots of activity and music and contests and games etc. Super! One loud pool and one quiet pool. That works for me.
And now let's talk about Matt, the new Cruise Director. He's the funniest guy on the ship. Seriously, the comedians can't hold a candle to this guy. How he has so much energy is beyond me but you cannot help but laugh and have a good time when he is around! Catch the 'name that tune' contest in the casino between the early and late stage shows if you want to laugh til you cry.
Thanks to Carnival for a nice 'welcome back' party for past cruisers. That was worth doing for the delectable hors doevres and free drinks. Got to meet that staff that the crew is raving about - that was nice.
The new Comedy Brunch is a very nice addition, too. It's held in the Platinum MDR and has its own special menu which includes some pretty fancy French Toast, Filet Mignon, Huevos Rancheros, etc. - not the standard Lido Deck fare. The comedy was only a 10 minute spot by one of the late night comedians. The one we heard was not great but the meal was fantastic.
So - this will not be my last Carnival Cruise, after all. I am so impressed with the level of service and quality of product on this cruise that I've already booked another cruise on the Glory. She convinced me to 'go for Platinum'