Carnival Glory Cruise Review by vabchtraveler: Better sailing on the Glory
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Better sailing on the Glory
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 More 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' Less
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Cabin review: Carnival Glory Balcony Upper 6390
The balcony cabins in the mid-section of the ship are more than adequate for 2 people. Our cabin had beds that made into a kingsize, so individually, the beds are larger - that's a nice perk. Carnival does have very comfortable beds and pillows, also. The storage in the cabin is quite good with 3 closets (one is shelved), a cabinet, 2 nightstands with cabinets a desk with 4 drawers (there is a hair dryer and a Bible in the top desk drawer), and 6 shelves in the bathroom. The bathroom shower also has a retractable clothesline and wall mounted containers with shampoo and shower gel. The cabin has a chair and a couch, refrigerator, flat panel tv, and a safe. I don't think there are enough hangers in the closet - I always take extra. There are 2 bathrobes in the closet for use on the ship. The balcony has 2 upright chairs and a small, low table -- good to set a coffee cup on. Our steward, Arnold, was fantastic. We always wanted a lot of ice so he brought us a bucket like the bars put beer in and kept it - and our regular ice bucket - refilled twice daily.
Port and Shore Excursions
We booked an all-day excursion of snorkeling andd beach party with the very efficient Diane. A very pleasant gentleman met us t the dock and drove us in a bus to Port Lucaya - we stopped beside the road on the way to town to purchase 2 conchs for our lunch. Once at the port, we paid and boarded the Sunshine. Captain TK took off in a hurry to get us to the reef. We all got in the water and the snorkeling was fantastic. Lots of brightly colored fish. Dante and someone else were in the water to help all the novices get a good look at the fish while TK and Laura were on lookout from the boat. Unfortunately, it again began to pour down rain. Now, I don't mind getting wet, duh! uthis rain hurt like needles poundiing you and the seas got so rough that the snorkels kept filling, Definitely not optimum conditions. We all got back aboad and the broke out the bahama mama's. TK took us to Peterson's Cay - a private island with a picnic shelter. The rain stopped for awhile and TK showed us how to get the meat out of the conch. Dante made a delicious conch salad while Laura got bbq chicken heated over an open fire and served up the corn and sweets. Back on the boat - another downpour! Even with the blasted rain, the crew was so fantastic that we had a marvelous time. I'll go again next time I'm in Freepport and hope for better weather. I highly recommend this excursion.
Went to the British Colonial Hilton for a beach day. It was as beautiful as the pictures and close enough to walk to -- about 7 blocks from the dock. It was a fairly expensive excursion as it included lunch and drinks. They didn't really act very happy to see us when we checked in at the main hotel desk - we waited quite awhile for 'our turn'. It is lovely, though. Nice landscaping, very clean beach, all sorts of chairs and lounges and tents. The water is clear and calm - no decent snorkeling. There is a good sized pool, also empty the day we were there. The beach restaurant was just okay and the food was really expensive for what it was. Unfortunately, it rained - no, it stormed - so we had to cut our visit short since they shut down the beach. We lost money on that whole deal. Even if it hadn't rained, it was too much money for the product. I will say this - it wasn't crowded! This excursion was not mis-represented by the tour company - it just didn't suit us. I wouldn't do it again.