Hi - First review for a first-time cruiser.
We researched quite a few cruise ships before deciding to go with Carnival Glory - in fact we lived on this web page for many hours!
While I can give an overview of the ship, I really wanted to comment about Camp Carnival after reading a previous posting.
We have three children, (15, 10, 7) and we wanted to make sure they would have a fantastic holiday while mingling with other kids.
I was also a bit dubious about the Carnival policy which allows 9-11 year olds to sign themselves out. However, we found it became a great learning and trust experience for our ten year old son. We didn't buy the walkie-talkies they had on board, but made firm arrangements on meeting times with our son.
He was allowed to sign himself out and explore the ship providing he had one or two friends with him. Believe me, I am the most paranoid of mothers, and I was worried about all sorts of catastrophes that go along with unsupervised kids, such as falling overboard. But I was able to give my son some freedom, which he was appreciative of.
The staff at Camp Carnival were great, and really made the kids feel welcome.
Our seven year old son made friends and participated in heaps of activities. He would wake us and tell us to get dressed and take him at six in the morning. Even our dining staff complained they never saw the kids!
Our teenager also had a fantastic time. He meet some other teens and basically had run of the ship for most of the cruise. He doesn't have that kind of freedom at home, and loved experiencing it.
My recommendation for those with kids - try leaving your child at Camp Carnival, even if only for ten minutes. Believe me, they will let you know if they hate it.
Brief Review of the Ship (Very Brief)
First impression at port- OMG it's huge
Embarkation - Took a little while, some confusion with paperwork, and the herding of US and non-US citizens into lines, but generally less than thirty minute wait for boarding process
Cabin - Our cabin was wonderful, the private balcony was worth the extra money
Cabin Staff - really friendly, talkative and helpful
Dining - Golden Restaurant - waitstaff were fantastic, great personalities. Maitre D' was great, very entertaining. Not one bad thing to say about the service. However, bar staff in the dining room were scarce and tended to take their time. Late sitting was inconvenient as we tended to miss shows to put the kids to bed.
Platinum Restaurant - We ate breakfast there a couple of times, staff didn't seem too friendly, but overall were polite.
Lido Deck - We ate most meals here - good variety of food, sometimes, staff were generally friendly.
Shows - The shows we did see were great, especially considering for two days the ship was pitching horribly and the dancers handled the movement well.
Casino - crowded a lot of the time (money-grabbing machines!). The competitions were very crowded, so we didn't bother watching.
Bars - Bars were lovely, it was easy to find a bar without heaps of people milling about. Some were quite cosy, especially the Cinnabar.
Seasickness - For two days the ship was swaying, enough to make me seasick. There was movement regardless of where we were on ship, although it wasn't too bad in the cabin. The infirmary were handing over free seasickness pills, but apparently you have to take them before you feel sick. At least ten crew members advised I eat a green apple. The spa manager even fetched one for me (he was a sweetheart).
Wedding Staff - we got married on St Thomas - WOW - the staff are great- coordinator couldn't do enough for us, staff helped us filch flowers from the dining room (we didn't have time to get fresh flowers for buttonholes), photographer was gorgeous, with a fantastic personality. Spa, hair and beauty staff were great. Wedding was unbelievable.
Overall, it was a great experience. At no time did it seem like there were thousands of people on board. Everything went smoothly and we had a fabulous first cruise. While it might sound weird, we have absolutely no complaints.