My wife, son, and I have experienced six cruises, some Carnival, some Royal Caribbean. We were familiar with the Conquest class of Carnival ship (which is what Glory is), but we were looking forward to Glory's unique decor and colorful theme. Carnival ships deliver eye candy in all the public spaces, and Glory is no different. Our only disappointment was that the ship is laid out exactly like the Conquest, which we sailed several years ago. The 2.0 upgrade more than made up for this, however, as it was our first 2.0 experience.
Boston is an excellent city from which to sail. It's large but compact. Transportation in the city is easy and manageable. We were also pleased by Bean Town's hospitality and wish we could have stayed longer than our two-night pre-cruise visit. We took in a lot, though. We walked the entire three-mile Freedom Trail, which begins at a visitor center on the edge of Boston Common. It's free, and it's self-guided by way of a colorful stripe you simply follow from one historical site to the next. You'll see more history than you have probably ever taken in at one time. Fenway Park is right in the city, and Massachusetts Avenue will take you across the Charles River into Cambridge where you can visit Harvard Square and MIT.
We boarded Glory on Sunday and our AFT stateroom was already prepared by 1:00 or so. Of course, we visited Guy's Burgers right away and were NOT disappointed at all. One of the best cheeseburgers you'll ever taste, first because it's just a juicy, hand-packed style of burger, and also because the fixings bar offers bacon pieces, grilled onions, raw onions, pickles, lettuce, and several other topping choices. It's conveniently located near the Lido restaurant (Red Sail) and the main pool. Across from that, Blue Iguana Cantina offers Tex-Mex style tacos and burritos. It's open for breakfast and lunch, but it closes at 2:30. That was disappointing to us on several occasions. Don't they know most folks crave tacos late into the afternoon and night? It, too, has an amazing salsa bar with all the toppings you'd want (and more) for your delicious Tex-Mex meal.
Other noteworthy changes included the Hasbro game shows in the theater. Not only were they fun, funny, and loud (as a game show should be), but Carnival has invested in some really sleek game show equipment that makes you feel almost as if you are watching a live taping of The Price is Right. Our cruise director was amazingly funny (funnier than the George Lopez-inspired Punchliner comedians who performed in the Ebony Cabaret lounge. We also noticed a sharp increase in the already well-worn practice of bringing audience participants onto the stage for laughs - and it worked well. Everyone was an amazingly great (and funny) sport.
Some pros and cons: On the pro side, Glory was kept impeccably clean and was maintained by the sweetest, most genuinely caring staff. We couldn't help but tip well beyond our pre-paid tips. No matter what was requested, they worked hard to make it happen. We felt so taken care of we may as well have been on Celebrity or Holland America. The entertainment in the theater was energetic to say the least. Our favorite thing about the entertainment was how after several of the shows, the singers/dancers continued the music right out into the atrium where they encouraged cruisers young and old to live it up on the dance floor. That closeness and accessibility was another special touch.
On the con side, Carnival needs to change the delivery system of its food in the buffet restaurant. Instead of special serving areas for salads and other types of food, almost everything was served in one of two long cafeteria-style lines that moved way too slowly. There was a separate dessert area and another separate "comfort food" line, which helped. As usual on every cruise, sea days made it almost impossible to find a table once we got our food.
Best of all, though, was Glory's current itinerary. New England/Canada draws an "Alaska" type crowd, which included many more senior citizens than you'd see on a Caribbean cruise. We liked this, because we felt that it made the overall cruise experience more diverse and a bit more classy. You just need to exercise a bit of patience with slower-moving wheelchairs and people walking with canes. It was precious seeing them walk through the ports in spite of their sometimes difficult navigation hurdles. Nothing stopped them, and this is to be applauded! We loved all four ports, as there was something unique about all of them. Favorite tours: Kennebunkport, a tall sail clipper ship on the shores of Halifax, and the historical Highland Village (about an hour from Sydney in Nova Scotia) with its eleven walk-through homes and other buildings narrated by friendly folks in period costume. If you're booked for Glory this summer, you'll have an excellent time. We Texans were a bit cold, but even that was a refreshing change from the norm.