the cancellation of my cruise during Grandeur's repair period, I decided to give Carnival a try again having heard that Carnival was "much improved". My experience says that this is the case.
Boston is within 65 miles of my house, the trip was short, and priced attractively for a "single", and so I went. Easy "walk thru" of Boston's Black Falcon Cruise Terminal, stood in a short line to change my dining arrangements to one that more suits my preferences - Carnivals web site does NOT allow you to choose a table size - and then off to my balcony cabin. For the past few years I have traveled very extensively with RCI and so the rest of this review basically compares Carnival with RCI - which comes off rather poorly in the comparison. Stateroom and bath both larger and with much more storage than comparable cabin on RCI - balcony however smaller.
Decor - Carnival Glory is another Joe Farcus "over the top" creation and I hated the plastic, neon, slightly ridiculous decor More
and decoration. Deck #5 - the "main street" of the ship is one long succession of rooms dedicated to "booze" and spending, and its almost impossible to find a window looking outwards.
Ship - was grossly overcrowded with some 500 people aboard over and above the usual double occupancy 2900+. We had over 3400 aboard utilizing "upper bunks, pull out beds etc - and the ship was very crowded.
Music - Carnival has eliminated orchestra accompaniment at their Production Shows and so live music was limited. One foursome played in the casino, a duet in the atrium, a couple of individual players/singers and everything else was recorded and played only at ear pain noise levels. There was loud music everywhere including corridors - a speaker was right outside my stateroom and played all day and evening - it was turned off at bedtime.
Food - I could not have ben more surprised and pleased. A NYC travel agent told me that he had gone on Carnival just after a Queen Mary Princess Grill trip, and that the food on Carnival was BETTER. Personally I thought he had gone off the "deep end", and although I have never had a Princess Grill experience, the food on Carnival - everywhere - was significantly better than on other lines which go at a much higher price including Princess, HAL, Celebrity etc. and FAR BETTER than on RCI. I was amazed and very pleased - Carnival has come a long way in that department. The Red Sail Buffet, along with its ancillary food spots, e.g. Gary's Burger Joint, Fish and Chips, Blue Iguana Cafe etc., was delightful. Their room service menu was more complete than RCI's, but a poorer room service breakfast menu than RCI completed my food experiences. I did not try their Steakhouse at extra cost.
Entertainment - their Production Shows have much smaller casts than in the past, and all music us recorded, their Punchline Comedy Theatre is a great alternative, but one of the two comedians was poor.
All lines are trolling for on board spending, but on this trip it was never ending. Constant public announcements to come and spend, photographer "booths" blocking the little passageway space there was, store "sales" etc. There was no Captains Welcome Aboard Party, only an opportunity to 'meet' the Captain and of course purchase an expensive picture, followed by a 2 min "speech" by him in the atrium.
The trip comprised a day at sea at 8 knots, day in St John's, New Brunswick, CN, another day at sea, and home to Boston.
Disembarkation delayed by about 30 min for some reason, then an easy walk off.
A good trip, inexpensive, wonderful food, but I certainly was grateful that I had a balcony so that I could read and relax in peace and avoid the "noise" all around the ship. Less