Carnival Glory - Canada / New England July 9 - 14 2013
Booking: Made through the Carnival website. The process was smooth, leading one through the variety of choices available. Picked the cabin using the provided deck plans. Printing of boarding passes, baggage tags and cruise information was easy. Prepaid gratuities.
Embarkation: Arrived at the port at 11:15am, dropped the wife and the bags at the terminal and drove to the cellphone lot to park. I have an aversion to tourists, with bags boarding buses, so I walked back to the terminal, a leisurely 5 minute stroll. Found the wife, went through security,and then checked in. No line ups and very quick process. We were standing on deck by 11:45.
Cabin: 8201 on the Veranda deck. This is the first cabin right behind the starboard wing bridge. Picked this cabin because I thought we might see a bit of the bridges "going on's", and was not disappointed! Great view of the navigation station and very interesting during docking. You can see through the wing bridge so the forward view from the balcony is great. It was fun exchanging nods and waves with the Captain and crew every day.
Was very impressed with the size and layout of this cabin. We didn't come anywhere close to filling up the closet and cabinet space. The amount of shelving in the bathroom did not disappoint. Everything worked as it should have and the decor was pleasing.
Service: We were impressed with every crew member we encountered. Stewards, waiters, bartenders, ships maintenance personnel, everyone. All very courteous and accommodating and always with a smile.
Dining: We selected the late seating in the Golden dining room. We ended up being seated with a couple from Texas and a couple from Michigan, they were delightful dinner companions and we continually ran into them on the ship and on shore. Definitely some age matching in Carnival's seating software :^)
Dinner staff were great, attentive and quick. The food selection was quite varied and we thought it was very good. The cold soups provided a tasty and interesting start to each dinner. I thought portion sizes were just right.
Breakfast and lunch were a combination Lido buffet, MDR brunch, room service, Blue Iguana, pizza and deli. Breakfast from room service was delivered right on time!
Entertainment: Plenty of activities available on board to keep one busy. The shows in the evening were good and the length was perfect for my span of attention. Trivia was fun and seem to spring up everywhere.
Ports: Both Saint John and Halifax are very walkable cities. Lots to see and do, historic sites, museums, etc. We did not take any of the offered excursions. We did cheat in Halifax and took a taxi up to the Citadel, $5 and worth every nickel, the walk back down was easy :^)
Debarkation: This got a little weird in Boston. I'm a Canadian and my wife is American. I got a personal invitation to meet with customs and immigration along with the 700 other non-US citizens in the Amber theatre at 6:45am. Felt like I was being held captive for about an hour and a half. Customs finally arrived and I was one of the first inspected, very pleasant and very superficial, they stamped my passport and my customs declaration and they let me leave. I didn't like the prospects for the 700 fellow passengers I left behind! US Citizens were not allowed into this event and families were separated at the doors, very strange.
Went back to the cabin for the family reunion :^) We sent our bags off the night before so had very little carry-on to lug around. Cleared the room just before 8 and went up to the Lido for breakfast. Our debarkation group was called and we walked of the ship without encountering any long lines. Baggage was nicely grouped making it easy to find and exit the terminal. Skipped the bus again and walked to our car in the cellphone lot (5 minutes). Very well organized process.
Overall we were very impressed and will travel Carnival again especially if they come back to Boston!