We took the cruise from Boston, MA, USA to St. John, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on July 9, 2013 on the Glory. As Platinum level cruisers, those cruisers who took 10 or more cruises on Carnival Cruise Lines under the old requirement, we pretty much new what to expect regarding priority boarding and on-board ship amenities. On this cruise we booked a suite in room 7272 on deck seven. It was really nice with a room that was close to 50% larger than a normal balcony stateroom that had granite appointment everywhere. Granite countertops, desk top, bathroom and powder room floors, and double granite vanity tops. Additionally, it had a whirlpool bath tub/shower combination instead of the small shower stall in balcony staterooms - really nice.
A few disappointments with Carnival - on many ships, including the Glory, they do not provide Fox News Channel on the stateroom television. Those ships that do not provide Fox News Channel will provide two or even three CNN channels, the regular CNN channel available in the USA, CNN Spanish, and sometimes CNN International. Why Carnival will not provide Fox News Channel for their guests, whose viewership greatly exceeds the viewership of CNN and MSNBC combined, is a mystery to me, but is extremely disappointing and definitely non-customer friendly. As independent minded people, it gets tiring constantly being bombarded by liberal pablum and social engineering view points, and, selective airing of stories, often ignoring those they feel are not news worthy, so we prefer to watch Fox News Channel to get all the news.
Another disappointment with Carnival is the crew failing to consistently enforce Platinum and Diamond perks, not even trying to do so diplomatically. What is the sense of touting the benefits of these perks when people who ignore the fact that they have not qualified for them, insist, often in a crude and loud manner that they be allowed to do so, and the crew member almost always concedes. Prior to reaching Platinum status, we followed the rules and refrained from trying to get priority service at the Guest Service Desk, priority tendering to ports that did not have docks, and priority disembarkation, etc.
An example of this problem, on the Glory we received written instructions that in order to avail ourselves of priority disembarkation we were to assemble in the 'Golden Dining Room' at 8:30 am. No one from the crew monitored who went into the Golden Dining room and scores of people with Blue, Red and Gold 'Sail and Sign' cards on lanyards around their necks crowded into the room and when the crew finally announced that Platinum and Diamond cruisers could disembark, those people pushed and shoved their way to the front of the disembarkation line. For those who do not know, Carnival provides three different colors of 'Sail and Sign' cards, for passengers who have not reach Platinum or Diamond level status yet. Those cards function as your stateroom key and on-ship charge card. First time cruisers on Carnival have a Blue card that progresses up to Red, or Gold 'Sail and Sign' cards for more frequent cruisers. All passengers have to have those cards scanned to leave the ship by handing them to a crew member. If a crew member sees any color other than a Platinum or Diamond color during priority disembarkation, they should politely ask those people to step aside and wait their turn, but they do not, so priority disembarkation is a non-existent 'perk' because rude people push and shove their way to the front. Once again, those with an entitlement mentality get their way because Carnival crew members do not enforce the rules.
There was one troubling issue with the $750 shopping spree Bingo game. The caller seemed to be more concerned with trying to be funny than clearly explaining the rules and verifying the winner. That game had a second element if there were two or more winners, basically an elimination round by calling more numbers until one party had that number while the other party did not. In this game two people called Bingo on the same number, one of them sitting right next to us. Both party's cards were verified by crew members and the two 'tied' players filled out paperwork. Then the crew members left them taking the paperwork, and the Bingo caller proceeded to do the elimination. There was a lot of noise in the background while the caller quickly proceeded to state the rules that only applied to those two winners who had tied. She did not confirm that both parties understood what the instructions were. The requirement was that she would call off more numbers one by one until one of them had it and the other did not. But, the key element was that the number had to be on the SAME card as the winning Bingo. She called off a few numbers and some other person in the room, who was not one of the tied winners and obviously was confused, shouted out Bingo. The caller told them that the numbers she was calling were only to break the tie between the two parties who had tied. She then quickly called more numbers until the person next to us called out Bingo. The caller 'verbally' asked him to confirm that he had that number she had just called and he said he did, but, as we could clearly see he did not. She did not have any crew member confirm it and she quickly shut down the Bingo game computer, and then came over herself to congratulate the guy. The problem was he had the number she called but NOT on the same card that he had originally had Bingo on. My wife and I sat there and watched what transpired next. She clearly told that he did not really win, but she would process the winning paperwork to 'take care of it', because she had already shut down the computer. Essentially she gave the $750 shopping spree monies to him, and the other person who had tied him and played by the rules didn't even know they were incorrectly eliminated. Very, very wrong! But as I said earlier, she was more interested in trying to be funny and finishing the game quickly than doing it right.
One other disconcerting issue involved the water in the stateroom sink. We turned on the cold water one time and large quantity of gray colored particulate matter came out of the faucet. It was definitely not something anyone would want to swallow. We do not know why that happened and was the first time it had happened to us on all the cruises we had on Carnival.
The meals in the dining room were very good per usual and we really enjoyed Guy Fieri's Hamburger location up on the Lido deck. Those burgers were very, very tasty.
We booked the excursion through Carnival which was described as a bus tour with stops at the top ten tourist sights in Halifax. The tour was seven hours long. The driver and tour guide were both very competent. Our guides name was Robert, who described himself as a retired history teacher.
The main problem with the tour is that the people on our bus only got to see six of the ten sights because extremely inconsiderate passengers were very late re-boarding the bus at two of the stops. They were so late in fact that the guide had to skip four of the advertised destinations in order to get us back to the ship on time.
The guide was very clear when we reached our first stop that all the passengers had to be back at the bus by a specific time. He warned everyone that he had a schedule to keep and if anyone was late he would be forced to move on to the next place and those passengers would have to pay for a taxi cab to return to the ship. The problem was he did not enforce the warning. The passengers who had returned on time were forced to sit on a hot bus without air conditioning because Canadian regulations prohibited the bus from idling while parked. Those inconsiderate passengers made everyone else wait for them two separate times because they were so self-absorbed in themselves they could not be bothered to follow the rules. That lack of passenger consideration coupled with the tour operator failing to enforce the rule made everyone miss 40% of the tour for which we had paid.
Once back on the ship we informed the tour desk about our feeling cheated and the young lady said that we had the complete the seven hour tour and there was no guarantee that we would see all ten stops listed. We respectfully asked for a price reduction considering that we did not see everything advertised and she said that Carnival could provide any refund.
My wife and I enjoyed the cruise other than those critiques detailed above.