Although we normally cruise the Caribbean in the winter, my husband and I wanted something a little different, so we chose this itenerary for July as we had been to none of the ports, except Boston. Flew in a day early and hunkered down at the Best Western Adams Inn in Quincy, a good choice if you're not planning to sightsee in Boston. They have a free airport pick-up and free shuttle to the cruise port. Rooms were clean and staff friendly. We even had a view of the river out our window. Plus a very good meal and service at their on-site restaurant and free breakfast the next day. Had a great dessert there called "Chocolate Decadence". DH and I shared it, and as it was so rich and gooey, we were very satisfied.
Arrived at the Glory around noonish and had absolutely no lines at embarkation! This was absolutely our best boarding experience in 12 cruises. We were on board in about 15 to 20 minutes! My DH kept looking for the lines but they never appeared. No long lines even at the buffet and empty tables were relatively easy to find. Debarkation was also excellent as we waited until near the end and didn't have to wait in long lines.
Our interior stateroom 8407 was easy to find and though small adequate for our needs. Except we could have had a few more hangers, our room steward,from Bosnia said to call him "Z", was going around with hangers and I'm sure we could have got some if we ever remembered to ask. "Z" was a very good steward and kept our room neat and tidy without being obtrusive. The funny thing was whenever we were talking about him there he would be in the hall or around the corner, it was almost like magic.
We used room service on 3 of our 4 port days. They were always early, if we said 7-7:15, expect them at 7. The only bad thing was even though we said 2 people, and I had yogurt and DH cereal we only got one spoon. As we have been married almost 42 years we managed to share the spoon.
I must tell you that the East Coast was having a heat wave that affected all but the last day of our cruise. So we had sunny skies and very warm weather almost the whole time. It was almost too hot ashore. The tour buses were not used to this and were very warm. Sometimes the ship's air conditioning was very aggressive. So take note and throw in that extra sweater or long sleeve top for the ship, ladies. DH had mostly long sleeved shirts or wore his sportcoat and was better off than me on board the Glory.
Our first stop was Portland, Maine. Since we had never been to this part of our hemisphere, we used all Carnival Shore excursions. Usually in the Caribbean we could find other tour companies, it was harder on this cruise to find them even though we did some research. We did the Portland and Kennebunkport combo and had a good time, but the but only had about half an hour to shop there, which it way to short. We enjoyed the tour of Portland, the views and stopping at the Portland head lighthouse, and especially Kennebunkport. I enjoyed seeing from a distance the Walker (Bush) compound, the flags were flying out front so the senior Bushes were in residence. Our favorite store was a little shop called Deep Blue that had lots of glass bottle and pots. I bought a small blue pot with a cork stopper. I promise not to regale you with all my purchases as we bought mostly tee shirts and pins of the places we stopped. When we got back to the pier there was down the block little umbrella stands with crafts and such. I talked DH into going down the block and walking back stopping at the stands. He was reluctant as I have a lot of back and leg issues and he is very protective of me, but he did agree to one block. It was a lot of fun, not only seeing what they had but talking to the owners. I bought a little blue glass suncatcher I decided to use as a pendant and go a huge amount of complients on, on one of the formal nights. Also one young man had trivets and coasters with photos on them,he had taken of the area and I couldn't resist getting one with a night scene. Actually one of my favorite shopping experiences on the cruise.
The second port was Saint John, NB. We had a tour called the Top Ten things about Saint John. We went first to the reversing rapids and it was interesting and a nice short stop. Then to the City Market where we could buy lunch, which we did. It included a bus ride out to St. Martin's and the Bay of Fundy. I have wanted to see the Bay of Fundy and the tides there since I was about 10 years old. It was on my bucket list. We tried to talk to this guy at the shore excursion desk about whether it would be high or low tide. He kept telling us low tide would be at 11 and we would not be able to walk on the bay floor. He had me so confused, luckily it was low tide and we could walk a ways on the underwater part of the bay, but it is all rocks, so wear comfortable shoes. Some people walked out to the sea caves, about ten minutes out and back. Would have been much longer for me, and I didn't trust my ankles on that many rocks. We did collect 2 or 3 pounds of rocks. Included were 4 wishing rocks. These are rocks with a white band all the way around them. You make a wish and when it comes true pass it on to someone else. I haven't officially made my wish to win the lottery, even though we ended up with 4 wishing rocks. Some people got fish and chips or something equally fishy at St. Martins and it smelled delishious.
Some small stands at St Martins where ladies were selling handicrafts and food. If you go on this excursion try the lady at the end brown sugar fudge, wish I would I gotten much more. Guess I will have to use another wishing rock.
We were to go back to reversing rapids but possible problems with the airbrakes on the bus sent us back to the pier. Exhausted anyway, go glad to get back and some rest before getting ready for first formal night.
Wednesday was our first sea day, we decided to try out the Serenity Deck, we had enjoyed this with my mom on Carnival's Freedom in Dec 2012. We went up and the wind made it cool, I stretched out at the end of one of the long couches got a couple of pillows and my DH covered me up with two towels. I was going to read but ended up with a two hour nap. It was great. I could wish there was more variety in the shops on board, and for some reason the shelves seemed emptier than usual. We did buy several of the 2 for $20.00 tee shirts for the family back home. I do enjoy having the comfort foods at dinner, especially knowing that warm chocolate melting cake will be there every day. I do have my favorites, the creme brulee is very good, this time was the best ever. My DH has a harder time, he has never liked meat not even as a baby. He has a limited list of food likes, mostly starches. I call him a starchatarian. So he does not like most veggie meals. Some nights he would get two helpings of mashed potatoes and the steamed veggies which he would pick through. One of our favorite things on this cruise was Guy's Burgers and Fries. Everyone else seemed to like them too. I thought the burger great, but the fries were fabulous. DH loves fries and has them most days, but he loved these more than usual. So good ketchup not needed, and we voted them the best ever, even above Thresher's fries (a Maryland beach treat) and above Five guy's. Almost everyday since we have been home, he has wished he had eaten more of them. Great move on your part Carnival.
Thursday we were at Halifax and took the tour that combined Peggy's Cove and Halifax. Loved Peggy's Cove, so quaint, wished we had more time there. Then toured around the island and back to Halifax for our pink bus tour. We got off at the Citadel and toured there and talked to the cadets. Also got to see them shoot off the 6-lb cannon. Back on the bus, we seemed to miss the shopping areas and were completely disappointed at the shops at the pier seemed more like yard sale stuff than anything else.
Friday was Sydney and we opted for the two sides of Louisbourg. The fort at Louisbourg, was fantastic. They had a lot of reenactors in colorful costumes and uniforms. We lucked out because it was the 300th anniversary of the fort and they have a lot more people working there in July and August. Loved it and Anna Marie our tour guide. It was a complete delight. Then we went into the town of Louisbourg for an included lunch at the Lobster Kettle. Most people opted for the snow crab lunch, I got chicken (yum), DH got veggie pasta. Strawberry shortcake for dessert. Only drawback I expected some shopping at Louisbourg, then because the buses were late getting to the port, the ship waited for use, but I didn't even get to stick my toes in the shops at the pier. The singer giving a concert there was still singing so got to hear her beautiful voice as we got back on the ship. That was the only cool day and started raining as we got to the ship.
Saturday was our second sea day. We did trivia with Shawn in the Cinnabar, both the 50's & 60's then the Civil War trivia was fun but challenging. We also liked James in the piano bar, we went 3 times but only got seats twice, so go early for him. Drawbacks on the ship, it's one of those that you can't get there from here. To get from the Platinum Dining room on level 3 or 4 aft to the Amber Palace forward on 3 or 4 you have to go up to at least level 5. Also the elevators were trully frustrating. One night we waited for 15 minutes (I can't do stairs) for one to stop on our level. They would go right past your floor, up or down, happened on all of them. Fish and chips is hard to get to also, you are not allowed to go through the Chop House, but must to to the Lido deck and up a flight of stairs. When told I can't do stairs we were given the option of my husband going and getting it for me. I wanted to see if it was decorated. Disappointed about that, I guess if I were in a wheelchair it would have been the same. Seemed kind of weird to me. We liked the Motown show the best of the production shows. My DH really liked the special effects in this one.
We did have a great time on this cruise, but wished we had more time in port. Thinking about taking a driving trip to spend more time and see more things, but this was a great introduction.