Just returned from a 2 Day Cruise to No Where with my DH and my niece. DH and I are seasoned cruisers and have been on Royal and NCL. We are now legal guardians to my 13 year old niece so sharing a vacation and a cabin with a child is new to us so we thought a 2 day cruise would be perfect way to try it out.
Love leaving out of Manhattan. Coming from CT its a pleasant drive. Because we left early we were on the pier about 10:30 so parking was not an issue and were on board by 11:30. Being a 2 day, you bring your own luggage on board. Not an issue expect we had to drag it around for 2+ hours. We did a 2 day on NCL in Feb and they allowed you to leave your luggage in one of the clubs until the rooms were ready. Carnival, take note, that is a nice option!
Heard good things about Guys Burgers and headed there first. YUM! I am not a burger fan but this really was delicious. Fries were delish too!
Being there was a light rain, we walked around exploring the ship with luggage in tow. I agree with others that said the layout is hard to manage and in some regards, strange. NCL is guilty of this too as you cant always walk from front to back or my personal pet peeve, you have to walk through the middle of a club or restaurant to get to the other side. This is where I miss Royal and the promenade.
Rooms are finally ready so we are eager to get rid of our luggage. I booked the Ocean Suite and it was very nice though smaller than I expected. Again, DH and I are still getting accustomed to being parents and now sharing a very small space hence the upgrade to a suite. It worked out fine though the bed was harder than I would of liked.
With prayers answered, the sun was out just in time for sail away. I was eager to show my niece the Status of Liberty and going under the bridge. We went to the very top deck and watched us pull out of our berth and start down the river. My niece was already bored watching the skyline and went to the pool, LOL. DH and I enjoyed the sun, the sights and the excitement of going under the bridge. You really do worry that youre not going to make it!
Off to dinner in the My Time dining room. On a longer cruise, I always choose the late seating as my favorite part of cruising is the camaraderie you develop with the wait staff. I have been blessed each cruise with an amazing wait staff so though the staff was excellent and served me well, I still missed the personal touches of being served by the same people night after night. Oh, I did love the dancing and singing in the dining room by the wait staff. My niece of course was totally embarrassed by my participation, but I enjoyed myself.
The one requirement I asked of my niece was to go to the meet & greet at Circle C (Carnivals kids camp). She begrudgingly attended after dinner but when I returned to pick her up, she was out & about with her new found friends. My plan worked! Now DH and I could go dancing while she was out with her friends.
Not having ever used the kids camps before, I didnt know what to expect and have nothing to compare it to. I did think the 12-14 year old room was rather small and didnt see much in there to entertain them whereas the small kids area was very large and the older kids was set up like a night club. There were planned activities but niece preferred wondering around the ship with her group of friends.
Next day was gorgeous and sunny. Went to Red Sail for breakfast and seemed to beat the crowd as there werent any lines (there were very long a couple hours later). Its funny as I thought the buffet area on the Glory was very welcoming and warm and not loud & chaotic, but it was a bit frustrating to wait in line to get your food. Then again, NCL & Royals buffet area is a mad house with people in front of you, behind you and all over trying to get their portions. Still not sure which I prefer.chaos or lines.
By 9:30 am finding lounge chairs by the pool was near impossible. We managed to find two for DH & I and my niece went by herself and located one in another area. She didnt stay there long as she wanted to go find her friends. We on the other hand, stayed in the pool area all day people watching. We did leave for lunch pizza and burritos (yummy) but otherwise relaxed all day.
They did the usual pool games, music and ice sculpting on deck during the day. From 12 to 4 they had a DJ on deck which I enjoyed. I kinda liked the shout outs for birthdays, anniversaries and what not. It kept the energy high in the area.
After 7 hours in the sun, I was ready for a shower and of course to eat. Another dinner in the Golden something dining room and they had lobster which surprised me. Thinking its only 2 days, they wouldnt serve lobster. But they did and I was oh so happy. Another dance with the wait staff and off we went. Took a family photo our first, and off she went with her friends and off we went to enjoy a beautiful evening on deck and later to dance the night away.
Unfortunately two days goes by so quickly and the next morning had breakfast, packed up and disembarked. Disembarkation went smoothly but as always theres a lot of people so the lines to get off tend to be long.
Overall, I enjoyed myself. I am not hard to please, I have a go with the flow, make the best it attitude and had a nice long weekend. I do miss the easy layout of Royals ship and I do prefer Royals color schemes as they are more subdue. I thought Glory looked too shiny and glossy and you can easily tell the new upgraded areas from the old because of this. For example, the Alchemy Bar is done with a neutral stone bar, leather seating and wood floors whereas the hallway floor leading to it is a shiny glittery black tile with glittery color tiles sprinkled about with a mirrored ceiling, and loud colored seating. Not my personal preference but it certainly did not take away from my experience.
I also think the lobby areas on other ships fall short of the wow factor. But again, I love the promenade with the sidewalk feel and its big open space. Again a personal preference. I will say I enjoyed the food on Carnival a lot, the DJs were excellent and didnt make me feel old by playing music I couldnt dance too and the staff was over the top friendly and helpful I mean amazingly nice and eager to help you.
So, how was it with my niece? Good. Im glad she had a good time, met some kids and was able to do her own thing so we could have some adult time. I learned establishing rules are vital and knowing how to get back to the cabin are also very important (for her and me, LOL!).
How was my first time on Carnival? No complaints really. I like to cruise. I like having my bed made each night, my room cleaned daily, a variety of foods to choose from and try, entertainment within walking distance, and not having a care in the world for a while.
So the question now is where to next?