After a really AMAZING 8 night cruise in May on the Carnival Splendor, my boyfriend and I decided we HAD to go on another Carnival cruise before the summer was over. With my tight schedule, we could only fit in a shorter cruise, and the Carnival Glory 5 night to Canada fit the bill. Neither of us really cared about seeing Canada, and we took this cruise in hopes of meeting new people and having a great time. We're both 25 years old, college graduates, who like to have a lot of fun. This was my third Carnival cruise to Canada (went with my family on the Triumph in '99 and the Victory in 2008), my boyfriend's third cruise in general, my 11th cruise and 6th with Carnival. We have both sailed RCI before (independently of one another) and we don't care for it. We like what Carnival has to offer and we plan to stick with Carnival.
Embarkation: After waiting an hour to board the Splendor in May, I was quite angry when my boyfriend showed up 45 minutes late to pick me up. We arrive at the pier around 1145 and we were on board within 20 minutes. We both felt like we were in an alternate universe. Quick and painless, so thank you for that, Carnival.
The 2.0 upgrades on the Carnival Glory were phenomenal. Guy's Burger Joint and the Blue Iguana Cantina were incredible additions. The food was always fast and fresh and really well-made. Alchemy bar was definitely really cool and I think it's something everyone should try at least once. Hanna was really wonderful when it came to helping us select drinks. Punchliner comedy club is a nice addition that the Splendor had as well, so we knew we would love that.
The crowd was definitely different than a caribbean cruise and it was challenging to find people around our age. Our friends joined us on the cruise so that was a plus. Our waitstaff for dinner were the most amazing waitstaff one could ever hope for. I would do this cruise again just to see them. Gavin, Alex, and Jose really made our trip and I can only hope that one day I see them again. It was really difficult saying goodbye to them this morning. I have always experienced great service from the crew but Gavin really touched our hearts and I cannot say enough kind things about them.
We didn't care for Canada. Halifax, however, was really pretty to see. We walked around for an hour or two, aimlessly. Saint John had nothing to do, so after an hour or so, we were back on board. Right after sail away we took a nap, then realized there was something in our mailbox outside at around 530 pm stating our VIFP party was at 415 that very day, so we missed it. Not sure if we didn't notice it earlier or if we were forgotten and it was put in last minute, but it seemed odd that the VIFP party would be at 415 on a port day, when sailaway was at 4. That was really my only gripe from the trip, however, so I find the trip in general to be a success.
I initially booked the same cabin number we had on the Splendor, and received an upgrade offer for a category 8e balcony on deck 10 (room 1023). We are non-smokers and didn't have any issues with smokers around us (nor did we in the Camel Club Casino, whilst on the subject of smokers). We are both heavy sleepers and got woken up by the foghorn two nights. It was very foggy and we didn't get much use out of the balcony. The room was nice, big, and clean and our room steward was very efficient. In the future I think an ocean view would be more than sufficient. Also, we spend a lot of time in the casino and for us, we would prefer to be in closer proximity to deck 5 than deck 9. Hey, more money saved for the next cruise, right?
The ship in and of itself is very colorful and pretty. Classic Carnival ship, I would say. True to most larger ships, you cannot go from forward-to-aft on decks 3 and 4 because of the mid-ship restaurant. I heard a woman complaining about this saying "RCI would never let that happen." Well, I've been on RCI ships that have had blockages on certain floors so this isn't just a Carnival thing. The solution to this problem is very simple: walk from front-to-back (or mid-ship, depending on which restaurant you are assigned) on decks 1,2,5,6,7,8,or 9 then go up or down. I don't find it an incredibly difficult concept to grasp.
A lot of reports prior to the cruise that the hot tubs were not working. This was not the case for our cruise. The hot tub we did get into was quite cold, but we did relax on one of the round serenity loungers to warm up. The Serenity deck was not too crowded and I will assume this is because the Canada crowd attracts different clients than a caribbean cruise. Our friend who came with us is a popular radio personality and the whole crew went out of their way for us, which was something I was not expecting. I had a great time meeting the hotel director, the captain, the maitre-d etc. We were treated absolutely lovely by Carnival and we did not expect that. I think their hospitality is something to note and important for me to mention. I really appreciate the way the Carnival Glory staff went above and beyond for us, which was not necessary of course, but incredible.
Crowd: Many families. Many older couples. Don't think I would recommend this trip for people in their mid-20s looking to meet other people and have fun. The White Heat Night club definitely had people partying, though. We did meet some cool people. The Caribbean crowd is way more fun-loving and we would probably stick to that in the future. We are young, active, in shape, and enjoy going out. My boyfriend is a former frat boy so we look for opportunities to go out for a bit, then retreat on our own.
The food on this cruise was way better than our cruise in May. I legitimately liked everything I ate. Everything was hot, fresh, and delicious. A world of difference from our last cruise that is for sure.
Would I sail the Carnival Glory again? Sure. Is it my favorite ship? No. We preferred the Carnival Splendor overall, but I think that mostly had to do with the crowd it attracted and the length of the cruise (Splendor was 8 nights and had more sea days=MORE FUN!). With that said, I would gladly go back on the Glory if it went to some place warm. Cruise Director Matt was very funny and the Love and Marriage show was one of the funniest I've seen (and I have seen many).
To sum up our experience, I'll leave you with this. I am trying to plan a 13 night Panama Canal transfer cruise on my favorite ship, the Carnival Legend next August for my boyfriend and myself. While on board we were looking at itineraries and I asked him what he thought. His response: "That's great but we have a problem. I don't think I'll be able to wait that long for the next one."
Hope this was helpful and if you had any questions please feel free to ask me. Enjoy your cruise!