Do you know that horrible feeling you get when your new car, for the first time does not start? Well I got that feeling about 20 min before I was to leave my house to drive to Florida to begin my 7 night cruise October 21st on the Carnival Glory. After we recharged the battery my two friends and I(we were all 23 at the time) began our 15 hour drive to Florida. We had the intention of never turning off the car until we arrived at our destination Our destination was the comfort inn on sand lakes drive in Orlando Florida. Plan was to stay in Orlando for the evening and check out Universal Studios City Walk. If you have the time it would be recommended that you get to at least the general area of your port the day before to lessen the possibly of being late to the port and to get a little extra rest before the cruise officially begins.
Day 1 Embarkation We left our hotel around 10:30 and arrived at port Canaveral around 11:15. I had done a little research on the port just about parking situation and cost before I left Maryland. Its well displayed on how to get to the Glory's embarkation area. When we pulled up we waited in our cars for about 5 min until we got up to drop off our luggage to be checked in. There is a sign saying the porters do not work for tips and tipping is not needed. However, they will ask for tips. If you plan to check in something that is possibly breakable, I would not suggest it. There was no reserve when it came to stacking and moving luggage. Next was to drive around to the parking garage. We sat in this line for about 15 min. We paid our 84 dollars and went to the parking garage. We then carried our few pieces of luggage and cooler to the security line. It took us maybe 10 min to get through security and another 10 min to check in since we filled out the documents online months before. At 12:45 we finally were onboard the Carnival Glory. When get onboard the gangplank takes drops you directly on the port (left) left outer deck 3. Once we entered the inside of deck 3 we were lobby area. Lobby was pretty crowded because the area in which the rooms are had the fire doors closed so that guests could not get to their rooms. Our room was on the Upper deck forward. We were able to get to our room because someone opened the door to walk from the room area and we just grabbed it before it closed.
The room Too see pictures of the room you can just look at Carnivals website to see what the balcony stateroom looks like. The room was clean of course and the only complaint was that the door to the bathroom would not shut properly. However it would close, just would not lock and if you opened up the balcony door during high winds the bathroom door would only crack open a little bit. Like most showers on cruises the water leaks uncontrollably out of the shower. The balcony came with 2 deck chairs and a small table. The room stewards were very helpful. And room service was prompt and used very often. The selection of the food though was not the best, but my friends would order 4 shrimp salad sandwiches about 3 times per day.
Dining and food Carnival does a good job about putting people together for dinner. Our table was myself and my two friends, 3 women around our age from Philli, and two young guys from the Air force. Service and food in the dining room for dinner was always excellent. No one at our table had any complaints at any time. One suggestion we all have for those whom like to eat quick and not stay too long in the dinning room is to come in and order the main dish quickly. The nights we ordered while other table were still coming in and sitting, we would have our food before at the same time they would get their salads. Red sail restaurant's lunch and dinner buffets were plentiful, however didn't look too great to me. Also between my friends and I, we preferred the grill and pizzeria over regular food. The Pizzeria and the grill (which made burgers and hot dogs) were fantastic. I am thinking bar service would fit under this section. Bars were plentiful in all public areas. Also in most public areas they had people walking around taking drink orders. They were never bothersome and kept a good eye out waiting till you were very close or finished your drink. Drinks were moderately priced like most bars in the states.
Onboard entertainment and public rooms There were many public rooms on the ship. However, most were not even used properly. Such as the blue room for karaoke. Karaoke was in a room, the bar blue, which at a max 100 person could stay in the room and watch karaoke. Many people were not even able to sit down in the room and had to actually stand outside of the bar blue to attempt to watch. Karaoke also started at 9:30 which made it very difficult to watch or sing when you were at late seating. Many times my friend went in around 10pm to attempt to sing some Michael Jackson songs and was turned down. We believe that the karaoke should have been moved to a public room such as the ebony cabaret which could hold several hundred people. A quick excerpt of the piano bar was that it was not really a happening place in our perspective. The bar itself in the Piano bar was nice however the Piano player tended to cater to an older crowd playing generally older music. When walking by it was not really appealing. However, on a good not the piano bar was generally playing even late into the evening. Daytime music or dance entertainment only consisted of the reggae band that played on the lido deck generally every afternoon. They played some real good music. Both music players were very friendly to talk to. They sounded very good. As with most reggae band they played a mix of Bob Marley and other reggae songs. They were also very good with the crowd interaction. Such as if you were dancing or cheering them on they would recognize you and seemed very excited that you were into their music. The white heat dance club crowd was generally between the ages of 20 to 30 year olds. DJ was pretty cool and would play songs that you would request. Such as techno or house music. The music was pretty much top 40 hits and hip hop. During the time we cruised, October, there wasn't too many people on the dance floor to get in your way and the dance floor was pretty much open. There was a very nice area outside the dance floor with couches and seats to sit down. Bar service was very quick, on point, and remembered what you got the night before. Some nights on the cruise they played other music such as disco night, 50 60's night. But after about midnight they would switch back to top 40 hits. Generally it was open till 3am and some nights the crew would be partying with the cruisers. The comedians were very funny. They had comedians 3 out of the 7 nights and each one on a different night. The comedian on the last formal night was very interactive with the audience. To the one or two people whom were on the ship, my friends and I were the ones named Steve Everhard that were talking to the comedian during his skit. On the subject of some of the public rooms. A lot of rooms were not used at all. My friends and I believed that some of these unused public rooms could have been used for something other than just nothing. Possibly just play music or keep the bar open to use for a lounge. During the day there wasn't much entertainment for the younger crowd. If you are interested in kind of laying around the pool and hanging out it was wonderful. But if your not the kind of people whom like sit around and relax there wasn't much going on.
The Spa They gym had very nice equipment and was open most of the day. Nice views of the Ocean from the windows that were in the Spa. Generally it wasn't crowded and most of the weight machines were open.
The ports of call We didn't do any excursions in any of the ports. However we did do some things on our own. In Cozumel my friends and I rented motor scooters and traveled around the Island. It's a nice ride to go around the entire island going south out of the port and around the southern end of the island. However if you use a motor scooter it will take up to 3 hours to go around. And that was going full speed(90kph) during most of it. Carlos and Charlie's was pretty awesome. As was Senior frogs. They both played your top 40 hits and had a very good crowd interaction. Belize, I had been there before and knew that there was not much of anything to do unless you booked and excursion. So my friends and I elected to stay on the boat during this port. Costa Maya is just a tourist trap like Belize. There isn't much to do in the actual port unless you take an excursion. But in the port there are many shops and a pool. The pool has swim up bars and looked like a nice place to just relax for the day for free. Because the pool didn't cost any money to swim in. In Freeport you are dropped off right in the middle of the industrial port area. In the port area there is a small straw market with about 15 shops selling your Bahamas T-shirts. To get to areas such as Port Lucaya you must pay 5 dollars a head to a taxi cab driver to get you to the tourist area. At the tourist area there are roughly 100 shops, a casino, hotels and a very nice beach. You must pay another 5 dollars to get back to the port area.
Getting off the ship Getting off the ship was kind of difficult. It took maybe an hour and a half to get off the ship and into our car. Some folks said that even the self assist took just as long and was not called till middle of the debarkation.
All in all it was a great time and I would do it again in a heart beat. Carnival Glory was a fun ship and met some great people while on board. If anyone out there has any questions please ask away.