Recently sailed on the Carnival Glory. Review is in sections so you do not have to read everything as it has turned out a little longer than expected!The ship was very clean and the crew was excellent and made the extra effort to call you by your first name. Ports of call were Nassau, St. Thomas, San Juan, and Grand Turk. Embarkation was a breeze, no line and was on the ship in about 15-20 mins. The 2.0 additions enhanced the ship and our cruising experience as we really enjoyed Guys Burgers, Blue Iguana, Red Frogs, and the Alchemy bar. Staff was very friendly. There was a lot ongoing on the ship but we spent a lot of time on our balcony. I cannot comment on the shows because we did not attend them but from what i saw, the shows looked and sounded pretty fun. There were a variety of bands playing throughout the evenings mainly on deck 5 and in atrium. If i was on lido deck i was either at Red Frogs or back in the adult swimming pool area were it was much quieter. Carnival has been making many subtle changes in many areas but i really dont want to add anymore to this review.
FOOD: I thought the breakfast buffet was sub par, no changes from day to day. Ugh. The omelets were great the first three days. The fish and chips area was exceptional. Guys Burgers, Blue Iguana, and Fish and chips were fantastic! Thank god they added them to the ship! I also really enjoyed Red Frogs Beer, its made by Anheuser Busch. It has slight berry ale flavors with the carbination of a pilsner and the color of an amber beer. All food from these additions was above average. I did not eat lunch on the lido buffet so i cannot comment nor did i eat the dinner on lido. The MDR was a pleasant experience. We had anytime dining. I ended up liking the tables without table cloths! A cleaner look and they had it decorated nicely. The servers typically turned dinner around in about 1hr 15mins. About an hour with no desert. I mainly ate seafood dishes, salads, rare finds, and dishes from port. I would say about 3 out of 5 dishes i ordered i thought were above average. I also have to send compliments to matre D' as he was always present and involved and very nice and approachable. The steakhouse was an above average experience but i thought the steaks lacked flavor and were pretty bland and the lobster tails were way too small from what i had on the Carnival Legend's Golden Fleece Steakhouse in 2011(Which was an awesome experience I will never forget, nor the 20 oz porterhouse I had or the crew making your salad right at your table).
PORTS OF CALL: We did our own thing in Nassau, St. Thomas, and San Juan(which im glad we did) except in Grand Turk.
Briefly, in Nassau we took taxi's around to places we have not been to yet, one was visiting the Cloisters and the garden, the other was the zoo with the pink flamingos. Taxi cab fair was a killer, i think i spent $45 bucks on taxi's.
St. Thomas, again we traveled on our own and saw Fort Christian, walked around Charlaute Amalie, walked up the 99 stairs, saw the governors mansion, experienced the views from Blackbeard's Castle(the workers at Blackbeards Castle were very nice!), visited a Jewish synagogue, one of 4 in the caribbean and finished the day, a couple hours at Maghen's Bay.
San Juan, we again visited places we did not see our last time there and it included the Governors mansion and tour, a few more churches, ate at the brewery, and visited all the booths at the time because San Juan's annual festival was going on, lots of art and crafts everywhere.
Grand Turk, we did the Ultimate Snorkel Experience thru Carnival with Captain Dan and his crew who did a fabulous job. We snorkeled horseshoe point and then visited the wall. The crew fed the fish at both stops as well as attracting nurse sharks to photo and even pet. Finished the day at Jacks Shack. What a day.
ROOM: I really liked the balcony room, same as on the other Carnival ships I have cruised EXCEPT the mattresses where hard and i always woke up with a stiff lower back. I don't remember having issues with the mattresses on prior Carnival cruises. We ended up putting a comforter under the sheet and using the blanket on top of the bed sheet. The room steward was ok. did a great job cleaning the room but his personality was a little lacking and we got off to a bad start as i took the door off over the fridge to keep it cooler and allow easier access and they didnt like to much. Carnival has been making many subtle changes in many areas but i really dont want to add anymore to this review.
BEHIND THE FUN: I wanted to finally take the plunge and do the behind the scenes tour of the ship. I only had one excursion booked anyway. The tour guide was wonderful. She did a great job. There is a lot of walking on this tour. The engineer of the Glory was awesome, he was like a mad scientist working the control room and I learned alot about mechanics of the cruise ship from him. This tour also included trips to the bridge, laundry room, galley, food storage areas, behind the main stage, the front deck where the crew hangs out, and toured the different dining rooms the crew has as well as their game room, weight room etc. I could not believe how clean the ship was through and through! Even the galley! OMG, there wasnt any scrap or staines on the floors whatsoever. It was a great tour i just felt some of the details Carnival was being a little cheap on but what can you do when an accountant is CEO of a company? Details you may ask? It just seemed throughout the tour when refreshments were presented it was done on the cheap and for example at the end i think a full glass of champaigne would have been more appropriate than a glass 25% full. I appreciate everything but details like that make me cringe. If you offer a glass of champaigne, provide a glass of champaigne! On a positive note, i am glad our tour guide pointed out the classes that are available to crew to advance themselves as she did. Many people bring up conditions of the workers but at the same time, it may be better than what is available at home and the crew have the opportunity to take classes and advance themselves.
THE SHIP: After getting past many of the loud color themes,I really liked the size of this ship and the space, room people had to move around and enjoy. I cannot imagine being on a larger one(As i have and it was too much walking and too many floors) but this felt the same as the 100k GT Victory i was on and walking around the lower floors felt like i was on a spirit class ship. It was two floors up to lido deck from my room and two floors down to panoramic deck. It was smooth running as the captain piloted it very well. There were times when the captain had it maxed out around 21.8 knots or so between San Juan and Grand Turk and other times on the cruise. So for me it added a little excitement to know that to make the ports of call work, the Glory was pushed to make it happen. The ship was very clean and the public restrooms were very clean.
All in all it was a great cruise that went by very quickly. Despite subtle changes and deletions Carnival has been making, i have to thank Carnival for trying to keep their cruises at their current price point. The Carnival Glory was the smoothest ship i have been on. (Legend, Victory, and EPIC). Before this cruise i thought I really liked the Spirit class but the Conquest class (with 2.0) IMHO is making me second guess my preference and once again the crew where wonderful!