This was the second cruise for my wife and I. The first was 3 years ago on the Carnival Inspiration - Western Caribbean. We loved that cruise so we wanted to go again. This time we will not wait another 3 years before going again. I am 44 and my wife is 42 and we do not go to bed early and we like to have a good time. No kids. We were ready to have fun !!!
Embarkation was very simple. We arrived at 11:30 am. It was a breeze, we arrived at Canaveral, dropped off our luggage at the luggage drop-off, parked the car ($84.00 for the week) and got into the line-up which took about 30 minutes from start to finish - so after 30 minutes in line, we were on the ship. The staterooms were not quite ready for us which was fine. We just enjoyed the drink of the day and had lunch while we were waiting (no more than an hour). Note - for those who are cruising for the first time, the drink of the day is not free. They will ask for your Sail & Sign card. When you first get on the ship, they will put one of these drinks in your hand making you think it is complimentary, it is not. We watched some people take the drink and then walk away, they were surprised to find out they had to pay for it. But, they are good drinks and you get to keep the glass (nice souvenir). We had invited friends to accompany us on this cruise. They had also been on a cruise before and swore they would never cruise again. They had travelled on a different cruise line which I will not mention. They had a great time on this cruise and are planning another, as are we. We were in our cabin by 1:30 pm (#6458 on the Upper deck) at the back of the ship with a balcony. This was absolutely fabulous. We had originally booked an Oceanview cabin and were upgraded to a balcony. Carnival knows what they're doing because now that we've had a balcony, we don't want to go without. On our previous cruise, we were upgraded from an inside cabin to an outside with a porthole and we said we would have to have a window on the next cruise. The balcony is worth the extra money. We did enjoy it. We would keep the door open at night with a bungee cord and went to sleep with the sound of the water and the smell of fresh air. It was incredible. We would even step out on the balcony in the middle of the night or very early in the morning while it was still dark outside and they were the most relaxing moments I can ever remember having. I am not sure if we were just lucky, but we received all of our luggage by 6pm and we had 4 suitcases (and I am happy to say that all of our bottles were intact).
Our first experience (and all experiences) with the food on the ship were just great. Our waiter Selvin and his Assistant Dwi were very good. Although Dwi was the most helpful and friendliest of the two. We ate in the Platinum Dining Room. I am not sure how anyone could complain about the food on the Glory, there is more than enough and everything seemed to be delicious. I was never hungry. You can order as many appetizers and/or entrees as you like. I had a shrimp cocktail every night as my appetizer, a salad, entree and dessert, and I was full and I am a big eater. Having said that, my wife while standing in a buffet line-up at lunch overheard this gentleman complaining to his wife about the food on the ship. This guy had his plate piled high and we watched him eat everything on that plate and go back for more. Some people just like to complain I guess.
Our first port of call was Nassau. When we got off the ship, we took a water taxi to Paradise Island because my wife wanted to see Atlantis. It was worth the trip, it is an amazing place to see. Very touristy and memorable. We had about 5 hours in Nassau, so I would suggest doing some research before debarking so you know where you are going, because there is no time to waste. After touring around Atlantis, we took the water taxi back to Nassau and walked through the Straw Market and walked through downtown and then back to the ship. The next day was a Fun Day at Sea and the water was a little rough and between the 4 of us, none of us felt 100%. One of our friends actually spent a day in bed (which was a mistake). He lost a day and even though we didn't feel completely well, it didn't stop us from having fun. We went to the Purser's desk and asked for some seasick meds and they seemed to help. I think that if you lie around in your cabin, you're just going to feel worse. My wife and I drank and ate and we were fine. The next port was St. Thomas. Now here is where there were a lot of complaints because everyone on the ship had to go through Customs even if you weren't debarking. The ship was about one hour late arriving because of the weather the previous day so this made it even worse. People were lining up for Immigration long before the ship even arrived into port. The Cruise Director made an announcement that it was not necessary to line up yet because the shipped hadn't docked so of course there were no Customs Officers on board yet. But the line-ups just grew anyways. Our friends decided to line up and we decided to guess what ? - get a drink or two. We had a drink in the lobby and after that the ship still hadn't docked, so we went back to our cabin and sat on the balcony and had a couple more for about an hour. After that, we went back down and were off the ship in 10 minutes. It does not pay to line up - it really doesn't. You are just wasting your time. It turns out that our friends were waiting in line for over 2 hours and got off the ship about 30 minutes before we did. St. Thomas was beautiful, very picturesque. We decided to go to Government Hill and walk up the 99 Steps and then we went to Blackbeard's Tower. After the long walk in the hot sun, there were 3 very inviting pools at the Tower and we had a swim there after climbing the Tower. There is also a bar and snack place, so we had a hot dog (very tasty) and a couple of drinks. Afterwards, we walked through some of the Plantation Homes and the Rum Factory which wasn't much of a factory, but they did have Rum !!! We then went back through town. All in all, it was a great day - we really enjoyed ourselves and didn't spend a lot of money. The next day was St. Maarten. This was the best port. We took a taxi to Marigot, St. Martin (the french side). We walked through the downtown and went up to Fort St. Louis, there is not much of a Fort left, but the view from there is absolutely spectacular. You can practically see the whole island (seems like it anyways). I highly recommend climbing up there just for the view. We spent some time in Marigot. I speak French so I was able to communicate well with vendors and waitresses. Although, I believe they do all speak English. They just prefer to speak French. Afterwards, we took a taxi back to Philipsburg (the dutch side). We had lunch there at a little restaurant/bar on the beach, a couple of drinks and then we walked the beach, found ourselves a nice spot and then went in the water. It was so warm, we just walked in. The nicest thing was that we were looking at the ship from where we were on the beach. I decided to buy some jewelry for my wife (or did she decide I was going to do this). Anyways, we bought a necklace in a jewelry store downtown (and there are a lot of them) and they offered me a beer. If they did that here at home, I might buy her more jewelry. I noticed people drinking beer while walking on the street. I then found a street vendor selling beer by the bottle for $1.00 so of course, I had try one. Another glorious day that we will never forget, and not just because of the beer. St. Maarten is definitely an island I want to return to, there is a lot more there to see and enjoy than we had time to do in one day.
The next 2 days were at sea. We did some relaxing in the sun on deck, some more eating and drinking, played a couple of the shipboard games, went to the shows and had a fantastic time. Another activity I would recommend is the waterslide. We waited until the last couple of days (my wife until the last day) to try it out. What a rush ! I lost count of how many times I went down both days. I couldn't convince my wife until the last day to try it and once she did, she couldn't stop and she was disappointed that she hadn't tried it earlier in the cruise. It is a lot of fun - even for adults. Because we had cruised with Carnival previously, we were invited to a Past Guest party on the Monday evening. This was very well organized. We had complimentary cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and they showed us a film on all the ships in the Carnival line. It was a very well-done party. The staff on the ship are wonderful. I had witnessed (on a daily basis), wait staff or bus boys carrying trays and hot coffees to tables for elderly and handicapped guests, without even being asked to do so. Tables were always cleaned quickly and our dirty dishes were picked up almost as soon as we were finished with them. Speaking of cleaning, we always seen rails being cleaned and polished, carpets being vacuumed, everything being wiped down. The ship is very clean. Our cabin was always well kept. If we came back for something after breakfast, our bed was always made up and the bathroom cleaned. After dinner, the bed was turned down and our towel animal was waiting for us with a chocolate. We had asked the Room Steward on the first day to put ice in our room whenever he had a chance and we always had ice when we wanted it. We had heard that the ship was hard to find your way around on. It can be difficult, there are only 2 decks that go from one end to the other and they are deck 6 and deck 9. My wife was only starting to know her way around the ship on the last day. I was able to find my way after the first couple of days. That's one of the inconveniences of being on a large ship is that there is a lot of walking to get from one area to another. But when there's a lot to see, who cares. We found that we were going up and down floors to get from one end to the other just to go by all the different areas.
The shows were very good - we're Canadian, so almost any U.S. entertainment impresses us and we were impressed. We were a little disappointed in the late night comedians. They were actually better when they performed in the early shows. The adult comedy was not X-rated or funny. The Cruise Director put on better comedy shows than the comedians. One last comment - our cabin was directly on top of the Ebony Caberet where they had karaoke every night until 12:00 am. We were only back to our room before midnight one night and could hear the music (and singing) very clearly. We are not complaining about this, although I am sure some people would - but we feel that this should be expected on the Fun Ship. We were actually at the bar for a couple of the nights anyways. The only thing we kind of regret is that we had reservations in the Emerald Room Supper Club that we cancelled because of the Past Guest party was scheduled for the same night. We did not rebook the reservation because we were very satisfied with the food in the dining room, but we wish we had because we had heard so many great things about the food in the Emerald Room. Oh well, next time.
We feel a cruise is what you make it. If you don't know how to have fun, don't expect the Cruise Line to do it for you. They offer you the tools to have fun, but you have to know how to use them. If something goes wrong or you find something to complain about - get past it and don't let it ruin the rest of your cruise. Now that we have two cruises under our belt and both have been with Carnival, we would highly recommend them. We plan on one day becoming VIP guests with 10+ cruises (someday). At the same time, if the price was right, we would not hesitate using another cruise line because I think we would enjoy almost any cruise. Overall, we had a fantastic time - Carnival is a great cruise line and there is nothing worth mentioning to complain about. We will most definitely be back - next time will be the Southern Caribbean and then Panama. We can't wait !!!! It's just unfortunate that a week goes by so fast !!!!