First, let's get this all out of the way. We're from Iowa, and winter in Iowa (especially this winter) has been very cold! Needed a getaway to somewhere warm, and a caribbean cruise fit the bill just fine.
We've now cruised a total of 3 times, twice on Carnival, once on Norwegian, so we're not experts, but we aren't complete neophytes either.
Why have we cruised twice on Carnival? They go where we want to go, and their prices are almost always less than everyone else. So, yes, we are what you might term "value cruisers". We still appreciate nice stuff, but, at then end of the day, we don't need the very best of everything, as long as its pretty darn good. And, the Glory is definitely "pretty darn good".
Ship is in great shape. Very clean and well maintained. Staff seems genuinely happy to serve. Smiles from everyone all the time, and service was very attentive.
Rooms were exactly what I expect from Carnival. Clean, surprisingly well designed and roomy, plenty of storage for everything we had. Norwegian has larger bathrooms, but I prefer Carnivals decision to make the bathrooms smaller and the rooms bigger.
Public areas were all well maintained and clean. We loved the arrangement of the central pool area, with multiple levels of loungers leading down to the pool. Everyone had a great seat for any action going on (or for viewing movies on the seaside movie screen.)
Dining: Yes, we had the new Dining in the main dining room that so many people are curious (or upset) about. We thought is was just fine. The "didja's " are now "rare finds", but they are mostly the same. There might be a few less selections on the main dining room menu, but there is still plenty of variety to choose from. Service seems a bit slower than before, but that may just have been our particular servers. We liked that they tried to offer specialities related to the port we had visited. Some were quite good, some...not so much. But isn't that true any time you try something new? You might like it, you might not. The bottom line is, the food may not be the best you've ever had, but it is still quite good, and there is plenty of variety and quantity to choose from. Service was excellent.
Alternate dining venues: Red Sail Buffet is typical cruise line buffet. Nothing special, but still a good place to eat if you don't want to take the time for a sit-down dinner. Plenty of variety, something for most any tastes. Guys Burgers: Really, really good burger! Even if you aren't a big hamburger fan, you should try it at least once. We just got plain cheeseburgers (with the handcut fries) and dressed them ourselves from the ample toppings bar, and thought they were delicious. Blue Iguana grill. Great hand-wrapped, made to order burritos, with many choices of fillings. Don't miss it!! Pizza? It was good...not great, but just fine if you want a quick slice.
Shows: Nothing special. They are Ok, but the staging is not as good as some I've seen on either Carnival or Norwegian. I will give them credit for trying to vary things and add some new stuff. They have one of those magicians who normally just does small tricks at your diningroom table who they've given his own show, and it works. He doesn't do big, stupendous tricks, but what he does do, and his banter with the audience, is quite good and very engaging.
General: Cruise director (Dr. D) was excellent, and very high energy. Added to fun factor. Really good, everyone involved and communicated very well what all was going on. Carnival should definitely keep this guy!!
Cons: The US State Department currently has a travelers warning for people visiting Nassau. Apparently there has been a LOT of crime aimed at the many travelers who cruise to Nassau. Carnival did not let us know this until the "Fun Times" was delivered the night before arriving at Nassau. 1st- the warning is easy to miss, especially if you don't take the time to read Fun Times the night before porting. 2nd: The late delivery meant we had to make quick changes in our plans. Originally, we were going to do a walking tour of Nassau on our own. After reading the notice, we had to hastily change our plans, as my wife did not feel safe walking around Nassau unaccompanied. We didn't get mugged or anything, but Carnival should give more warning if there are potential problems with a port.
Other cons: As I mentioned earlier, evening dining takes more time than before. Not a big deal for us, but it might be for some...just something to think about.
Assistant Cruise Director (don't recall his name) was pretty low-key and maybe a little sarcastic. Huge difference from Dr. D, who was very upbeat and positive. Assistant Director wasn't horrible or anything, but compared to EVERYONE else working for Carnival (all of whom were very positive and happy), he really stuck out as seeming less than excited to be there.
In summary: Great trip, overall excellent ports, great service. I would cruise on the Glory again, no problem.