We sailed the Glory from Miami, Feb 2, 2014- what we call the Super Bowl Sailing. We thought this was a great trip for the money. This was our 5th cruise, 4th with Carnival. Most of the passengers looking to get into the sun and out of the cold this time of year are from the northern US states and Canada- an easy going crowd to spend our week with.
We stayed at the Hyatt Place Miami (Airport West) before we sailed. We got a great rate online, with free airport shuttle and free breakfast. The room was very large, newly appointed with wet bar and large sofa in the seating area. While the breakfast was a little chaotic (I suspect other cruisers getting ready to embark) we enjoyed a wonderful late night snack and drink at their 24/7 cafe that featured coffee, beer, wine, drinks, and a good selection of food fresh prepared. Would stay here again. They also helped us coordinate the shuttle to the ship, (short ride) as they have a 3rd party shuttle that stops there for a fee. I believe Carnival also had a shuttle stop there, right in front of the hotel.
Embarkation was quick- we were through the whole process in a matter of minutes, and on the ship enjoying a drink on the lido deck in no time! Drinks and beer from both bars on lido were excellent. We waited just a short while (less than an hour) before our stateroom was ready. Two out of three bags made it there before we did, and the third shortly after.
What would a cruise be without food!? Overall, we enjoyed the meals and loved the food. There were a few hiccups here and there- steak a little too rare, etc. But overall, we loved it. We had your time dining, as was our CHOICE. We were seated sometimes at tables with others, and sometimes by ourselves (they will ask) We met some wonderful people this way, and some snarky old geezers who preferred Royal Caribbean and spent their entire meal complaining to the waiter. They were clearly on the wrong ship. These are the FUN ships for HAPPY people who'd like to have a good time. As with any group of people, there are some in the "Walmart" crowd- but we find this to be the exception and not the rule. Most everyone was very friendly, including staff and watched their children.
Make sure to have a burger at Guy's, but DON'T MISS the taco bar close by! Fish tacos were amazing, best ones I've had in a long time. There is a giant salsa bar- but no chips- for obvious health code reasons- I heard a lot of people complaining about the lack of chips- but what would happen if everyone were dipping and double dipping in the salsa?! Yikes! The taco place also has breakfast burritos and 2 other items that I couldn't tell you what they were but they were excellent! The gentlemen making the burritos here were fun and enjoyable to visit with. Thank you to them.
The thing we really loved about this ship was the choices for food. Not only did you have the main dining and buffet but- pizza (meh- IMHO, some people love) but you can get room service, sandwiches, mexican, burgers, and even a latte if you wish ($) I thought it was great that on the day we disembarked, they had a full breakfast available in the dining room. This was awesome as I prefer NOT to eat at the buffet if I can help it. (lines, children grabbing with hands, etc) They also had SO MANY BARS, you never had to wait to order a drink. Love.
Speaking of drinks- we opted to purchase some alcohol before we sailed to be sent to our room. I think this saved us some money on our bar tab. We aren't huge drinkers, but it was great. The vodka, mixers, and bottled water were waiting for us in our cabin when we arrived. We also took 2 bottles of wine. Also, a great deal.
I cannot speak for kids clubs, although I did see a flash mob of small people at one point and they looked to be enjoying themselves.
The shopping was okay. I thought they had fair prices in their shops and we bought a few souvenirs to take home (t-shirts, rum cake!, etc.)
Entertainment was hit and miss. We witnessed MANY people walking out of Divas. It was bad, but we had nothing better to do but watch. The female performers are ten times better than the men. For a show called Divas, they could have just scratched the guys and been better off. We didn't stay for other shows. I have been on other Carnival ships with fantastic shows, so I'm assuming this was an isolated incident.
We watched the Hasbro game show. This was cute, families with kids would love.
We played bingo- I would do that again with 2+ drinks before hand.
The comedy- also hit and miss. The woman that was performing at the beginning of the cruise was horrible. NOT FUNNY, just gross, foul-mouthed and I was embarrassed for her. There was also Percy Crews- funny at times, insulting to white people at others (we can laugh at ourselves, but he crossed a line several times) and also just because you can scream doesn't mean people laugh harder- also witnessed several people getting up and walking out of HIS show. Sorry Percy, you need some polishing. We missed one other comic but were happy to have seen Lowell Sanders. He was great. The right amount of making fun mixed with jokes about himself, crowd involvement etc. He was a true comic. Thank you George Lopez for putting him on our ship. We also bought his cd, which he graciously signed for us. We have been on other Carnival ships with fabulous comics and were really hoping they ALL would be great this time. But, not enough to sway us against Carnival.
We stopped in Cozumel (and Playa Del Carmen by ferry), Belize and Grand Cayman. Honduras was nixed, due to high winds, but the weather was beautiful throughout the cruise.
Overall, we loved our cruise. We will sail Carnival next time, as they have great deals if you want to travel, and treat each trip like a new adventure, with an open mind. Bon Voyage!
We did cave tubing in Belize. They are telling the truth about the LONG bus ride. But it was worth it- do not worry about the caves if you are claustrophobic. They are HUGE and beautiful and you will love it. In Feb, water wasn't too cold and I'm a wimp. Picture cd was $25 here. Great time, great guides and lunch was good. There is a bar to buy drinks too. Lockers were about $6. You feel like you were truly, deep in the jungle. Maybe it was the gigantic palms, or the howler monkeys watching us from overhead- this is a fabulous adventure.
In Cozumel, we got right on a ferry to PDC, and took a bus ride to the ruins at Tulum. THIS WAS AWESOME. Bus ride was informative, Carlos did a great job explaining their city and the ruins. We broke off from our group once inside, and explored on our own, but loved the entire day. We bought some amazing hand carved masks from the shop right by the taco stand. We also bought our son the cartouche necklace as a souvenir, which he loved. The margaritas at the taco stand are strong! But good. Bring lots of money on this one, as you'll want to buy the picture of you by the ruins, and book- great keepsake- lunch, and handmade items that were unique to this port. Back to Cozumel- it was somewhere that I wish we had more time to shop/explore but our excursion took up most of our day. Would still do again! I wish I would have sampled and purchased a lot more rum cake before getting back on the ship 8)
We went to Stingray City and Coral Bay Snorkel in Grand Cayman. This was awesome- the crew was great and we loved every thing about it- wouldn't change a thing. We didn't leave until 1230, so we had plenty of time to walk around Grand Cayman, shop and even have conch fritters and a drink right on the ocean, while we watched snorkelers. This is a tendered port, but very short (5 mins). They have lots of shops, but it is the most expensive port we stopped in. Make sure to take money for snacks and try the Ting-ray (rum punch). Pictures for sale were $20. I thought that was fair, as I don't own a waterproof camera.