Sailing Dates: 1/20/06 to 1/27/07 (first family cruise Michael (36), Lisa (44), Jack (4), Bryce (2)
The four of us left home on Thursday, January 18th and drove from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Franklin, Kentucky where we spent the night at a Hampton Inn. We woke early the next morning and made it into Port Canaveral's Radisson after 10:30 p.m.
When we woke on Saturday morning, we opened our balcony curtains and could see the Glory sitting in Port. Oh how beautiful she is! Also, going outside and feeling the warm Florida air really cheered us up too after a long trip down to the port.
Since it was still early we went across the street to McDonald's to feed the boys and then headed over to the ocean side so Jack could walk on the beach. We then headed back to the Radisson and Michael got our bags out front and we waited for the shuttle to take us over to the Glory. We were on the first shuttle over.
When we got to the terminal we just got off of the shuttle, walked over and got in line, which we waited in for only about 10 minutes before we were upstairs getting checked in by Charles, who was wonderful. Embarkation overall was a breeze and went much smoother than anticipated.
We then boarded the ship and went right down to our cabin to put our carry-ons away. Michael was a little surprised at how small the cabin was, but I knew what to expect. The boys were excited about the upper berths. Francisco was our cabin steward and did a fantastic job. With two adults and two small kiddos in a small stateroom, there is obviously a lot of stuff all over the place, but he really helped by keeping the room clean at all times. Michael did laundry one day as it was just down the hall from us.
We started to familiarize ourselves with the ship by walking around seeing what was where. It was quite overwhelming at first and the boys were just getting more and more antsy to play as they'd been couped up for two days in the car. We let them run around a bit up on the sky deck.
The Glory is very colorful, beautiful, and clean. There are always people cleaning, picking up, polishing, etc. Looking down from the glass elevators is a special treat - the lobby area is lovely.
Activities were endless and in a great variety. Though we didn't get to participate in many, we did do the what's-in-the-bag game, the horserace in the Amber Palace, Bingo, and the watermelon eating contest. There is always something do to if you want to do it. In our case, the kiddos kept us at bay for a lot of it, but it's good to know there is so much available to do.
Debarking for the Bahamas was a breeze. We only spent a short time on the island as the boys were in Camp Carnival for the first time. Vendors weren't too pushy, but still in your face for the hair braiding and jewelry. Just say no thanks with a smile and they will leave you alone.
Debarking for St. Thomas took much longer than we had anticipated, but when we were called it went smoothly. As we are not shoppers and had the boys with us, we were pretty limited as to what we could do.
Debarking for St. Maarten was a breeze. We were happy about that because we knew our destination - The Sunset Beach Bar. Totally fun and we highly recommend it - even with little kiddos. The taxi ride over was flawless and our driver was even giving us a little history lesson on the way. "Peaches" was his van's name. The beach was beautiful and the highlight was watching the planes come in and take off just feet away from you. We did not want to leave.
We cannot say enough about the crew. They went out of their way to help and be friendly. Knowing by the looks on our faces during trying times with the boys, they were very willing to go out of the way to make them happy and smile when they were crabby. Our head waiter was Pongsak and Radka was his assistant. They were exceptional and adhered to every wish for our boys and went out of their way to accommodate all of us.
Even though we are not shoppers, there was plenty to buy on board. The casino was nice. The show lounges looked lovely. Just a wonderful ship overall and we would definitely sail her again.
The food was very good overall. We enjoyed the golden dining room, but it was difficult at times with two antsy boys. We utilized the Red Sail buffet on many occasions and the food on there was great. The chocolate buffet on Friday afternoon was a special treat! The Fish & Chips restaurant was awesome - good eats! The sushi bar was also excellent down from the casino. One evening we put the boys in Camp Carnival so we could enjoy the Emerald Room - a special treat for sure as you are treated like royalty and fed very well.
Camp Carnival was great with lots of activities from shirt painting, face painting, computer games, Funship Freddy fun, pirate fun, etc. Though our kiddos did not attend as often as we had hoped (to allow for some mommy and daddy time), the counselors still did a fantastic job of welcoming the boys and did their best to make sure they had fun.
We were not able to attend any of the evening shows, but did hear from other cruisers that the shows were fantastic.
We couldn't have asked for better weather. It was quite windy on some days but much better than we had expected. There were somewhat rough seas on a couple days, but again, nothing horrible.
Disembarkation on Saturday morning went very quickly. We were back to our car at the Radisson by 9:15 a.m. for the long ride home.
Overall, the cruise was terrific. If we were to do it over again, we would probably have left our boys at home as we think they were just too young to enjoy all of the wonderful things the ship and crew had to offer. We will also probably book a larger room like a balcony room and something not as far down as we could hear noise from below. Nothing horrible, but vibration noise nonetheless.
Kudos to Carnival. They do live up to their "funship" name for sure.