We set sail out of Miami on March 23, 2014 on the Carnival Glory. Having never cruised before we had no idea what to expect, other than the reviews and tips we had read about online. We purchased the "Faster To The Fun" which was probably the best 50.00 dollars we spent - we were out of our taxi at Miami Port, and all checked in and at our room in 10 minutes .. maybe 15. Even our luggage was at the room. The line ups were huge and we sailed past it all. It certainly was Faster to the FUN!
We were in awe once we were aboard the ship. It was huge. I had read that the Glory had recently been upgraded but I think the money was spent on adding restuarants and bars. Our balcony stateroom had holes in the lampshades and drapes and we noticed tape holding down some floor boards on the lido deck. They really need to update their rooms. Ours was very clean but old looking. Our stewart was amazing, she keep the room tidy, always filled the ice bucket and made the best towel animals. I already miss the turn down service. Wish someone in my home did that! :)
The food was good, better than most all inclusive resorts I've been to but no amazing. The fruit always seem to be no ripe yet, and the bacon was under cooked a lot; it was hard to find crispy bacon. The main dinning room was lovely, our waiters were Kitt and Charlie and they were amazing! They spoiled us and were very friendly and professional. It was my 50th birthday and they sang and made a big fuss. The food in the dinning room was good but not great. The chocolate melting cake is to die and I recommend trying it. The Maitre d was supper friendly and always welcomed us to dinner each night.
We were travelling with our 10 year old son and I know they had a Carnival Camp for his age but he is a little shy and I was sad to see that the children's organizers did not come and try to get kids involved. If your child was the type to just go on their own to an activity then great, but our son is not that type and if someone was coming around trying to get them involved, I know he would have met other kids. As it turned out he really didn't meet others. I think there is some area for improvement here when it comes to getting the kids active.
We sailed from Miami to Bahamas, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico and Grand Turks. I loved all the stops but I would rather have a 7 day cruise with only 2 or 3 stops but have a longer time at each destination. Doubt there is anything like that out there? It just seems like by the time you get into port, huge lines to get off - which takes a long time, you hardly have much time in that location. Then it's line up and back on the ship. Carnival also takes pictures at every port while you are disembarking. I think they should set up there photographers somewhere off the gangplank rather then having each person/family stop to get pictures. This would speed up the disembarking considerably and be a lot less frustrating.
We had a balcony room and I can not imagine not having it. I know people say, "it's not like you are in your room other than to sleep" but that is not always the case. I found our balcony to be a great place to watch the stars at night and the ocean, it was a place to go have have peace and quiet when need be, but also there were a few times when I would feel a bit dizzy and sitting on the balcony with fresh air was a great cure. I loved sleeping on the ship. I slept so good and gentle rocking and vibration was great. We did have one night of rough seas and I heard a lot of people were seasick. My family and I were all fine and I slept great that night. However, it almost cost of docking at Grand Turk, which I am so glad in the end, it did not.
As for shows, we didn't really catch any .. early to bed and early to rise kind of people. We did however attend a family friendly comedian and he was great. We also attended the Hasbro Game Night and although my son tried to be selected, he was not. It was still fun! The cruise director is great and very entertaining. Overall, we had a great time. My son says he "loves" cruising. I definitely would cruise again in the future but even though we got a good deal, it is much more expensive than an all-inclusive vacation and the cost continues to go up each day. It is expensive buying lunches in ports, excusions, if you drink on the ship, really expensive. We bought maybe 3 drinks on the ship and had a couple of beers while at ports. My partner and I also seem to be having a sensation of dizziness and swaying still and we've been off the ship for 3 days .. hope that goes soon. It was fun though and a great experience .. and we loved the waterslide!