My DH and I sailed on the Glory 5/5-5/12 from Port Canaveral. We are in our mid-20’s. This was our third cruise in two years (our second cruise with Carnival). We picked this ship based on the itinerary and price. Pre-Cruise: We drove down the day before from Atlanta, GA. This was an easy 7.5 hour drive. We paid ~$6 in tolls (0.75-2.00) on the Florida Turnpike. We reserved a 1-night stay at the Country Inn & Suites, Cape Canaveral. We paid ~ $160.00 ($149.99+tax) which included parking for the duration of our cruise and shuttle to/from the port. . This was a pretty good price considering that the parking at the port is $12/day. I would recommend booking early if you know you will be staying extra days at Cape Canaveral for better rates on the room (we booked about 2 weeks in advance). The Country Inn & Suites is new. The rooms were very clean and comfortable. After we checked in, we drove down to the Cocoa Beach pier, approx. 1-mile down the road. We walked on the beach and saw small brown stingrays washing up on shore and being pulled back with the tide. We ate dinner at a restaurant called Fishlips. It was an average meal but was nice since it was outside on a patio near the water.
The next morning we had complimentary breakfast and picked up some last-minute supplies at the Publix market which was down the road from the hotel. We were told that the shuttle to Port Canaveral would do pick ups every 30 min. starting at 10:30 outside the lobby. At 12:30 we got on the shuttle and were dropped off at the port. This was a 5-minute ride. The Country Inn & Suites is the closest hotel to the port. Other hotels that Cruise Critics have recommended are a little further down the road.
Embarkation: We booked a guaranteed inside stateroom. When we arrived at Port Canaveral, the porters informed us of our stateroom and changed our luggage tags from the gray TBAs to the correct color. We had all our documents filled out and passports in hand. There was a good amount of people already standing in line. We were processed fairly quickly and on our way to get our pre-cruise picture taken.
Ship: The Glory is a beautiful ship. The décor is colorful but not outlandish. There are areas on the carpets that are water-stained and worn. The ship was clean. The crew was always cleaning or doing maintenance work. There were enough elevators to keep the wait minimal. DH and I often took the stairs to burn some calories and make more room for food. It was a little confusing trying to figure out how to get where we needed to go (but that’s what those little maps of the ship are for) but by the end of our cruise we had it figured out (for the most part—we knew where to find the food!). There were a lot of bars and club rooms that we did not visit. The Amber Palace theater was beautiful and the chairs were comfortable. It was always the coldest place on the ship. If you want to get a good view of the show, be sure to sit on the lower level, otherwise you will have an obstructed view with the glass railing on the upper levels.
Cabin: We were in an inside cabin. This was the biggest inside cabin we have stayed in. There is a mini refrigerator that needs to be unlocked by the cabin steward. It was stocked with sodas and mini bottles of alcohol. DH and I put a couple of water bottles inside. There is a mini-safe that requires a card with a magnetic strip to lock/unlock it. Do not use your Sign & Sail card as this will deactivate it. The bathrooms were nice but the shower curtain wasn’t quite big enough to keep the bathroom floor dry (it’s a good thing Carnival supplied extra towels). We brought a hanging shoe rack and a hanging clothes storage rack (purchased at Target) for the closet. We also had an over-the-door holder with pockets to hold small items (i.e.: sunscreen, toiletries, etc) that fit over the bathroom door. This was a great way to save space and stay organized. We had no problem putting away all of our things (we had 4 suitcases!).
Dining: After boarding the ship and having lunch, we visited the Maitre d’ to see about getting a table for 2. We had late 8:30 dining in the Golden Dining Room. Our table for 2 made our dining experience so much enjoyable. DH and I are not anti-social, but we wanted to have an intimate and comfortable dining experience. Liberato was our waiter and Falconery was our assistant-waiter. They were wonderful. Liberato made excellent dinner recommendations. The food on the Glory was really good. We enjoyed the pumpkin soup, French onion soup and strawberry soup. Salads were okay. Our entrees included: lamb chops, duck, steak, filet mignon, pastas, chicken with foie gras sauce (tastes like a rich, creamy gravy), Beef Wellington, Chateaubriand. Everything was good but the red meats were sometimes more done than we had ordered and the pastas were a bit al dente. The lobster was chewy. Desserts were good. We had the chocolate melting cake several times, the cherries jubilee was disappointing, and the key lime pie was delicious. The waiters would sing or dance for us at the end of our meal. It was a lot of fun. We also ate at the Fish & Chips. They had excellent fried fish fillets. They make bouillabaisse to order (delicious) and the fried calamari was yummy. The portions were small but were enough to satisfy. We ate reuben sandwiches at the Deli which were tasty. We ate once at the Oriental place which had okay food. The pizza was hot and cheesy but the crust had a little too much corn meal. The sushi was good as a snack before our dinner. The buffet lunch and breakfast was okay—standard cruise fare. We did not eat breakfast or lunch in the dining rooms. On our last night, we went to the Emerald Supper Club (DH says that was the best excursion on our trip). The food and service in the Golden Dining room was pretty good, but the Supper Club was even better. We had reservations at 6:30 and this was great because we were able to enjoy our meal and the view before the sun set. A lot of the tables are next to the window so you get to see the water. We ordered escargot, crab cake, French onion soup, Lobster bisque, Filet mignon and prime rib. Make sure you order the chocolate trio for dessert.
Entertainment: We attended a couple of the shows. We thought that it was average compared to our previous cruise experiences. Justin Illusion was like the Backstreet Boys meets cheesy illusionist. The Glory dancers were okay. The lead female singer was okay. The male lead singer was pretty good. The first comedian that we saw was okay. There were other comedians later in the cruise that we did not get to see but heard were pretty funny.
Day 1: After boarding the ship, we ate lunch in the Red Sail. We had burgers and fries. The burgers were okay, the fries were cold. I would recommend getting your burgers, fries and hotdogs at The Grille (next to the pizza station). We explored the ship and went to our cabin to unpack. We met our cabin steward and had him unlock the mini-fridge and then we went to do the muster drill. We continued to explore the ship and ended up on the Spa deck. The spa ladies were out advertising the services. I ended up getting a sample of the hot stone massage on my neck which was fantastic. The prices for spa services are more expensive than on land but the prices get better later on in the week. We went back to our cabin and rested before dinner. After dinner we went to see the Welcome Show. Wee Jimmy the cruise director is hilarious. He is definitely the most entertaining cruise director we have ever seen.
Day 2 (Sea Day): We woke up and ate breakfast on the Lido deck. We found some chairs and laid out in the sun. The pools are small and there are maybe 20 chairs at each pool. There was some chair-saving. Unless you want to sit right at the pool, you should not have a problem finding chairs on the decks over-looking the pools or on the sides of the ship. That afternoon we attended the Park West art auction. We had free champagne and saw some nice pieces of art. The art people are very friendly and will help you find what you like and will work with your budget. Even if you do not plan on purchasing art, it is still fun to attend and see some interesting and rare pieces of art. We ate a late lunch at the Deli. We went back outside to lay on the deck but did not stay long because it was Formal Night. Almost everybody dressed up. The men wore suites and tuxedos and the women wore nice cocktail dresses.
Day 3 (Cozumel): We arrived around 10 a.m. We got off the ship and walked through the shopping area to the taxi stand. We had booked an all-inclusive beach excursion through cozumelcruiseexcursions.com to Nachi Cocum. This is an all-you-can-eat and drink private beach package for $49/pp. The taxis will cost $12 for up to 4 people each way. This was a beautiful private beach. There were probably less than 20 people there. We sat on lounge chairs under a palapa (straw hut) and relaxed. By the afternoon the beach was pretty much deserted. DH and I had the pool and the hot tub for ourselves. We had good drinks and excellent food. Ask for the Tequila Sunset. We had our waiter just bring us whatever he thought was good. We left around 4:30 and walked around the shops in the port area. If you plan on purchasing tequila, this is the place to do it. The prices are much better than Belize and Costa Maya.
Day 4 (Belize): We arrived around 8 a.m. If you do not have an excursion planned, it may not be worth your time getting off the ship. They let the passengers with excursions tender off first and then they open it to the general public. You are required to get a tender sticker (free) on deck 5 to get off the ship unless you decide to wait for general clearance. We had no excursions planned but wanted to check out Belize. We got onto a small boat and it was a 10-15 minute ride to Belize. As soon as we entered the port area we were surrounded by people selling excursions. We politely declined their offers and walked on. Some of the people were very rude. They did not seem to want us there if we were not going to give them our money. There were guards with guns keeping people from entering the port area (cruisers could leave the area). There were people shouting at us to go on an excursion with them through the gates. We walked past many shops and stalls selling touristy items (T-shirts, hats, shot glasses, etc). We didn’t need anything and didn’t find anything worth purchasing. We left after 1 ½ hours. We returned to our cabin to rest and then went to eat at Fish and Chips. I had a spa appointment that afternoon for a 25 min facial, 25 min massage, 10 min scrub, and 10 hot stone massage for $119. It was very nice. My only complaint would be that Camp Carnival was directly above my spa room and it was noisy. I could hear the kids running and jumping above me. At the end of the service, they will try to sell you their products but a simple “no thank-you” is enough if you are not interested.
Day 5 (Costa Maya): We arrived around 8 a.m. We had a Mayan ruins excursion booked with David and Ivan through thenativechoice.com. We walked through the port area to the bus ticket stand where David was waiting for us. We paid $3/pp for the bus ticket and got a colored wrist band for the tour. They had 2 vans for us. It was a 45 minute ride to the ruins. Our tour guide was excellent. He was very knowledgeable on Mayan culture and it was a great excursion. We saw several temples and were able to climb up some of the stairs of the temples. We had about 15 people in our group. Our guide gave us lots of information and gave us plenty of time for taking pictures. On our way back, our driver stopped to get some fresh pineapple for us. It was pretty good with the hot spice mix that was included to put on the pineapple. The tour was $43/pp and we made sure to tip our guide and driver. That night we went to the past guest party. You will only receive an invitation in your stateroom if you have cruised with Carnival before. We got Carnival Glory pins and free drinks.
Day 6 (Sea Day): We spent the day relaxing in our room and on the deck. We attended another art auction. It was formal night again. Not as many people dressed up this time. By evening, the ship was rocking more. Up until that day we had felt minimal ship movement. DH went to the purser’s deck to get some sea-sickness pills which helped. We also took ginger pills during the cruise. I never got sick, but felt pretty queasy and had to lay down.
Day 7 (Nassau): We arrived around 10 a.m. DH and I have been to Nassau and decided to stay on the ship since it was our last day. We had the ship to ourselves. There were only a handful of people on board. We hung out by the pool and relaxed. There was a chocolate extravaganza buffet at the Red Sail restaurant. The desserts were okay. They were nice to look at. We ate at the Emerald Supper Club that night. I highly recommend going there especially if you are a foodie.
Disembarkation: We left our luggage out the night before and had Carnival take care of it. Since we did not have to fly or have to be off the ship early we decided to wait for our color to be called. We did not get off the ship until after 10 (next time, DH and I will pack less and carry off our luggage). And then we had to wait in line to get through customs. This took forever. We were told that our shuttle back to the hotel would be with Cocoa Beach Shuttle and that they made frequent rounds. We waited for over 30 min. They piled people and luggage on top of each other (thankfully, we were the first stop). It was after 12 by the time we got into our car to drive home.
Overall, this was our best cruise yet. We had a great time and really enjoyed ourselves. We will definitely cruise with Carnival again.