My husband and I have returned from a 2 week back to back cruise on the beautiful Carnival Glory. I intend to enter each week separately. Week 1.... We flew from Louisville KY to Orlando and took a hired towncar to Port Canaveral. I have to say this was wonderful- the car was able to pull up right in front of the building and we got out and straight into line. It was about 1:30 when we arrived and we were in line with about 100 or so guests but the line moved swiftly and we got through and onto the boat in about 30 minutes. The entry onto the boat through the lobby was very pretty, but not as striking as I had expected. The colors were very bright - almost to a fault. We had to go and change our dinner time to an early seating because we were assigned an 8:30 time and we don't like to eat that late. We were able to change very easily - it was just a matter of waiting in line (it seems we did a lot of that on this boat). We also signed up for the Supper Club(another line). The Lido Deck Buffet was very nice- great selection on the salad bar and the potato salad was consistently very good the entire trip. We ate there for breakfast most mornings and occasionally for lunch and dinner. The food was usually very good but the food they offered was not really up to the par that I had expected. The Fish and Chips place was the one place we never ate. The menu didn't really appeal to us. The Deli had great sandwiches and huge portions of the meat on them. I never did manage to finish one. The Platinum Dining Room was wonderful. Our wait team was great! I only had one dish in 2 weeks that I didn't like at all. Most of the food was great, just know before you go that if you order the shrimp cocktail they only give you 4 shrimp. Just do what I did and order 2 at a time. :-) As for their famous melting cake dessert- I make cakes for a small bakery at home and I feel obligated to say that it was not very good. It was very heavy and not appetizing. I tried it twice (trying to give the benefit of the doubt) and it was not very good either time. The other desserts however, were good. Our stateroom was very nice. Our room steward was awesome! His name was Ren and he was great! He was always in the hall available if you needed him and the room was always spotless if we left for a moment. The towel animals are great, we even bought a book for our kids to do it back home. I must say that the lack of internet access was a real problem for us. Not all the areas of the ship- especially the staterooms get a wireless signal. This was contrary to what is stated on the Carnival web site and we were very disappointed. We were writing a blog for our kids back home and we made an entry every day - but we had to go to the internet cafe' to send it. It was an annoying inconvenience. The shows in the Amber Palace were ok. Again, not what I had expected. The female lead singer had trouble hitting her notes and staying on key. The Broadway show was really cute- they even did a scene from The Full Monty, all the way. Ladies- they have well formed dancers, thats all I can say. :-) I am a huge Broadway fan and so this show was great for me. The other shows were good but not the WOW, GREAT, FANTASTIC, that I was expecting.
The shore excursions were great! In Nassau, we did the Thriller Powerboat Ride to Blackbeards Cay. It was fantastic! We got into this powerboat with about 20 other guests and took a fast tour around Atlantis and the other sites you can see from the coast and then went to a small private island called Blackbeards Cay. There we got to swim and feed stingrays and snorkel and then just relax on the beach or swim at your leisure. It was a great afternoon. In St. Thomas we did SNUBA, which is like scuba diving only the oxygen tank floats above you on a raft and 4 people are attached to the tank and you dive together. It was really nice. The reef underwater was beautiful- only one warning- watch out for sand fleas. I got eaten up while sitting on my towel on the beach after we were done. In St. Maarten we did Beginner SCUBA. Ok heres where I admit to being a huge chicken. I thought that if I could do SNUBA that SCUBA would be a snap. Not so much. They took us out to the area we would dive in and they got us all suited up and then they take you into an enclosure to learn some skills and you have to be able to to the skills before you can go diving- I just couldn't bring myself to take the regulator (o2) out of my mouth underwater. I wound up getting back on the boat and my husband went with the instructor without me. Oh well..He had a great time and even got to see some rare Eagle Rays. I do have to say the shopping in St Maarten was the best of all three islands and the people here were the most friendly of them all. The island was spotless, everywhere we looked there were people cleaning and painting all the time. By the way, if you get the chance, try the Guavaberry Rum. Its only available on this island and its superb.
Debarkation for us was unique because we were doing a back to back. We were the last people off the boat at about 10 am and we got an escort through customs and then escorted right back on the boat- we were the first ones on. It went really fast.