My family and I just returned from the Western itinerary of the Glory. This was our second cruise, and We took along the grandparents for their first cruise. Our group consisted of myself, DH, DS16, DD19, MIL and FIL 60's. We drove down from the Atlanta area the day before and stayed at the Ramada just off I95. This is an older motel, but it was clean. We drove over to the port Sat. morning and had to wait in a long line to drop off the luggage. Once we were parked, embarkation was a breeze. We were onboard around 12:30 or 1pm.
Once onboard, we went up to the lido deck, along with everyone else, and had lunch. The first stop was the burger stand. Throughout the week we also had the deli sandwiches, hot dogs, pizza, and the fish and chips. My husband thought the fish and chips was the best meal onboard. The food was wonderful as always. Once we were able to go to our rooms, we dropped off our luggage and our room steward, Jhoe, came by to introduce himself. Later on his More
assistant Wayan, came by and introduced himself and asked our names. Everytime after that he always called us by name in the hallway, asked about our day, and kept our room in tip top shape.
We do not drink, so I cannot comment on the bars and lounges, only that they kept us supplied with the sodas since we had purchased the soda card. The only drawback is that they ran out of Mr. Pibb a day or two before the end of the cruise. There were tons of photo ops available during the week. At times, especially formal nights, it was a little difficult navigating the promenade because of photo stations and long lines which made walking past an adventure. The photo gallery was another adventure. It covered deck four and was really crowded during the evening.
We went to the dining room every night and enjoyed good service from our headwaitress, Alena, and her assistant, Vladamir. The food was outstanding. Our maitre'd was Fernando and he was very personable and came by our table at least 4 times during the week to check on us. A friend of ours at the next table was cold one night and mentioned it to him, so he left and came back a few minutes later with a clean tablecloth for her to wrap in. I was very impressed. He earned our tip that night by that one gesture of kind-heartedness. We had breakfast in the dining room on two mornings. It was nice not standing in line. The food was good and I tried the chicken sausage, which was surprisingly good. It tasted kind of like a bratwurst. If you get a chance, I highly recommend it.
The first stop was Cozumel. We didn't book an excursion but we hired a taxi to take us over to Chankanaab Park for the day. We had printed a coupon from the internet which saved us $2 per person on park admission. At the park there was a pool, beach, botanical gardens, a Mayan village replica, and a dolphin swim. We chose this since it seemed to have something for everyone. The beach was very nice, but the sand didn't' meet the water. There were rocks between the sand and water. Once down the steps, the water got deep very quickly. There were people snorkeling and feeding the fish and we could see the fish swimming around. We had never been snorkeling before so my DD, her friends, and myself decided to try it. We rented the equipment for $10 each and set out. The only thing I can say is It is Amazing. From now on, this will be part of my plans in the Caribbean. It was a little shocking to see that the water I was just swimming in was about 25-30 ft deep. We also got great photos of iguanas that were lounging around the clearwater lagoon.
Belize- We booked the Altun Ha/River Wallace tour through Carnival for this stop. We met in the Amber Palace at 8:00 am for the tender ride to the island. Once on land, we were put on a bus for the ride to the ruins. Our tour guides, Amalia and Joyce, were great. Amalia was very knowledgeable about the island, and we all could tell that Joyce loved everything about the ruins. The bus ride was a real island experience. Imagine the bus ride in the movie Speed and put it on a small road. WE went wide open all the way. The ruins were very impressive and educational. After the ruins we got back on the bus and headed over to the Black Orchid Resort for an hour layover. You could purchase lunch and souvenirs at this stop. My daughter purchased some chicken fingers while we were there and they looked pretty good. There was a pool so I sat out beside the pool with a parrot that was perched in the tree right above my head. He was the same color as the leaves, so I almost didn't see him, but he sat there and didn't seem to be bothered by the people. The river ride back to the dock was awesome. We didn't see too much wildlife because we were about the third boat to go down the river that day, but we did see howler monkeys, iguanas, and vampire bats. Once we got in the harbor from the river, there were manatees, but I couldn't see them very well. We shopped a little at the pier and were back on board between 3 and 3:30.
Costa Maya - When we pulled into the port, the water was very choppy. We went onshore to shop a little. We were going to catch a cab into Majahaul village, but it started raining so we decided to stay in the port area and finally decided to go back to the ship. The sea was very choppy and rocking the boat as were were trying to board. At this port the shopkeepers were willing to bargain. My FIL loved this. He loves to bargain and was very pleased to get a straw hat for $10. Since there is a very long pier at this port, there was a trolley to take passengers to the ship. The only bad thing I can say about this port is that it was raining but the ship only had one line for the returning passengers. It moved very slowly so everyone was totally soaked. Once on board, though, there was a crewmember handing out dry towels.
Nassau - We decided to grab a taxi to go to Atlantis. We purchased tickets and went through the Dig. It was a good excursion for all of us. Atlantis is beautiful. It is worth it to just walk around the grounds and hotel. Our cab dropped us off back downtown so we shopped a little there.
There were two sea days on this cruise and were both filled with activities. Wee Jimmy was hilarious and his staff was great. I did a couple of the games and came away with a Ship on A Stick for one of the famous faces game. One of the best games was the "What's in the bag" We had a great time doing that. Danielle, Mark, and Joe made is so much fun. We took in a few shows but to me the best show was the last night. It was the legends show that featured some of the guests. My fellow passengers are really talented.
Disembarkation was a breeze. We had a leisurely breakfast on the lido deck and waited for our color to be called. Since we were on the Riviera deck we were the last color. Once we were called we moved very quickly and breezed through customs and we were on our way. All in all it was a very enjoyable cruise and we look forward to our next one. Less