We flew to Orlando the day before departure. We used hotwire.com to book our hotel. We got the Sheraton Suites hotel which was fantastic. They had a free shuttle that picked us up and took us to the hotel. At the end of the street was a Denny's that you could walk to easily. There was a restaurant at the hotel as well. There is also complimentary internet access in a little room just off of the lobby.
The next morning we took a shuttle back to the airport to catch the shuttle for Enterprise Rent A Car. We picked up the car and drove 45 minutes to drop it off at the Port Canaveral office. It is important to note that if you want to catch the free shuttle from Enterprise to the ship that you arrive at Enterprise before noon as they close at that time. You are still able to drop the car but you will need to pay for a taxi to get to the pier. We found the car rental to be a great choice as we only paid $37 on the Saturday as we only had it for half a day.
We arrived at the pier and embarkation was fairly simple except that we had a previous issue with Carnival that we were unable to resolve. When booking, if you do not want to purchase Carnival's insurance you need to let them know immediately or advise your travel agent as they automatically charge you and you are expected to decline this on your own. Our travel agent said that he declined the insurance, however they charged us for it anyway $316 U.S. and would not refund any of the money. As a result we chose to set up a cash only sail and sign account as we were not going to charge anything to our account and we were choosing to tip the cabin steward and dining staff independently. Over the course of the week my husband and I each received three notices stating that we had not charged anything to our account. We tipped the appropriate people accordingly with cash in an envelope and on the last night we got a letter stating that they had applied gratuities to our account. I went to the purser's desk and the woman serving me was very helpful and promptly removed the charges from our account.The cabins were spacious and we found that we had plenty of room for all our things. We had a quad room. We had some issues with our cabin steward. I had to leave note requesting hand soap and one of our children accidentally broke a glass. We cleaned up the big pieces and covered the area with towels and once again left a note. He picked up the towels and never vacuumed causing us to place towels on the floor for the remainder of the cruise. We have young children (ages 4&6). Our dinner seating was at 6:15, which should have left plenty of time to clean our room as we often went to the shows after dinner. He would often knock on our door at 9:30 or 9:45 expecting to make up our room just as we were preparing to put the kids to bed so we had to choose against having our room made up for several nights. We chose the Carnival Glory because of the itinerary. Unfortunately, due to hurricane Dean our itinerary had to be changed. The replacement ports were a disappointment to many (Key West and Progresso) for Belize and Costa Maya. We had been to Key West last summer so we decided just to walk around a bit and then get back on the ship and enjoy a day at the pool. In Cozumel we went to a time share resort and spent the day enjoying their facilities. In Progresso we went to the beach but the beach was very rough and full of little shells. In Nassau we went to the Atlantis resort to see the aquarium and then went to the public beach beside the resort. The kids really enjoyed the beach and the sand was very nice. At the public beach you can rent jet skis, go parasailing (50 dollars a person) of go on banana boat rides (12 dollars a person for 15 minutes).
Our waitress in the dining room was fantastic and very attentive to the children. We requested a large table but were disappointed to have been placed at a booth for four right near the busing station. The meals were good and the chocolate melting cake was delicious.
The kids enjoyed Camp Carnival very much. They had a lot of great activities (Water Wars was one of their favorites).
On the last night you are given tags to put on your luggage. You leave the ship numerically (1-40), starting at the top decks. You are then directed to a luggage terminal. Unfortunately, this was a disaster for us. Our luggage tag was number 21. It took us three hours to get all of our luggage pieces as the tags from two of our suitcases were ripped off. They were finally found at the other luggage terminal and we were the last ones to leave the terminal. Fortunately, we did not have a flight until the next day. Others were missing luggage for long periods as well and had a flight to catch within hours of debarkation.
All in all we had a good time but it was not as enjoyable as our other cruises.