This was our 13th cruise and first time on the Glory. It is a huge ship, in great condition, and we would highly recommend it. DH and I are in our late 50's and a professional couple without any children.
Embarkation: DH and I live in Florida, so we drove to Port Canaveral in a couple of hours, dropped off the luggage with a porter, and parked the car in the garage ($84 for the week). We arrived at PC about 12:30 and were on board within 45 minutes. The port staff was very friendly and helpful. We were glad to have the deck plan because the Glory is the largest cruise ship we have sailed on and we needed to consult the plan a number of times. We headed up to lunch in the Red Sail Restaurant and found it to be very busy. The buffet lines went fast, though, and we were soon eating lunch. We had requested early seating, but received late seating. To change it, we had to wait in line for over an hour to talk with the Maitre'D in the Golden Dining Room. On our last two cruises, we did not receive the seating time we requested and did not like that at all, especially since we had made our cruise reservations more than six months before the cruise. I got tired of waiting in line, so DH stayed and got our seating changed for the next day.
Cabin: Our cabin was a balcony cabin on Deck 6 (Upper Deck), midship. It was a nice size with more than enough storage space and closet space for the week. There was a mini-bar fridge, but it was locked and we never did need it. A hair dryer was available and worked just fine.
Dining: Food was excellent, especially the steaks -- medium rare each time just as requested. As I mentioned above, our seating was changed to early, but we were given a table for two in between two wait staff stations, so it was quite chaotic and not pleasant. The cruise was full, so we could not change again. We prefer a table with 6-8 people. Not a deal breaker for the cruise, but it was disappointing. Buffet was very good. Room service menu was very limited, but we ordered lunch twice and it came very promptly. We tipped the waiter in cash each time.
Service: Cabin steward did a great job and was very unobtrusive. Wait staff in the Platinum Dining Room was very good; the Maitre'D was not at all friendly and never came around during the week to say hello. We did not give him a tip. Overall, the crew was nice, but not overly friendly as we have experienced on other cruises.
Casino: I had a royal flush playing $1 video poker and DH won $1,000 playing craps one day, so the casino was good to us! Casino staff were very friendly. We spent alot of time in the casino and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to put money on my Sail and Sign card and using it as a bank instead of having to put money in the machines and take money out.
Entertainment: We did not attend any shows, as we spent our time in the casino.
Islands: We love Nassau and wish the ship was there longer. St. Thomas is our shopping mecca, so we always enjoy going downtown to shop and have a few cocktails. Mr. Tablecloth and Riise are our favorite stores. Cab fare is $4 per person to downtown. This was our first time in St. Maarten and we would love to return for a week. Beautiful port with stores and you can buy roundtrip cabfare for only a few dollars. Shopping was great!
Shopping: In general, we thought liquor prices had risen significantly since our last cruise 6 months previously. We brought a flyer from our local liquor store to compare and we did not find the great deals we used to on liquor, so instead of bringing lots of bottles home, we only brought two bottles of Crown Royal with us. Everything is made in China, even in the islands, and we tried to find things that weren't for a number of reasons that are probably pretty obvious, but it wasn't easy. It became a quest of sorts.
Christmas: As this cruise was during the week of Christmas, it was full and lots of kids were on board. Since we don't have kids, I can't comment on Camp Carnival. Behavior seemed pretty good until the next to the last day when kids were running wild in the hallways and even in the public areas. Very annoying to say the least, but overall, the kids seemed pretty unobtrusive most of the week. The ship was decorated beautifully for the holidays and there was carol singing a number of times. Families gathered in large spaces to open gifts, so it felt like Christmas to us.
Debarkation: We had #27 out of 42 and were in our car by 10am. Great experience with no lines. The porter took our luggage right to our car in the parking garage, so great service.
Overall: We enjoyed the Glory cruise very much and would definitely recommend it. In fact, we had already booked it for Christmas week 2008 before we went last week and we will keep the reservation. The negative was our dining room location and we probably should have stayed with the late seating with the table for 8. The other negative one is pretty subjective, but here goes. There was a dress code each night which said "no shorts, no t-shirts". With the exception of the two formal nights, we felt like we were eating in McDonald's every night because there was a total disregard for the dress code and the Maitre'd never enforced it. I never saw so many shorts and inappropriate clothing in a dining room as on this cruise. Eating Chateaubriand in a restaurant that felt like some fast food joint was not particularly enjoyable. Either enforce the dress code or not even bother having one, Carnival! Also, people were arriving at all different times and sometimes 30 minutes after the appointed hour -- very rude to the wait staff and one table was consistently 30 minutes late and it wasn't because they took any care with their dress, as they were always in shorts. Freestyle cruising with NCL would have been much more appropriate for these folks!