We were previously booked to cruise AOS on RCCL but my inlaws begged us to go with them so we cancelled and booked this cruise. We had previously cruised The Glory in 2005 so had some idea of what to expect. We have previously cruised 4 RCCL cruises and this made our 2nd Carnival. We are in our late 30's, we had two couples with us one has cruised 20 plus times on various lines and my inlaws. This made their 2nd cruise. Both couple were in their early 60's. We flew to Orlando and my inlaws picked us up and we spent the night before we left.
EMBARKATION: This could not have been any easier or uneventful. We arrived at the pier about 11:00 and dropped off our luggage. As we walked right inside they announced they would board at 11:30. We filled out our forms, went through the line and then by that time it was 11:30 and we walked right on the ship. Our rooms weren't ready so we went to the buffet. We wanted to use cash on our sign and sail account so we got in a VERY short, quick and efficient line to get that done as well as apply christmas gift certificates we had received. We spent some time exploring the ship and refamiarizing our selves again and showing the four family members with us around. We used this time before it got crowded to get some good pictures. We had previously asked for a 6:15 dining time and did not get it so we went to the dining room to request a change. We were the third on the list but found out later we would not be changed. This served to be a big negative FOR ALL of us. I am hypoglycemic and got sick a couple of times waiting that late to eat. We did go get snacks upstairs but it certainly added to the amount of calories you consume in a week. Its the first time any of us had been given a late dinner seating on any cruise and NONE of us liked it at all. We did get to see sail away completely and did not have to rush after coming back in after port days though... That was one positive. Room: We had a 8th floor balcony room and enjoyed the view but could have done without the constant scraping sounds from above. It did not keep us awake the first couple of nights but woke us up the last two or three nights in the middle of the night. One couple knocked on our door and asked if it bothered us. I told her I had read about it on here but tried not to add any fuel to the fire. I would choose a 6 or 7th floor room next time though. Our room steward was efficient but we barely saw him and he never chit-chatted or got to know like on every previous cruise. That's one thing I hate about pre-paid gratuities. They know they get the money so they don't make the effort to get to know you. A couple days the Capers said he would leave something and he didn't so we left him and note and asked for it.
PLATINUM DINING ROOM: Although we did not like 8:00pm dining we did have a good waiter at dinner and we enjoyed getting to know them. One of the men with us was a big jokester and the dining staff LOVED that. We had the most excellent dining room bartender we have EVER had on a cruise. (Hannah) The food was mostly good but any time someone ordered a steak it could not be eaten and we had to request another entree. The lobster was okay but mine was a little mushy and they were really small. The creme brulee and chocolate melting cake were absolutely divine and most everything else was really good. THe dining experience was almost identical to Royal Caribbean we thought. Although on our last RCCL cruise Creme Brulee was NOt on the menu and I had to beg them to make it for me. They did but it was nice to have it already on the menu. There were a couple of times people at our table had off the wall requests and our waiters went out of their way to run all over the place rounding it up.
ROOM SERVICE: EMERALD ROOM DINING:(specialty Dining) We ate in the Emerald Room on the fourth night of our cruise and it was absolutely wonderful. It was presented beautifully and tasted as good as it looked. The lobster in there was HUGE and I could only eat half. It was WELL, WELL worth the $30. ROOM SERVICE: This was one place we felt The GLory was Really LACKING! We always choose a balcony room so we can eat breakfast on our balcony and watch the sun come up. On previous RCCL cruises we have many, many choices to choose from and can write in our requests also. We only had a continental breakfast to choose from and on the first day we did not get our jelly, butter etc and it was not even enough food for me. We requested two of some items and only received enough food for one person. THat was the last time we ordered it on the ship. It was almost enough to make us not cruise Carnival again but not quite. Room service in the mornings is usually one of my highlights.
SHORE EXCURSION/PURSERS DESK: Both desks were pleasant, quick and efficient and we had no problems. Once I lost my sign and sail card and one I FREAKED out because my credits did not show on the account and they handled both quickly and EXTREMELY pleasantly. We cancelled two shore excursions bought through the ship and the credits showed immediately.
SHOWS and CRUISE DIRECTOR/STAFF Since we had previously cruise this ship the shows were almost identical but with different people. They were still very good and we enjoyed them. The people traveling with us really did. The dancers were great and the girl singer was very good but the guy was flat quite often. I've sang all my life so sometimes it was like scraping fingernails on a blackboard for me. We thought WEE JIMMY was excellent and he waaaaaaaaaYYYYYYYYY surpassed the cruise director on our last RCCL cruise. His staff was fun and very efficient and I spent some time talking to one about the differences in RCCL and Carnival one night before the show. I really liked them alot and would almost pick a ship based on him being on it.
SHOPS: This is another one of my favorite things onboard and I have to say I felt this was lacking. I asked for a gift certificate to specifically buy a hoodie onboard and even though its winter for the majority of us there was one 1(YEP ONE) size small of kind of sweatshirt. I had to really look to even find ANYTHING to buy onboard this time. I WAYYYYY LIKE RCCL's Royal Promenade and shopping experience onboard. There is a much bigger variety and different types of shops.
CASINO: We aren't gamblers but do like slots. We won about $70 over two days and probably lost that much other times. The staff in there were very nice and efficient and the casino was much larger than on the RCCL ship we were on last. (At least it seemed that way) POOL: There were BIG TIME CHAIR savers on this ship but we did manage to find a chair as long as we were out there by 10:30 but not in a great location. The pool games and activities did not seem to be as fun or happening than on our last RCCL cruise but it was okay. The pool bartenders were always smiling, running to grant your requests and there was always someone coming around picking up empty cups, bottles etc.
PORTS OF CALL: We have been to all these ports of call many times but we still had a blast in each one. In Cozumel we privately booked a snorkel/clear kayak tour and the water was very rough but we still enjoyed ourselves and then spent some time shopping downtown. If you're looking for silver the cheapest place we found was the pier outlet but Rx drugs were cheaper at the flea market in town. In Belize we went to the Bacob Eco Park through the ship and the pool area was ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. (Could have stayed there ALL DAY!) In Nassau we went to Atlantis, then the public beach and shopping. Nothing of don't miss quality but it was fun. Overall we loved our trip and did not find many differences in RCCL or Carnival. We would probably cruise whichever we found the best deal/itinerary on. We do like the class of ships on RCCL with the ice skating rinks better but this cruise was still a wonderful experience. The staff seemed a little more subdued than on other cruises but they were good. We did find out that Wee Jimmy was moving to the Conquest in April. The person who is taking his place was onboard for two days this week though.