Myself (Mid 40's), my wife (early 40's), my son (18), my daughter and her boyfriend (both 21), sister in law (early 40's celebrated birthday on the cruise) and her son (16). Four cabins - sister in law had a cabin of her own.
This was our second family cruise in consecutive years. We sailed Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas last year. My wife wanted to do Carnival this year to have something to compare it to. We left the MD, VA area by flying down to Orlando a day prior to the cruise. We rented a car from Budget and we were on our way to the WorldQuest Resort right outside of Disney. It was seven of us traveling this year so we stayed in a three bedroom. Fabulous place!
Saturday, 5 July we headed to Port Canaveral. The drive was a manageable 50 minutes to the Budget location. From there we were shuttled to the pier which is about 5 minutes away. We were all excited seeing the ship in port. We checked our bags with the porters, went through security, received our sign and sail cards and were on the Glory within 45 minutes. Great Check in process. As we first got on we immediately noticed a size different. The Glory's Promenade and lobby areas are a lot smaller. We headed up to the buffet on the Lido deck. The food there was ok that first day we were not really impressed by the looks on the faces of the staff. Some of them looked like they we being held hostage. We finally made it down to or cabins and this is where we first gave Glory the edge. The room was a lot bigger and very clean. We had an outside room on the Riviera deck (1). The drawers and cabinets appeared to be new. I actually unpacked my bag and utilized the space. I loved having a room with a view. I am spoiled now. Ranil our cabin steward took very good care of us all week. After the Muster (lifeboat) drill, we sailed away and prepared for dinner. Our Waiter (Donavan) was great all week! The dining room was noticeably smaller. My chair was sometimes bumped by other waiters serving tables behind me. The food however especially the Melting Chocolate cake was a little better the RCI. The food was well seasoned.
Our First stop, Nassau was very nice as we had a taxi driver give us a three hour tour of the island, which included a stop at the Atlantis Hotel and Casino. Very impressive especially the Aquarium. This is a must see. Kudos to our driver who was very well versed in all that we saw.
We spent the next day at sea. We wandered the ship and found it very tricky finding some places. The show that evening was great. It was a performer doing Motown. At the end of the show, we were told to stick around as a special guest had boarded in Nassau. Stevie Wonder came out and sang for about a minute. I really don't believe it was him..... The more I think about it, I convince myself more and more it was not him. Anyway the shows were good.
The next stop was St. Thomas we caught a cab and asked to be taken to Magen's Bay as we had heard that is one of the top 10 beaches in the world. One word -- Overrated! We should have gone to Coki beach instead. The scenery driving there and back was breathtaking, but the beach itself is just average and there is a $4 cover charge to get in. I love the beach and sea water so i was content to be in it, but i know next time where to go.
Our last stop was St. Maarten. We caught a cab to Little Bay Beach. Great experience there. The beach was not crowded and the kids had a great time Jet Skiing as did I. The sunburn was well worth it...
The last two days were spent at sea. I do not recommend this itinerary unless you know for sure that the ship can keep your attention. RC's Mariner of the seas spoiled us by having a full basketball court, nine hole mini golf an ice skating rink and the Promenade deck was like a shopping mall with an occasional parade. Much to do. The Glory although one of Carnival's larger ships has a lot less area space for those activities. We played bingo, did pretty well in the casino, Although I went in with a medium budget, the pictures once again got me. The all came out great. We had to vote on which ones to keep, so be prepared for that.
Getting off the ship was where I really had a problem with Carnival. If we would have known we would have kept our luggage and did the self checkout. The number calling thing was very slow. We were all in the 30's. After waiting for about an hour and a half for them to call seven numbers we decided to press our luck and get off the ship. That part was not a problem. We breezed through customs with no problem. When we got to the carousel with the bags, they were only up to 23. We had 30, 31 and 33. They would not put more bags on until people we taking them off. It seem like there was not a steady flow coming from the ship. After another hour and a half, I was able to get the right person to go in the back and get our bags. This process must be updated or maybe they just had a bad day...
10 months to plan and gone in one week. Overall we had a wonderful time. The Glory grew on a couple of us as the week went on. The younger folks in our group did not like the ship as much, but had a good time nevertheless. You really cannot go wrong cruising.
We are already planning a family and friends cruise for next July on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas.