This was my Husband (54) and mine(52) 9th cruise, third with Carnival. We picked the Glory for it's itinerary including the three days at sea. We feel the sea days are very relaxing. We flew United(from LAX) on a red eye and arrived in Orlando @6:30 Saturday morning. We met some friends at The Waffle House (always when we find one) and had a nice breakfast. We sailed with our two sons, 24 and 23,(there 4th cruise) and the oldest sons girlfriend(1st cruise) also 23. The three young adults shared an outside cabin on the main deck and my husband and I had a balcony on deck 7, the Empress deck. The cabins were clean and had plenty of storage. The cabin stewards took great care of us all week.
Embarkation was terrific. It took longer waiting for my husband to get shuttled back from Avis turning the rental car in then it did to get on the ship. We were in line getting our sign and sail cards and on the ship within 25 minutes.Very organized, just wonderful. We weren't hungry so we looked around, ended up at the pool bar and ordered a drink to start the cruise off on a good note. So far so good.
The Muster Drill is mandatory within 24 hours of setting sale. Carnival does it before setting sail BUT starts sailing while the drill is going on. Everyone is cheated from being up on deck and getting the thrill of seeing the ship start leaving port. Lots of grumbling about that.
Our luggage all arrived before our late dinner seating so at 8:15 we sent up to see who our dinner partners would be. We sat next to a great family from New Mexico. The Mother had won the cruise in a raffle from a previous cruise and purchased a cruise for her son who just finished school. All five of their family members were nice company all week.
Platinum Dining- This dining room has won "Dining Room of the Month" from all ships four months in a row. They are friendly and sincere on their commitment to serve you well. From other cruises, I can see the staff has been cut in size and with extra workload, the service is slower and many nights we missed scheduled shows as we were in the dining room still. But the service from Julian and Dion was very good. The food was pretty good most evenings, always found a good variety. The only disappointment was on the desserts. They were not that good and a few at our table just ordered ice cream most of the nights. We dined in the Emerald Room alternative Dining one night and found the $30 cover charge to be well worth it. The service was the best I have every had and we eat frequently at very fine establishments. The food was first rate. Reading reviews before we go, I always wondered what people meant when the complained about having to eat the same thing for breakfast everyday. There were soooo many choices for food all day long, I can't figure anyone complaining. I mean, what else do you want for breakfast? The Pizza, Calzones (yummy) and especially the Deli and the Fish n Chips were winners. I personally ate in the buffet once the whole cruise.
Enough about food except to say...there's plenty of it.
Rooms- Public rooms are beautiful....all named after colors. The dining rooms are Golden and Platinum, the show lounge is the Amber Palace and the rooms are stunning. The Piano Bar is nice and the Casino is huge (please try to find my missing money). The Cinn a bar is nice also.
We were on the Eastern Caribbean thank goodness. Tropical Faye headed one way, we headed the other and the week as wonderful. Nassau- we only stopped here for 5 hours. We hired a taxi to show us around (25 each) let us at Atlantis Resort for a little while and took us back to the ship area and tried Conch Fritters ..oh sooo good. Don't be late getting back. The captain left a couple who didn't watch the time. ST THOMAS- my favorite. We again hired a local driver (Vinnie) and for $20 bucks (we hooked up with a family of 10)and he took us all around...go to MountainTop for unbelievable views of Meagans Bay and St Johns..(Mountaintop-HOME OF THE BEST BANANA DAIQUIRI...then of course he let us in to to SHOP. We also went to Coki's beach for a couple of hours and that was great. ST MARTEEN- My son's GF favorite port. The did a Water Blaster Boat excursion that they thought was ok, but loved the scenery. We went to Dawn's Beach. It was okay. The 75 cents local beer made it better. We went to town had finger foods and drinks, purchased the best Belgium chocolates even gambled in one of the islands small little casino's.
Shows- This is where Carnival needs to improve. Most of the shows were week. The leads singers were not very good. The comedians were decent. Staff- Wonderful. Some of the best I have seen. The cruise director "Butch" has energetic and had a way of wanting guests to get involved. Brilliant.
everyone aways wants to know about what food stood out- Duck, ribs, all the soups, lobster, prime rib, pork chop, crab cake, bread pudding and the souffle the last night.
There are some areas that need attention. The decks were not cleaned up fast enough. Dishes and food were left on chairs, tables and decking too long. There should be a pool area for adults. The kids overtake all the pools and the adults don't get to relax. Also these same kids run up and down the ship and the hallways oblivious to everyone else. Wake up parents There are other people vacationing also. I never let my kids act like that. My sons thanked us for not allowing that kind of rude behavior. We didn't use the Spa this time (lost my money in the casino so went without the massage) This was vacation for relaxing and enjoying my family. With that as our goal, we had the best of times.
Disembarkation- We carried out our own luggage- took about 15 minutes, it was the easiest smoothest experience. Done to a science. We are looking for a cruise in Dec to celebrate our 25th anniversary....can't wait.....don't you wait either. Life is too short. Go for it. Remember, don't sweat the small stuff....have fun (When we got off we went to the Space Center for about 7 hours...stayed at the Hilton Garden Hotel and had a wonderful meal at the Cracker Barrel.)