We sailed Glory 8/30/08. It was one of the longest and most relaxing vacations I have ever had. We left on Wednesday and flew to Orlando airport which was well worth the money rather than drive. It was my husband and I and we met up with some friends we met off cruise critic who had flown in the same day as us. Rather than pay the outrageous shuttle prices/taxi prices to Port Canaveral we split the price of a rental car from Budget with them and stayed over night in Orlando at the Super 8 Motel. Do not stay there! It looked fine during the day but at night the shady characters came out. We did have a good laugh there which made it all worth it.
We got up the next morning and proceeded to Cocoa Beach with our new friends! They had went to Sea world earlier that morning while we slept in. We had originally booked at the Radisson in Port Canaveral for Thurs & Fri night but they were not accommodating with their price when we stated we did not need their cruise package parking anymore. They were quite rude and therefore I changed my Hotel to Fawlty Towers in Cocoa Beach with Our CC friends two days before we left home. The rate was great at 67.00 per night. You get this rate by booking off their website. We saved a lot of money there. It was within walking distance of everything including the beach and right beside Ron Jon's surf shop. This motel is an older motel so do not expect the Ritz. It has been remodeled and it was great for a stay in Cocoa beach. It WAS CLEAN! They will shuttle you to the port for 6.00 pp and also I did see ppl with cruise packages from there that will pick you up from the airport. The pool was outstanding. The people were very helpful and friendly. They also have a Tiki bar which Samantha is a great bartender! The pictures do not lie and that is what you get. We spent a relaxing two days and The food at the Sandbar restaurant by the beach was awesome! You gotta try it for the day and night. We met up there with several of our CC board members and proceeded to hang out with them the whole cruise! All the rooms have an entrance right on to the pool which is located in the middle of a courtyard. Very nice.
We were picked up by the shuttle at Fawlty towers at 12:30 and went to to the port. The lines were deceiving because they moved fast and were very organized. We were handed a slip which cancelled our Nassau stop due to Hurricane Gustav. We were informed we had an immediate credit of 20.00 pp on our sign and sail card which in fact was there when we checked our folio when on board. We were dropped off at 1:03 at the port and were on the ship at 1:25. Fantastic!!! That was the best embarkation process I have ever had.
The ship- We boarded the ship and knew we would be on board with the morning talk show "the Monsters" which we were concerned about but they were not bad at all.However, we did not know we would be on board with some group that was the "soul classic tour". I will talk about that later.
We had a dining time we requested was late but after we met our friends we requested to have a table change to sit with all our cruise critic friends. We were immediately accommodated and spent our formal dining room dinners with good friends and great wait staff. We had Gede & Gede as our waiters and they were awesome. The lido deck food was as expected and the Fish and chips was wonderful.
The ship was clean and the decor was not as loud as some carnival ships. We always saw someone cleaning or going out of their way to keep the buffet lines clean. There was alot of breaking in lines by some rude passengers which I encountered alot of. The crew and staff were great. It was the passengers that I was irritated with. When you are on a ship be respectful!!! 3500 people is alot to deal with.
We did choose to cruise in Hurricane season so although the weather was bad I cannot complain. It was my choice to cruise this time of year. We had beautiful weather while in Florida and it did rain on us during sail away but we were on our balcony and we were fine. We did get several days of rain which cancelled all of the planned deck parties and other outside activities but I have to commend carnival on their efforts to move the entertainment inside. We had a blast doing the colors parade and moving from bar to bar and playing games and dancing. The white heat disco was always hopping and seemed to be a hot spot on the ship. We danced so much it was exhausting. We are both in our late 30's and still enjoyed this club. We do have a major complaint with carnival for one incident which is the Karaoke bar. (ebony Cabaret is where it was) Every night the capers would have it posted that Karaoke was happening. We got to Karaoke twice! It was only for a couple of hours each time and the Karaoke Guy was one of the most rude and dull people I have ever encountered. We were told we had to leave for private functions every time after Karaoke had been going on only an hour or so. This was not the major complaint though. It was that the Karaoke was cancelled due to a private function almost every night in the Ebony Cabaret. This was the Soul Tour that took up this lounge. Carnival never moved Karaoke to another room even after multiple complaints by passengers. Carnival needs to have rooms just for private functions. 3000 other passengers paid to use these public rooms. I do not think it is fair to shut us out of them for group functions every night of a cruise! We all movedto the piano bar next to the Ebony and Russell was great. He let us sing with him by his Piano and even played what we requested. He was alot of fun. This bar seemed to be packed alot of the time also.
Ports- Nassau was cancelled, St. Thomas was basically rained out. We did catch an island tour with Chicago. He was great. It was 20.00 pp and we had a nice ride. We wanted to go to Trunk Bay but the rain did not allow for us to do that. I want to see it in the sunshine.
St. Maarten- We caught a cab for 6.00 pp straight to orient beach. Our driver let us off at Bikini beach. It was fantastic. We went Jet skiing and snorkeling here. They will take you out to a great snorkeling site off the beach and leave you until you are ready to come back. It was 15.00 to rent the gear for the day and 18.00 for two chairs and an umbrella. The Jet skis were 50.00 for 30 min or 90.00 for an hour. We did have fun doing that. The beach farther down have better deals regarding chairs an such but seem to be more crowded and not as nice. Bikini beach was a great spot. The nude beach is not what you think for you young guys looking to see some beautiful women---There was nothing beautiful about that at all. There was an old man butt naked walking on a cane down the beach!!! No kidding! We stayed at Orient/Bikini beach all day and made it through two down pours but the sun came back out. On the way back to the boat we hit more rain but it let up enough to do some shopping at the dock and we bought rum and other things for dirt cheap!!!
All in all this was a good cruise. We had some very cool cruise critic friends we hung out with and made some life long friends. We are all planning a trip together on the Fantasy out of New Orleans. July 25, 2009.