This was our 23rd Cruise. Mostly with Carnival & RCL.
We chose Carnival over RCL due to the following preferences:
Carnival Glory's quality of Lounge Entertainment. You spend 7 hours of your Cruise day enjoying Lounge music so this is very important to us.
The music in the Lobby Bar was excellent: "Summer Breeze." This Duo appealed to an American audience doing a great job with Popular music from the 50's to contemporary.
The Entertainment person in charge of hiring music for the Glory deserves to be complimented.
The problem with Carnival with the Lobby Bar is that on the two formal nights they allow the Ship's photographers to intrude on what little space and seating that is available in the Lobby Bar area. On both nights the photographers set up a "back drop" just to the right of the Musical Duo which eliminated about 25% of what limited sitting available. The back drop also impeded what little dance floor space that was available.
This intrusion also occurred along the outer perimeter of the Lobby Bar also. I am concerned that unless I write about this and no one speaks up Carnival might allow the Photographers to take up even more room on future cruises.
Guests were forced to either stand up or depart the Lobby Bar due to the sitting area being seized by Photo back drops. [There is plenty of room for Photo back drops on the Promenade deck that would not deprive the guests of being able to enjoy the Lobby Bar limited seating area.]]
The music in the Casino Bar: "Joel" was also excellent. He did a great job with Country music. Joel played and sang very well. His performance was quality. Even though, I am not a Country music fan, I respect all types of music when it is performed by a quality musician. [ I have a music degree in Music Education]
The problem with Carnival with their Promenade deck area is that they allow smoking on the casino gaming machines that adjoin the non smoking area! Their non smoking gaming machines are inside towards the middle of the Casino? ¿why not put the non smoking gaming machines along the walking non smoking area instead of having smoking gaming machines along the walking non smoking Promenade area?
The two main shows in the main show room were excellent. The two comedians were very weak. This is based on the crowd reaction.
The Illusionist was very good +
The pool outside music was "weak." Even though they were only two musicians...Carnival should pay their Pool area musicians better, and upgrade the quality. Since they are saving money with a Duo, instead of a Trio, Carnival should be more concerned with quality music at the Pool deck area. There are plenty of quality musicians available, if they would be willing to compensate their pool area musicians better. I think a Duo is a great idea, as long as Carnival hires quality Duos for their pool area.
I have notice the trend of decline in Carnival's pool area music over my past 7 cruises.
Another reason why we chose Carnival over RCL is Carnivals' outstanding choices for eating at all times of the day.
All food was very good; both in variety and preparation, in all dining rooms. +++
Carnival gives their passenger more food options in the latter part of the afternoon as well. Also, Carnival will open their morning buffet on the Lido deck earlier than RCL, especially if they see a need, I have observed where Carnival will even open their Buffet earlier than posted to accommodate guest that are awaiting entrance.
comparison to RCL's handling of buffet lines: re: Buffet Restaurant at other cruise lines: RCL Royal Caribbean Line:
Where as, RCL will stand there with a stop watch while their guests stand in long lines and not open their buffets until the limited posted time. We have returned from a RCL port and only find only their Pizza counter open to serve any type of food during the later part of the afternoon.
On Carnival, they anticipate that their guests are going to return from their afternoon excursions wanting to eat..and they keep their Grille area open + Buffet + Pizza open longer ++++.
The Carnival Glory was very very clean... there were workers cleaning in areas I didn't think could be cleaned +++
The Stateroom was well serviced, and most importantly the toilet and shower drain worked ++. On our 3 previous RCL cruises on the Sovereign of the Seas, we had to constantly plead for help, because the toilets would not flush, and the shower drain would over flow into the bathroom sink area!
The only problem we encountered with our Balcony Stateroom is that we could not enjoy the Balcony most times due to a Cigar smoker on the Balcony on our left, and numerous cigarette smokers on the Balcony on our right. We requested a non smoking Cabin, but it does little good when the adjoining Cabins are both smokers!
Another positive for Carnival is that they will facilitate embarkation at the ports of call by monitoring the crowd flow back onto the ship and will open up a second ramp to curtail any long lines.
Where as, RCL will only keep one ramp open to get back on the ship at the ports of call, while the RCL guests lines have backed up almost the entire length of the ship waiting to get back onto the ship at the various ports of call.
The Carnival Glory cruise director: Butch, was excellent! Butch was everything you would want a cruise director to be. He kept is informed, entertained, and was very honest in his advice in regards to the ports of call.
We were at sea during hurricane Ike... it made for only one day of rough sailing... but Carnival did a great job of keeping us informed, and a safe distance from hurricane Ike.
I hope this review was helpful for anyone trying to decide on Carnival v/s RCL at the Port Canaveral port.
Rfinnshw in Port Saint Lucie, Florida