I should say right off that I don't inflate scores and that a three is good, a four is very good and a 5 is near perfection. I will mostly comment on things that were excellent (the food) and areas that in my opinion need improvement (the entertainment).
On our Sept 6 Glory cruise we were racing a hurricane bearing in on southern Florida, fast on its heels was a second storm. For a full week we watched the weather channel as the storm got closer, though not real strong we were concerned with our drive down the coast and decided to add a day to our vacation. Driving down on Thursday night we got to Daytona just a storm band had cleared the area leaving a humid and damp La Quinta in its wake. The hotel was nice but simple and we were in a newer section that was cleaner feeling. The next morning found the storm had passed and although not clear it was not raining, with a day to kill we decided that Sea World was not to far out of the way and with a AAA right next door to the hotel we were able to get a discounted ticket so that sealed the deal. The park was virtually empty except for the British soccer fans that seemed to be 50% of the customers. We enjoyed our day, and our complimentary beverages, never got wet as it always rained while we were in a venue, and finished the day with a quick trip to the Cocoa Beach Days Inn. The hotel was fine for a night and we were able to leave our car in a well-lit parking area for the week. With the AAA discount the room was $72 and we were able to shuttle to the port for a slight fee. We took a similar shuttle back to the hotel at the end of the cruise and everything was fine.
The ship was very nice and clean and probably the largest we have been on in 20 or so cruises. The layout of the ship put most venues on a couple floors. We did not care for several aspects of the ship, not being to walk from stern to aft except on one floor, lounges being tucked in corners where they are easily missed unless there is music being played. We love to listen to live music and one of the most difficult things we find on ships is not knowing where to find a band of our liking on the ship. I wrote a note to Carnival suggesting on the first sea day to have a short "show" of the lounge acts. This could be done in the main theatre and would allow the guest to hear all of the performers and find the act the works for them. It was day 3 before we found the group that would be our favorite for the week, Summer Breeze, we never got to hear the piano player nor the band in the Ivory lounge as it just takes to long to make your way to each of the lounges and hear enough of a act to give them a honest listen. That said, Summer Breeze was one of the best lounge acts we have seen and we probably would have still gone to listen to them.
The entertainment in the main theatre has gotten weaker over the years in my opinion, and Carnival it seems like to go with magic, comedians, and novelty acts. I like my magic/illusion small and personal, think David Blaine in the bar, card in my back pocket kind of thing, not the girl cut in half, of course we got the girl cut in half. I like my comedians quiet and funny, think Bill Cosby, we got the guy who thinks swallowing the mike and blowing out the speaker is funny. The dancers on the production shows were very good, the singer just all right.
The room was and inside and was good and not terribly small, the bathroom was very nice and the new one-piece floor felt especially clean. The small refrigerator kept nothing cold, and the air conditioner unfortunately did the same. I asked the steward several time but it would get better for one night and then go back to 75-78 degrees.
The food was excellent, both in the dining room and the Lido buffet. The roast beefs were especially good, cooked just right and with juices/sauces that were very complimentary. We had the late seating and this allowed me to visit the buffet at 6, there I would get a modest "snack" usually a slice or 2 of the carved meat and potato and possibly a salad or desert. I was then prepped for the main meals and I wouldn't find it necessary to order multiple meals, which always makes me self-conscious. I'm strictly a beef man but my wife will go for beef, fish, pork, shrimp and of course lobster. Every single beef dish I had was excellent, every dish my wife had was as well, she especially liked the grouper. Deserts were all good and most salads were good although the Caesar was a bit fishy for both of us. The pizza the 24-hour bar was good but not great. For lunch or a snack coming back from a shore day I would recommend the steak sandwich from the back deck with fries.
Overall we had a great time and we would definitely do it again, was it the best cruise we ever took, no, but it was a great value non-the less. In fact we are booked for next September already!