Background Information Here is my best attempt at writing a review for my families Thanksgiving cruise on the Carnival Glory. We sailed on Saturday November 22-Saturday November 29th. I actually booked this cruise through a TA and was pretty happy with the cost of the cruise considering it was a holiday week. I was traveling with my DH, 2DD, Mom and Dad, Brother and Sister-in-law. We booked three inside guarantee cabins. Since we were leaving out of Port Canaveral, we decided it was more coast effective for us to drive the 12 hours than to fly. Of course we had booked this a year or so out in advance and that was before gas had gone up to $4/gal. Thank goodness it was cheaper by the time we left. About two months out from the cruise my brother and his wife decided they wanted to fly and contacted the TA. Carnival was not going to guarantee them a flight at first, but after a week or so they did get a flight. It was around $1000 for the two of them, ouch! We got our room numbers about six weeks before we sailed. We were all in the front of the ship. My mom was not happy and nervous because she gets sea sick easily. I didn't really care where we were as long as I was on the ship. My brother complained a little too because we are past guests and we had all hoped for an upgrade. I guess you have to be a high spender to get that.
Hotel Info (if any) We stayed at the Radisson Resort at the Port and would absolutely recommend this to others. I loved the idea of getting to leave our car there and there was a free shuttle to take you to the port. We left VA Thursday after I got off work around 3:45. We were going to drive until somewhere in GA, but as we got further and further and the DD's were sleeping we toyed with driving all the way. It would put us at the port at 3:30. I decided to call the hotel around midnight and asked if they had any rooms. The guy at the front desk was very nice and said that our room was ready and that since we were getting in after 3 AM that he would just do an early check in for us. That was great and we drove in and got there right at 3:30. This saved us an extra nights hotel pay. The beds were okay, I didn't quite get the whole sleep number bed thing, but I wasn't complaining.
We slept in the next morning and went to the Omelette Station for breakfast. We decided to just see what was around us that day. There was a cold front passing through Fla. and it was very chilly. We had not packed for such chilly weather, so we actually wound up buying some warm clothes that day and I am glad we did. We visited Ron Jon's where I searched for over thirty minutes for a t-shirt. My family was getting annoyed. There were just too many to choose from. We decided to head back to the hotel and to let the girls swim. It was cold and windy, but the pool was heated so my DH and dad took the DD's swimming. I sat bundled up on the chair and took a few pictures. The pool area is beautiful and the bar service was great. I would stay here again for sure. Very clean and reasonable rates. You sign up for a shuttle time and for the most part it was on time. I think our shuttle was five minutes late but that was because of traffic at the port.
Service and Dining I do have to say that the service does not seem to be as good on this ship as my past cruises on Triumph and Sensation. There were many times that getting a refill was hard because the dispensers only had water instead of lemonade or whatever. The hot chocolate was out often as well. I was able to get that about half the time. I only ordered room service one time. It took a long time to get the food, around 45 minutes for a grilled cheese. By the time it was there, it was cold and soggy for whatever reason. So after all that wait I ate about four bites. The pancakes on the buffet were always cold and tough. I am not sure why I kept getting them, but I was hoping for better each time. I seemed to get bagels and fruit for the most part and this was always good. The bacon was very greasy, but that is just my personal preference not to eat very greasy food. We usually did not get anything from the lunch buffet and opted for either the burgers, pizza or deli. Everytime we waited in the buffet line we found that the food was not something that we liked. The burgers, hot dogs, pizza, and deli sandwiches are good and were always fresh. My biggest gripe about the Lido deck is the desserts. They always look so good and then you get them and they have little to no taste. So I stuck with the ice cream, always a safe choice.
The dining room was another experience. We were in the Platinum dining room on the back of the ship. We had very rough seas for two days and being on the back with the vibration from the engine and the roughness of the waves made it quite interesting. Carnival can not help the weather so I am just making a note of our own experience. We were on the upper level and I loved where our table was. Very easy to find and close to the exit and a bathroom. DD's can not sit through any meal without going to the bathroom at least once. I found the food to be wonderful. Most of the people at our table would order multiple starters of entree's and everyone seemed to be pleased. Our waiter seemed to struggle a bit. It seemed as if he only had three tables. Two were larger tables that had around 8 people each and one was small with two people. These two people were right beside us and were very nice. They had the best service by far. They had wine and drinks ready for them every night. We had to struggle to get water. Their food was there first and always correct. Their desserts were always right and not melted. I guess serving two is much easier, but come on lets be fair to all the tables. The other big table seemed to get refills easier than us as well. Not sure what that was all about. Our waiter was nice and was very kind to our kids, but this was the worst service we have had on Carnival. A lot of our table ordered something with ice cream and it was always melted by the time we got it. So that was disappointing. I ordered a souffle one night and had to wait 10 minutes to eat it because the waiter did not put the cream sauce on it. The small table had the same dessert and immediately had the cream sauce. Still the food was great, but service could have been better. Still better than me having to cook.
Shore Excursions We usually opt not to do any excursions through Carnival. They are too expensive in our opinion. We just do our own thing. In Nassau, we walked around and went to the Straw Market. That was an experience. I am not sure I would do that again. It was very crowded and most of the vendors had the same stuff. I did not think the prices were all that great either. A lot of cheap knock offs that they would ask $75 dollars or more for and you could talk them down, but you could get them cheaper on the streets of New York. We then came back towards the ship and got a taxi and it took us over the the Atlantis. What a nice place that is. I wish we would have spent more time there. I recommend seeing that to anyone.
In St. Thomas, we were late getting there because of a small medical thing in Nassau plus rough seas. I think we were about 2 1/2 hours late. We got a taxi/pick-up with benches to take us on an island tour. I think we paid $20pp. We had the oldest pick up on the island. We were on this with some people from SC and they were fun company. Our driver really wasn't that great, but we made the trip fun anyway. St. Thomas is beautiful from high up, but getting there is soo windy. My sister in law was not feeling too good by the time we did get to the top. I just enjoyed the scenery and being on land that was not rocking so hard. We had very, very rough seas for two days and this was a welcome change.
Our last port was St. Maarten. I wanted to do the beach so me and SIL took the water taxi over and got two chairs and umbrella and many frozen drinks. We had a great time just people watching and enjoying the sun. The rest of my family got a taxi and did a 4 hour tour for $30pp. They enjoyed it, but the thing I heard the most about was their stop at Bikini beach. Apparently there were some women there who were not old and saggy. My DH, brother and Dad were very chatty about this. I tuned them out. I was stuck looking at saggy old men in speedos. Yuk!
Stateroom We were in room 2224, 2228, and 2214. Our room was 2224 and had two doubles pushed together to make a king. It also had two beds from the ceiling. Our room was clean and nice. I like that the bunks can be put away during the day. Our suitcases fit nicely under the bed and the storage was adequate. I am glad I brought extra hangers because there were not enough at all. The beds were very comfy, just as I remembered. Our room steward did pretty well. I was a little curious why we didn't always get new drink cups though. I had to wash ours out in the sink several times, but that is minor. The kids loved the towel animals. I am glad the bathroom had all the little shelves. A word to the wise, bring your own hair dryer. I did, but my mom did not and she had a hard time with holding the button down the whole time and the dryer was very weak. We were in the front of the ship under the Amber Palace stage. We were not in the room very much except for showering and sleeping. However, one night I was in the room while a show was going on and if you were trying to sleep you would have major problems. Very loud and booming music. I have mentioned about the rough seas and I will mention it again because you could hear the waves crashing on the hull of the ship in all of our rooms. My mom was in room 2214 even further to the front and her room was awful. The drawers would slam open and close with each crash of the wave. The movement seemed much worse in there as well. She was sick in her room the first two days. Not fun for her. I would not recommend this room. It was clean, but not sure about the location and the deal with the drawers. My brother was in 2228 and his room was clean also, but still loud from the stage. On a side note, we were across the hall from the most annoying child ever. The baby cried from early morning until night. There wasn't a time where you wouldn't walk down the hallway and hear it. Now I have kids, but I seriously considered calling the pursers desk to see if they could say something to the parents. There was no reason for them to allow the crying to go on that loudly and constant. I know you think I am nit picky on this, but this was not normal. They were very inconsiderate to the others around them. Even my kids commented on the crying. Still this is not on carnival, that is on those parents. I hope they read this and feel embarrassed. There were others on the hallway who felt just as annoyed with them.
Children's Clubs Camp Carnival is one of the main reasons we like Carnival. The kids love it. The only complaint I have at all is the time on sea days. You can take them in the morning from 9-11:30 or 11:45. I wish they would take into consideration those that do sleep in. We usually didn't even get to breakfast until 10 or so and that put the kids getting there at 10:45. It would be better if it was more like 12:30 or 1:00. We don't expect them to keep the kids all day, but sometimes the morning seemed like it wasn't worth the effort and the kids would complain that they weren't there long enough. I only have good things to say about the staff.
Entertainment The shows were good. One show was cancelled due to rough seas but was made up later in the week. The Rock Down Broadway ended on this cruise and the new show was debuted on this cruise as well. I think they were good for cruise ship entertainment. We saw all the comedy acts and enjoyed them. I did not like the Just an illusion show, but everyone else did. I think I was tired and just ready to go to bed. I did like the Carnival Legends show, but others said it was the worst. I thought it was funny seeing the passengers up there trying their best. I am not sure what the other people thought the show was going to be. There was always something to do or see. I was happy.
Disembarkation My parents insisted we do the self-disembark. We had a long drive home and they wanted to be first off the ship. Well we were late getting to port because of engine trouble. People were anxious to get off and catch flights. The lobby area on 3rd floor was a mad house. It was hot, crowded and full of rude pushy people. I was separated from my husband twice and they tried to separate me and my kids once, but I got pushy right back. There was a group of elderly asians that were the most forceful and pushy. I found them to be quite rude. People were stuck on the elevator because there was nowhere to go in the lobby. The staff did the best they could given the situation, but I was frustrated. I don't think this is the norm, but it was not fun. Once we were finally cleared, the line moved fairly quickly considering. I did not know we would have to take our luggage down escalators. This was fine for me, but my DD's were scary with their luggage. I was a nervous wreck thinking that they would fall. Once off the ship, everything was smooth sailing haha. Really this was the best disembarkation we have had. The waiting in the lobby was hectic, but unusual I think.
Summary Overall, I had a great cruise. The weather was not ideal. Very cold in Fla. when we left and windy for two straight days. They had the barf bags out and all. A lot of people were sea sick. I usually get sea sick, but I tried Bonine this time and ginger capsules and was fine. I felt a little ill one night right at bed time, which was also the roughest night by far, but once asleep was fine and better by morning. Just make sure to take the pills before you get on the ship and continue. Once you are sick, there is not a lot you can do. I liked the Glory and really liked being able to drive to the port and the hotel situation. The service was not as good as previous cruises. Crying baby was not fun to be around. Wish we had the golden dining room, more mid ship. Lido desserts need to have flavor. They need to refill beverage stations more often. We did not get a soda card because I had read on here that it was fountain drinks that were flat. I noticed around the second day that it was all can drinks, so in hindsight I wish we had purchased one. Sometimes drink service was slow during the shows, sometimes not. I don't know what makes the difference with that. Dining room service could have been better, but food was great. The only midnight buffet was mexican and wasn't all that great. We ate a couple of things, but the rest was bland. The chocolate buffet was pretty good, but the chocolate fountain was dark choc. and bitter. I like milk choc. so I didn't like those things. The milkshakes were great. Go to the coffee shop near the casino and order one. We did not realize they had those until the last day. Probably a good thing because they are expensive, but tasty. I would stay away from the rooms we had. You should probably stay away from the casino as well. We had fun, but lost a lot of money in there. Haha! Wish the seas had been calmer at the beginning, but coming home the seas were very calm. I mentioned the engine trouble, one night the captain stopped the ship for three hours for them to work on the engine. I think the Glory may be having some issues. Lots of delays lately, mostly medical, but I wonder if sometimes it had been mechanical. I am just saying, if you have been reading the boards for the Glory there have been a lot of issues lately. I am ready to go again.
If you have any questions I will be happy to answer them.