Carnival Glory Cruise Review by gander24: Glory Hybrid Review from Both A 4th Timer & A New Cruiser!!
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Glory Hybrid Review from Both A 4th Timer & A New Cruiser!!
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
We are a mid-20s couple that chose the Glory based on price and amenities. We're trying to write this from both our perspectives, so bare with us! Without further ado, here goes!
Her: Been on 3 cruises, but this was a first with Carnival - had no idea what to expect with this line
Him: First time cruiser!
THE NIGHT BEFORE:
Him: We drove down from Durham, NC, leaving at 4:30 a.m. We arrived in Cocoa Beach around 3:30 and checked in at the La Quinta since they had a cruise/park package. It was great to get down the day before and basically rest up before the vacation started.
Her: We were picked up by the Cocoa Beach shuttle @ La Quinta around 11:15 and were on the ship by noon. On RCI, I'd had the best and worst of embarkation processes. Princess had it down to a science. On one RCI, we were in line for 2 and a half hours, but on another it was almost walk-on. On the Carnival Glory, it really was a middle-of-the-road ordeal. It was More organized yet required about a half hour to an hour of lines and checkpoints. Everyone was REALLY friendly!
Him: It was extremely busy when we pulled up to the port. The lines seemed long at first but it was constantly moving. It seemed like as you got closer to the ship, the workers knew more what they were doing and the process sped up and I got more excited!
Her: We were on deck 1 in an inside room (i.e. "the cheap seats") but still felt VERY well taken care of. Loved, loved, loved the closet space! The bathroom had a lot of nifty shelves which made organizing stuff very convenient. Our room was pretty much flawless. I was very impressed with the layout and maneuverability of the room. We unpacked right away and our empty suitcases stored neatly under the beds.
Him: It was actually a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. The toilet was a lot of fun :) It's really functional with three closets and lots of drawer space so you don't feel like you're cramped. It was a very good room. The room steward took very good care of the room, with the exception of forgetting a Caper one night but that wasn't a big deal.
THE CONDITION OF THE SHIP:
Her: Spotless. Beautiful. This ship is so ridiculously clean. With all the glass surfaces and shiny things, I thought I'd see fingerprints and smudges and messes everywhere by 5 p.m. Nope! It was incredibly well taken care of, but not in the way that it's imposing on you that you're always seeing people clean. The colors are beautiful and the whole boat is just simply fun to look at.
Him: It was absolutely great. There is no dirt, the carpets are spotless, never any fingerprints or spills, and yet we never saw anybody clean up besides room stewards working on rooms. It just somehow got done when we weren't looking.
THE LIDO FOOD:
Her: The selection could have been better, but what was there was unique. The dessert table thingie was enticing. Note to new cruisers don't get fooled by the long line outside the grill the first day. Move inside to the Red Sail. We waited in line for like 30 minutes for a hot dog not realizing there was more food inside. Fish and Chips WAS incredible like we read online. In fact, we went there about 3 times over the course of the cruise and just kept coming back for more. We didn't discover the Oriental station until day 5, boy did we miss out. Pizza was pretty good for 24/7 pizza - I actually was expecting pretty bad pizza but some nights after a late-night comic, it tasted sooo good! I recommend the De Chevre pizza or the Pan pizza. Sushi wasn't open nearly as often as we liked... it was delicious and it would have been great to have it for lunch instead of the 5-8:15 p.m. runs it had.
Him: The lido food was good. There was plenty to choose from and it was great to have it available right then and there. I figured that the lines once you were inside weren't that bad. The grill lines were always horrible. We never tried the deli. Like she said, it would've been nice to find the oriental food earlier because it was really great and the sauces were really good. I thought the pizza was really good! It was a great late-night snack. It seemed like as the cruise went on, the pizza guy got friendlier and friendlier. It would have been nice if sushi was open longer, but the guy working didn't hesitate to give you as much as you wanted if you asked for it.
THE DINING ROOM:
Her: Highlight of the cruise, by far. When I was on RCI I was far from impressed with the food. On the Glory, EVERY LITTLE THING tasted wonderful, my scale back home proves it :/ I think what truly made our dining experience wonderful was our waiter and the tablemates we were assigned. We had a good old time with him and I have to say, I don't think I've ever eaten so much in my entire life. On lobster night, we were joking with our tablemates how 2 of our tablemates were missing and how we wouldn't mind eating their lobster tails. From that moment on, Putu (our waiter) just kept bringing 'em out! We were rolling on the floor laughing every time another lobster tail came out. He knew we absolutely loved trying extra appetizers and entrees, so he never flinched when we said we wanted more. Do NOT leave the dining room hungry!!! Enjoy your cruise and ask for whatever you want!! Desserts were marvelous - TIRAMISU is better than any I have ever had on land and that is hard to top. The chocolate melting cake really is heaven in a dish too.
Him: WOW. I don't see how anybody could ever leave there still hungry!! The food was absolutely AMAZING and it kept coming! You can order as many of anything as you want on the menu.. trust me, I had 4 lobster tails :) The waitstaff is absolutely amazing. They catered to our every need. They tell you what's going on around the ship for fun, for food, and where to "boogie boogie" (per Putu, our waiter). Definitely eat the chocolate melting cake. Go out on a limb and try the snails! There was nothing to complain about. I looked forward to it each and every day. We never once skipped dinner in the dining room, even when we were really tired from our shore excursions.
Both: The fact that our waiter had an awesome sense of humor really added to our dining. Ourselves and our new friends (tablemates from all areas of the country) were cracking up because every 5 minutes, you'd hear these waiters break out into a REALLY horrible, off-key version of Happy Birthday. It was hilarious. It probably would have been annoying if it hadn't been so off tune... but that made it funny. We were joking with our waiter that the song just wouldn't stop. So we planned a trick we got our assistant waiter, John, to bring us a cake with a candle in it and told him it was our waiter's birthday (Putu). When John came up with the "birthday cake," our whole table belted out the Happy Birthday song in the same off-key, joyful way... it was hilarious. Putu was tickled even though it wasn't his birthday and it made for a very memorable night.
Her: The staff and activities on the Carnival Glory are designed to really try to put every single person in the moment to have something to go back home and be proud of. On other cruises I'd been on, it seemed like there were a select few that got to be "ship famous" for something. But on Carnival, there are SO many opportunities to win little rinky-dink prizes that you have the time of your life working for. I never knew bingo could get so LOUD. The game shows were great, the trivia sessions were great! Name That Tune by the piano was crazy hard. Karaoke was a little slow at times but what better opportunity to embarrass yourself than in front of 20 people rather than 200? The highlight of the entertainment had to be the comics, though. We went to the two different adult comedy shows and laughed our butts off. I could not believe the things you were allowed to say on a Carnival cruise ship... boy was it hilarious!! Definitely stay awake long enough for that!
Him: I thought the entire entertainment staff was very friendly. I was able to get on stage twice within the first two days and the host was recognizing me throughout the ship thereafter. I felt with the entertainment on this boat, each person travelling is able to have a unique experience. The first show we went to (Living in America song/dance) was much more elaborate than I thought it was going to be. I didn't expect anything that loud or professional! The fact that they bring in real comedians is a huge plus for adults. The casino was a lot of fun and it is a very fair casino. The dealers joke along with you and actually want you to win. We could've walked away from there $135 in the up if we didn't decide to "take a chance" the last night, haha. The downside to the casino is that smoking is allowed. Nevertheless, we spent a lot of great time in the casino and didn't walk away big losers - we broke even. We stopped by the piano bar (Cinna-bar) and got a good kick out of everybody cutting lose and having a great time. Maybe next time I'll karaoke...maybe.
Her: Very clean, actually enough deck chairs for everyone. We had a blast on the slide. I saw an 80-year-old lady even enjoying herself on the slide. Flying down the water slide was one of the highlights of the trip, as silly as that sounds!
Him: Very clean and very well planned out to accomodate as many people as it does without seeming crowded. Great access to food and bathrooms. There is good music. The slide is a ton of fun. We did it over and over and over again! It's also nice that there is a retractable roof over the back pool area.
Him: It was my first foreign country. It seemed a lot of fun but it would have been nice if we had been there longer. We want to see Atlantis... will have to catch that next time.
Her: We didn't book any excursions as we were only there til 2. We just milled around the local shops and that was plenty.
Her: We booked with Sunny Liston and did not regret it. From the moment we corresponded through emails, I knew it was going to be a great time. The views you get on this tour are PHENOMENAL. There is no way you will go on this tour and have a bad time. First we did a little shopping and it was the perfect amount of time. Next, we headed out to see the island. You have to have the banana daquiri at the Botanical Gardens. The whole tour was amazing. The highlight was visiting Sapphire Beach and snorkling for the first time over a reef at only $5 an hour. We even saw a sting ray. It was breathtaking.
Him: St. Thomas was absolutely beautiful. We booked with Sunny and wouldn't have booked anything different. He showed us the entire island from top to bottom along with great music. Everyone was singing the songs by the end of the trip. We will definitely book with him again. Sapphire Beach was definitely the highlight. It was my first time ever snorkling and I got to see my first coral reef and sting ray. Great times, but absolutely exhausted at the end! (In a good way)
Her: We booked with Bernard. Got off the ship around 8:45, and Bernard's group waited for some people that didn't show up for the tour which set us back to about 9:30. I think people were aggravated that we waited but hey, what can you do? I thought it was commendable that he didn't wanna leave anyone behind. This tour was VERY different than Sunny's not loud and partying, but rather a really in-depth look at St. Maarten as a whole. We stopped by a lookout point where Sunny and John showed us different sea life creatures hanging out in the bay... I nearly died when I got to hold a sea urchin it made for a really funny picture with my expression!! :) There were free refreshments throughout the trip: apple juice, water, Coke, Sprite, rum punch, and beer. It was one of those situations where you did NOT feel awkward for asking for more drinks. John was a great tour guide. Next we went to Orient Beach and had a fantastic time. Watch out and apply sunscreen OFTEN! We also did a little swimming with our own goggles and stumbled across another reef. We didn't rent snorkle equipment this time but still had a fantastic experience. After Orient, we stopped by the french capital for a brief burst of looking around. Then we headed to what I consider to be the highlight, Maho Beach. Seeing a Delta 737 land RIGHT OVER YOUR HEAD is perhaps the coolest thing you will ever experience. Look this up on youtube! It's mind-blowing.
Him: We booked with Bernard and he was right where he said he was going to be, although it was mildly frustrating waiting for people that never showed up. But he didn't make us wait too long as he was just trying to be a good businessman and the tour started without much of a delay. He really knows his way around the island, as we saw more of St. Maarten than we saw of St. Thomas. It was nice to hear some of the stories of St. Maarten and just for the record, no, it has never snowed. He stopped on the Dutch/French border for pictures. It was also nice that he gave people the opportunity to go to a clothing optional beach - some people just want to cut loose. From there, we went to Maho. Maho was definitely the highlight of St. Maarten. It's just like the online videos. From Maho, Bernard takes you back to Philipsburg for all the shopping you can handle then back to the boat in plenty of time for dinner. We were tired from such an exciting tour so we decided to skip the shopping and he was more than happy to drive us back to the pier.
Both: We loved the population of cruisers on this boat. It's a shame we will all never be in the same place at the same time. It's amazing being able to connect with people from all walks of life and all ages.. we had dinner with people our age yet struck up great conversation with folks much older than us in other venues. I think on a cruise, everyone is equal because you're all there for the same reason. The people on board were so much fun and I really think that's what it's all about taking advantage of being on vacation. You can strike up the best conversation with anyone you meet and have an awesome time.
Her: The nice thing about this ship is that you aren't inundated with fake courtesy. I almost felt bad on other cruiselines that the staff were required to be Mickey-Mouse happy with grins plastered on their faces all the time for my sake. They say hello and smile, but for whatever reason it felt more real. I really felt like this staff was genuine and didn't have to be in the forefront all the time. Each staff member we encountered was courteous and pleasant without being imposing.
Him: I felt that the staff were humans! This was great. They just worked hard to make your experience the best that it could be.
Her: We did self-assist and it was not nearly as chaotic as I thought it would be! We opted to this because of a long drive back, and we wanted to get a head-start.
Him: It's amazing how quick we were able to get off. We were off the boat within an hour of waking up.
Her: Carnival is officially my new favorite line! I admit, I was a little wary because I'd always heard Carnival was lower on the ladder but they truly proved themselves with me. We are looking at booking our next cruise for our honeymoon and were disappointed to see a Carnival cruise may not fit in the timeline we need. Til then, we'll be counting down the days til the next time we can sail Carnival!!
Him: This was my first cruise and I'm hooked. I can't image spending a vacation not on a boat. Less
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