This is a review of the 7/18-7/25 Eastern Caribbean sailing of the Carnival Glory. This was our fourth Carnival cruise. To sum up our cruise, we simply had a great time.
Port Canaveral is a ways (long ways) from our home, so we drove in two days early. Wow, what a marathon of a trip with our 2-yr-old son. With frequent stops, the trip took us 20 hours. One stop was Crescent Beach, Florida, so we could see the ocean and play on the beach before it got dark. It was beautiful there.
All told, we left at 2:00 a.m. Thursday morning and arrived in Cocoa Beach at the La Quinta Inn at around 11:00 p.m. I booked the cruise package at the La Quinta and it worked well. The hotel is pretty good for a budget option. It is close to the beach and it has a nice pool area. We went to Lori Wilson park Friday which is right up the road from it. Also on Friday we ate lunch at Florida's Seafood Bar and Grill, shopped at Ron Jon's, and ate dinner at Fish Lips. Friday night we went down to the Cocoa Beach pier and walked around and looked for crabs on the beach with our son.
Saturday Cocoa Beach Shuttle came to pick us up around 11:30 a.m. We met some nice people on the shuttle bus - a couple who had been on many cruises who were taking their grandkids on a Disney cruise and a younger couple going on their first cruise - the Carnival Glory.
Embarkation was a breeze. I was impressed with the process at Port Canaveral compared to the other ports we had embarked at. Once on the ship we headed to Fish-n-Chips. It was nice and quiet up there as the crowds had yet to discover it. I think we ordered nearly every dish and we all had a good time sharing the food. After lunch we went to check out our room on the Lido Deck - cabin 9260. Our room was ready and we checked out the "secret deck" down the hallway. Unfortunately, the door to this deck was locked on Sunday and remained locked the rest of the cruise.
The muster drill came and went and we decided to simply explore the ship until dinner. We had dinner in the dining room and our food was great - this was true for most meals throughout the week.
Second Day - Nassau
On Sunday we awoke in Nassau. We had breakfast at the buffet and left the ship. Our first stop was some shopping and then we took a taxi to Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island. The beach was beautiful and chairs and tents were available from locals. After enjoying the beach, we took a taxi back to the straw market for some more shopping.
We took our son to Camp Carnival that night so that mom and dad could have some alone time. This was elegant night and we wanted to have a night out. We enjoyed our dinner and then went to the show. After the show we went to the piano bar and to the disco. Russell in the piano bar was wonderful. He was a good sport and everyone appeared to be having a great time.
Third Day - Sea Day
Monday was a downer as our son was sick all day. We took turns venturing out of the cabin for food and drinks and a break. Thankfully that night he began perking up and feeling better. Unfortunately, I don't have much to report for that day.
Fourth Day - St. Thomas
Tuesday was St. Thomas and that meant an island tour with EEE Tours. Henry our guide was waiting for us in the terminal area with a sign. He is a very pleasant man who obviously loves the island and his job. St. Thomas is a beautiful island - it reminded me somewhat of Hawaii. Henry explained a lot of the history of St. Thomas, talked about the current culture, showed us some wonderful views, and gathered different fruits and grasses for us to see and smell. He then took us to Sapphire Beach.
Sapphire Beach was nice, but it did have some rocks. It was not bad, but I mention it only as a caution. We rented a chair and enjoyed some more beach time. While at Sapphire Beach, Henry left us with Papa Bear (Air Force 1 Tours) so that he could go help another tour operator whose bus had broke down.
Unfortunately, our stroller was on Henry's bus and neither Henry nor us thought about it until it was too late. Papa Bear called Henry for us and Henry brought our stroller to the cruise terminal. Papa Bear refused to leave us until Henry arrived with our stroller. Both men are very nice and I would recommend a tour with either of them.
We got back on the ship too late for our dinner time (thanks to anytime dining that won't happen again), so we ate at the buffet. We went to another show and had a great time.
Fifth Day - St. Maarten
Wednesday we were in St. Maarten/St. Martin. We took a cab to Orient Beach and rode together with a nice family. The cabs both there and back did not charge for our son. St. Maarten did not appear as lush as St. Thomas. The cab driver told us it does not get as much rain. Our driver dropped us off at the Bikini Beach area and we rented a chair and umbrella. This beach is gorgeous - probably the best one of the five we went to on this trip. We had a lot of fun relaxing and playing in the sand and in the ocean. Afterwards we thought about going to Philipsburg, but we were tired and went back to the ship. We enjoyed dinner in the dining room.
Sixth and Seventh Day - Sea Days
The last two sea days we relaxed by the kiddie pool, shopped, went to whatever shows were going on, and ate in the dining room each night. My wife got the full body massage at the spa and she liked it. On our last night our son did a little dance near the casino. There was a guitar player in that area each night and when we walked by our son started dancing and he had the "stage" to himself. It was cute and he got an applause.
At disembarkation we stayed on the ship until they called the last numbers. This made it much easier to get off and we will do this again in the future. We didn't have to fight any crowds and it was easy to find our luggage. We took a Cocoa Beach shuttle back to our vehicle and began the drive home.
In summary, this was another fun Carnival cruise. The ship did feel a bit crowded at times, but nothing too bad. The Glory was a nice change from the Holiday. There is an added value to being on a newer shi with more options. Our son loved riding the glass elevators and he got a kick out of the voice telling you what deck you were at. This was my first time to use the gym on a ship and I was impressed with the options. We also enjoyed all of the live music taking place across the ship. It was fun to stop and dance a little bit throughout the day and night.
My only unpleasant experience was sitting with a man at breakfast who complained that "if you ever sailed on Royal Caribbean, you would never sail again on Carnival". I wanted to ask the idiot why then he was on Carnival? I made a comment to shut him up and we finished an awkward breakfast.
Most of our meals were good. I didn't care for the rice at the Asian station and I didn't like the crab cake in the dining room, but everything else was great. I think I could eat every meal at Fish-n-Chips - the place is simply awesome. In the dining room, the salmon on the last night was very good, as was the cappuccino pie. My wife loved the chocolate melting cake, as usual.
Our service throughout the cruise was excellent. Our cabin steward Roy always took care of our room quickly and kept my ice chest full of ice. Our waiter Robert was a little pushy with his dining suggestions, but he went out of his way to entertain our son and we appreciated that. Most employees I saw had a smile on their face and said hello, which always makes things brighter. A definite thumbs up for the Carnival Glory.