I've never been one to complain about trivial things in life, especially when there is sun, eye candy, and cold beer involved. But my trip on the Glory has changed all of that. My fiance and I decided to book our second cruise on the Glory after a wonderful experience on the Carnival Inspiration in May, 2008. We also took my parents along whom my fiance adores and I was happy because it was an opportunity of a lifetime to experience something like that with them.
We boarded the Glory early, at approximately 1:00 pm and got settled into our staterooms. The parents were in 6418, and we were in 6416. After a short time, we went to the promenade to explore a bit. My father has COPD and chromic emphysema, so he cannot walk for extended periods of time. With that said, I wanted to get them settled and, since they're coffee fanatics, I approached the "Cremes" coffee bar near the casino and asked if they had regular coffee. The young lady told me that she did not, that they only had "special" coffee drinks and that I needed to proceed to the Lido deck for regular coffee. No problem I told her. I went back to the leather sofa that my parents were sitting on and told them that we were going to go up to level 9 and get them two cups of coffee.
Once we found the Lido deck, I got two cups of coffee but the cream was empty. I looked around for a crew member and there was absolutely knowbody in sight. Agitated, I took the two cups of coffee and headed for the elevators to return to floor 6. Once there, I went back to the "Cremes" counter and asked the same young lady if she could kindly add a drop of milk to each cup. I explained to her that there wasn't any cream upstairs, and that I carried the coffee from the 9th floor. As she walked to the mini fridge to retreive a gallon of what appeared to be old milk, she told me that she was only going to do this favor "one time," and that next time, she was going to charge me.
That night I laid down in my bed, expecting my body to be comfortably usurped by the mattress, but instead felt like I was lying on a soggy waffle that had been doused with syrup. The bed had no suppport and was lower than that where my fiance lye. At approximately 11pm, a loud thumping bass began to penetrate our stateroom floor, coupled with random adolescents yelling and screaming "yyeeeaahhhhh" over and over. I felt like I was in Panama City Beach, spring break of 1999. Needless to say, I slept from approximately 3:30 am to 07:00 am, nice and rested for our first fun day at sea.
After being crabby and snappy all day with my family, I thought things were going to begin to improve. I saw my room steward, AJ (who was fabulous the entire trip, BTW) and told him that I was having trouble sleeping in the stateroom because of the bass from the disco bar down below. I explained to AJ that at home, I sleep with a fan in my face all night. AJ told me that I could check with guest services to inquire about getting a fan to put in my room, and I told him that that would be great!
I went to guest services that night and told the young lady my situation. I explained to her that the combination of the uncomfortable bed, the bass, the ship's rudder vibrating the light fixtures in the room, and simply being in a strange environment were making it difficult to sleep. She did not seem very concerned, and told me to hang on a few minutes. She walked over to another Guest Services employee and spoke with her for a few minutes. She then returned and told me that they do have fans onboard, but that they're for people with "special medical conditions." She simply said "I am sorry," but I cannot help you. Angered, I went back to the room and again stayed awake until approximately 3am, when the bass finally subsided.
That night in the casino, while I was feeding 20/50 dollar bills into the slot machines, I asked one of the bar tenders for a glass of water. She looked at me and replied " a bottled water, sir?" And I replied, whatever you have. If you have a glass of water, I would prefer that. She replied to me, "all we have is bottled water. If you want a glass of water, you'll have to go up to Deck 9, the Lido deck." At that, I cashed-out and went and sat on my bed in my stateroom. Did she really think that I didn't know that there was water on Deck 9? I was gambling. I did not want to go to deck 9.
If you're looking to do anything after 10pm on this ship other than gamble/drink alcohol, you'll wish that you were at home in your own bed. Many nights I ventured to the Lido deck, outdoors, only to find absolutely knowbody and nothing to do. What few shows I did go to were exceptionally good, but they were over quickly and then everything calmed down. Where are the midnight buffets/parties? Concerts and fun competitions? Trivia?
The dining room was a good experience, but I was usually too tired to really enjoy it. The food other than that in the dining room was ok, but nothing special. There were never any good beverages, and the coffee was hit or miss. Sometimes it was too weak or too strong, sometimes too cold and, sometimes, there wasn't any at all. The desserts reminded me of those huge sheet cakes that they make in hospitals/jails that are intended to feed a large crowd something sweet while also being cost-conscience. I kinda felt like the crew was ready for us to be off of the ship before we even left Port Canaveral.
I could go on and on, but you probably get the gist of it. I personally do not believe in treating people badly when they are the ones who are paying for your salary/benefits. A company simply cannot hope to survive once they begin to do so. Most of the crew members seemed miserable, unhappy, and they do not smile or sometimes do not even acknowledge a passenger when eye contact is made. I was almost depressed on this ship. Those responsible for training employees in customer service at Carnival should consider looking at a company like Outback Steakhouse or some of the higher-end hotels. Good Hospitality Management will keep a company afloat, regardless of it's specialization.
I might give a cruise another shot in the future, but probably not with Carnival. After our 5 day Inspiration Cruise, we were so impressed that we booked the Glory that same week. I talked the experience up for almost 11 months to my parents, only to have an experience such as this. Next year we're going to an all-inclusive resort, so I should probably get off this site and begin my research.