Food/Dining As a first time cruiser I had heard lots of feedback from friends and co-workers about the all you can eat dinning and how wonderful the food is on Carnival cruise lines. I had great expectations going into my cruise but was very disappointed by the food. The buffet was of no greater quality than any 'All You can Eat' buffet, which needless to say was not very good. The breakfast options were the same almost every day, with the exception of substituting pancakes for French toast and ham for sausage. The lunch options were not bad, the Burrito bar was pretty good. Also, the buffet is not open 24/7. There are set hours and then there are a few items which are available 24/7 such as pizza and ice cream.
We dined in the formal dinning room every night except for one. While the food was well presented and the wait staff was friendly, the quality was just not there. Three nights I ordered a variation of a pasta dish and two out of the three nights the pasta was barely warm. The steak was 'ok' at best. I could get a better steak at a chain restaurant back at home. The shrimp was Tiger shrimp, not the shrimp I was use to.
If your into trying new things (escargot, caviar, etc.) but don't want to waste your money at an expensive restaurant back at home then a cruise may be for you. The couple we sat with at dinner had never eaten lobster and other seafood such as scallops before. Since they had nothing to compare it to they were quite pleased with their meals.
Also, there were few healthy food options unless you wanted to eat the same two or three things at each meal, all week long. Cruises seem to be set up for those who don't care about their waistline or healthy eating. I've never seen so many obese people in my life!
Entertainment The entertainment was by far the best value on board the Glory. We attended the magic show, the juggler show and a couple of the comedy shows, including Open Mic Night. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the entertainment on board. However, my boyfriend who has cruised Carnival in the past was disappointed at the amount of entertainment being offered on board compared to past cruises.
Excursions Of the three excursions we booked all were a good value (Swimming with the dolphins in Cozumel and the Maya Cave Adventure in Belize) except for the Turtles, Turtles and More Turtles Deluxe (Grand Cayman). The Turtles excursion included "swimming with the turtles." In reality, you were allowed to swim in a manmade lagoon of filthy water with a few small turtles and a handful of fish (none of which we saw until we were out of the water, eating lunch overlooking the lagoon). Lunch (a luke warm, overcooked hamburger with a cold piece of cheese on top and some fries), which was included with our excursion, was even worse than the buffet food on board the ship. Had we known it was going to be so gross, we would have saved ourselves some money and purchased the excursion without lunch and eaten back on board the ship.
Room Service Our room service was good, although one day they completely missed our room. We were out of our room and off the boat at port all day so there was no reason for our room to be missed. The towel animals that were left on our bed every night were cute and the program about what events were going on the following day was helpful.
Other There was very little direction from the cruise staff during the embarkation process. It was very chaotic with a room filled with hundreds of people waiting to get on board. We went to the wrong counter to pick up our sail and sign card only to find out that we had to wait in yet another line. The tender process went smoothly once knew how it worked and what we were supposed to do. If you didn't book an excursion at a tendered port, you are the last priority to get off the boat. So although the cruise may say that you are going to be at port 10 - 4, after waiting for a tender and the ride to/from port you will have less time than planned on the island. The debarkation process was a complete mess. After attending the Debarkation Presentation the previous day we though we had everything under control. We packed our bags and affixed the provided luggage tags and put them outside of our room the night before. In the morning we left our room by the time required and waited on one of the desk (one of the places people were told to wait). We only heard one announcement for debarkation for zones 1 - 2. After a couple of hours without hearing anything we heard a message that stated, "Sorry for the delay. We have called zones 1-14. We'll continue the debarkation process now." There were no announcements for zones 3-14.