SHIP: CARNIVAL GLORY This is a very nice ship! It just went under a $1.2 million dry-dock make-over and looks every bit of it. Color schemes are appealing and the layout is easy to navigate for a short cruise. If you know the basics of the CARNIVAL ships then you should have any trouble finding things. All new Deck chairs, carpet and many upgrades. There is a BIG SCREEN TV on the main poolside deck. CARNIVAL also added the Adult Serenity deck to the front with large Hammocks, two hot tubs and it is very relaxing.
The POOLS were not heated as I was hearing from some others on Cruise critic. The HOT TUBS were also not so warm either. I believe their was a problem with the heating system as two of the hot tubs were being worked on one morning.
They had DJ style music by the pools, and I personally prefer the Calypso band myself.
Overall cost: Is perfect for me as it is usually one of the cheaper cruises with no air fare.
EMBARKATION & HOME PORT: Traveled via NJ TRANSIT train in from my dad's from NJ to NY PENN STATION. This is such an easy commute for me and cheap because there is no parking to pay. Parking at the pier is $30/day so if you plan on leaving a car there better be prepared. You might just want to park at an airport and take the train or the CARNIVAL pre/post excursion into NY. It could be cheaper.
Arrived at the port around noon, and luggage was collected efficiently and quick right at the curb. Embarkation took a little longer than the previous cruises out of NY, but I think it was just bad timing for us. Once we got through the security check point though, it seemed as if the air conditioning in the terminal was shut off. It got real hot fast. Something I think CARNIVAL should inquire about to keep everyone comfortable.
I was surprised that for the SAFETY DRILL we did not have to wear our life jackets? I know it is a hassle, but at least it allows everyone to learn how to put them on properly.
STATEROOM: RIVIERA DECK 1414 INSIDE GUARANTEE CABIN Found our stateroom quickly. I just booked this cruise only 9 days out so I was happy to take whatever they had. No complaints about what I ended up with. The inside rooms by comparison are definitely larger than Norwegian and I knew that.
We had two pull down bed as well in the stateroom so it could have held 4. The one bed had a bad creak as the ship moved and you could see that prior passengers tried to stick folded paper in the edges to stop it, but it didn't bother me. Just sounded like a ship to me. The CARNIVAL COMFORT BEDS as always were nice. Closet is sufficient with a few extra shelves that you can lift to hang additional items. The bathroom was spacious. Included was soap & shampoo dispensers in the shower, (no conditioner) soap dispenser by the sink as well as some amenities: toothpaste packs, razors NO Coffee pot or mini Fridge, but does have an ice bucket & a Safe were also included in the room. An iron & ironing board is available in the laundry facility if needed. You can view your folio account to keep track of spending but you may always ask at the desk. You can also pull up the menu for the day.
SHIP INFO/CREW/SHOWS: I never met our room steward as he never came to introduce himself. Thought that was odd? He always appeared to be busy so as long as our room was attended to I was happy. He did a good job keeping things clean and stocked for us, couldn't ask for more. Guess the best room steward is the one you don't see or hear banging on the door.
The ship is decorated nicely and in a COLORS scheme. Ie: Burgundy bar, Ivory Lounge, Black bar, etc...... Sanitizing stations were all over the ship to help keep everyone healthy and minimizing spread of any viruses or sicknesses. NICE to see Carnival with them. I remember when they didn't have them.
The AMBER PALACE theatre was very nice. The shows were up par as on all my past CARNIVAL ships. There was no Welcome aboard show though? Maybe it was because it was only a 4-day cruise? Not sure. This is one of two ships that they now have a comedy club, so the first night was the cruise director JORGE and he introduced the two comedians. JORGE was on a prior ship I was on LIBERTY, and he is a funny guy. I got to meet him a couple of nights a the back Burgundy bar and we many laughs.
The CREW was great! Kudos to them! We made many friends with the bartenders, servers and other crew members. PERO bartender in the BURGUNDY bar was an absolute blast.
Mention a specific crew member by name on your comment card if they deserve it. I always try to give credit where it is due.
DINING & FOOD: CARNIVAL now offers "ANYTIME DINING" comparable to Norwegians "freestyle" dinner. So you are able to eat anytime between 5:45-8ish in the main dining rooms. I usually prefer the late seating from Carnival but to each his own I guess. This cruise I actually didn't use the dining room at all. I ate all my meals at the buffet and all the food was just as good. PLUS, I did not have to dress up for dinner so it was a BONUS and less to pack.
As I stated on past reviews, unless you have a personal chef at home with a menu I will never understand how anyone complains about choices and food on a cruise ship. Some people should take appreciation for the positive things and understand what it takes to prepare and serve 3,000 people. One that can be comprehended minor mishaps will not seem that important to you and can be overlooked.
The crew kept everything clean and flowing for the new guests. One pet peeve I had. There were some passengers that tended to leave their empty drink cups and garbage on ledges, by plants, in elevators, hallways, etc. If you ask me it is just rude to expect others to pick up your garbage & dirty dishes in places where they shouldn't be to begin with. To those passengers I say: Have some decent courtesy & at least put it on the table or bar, these people are not your slaves. You wouldn't want guests in your home to expect that type of service from you.
EMERALD ROOM STEAK HOUSE available for an extra $30 per person. Everyone that ate there says it was top notch food and service and perfect for a special occasion like an anniversary. Shopping/ expenses onboard: The galleria shops had pretty much everything you forgot to bring. You can get just about anything from personals to gifts to souvenirs. Prices are reasonable for the convenience. Photos: great photographers onboard. I only had 2 photos taken and bought them both. You can also have individual photos developed directly from your digital camera or SD card if needed for fellow passengers or table mates. This was a nice touch if something special occurs on an excursion with other passengers, such as catching that prize fish! No special last minute photo discounts on the last day so no need to wait to buy if you like special photo before they start removing them and putting them in boxes to look through. .
24 hour INTERNET service is available but it is slow like dial up. Don't know if the WIFI service was slow, but I assume it was. I didn't have a laptop and my cell phone went right into the safe. BTW, stateroom calls from the ship phones are available for $6.99 to the US per minute. You may as well wait until you are at port and use your cell phones. A Special coffee/pastry station available for an additional cost per item if you wanted. INFORMATION DESK right next to it has all the information about the CARNIVAL FUN POINTS credit card and you can book future cruises there as well. If you are planning one do it then, because you will get onboard credits if you book one while on the cruise.
PORTS/Excursions: TIME in port is an hour off. ALWAYS STAY ON SHIP TIME! This was the only let down if I would have to mention it. ST JOHN is a semi-industrial port so there is not really much to do there right off the ship. I cannot really complain because I was already there so I knew what I was in for. I booked this cruise primarily to experience the CARNIVAL GLORY not the port.
I did not do an excursion. I walked around town and stopped in at a pub for a beer with the locals. Exit the cruise terminal and make a left. Two blocks up there is CALLAHANS PUB on the side street on your right. Quaint little place with unique interior design to the structure to meet locals. You can also use phones as well as your laptop there. They have pool tables and the staff was friendly. It is actually an old post office that survived the big FIRE that burned down the town. History is all over the walls and a great browsing stop to read some town history.
Excursions: I did get feedback for a couple but then again this is not from my experiences. THE BIG PINK BUS I heard was a let down from everyone I talked to. It is a NEW excursion being offered in ST JOHN and is also a promotion for Breast cancer awareness, thus the PINK BUSES. They are actually London Style double-decker busses painted BRIGHT PINK. You will not miss them. It's a hop-on hop-off excursion and is reasonably priced. $35-40 I think? They leave approx. every 15-20 minutes right from the cruise terminal.
The FUNDY TOUR (9 hours) It is a CHARTER BUS and I heard was actually fun. I little pricey, but the people I talked to had a good time on it. You get to go to the reversing falls and a few other key points of interest around the area. I do not believe it goes to ST MARTIN, but did go to the HOPEWELL ROCKS.
ST MARTIN SEA CAVES excursion I heard was the top billing out of all of what was offered. EVERYONE I spoke to said it was very nice. On this particular day the tide was low so they got to walk on the ocean floor.
EMBARKATION back in NY was smooth. I opted to place my luggage out just so I could grab breakfast and sleep in just a little longer. It also gave me a chance to check out some additional things around the ship for this review and chat with fellow passengers about excursions and stuff. I ended up with a 31 debarkation zone out of 32 so was one of the last people off the ship. While waiting for my number to be called the crew was already preparing for the next set of passengers. I also watched as four crew members stripped the wood railings by the steps and re-varnished them in the short time I was waiting. This crew is taking care of this ship for sure.
I was off the ship by 10:30-11:00 and grabbed my luggage and was out of the terminal in about 10 minutes,
Already looking forward to my next cruise(s) as I climb the ladder to PLATINUM STATUS!