Carnival Glory Cruise Review by CatlinSTJ: Cruising is what you make it - good or bad
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Cruising is what you make it - good or bad
Cruising is what you make it. Seriously, I could nitpick and list a dozen things that were "wrong" but I'd be stretching just to have something to complain about. Overall, the Glory was a nice ship and the trip was fun.
Embarkation took longer than we expected from the reviews we read here. I knew that Carnival had notified those that lived locally that they should arrive early so we expected to find people already there, but we were in line for well over an hour. Halfway through, we started chatting with the couple behind us and before we knew it we were at the front of the line. Cool! Make new friends rather than focusing on the wait and you'll be much happier.
Got onboard and checked out the ship while waiting for our rooms to be available. I read another review complaining that there were no stations to buy the soda cards and I find this hard to believe as there were stations all over the place the first day to buy the cards and others promoting the steakhouse. More We are not big soda drinkers and opted not to get them this cruise. We bought them on our last cruise before we realized that there was plenty to drink that was included in the cruise price. There is always tea, lemonade, coffee, and water available on the Lido deck and in the dining rooms.
Got into our room - very nice! Bathroom was larger than what we had on the Inspiration several years ago and much better laid out. Not big, not by far, but you had room to stand up in front of the toilet and to step out of the shower. Bedding was very nice as well. The balcony was what we expected - room for 2 chairs and a small table with a bit more room to maneuver. One note - it got really windy at night and we would have difficulty getting the door to seal right. We finally grabbed our room steward and asked what he was doing because we noticed that when he had been in it was always shut tight. You had to slam it shut to get it to seal. Annoying, yes, but not a huge deal.
We opted for anytime dining and it worked for us. It seems like the majority of people on here did not care for it, but we had no issues and only had to wait for a few minutes on the very first night. (Coincidentally, the only night we went late.) Perhaps being a party of 2 helped. The wait staff always treated us well, the food was always hot and well prepared, and we had no complaints. I'm pretty picky about how my food is prepared, very much a foodie, and I was impressed by the quality of what we received. The lobster tail during elegant night was one of the best I have ever had, and this includes a couple of 4 star restaurants! If you want hot food that hasn't been overcooked - GO EARLY. The shrimp was good, chateaubriand was yummy, ribs were perfectly done.
Here would be one of my nitpicky complaints. Nothing to do with the staff though. We had the misfortune of sitting next to a family that was determined to be miserable. We were grouped with two other tables for two next to a family of 4 or 5. They let their child dump her drink everywhere, dump out the salt shaker, you name it. Then they threw a fit that they were getting "bad" service as the wait staff was avoiding them. The mom actually got mad because there was salt dumped on the table and flung it at one of the female staff members who walked by. If you want respect and to be treated well, give some back. These are people that work there, not your personal slaves. Keep in mind also that it is not fast food service and be prepared to wait a reasonable amount of time for each course. Allow 1 - 2 hours for dinner. If you don't want to wait, eat in the Red Sail Restaurant and stay out of the MDR.
We did eat in the Emerald Room Steakhouse one night and were glad we did. It is definitely worth the $30 pp charge for dinner. I would say that the food and service was comparable to a high end steakhouse, we've paid more per person than our total bill including a bottle of wine per person for similar dining experiences locally. DH's filet mignon was excellent. My ribeye was good, but not great. Service was FANTASTIC. The sommelier was friendly and knowledgeable. (Hint: go to the wine tasting and pairing class that is offered for $15 per person the first day at sea. Well worth the money and very educational!)
Food on deck was okay. I would recommend checking the times that the different restaurants are open because some of them were funky and unpredictable. The deli is always open and offered very good food. The meat is freshly sliced and the sandwiches prepared to order. Yum! (And I'm not even normally a sandwich type person!) Fish and chips were good, but you'll see them offered everywhere, everyday. Didn't get to try the Mongolian or the Burrito Bar.
Hint #2 - avoid the "bacon police" by getting breakfast outside on the lido deck by the omelet station. Also, if one side has a long line, try the other. We found that one station would be 10 - 15 people deep and the other would have two. We ate early most mornings and did not experience the long lines or difficulty finding a seat that some others have complained about.
The welcome aboard show was okay. Not great, but not horrible. Thought the dancing was cheesy. Jorge was funny though and he remained present and funny throughout the cruise.
Second nitpick, again nothing to do with the staff. While standing in line for bingo before the welcome aboard show, the older lady in front of me started griping to Kiwi about the temperature. Kiwi explained to her that we were sailing north and that the temperatures would be cooler, especially at night. The lady was very affronted and exclaimed, "But I only packed summer clothes!" If you fail to do your research - and lack common sense - don't blame the staff. Canada is not the tropics, even in June and July. Pack a sweater or sweatshirt. Understand that there is going to be cooler temperatures and a LOT of fog. If you want warmth and sun, go to the Caribbean.
Speaking of fog - hint #3 - bring earplugs if you want to sleep. The foghorns will be going off every few minutes all night long. Yes, it sucks and it's annoying, but it's better than crashing into another vessel.
Be warned that the first variety show is a "Las Vegas" type show. They did a sucky job explaining that on this cruise, but that means that it's NOT child friendly. It means very skimpy outfits and butts hanging out everywhere. I don't care about that, but if you're going to put girls in those types of outfits PLEASE make sure that they have the body for it. I'm plus sized, but there was a dancer with some serious tummy rolls going on that just did not look good at all in the outfits they wore for most of the performances.
We came to the conclusion that there are just too many bars on this ship and that they're tucked too far out of the way. We wanted to hang out in the piano bar and the first night we went there were 2 or 3 couples in the bar and it just seemed awkward. Went another night and there wasn't anyone and the piano player was smoking a cigarette talking to a waiter. The disco was always hopping and offered different themes each night to appeal to different crowds. Casino was large and packed. We're not big gamblers but it was fun hanging out and playing the penny slots for fun.
Speaking of the casino, we hooked up with the Cruise Critic members twice on this cruise. Once at the Azure bar (which we found out was closed until the evening so that was a "fail" on our part.), and a slot pull the first day at sea. We had a lot of fun chatting and meeting each other. The slot pull was tons of fun and we walked away .38 ahead of the $5 we each bet. Our group drew a crowd as people kept coming over to see what was going on and why we were having so much laughing and cheering one another on.
Halifax wasn't what we expected. From the reviews on here we expected to love Halifax and tolerate Saint John and it was quite the opposite. I would recommend booking a shore excursion of some sort on Halifax or making definitive plans before you arrive. The maritime museum was nice and a few dollars cheaper at the door than onboard. Also, you can buy some of the harbor cruises right off the ship for half the price as what Carnival charges. The town was "okay" but we walked and walked and didn't feel that it was that different. There are a lot of homeless people begging money and a lot of street musicians. I have to give thanks to the wonderful optometrist that repaired my eyeglasses for me - without charge. THANK YOU!
Saint John is in the process of improving their image to draw more tourists and they're serious about it. There's a brand new cruise terminal right downtown and tons of stuff within walking distance of the ship. Be aware that there are a lot of steep hills. After the experience in Halifax, we opted to pay the $40 per person to ride the Big Pink Bus HOHO tour and it was worth the money. We did all 3 loops and wish we'd had time to go back to some of the stops. Shopped downtown and had lunch - yummy scallops! The big thing there was dulse - a dried seaweed. Be aware that you can take it back to the ship, but you can't bring it into the US. The people of Saint John were awesome and we really enjoyed ourselves.
It felt like the cruise was over at this point. The last day at sea just didn't have a lot going on other than being told what to do to get off the ship. I felt like the cruise ended a day early and that was kind of disappointing. Debarkation went well. Hint #4 - head to the show lounge to hang out if you elect to not use self assist. They let us off sooner than the people that were waiting in other parts of the ship.
We enjoyed ourselves and the ship, but I don't think we would do this itinerary again. I would definitely sail the Glory again, but I think once was enough for sailing the coast of Canada. We don't regret it and we had a good time, but it just didn't feel as far away from home as we would have preferred. Less
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