Background I'm 24 years old and this was my 6th cruise, all on Carnival. I sailed with my Mom (55ish) and grandmother (85ish). This was a cheap cruise that just fit our schedule so we crammed together in an inside cabin. This is my 3rd time sailing from New York to Canada and we did it more for the cruise than the ports.
Embarkation The Carnival Glory docked at pier 90 in NYC, which was recently renovated. While it is not as nice as pier 88, it was well thought-out and this was one of the smoothest embarkations I've been through. We arrived a little before 10:15 and walked right through security and up to the check in desk. Following that we sat in the waiting area until boarding began around 11:45. There were hundreds of travel agents visiting the ship so seating filled up in the terminal. I think without them there would be adequate seating. We boarded zone 4 at 12:05. There is a little VIP lounge with its own access to the gangways. It was not very big, but from what I could tell there were comfy chairs and two TVs. The terminal is a huge upgrade from what it was a few years ago.
Ship After lunch we toured the ship and the public areas were very nice. The theme is colors, and it was one of my favorite dEcors. Not over done like some ships can be. My favorite thing was the color changing lights and the pillars that looked like paint brushes. The ship was in excellent condition as it was in dry dock in February. A lot of the carpet was new and the Serenity area with padded loungers, hot tubs, and hammocks was heaven on earth! The ship also received a Seaside Theater and cabin upgrades. With many Carnival ships the layout can be a little confusing as it is not possible to travel the length of the ship on decks 3 and 4. Overall the layout worked well and did not feel overcrowded.
Cabin We were in inside cabin 6333. It was a standard inside cabin for Carnival with the two lower beds pushed together and one upper bed that I used. It was surprisingly comfortable for 3 adults, and other than me knocking my pillows off the bed onto my Mom every night, three people in an inside cabin is very doable. You just need smart planning when getting ready for dinner! Upgrades to the cabins during the dry dock included new carpet and flat screen TVs. Our cabin steward was Satayana from Thailand. The cabin was kept very clean and our few requests were taken care of promptly.
Entertainment This ship had some of the best entertainment I have seen at sea and a lot of variety in live bands. There were at least 5 bands I enjoyed on board including the 5-piece show band, 4 piece "Music" band, 3 piece Latin band, a duo that also specialized in Latin music, and a 2-man calypso band. There were also a few soloists including a classical piano player and a guitar player. One thing I did notice was the small size of the show band. I don't know if that is just the Glory something new fleet wide, but there were no brass instruments and only 5 people. They were excellent, but I did miss the bigger bands they had before. The piano bar player, Bruce, was very good at incorporating the audience and it was a good time throughout the cruise. The shows on this ship were some of my favorite. The production shows were "Living in America" and "Just Rock." Both were high energy and very entertaining. They rounded out the evening entertainment with an illusionist that had a very high production value including a lot of loud music, dancing, and pyro and one evening they held a passenger talent show. This was the first time I sailed on a ship with the Seaside Theater and I thought it was a little loud during the day when they showed concerts, but at night the sound was like being in a good theater. Often during the day the screen would just show beach shots while the calypso band or recorded music played. It wasn't a big distraction when used, but watching a movie under the stars at sea was simply awesome. The Carnival Glory is one of two ships that run a comedy club. This means rather than a handful of comedy shows in the main lounge, there are many comedy shows by two comedians throughout the cruise in the aft cabaret lounge. The atmosphere was more of a real club. Each comedian had PG and R rated shows multiple times and the comedy host held an open mic night one night as well.
Activities Jorge Solano was my favorite cruise director as he is a comedian and able to improvise with everyone in the audience, so we did not have to hear the same old cruise jokes again. Standard Carnival games were plenty throughout the day. Since this was a cruise to Canada, the weather does not always cooperate with a deck party. Instead, Jorge hosted a "Mardi Gras Fun Hop." It was a blast, but the explanation may sound a little crazy. It started in the lobby with a bead toss as hundreds of us packed in and the entertainment staff threw beads down at us. We then made a conga line up through the promenade as more beads were tossed at us and various bands played New Orleans style music. Finally, the conga line made its way into the disco for the party to continue. It was a whole of fun for the guests and staff involved. Even if you don't participate, grab a chair on the promenade and watch.
Casino I usually enjoy the casino often during a cruise, but this time I only went once. I play blackjack and the dealers were very friendly and the other passengers were the same. The casino did get busy at night and was difficult to get a seat at the lower slots and the poker pro table.
Dining We chose the early seating and were assigned an 8 top in the back of the Platinum Dining Room. We had very pleasant tablemates and an excellent wait staff. Our head waiter was Somkiat from Thailand and he had assistants I Ketut from India and Severo from the Philippines. I never noticed our head waiter having two assistants before, but it was nice. The food was excellent and what you would expect from Carnival. The braised short ribs on the last evening were perfect. The lido buffet would get crowded at peak times, but it was easy to walk around and find a shorter line. The buffet food was always good and at the right temperature.
Ports Since this was our 3rd time to these ports we went into the cruise without any plans. In St. John we just walked around the town. We made it up to the marketplace then started to walk around the harbor walk, but it was closed about half way across the harbor. In Halifax we decided to try whale watching through the ship. The staff was very knowledgeable and friendly, but we did not see any whales. It was very foggy, and they said they have been seeing a lot of whales but the fog makes it difficult. I would not hesitate to book this excursion again provided there is no fog.
Behind the Fun I heard a lot of good things about this tour and knew I wanted to book it. We stopped by the excursion desk shortly after it opened on embarkation day and we were people 7, 8, and 9 to sign up. They take two groups of 16 per cruise and ours met at 9:15 on the last day at sea. The cost is $95. Without ruining the tour, I will say that it was the highlight of the trip. Our tour guide was fantastic and as she took us to each area the head of that department would talk to us and answer questions. This included the chief engineer in the engine control room and the captain on the bridge. The tour was a full 3 and a half hours and while there is a lot of walking, you use elevators for the big jumps and occasionally sit in some areas.
Debarkation I am never in a hurry to debark a ship. We were zone 22 of about 35 and were off the ship around 10:30 and they were calling zones quickly. It was effortless as we picked up our luggage and walked through customs. They glanced at passports and waved everyone right through. I did see some people with birth certificates and they were questioned and told they need passports (I'm not sure what the regulations are, but that is what they were telling people.) We had a family member pick us up and we were out of the city by 11:00.
Conclusion This cruise was immediately after work since we are teachers, and we just wanted to get away, do a lot of relaxing, and have some fun. This cruise was exactly that and then some!