My wife and I have now completed our run through the "big three" basic cruise lines, previously using NCL to Bermuda and Royal Caribbean to the Bahamas. We must say Carnival comes in third. Internet booking went fine, but we had to ask several times before we had a room assigned to us.
First, we made the mistake of letting the cruise line select our room to save a few bucks. Our room was slightly larger than average, but it was also on the second floor directly over the aft engines which meant there constant vibration and noise for the duration of the cruise (sometimes everything in room seemed to rattle)
Let's take a quick look at the big things...
1. Food. We prefer to use sit down dining whenever possible. We ended up with the late dining, and was first in line to try to get it changed. It wasn't. But, the bigger problem with the sit down dining was the logisitcs. The waiting area for the Platinum dining room was cramped and crowded and wedged between a stairwell and elevators making it very uncomfortable. The dinner poritions and quality are pretty good, but sometimes it was take a second or third crack to get all the needed condiments, etc. Portions on sit down breakfasts were small and service was spotty at times. Some parts of the buffet dining, such as the fish and chips and pizza were very good.
2. Entertaiment. Definately a notch below what we'ver experienced on NCL and RCL. The dance troupe was average and shows were not very creative. One night was set aside for guests to perform. I must admit I was suprised at how good the talent was among the six people who tried out and were put on stage. But, still, we thought we were paying for a professional show. Carnival offers comedy, but the comedians on our trip were not very good in their opening performance on the welcome aboard show, so we skipped any follow up performances.
3. General ship experience. Here, Carnival comes as advertised. There was a sufficent number of fun things to do for all ages. While we only watched part of one movie on the big screen located near the top deck, it was a nice feature. We also enjoyed some of the bars, including the piano bar and disco. However, one main weakness of the Glory was the difficulty getting around the ship. There was not one or several floors that could provide easy access from forward to aft and back. We still were tyring to figure out how to get around on our last day. And some services, such as the photo shop, were awkwardly located and hard to manuver. Customer and Shore Excursion service was good, dealing with our questions promptly and accurately.
4. Shore excursions. If you plan a trip to Atlantic Canada, be ready for any kind of weather. Saint John has a chamber of commerce day while it was cloudy and rainy in Halifax the next day. There's nothing the cruise line can do about that, and they did a good job of offering activities around the ship to compensate for bad weather days.
5. Room. As already noted, we had a room with lots of noise. But, the service was good. The rooms were cleaned and we were provided with whatever we needed, including extra towels, etc. We ordered breakfast room service and everything we asked for was delivered promptly.
Overall -- We spoke with several Carnival repeat customers who said this did not show the company at its best, so we will give some benefit of the doubt on the downsides of our trip. We don't have kids, but noted that some of the youth oriented actitivies were well attended and organized. We don't gamble, but saw there was a variety of options avaiable in the casino. But, for a middle aged couple traveling alone, we probably could do better with one of the other cruise lines.