We arrived in Miami January 15th one day before our cruise on the Glory. The flight was uneventful and we actually arrived early! Leaving Minnesota was not hard to do, especially with the cold temps we had been having. We rented a car, loaded all of our bags into the trunk and we were on our way. So much to see, so much to do! We checked into the Holiday Inn Port of Miami around 2:00 pm. Our room was on the 8th floor and we had an amazing view of all the ships. Our room was quite nice, two double beds and a sofa bed. After reading many reviews I was worried that our hotel was going to be a bad decision, but I completely disagree. I loved the location of the hotel, the amenities, the staff, everything. I guess I am not hard to please :) After checking in, we walked to the shops and restaurants across the street. We enjoyed a nice lunch out by the water. Then we decided to take a boat ride to see some houses of the rich and famous. Nice little boat tour, I would recommend it. Afterwards we walked a couple of blocks to CVS pharmacy and picked up a few items we knew we were going to buy before we got on the ship.
Sunday morning we arrived at the port around 10:30 am. Our husbands went and returned the rental car and we waited for them to return. We ended up in group 12 to board the ship, which was around 12:00. Once on-board we went straight to the shore excursions desk and booked the behind the fun tour. We were first on the list, Yeah! Then we enjoyed some lunch up on the lido deck before heading to our stateroom. Our room was on the 9th floor, lido deck, room 9282. Great location!!! If you've been on a cruise before you know what a typical balcony stateroom looks like so I won't go into details. At 3:30 we went for the safety briefing. I like that we don't have to wear life jackets anymore but we were still crammed in there like sardines. Being one that is claustrophobic, I was glad when it was over! The boat left around 4:30 and we hung out on the lido deck to enjoy the music and dancing before we had to get ready for dinner. Dinner was typical carnival food. Our table was a table for four tucked into a space pretty much off on it's own. Nice and quiet but still close enough to see the action. Our waiters were amazing like always :)
Some of the activities we enjoyed on board were the comedians, the illusionist, behind the fun tour, and lots of trivia. We even came away with one of the coveted ships on a stick! I am glad they had comedy almost every night. We are not really into the big show girl shows so we went to comedy every chance we got. Just know that you have to get there early because the place gets packed very fast! Also, my favorite thing was the behind the fun tour. If you get a chance to do this, DO IT! We got to see so many cool things. Behind the stage, the dressing rooms, the galley, the laundry room, the bridge, on and on and on. It is a long tour 3 1/2 hours so make sure you have comfy shoes because you get your exercise in!
Here we did the shallow water dolphin encounter. Once again I was worried I would not enjoy this because I had read some bad reviews. I personally enjoyed it very much. Maybe it helped that we were the only ship in port? I read in many reviews that you had to watch a long safety video? We did not watch any safety video, in fact we were in the water the entire time. Once we got there, we put on our wetsuits (that was fun!) sat and waited for everyone to get them on (just a few minutes) and off we were to get in the water. We were put into groups of 10 and each group got to experience a dolphin up close. Hug, kiss, give high fives, touch, give signals ect. to the dolphin. It was everything I expected it to be. After we were done I ended up buying some pictures but WOW are they ever expensive. The cheapest package was $70.00. I wish they would lower the price so that others could be able to get in on their pictures as well. The rest of the time we had in Nassau we spent on the beach at Atlantis. Very peaceful, very quiet and enjoyable.
We hopped in a taxi and went downtown to do some shopping. Unless you are looking for jewelry, you really don't need to venture downtown. Although, my favorite part was shopping at the tents set up downtown with people selling their own items. You can get in on some deals if you are willing to bargain!
We shopped downtown and then headed back to the ship and shopped some more in the stores by the ship. Got many souvenirs to take back to the family.
We decided to go to the Bacardi factory on our own. So we took the ferry across the water to get to the factory. It was a bargain at 50 cents a person, although it was a little scary. Once we arrived, a man told us to follow him. He was a little hard to understand so we were a little worried, but others started following us so all was good. We got into his taxi and he took us to the Bacardi factory tour. Once there we enjoyed some free drinks before going on the tour. The tour didn't last very long but none the less it was free! After the tour was over we hopped back into a cab and took the ferry back to the ship area. One thing that made me sad was the stray dogs by the ferry. I wish we would of had some food to give them, they were so skinny.
Once we got back towards the ship we went to Senior frogs for some lunch, good food and lots of fun!
What a beautiful place! We got off the ship and went to the right of the pier. We were on a conch shell mission! We found some beautiful shells and was able to take some great pictures. Then we laid on the beach and enjoyed soaking up some sun. A relaxing day spent going in the ocean and laying out.
Debarkation- very smooth in my opinion. We got up and went to breakfast and then finished getting all of our stuff together. We waited in the casino for our number to be called (16). They were actually a little ahead of schedule so we got off earlier than we thought. We walked down to deck 3 and walked off the ship. Went down and collected our luggage within a matter of minutes. Walked through customs with no problems, boarded the bus and were on our way.