Excellent Vacation aboard the Glory!
We have sailed before with another Cruise line and went into this cruise almost being a little bit skeptical because so many people seem to have negative opinions about Carnival. After trying out the Glory for a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise, it's a safe bet that we will cruise with Carnival again. Glory was very, very clean. Crew is cleaning constantly....the rails, the decks, even the underside of decks, the pools, the hot tubs, the floors, the windows, and seemingly every nook and cranny. It seemed to us that Carnival cares a lot about keeping it's passengers healthy. Our Stateroom service was excellent. Our attendant Juan was absolutely marvelous....he was like our best friend at sea! :)
We ate in the Golden Dining Room and the waiters gave great service. The assistant waiters in particular were very friendly and welcoming. The Maitre'd was warm and friendly. The Justin Illusion show was very good....we really enjoyed it. Loved how they incorporated some current More
alternative and rock music in the show.....LOVED the music. There were a couple of decent comedy shows. We were impressed with the process of Embarkation and Debarkation. They went very smoothly and Carnival was very organized. The ports that required tenders were also handled in a very organized manner. It was nice to relax in the cabaret lounge and simply wait for our excursion number to called....very hassle-free. Our excursions were all booked with Carnival and they were all excellent and very hassle-free. The food was a very pleasant surprise. We agreed it was better than the last Royal Caribbean cruise we took. The vast majority of the food in the main dining room was very good. The lido buffet was good as well and the food was hot. We found the Deli and the Burrito Bar to be excellent. We greatly enjoyed the 24 hour ice cream and frozen yogurt machines....always a big stack of clean bowls and the cone dispensers always full. The hot chocolate was delicious and available anytime day or night. We had an issue with our toilet which could have really impacted our opinion if it were not handled so well. We had immediate service from the plumber and housekeeping and while you never wish for those kinds of things to happen....it was handled very well.
While none of these things were in any way severe enough to really cause us an unpleasant vacation....the following things are the reasons why I did not give five stars:
-we never saw the cruise director except on the television screen which was a disappointment from the cruise directors we have experienced with Royal Caribbean.
- I never had a hot shower once while on-board. Our shower usually ranged from warm to lukewarm. One time it was best described as cool.
-I was quite disappointed by the store on-board in its extremely pitiful supply of medicine and personal care items. I didn't want to pack a mini-pharmacy but I should have. I wrongly assumed that I could purchase anything I needed on-board. There were a few items like some Bonine pills and Advil. I find it amazing that with so many people away from home, eating huge amounts of unfamiliar foods that Carnival has zero stomach relief products to buy. Not a pepto tablet anywhere in sight. If you think there's a chance you might need it....bring it with you.
-I had two interactions with the guest services desk and they provided the customer services that I needed. The service was satisfactory but I was a little surprised at how unfriendly the service was. I felt like I was bothering them. However, all other staff we encountered on the ship were very friendly.
Overall......a very positive experience and a vacation we will not soon forget! Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
We did the Belize City and Altun Ha Mayan Ruins tour offered by Carnival. The bus was air-conditioned and comfortable. Our Bak-a-bush tour guides were great....three wonderful young ladies. They really did a great job. We learned all kinds of things about Belize and saw many wonderful sights. Many of the areas in Belize City are quite poor but it was a very interesting tour. We thought the Altun Ha Ruins were very impressive and Amalia did a great tour with us there. We learned quite a bit about the site and the Mayan culture. We were very happy that we were provided with cold bottled water since Belize is very hot and humid. We visited a few little shops at the port and had quite a nice day.
We wished that the weather had been a little better but we were thankful we got to see Cozumel and take our fun excursion! We did the "Deluxe Beach, Sail, and Snorkel" excursion offered by Carnival. It was run by Fury Catamarans and we quite enjoyed it. The crew was friendly and funny and they have a couple of great dancers! The photographer who they were calling "Nacho" looks like a Mexican Johnny Depp so all the ladies on board were eager to get their pictures taken with him....it was quite funny. As I was paying for a photograph that we wanted to buy, I had some 20 dollar bills blow out of my hand. I had written them off but "Nacho" left and found them on the lower deck. He could have kept them since I had written them off but he brought them all back to me. I was very impressed! The snorkeling was fun and we thought the equipment provided was fine. They kept us all confined to what felt like a small area so we felt a bit on top of each other. We would have liked it a little bit better if they had allowed us to venture off just a tad more. The beach they took us to was very pretty and it was private for our group which was great. We liked all the different kinds of shops at the port and had a great day!
Although a tender ride is required at Grand Cayman, we were happy that it was truly like a five minute ride....very short! The port was nice and had many cute little shops. We did the "Tiki Beach" excursion offered by Carnival. We had a nice little tour from our Bus Driver on the way to the beach. The beach was lovely and there are plenty of amenities. We like the beach loungers and the free fruit punch was quite yummy. We discovered that the beach has a nice little reef so we rented some snorkel gear and had a great time. We liked snorkeling by ourselves.....going wherever we wanted and as long as we wished. We saw quite a bit of neat sea-life. My husband did get some spines from a sea urchin thing (I think that is what they were but I'm not sure) in his hand and they were pretty tricky to get out. The snorkel gear we rented there at Tiki Beach was the nicest we used on the whole trip.
We were impressed with the port that Carnival has built at Roatan. It is quite beautiful. It's gated so they are really keeping all the money in so I doubt that the local economy gets a whole lot of stimulation from it. We did the the "Jolly Roger catamaran snorkeling and Gumbalimba Park" excursion offered by Carnival. There were some beautiful sights at Gumbalimba Park and we liked taking getting to take pictures holding the Macaws and Monkeys. We thought that the tour of Gumbalimba was a little bit too long but it definitely was a pretty park. They have restrooms, lockers, and a little place to purchase snacks. The second part of our excursion was where we really got to see Roatan shine. We boarded the Jolly Roger and had an INCREDIBLE experience. We loved William and the whole crew. The snorkeling we did was an unforgettable experience. The reef we went to was just AMAZING. We saw sooooo many beautiful things. It was the most incredible 90 minutes of our whole cruise. William (and other crew too perhaps) was in the water with us at all times and he swims like a fish! Roatan is beautiful....so lush! We got to see what seemed like a fair amount of the island on our drive to and from the port. It really seemed like a neat place and I'd love to go back and see more. William rode back in our bus with us to the port and the whole bus was just rolling with laughter. He is just a major TREAT!