I have found the reviews posted by other to be very useful and amusing. This is the first review I've posted.
This was our first cruise on Carnival - me (45), husband (54), son (11), grandson (8). For my family this was our 5th cruise, 2 prior on Disney, 1 on NCL, 1 on RCCL.
Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and staff and experience we had on Carnival. I choose this cruise based on price and itinerary. The Western Caribbean is our favorite and the next closest cruise price wise was nearly $1000 more for the week. I was afraid I had picked what we would refer to as our vacation on a Walmart Ship but boy was I wrong!
The Glory was well maintained with a crew that was always smiling and would either first say "hello" or would quickly reply with "hello", always accompanied by a smile. We felt the service almost to be as good as on Disney. Disney service is top notched and very hard to beat (IMHO).
They layout is quite strange; finding our way to the 3rd floor of the Golden dining room was a challenge, even on the last night of the cruise. Seemed we'd take the elevator to the 3rd floor only to go up a flight of steps to go back down to the 3rd floor. The other ships seemed to have a more open floor plan and seemed bigger - just more open and airy. Glory seemed too enclosed. Disliked the prominent placement of the casino and the smoke that goes along with it. Seemed like we were smacked in the face with the casino whenever trying to get anywhere. Other ships the casino was a "destination", not something to continually walk past.
We were a bit disappointed the kids had not interested in Camp Carnival. I was surprised the orientation and sign up was in a lounge and not in the kids area. The other ships seemed to focus more on the kids activities. Never even stumbled across the Camp Carnival location.
Don't bother bringing a highlighter for the Fun Times - there aren't many activities. They certainly do push the art though. We went to bingo once and thoroughly enjoyed the family comedy shows. Justin Illusion was great - a show we won't forget. The "Rock Music" production was a disappointment and both boys were relieved when it was over. We were surprised to see the Camp Carnival kids at this show - I can't imagine the kids enjoying it. Laser Tag was offered one night - the boys both enjoyed it and hoped it was offered again; it was not.
Disappointed at the movies on the big screen - I had imagined we'd spend a couple of nights watching family movies on deck but only recall one night where any movies were appealing.
Looked for a lounge with a view but never found one, though we enjoyed the martini bar and the bartender, Ioana. Her drinks and conversation were memorable. Fortunately, it was located near the arcade so we'd send the boys into the arcade and enjoy a martini (or two) a few nights. We kept the boys with us for the cruise, with the exception of a few trips to the free-flowing ice cream.
Since it was President's Week, there were a decent number of kids on board - most well behaved. The only really offending kids behavior I saw were a bunch of pre-teens throwing hotdogs into the pool while they ran around the pool deck. They tired of this quickly and went off to some other annoying task no doubt.
We choose Anytime Dining, we sat in the same location each night, our waiter Putack (?) and his team were great. The flexibility of the dining time and having the same servers were the best of both traditional dining and new dining options. Food was great - not a single complaint other than the amount of salt added. Nightly, we contended with swollen ankles. On another note - the number of obese adults and kids was horrifying. We witnessed a very very large man inhale 3 burritos then have to turn sideways and place a hand on the table and one on the back of the booth to lift himself out of the booth. I honestly don't know how some of these people fit in the bathroom door. Red Sail buffet was plentiful, clean and promptly refilled. If someone complains about the food here I have absolutely nothing to say to you. Only problem was the long line and limited hours of the Burrito Bar.
Ordered a bottle of amaretto and vodka from Bon Voyage - brought re-usable bottles from home and filled them with lemonade from the buffet. Worked out perfectly. Thanks for the tips from this board!
Our cabin, 8240, was very convenient - easy walk up to the pools and buffet. Felt the cabin was smaller than on the other ships - less storage. Thomas did a good job but I was disappointed that on our last night he slacked off (no ice, didn't remove the wet towels from the bathroom floor). Not a big deal, just left me wondering ....
Cozumel - did the Isla Pasion by Twister. Fun fun fun. Highlight of the vacation for the boys. A bit annoying that everyone seemed to ask for tips. Not just the men on the Twister boat but EVERYONE on Isla Pasion. Bring lots of small bills. Pepe and Ricky from the twister boat were amazing - made sure everyone was safe and had a great time - happy to tip these guys but the person at Isla Pasion that says "Welcome to our island ..... " oh well, it's vacation.
Belize - enjoyed a less crowded ship and did not go ashore.
Roatan - private tour booked through Rony. Our guide was Sonia and her 16 year old son. Went to the monkeys then to Half Moon Bay at the suggestion of Sonia. No charge for chairs, great snorkeling. She left her son with us, we invited him for lunch which he humbly accepted. Food was great and the boys enjoyed learning about the island from the perspective of a kid.
Grand Cayman - booked through stingraysailing. Great day, great service - maybe 18 of us on the catamaran. Tendering is a huge annoyance and I can certainly understand how some people prefer to avoid cruises involving tender ports.
I treated myself to a spa treatment on the last sea day. Afika did a great job with my "head to toes?" treatment - it was nicely discounted $129 from $199; no hard sell of products, just a recommendation which I politely declined. Treatment was excellent but felt the "spa" lacked a "spa environment" - robe, showers, etc. More of a locker room feeling. Was looking forward to taking some spin classes -even brought my spin shorts but only saw it offered once. I expected an active schedule of spin, step, and zumba classes but only saw 1 or 2 listed in the fun times each day.
Each of us enjoyed the Glory and Carnival; it's our favorite ship - we prefer the layout of NCL Dawn - but we were very pleased with Carnival and would not hesitate to travel on the Glory or any other Carnival ship in the future.