Embarkation went smoothly. We got to the port around 10:30am, parked there, got checked in quickly. We did have a little bit of a wait to board the ship. They began boarding around 11:30am for wedding groups and platinum status. About 15 minutes later, they started regular boarding. We were on the ship between 12 - 12:15pm.
We booked two rooms, next to each other on Upper deck. We had to put one adult in each room and then was able to just switch it up after we got on the ship. The room keys didn't work out as I thought it would, but it was fine.
They were not able to switch our room keys since the guys were in one room and girls in another, so they just gave us "extra" room keys (no charging privileges on that card). So my husband carried around two keys and so did my daughter. One for each room and charging privileges on only one. Worked out fine. That way we could get in each others rooms. Sometimes I left notes on the mirror for the kids if they were still sleeping when I got up.
The ship was very full. I think they said 3700 passengers on it. Lines for food were long at times and other times were not. Many options for food on Lido Deck. Pizza Bar, Burrito bar, Deli Bar, Grand Buffet Station, Taste of Nations station, outside grill, Fish & Chips and Mongolian Wok. Burritos were good, but served cold (not hot like I expected). Deli sandwiches were excellent and often not busy. Mongolian Wok was good but took a while. Didn't care for the fish & chips (only tried it once). I didn't try the pizza but the kids liked it. Of course, the 24 hr ice cream machines were visited several times a day.
The photographers were all over the place (on lido deck, in the dining room, every port we got off at) and though they were not overly pushy, one thing I didn't like was that they are set up with their backgrounds all along the promenade deck (inside) and that is a very narrow and busy area with people going from one end of the ship to the other. It got very congested in there with the photgraphers and people waiting in line, etc. On this class of ship, decks 3 & 4 do not go all the way across the ship. The dining rooms are on those two levels. Golden Dining room is in the middle of the ship (anytime dining) and Platinum Dining room is at the back of the ship. Since our cabin was at the front of the ship (Upper deck 6), we had to walk from one end to the other to get to dinner and we typically did that on promenade deck (deck 5).
I liked our cabin location and would definitely choose that again. The Amber Palace show room was below us but was not a bother since the shows were always done by 11:30pm. Our cabins were right near the elevator and stairs and was quite convenient....no noise issues.
Cozumel.....Nice port area (Puerta Maya). You do have to walk a ways to get to the taxis, past all of the shops/bars/restaurants. Taxi cost us $20.00 each way (5 ppl) for a 10-15 minute ride to Paradise Beach. This place was awesome! They have a brand new pool area which is gorgeous and some of the chairs sit right down on a ledge in the water. Then the beach area is all set up with chairs and umbrellas, small tables and there are floaty type toys in the ocean. Big things the kids climb on. The huge iceburg (ike a climbing wall) was the big hit. Only problem was that there were rocks in the shallow sand area and I saw many adults stumble and almost fall walking out of the water. Two of my kids cut their feet on them. There were waiters walking around to get you what you needed. There was no entrance fee. It cost $12.00 for a bracelet to use the water toys/snorkeling stuff and $2.00 to "rent" a beach chair with umbrellas & small tables. They ask you to spend $10.00 per person on food/drink while you are there. We ordered snacks (nachos and chicken fingers) and some beer/alcoholic drinks. The kids had cokes. Our bill was just over $60.00. There were a couple of shops there, a couple of bars and a restaurant and they offered free wi fi and also had computers for you to use. Very clean bathroom/changing room.
Belize..... The tender rides were quite long - about 20 minutes. But they were new and large and held a lot of people. I booked our ziplining tour with a place called cave-tubing.net The guy who runs it is called Major Tom. His son, Minor Tom helps him run the business. They came with good recommendations from Trip Advisor. I emailed him a few times before I booked and he always got right back to me that same day. Cost for this excursion booked from Carnival was $109.00 per person. Cost from Major Tom was $70.00 per person.... both included transportation back & forth and I think it was somewhere between 8-10 ziplines. One thing I asked him in an email was if we would be brought back to the port after we were done ziplining or if we had to wait for the cave tubers to get done before we go back to the port. He said "you do not wait for the cave tubers. We put you on the next available ride back to the port". Something that I found out when we got there is that ALL the tour companies go to the SAME location for ziplining. Major Tom said to get on the earliest tender possible. We got on the second tender, walked down the pier and through the terminal to get to the outside where all the tour operators were (including the ship tours). Very easy to find where we needed to go and the people were all very friendly and directed us where to go. We waited around for about 20 minutes for everyone to show up. Nice bathrooms to use there and a nice waiting area in the shade. There were SEVERAL tour companies in this area....all doing the SAME tours. Our group was called and we were put on an air conditioned bus for the 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hr bus ride. We sat up near the front which was good since the lady who narrated didn't have a working microphone so at least we were able to hear what she was saying. She was very informative and told us alot as we rode. We got there and they directed us where to go right away to zipline. We were the first group there to zipline. There were 10 ppl in our group. The guys working there were excellent and I thought very competent. Very helpful and patient, too. I was impressed at the system they used for the ziplines and felt very safe. When we were done, the others in our group went to do the cave tubing since they booked both ziplining and cave tubing (others from our bus did ONLY the cave tubing and had already left for that). We were told to go up to the upper level restaurant and would get lunch. I didn't know anything about that but hey....great, right? We got up there and they told us we needed tickets for the food, which we didn't have. Then they were asking us the name of our tour guide, etc. Then they told us it would be $10.00 per person to eat. We said no thanks and left. We sat outside in the shade and waited for Minor Tom. When he walked by, he asked if we ate. We said no, that they wanted to charge us 10.00 per person so we declined. He got mad and went up and yelled at the guy in the restaurant, came down and told us we could go up and eat, that it was included in our tour. By that time, we were hot and tired and said "no thanks, we are ready to go back". That was a problem. We didn't have a ride back at that time. They would not take our bus back if it wasn't full and there were no other tour operators leaving that had any room for 5 of us. After over an hour wait and a few not so nice words from my husband, he found us some room on a departing van. There were 7 people in it already and they fit the five of us in it, too. Didn't shop or anything in Belize, just hopped on a tender and headed back to the ship. This ended up being our favorite excursion even though we had the long wait to leave. When talking with the other people in the van, I found out that on their excursion, the zipliners went seperate in a van and it waited for them, then took them back after they were done. That is what Major Tom should have done, and had the cave tubers be seperated from us in a different van or bus. Oh well.....not something that would ruin our vacation. Live and learn.
Roatan..... LOVED this island! Beautiful! We did the ship excursion called Jolly Roger Snorkel Tour & Gumbalimba Park. We rode on a bus (a long a curvy road) for about 25 minutes. They took us to the park first. It was a guided tour about the history of the island, local plants & trees and this is where we got to hold the macaws & monkeys. Then they walked us down to the beach and onto the catamaran for snorkeling. Snorkeling was fun. Kids liked it....they never snorkeled in deep water before. Then back on the catamaran after 30 minutes. Gave us free drinks....pop or rum punch. Then rode the same bus back to the port. Wished we would have had time to spend at Mahogany Bay beach area. The beach area was beautiful even if it wasn't "natural". Had free beach chairs to use. I walked down there with my daughter and got her hair braided. Then we sat at Fat Tuesdays and had a snack and drinks. They have these flying chairs (like a chair lift) that take you can to the beach area but it costs something like $10.00 each (roundtrip) and is only a 5 minute walk....so we walked. The ship was leaving at 3:30pm and we weren't cleared to get off the ship until 8:30am so it is waaaay too short of a stop! They need to make it longer!
Grand Cayman.....Been here before, swam with the stingrays on a previous visit. We didn't plan anything here this time. Took the short tender in. Walked around shops and took some pictures. Stopped at Margaritaville for free wifi and snacks and drinks. Dirty tables, slow service (even though it wasn't busy) and expensive. Then back to the ship. Rained just a little bit after we got back on the ship. Just a short rain.
Overall, all the Glory staff was excellent and friendly. Was greeted many times by the staff. Our room steward was great - was the SAME one we had on the Inspiration last year - how funny is that? Dining room crew was very good. Not perfect but they worked hard and were very busy, always trying to keep everyone happy. Food was mostly good. One night at dinner, I didn't like many of the choices but otherwise, no complaints. Always hot, just right portions for me, but husband and oldest son often ordered extras.
We found a bar waiter on Lido deck for the week and used him most of the time. He treated us very well! Of course, we ordered alot from him....lol.
The movies that they played outside on the big screen were "Jonah Hex", "Toy Story 3", "Grown Ups", "Iron Man 2" and one more that I can't remember. The shows in the Amber Palace Lounge were ok, not great. Singers were really good. My daughter went to the Justin Illusion magic show and liked it. They had 4 comedians. We went to the early comedy shows at 7:30pm (family friendly) before our dinner and three of them were quite funny and one was a total dud. He knew it too. Told us to come back to the adult show later.....
There was a free sushi bar every night. Husband and daughter tried it....neither one liked it. The cruise director was Jorge Solano (George before 5pm, Horhay after 5pm). He was very funny! He had a morning show each day at 9am with his "fun crew" on the big screen on lido deck and gave away prizes for trivia questions that they asked and then passengers had to call in with the answer. They also gave info. on what was going on for the day.
Debarkation went fine. We didn't have flights so weren't a priority to get off early. They called our zone (27) around 9:45am, found our luggage on the carousel, got through customs, and were in the car leaving by 10:45am. We all had a wonderful trip and look forward to another cruise...