This was our 8th Carnival cruise and we have taken 1 cruise with Royal Caribbean. We are from Georgia and have always gone south from the ports in Florida and Alabama, but this year we decided to try going north.
We arrived in New York 1 day prior to our departure and stayed at the Cassa Hotel at 6th ave and 45th. We were only 2 blocks from the Times Square. Most of the hotels are in the $300 per night price range so I chose this hotel based positive reviews and on travelocity and a no-smoking policy on the premises. We were not disappointed. I had payed extra for a deluxe room because many of the rooms are smaller in New York. We checked-in about 11:45 am. They were very nice and said it would be about 20 minutes. They upgraded our room and is was very, very nice.
Emarkation: We like arriving early to beat the crowds and it was a piece of cake. Arrived at 11:00 am and we had just a few people ahead of us. We were processed quickly and had to wait less than 30 minutes when the load by zones. We had a balcony room so this wasn't a VIP checkin.
We had a balcony room on the Empress deck. This our first time with a balcony so we were pleased with the extra room. Our cabin steward was very nice and kept our room neat. Our cabin had a small refrigerator with sodas, beer, and liquor which was pay via a-la=cart. We only used some of the sodas because we had preordered our alcohol via bon-voyage and it was waiting in our room.
Entertainment: We always enjoy the broadway type shows with singing and dancing. As always, they were very good. Glory had a comedy club and it was a great place to have a laugh.
Food: This was the largest ship we have sailed and it has many options. We had early dining and the food was typical of other cruises. Your must be patient because the entrees seem to be slower than normal. I'm talking 30 minutes from starter to entry. The staff was very nice and and on lobster night, he allowed us to get a second entry of lobster. The only steak was "flat-iron" steak so if you are looking for a sirloin or filet mignon, you will have to pay $30.00 per person extra and make reservations in the "Emerald" steak restaurant.
Port of Saint John: We took a trolly tour which lasts about 1.5 hours. The guide provided some neat historical information and we stopped briefly at the reversing rapids. The short tour met our expectation and gave us some time to walk around the city on our own. The mall and other stores and close to ship and had an excellent lunch at a local beer brewery.
Debarkation: We had a 1:00 pm flight our of LaGuardia so we had prearranged our airport transfer via Carnival. After "self-assist" departed from the ship they began calling via zones. We were among the first zones to be called so we could meet our bus. We were through customs by 9:00 am and quickly on our bus. Scheduled departure was 9:30 but we had to wait for 2 other passengers. We departed about 9:50 and it took us about 40 minutes to arrive at LaGuardia. Bottom line--Debarkation was very simple for us.
Glory is a beautiful ship and the only thing that would have made our vacation perfect was to see a little sunshine. Both days at sea were very foggy. If you stood on the Lido deck, you could hardly see top of the red fin. On the last day around lunch time, it was 57 degrees and foggy. We didn't see the sun until we arrived back in New York.
We enjoyed our trip but will go to the Caribbean next.