The Carnival Glory was a beautiful ship, but there were clearly some areas that Carnival needs to improve on. I have never written a review before, but I feel compelled to do so to give others some information that will help them make a decision about their cruise choice.
This was a family cruise with family gathering to celebrate husbands 50th birthday. We live in Connecticut so the New York embarkation was a great feature. We all took Amtrak in to the City for a great beginning to the trip. We arrived at Penn Station about 11 and quickly grabbed taxi's and headed to the port. Taxi was about $10 with tip. We arrived at the port gave our baggage to the porters and headed to check in. Process was awesome. We were all through check in in less than 20 minutes and we were on board the Glory by noon.
First impression, the Glory was pretty, very Las Vegas, glitzy style. Seemed well maintained. Music was playing in the lobby and plenty of waiters serving the drink of the day... The funship special. Price was $7.25, but future drinks were $6.25 for a refill. Not too bad. We all headed to the Lido to check out the ship and headed to the Red Sail for lunch. Food was pretty good for buffet. We especially liked the Deli and the grill. Teens loved the pizzeria, and Fish and Chips on the upper level. Ice cream machines were on both sides of the Lido and we were always amazed how much ice cream/frozen yogurt was served. Coffee, ice tea and lemonade service was free. A definite plus. Soda cards were available for $6 per day, but did not get as no one in our party drinks soda. Bottled water is $1.95 plus gratuity so if you want water you might want to bring some on board. Carnival allows for 12 pack per person of water or soda. Seems like a good idea if you drink alot.
From there we headed to explore the ship. Layout was great. Promenade deck was the main thoroughfare and once we figured that out life was good. The Serenity adult only area was AWESOME. Quite the place with cushioned lounge chairs and round palazzo style chairs that were without a doubt heavenly. We headed toward the dining room...we had late seating in the Platinum. Pretty nice area in the aft of the ship. We toured the spa and it was nice. Prices a bit high, but it is a cruise ship and expected to see high prices. We did not use any spa services this trip. We headed our room that was ready by 1:20. We had a 8F balcony on the Panorama deck. This was without a doubt the best location. It is close to the main elevators and had easy access to the Lido deck and all services/entertainment. The room was good size. We were traveling with two kids and the room was configured with bunks which was great. Bathroom great size with ample room in the shower. Bigger than most cruise bathrooms. Great storage space. Three large closets. One with shelves that fit all of out clothing. Beds...ugh. NOT at all comfortable. Definitely needs new mattresses. I have slept on better fold out sofa's. Our balcony was good size, and quiet. We were surprised that the mesh chairs were speckled with paint. It seems like someone did not cover them when they painted the balcony. A minor detail, but a balcony is a luxury and it gave an impression of less than that. The room has a safe. To lock it you need a credit card with magnetic strip. I did not want to use a credit card because I did not want to have to carry it around, but had a store card ( savings card ) and that worked perfectly. We actually had two ( Husband and mine) and both worked to open the safe as we have the same card. Mini bar in room locked and we left it that way. Family had it unlocked and said it had a good selection.
New York has without a doubt the most beautiful sail away. Awesome view of the city skyline, Ellis Island, and Lady Liberty. Verrazano bridge was beautiful.
It does not get any better than this!
The meals were great. Good selection and although not Gourmet, it was very good and the caliber that you would find at Outback Steakhouse. Formal night was the second night. Most people did dress up for dinner with pants the norm, however of course there were many people wearing shorts and t shirts. The rules for dress in the dining room were not enforced. We had breakfast in the dining room and it was good. Never had lunch there but heard it was very good. Service was AWESOME.
This is by far the area that Carnival fails at. The shows in the Amber palace were AWFUL. Cheesy, amateurish shows. The dancers were not in sync and the singing was less than what you should see. We had heard mixed reviews about the illusionist. He was terrible. The show was loud and fireworks kind of interested you, but again it was amateurish. You could figure it all out easily. We were disappointed. Bingo and Karaoke abounded. Some days 3-4 sessions. We tried bingo once and won $100 bucks, but that is not our cup of tea. Some sessions were one game for $20. That is not entertainment... that is robbery. Karaoke was everywhere and kids were the primary entertainers. Myley Cyrus...ugh! We did enjoy the comedians. The unfortunate thing is so did everyone else. They hold it in the Ebony cabaret and it was so crowed people were sitting on steps and standing. Seemed like a safety issue. Probably would be better in the Amber Palace.
Saint John, NB
A beautiful Canadian port. We had great weather and did the highlights tour which was good. Stopped at the Reversing falls and found that very cool. It was New Brunswick provincial day so lots of activities in the city. We had a great day there.
Unfortunately this port was cancelled due to heavy fog the night before and that would not have allowed us to port until 7 hours after our scheduled port arrival. We were disappointed, but a sea day was ok. We spent some time on Lido deck, played shuffleboard, mini golf, and threw some $ at the casino and won a little. Did not see any big jackpots, but did notice little wins...
White heat was nice, but not alot of people went here. Loud music so you could not hear yourself think. We went to piano bar, and were disappointed here as well. It was ok, but the entertainer seemed to cater to those around the piano and did not engage the whole room. We found that the sports bar was always empty. The promenade deck is laden with photographers at dinner time. Found it very annoying. It was every 10 feet.
Well done Carnival. We were ported in NYC about 7 and the disembarkation occured by zone shortly after 8:30. We had zone 12...smooth as glass. Waited on the Lido until called and were called about 9... Headed down and were off the ship and through customs by 9:20. Taxi line was LONG. But then an angel dressed in a black suit approached us, and we scored a Lincoln Navigator to the station for 6 of us at $30. SO worth it. It kept us together vs. 2 taxis. At the train station befor 10 am.... WOOHOO!!!
All in all we had a great time. It was a great family celebration, but I am not sure we would every sail Carnival again. The entertainment quality really is not there and left us wanting more. It is not up to the caliber of a cruise line. The Canadian itinerary is awesome, but be prepared for fog.