My husband and I just returned from a 5 day cruise on The Glory to St. John, NB and Halifax, NS. Prior to embarkation, we read pages and pages of reviews. This was our 5th cruise, 3rd on Carnival, but the first that was booked on a spur of the moment. That being said, we had few expectations, and were extremely satisfied with this cruise.
One of the reasons we chose to travel on The Glory was the ease of access from the NYC port. The port is easy to find and we appreciate being able to park a stones throw away from the ship ($30/day, prepaid). Despite Monday morning rush hour, we did not have any problems with traffic. We arrived at the port at 9:30 (for a 12:00 boarding call) and were asked to park in an adjacent garage for 15 minutes until the remaining passengers had disembarked and moved their cars. During this time, we were able to walk around and enjoy the scenery, grab a coffee from a vendor and use the restrooms at the port. After a few minutes, the second garage opened up and we parked literally 50 feet from the place where we needed to put our bags.
The embarkation process was well organized and efficient - after passing through security, we only waited until about 11:00 when they began boarding. Although the rooms were not ready until 1:00, we were able to enjoy lunch at the buffet, the deli, the Mongolian Wok station, and the burrito bar. The food was exceptional, plentiful, and at this early hour there were no lines. We enjoyed the pool, hot tubs (which were plenty hot), and napping on one of the double hanging hammocks on the Serenity Deck. The ship set sail at 6pm with a wonderful view of the skyline, and a heart attack inducing smokestack-just-barely-clears-the-Verrazano-Bridge.
I recently heard that the Carnival Glory received two back to back health inspections with scores of 100% in the month of July. This was supported in all aspects of our stay. The food was delicious. Our rooms and the common areas were immaculate. The staff took great pride in their work and were more than happy to assist when needed (although we never did). A few aspects of the ship's layout which I found unique: more than adequate lounge chairs on the decks - even during peak hours, we were always able to find space to sit and relax; smoking areas were limited to one area on lido deck, one bar, and part of the casino, so as a non smoker this was a big plus; a retractable roof over the back pools and hot tubs (open til 12am) for inclement weather; and finally the adults only deck (Serenity) was spacious and there were few distractions so it truly was a great useful space.
The entertainment staff did a great job of supporting a wide variety activities. There were six hot tubs (four adult only), two pools, deck games such as chess, shuffleboard, and ping pong, and mini golf. We attended several trivia events, movies, and a liquor tasting. The evening shows including two musical reviews, two comedians, and Justin the Illusionist were top notch. Incidentally, we attended multiple sessions of the comedians and heard new material each time. The night of Justin, we learned that a new dance team would be coming on board - so many staff members attended the performance to show support - this added to the overall energy of the show and made for a great evening. One thing that we like about Carnival is that there are occasions to grab a few drinks on the house. We attended cocktail hour for past guests and were treated to drinks, dancing, and snacks. We also attended the Captain's Farewell which was similar. We were surprised as only about 50 people showed for this event as it was a nice prelude to dinner, and of course plenty of free cocktails!
We had two ports of call: St. John and Halifax. St. John was a great place to walk and the welcoming staff at the port really went out of their way to be friendly. They also sent us off with lapel pins, maps, and postcards as a welcoming gift. We had seafood chowder at a small cafe, and walked all over town looking at the historical monuments, cemeteries, and churches. That evening, we encountered thick fog on our way out of the port. This delayed our arrival into Halifax the next day. Apparently this is common on this route, so we recommend booking later excursions. We spent the day on the boardwalk enjoying the harbor view and fifty or so street performers. We were back on board by 5pm.
I have two recommendations for folks considering this cruise. Bring binoculars! I forgot mine and missed out on some great whale watching and harbor sights. Secondly, I wish I had brought a lightweight blanket for use on deck in the evenings. We had plenty of warm clothes and our room beach towels, but a fleece throw would have been nice to have during the fog.
As a final note, I'd like to follow up on a few earlier critiques that I found not be the case for our cruise. The weather was not a factor in enjoying the ports of call. It rained both days, but we had good raincoats and found it perfectly fine. Both of the main shopping/tourist areas in the ports had covered walkways and indoor areas such as museums. We had no issues with sanitation, staff, or other guests on the Carnival Glory. We cruise for the opportunity to interact with environments, people, and cities that are new and different from our home. We appreciate the diversity of the crowd and the many opportunities provided by cruising.
This cruise was not only a value for a short vacation, but a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I'd highly recommend this voyage for anyone wanting an easy, relaxing trip!