I feel almost guilty in writing this review. Our travel agent worked so very hard to make this an enjoyable vacation. No small task pulling together a group of 36 people! For this we will be forever grateful. This was our second cruise, but our first cruise with Carnival. Sadly, it will be our last.
Last January we cruised with Royal Caribbean on the Voyager of The Seas. I guess it ruined us as we were just not that impressed with the Carnival Glory. It felt like a Walmart cruise without the Walmart price.
Boarding was a breeze for us as we were traveling with friends that graciously dealt with parking, etc. Our wait for our cabin was short & we were able to drop our carry ons in no time. We had a balcony room. That was wonderful. Very spacious (even the bathroom!). Although our room steward never introduced himself, he was very attentive to our needs. We really like the fact that we had an ice machine just down the hall from our room so we could get ice whenever we needed it rather than waiting for our steward.
After we unpacked a few things, we gathered up some of our group & went to grab some lunch. This was to be the beginning of our " stand in line" cruise. It seemed we were constantly standing in one line or another for way too much of the cruise. If we weren't standing in line for one thing, it was another. We were standing in line to board a bus to our excursions or standing in line to get back on board or standing in a buffet line, or standing in line at the elevators, lines, lines, every where we went! We felt like sheep!
The staff that we dealt with regularly (our steward, our dining room wait staff) were wonderful. Jamal & Anna made us feel most welcome. It was Jamal's last cruise as his contract had expired. We felt he still treated us as if it were his first. He made our dining room experience special every night. Most of the remainder of the crew either ignored us or were downright rude. When we did get a few to speak to us we found there is a definite unhappiness in the crew. Their morale is very low. We were amazed to find it is a shipwide problem. No matter the work environment you will always have one or two unhappy people. We were amazed to find onboard the Glory just the opposite was true. We found maybe one or two that were genuinely happy. The rest were just anxious to be done with their contracts & get as far away from a cruise ship as they could get. The unhappiness of the crew of the Glory is almost palpable. We felt that because of this attention to detail onboard was non existent. It did not make for an enjoyable cruise environment.
Although the ship was "surface clean" were were surprised by how dirty & neglected some areas were. Not once during the entire cruise were any of the outside windows cleaned. Our balcony had visible rust & was in bad need of repainting. All of the varnish had worn off the railing. In many of the public areas it was apparent no deep cleaning had been done in quite some time. This puzzled me in a ship only two years old! We also noticed many of the dishes in the dining rooms were cracked or chipped. Wonder if those same dishes are on the table when health inspections are being done, or only when paying customers are on board ... hmmmm On our first formal night a waitress accidentally spilled an alcoholic drink down the shoulder of my $100.00 hand painted jacket. Accidents happen. I was not angry. I thought the poor girl would faint right there. Our waiter explained that some people would have had the girl drawn & quartered. Not my style! After I assured her I was fine, she found the dining room steward who said that if I dropped the jacket off with the pursers desk they would have it dry cleaned for me. No worries! (or so I thought!). I went straight to my room, changed & dropped the jacket off. They asked the value of the garment in case it could not be properly cleaned. $100.00 is what I had paid for the jacket I told them. They said it would be dry cleaned but would not be finished for two or three days. Okay. I had another formal outfit to wear if it did not get done in time. Upon our return from our excursion the following day there was a message on our phone from the pursers desk. My jacket could not be cleaned as they had no dry cleaning services on board but they were prepared to offer me a $10.00 credit to my account so I could have my jacket cleaned after I got home. Long story short: after 4 very angry trips to the pursers desk over the next 3 days my jacket now ruined as the stain had set in, I was left with a $30.00 credit to my account & a cheap Carnival beach towel as an apology. Not my idea of customer satisfaction at all. If I treated my customers like that I wouldn't have any! I thought the least they should have done was offer to pay to replace my jacket!
As to our excursions: First let me say this: It made me beyond angry after every day off the ship for an excursion we returned to find the buffet closed at 3:00 & only hamburgers, hot dogs or pizza to eat until 6:00 p.m. Again more long lines as there was nothing else to eat! I don't eat fast food at home! I did not pay cruise ship fare to eat fast food!
Excursions: We just shopped in Key West & had a great time with our friends. We liked that you had the option to rent little electric cars to run around in. In Belize we toured the River Wallace & visited Altun Ha. Our guides, Joyce & Denise, were informative & a real pleasure to "hang out with" for the day. The captain of our tour boat "Sea Senor" was truly the master of his craft. He was able to get us many photo opportunities of the river wildlife even if it meant backtracking! Altun Ha was an impressive site to say the least. Make sure you have plenty of sun block! The weather was perfect for us, but I understand it can be blistering! Plan on using the rest room before you get there. It is little more than a pit with a hut over it. Unlike all of our other excursions, we did not have ANY time to shop after this excursion. We were later told that the port belonged to RC cruises & Carnival did not want to share $ with them. We could not find anyone on board the Glory willing to confirm or deny this.
In Cozumel we took a cab & visited Mr Sancho's beach. The friends that were with us had visited it last year. Seems many of the tourists have discovered it. The prices had more than doubled from the previous year & we had to pay tax on our food & drink! We'll not go back there again! The highlight of the entire cruise was Chichen Itza. There are simply not enough words to describe the wonder of the site. Well worth the two hour bus ride each way. The bus was a very nice & air conditioned with a rest room! Our tour guide, Carlos, was informative & made us feel truly welcome. A sack lunch was provided. A very nice touch! Wish we would have had more time to tour the area. Just too large of an area to cover in only one hour. When you think you've seen it all, think again. Can't wait to visit there again. Just not on a Carnival cruise.