This was our second cruise, and it was GREAT! Truly an enjoyable experience. I've read a few reviews from past cruisers on the Carnival Glory, so I had a pretty good idea what to expect. To anyone who has ever rated this ship a BAD experience, all I have to say is- What were YOU doing WRONG??? The Carnival Glory crew from room stewards, to dining staff, to anyone else on the ship are very friendly, and go out of their way to please you. In my humble opinion, anyone who doesn't enjoy themselves on the Glory have lofty expectations. OK so now onto the various different areas:
Embarkation Day: This could not have been a smoother process. We arrived at the port of Norfolk early (Having read some prior cruise critic reviews that recommended arriving before the posted embarkation time) this paid off HUGE! We arrived around 11:15 AM dropped our bags off at the port, dropped the car off at the Cedar Grove parking facility and on the ship by 11:45. In contrast our previous cruise in Baltimore we arrived at the published time, and sat in the terminal for nearly an hour and a half. Sunny day, we enjoyed the Lido Deck and explored the ship a bit before our room was ready promptly at 1:30. Through our carry-on bags in the room and proceeded to continue to explore the ship. Lots of stuff to see when arriving on a new ship! We discovered the Serenity Deck, which was where my fiance and her sister set up camp to tan the remainder of the week. I have to say, the addition of the Serenity Deck's on Carnival cruise ships is a welcome addition, it's sometimes nice to get away from rowdy crowds and children!
Food: I am not much of a "foodie" though my travelling companions are, so for me any food that I don't have to pay for is AWESOME. The truth is I'd eat hot dogs and hamburgers all week as long as I can be on a cruise, but since that isn't the case I will comment on some of the great items I've had this week: FIRST and foremost was my favorite meal: Lobster and Shrimp on the first formal night. I had two plates! Next was the Braised Brisket, this was the most tender meat I've ever tasted and it was truly a delight! I also had the opportunity to try Shark meat... this was actually pretty good too.
The lido deck offered standard fare and as always met my expectations, though again I know some cruisers fancy finer food, but to them I say: take a luxury cruise! Nothing I ate on this cruise was a disappointment, nothing was cold, and everything was simply great! A shout out for the 24 hour Pizza station! That pizza is excellent!
Ports of Call: On this particular cruise we sailed straight from Norfolk to Nassau where we stayed for two days. This was the number one reason we'd picked this particular cruise, as we had been in Nassau the previous year but could only stay till dinner one day. We are fans of Atlantis so we made that our excursion both days! Cruise Critic Top Tip: DO NOT PAY FOR ATLANTIS THROUGH CARNIVAL!!! I know most people reading this are far more experienced at this than I, but having spent much of the past year researching aspects of cruising and discovering this site, I learned some stuff myself. For instance: Through Carnival you can book ONE Aquaventure at Atlantis for $195 per person per day. This allows you access to the pools and water park. This would have cost the three of us $1,170 (pretty much HALF the cost of our cruise!) HOWEVER with a little research we learned that you can book a room at the Comfort Suites ACROSS the street from Atlantis and the three of us rec'd wrist bands to access the pools and water park for TWO days all for $240- a savings over $900! And if you're so inclined you have a place to shower up before returning to the ship! Love spending time in Nassau! Also got to see quite a collection of Carnival Cruise ships while in Nassau... I think we saw the Fantasy, the Elation, the Destiny, the Conquest, the Fascination, and the Pride (which we'd previously sailed on a year ago). I've become something of a ship-nerd!
Our second port of call was Freeport, we elected not to get off the ship, so not much to report on this port.
Cabin: Our cabin was a balcony cabin on the Aft of the ship. Tried this as it was a little cheaper than the full aft extended balcony we had previously sailed on the Pride with. Cabin dimensions were the same as the previous cruise, a king bed and converted sofa. However we discovered that having a cabin on the side of the ship was more appealing than the back of the ship as we could see more things around us. Highly recommend side-balcony cabins! Other items of note as always are the fun towel animals to come home to every evening!
In summary, this was our second cruise, but we are already eagerly anticipating planning our third! I know I'm new to this world compared to many of the more seasoned travelers, and I have missed out on some of the 'finer points' of travelling such as food and such, but I'm not a celebrity I don't need super luxury to enjoy a cruise. I need a ship, great food, fun atmosphere, and great travelling companions and I'm happy. Carnival supplied this in spades!
Quick note on the great debate this year over Carnival's new "Comfort Selections" meals (ie: cheaper food to serve) I had both Filet Mignon and Lobster Tail a cruise classic, but I also had Comfort Selection Beef Brisket- IT WAS EXCELLENT! So before you turn your nose up, I suggest you give it a chance!
And THEN we came home to snow! From 90 degree days in Nassau to 35 degrees in PA!