This was our third sailing on the Glory and tenth on Carnival so we've been there. I started this review as a long winded thorough evaluation but decided that shorter is better and most likely to be read, and heeded.
The ship: Entered service in 2003 and is showing its age. No amount of industrious cleaning by the service staff, they work hard around the clock, is going to make up for the ravages of time and hundreds of thousands of passengers spilling drinks and food everywhere. Carpets in the common areas and passageways is threadbare and worn. The ship has that old hotel smell. Wall paper is peeling in places and the passageway bulkheads are scarred.
Entertainment: If you're expecting Broadway or Las Vegas quality entertainment in the main show room, the Amber Palace, you will be disappointed. True, there is something to do just about any hour of the day or night but most of the things offered are not those that most will either enjoy of participate in doing. The casino is very tight and the table rules heavily favor the house. We didn't see many smiling faces at the tables or slot machines. The lounges offer another option but their main theme is to sell you very expensive booze. If you plan on drinking on this ship, bring money.
The food: The food in the main dining rooms, the Golden and Platinum Dining rooms, is bad. Everything is either under or over cooked and served cool or cold. Most fast food or chain restaurants do better. There are other eating options on the upper decks of the ship. As the cruise progressed, it was evident from the thinning number of people eating in the main dining rooms and the increasing numbers using other dining options such as the buffet that we were not alone finding the main dining experience not acceptable.
Shopping is a mixed bag. As an example, the cruise line sells gold plated or layered chains by the inch, just as you can at any local flea market and of the same quality. You can buy expensive diamonds, jewelry, and watches in the on board shops. You can buy art at one of the Park West art auctions and sales. Use Google to check the reputation and history of this company. Park West has been removed from at least one other major cruise line. How many people go on a cruise to buy diamonds, jewelry, and art anyway? Any liquid other than coffee, lemonade, or over brewed tea is extra. Shopping is best done at a non cruise line controlled port. And did I mention that Josh, the cruise director, is also the marketing director? He makes numerous daily announcements on the ship PA system about opportunities to spend more money with Carnival. Like bingo. Auctions. Mixology. Etc. If you enjoy being nickeled to death at every opportunity, this is the cruise line for you.
Our evaluation of the cruise is best summed up by my wife. She calls it the cruise from h*ll and if we could have made airline connections out of San Juan, we would have left the ship at that port. We returned home on a Sunday and received a call from a Carnival representative Monday asking how we enjoyed our "wonderful cruise"? My wife took the call and, when the caller heard her evaluation, discovered that he had to take another call, immediately. He assured my wife that the line would be in touch. We haven't heard from the line and don't expect that call.
We will be cruising over Christmas and will most probably choose another line. Would we cruise with Carnival again? Probably not.