Overall, loved our first cruise experience!!
Fast and smooth. We went from shuttle to on board in about 45 minutes. I had forgotten to sign my renewed passport, so I had to do that quickly to get through security.
Our stateroom (ocean view 2287):
Stability: comfortably stable, did move some. I would call it a slow shudder, rather than a roll, when we had choppy seas, which we did for one evening and one full day and night. I would liken it to a slow earthquake (although as a Midwesterner I've never been in one ? ).
The size of a small hotel room, there was plenty of room.
Closets: 3, with a shelf at the bottom
Shelves: 1 closet with floor to nearly ceiling shelves; a couple more next to the fridge; a couple under the lamps
Drawers: didn't count, let's see...4 next to closet; long shallow vanity drawer under the mirror
I may have forgotten a couple.
We would have liked a few more hangers.
Bathroom: plenty of storage. Several shelves on each side of the mirror. The only thing I would add is one in the shower. No matter how hard I tried, I always managed to get water leaked out onto the floor.
View: Excellent. A balcony might have been nice, but we didn't miss it. The window outside was dirty, however, which was unpleasant.
Steward: Didn't meet him until the second day, but polite and very efficient. The room was always spotless, and he responded to our postit requests to leave the towel animals and provide us with a room service menu promptly.
The Glory is showing its age. While still very clean, the wood is chipped and losing some shine; the exterior is a little scummy; the rubber seals and gaskets are beginning to crumble. This in no way diminished our experience, and the crew was fastidious about cleaning daily, or more.
The decor, while a little garish, is well designed and colorful. We enjoyed the sculptures, particularly in the casino, and the fun shapes of the furniture. However, we both hated the color changing ceiling of the Colors Lobby...it was something from a bad 60's acid trip.
The decor was elegant. We had Any Time Dining, which we really enjoyed. We LOVED our waiter Manuel, and requested him each night. We were seated usually at a window, in a 2-top. The table was very close to the next table, maybe 12", but we could converse with the next couple or not pretty easily. Overall the service was excellent to impeccable. We observed several, shall we say, high maintenance guests over the course of the cruise, and the wait staff was patient and accommodating to a fault.
The food was good, not great. The atmosphere in the main dining room was of a fine dining restaurant, and the presentation reflected it. Very elegant and well put together.
The most delightful dishes we had were the Chateau Briand (truly the best thing I ate all week), lasagna, and warm fig cake.
The worst was the Grand Marnier souffle...very eggy, like sweet scrambled eggs. We literally could not eat it; it was awful.
The warm chocolate melting cake was good, but overrated in my opinion. The cooked portion was a bit rubbery. The ice creams were lovely, as were the fruit soups. The prime rib was very good.
The lobster was very small (think langostino), but the flavor was fine.
The buffet was fine. The same quality of food you might expect at a Golden Corral.
The fish at fish and chips was terrible--greasy, heavy, doughy, and the fish had a strong smell and flavor. The fillets included the dark (usually discarded) portion of the meat. The fries were unremarkable, but the ceviche was good.
My husband said the deli Reuben he had was good; we did not try any other specialty counters, as we were in port or the dining room most of the time.
The chocolate buffet was good.
Frankly, the port and city were a bit of a disappointment. The peddlers were pesky but tolerable. We enjoy the cheesy tourist shops, so plenty of that to do.
We did the Beach Buggy and Snorkeling excursion by Carnival to Punta Sur. We highly recommend this excursion. The buggies were CUTE!!! Think Speed Buggy. The road to Punta Sur was very VERY rough; keep this in mind if you have a bad back or weak stomach. And wear your sunscreen!
Juan Carlos and Arrrrrturo (with 5 R's, you had to be there) were excellent guides. The lighthouse was interesting; the crocodile lagoon, a little dull.
Best of all was the beach and snorkeling. The snorkeling itself was not great, but the instruction was, and as a first timer, I really appreciated it. It was quite a swim to get to the area, and the guide moved very fast. I am in poor shape and managed it, but it was a workout for me, and much faster than I would have enjoyed.
The lunch was good, but scant. One flauta and one soft chicken taco, chips, and rice, plus soda.
There were massages and hammocks available, but there wasn't really time to use them.
We ended the day with a drink and people watching at Fat Tuesday's.
This port is what it was meant to be: a substitute for another port. Nothing more.
We started by taking a cab to the Tropicante in Mahahual. We plunked down in our reserved loungers under the umbrella--just inches from the water's edge--to enjoy the fantastic weather. The service was a little slow, but they were busy. Lunch was excellent and reasonable; I had the sour cream chicken enchiladas (very good but too much sauce), and hubby had the chorizo tacos. Excellent guacamole!
We didn't take the time for a massage, as there were only two tables and they stayed full.
The beach peddlers were a pain, but just keep telling them no. It was so hard to resist the children ?
After a few dips in the ocean and a few trinkets bargained, we headed back to port. We stopped at Senor Frogs, which was sadly almost deserted. Beware the waitress with the sombrero pouring booze down your gullet. She started on me, and got three shots down me before I made her stop. She then said "That will be nine dollars". What the...??? What a racket.
We enjoyed people watching at the pool, and watching the dolphins in the small enclosure.
So there is shopping, and drinking, and eating...and basically nothing else to do here.
Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras
This is a very pretty port; Carnival has done well. A lot of walking up and down hills though.
We did the Maya Key excursion...great decision.
The boat ride to the island was pleasant. The animal sanctuary was very interesting, and the American expatriate guide was very informative and truly loved her job.
The snorkeling, omigod the snorkeling! EXCELLENT AMAZING AWE INSPIRING BREATHTAKING coral! The fish we saw were small but colorful, but the coral made the exThe animal sanctuary was very interesting, and the American expatriate guide was very informative and truly loved her job.
The snorkeling, omigod the snorkeling! EXCELLENT AMAZING AWE INSPIRING BREATHTAKING coral! The fish we saw were small but colorful, but the coral made the experience truly a highlight of the trip. The only downsides: There is no instruction (good thing I had it figured out by then). I'm sure they would have helped out if asked, but no help was offered.
There were jellyfish...swarms of them. They were very small (2 or 3 inches) and transparent. But we both got stings. The stings were bothersome, but not terribly itchy or painful.
Note if you book a private excursion, be prepared to walk a long way. They were situated outside the port about a half mile down the road...over a steep hill.
The roadside scenery, buildings, and vendor booths were the most third world and poor looking we saw all week.
We arrived an hour ahead of schedule, and it showed. Neither the crew, nor the ship, nor the shops on shore were ready. And the power went out just before we walked onto the elevator. It flickered out several times more...we took the stairs. After we were on shore, we saw black smoke pour out of the stack for a few minutes, then everything seemed to be fine.
This port and city were our favorite. We enjoyed the island as a whole, and really soaked up the modern, island feel. Everyone seemed to have that lackadaisical, no worries attitude...precisely what we wanted our Caribbean escape to be.
We did the dolphin excursion/stingray city excursion. They were both great, well run, and oh so fun!
We are considering a vacation just to Grand Cayman.
Since we were staying the night in Fort Lauderdale before going home, we booked the South Beach excursion upon debarkation, which would drop us off at the Fort Lauderdale Airport.
Because of that, we were given special luggage tags and instructions. The idea was that we would have special early debarkation, however it didn't turn out that way.
We were supposed to meet in the Ebony Cabaret, but when we got there (a half hour before the forty-five minutes early that was requested), there was a sign outside the door that we needed to go to the Amber Palace...and be there in thirty minutes. So the people who showed up "on time" would have been late.
So off we went to the Amber Palace, where we wrestled with the other five hundred self debarkation passengers. What a mess.
We finally got off the ship and outside, where it was 48 degrees...the coldest Miami had seen all winter. And our bus wasn't there yet, so we had to wait in the cold and wind.
After we got on our way, the tour was fine and uneventful. This was the worst coordination by Carnival that we saw.
Cruise Critic advice I used:
Foldable clothes hamper--invaluable. Pulling out suitcases to put dirty clothes under the bed would have been extremely inconvenient.
Cruise Critic advice I didn't:
Over the door pocket hanger--not necessary, especially for two people.
Magnets for hanging--see above.