Carnival Glory Entertainment
Carnival Glory is a ship that was built for entertainment -- 20-plus lounges and bars all play on the "colors" theme with dramatic interiors. It is worth seeing all of them in action and this ship gets hopping around 10 p.m. each evening. (During the day, Carnival features the usual wacky antics along with bingo, bad-hair-day seminars and shopping in its duty-free emporiums.)
The 1,400-seat multi-level theater, Amber Palace, was inspired by Russia's legendary Amber Room. Design elements include rococo moldings, gold leaf columns, candelabras, cornices, and paintings of famous Russian czars and czarinas. The venue is the jumping-off point most evenings with Vegas-style revues. Each show consists of elaborate sets and costumes, and some of the most dazzling special effects at sea including a revolving stage, rising orchestra pit, and a multi-million-dollar sound and lighting system. We found the best seats to be on Deck 4 where you can really see the special effects and the "flying objects."
Another evening theater offering is "Hasbro, the Game Show," an interactive event inspired by the TV show "Family Game Night." Think classic board games transformed into novelty-sized interactive versions. For instance, Connect 4 morphs into a sharp-shooting basketball contest pitting two families against each other. Operation takes on the form of ski ball.
Punchliner Comedy Club plays host to family-oriented (early) and R-rated (late) shows from a rotating lineup of comedians. The Camel Club Casino features an Egyptian motif; the highlight here is life-sized kneeling camels that greet visitors at all entrances, a great photo spot.
Carnival Liberty's Seaside Theater towers over the main pool deck is a 270-square-foot screen that thrums with programming, day and night. During the day, the screen plays music videos and displays photos taken of random passengers on deck. At night, a variety of films were played, both family-oriented and retro-hits like; late in the evenings, concerts are sometimes shown.
Glory features bars aplenty. The White Heat Dance Club is a campy disco with gigantic white candles lining the walls. The Ivory Club features elephant tusk replicas, intricate wall coverings, windows inset with mosaics of faux semi-precious stones and a wood-paneled ceiling. Bar Blue is the ship's jazz bar with giant peacock feathers that extend from the floor almost to the ceiling. The Ebony Cabaret has an African atmosphere, with dark ebony walls and ceilings, and hand-carved and painted wooden African masks mounted in copper-like frames.
RedFrog Pub, added during the fall 2012 refurb, is a love letter to Caribbean kitsch -- see the driftwood signs, plastic marlins and fake palm trees. The popular venue features nightly acoustic music and a group of high-energy passengers sharing pints (or 101-ounce beer tubes) of Carnival's easy-drinking private-label ThirstyFrog Red. Another fun hangout spot is the EA Sports Bar, which features a wall of flat-screens, video games and an LED ticker that posts current game scores. Alchemy is a dark wood bar that serves alcoholic beverages by "prescription." Choose a drink from one of the light-up menus, or create your own by writing down what you'd like on one of the bar's prescription pads. Prepare to be surrounded by apothecary jars and bartenders in white lab coats.
The Lido Deck features two popular bars, the BlueIguana Tequila Bar and the RedFrog Rum Bar, both of which were added fall 2012. Each is designed similarly -- driftwood signage, colorful mascots -- so the emphasis is on drinks with the respective liquors noted in the names. Both are open day and night.
Carnival Glory Public Rooms
The Colors Lobby, Carnival Glory's nine-deck-high grand atrium, is highlighted by a giant digital kaleidoscope which projects slow-moving images on huge screens over the bar; it is best viewed from the glass elevators.
This ship is easy to navigate, as many popular spots -- Camel Club Casino, the Ebony Lounge and White Heat Dance Club and -- are situated on Deck 5. At one end is a cluster of hot spots like Cinn-A-Bar, a sing-along piano bar; Alchemy; and the Bar Blue for jazz. The Ivory Club, offering drinks and light entertainment, is one deck below.
At the opposite end of the Promenade Deck are Cherry on Top and the Boulevard Shops, all selling the usual cruise fare, from Carnival insignia-wear to a pretty huge selection of duty-free booze, perfume and jewelry. Cherry on Top, done up in candy-cane red and white, was added fall 2012. It sells all manner of sweets by the quarter pound in the "scoop it from a plastic box" fashion. (Individual boxes of Sweet Tarts, giant lollies and chocolate candy are on offer, too.) Tux rentals and flowers for purchase are also available there.
The Black & White Library features checkerboard wood squares in black and white patterns, wood bookcases and framed images of famous newspaper headlines. The library is very small for this size of ship so remember to bring your own reading material.
An Internet cafe is open 24 hours; it is located in an out-of-the-way room behind the Ivory Club. Charges start at 75 cents per minute (plus a $3.95 "start-up" fee), though purchasing a package can bring that rate down to 30 cents. Bow-to-stern Wi-Fi is also available.
Carnival Glory Spa & Fitness
The 13,300-square-foot Spa Carnival features an exotic Polynesian design theme that incorporates lush foliage and a waterfall cascading down a stone-like wall between decks with two indoor whirlpools. Panoramic views of the sea, along with decent weight and exercise technology, pleasant work out (as pleasant as a workout can be, at least). The workout area is through the locker rooms only; inside the locker rooms are complimentary steam rooms and saunas, and Steiner-operated spa treatment rooms. Among the relatively unusual spa services available is a heated seaweed dry float.
A full-service beauty salon offers hair services, manicures and pedicures, but tends to book up for formal nights so reserve early. Fitness classes such as low- and high-impact aerobics and yoga are offered in the aerobics studio. Some classes -- yoga, kickboxing and spinning -- carry a fee of $12 per person.
The pool deck is multi-tiered and large enough to accommodate everyone. The ship has three large whirlpools, four swimming pools (one with a 214-foot-long water slide and another covered by a retractable dome), a jogging track, a half-court for basketball, a volleyball net and an assortment of Ping-Pong tables.
All the way forward -- just above the spa, gym and salon -- is Serenity, an adults-only sun deck that offers loungers, hammocks and couches for relaxation away from the masses. In addition to great views, you'll also have access to additional hot tubs, and waiters will come around to take your drink orders.