It has been 3 years since my last cruise so we were excited to go back to the Carribean islands on Carnival. Overall, we had a good enough time and enjoyed ourselves but we could not help but notice the decline in quality and several ... Read More
It has been 3 years since my last cruise so we were excited to go back to the Carribean islands on Carnival. Overall, we had a good enough time and enjoyed ourselves but we could not help but notice the decline in quality and several "small things" that had changed for the worse since our last cruise.
To start with the positive frame, here are the things that we loved about this particular cruise:
- Length: this was the longest cruise we've been on and felt that 7-day was absolutely perfect for the right mixture of relaxation and activities. We didn't feel rushed to check out every single event that was happening on the ship. This may be also due to the fact that we've cruised several times before.
- Itinerary: loved the 4 ports and the excursion activities we chose. We stopped at Grand Cayman island (we did stingray city & snorkel), Mahagony bay (we did a beach day), Belize (We swam with sharks & rays & did an island visit), and Cozumel (standup paddleboard & snorkel). We also loved that these 4 port days were flanked by sea days so that we could relax and lounge around.
- Food: still good, plentiful and good quality in the buffet & in the dining room. The burger & BBQ stations were not that good though - super dry meats & not so good BBQ sauce.
- Water: it's such a hassle to have to lug in bottled waters if you don't want to drink yucky tab water on board. This time, we ordered a few cases of bottled water through the fun shop - it was more ($4.50/12 bottles) than if we had bought from a grocery store & lugging it in but not outrageous either. Extra cost was worth the convenience of having them delievered to our cabin the first day.
- Wine & soft beverages: you can still bring a 750ml bottle of wine per person & canned sodas. The staff was very nice to accomodate us brining a glass of wine or coke to the dinner.
- Price matching policy for excursions: We found 2 non-carnival excursions that matched Carnivals and getting the price match was pretty simple and easy. We got enough money refunded back to our account that we had little balance left to cover the tips.
- Embarkation & disembarkation: Super fast & easy! Just show up at your appointment time then there will be very little waiting in line business. The smoothest experience ever.
- Service: The crew members (from cabin steward, to cleaners & wait staff) were all great. We did note how unhappy or exhausted many of them looked throughout our trip and did experience some shortcomings which I'll elaborate later, but for the most part, everyone did their job.
Ok, now to the negatives & shortcomings:
- Service: while the crew & staff all did their job, it was apparent to us that the ship seemed understaffed. In dining rooms (for sea day brunches & dinners), we often had to wait much longer than we ever did on our previous cruises (up to 30 min) to either order food or to receive. The 24-hr pizza place often had just 1 poor, exhausted guy working the ovens, pizzas & everything else which resulted in long lines & despite 5 or so different pizza varieties on the menu, the only pizzas you could get without even longer wait were the cheese & pepperoni.
- Small but several cost-cutting things that were noticeable & overall reduced our enjoyment on board: 1) No chocolates with turndown service (come on!), 2) no turndown service on our last day (not sure if it was just our cabin or all over the ship), 3) at-cost seafood & sushi stations (I remember there being free sushi stations and afternoon tea on sea days in previous cruises, this one did not have them), 4) no afternoon tea on sea days, 5) no chocolate or midnight buffet on last sea day, 6) no bathrobes in the cabin unless you ask, 7) no ice via room steward (you have to call room service), 8) cabin steward asking you to fill out a form to see if we'd really want turndown service. There were small other things that I can't remember now.. but you get the idea... minor but noticeable & add up in the end.
- Carnival excursions: we (for the first time) signed up for all excursions through Carnival and it was nice in that you get priority tender as a group & if somehow the excursion runs long, the ship will wait for you (this happened at Grand Cayman), so peace of mind was great. A huge negative, however, was how crowded & packed it was! Especially the Caymen & Belize excursions that requried boat rides, we were all packed in small boats like sardines; if I had any kind of claustrophobia, I would've had a panick attack. The beach excursions at Mahagony bay & Cozumel were very nice.
- Ship: Glory seemed run down in general & our room did not seem very tidy or well kept. For example, the mirrors, door knobs & faucets were all kind of smudgy, so I had to wipe them down myself the first day. The carpet was kinda gross from day one and never improved. The sofa had a part that it was out of alignment.
- Entertainment: We went to 3 or so shows and while the dancers and singers were decent for the most part, we did not enjoy the shows themselves... some were actually quite boring. There was an 80's rock band (bandsters or something) that was exceptionally good though, so we just sort of followed them around the ship.
- Ventilation: OMG, the smoke on the casino floor was absolutely unbarable. So gross.
Overall, we had a good enough & relaxing time but I think that we may be ready to checkout other cruise lines. Read Less