Carnival Glory - Western Caribbean: Carnival Glory Cruise Review by jmcilhen
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Glory - Western Caribbean
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
We are big Carnival fans. This was our (my wife and me) eighth cruise with Carnival. The fare structure offered, particularly for veterans, makes Carnival particularly attractive to us.
Embarkation went smoothly. We dropped our luggage, saw huge lines, and went to Cocoa Beach for lunch. When we returned around 3:00 p.m., the lines were gone and boarding was super fast. From the time our luggage was scanned to our walking into the lobby was approximately 15 minutes.
The ship is huge, beautiful, and clean. It was my first trip on a 100,000 ton plus ship. For those familiar with the Fantasy class of liners, this ship will seem massive. The dEcor is what you would expect from Carnival. Perhaps it's a little understated More compared to the Fantasy/Sensation/Imagination. It took awhile for me to navigate my way around the ship effectively. There is no easy way to go from bow to stern on two of the public decks (3 and 4) without a trip to Deck 5.
The cabins were great. We had adjoining balcony cabins on the Veranda Deck. The cabins were spacious with plenty of storage, including space under the couch. The veranda was fine with sufficient space for a couple of chairs and a table for each room. The bathroom was small compared with the Fantasy class, but was very efficient and worked well for us. The attendant was outstanding. We rarely saw him, but everything was always immaculate. The cabin included a mini-bar which we cleared out and used for beverages brought on-board at embarkation.
The big disappointment for any experienced cruiser will be the food. Dining Room service and quality were uneven. Some nights the food was good, on others it was sub-par. The quality of the meat varied by night as well. The off the menu Filet Mignon that you can order on any Carnival cruise ranged from great to gamey. The fare in the Red Sail Restaurant was just as unpredictable.
The staff in the Red Sail takes buffet closing times very seriously so don't be surprised if you're the last one in line and someone reaches in front of you to place trays up, blocking access to food.
While I understand that Carnival is trying to do more with less staff, the practice bordered on rudeness. We reflected this in our survey. The only gastronomic high point was the Emerald Room Supper Club. Quality and presentation were outstanding. It was on a par with The Palm or Morton's, with much better presentation. Beware that one meal, however, will cost you the equivalent of dinner at Morton's or The Palm.
We've been to Cozumel many times, hence didnt do much there. Weather wasn't the best for either Cozumel or Belize, hence we didn't spent much time ashore. Costa Maya was fantastic. It's similar to the proprietary islands that some cruise lines have. The setting is beautiful. There are restaurants and bars and oh so many overpriced shops. The biggest feature is the huge free-form swimming pool with a swim-up bar. It was sort of like Club Med in an outlet mall. Anyway, it was a new experience and we had fun. We didn't take any tours in any of the ports. Nassau was fun. We went to the Pirate Museum and enjoyed it.
Disembarkation was uneventful. We got up at 7:30, ate breakfast, and then retrieved our luggage and waited in the Amber Palace for them to call our color. We were off the ship at around 10:30. One of the families cruising with us had spent the night before the cruise at the Radisson at the port. They stored their car for free and offered shuttle service both ways. This process went smoothly as well.
Overall, I think the cruise was a great value and we would consider doing it again. Food is a real issue for us, so we would have the weigh the quality versus price carefully. The ship and amenities are top notch. Camp Carnival wins big points from the parents. It was apparent, however, that the crew to guest ratio on this ship was much lower than on others we've sailed. While the huge ship was built with efficiencies in mind, I'm sure, I feel that they have cut back a little too far on the staffing. Less