28 Norfolk Family Cruise Reviews

Selected this cruise because I live less than 2 hours from Norfolk port. But it was not a good boarding experience. It rained, people got wet, parking situation awful!! Later found out that luggage handlers were on strike so not enough ... Read More
Selected this cruise because I live less than 2 hours from Norfolk port. But it was not a good boarding experience. It rained, people got wet, parking situation awful!! Later found out that luggage handlers were on strike so not enough staff to get people through boarding process in timely manner. People stood in line, in rain for hours!! Not enough service staff on Lido Deck. In all my days I have never had to stand in line 30-60 minutes for a hamburger or hotdogs!! Only place that was timely was Pizza line. Buffet line wait time was ridiculous and the buffet food was AWFUL!! Hotdogs and Hamburgers were always on the fast food deck line together in the past, now hotdogs with Deli, causing hour wait for a HOTDOG!! All event rooms were too small for audience size, had to stand up for comedy show, Bingo, Disco, Karaoke. Should have had more duplication of shows to spread audiences out more. All shows were overcrowded!! And shows weren't that Good. No good deck music during day when lying out. Long wait time for servers to bring drinks. Not much to do during day. Dining room food was delivered extremely SLOW!! Could tell waiters were over worked and overwhelmed with people. Just not enough staff on this ship. I think the 'few staffers' tried hard, but it was no way they could do valuable service to the large # of clients on board. We would order in the dining room and wait 30 minutes for 1st course to be served. Tables on Lido were always cluttered with dirty dishes, not enough staff to clean up, so clients were constantly looking for clean tables. First time cruisers may have thought this was an ok cruise because they had nothing to compare to. As a frequent cruiser, over the past 20+ years, my rating would be VERY POOR!! The ONLY plus for me was the personal driving distance to port, wjich was less than 2 hours. Parking situation was awful though!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose Carnival Sunrise because it left from Norfolk and was an easy departure point as I was taking my entire family on the cruise. It was the first cruise for many of them; so their first cruise experience. I have sailed Carnival before ... Read More
I chose Carnival Sunrise because it left from Norfolk and was an easy departure point as I was taking my entire family on the cruise. It was the first cruise for many of them; so their first cruise experience. I have sailed Carnival before and have enjoyed the experience. I can not say the same for this trip. I had high expectations since I had heard so much hype about the renovations and upgrades. I was disappointed and wondered where the money was spent. There was a lot of rust in places, loose carpet, and general maintenance issues. There were long lines in the Lido marketplace at all the meals. The flow wasn’t very good. The Lido deck did have the water slide which my kids enjoyed. There was also putt-putt golf, basketball, fossball, and a pool table. My family enjoyed the pool and the rope course. My kids did enjoy their trip and the travel and the visits to Nassau and Freeport. I was disappointed in the quality of the food (very bland). The chefs seemed to want to be innovative, trying to mix flavors and textures. But the food didn’t have a lot of flavor. I heard that Guy’s BBQ was good, but I didn’t enjoy it. The Guy’s Burger Joint was awesome as usual. And ice cream was always available. The wait staff at our table in the dining room was good, not great. They seemed new and not quite sure of their role. Our waiter, Idewa, was very pleasant and good with the kids. There was no anticipation of guest needs or desires as I have experienced in the past. Service was also slow. And the “shows” in the dining room were not on par with what I have enjoyed on past cruises. I was also disappointed with the dining experience as this was a family trip. My two sisters and I had booked the cruise together and requested family to be seated together for the early dining. Unfortunately, my sister and her daughter and granddaughter were placed on the lower level and the rest were on the upper level. When she bought this to the attention of the maître d’, she was treated rudely and told that it was too late to make a change. The entertainment, family-wise, was not family friendly. I did not attend many of the shows because they weren’t age appropriate for my younger grandchildren. And the movies were PG-13. On my previous Carnival cruise 2 years ago, I spent every evening on the Lido deck watching family friendly movies. I never watched one movie on the Lido deck on this cruise. There was very little TV programming for children either while we were in the cabin; just Cartoon Network and Blue’s Clues. Room-wise, I had a spa balcony. I was originally on Deck 2 with my family, but after two room changes by Carnival, ended up on Deck 11. Not a hardship by any means. But I had requested adjoining rooms because I was helping my daughter and son-in-law with their children. I was told there was no adjoining rooms on Deck 2. Lo and behold, my two sisters arrived to find they had adjoining rooms where I was originally supposed to be on Deck 2. They had not requested adjoining rooms. There were highs and lows. Pictures were not great. Photographers were more interested in quick shots without much imagination, and not much quality. I bought a couple of my family that were ok, but discarded a lot because they weren’t very good. And as one previous reviewer commented, you were nickleled-and-dimed a lot. Disembarkation: what a cluster. It took us two hours to get off the ship. Decks were called in order, and since we were on Deck 11, we were called last. It was very difficult to get an elevator. We made it to Deck 5 and sat on the floor with our luggage for an hour. We had to be out of our cabins by 8:30, and not a lot of available public space to sit with the kids. Once our deck was called, we finally made it on an elevator to Deck 3, then were unable to get off as the area was jam packed with other guests. I can say things did go quickly once we were around the corner and in the hallway. I think feeder lines on Deck 3 and more assistance from staff for crowd control would have made this easier. Overall, I give this cruise and ship a 3 out of 5. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose to sail on the Sunrise for the Bahamas trip due to the price and the convenience of sailing out of Norfolk. We were also thrilled to be on the Sunrise as we had previously sailed on the ship when it was the Triumph. The ... Read More
We chose to sail on the Sunrise for the Bahamas trip due to the price and the convenience of sailing out of Norfolk. We were also thrilled to be on the Sunrise as we had previously sailed on the ship when it was the Triumph. The embarkation in Norfolk was rocky, to say the least. Once on board there wasn’t much direction, but we assumed it was because they were still working out kinks in the new service. We were only the 2nd group to sail on her. The food was great. Drinks were great. Service was great. Show was great. We even enjoyed the casino, even though it was SUPER smoky. We highly recommend checking out the speciality restaurants or even have a visit to the spa. We got engaged on this trip, which was made magical by the photo team - We even bought one of the quite pricey photo packages, but it was absolutely worth it. Getting off the ship was a nightmare and that’s not just because our vacation was coming to an end. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have traveled out of norfolk, va many times on carnival ships, we are platinum cruisers and have had much fun. Another couple came up from charlotte to go with us in a different cabin. This is their 4th time with us. The time for ... Read More
We have traveled out of norfolk, va many times on carnival ships, we are platinum cruisers and have had much fun. Another couple came up from charlotte to go with us in a different cabin. This is their 4th time with us. The time for boarding was great however were were told to be on board by 3pm to leave at 4,but it was almost 5:30 pm when we left. People dont pay attention, they should be left on the pier, if not on time unless a major life and death emergency occurred. The cabin was great we had a suite watched all ,kinds of stuff from the balcony, especially people on the pier at locations the neighbor was loud but i think she forgot her hearing aid. the food was cruise food. Up on the leado deck at the buffet ,the staff would walk by soiled tables,ignore them and go to talk to other staff. I watched 2 tables be full of dirty dished, people waiting to eat for 10 minutes, people just turned their head other way. The 2 main problems on this cruise was kids running wild all day, all knocking into people, one kit told a female cruiser to f---- off-b-----. You are in my way. He was about 14 yrs old. The second was smoking on the balcony's of cigarettes, and cigars, one person was dropping his cigar ashed on the fuel barge below.. You could smell it in the passage ways but staff did nothing about kit the cigarette smoking was about 3 days . Debarking was good and the staff wonderful. the cruise director wad EXCELLENT bob Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Embarkation and disembarkation went very smooth! The safety/security drill that occurred aboard the ship took an extended about of time. It was held outside on the deck in humid weather and limited about of space. Many of the elderly ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation went very smooth! The safety/security drill that occurred aboard the ship took an extended about of time. It was held outside on the deck in humid weather and limited about of space. Many of the elderly people standing near me had a very difficult time standing for the period of time. The ship was very clean, the cabin was clean, prepared and ready for us every time we returned. I have traveled and stayed at many resorts, been on a couple of cruises and stayed at several hotels but I have never encountered the level of customer service like Mr. Gusti provided!!!!! I know he worked long hours but he also greeted you with a smile and a delightful approach. He is the BEST!!! Mr. Sombari was great also. Dinning was delicious and service was great.....Ms. Ausrine! Entertainment and Activities were plentiful and fun!! Mr Leigh, Cruise Director is great at what he does!! I plan to book another cruise on Carnival Sunshine! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise for the location, time and price. That was a mistake. Customer service shouldn't be in their vocabulary bc they have zero. We had no ac in our stateroom for 3 full days after saying something to the attendant ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the location, time and price. That was a mistake. Customer service shouldn't be in their vocabulary bc they have zero. We had no ac in our stateroom for 3 full days after saying something to the attendant within several minutes of boarding. My husband has medical issues and had we not brought a fan from home, it would have been miserable. I fell on the pool deck in a huge puddle of water 20 feet from the pool, and they had the nerve to tell me they wouldn't charge me for my visit to the medical bay. My feet flew out from under me, I was not drinking, fully dressed. My doctor told me I pulled every muscle in my back, sprained my ankle and bruise my elbow. I'm on steroids and muscle relaxers now. Had I not gone to the medical bay, there would have been no incident report noted. I ordered cranberry juice at dinner and was charged $2.69 for it and it was watered down. Guest services did nothing but take off $45 in charges for all our complaints and said they couldn't do more. There was no in room refrigerator, the smoking area is on the same deck and side as entrance to camp carnival. There's an up charge for everything, from food, to activities, to juice apparently. The force gratuity on drinks with alcohol content. The slides hurt your back bc you can feel every seam. The hot tubs were full of kids under 13 talking and behaving inappropriately. The Dr. Seuss stuff was forced into an hour and half on one day, trivia, parade, story time. Then no more characters until the uncharged breakfast which was one of the best meals I had all 5 days. My husband sent several dinners back and he never does that on royal Caribbean. Captains night included zero filet or lobster tail unless you paid an extra $20, not on royal Caribbean, its included on that line. After calling customer service after my doctor visit, I was told she couldn't do anything but pass the info along and I have to wait 24-72 hours for someone who can to call me back, they had better hope I don't have to call back. I will never cruise with them again!!! I could continue but it's not worth my time and effort. Will always choose Royal Caribbean from here forward. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was my second time cruising with the sunshine from Norfolk va. The first time last year was so nice and I had a ball. I wanted to take my sisters because they never cruised before and I was so excited to share this with them. The ... Read More
This was my second time cruising with the sunshine from Norfolk va. The first time last year was so nice and I had a ball. I wanted to take my sisters because they never cruised before and I was so excited to share this with them. The weather was horrible but that's wasn't carnival fault. The clean up staff was fantastic. Very friendly. The bartenders was friendly. That's the good news. The food was horrible.. the quality was horrible. Powered eggs really. Absolutely nothing was hot for breakfast. It wasn't even warm. They had pancakes and waffles but they were cold. The pastries tasted week old.. and oh my God the hash browns was so greasy and seasonless. I may never eat hash browns again. The dinner at the sunrise restaurant was horrible. It was hot but tasteless. The manager we talked to was rude.. never again will I cruise carnival. Little more dance clubs that catered to a older crowd would be nice. I felt like I didn't get my money worth this time.. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
The primary reason we chose this cruise was convenience; we live in the Norfolk, VA area. Though the cruise got off to an auspicious start (the ship came in several hours late due to the Harborfest celebration at Town Point Park), it ... Read More
The primary reason we chose this cruise was convenience; we live in the Norfolk, VA area. Though the cruise got off to an auspicious start (the ship came in several hours late due to the Harborfest celebration at Town Point Park), it turned out to be excellent. The Sunshine has great amenities, the crew is superb, the food was varied and tasty, the atmosphere was friendly very festive. Fortunately for us, the weather also cooperated. As for the excursion to Atlantis, it was a tab bit over priced. I believe we could have done better by taking a tour of Nassau. We also would have preferred to spend two days in Nassau vice going to Freeport. We had so much fun that my wife and I are thinking of doing the very same cruise next year. Needless to say, we highly recommend cruising Carnival. The Sunshine is a fine capable ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Just returned from a Bermuda cruise on the Splendor. We had a blast! Yes, it's the pink biscuit ship that needs a facelift, but everything was great on our trip! Our stewart Gede was fantastic! Our inside cabin was small of course, ... Read More
Just returned from a Bermuda cruise on the Splendor. We had a blast! Yes, it's the pink biscuit ship that needs a facelift, but everything was great on our trip! Our stewart Gede was fantastic! Our inside cabin was small of course, but had everything we needed. The food in the dining room was terrific as was our head waiter Jose. There were only 2 elegant dress nights and the rest were cruise casual, which was new for us and a nice addition. The Lido had Mongolian, Tandoori, Pizza, Bruger station, Rotisserie station upstairs and the poplular Burrito Bar. Everything was great and the staff were all very friendly! The shows were great, especially in the Punchliner Comedy Club! We had 2 comedians on the way to Bermuda and 2 new comedians on the way back to Norfolk. They were hysterical! They have PG shows early in the evening and 18+ shows later in the evening. Kevin the Cruise Director was very funny!! The pools and hot tubs were very popular! The last sea day, they had Towel Animal Theater....towel animals filled the Lido Deck in front of the movie screen! It was adorable! We loved getting a new towel animal every night! Bermuda was fantastic! We went to the Crystal Caves and Sea Glass Beach, which we had not seen on previous trips there. The bus rides were very long, but the drivers were always helpful and looked out for us so we would get off at the right stop. The locals were very friendly was well. We have already booked our next Carnival cruise to Alaska! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Enjoyed the Splendor very much. It is a lot like the Conquest style ship but has a few nuances that the others don't. There is sooo much pink in the decor. My wife is legally blind and the crew was very good in helping her when I ... Read More
Enjoyed the Splendor very much. It is a lot like the Conquest style ship but has a few nuances that the others don't. There is sooo much pink in the decor. My wife is legally blind and the crew was very good in helping her when I wasn't right there with her. Our room steward was very good kept ice in the room for her insulin at all times. Also saw that my daughter had brought along a stuffed monkey and he made a towel monkey because he saw her's Very friendly as were all of the stewards and helpers we encountered in the hall. Our wait staff was friendly and took good care of us. One of them was on his first night and was a bit overwhelmed with all of the goings on but kept up a good attitude. The food was good and we got lobster as we were on the 6 day!! The weather was not to great the first full day at sea but we were on cruise and a bit of rocking does not bother us at all. In Nassau there were sprinkles as we pulled in and the waves were crashing over the breakwaters pretty hard. Looked pretty cool watching the spray. We walked to the Astrada Gardens Zoo. We went on our own rather than take Carnivals excursion. It's about a mile and a half walk. Or you can take the #10 Jitney bus. Which we did on the way back. Gave the guy 10$ for 3 of us. We got on as he was going away from the pier and got a mini tour of the island before coming back to the pier area. Had never been that far away from the piers before. The zoo is a bit run down but they do have a variety of animals there. The Flamingo parade was ok. Not a lot of military precision in their march but they did turn left and right when commanded to. The highlight for us was feeding the Lory birds, We walked into their cage and the girl gave us each a piece of apple. You hold it out and the birds come and land on you to eat the apple. We walked thru the Straw Market and headed back to the ship. The wind was really blowing hard now probably 35-40 mph. There was a huge RC ship next to us and they were getting ready to pull out. When they left the wind was blowing directly onto Splendor which started pushing us away from the pier. The thrusters were going full speed to push us back towards the pier. Then 2 tugs came and helped push us back toward the pier along with the thrusters until we left about 45 minutes later. We left Nassau and headed toward Half Moon Cay which was the port we had not been to and were really looking forward to. In looking at the weather I didn't think that we would get to go as it is a tender port and the weather/ seas were going to be rough. I was correct. The seas were fairly calm but the winds were near 40 mph so we putted along for an extra sea day towards Freeport. In Freeport I went snorkeling at Paradise Cove/ Deadmans Reef. I had been there 2 years ago and really enjoyed it. You have to swim a ways out to get to the reef but there were lots of different fish and coral to see. Saw 3 huge spotted eagle rays and a couple of barracudas as high lights. The rest of my family went on the Carnival excursion Garden of The Groves tour. They enjoyed it as well All in all a good trip. My wife and I tuned Gold on this cruise. We got our free drink coupon. Don't understand why you have to wait until the last night to use it other than maybe people will forget to use it. The comedians were ok nothing great. The piano bar had a younger girl playing and she was a bit to much for my mom to handle with her language. I enjoyed her humor but mom not so much she only went one night for a short time. She really enjoyed her last cruise and sitting in there. Can't wait until we can go again on another one. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
First the weather was terrible, can't blame Carnival for that. Embarkation was quick and easy. I've got to hand it to Norfolk they did a great job. This was my wife and I 14th cruise with Carnival but this was the worst ship ... Read More
First the weather was terrible, can't blame Carnival for that. Embarkation was quick and easy. I've got to hand it to Norfolk they did a great job. This was my wife and I 14th cruise with Carnival but this was the worst ship we've been on there were 12 of us. The lay out was very different all the pool areas were located towards the back of the ship. They canceled evening shows. The comedy shows were good. This ship had the worst food in the dining room and lido deck, come on Carnival your menu is terrible it seems like they push you to eat at the Steak house which is what we did and I considered that average. Carnival go back to the days when dining in the dining room was exceptional Beef Wellington etc. We're all very disappointed and will be looking at what RC has to offer. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The room steward was GREAT! The food at the buffet was not good at all. The pizza & grill food was very good. In Nassau we took a tour of the town with a local taxi, Alexander, he was GREAT! We were to have him for 2 1/2 hours anvery ... Read More
The room steward was GREAT! The food at the buffet was not good at all. The pizza & grill food was very good. In Nassau we took a tour of the town with a local taxi, Alexander, he was GREAT! We were to have him for 2 1/2 hours anvery good as well as the comd he gave us more than 3 hours all for only $20 He showed us around his town, stopped for shopping, food and a tour of some homes. Then we went to Freeport......Not much to talk about. As for The Splendor, it is much need of an update on its decor. The cruise director Kevin was the VERY BEST, the shows were great as well including the Comedy Club. Overall, we had a great time, just will try another ship next time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I have been cruising and loyal to Carnival for years now. Mainly because of the great service, fun times and awesome prices. Carnival Splendor changed my perception of Carnival completely. Where do I begin? *It took 2.5 hours standing ... Read More
I have been cruising and loyal to Carnival for years now. Mainly because of the great service, fun times and awesome prices. Carnival Splendor changed my perception of Carnival completely. Where do I begin? *It took 2.5 hours standing and waiting in the HOT sun just to board the ship. *We were provided luggage tags only to find out that they were not checking luggage. (would have been nice to know this in advance) *Once we finally reached the counter the person checking us in was very nice but just did not know how to work the system. We were asked to go stand in yet another line just put our credit card on file. *Once we swiped our sail and sign cards to get on the boat we were rushed and not given any information/ directions on anything. Where were the JUST ASK T-shirt crew members that we are use to seeing? *Camp carnival wasn't available 1st night of our cruise (on a 2 night cruise)??? *Paid for night owls and the kids were made to lay down and go to sleep??? WHAT FUN? *Every crew member we asked for directions had NO CLUE how to find anything on the boat. Either they did not speak well enough English or they would simply point us in the wrong direction! *The only staff that were friendly and accommodating were our servers at our 6 o'clock dinner. *the staff that waited on us for breakfast on Sunday seemed completely irritated when we asked for coffee. Putting up there finger saying "your going to have to wait" I have never experienced a cruise like this before. I called the 800 # to complain and they said there wasn't anything they could do. I have sailed on Fantasy several times and never had a bad time. Everyone on Fantasy was great! DO NOT SAIL WITH CARNIVAL SPLENDOR. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Since this was the last trip out of Norfolk, for reasons known only to the four cruise lines who have pulled out ( despite a well paid cruise director who resigned last month; I heard it was the high price of fuel..I guess fuel is much ... Read More
Since this was the last trip out of Norfolk, for reasons known only to the four cruise lines who have pulled out ( despite a well paid cruise director who resigned last month; I heard it was the high price of fuel..I guess fuel is much cheaper in Miami... and environmental regulations.), we decided to take the Carnival Glory and took our two teens. We sailed on a Carnival ship ten years ago. Some things were the same and others different. On the positive side: the room was surprisingly comfortable. We feared four in a room would be cramped, but this was not so. Our room was an outside room with a large window, but I heard inside berths also are just as roomy. The bathroom was very functional and designed well. The showers worked and were roomy compared to Royal Caribbean. The rooms were cleaned and well maintained. The steward did an excellent job. Fears that the food had deteriorated were unfounded. The dining room set up was differently. I remember on the prior cruise, that we were seated at a large round table. This forced us to make friends at our table. I missed conversing with my fellow diners about what they had done, advice, and the usual social interaction. On the other hand, this being a family vacation, it was nice to have a table to ourselves. The waiters were friendly and made an effort to remember our names and our preferences. I especially liked the Mango soup and the other cold soups. I ate mostly vegetarian dishes. My daughter is a big meat eater and liked her steaks and beef. The molten lava chocolate cake was excellent as other reviewers mentioned. One day October 27th it seemed every table was singing Happy Birthday. On the 28th the waiters sang Happy Birthday to me, since Bill Gates was not aboard. One thing which was quite a bit different was the overall decorum. Many passengers dressed like inappropriately, wearing T shirts and shorts ( to dinner) even on formal night. I feel they should be stopped at the door and asked to return in better attire. Since even jeans are allowed, I do not feel that is asking too much. In other ways the food is different. The only place that remains open at night is the pizza stop. The pizza is not bad. Better than Pizza Hut but not as good as the other chains. Guy's Burgers is excellent. I had two of the specialty burgers and a cheeseburger. One day there were a number of flies. We did not try the deli or the burrito bar but I heard that they were good. No midnight meal. We ate in the buffets at lunch and found the lines to move quickly and the food to be reasonably good. The one area that was definitely lacking and different than ten years ago was in the area of musical entertainment. Ten years ago, there were three bars, that featured classical music, a good jazz band and a couple who sang and played dance music ( the latter was pretty empty I must admit). None of that was present on this cruise. There is a room called the Blues Bar but for whatever reason there was no jazz emanating. My favorite pastime on the cruise ten years ago was to burrow myself in a corner with a good book and listen to some excellent music. This is something you cannot do in normal life. I missed that. The smoke pervading the casino is a problem, but I remember this as being much worse. Probably Carnival has improved that problem. I liked the EA bar, and was glad there were so many fellow Red Sox fans cheering the team on. Got a bit crowded because the bar is small. As far as the production shows, Carnival has really budgeted these down. There is no band and the production numbers are shorter. Missing are the magicians, acrobats, singers, and variety acts. Instead of four dedicated singers there are two male and two females who are required to dance too. I would rather have dedicated singers and dedicated dancers. It also shows when there are only 8 dancers instead of 10-12. They are energetic and perform well, and the backgrounds are lively and clever, still I missed the more extravagant Las Vegas type revues that Carnival once put on. We saw all three, which are repeated: Divas, Latin NIghts, and Motown. The group of eight are friendly and social. After each show they would go to the Atrium, once to take photos if you wanted them. The final night's show we were barely able to sit through. Our teenage son felt the same way so it was not just a generational thing. ( Also it was music of the 70's and80's!!). The volume was up way TOO LOUD. The sound engineer, is probably hearing impaired. If you attend, bring ear plugs. I am serious. Besides the singers were typical in that they shouted through a song rather than sing it. I have found that the volume is cranked up usually to masquerade poor vocals. Further, how can you play music from this era without any Beatles, Stones, or disco? They had one night with game shows, but we did not bother to attend. The cruise director Matt is funny, and has a great personality. He is supposed to do Letterman on November 21st and we wish him well. We took two excursions. I strongly recommend the Kayak and Nature Excursion. The kayaking is fun and goes through a mangrove creek. It winds down to the Ocean, where we come to a very interesting and gorgeous beach. Look for big ( but harmless) spiders. When we got to the ocean we saw a big raw swimming below our kayak and there was one in the area where the creek met the Ocean. Look on the sides of the creek where there are rocks. I way some beautiful fish there. The nature walk is short, and we passed a lot of medicinal trees. Since, the trip is located in the Lucayan National Park, there is not hawking of goods. At the end of the Nature Walk is Gold Rock Beach. Bring your bathing suit and sunscreen . We spent an hour there. A gorgeous beach. You can go out a half mile and the water comes only up to your knees....at low tide. The water is warm and waves gentle. The beach is long but not wide. Pirates of the Caribbean and other movies were filmed there or near there. We also took out children to Atlantis for the Dolphin encounter during the stop in Nassau. They liked it but we waited around a very long time. This cut down on the time to go down the water rides. The Aquarium is wonderful so do not miss that. My wife and son sat down for a $56 a plate buffet in the Marketplace, but fortunately for my wallet they did not have time. The comedy club, the Punchliner, is a good innovation . We heard both the clean and dirty offerings of Christine Stedman. She is funnier at the dirty ( adult) shows, though I usually do not like my comedy blue. Probably the most endearing thing is she laughs a bit at her own jokes like Edith Prickly. Embarkation and debarkation are irrelevant since Norfolk is now bereft of a cruise line. So much for being the World's Greatest Harbor ( WGH radio). The fitness center was very good. Plenty of equipment. Nice steam room. Incidentally, my reading material was Man Overboard and San Miquel. Do watch yourselves on any cruise. Bad things can happen. All in all we had a very good time and I would recommend this cruise to others. It makes a great family vacation.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was my fourth cruise (2nd with Carnival), and my wife's 11th (1st with Carnival). Embarkation out of Norfolk was a cut above any port we've ever left from. The Half Moone Cruise Terminal is beautiful, and right downtown, ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise (2nd with Carnival), and my wife's 11th (1st with Carnival). Embarkation out of Norfolk was a cut above any port we've ever left from. The Half Moone Cruise Terminal is beautiful, and right downtown, surrounded by restaurants, museums, and local sights. The ship was wonderful. One of our favorite things about it was that, even when there were huge deck parties or loud events, we could always find a quiet corner to sit and enjoy some peace and a sea view. One of our favorite spots was above the Lido Deck, by Fish & Chips. We were very impressed by the dining options. We were at the late seating in the Golden Restaurant for dinner. Waitstaff was excellent, especially Peter, our head waiter. Food quality in MDR was very good. The Lido was a cut above what we are used to on a cruise; we especially enjoyed the variety of options, including Blue Iguana Cantina, Guy's Burgers, and Fish & Chips. The Ceviche is excellent! And for breakfast, get something at the Blue Iguana. Short lines and great food. We had dinner one night in the steakhouse. I ordered the lamb, but it was so tough as to be inedible. Before I even asked, the waitress noted that I didn't seem to be enjoying it, and offered me an alternative (Surf & Turf). They also refunded our dinner there, again without being asked. Very impressed by the service! Lastly, the Taste Bar is a nice snack stop to get some tapas before dinner; however, I prefer Sushi, which we had on the Pride. The entertainment options were varied and well done, but mostly not our cup of tea. The Serenity area was spectacular and large; the gigantic hammocks were awesome! And the two hot-tubs at the very front of the ship were a great place to go on a sea day. The water slide is surprisingly good. Once we discovered it, we rode it many times. If you give yourself a good launch, and then straighten your body, you can practically fly through it. Pools were good, but often crowded. The aft pool was heated, and quite enjoyable in the evening. The different colored lights in the pools at night were also a nice touch. We did find the decorations, overall, to be a bit garish and over-the-top. But it didn't detract much from the experience, and architecturally it's a beautiful ship. Our one complaint about the layout is that on the Conquest-Class ships, the midship restaurant forces you to go up or down a deck to get around it. Overall, we were both very impressed and plan to cruise with Carnival out of Norfolk again in 2015, when the line returns with the Splendor. Can't wait! Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Embarkation: First want to say that Parking and drop off was very confusing. Very small terminal and parking was 75 dollars for 5 days. NO secure parking. Second the check in was easy and fast. Got to desk and was handed keys to room in ... Read More
Embarkation: First want to say that Parking and drop off was very confusing. Very small terminal and parking was 75 dollars for 5 days. NO secure parking. Second the check in was easy and fast. Got to desk and was handed keys to room in about 10 min. Then boarded the ship. Customs was quick and easy. Ship and Sea days. Well how should I begin. The ship is laid out weird. You have to go up and down different floors to get from one end of ship to other. The deco was ok. Nice art work everywhere. The kid zone was right next to the adult only area. The Basket ball court was above the Steak House. Casino was very very very smokey. They let guests smoke everywhere. Room: Was nice, good size. This was the first time we stayed in a Window view no balcony. Was very nice. Sound was no so good. Walls were thin.You can hear everything from rooms beside you and hall way. Food: was great cant complain at all about food in dinning room. Lido deck food was ok. The Burgers were very good from Guys the new upgrade. Buffett food was warm and ok not nothing to brag about. Ports of Call: were Nassau and Freeport They are great. Deparkation was easy and fast. Was off boat in about 20 min. I would recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
I cruised on the Glory in January 2012 and was under-whelmed. It was okay but not sensational. So, I boarded her for the short cruise from Norfolk to the Bahamas not really expecting much. I did expect it to be my very last Carnival ... Read More
I cruised on the Glory in January 2012 and was under-whelmed. It was okay but not sensational. So, I boarded her for the short cruise from Norfolk to the Bahamas not really expecting much. I did expect it to be my very last Carnival cruise.Things got off to a great beginning! We met our room steward, Arnold, and were immediately impressed with his gracious good manner. We expressed our pretty simple needs to him and tipped him a little up-front as we always do. We settled into our very clean balcony cabin and set out to explore the ship since we had not seen her 2.0 upgrades. Sure enough, there were Guy's Burgers, the Blue Iguana Bar and Cantina, and the Red Frog Bar ensconced in the Main Pool area on the Lido Deck. Nicely done. We immediately tried Guy's Burgers and really, the raving is deserved -- completely yummy! (Try the pig patty!) Later we got around to the shrimp burritos and fish tacos at the Cantina. Those were also delicious with add-ons like cilantro-lime rice, pico de gallo, guacamole, and black beans to name a few, plus a completely crazy selection of condiments.We visited the Platinum Dining Room to see where our table was and, just by chance, met our waiter - the remarkable Tiger. He escorted us to the table so we could check out the location and know where it was for later. What a delight he was! We continued to roam the ship noting the new Alchemy Bar, the Taste Bar, and the Cherry on Top candy store. All were nice additions AND the ship seemed remarkably clean. Dinners in the Platinum were good to excellent. The selections were appealling and the food was very good - from the appetizers to the desserts. The service from Tiger and his Team (Riomar and Raymond) was the best - seriously, it could not have been better. My cruisemate's grandchildren (ages 19 and 20) were with us and her granddaughter said 'I feel like royalty.' Even the maitre'd was a delight - strolling the dining room singing Frank Sinatra songs every night - thanks Konstatyne. And the waiter's cabaret entertainment brought the house down - gangman style! What fun! Lido deck dining was good also - the addition of several extra omelet stations was a really good move. Even changing the procedure so that bacon is served by the staff rather than selected by the passenger was a good idea - it speeds the line up. Contrary to someone's inaccurate report - the Fish & Chips is not gone - it is alive and well and turning out delicious seafood in the upstairs section of the Red Sail.So here are the biggest changes that I noticed. In January, there were lots of tabes in the Red Sail and around the Lido pools with dirty dishes and a wait staff that seemed too thin to do all that needed to be done. In the Dining Room - we barely saw our waiter as he seemed to have more tables than he and his team could handle - service was spotty, at best. Our room steward seemed completely overwhelmed by the volume of work to be performed. I think that they - Carnival - had cut back too far and the quality of the product and the morale of the employees showed up in small but significant ways. Not so, this trip. The service was the bomb and the staff seemed happy. The female workers even had new, tailored, becoming tunics. There were sufficient bar and service staff to keep everyone happy. We spoke with Christian - a food service employee - one early morning on the Lido Deck and he talked about how good the morale was on this ship and how all of the management was good - how Carnival employees tried to get on the Glory because of it. It is obvious. It makes it a very good ship and a very pleasant cruise for the guests.The shows are new in the Amber Palace - very slick and tech-y and fun. There are 8 singers and dancers and they seem to give it their all. Lots of music, some audience participation, really fantastic electronic scenery and a ton of energy. The 3 shows we saw were Latin Nights, Divas, and Mo-Town. Really a lot of fun and then at the end of the show - it spills out into the Old Glory Atrium and the singing and dancing with everyone joining in continues. It is quite a party! We went to tthe Piano Bar and found it boring and still so horribly red. That place just hurts my head. Can't say that I found the 'talent' in there very entertaining. Also, went to the Adult Comedy - it was okay. I wouldn't stand in line for it again. We avoid the Karaoke bar like the plague but I'm sure some like it. It's a nice room. The grandchildren had a super time at the White Heat Dance Club. Our favorite spot is the Adults only pool. The music is not nearly so loud as it used to be. You can actually hear yourself talk - that's an improvement, too, in my book. The Main Pool has lots of noise and lots of activity and music and contests and games etc. Super! One loud pool and one quiet pool. That works for me. And now let's talk about Matt, the new Cruise Director. He's the funniest guy on the ship. Seriously, the comedians can't hold a candle to this guy. How he has so much energy is beyond me but you cannot help but laugh and have a good time when he is around! Catch the 'name that tune' contest in the casino between the early and late stage shows if you want to laugh til you cry. Thanks to Carnival for a nice 'welcome back' party for past cruisers. That was worth doing for the delectable hors doevres and free drinks. Got to meet that staff that the crew is raving about - that was nice. The new Comedy Brunch is a very nice addition, too. It's held in the Platinum MDR and has its own special menu which includes some pretty fancy French Toast, Filet Mignon, Huevos Rancheros, etc. - not the standard Lido Deck fare. The comedy was only a 10 minute spot by one of the late night comedians. The one we heard was not great but the meal was fantastic.So - this will not be my last Carnival Cruise, after all. I am so impressed with the level of service and quality of product on this cruise that I've already booked another cruise on the Glory. She convinced me to 'go for Platinum' Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
My wife and I sailed for the first time on Glory on the first cruise out of Norfolk in May of 2013. So this is a review with no pre-conceived notions and nothing to compare against.We're a couple of 60-somethings and cruised with my ... Read More
My wife and I sailed for the first time on Glory on the first cruise out of Norfolk in May of 2013. So this is a review with no pre-conceived notions and nothing to compare against.We're a couple of 60-somethings and cruised with my wife's sister and her husband, and their son and his wife. I read many of the reviews here and am a bit taken back by some of the negativity. GETTING ON BOARD: Since we live in the area, the 6 of us took a taxi to the port. After checking in around 11:15, we were getting ready to sit down and wait for our boarding group to be called when one of the Carnival employees noticed my wife was walking with a cane. We hadn't registered her as having a mobility problem, yet the lady insisted on moving us to the head of the line and getting us on board with no waiting. After the obligatory getting on board photo, we worked our way onto the ship, had our sail-and-sign ID photo taken and we were ready to go. We were having lunch in the buffet by noon for a 5 p.m. sailing. Check-in was easy: Drop bags with porters outside, take the elevator up and go through airplane-style screening, then check in with one of what seemed to be 35 or 40 agents. STATEROOM: Because the ship had repositioned from Miami the night before, there were no passengers getting off. So as we were checking in, the announcement was made that staterooms were already ready. We were in 7304, an inside cabin. For any first-timers, there is plenty of closet space and our suitcases fit under the bed. Even though the rooms were small, we had enough space (not that we were spending much time in the room). OUr room stewards were on the ball. When we left in the morning for breakfast and any morning activities, we hung the Cruisin' sign on the door and our room was taken care quickly. The only problem was one day when the card got shifted around and the Snoozin' sign on the other side was displayed. But when we told our steward, he insisted on taking care of the room immediately.FOOD: We ate from the buffet for breakfast, either from the buffet or the burrito bar for lunch, and in the dining room at night. I've read reviews where people complained about the buffet lines. We didn't experience anything like that, not that there were no lines, but we never felt they were too long. After all, there are 3,000 people on board. Perhaps the highlight was the wait staff in the Platinum dining room. Our three-man team (Ricardo, Sami and Markus) were personable and attentive. With three of them to cover five tables, we never waited for anything. As for the food, it's not gourmet, but it's darn good. I never liked cold soups until this cruise, but I'm sold on them, especially the cucumber, strawberry and pumpkin soups. For first-time cruisers: one side of the menu includes the every-night appetizers and entrees, while the other side has the same for that night only. Then the deserts .... bottom line, if you go hungry on this ship, it is your problem. And I want one of those soft-serve machines in my house.THINGS TO DO: One thing is obvious, you can be as social as you want or you can keep to yourself as much as you want. We balanced the on-board activities with quiet time, and came away from the cruise totally relaxed. For us, the majority of the activities were trivia contests, the casino, sitting in the sun, watching the two young ones in karaoke and exploring the various nighttime activities. We did see one show, the Motown-themed show. The complaint there is the shortness of the show. It started at 8:15 and was over before 9. I realize now how the show sort of continued down in the Atrium Lobby, but by the time we got to the railing overlooking the lobby, it was full. Some people have complained about not having a live band ... not a big deal. The video board behind the show was fascinating. One tip: After breakfast the first morning, I went up to the Serenity deck to read, but that area filled up fairly quickly. So did the deck chairs on the Lido Deck. But on our last sea day, I happend to be in the Atrium Lobby and went outside out onto the deck there (Deck 3). There was a long row of deck chairs out there, with nobody in any of them. I read and watched the sea for at least a half-hour before anyone else came out there.SHORE EXCURSIONS: In Nassau, the six of us signed up to ride Segways. Easily that was the most fun thing on the whole cruise. We were taken to a beachfront area, given about a half-hour of instructions on riding the things, then we rode down the beach and around the area for an hour and a half. Cost was $80 per person plus tip. In Freeport, we hired a taxi driver to give us a tour of the area. This was totally unscripted because when we drove past a brewery that offered tours, we changed course on the spot and got a tour. Total cost: $30 per person for the taxi tour plus tip, then $5 per person for the tour plus tip.PICTURES: Yep, photographers are all over the place. We had decided before we left that the only pictures we were interested in were from the Cruise Elegant night. So we had photos taken other times, but only paid attention to the formal photos. CRUISE ELEGANT NIGHT: It was the second night, the night before our shore day in Nassau. By my rough count, most of the guys did dress up in some ways, from the father/10-year-old son in matching tuxedos to guys wearing slacks and a collard dress shirt. I would prefer to go casual 24/7, but in deference to the boss, I dressed up, too, and the pictures turned out very well. THE STAFF: Unfailingly attentive. We dealt mostly with our dining room servers and the room staff, but the others we can in contact with had smiles on their faces. On the first morning out, I was at an elevator trying to figure out how to get from Point A to Point B. One of the staff saw me studying the ship diagram and stopped what he was doing to show me how to get where I needed to go.DISEMBARKATION: We were in group 15, so we knew we would have a bit of a wait. We ate breakfast for the first time in the Platinum dining room, then found a lounge that was open and waited for our number to be called. It didn't take long to get our luggage and go through customs, and we were home shortly afternoon.CONCLUSION: We're ready to go again. I drove past the terminal a couple of week later when the Glory was getting ready to go out on its last cruise from Norfolk in May. It took all of my willpower not to walk up to the ship, knock on a door and ask if I could come along! Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Our cruise was a 2 night cruise to nowhere out of Norfolk, Virginia. Travelers were my 12 year old daughter and I. It took us just about 2 hours from the time we arrived at the port until we were actually on the ship. We arrived at ... Read More
Our cruise was a 2 night cruise to nowhere out of Norfolk, Virginia. Travelers were my 12 year old daughter and I. It took us just about 2 hours from the time we arrived at the port until we were actually on the ship. We arrived at the port, and were directed to parking- which was a drive away (close to 2 miles away), and parking was $15/day. We finally found it, following the instructions we had been given, then we took our bag, and walked over to the bus (we got the back of the parking lot, so it was a pretty decent haul to the bus). Bags were loaded, and we hopped onto a motor coach to head over the cruise ship. So far so good- honeymooners on the bus, lots of happy people. We got off the bus, then they showed us where to go- we had to go get in line with everyone else- up the stairs, and across a bridge, (there were elevators available), and wait to get through security. We waited on the bridge about an hour and 30 minutes. Wind whipping through us, and cold. We got up to security, finally, and there were exactly 4 sets of metal detectors and scanners going. Since we all carried our bags onto the ship, this was the cause of the bottleneck. There was space for several more scanners, and frankly had they changed their setup a little bit, they could have gotten as many as 15-20 scanners in there, to eliminate the security line. I'm not sure what the "ideal" waiting time is, but frankly 1.5 hours is too much. They need to work some operations management, and get this fixed. Telling me that those people don't work for the cruise line, is a cop out I'm not likely to accept. Note to Carnival- Fix your embarkation process. I got up to the scanner, and they saw that I had a hole punch in my bag (which I carry to put a hole into my room key so I can wear it on a lanyard around my neck, and I can do the same for the kids with me).. They searched through every bit of my bags, and eventually took the hole punch. Apparently they take away all tools, since they could somehow be a hazard on duty. Uh- frankly, I could have done more damage with other things they already give me on board- can you say steak knife? Or broken glass? Or any of dozens of other items, so this just seemed, asinine, and petty. And frankly stupid. They kept it in safe keeping until the morning of embarkation until we were getting ready to get off, but still on board the ship. Uh- okay.. If it's so dangerous, do you think I should have this "dangerous" thing on me at any point during the cruise? And guys- it's a _hole_punch_. Color me really confused. So, note to self, next time I get on a carnival ship (which will be with a party of 15 people), take them all by guest services to get our key cards punched, because we need them punched to keep from losing them.. Yeah. That'll be swell. Lines- There were lines, especially for the breakfast buffet on Saturday morning. We didn't actually attempt to get into line, since it wrapped half way around the deck, and made do with rolls, cold cut meats, and cheese. Frankly they NEED to fix the lines at the buffets. Make the actual buffet lines shorter, and separate sections. Don't put every single thing on one buffet line, just the "basic" stuff. If I want an omelette, i'll go to a separate station. This is another area where they need to get their acts in gear and work with some operations management folks. The ship felt crowded, probably due to the fact that the weather was chilly and no-one was up at the pool deck. The stores were a mess. There was jumbled merchandise, pinch points in the flow of the stores, counters where there was no merchandise, just stuff stacked in the corner. The cabin- was very nice. I like that the bathrooms are fairly spacious. and that the door opens out into the room, so I don't have to play a game of twister to get into the bathroom area. The area is a single module, which contains shower, next to toilet, next to sink. It is very economical in space, but very usable, and doesn't feel cramped. I like the lay-out of the balcony stateroom we were in. The room is a peach/white/beige color scheme with peach/dark red in the carpet on the floor. There is a couch, chair, stool, and table. The bed was on the firm side. The couch was cushier. The beds are on the back half of the room, with the "living area" in the front half, next to the bathrooms. Closet space is ample, and closet doors are open-close, and very functional. I had enough space to set my bag on the desk for the 2 night cruise. our cabin steward was AMAZING. We'd go to breakfast, or to dinner, and come back to the room being made up 100% of the time. Food- overall was quite good. We had dinner in the Platinum dining room at 6:00 PM both nights. Aside from the buffet lines, all of the food was quite good. We ordered room service a couple of times (once for a snack, and once for breakfast on debarkation morning), and that came promptly both times. The first night I couldn't get through on the phone due to being on hold the entire time, despite repeated attempts. We were unable to dine at the steak house, as reservations were not available for anything before 9 PM once we got onboard. The spa was good. They layout is unusual in that the treatment rooms are directly off the salon, and there can be noise from the salon or other locations coming into the staterooms. I had a manicure, pedicure, facial, and massage done at a couple of different trips up there. They were all quite good. Circle C- My daughter found the program for the 12-14 year olds to be wanting, both in terms of the quality of programming, and the amount of programming available. It was better than Royal Caribbean's Oasis (from December), but worse than Disney's Wonder (in April). Debarkation- was very smooth. Since it was a closed loop cruise to nowhere, we didn't have to go through immigration, or customs. They were calling cabins by floor, but fairly quickly, people were just getting off the ship. The line never did get very long, and just kept moving quickly. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Given the opprotunity to embark from our home town, Norfolk Va., we were excited to test the process. Again this was our 2nd cruise, the 1st being a 10 day to the Bahamas & Bermuda in 2010. We knew that this 5 day would be too short to ... Read More
Given the opprotunity to embark from our home town, Norfolk Va., we were excited to test the process. Again this was our 2nd cruise, the 1st being a 10 day to the Bahamas & Bermuda in 2010. We knew that this 5 day would be too short to enjoy but, were pleasantly surprised. We didn't have to leave super early to drive to Bayonne NJ, as this was a 6 hour drive. Plus the cost of parking at $20 per day was nice to not have to worry about. We had a nieghbor drop us off at the Half Moon Terminal and our luggage was swiftly taken away by the eager and polite stevedores awaiting the passengers. I tipped the guy and feel that it wouldn't have mattered if I didn't.Once in the terminal, after standing in a fairly quickly moving line for passport and boarding pass check, we were given a zone# and had to wait for that group to be called. This was a tad discouraging as everyone was eager to board. A little bit of discomfort waiting in this line but, we made it through it unscaved. It was about a total 2 hour process from stepping out of the car and purchasing our 1st "drink of the day".We were able to head directly to our smoking room and balcony, which was on the highest deck 11 (Spa deck) Our first cruise was an interior room....never again, after experiencing the balcony. The room was spacious enough for my wife and I and was very clean. We met our steward, Richard, soon afterward and requested ashtrays and he had them within minutes. I was amazed that the Spa Deck was a smoking deck but, it was. We just booked another cruise and were told that this deck is Non Smoking...not sure what that's about. We dicided to get aft balconies for next years cruise.The Dining Room we were assigned to was the Platinum Room. This was the only real dissapointment. I assume because it was aft and on deck 3, the ships engines or props...whatever...created a very noisy and rough riding experience. Our glasses seemed to move on the table from the massive vibrations. I refused to go back after the 3rd night which was Formal Night. I had to wear the suit at least once. Dinners were then done on the Lido deck assembly line, cafeteria style. The food was OK, not outstanding. Not like the 1st cruise on the bit higher priced line. Seating was limited at certain times of the day and that was expected. There was ample ashtrays for those smokers. If I was one that did not approve of the ample smoking areas, I would have been disappointed.There seemed to always be ample lounge chairs on the split level decks overlooking the active Lido deck which had three whirl pools and two small 15'x15' swimming pools. The pools seemed awfully small but, were refreshing when needed to cool off from the sunbathing. The 3 deck level slide was exciting but, I only did it once. All the waiters were excellent and very friendly. All seemed to know your name. Much time each day was spent here enjoying the widescreen TV and the sun.We did one excursion in Nassau, Catamaran/Snorkeling. Was not impressed and the sails only went up on the returned trip.....while we were under engine power. The sails were raised to fool the inexperienced sailor. The location for the snorkel was off an island and I didn't see much. The 45 minute snorkel was shortened as the crew took forever to hand out the equipment....we spent maybe 25 minutes in the water. Next time I'll do the power snorkel if it is offered. We did hear the Sunset Catamaran Cruise was outstanding.While in Nassau we insisted on checking out Seynor Frogs bar and grill. That was exciting not to mention everyone was subject to a conga line that was fed FREE SHOTS. Many young people were there and totally wasted. We witnessed 60+ yearolds dancing on stools and bars. This will be great for the drinking gang that consists of my son's college friends, that will be with us next year. All which are of drinking age (21).Our visit to Freeport was a chore. The port was filthy and busy with port activity. We decided that we would take the 20 minute ride to a local beach. This was a $5 each fare and the taxi drivers (driving 12 passenger delapidated vans)talked you into a reserved return fare of another $5 each. Our driver never showed back up. We were able to grab another taxi ride with another group which cost another $5 each. Thank goodness for that, as we were cutting it close to reboarding the ship before its planned departure of 2pm. Next time I'll just enjoy the Lido Deck activities. We did enjoy the public beach for the alotted 2 hrs we had after spending and 1.5 hour shopping the markets. The taxi's drop you off in front of the Casino and then you walk about 20 minutes to the public beach access. Once at the narrow beach line which was clean and bustling with vendors selling Conch shells and T shirts. There was a grill (the $9 burger was great). You were able to walk up the beach line a ways and find a semi-secluded area for those romantic ones. But, our time was limited so we stayed close to the walk path.Overall we were pleased with the Carnival Cruise and as already mentioned, have booked the Graduation party for our son on the same Glory next May. The Glory does have a strange pool setup and maneuvering one end of the ship to the other was confusing and took at least three days to master. Oh, the other down point of the cruise was Debarkation. It was a nightmare. We elected to Self Assist instead of having our luggage picked up the night before. We were told that our deck would be one of the 1st to debark but we were delayed, as was everyone else, in the process. So everyone wanted to leave at the same time. The bottleneck on deck 3 was crazy. People pushing and shoving to maintain their place in the crowd as all only had a 8' wide exit to cram through. Those large families with more that 2 people were getting separated and very upset. Throughout the cruise everyone was polite and gracious. But, everyone seemed to think they needed to be in front of the line. Politeness went out the window. It must be the stress to head back to the daily grind. I'm grateful we only live 20 minutes away. And a great neighbor that was our taxi.Next time we will wait till they kick us out of our rooms and will be sure to order room service that morning before they shut down the kitchens. By the way there was no charge for room service. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
My wife and decided a month before the sail date to try Carnival for the first time, as our son has expressed he would like a cruise for his graduation present next spring. We are new at the Cruise Vacation Life and was extremely ... Read More
My wife and decided a month before the sail date to try Carnival for the first time, as our son has expressed he would like a cruise for his graduation present next spring. We are new at the Cruise Vacation Life and was extremely pleased with our last years 10 day cruise on Royal Caribbean. Fortunately we live in Norfolk Va. and looked forward to embarking from our home town. The travel needed last year to get to NJ was a chore. The travel home was worse. The idea of having a neighbor drop us off and come get us was a exciting prospect. That was great. Embarking process was nothing like our 1st cruise but, we were so excited to see our stateroom with a balcony.....I'll never go back to an interior room. This short 5 day trip to Nassau and Freeport was just that....too short. Freeport was a bummer, but Seynor Frogs in Nassau was an experience. Not only were we trying to get a feel for the Carnival Line (as it is known as a "younger crowd party boat"), we wanted to scope out some activities for my 21 yr old son and his 8 friends. Wasn't much in Freeport. The Hurricanes that blast through there must be the reason why everything looked in the rebuild state. we did take a $10 taxi ride to the beach and was conned into paying for a reserved seat on the same taxi....he never showed back up. We were lucky to grab another groups taxi and made it back in time leave for Nassau. Nassau has a lot more going for it. Loved the experience at the younger/older crowd hangout at Seynor Frogs. Our younger group will love the free shots for sure. As for the ship Glory, I wasn't real impressed with it's layout. The pools were too small, the maneuvering throughout the ship to get from one end of the ship to the other was a chore and very confusing. the shows were amateurish but, we enjoyed them. Royals shows weren't that spectacular either. The food was definitely a step down from the quality we experienced last year. The Platinum Dining Hall was the pits. This idea to put the dining hall on the 3rd deck aft of the ship was a bad choice. The tables vibrated so bad and so noisy from the engines that we were yelling to our table mates. I managed to do it three nights, the last being Formal night. The rest of the meals were done on LIDO deck and we fared the semi-long lines awaiting fried chicken and Cherrios. Room service is no charge and that was great. eating on our deck 11 Spa) port balcony was enjoyable, to say the least. Looking forward to the son's cruise. We have booked 3 aft rooms with extended balconies on deck 8, one being the vista wrap around. 6 days to Freeport (staying on the ship for that port) and Nassau for 2 days. It would be nice if another Carnival ship would dock here but Glory is all there is unless I wanted to travel again....Baltimore (Pride), even thought they both are the Conquest Style. If you take this ship....beware of debarking. The process takes forever and everyone wants to be the 1st to get off. Next year we will wait to they kick us off the ship, rather than trying to exit the only 10' wide door with everyone else....and remember the food in your room is just as good and no extra charge. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
First let me clairfye that this is my 9th cruise, and after being on may 7 day cruises this one obviously wasn't one of the "best" cruises but it was in fact very fun for the short time we were on the ship. Since we ... Read More
First let me clairfye that this is my 9th cruise, and after being on may 7 day cruises this one obviously wasn't one of the "best" cruises but it was in fact very fun for the short time we were on the ship. Since we are from virginia, we figured norfolk would be the ideal port to leave from right? WRONG. Norfolk is a very crammed city that just can't handle being home to a ship as huge as the glory. There was a lot of confusion and I wasn't crazy about the thought of our car being parked 2 miles from the port in a random commuter parking lot. We parked in the parking lot at about 12:45 and didn't walk onto the ship until 4:15. We waited in a massive line that was very unorganized and people were starting to get very grumpy. I don't know if something was going on that made the line so slow but it was ridiculous. Sorry for all of the complaining, but after getting onboard everything was much better. I'm 19 years old, traveling with my 19 year old friend and my family. There were very few people under the age of 30 on this ship, it seemed as if it was "a cruise away from the kids." The glory is a beautiful ship, lots of color and sparkle. In my opinion, you really can't even tell the ship is as old as it is. I really liked the layout of everything except the location of the casino. I felt a tad boxed in when i was gambling, and it was hard to get away from the smoke. As far as the food and service, everthing was up to carnival's excellent standards and they did fit a lot of great activites into 2 short days. All in all I had a great time, but it was so short that it seemed like there was no time to relax. It is really hard to be excited for a short cruise when you are booked for a 7 day on the oasis of the seas. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
CRUISING WITH A FAMILY OF 107 KIDS PLUS AN INFANT 7 RCCL cruises, and I'd have to say this might have been the best one yet! I'm trying to think of something negative to say, but there's really nothing worth complaining ... Read More
CRUISING WITH A FAMILY OF 107 KIDS PLUS AN INFANT 7 RCCL cruises, and I'd have to say this might have been the best one yet! I'm trying to think of something negative to say, but there's really nothing worth complaining about. Its sad that anyone reading this will get no help from embarkation and dis-em info because the last RCCL cruise from Norfolk has left for the season - Norfolk was a beautiful port to cruise from, and the ship had a true air of Southern hospitality from all the Virginians, Kentuckians, No. Carolinians on board. Pre-Cruise: Spent a night in a local hotel, had friends drive us to the port in the morning, left our two cars in the hotel lot for free. Spent $100 for a hotel room which included a dinner and breakfast, as opposed to spending $135 to park at the port. For anyone reading this, wherever you cruise from, if driving, look into hotel deals that will include parking - many offer such deals, they just don't advertise them. Embarkation: A breeze except for traffic. Arrived 11:30AM - minor lines, onboard within 15 minutes. Up to the Windjammer to begin a week of 5 to 6 meals a day. Cabins were available at 1PM. Cabins: Minor disappointment that nothing noticeable was done to cabins at Drydock. There was some wear to the woodwork, but everything was spotlessly clean and in perfect working order. We had a D1 balcony stateroom. The balcony is about 4 by 6 - very small with two chairs and a table, but useful. Two cabins (7626 & 7628, adjoining) for the six of us which included a 1 year old. Very comfortable beds (even the sofa bed - futon) in my opinion. Our pre-night stay was in a very nice 3 star hotel with very soft mattresses which messed up my back - it took a couple of nights on RCCL's fine bedding to get it back to normal. Typical RCCL bathroom with a shower curtain. If you bring some small weights (fridge clip-on magnets worked great) and attach them to the shower curtain it stays in place. Otherwise the shower curtain will be your best friend throughout the cruise. Storage space was more than we've had in other cabins - quite sufficient. RIDDLE #1: Why do wives appreciate the toilets on cruise ships? Answer: Because husbands have to close the lid to flush and therefore can't leave the seat up. Food: No complaints here. The five adults among us were totally pleased with all our Dining Room dinners. Our 1 Year Old granddaughter was treated like an absolute princess everywhere onboard, but especially in the DR. After our first night a bowl of diced fruit was waiting for her every night as we came to dinner, and they truly fawned over her (and all of us for that matter), at each dinner. We had one lunch (last day) in the DR, and my wife is very sorry we didn't utilize it more - a killer Salad Bar, along with many unique lunch choices. Had several Room Service breakfasts, and some excellent Spinach/Artichoke dip from RS also. Note to Readers: this review is kind of rambling all over the place - you might want to fasten your seat belt. While I"m thinking about it, I wanted to mention some items I brought: duct tape, bungee cords, super glue. I actually used them all. The bungees and duct tape held my Yankee flag on the balcony. The super glue was used by a fellow M&M'er who broke her glasses and used the glue for a temporary fix. Oh: clothespins too. Handy on the balcony and in the shower (the showers have a little clothesline for hanging wet suits, etc.). RIDDLE #2: Why did my cruise remind me of a book I was reading, THE TRAGIC HISTORY OF THE SEA? Because it was a tragedy that the cruise only lasted nine days! We never did more than a 7 day before. I was wondering if 9 days was overkill. NOPE! I'm still trying to figure out where the time went - it was over way too quick. Entertainment: Best Variety of any cruise I've been on. CD Keith Williams was excellent and very personable; I admire a CD who acknowledges me and remembers meeting me days earlier. Assistant Irky: all I can say is "Heh, Heh, Heh!". (You'll understand if you meet him). The opening show had a comedian (haven't totally unpacked and can't find Day 1 to remember his name - Barnhart maybe?). Other nights had Comic Pianist Glenn Smith (great show), Comic Juggler Charlie Peachock (my favorite show of the cruise), Comedy/Magician Farrel Dillon, Horizon (Motown singing trio with an excellent performance), Vocalist Dolores Park, Comedian Chas Elstner. Lots of activities onboard (trivia, Nintendo Wii tournaments, live music, dance lessons). Don't miss The Quest (unless you're a 17th century Puritan). RIDDLE #3: What was the most popular animal at The Quest? A Zee-Bra (joke stolen from Sub or Yoga - can't remember who told it first, but thanks). Excursions: Our three younger ones (22, 21, 19) did the Segway Tour in San Juan. They all enjoyed it and my son insists he's buying one when he gets home. In St Thomas we did the Champagne Catamaran. Good snorkeling, great beach, great Rum Punch (it must have had tranquilizers in it because I got back to the ship and slept for 14 straight hours!). Several of our M&M'ers did the Turtle Cove snorkeling, and if you're into snorkeling that was probably a better choice, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed our excursion. In Samana many of us booked directly through Tours with Terry (easily found on CC threads). That was an advantage of reading the M&M thread for our cruise - all 35 or so people on the two excursions were M&M'ers! We had about 17 horseback riders, others did the ATVs through Terry, and myself, wife and daughter were taken to a beach with our granddaughter where everyone met up after their rides. We had our own private Caribbean beach for two hours before everyone got there - it felt like being a millionaire - no one else around, lying in the sand with no one in sight, being able to scratch my arse without worrying who's watching (Oops! TMI!). At Labadee we did a snorkel excursion, and the snorkeling was the best I've seen in four Caribbean cruises. More Rum Punch, but this was a shorter ride so I handled this one better. A note on Samana and Labadee: these are very, very poor areas. Several of our M&M'ers brought clothing and school supplies to give to locals. If you have room in your suitcases, please consider doing the same - they can really use it. You can very easily find someone who will take the items and give them to someone in need. Cruising With An Infant: I asked a lot of questions on CruiseCritc about cruising with infants, and many posters said we were crazy for trying it. WRONG! Our granddaughter had a great time (she's 13 months). She's a smart little cookie who looked forward to her fruit bowl and bread at dinner each night (not to mention great kid's dinners and trying everything we had), and she learned what elevators do. Some spare time was spent following her into an open elevator, following her off as she explored a new deck, following her back on when they opened again.... We brought our own Pack'N'Play for her to sleep in (we drove, making that easier), but RCCL does provide them. She slept all night every night, and enjoyed seeing the ocean and beaches for the first time in her young life. No regrets at all about bringing her. What helped was having five adults (grandparents, parents, aunt), who could take turns, sometimes missing an excursion or show to stay with her (a very small price to pay for the great memories we now have). Meet & Mingle: If your cruise is seven days or longer, DO sign up and attend the M&M. We had 107 sign up for ours, probably 60 to 70 present. RCCL gives out several prizes and our group also brought our own prizes (little samples of our hometown areas - marinades, mustards, trinkets, shirts). We had so many items brought that every family present won at least one thing; we had to re-draw for the last several items because everyone had already won something, so we started again. We were quite well represented throughout the cruise (10 of 12 Belly Flop contestants, members on the 2nd & 3rd place Quest teams, a majority of the Sexy Leggers) - yeah, we had a fun group. Corresponding with each other beforehand added to the pleasure of getting to know each other, and feeling like a family before we even met. I shall keep my Pink Mohawk wig as a fond memory of my M&M friends. RIDDLE #4: What does my title mean,"Cruising With 107 Kids Plus an Infant"? This was a very "young-at-heart" group (I'm 56 but haven't grown up yet). I swear this cruise was almost like a Fountain of Youth! Our age range was from a 1 yr old to numerous teens to late-late-late 50's. And all 107 kids played together very nicely. Debarkation: As Platinum members we had a private lounge to wait in. Only problem was the lounge couldn't hold half the people who qualified for it. Finding luggage was easy unless you were like one poor person whose tag fell off their bag, thereby meaning their bag could be anywhere in the terminal. Tip: if you have extra luggage tags put more than one on each bag - that way, in case one accidentally gets ripped off, your luggage can still find its way to the right location. RIDDLE #5: Why am I sitting at my desk typing this instead of sailing someplace on a relaxing, enjoyable cruise ship? Sorry, I don't have an answer for that one myself!!! Thank you, RCCL. Thank you, my many M&M friends - we really do miss you all (and for you many Southerners: we really do miss y'all). Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
My family and I just got back from cruising on the Enchantment Of The Seas 6/12/10. It was a good time, food was good, shows were ok, service was good, cabin was clean, BUT it had it's issues. I would not recommend sailing in and out ... Read More
My family and I just got back from cruising on the Enchantment Of The Seas 6/12/10. It was a good time, food was good, shows were ok, service was good, cabin was clean, BUT it had it's issues. I would not recommend sailing in and out of Norfolk. Although downtown Norfolk is great with a lot to do within walking distance, the problem is the pier location to the parking. IT CAUSES MAJOR DELAYS. Boarding, I dropped the family and luggage off at the pier and drove the couple of miles to the cruise parking lot only to find out once I got there it was $15.00 per day VS $10.00 per day as advertised on RC web site. I had a long wait there as people were unloading their luggage, which had to be loaded onto the buses and transported down to the pier on the same buses, so this was not a quick process, as the family stood waiting for me at the pier for 40 minutes. The debarkation process was a complete disaster. We were supposed to disembark at 9AM, but we were not able to disembark until 10AM. Once we were able to get off the boat the luggage staging area was a mess with the disembarkation numbers butting right up to each other, people were practically walking on top of each other. And then again all luggage loaded on buses then a 2 mile drive to the parking lot and then unloaded. Needlessly to say this was why there was an hour delay getting off the ship. I have no royalty to Philadelphia (I'm from Ohio), but I sailed on Empress Of The Seas out of Philly and it went VERY SMOOTH. On the ship the Windjammer was over packed at breakfast time, with peak times not having enough seating. Deck 4 reeked of sewage smell the first 4 days, but after that I didn't smell it at all, our dining room table (412) was located in a bad spot where my shoulders got @ss rubbed all week by people passing by, and lastly I felt the shore excursions through the cruise line were way over priced for what you got in return. I know, I know, I have dwelled on the negatives with the glass half full. BUT AGAIN the food was good, the service was good, the shows were good, and the cabin was clean. Overall it was a good trip and everybody had a good time, and other than the shore excurions the cruise was a good value. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Just a little background on my self and family, we are experienced cruises with RCCL and other companies. One cruise away from platinum on RCCL but have been on Disney, NCL and Carnival. So we have seen it all and this review is my opinion ... Read More
Just a little background on my self and family, we are experienced cruises with RCCL and other companies. One cruise away from platinum on RCCL but have been on Disney, NCL and Carnival. So we have seen it all and this review is my opinion but little things go a long way. Embarkation, Norfolk, VA, Well we have driven to many ports before, Miami, Baltimore and Port Canaveral and this was just awful. The price on the website for cruise terminal parking said 10/day well it changed to 15/day when we arrived, and we checked the day before. We could have parked across the street for the same price if we would have know, or stayed at a hotel for cheaper too. Check into that if you come to this port as there are cheaper options. We were in line out to the street at 1130am and were not parked and luggage offloaded until about 1230. Once parked we were on the shuttle quickly and this is where the fun began. The shuttle was about 1.5 blocks away with mediocre AC and just sitting in traffic. The terminal drop off was having issues getting cars and busses in and once in we were the 4 or 5th bus in line and instructed to stay on. At this point we were on the bus for 45 mins to go about 6-10 blocks and just talked our way off to go get in line for check-in. Check-in was quick and easy, but this was eased as we are plat. cruisers so front of the line pass. We were on the ship about 2pm and were able to get to the room and drop off the luggage since the delay getting on. Dining: We had requested early seating on booking through RCCL and were given late so we went straight to the DR to get this changed. Well we were not alone as we saw the list had us about 20 in line so far for a table change. The first night we were asked to eat late and then they would try and make a change. Well on day two we were notified that we were indeed moved so we made the change. Well this probably was not the best option as the room was way to crowded and noisy as the room was packed with extra tables. One thing I know they don't want to do but sometimes RCCL needs to is not facilitate the moves. Crowding the early seating had a snowball effect on other issues like show seating. We normally eat in the MDR for all meals but dabble in the WJ as well just to try other options. First thing I noticed was that having early seating was service was very slow, and I think this was to so many people being in the MDR. Waiters couldn't walk around the table because we were sitting back to back at some locations so this slowed things down too. Food was OK, but not great and some days just plain awful. There was a cod catch of the day and 4 people got it at the table and nobody finished, and my fathers had bones still in the fish. One other thing was the menu had cannelloni on Italian night yet they were out of the noodles so they substituted for tortellini. That is fine, but the very next night tortellini was on the menu and it came out as ravioli, were they not aware of the next days menu and shouldn't ravioli substituted instead. Just little things that can be corrected to make a better experience RCCL has done this same trip many times out of Baltimore so they have an idea of what is needed. Lastly by day 4 they were out of V8 juice, just not really sure how that can happen too, seems to be a staple to me. Also on the last lunch in the WJ they ran out of food items too. Entertainment: Was good and normal cruise fare, some comedy, jugglers, magician, musicians and cruise line dancers. Nothing was bad they were all good and a variety of shows so you can get whatever you like. One thing that we noticed was seating was packed every night and you needed to be there 30 mins before to get a good seat and 10mins before you were standing. I think this was brought on because they packed the early MDR and thus packed the theater with all these guests. So if you are a late person getting to shows this could be a problem, you will know the first couple of days. On to the pool entertainment was very good. The band that they have on deck was good, only wish they started earlier. They would come out around 1230 for 30 mins and would break until 4-430 and play again. Just think they should have been out there more earlier instead of after 5 as most people were getting ready to eat after 5pm. But they were very good and could play almost anything with a reggae flair. lastly the Casino was nice and as always the staff were superb. This is one department that never lets me down. Ports/Excursions: I go into this in more detail below but for us the ship is the destinations and sometimes we get off and sometimes we don't. The stops we have been to before so knew what to expect when it came to getting off the ship. There was only one tender stop in Samana and this was a little disorganized. If you have a ship excursion you meet in the spotlight lounge and get your tender ticket, normal for all cruises. But everyone on a ship excursion goes there and no matter when you tell them to go up there people will be early and crowd the room or entrance. So this caused a little trouble which the ship could change and say have half go to the theater and half to the spotlight lounge, but I think they will get this as time goes on. Even though we were anchored early there was trouble getting going and non ship excursions didn't begin until 12-1230p. So be aware, but I think they had trouble with the ships water doors and once fixed it was fine, so maybe this was isolated. Ports that we went to were nice, enjoyed the beach at St Thomas (sapphire) and Labadee. Labadee is my favorite stop and if the ship just stayed here for 4 days I would be happy but private stops are not for everyone. Disembarkation: Did the express check off and went smooth with no issues was off the ship at about 8-9am not sure on the exact time, but was smooth. They asked passengers with express to wait in the rooms until called but that didn't happen people started lining up at 730 but otherwise was smooth as checkout could have been. Once through customs loaded bags on shuttle and waited until the bus was about half full and were off to the parking. Was quick and were to our car quickly and off to our 3.5 hour drive home. Ship: Enchantment is an older ship, but we enjoy this class ship as it is not too big but has almost everything the bigger ships do as well. The ship was expanded about 5 years ago and maybe this added to some of the crowding issues but not so sure about that, we were on the Grandeur in Oct and never any crowding issues on that one so maybe so. The ship just came out of dry dock and the pool deck was all new with teak and imitation teak so that was nice, but no new pool chairs. Couldn't really tell on many other changes in dry dock as I think most occurred below the water line. Lastly there was never an issue with getting deck chairs as everyone was respectful and not many chair hogs on this cruise. Overall: Well we enjoyed the cruise and it is just little issues that can be fixed to make a great cruise. I enjoy cruising and want everyone else to enjoy it too, so when I see small things rubbing people it bugs me, because I know this isn't always the case. I don't like to hear people say they will never cruise with RCCL again, so just little details could change peoples opinion for a positive one. We will cruise again and since this ship is coming out of Baltimore permanent we will probably be traveling her again in the future. I know the review seems negative, but seems we always remember those. But there were good things as well, stops love them all, you get a nice variety and different things to do at all of them. The length and price cant be beat and that is why we like this 9nt cruise so much and the ship really is our destination when we take this cruise. Food was ok, but would like to have a variety of lunch menu, it was the same everyday in the MDR. Overall I give this cruise a 3.5/5 so not bad but room for improvement. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010

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