92 Port Canaveral (Orlando) Holiday Cruise Reviews

"Dissatisfaction". 1. Upon arriving on the ship the Dream there was a STRONG smell of "sewer". We thought maybe this was coming from something in the Port... but the whole week, the smell never went away. Apparently ... Read More
"Dissatisfaction". 1. Upon arriving on the ship the Dream there was a STRONG smell of "sewer". We thought maybe this was coming from something in the Port... but the whole week, the smell never went away. Apparently Carnival is aware of this issue as we were explained by a crew member that it was a design flaw that they were working on, but had not fixed it yet and were told by the crew member to keep our fingers crossed and hope for "Good winds" to help with the smell. 2. The thermostat in our room was malfunctioning and was always hot. We asked to have someone from maintenance look at this twice, but no one ever came. 3. The spiral staircase in the main lobby is so unsafe that I feel down the second night of the cruise. I was not seriously hurt, a very large bruise and some scrapes but did not use those stairs for the rest of the trip. They were the size of 2 by 4's (no I am not kidding) and very hard to walk on. I was not the only person that fell down these stairs this cruise. 4. The staff... WOW! They were SO rude and condescending in every way and department except for the front desk and camp Carnival. We saw and heard staff arguing with each other in front of guests. WITH guests... about guests in front of guests. It was embarrassing! One night at dinner the rest of my family got their dinner 35 minutes before I did because I ordered my steak rare. The waiter said it should only be a few moments so I agreed to have my family start eating... But 35 minutes was horrible. When the waiter finally came back after being missing the whole time I told him I had changed my mind and would just go to the buffet. On Christmas morning we went to brunch in the restaurant and we were seated very quickly which was great. Our waiter came over and handed us our menus and asked what we would like to order? Confused, I said you just handed me the menu, we have no idea what is even available and he state that we either order now...or wait 10 minutes for him to come back because he had 5 other tables to assist! Again this was not said in a nice way, he was actually mad at us about not knowing the contents of the menu. We said we would wait, but as soon as he left our table we asked to be moved to another area and waiter because of this. Funny enough it must have been a bad morning for most of the waiters this morning because as we were leaving we had to walk thru a fight between the hostess and 2 waitresses about a family that originally asked to be seated for a table of 6...and then 4 other people in their party arrived and they had asked to be moved to a bigger table or simply move two tables together, not sure why this was such and issue that required and all out fight in the dining room...but I am certain that more than half of the dinning room heard the argument. All in all the staff was simply horrible. 5. The food, except for my night with the 35 minute steak the dinning room food was not bad. But the buffets were borderline to say the least. What they would do everyday is prepare the food and set it out on the buffet line about 45 minutes before the buffet would open and cover the food with cafeteria trays so no one could get to it. By the time they opened the food was almost cold and not appetizing at all. They also advertize a Sushi buffet...be aware it is not. You stand in line for a half hour and wait for 3 small pieces of pre prepared sushi and are sent on your way. 6. Here is the straw that broke the camels back. We upgraded our cabin to a deck 11 Spa cabin because we were told that we would have unlimited use of "You would have unlimited access to the thermal suites which are laconism tepidarium oriental steam baths and aroma steam baths and also unlimited access to the thalasso therapy pool which other guest do not have access to unless they pay. You would receive 2 complimentary fitness classes per person. Also, spa branded bath robes & slippers for use during the cruise. Last, the cloud 9 products in your stateroom is Elemis, Shampoo and Conditioner, 1 hand and 1 body Elemis Soap dish. Elemis shower get and body lotion. (Basically the high end spa products). You receive a Welcome Reception at the Spa too. As soon as you board you receive a welcome letter from the spa with instructions." On Dec 22cnd & 23rd I went to the Spa with my 7 year old daughter to take advantage of the package we had purchased. We were advised that because she was a minor she would not be able to enter the whirlpool because of the temperatures, which I fully understood but she was more than welcome to use the thermal heated chairs, which was what we were going to use anyways. But on the 24th we were blocked at the door by an Indian woman that I forgot to get here name. She was EXTREMELY rude and actually blocked & stood in front of the door in a manner as if she was ready to attack me and my 7 year old daughter if we took a step. She stated my daughter was a minor and NOT allowed in the Spa. I explained to her that was not the case for the past 2 days before when we were welcomed at the Spa. When I asked to speak with a manager she got on the phone and actually "ordered" me to "Have a seat" as if I were a new puppy that was being trained. When a manager finally came out it was the assistant manager and I explained to her that my daughter and I had visited the heated spa chairs the previous two days with Spa personal knowledge and permission and we were confused as to why the third day we were being refused an amenity that came with the room that we paid extra for with Carnival. She explained that the two previous employees must have been new and untrained but because my daughter was a minor they would not allow her in the heated seats. I explained to her that it seemed as though they were changing the rules daily to accommodate the Spa and not the customers. The Assistant manager had no other explanation other than they did have some new employees and those must have been the ones that we had spoken to at the beginning of the cruise. When I asked to speak with the manager "Mia" I was told that she was in a meeting but to go back to my state room and she would call me at 2:30pm to discuss this issue. I went back to my room and waited until almost 4:30pm with NO call from "Mia" I waited 24 hours to give her the benefit of the doubt...but still no call. When I tried to call her at the Spa, I was told she was unavailable...of course. I then took my matter down to the information Guest Services desk and spoke with "Clara" She was very understanding and agreed that I was not treated appropriately. She then tried to reach "Mia" which took about 20 minutes. When she finally spoke with "Mia" she was told the same thing that I was told. "Clara" said that she would bring this up to her manager and see what they could do to accommodate us and also explained that Mia would be able to call me later that day. Mia did finally call me in my stateroom and again in a very condescending manner told me that there was nothing that she could do because even though we paid extra money to have a "SPA" cabin which came with free use of the whirlpool and heated chairs, that we did not actually pay the Spa anything because the Spa was a separate entity from the ship so therefore she did not have to accommodate me in anyway. I brought this issue back to Clara and she asked that I give her some time to work on the issue to see if Carnival could make it up to us. (As a side note while we were speaking there was another guest at the front desk complaining of a similar issue with other Spa employees and he had also expressed that what he was doing was authorized the day before and was also confused as to why he was now being refused services.) Clara left us a voice mail the next day as well as sent us a letter explaining that there was nothing they could do on the ship but instructed us to call Corp. when we got home. This of course made it impossible for me, my husband or my family to use the Spa for the rest of the trip because we were made to feel very uncomfortable @ the Spa at all because of the sheer horror of what was going on. What we actually found out later is that the Spa was only suppose to sell these special wrist bands to an extra 45 people on the boat for $250 a piece to have to amenities that were suppose to be "included" in our cabin package that we already paid for. (we got the wrist bands upon arrival) Now they had sold more than the 45 extra and had to try to limit who could go because of complaints from the people who bought the wrist bands. We did call Corp. when we got home and explained to them all of our concerns, we tried to work with them and come to some sort of mutual accommodation and explained that this was our 3rd cruise with them in less than 2 years and we already had another one booked with them for the July 31st-Aug 7th , 2010 sailing which would be our 4th cruise in 2 years. They had nothing to say other than "We are sorry that you did not enjoy your cruise" They offered no refund of any kind (which we feel we are entitled to after this mess), no on board credits for our upcoming cruise, no upgrades for our upcoming cruise. The attitude was "too bad". We went up to the supervisor and were told the same exact thing. Basically we were told that if we were so unhappy we should have got off at one of the Ports of call and gone home and they would have given us a partial refund. Had we known this was an option I can assure you we would have done just that. Carnival obviously does not care about customer services and I can tell you that they have just lost 4 frequent Carnival cruise customers. This was suppose to be a Happy Christmas for our family... As you can tell...that was NOT the case. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
We just got back from our 7 day western Caribbean cruise on carnival's Dream. Before we left i was a little nervous after reading these review. My fears were unfounded! We had a wonderful time. This is our forth cruise. We have been ... Read More
We just got back from our 7 day western Caribbean cruise on carnival's Dream. Before we left i was a little nervous after reading these review. My fears were unfounded! We had a wonderful time. This is our forth cruise. We have been on Disney's wonder, Royal caribbean's mariner of the seas and the princess coral. I traveled with my husband, two boys 12 and 15 and my mother. We used 2 cabins. embarkation... a breeze. We were on the boat in 30 minutes. there were some long lines for the first lunch on the lido, but if you continue walking towards the back of the ship, there is another buffet area, pizza and sandwich area with plenty of seats. We had first dinner seating, 6pm. Our waiters were very attentive, food was hot, with nice presentation. Great menus. the shows were spectacular. The only thing we didn't like was the singers volume.. just a little loud for us. Get a drink then go to the theatre 30-40 minutes before the show to pick the perfect seat Room was very nice. Lots of storage. Three closets, 4 drawers, nightstands with storage, fridge and plenty of bathroom storage. My tip: bring a strip multi-plug extension cord, and a clock . I also put a collapsible hamper in one closet. Room attendant is always visible. Bed and linens are nice quality as well as the down pillows No problem bringing a medium quantity of wine, liquor, or soda. OJ, cranberry juice, tomato juice is free from room service, by the way which is very quick. Bonita in the perfume store is excellent. She took a lot of time to help me find the perfect cologne. Lloyd at the computer hub surprised me by having a power cord for my new Sony e reader! We never really had a sense of overcrowding, even on new years eve. we were on the top deck looking down. other people write of a sewer smell.. this is true.. but it is sporadic, transient, can be noticed on different parts of the ship at different times, but we also noted it on other ships as well. Debarkation was very smooth we had breakfast at 7am, they called us at 740 and we were driving out of the terminal area by 8am. a wonderful experience.. don't be afraid to go on this beautiful ship, look forward to it! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
I was excited for months- I booked this cruise last January. I am so glad I did! I am new at reviews-so I will try not to ramble. Embarkation: My husband is platinum, so there was no wait for us. The process was easy as they whisked us ... Read More
I was excited for months- I booked this cruise last January. I am so glad I did! I am new at reviews-so I will try not to ramble. Embarkation: My husband is platinum, so there was no wait for us. The process was easy as they whisked us into the office to sit and check us in. The lady was very sweet and gave my kids activity books with crayons, pencils and candy canes. The trip could have stopped in this office and my kids would have been happy. There was a bit of a hold up with the photos getting on the ship. I have never understood why they set these pictures up at the entrance to the ship. It creates congestion. This ship had 2 photo opportunities-one just before getting aboard, and one just after with an "astronaut". Seems to me these could be set up off to the side so the people could go back after getting settled-but I suppose it is a money thing. Get them while they can't go anywhere. The ship is gorgeous! It has the nicest decor of the 4 ships I have sailed with Carnival. Sure there were layout/ design flaws I would have hoped not to encounter on a new ship, but it was still pretty. The Lido: was very busy. Fortunately, I do not spend a lot of time there. I did wait in long lines on the lido on the first day when there was nothing else to do anyway. When boarding the ship, you will either snap up a pool chair, explore a bit, or eat. Nothing else is open. So I chose to brave the hour long wait at the Mongolian station I had read so much about on here. I knew I would wait a while, and this was the only day I was willing to do it. It was food. It wasn't spectacular, but I do not like eating at the regular buffet lines. I only like to eat at stations they fix it for you right there and dump it on your plate (think the Mongolian, omelette, deck 5 bbq-yum). This leads back to a food poisoning case I swear is from every person on the ship having germs and dirty hands, etc. then going to the buffet, using the tongs and then throwing them back in the food. That is against health code here, but I guess Carnival doesn't concern themselves with it. Anyway, I digress. Scarlett Dining: Just about all my meals, including breakfast, brunch on some mornings, and dinner were in the Scarlet dining room. It was lovely. Our family of 5 sat with another family of 5. Our table mates, who have cruised much more than us, were very nice and shared with us some of their wisdom about different ships, ports, etc. Sadly, my children did not eat with us most of the time. My teenager just about always ate at the lido deck after the first night. My boys wanted to eat with their friends at Camp Carnival. My husband and I agreed to let them go. How often do we have a "dinner date"? I cannot recall my table number now, but we were on the first floor of the dining room, center of the room, and Lucy was our waiter after the first night. What about the first night? I barely remember that guy-I don't know what happened to him. Lucy did a great job! She remembered our names, was always very friendly. She tried to get me to dance with her, but I do not really like that kind of thing. The food was amazing! As for people who have complained about it, I don't know what those people are used to eating, but the food was better than any gourmet food I have had before at home! I used to go out to restaurants quite a bit, and had my own kitchenware and gourmet food business. I can not complain about the food! Especially when someone has to prepare it, bring it to me, and clean the dishes. Note about the brunch- My husband and I did this 2 days. The first day was great! There were flowing mimosas (free), our waiter (not Lucy) did an amazing job getting to us quickly, not making us wait to long. We also had a nice family sit with us at brunch. We later saw the family several times and we were happy to see them, hear about their day, etc. When I ordered the chicken mozzarella on french toast, it sounded yummy. When I got it, it wasn't. My fault though. I guess I did not think about a tomato sauce on my french toast. My waiter graciously removed it and brought me a different entree in a snap. I got the eggs benedict-couldn't go wrong with that. Oh my, it was delicious! The second day- was terrible. It was my husband and me again. They sat us at a table for 2 (we usually prefer to sit with someone else for the conversation). With our table in the middle of the row, by the serving station, and every table for two along the window open, we asked to be moved. The waiter said I would have to go back and ask the hostess, which I did. We were seated at the window, our lady waitress came, poured our mimosas, gave us our menus. She came back a couple minutes later and took our order. She then disappeared for over 30 minutes. We had to keep troubling the waiter of the table near us for drinks, bread etc. Finally, we decided to walk out. By this time, I wasn't even hungry anymore. This was a disappointment. We were told by the other waiter-very sorry. Brunch is new for them and they are still working out all the kinks. I am not sure why there are kinks, do they not serve breakfast? Deck 5 Aft BBQ: We discovered this on the first day at sea(how lucky!) We both enjoyed the food, did not have to wait in a live at any time with more than 5 people in front of us. The food was fresh, delicious and the chefs were very friendly. The even posed for pictures for me an a few other guests. Bad news- I had an allergic reaction to something I ate there. I had the hamburger slider and a quesadilla. Within minutes, I had hives up and down my arms! I quietly went to the chef on the end for a list of ingredients. He pointed me over to one of those important looking people in the white uniforms. He was very nice and helpful. He asked if I needed medical attention, which I chose not to get. This isn't the first time it has happened to me, so I knew they would go away. I think I narrowed it down to chili peppers. I didn't really itch, and the food was so delicious, I still went back the next day we were at sea. Wasabi Sushi bar: i love sushi, but this was ridiculous. I was only able to get sushi on 2 of the nights. The other members are right about this. The line is very long, they only give you three pieces (though I just asked for more than one plate) and they do not let you choose. I suppose it did force me into trying new sushi I had never had before (which I did not like). It was okay. The second night I went, I looked at the offering first. I didn't think I could stomach any of it, so I skipped it. I wish they would do a California roll each night just to please the sushi beginners. I just recently started eating the shrimp and it is cooked. I do not care for raw sushi. Not to mention, the night I did wait in line, I waited over 30 minutes. As soon as I neared the front of the line, an employee came around and informed us of a second line opening up. Ugh. Very frustrating. The Steak house: Very disappointing. Had to do it once though. With a half empty restaurant, they sat us in the back between a restroom and an exit. The service was less than stellar. A meal thought was supposed to take about 2 1/2 hours took over three. We asked for our steaks well done, no pink, and both were about raw and bloody. And it took the waitress forever to come back and check on us. The lobster was delicious, the desserts (cheesecake for hubby, chocolate sampler for me) were amazing. My husbands biggest complaint: the dirty table next to us with food and paper on the table and floor. We mentioned this to the manager, her response was is that it is their policy to not remove linens in front of guests. My husband told her he would prefer to sit next to the marble table (under the linens) than next to a dirty table all night. She said she would forward that to Carnival and that for future guests sake they would consider this. Overall, the food (especially the steaks) were not any better than the dining room food, we had better service in the dining room. Missed the Captains cocktail party, but made it for the past guest party and the farewell party. Those bartenders took it in stride! They were great! I told them what i wanted, then asked can i have 2 at a time? They said of course! That way, I did not have to wait on them for another as they helped other guests. My husband did this as well. We saw other people order 3 at a time. It was nice to not have to pay $7 for a beer for the the hour! The comedy shows were funny enough: We didn't wait in any lines, so that must have been our luck. We strolled in after the first show started, and sat at the bar. Then for the second show, we did not have to leave because my husband is a platinum member. We go to stay, move up and improve our seats and enjoyed the next show. That guy was really funny. He was an equal opportunity comedian. he didn't care about race or nationality. He picked on everyone. I laughed, so I considered him good. The piano bar: Vince, Vince, Vince. We loved the piano bar- that is usually our thing! We were a bit disappointed after the first couple nights with Vince,. He repeatedly told the same jokes/toasts to the same crowd each night, played the same songs, and often said" I don't know that one" but took your money anyway. Perhaps he could come up with some sort of rotating schedule for his comments, or Carnival could by him a joke/toast book? Really disappointing was when he used his same tip lines and humor at the caroling party many on the ship brought their kids to. In the 20 minutes I was there with my children, Vince made several comments I found rude about tips (a la piano bar) and sounds of disgust and saying something to the effect of "another one???" over having to be awake at 12:30 in the day and playing Christmas carols. I don't know if Vince does not celebrate Christmas, or just had too much to drink the night before, but his attitude should have been better for this one 30 minute segment that many of the children looked forward to. Casino: I have met friendlier dealers in Vegas. All I ask is that if you are going to take my money, and I know you will 99 out of 100 times, do it with a friendly smile and act like you are glad I sat at your table. Shows: I fell asleep and missed the Dancing in the street show everyone has raved about! I wish they did this show on a night you had been at sea all day. I was so worn out from the day in port, I couldn't stay awake and had to take a nap after dinner! Then I did not wake up in time for the show. My husband saw it and said it was great! We both went to the country show, I thought the song selection could have been more modern. They did a lot of old stuff. And the black man and Italian woman who were the stars looked extremely labored when it came to this kind of music. This definitely was not their genre of music. They did a spectacular show for the holiday show, and her voice really shined! Also, all the children had been working on different numbers throughout the week, were called up on stage and were part of the show. It was nice to have them do that, and it felt really special for my boys. An added bonus was the stage was set up for "Christmas" and i got some amazing snapshots of the boys with the decor and the dancers and singers in a great light. The pictures came out great! They were all very friendly and acted really appreciative when the boys gave them the candy canes they brought on the ship to hand out on Christmas. Water Slides were awesome, but the stairs seemed to shake in the wind. It scared me to let my 50 lb. boys walk up them and wait on their own. So i either rode just after them or just waited in line, then walked back down he stairs. That drainpipe was the scarier one for me! It went very fast! Laser show: too much wind to make it really visible the first night. But my family still enjoyed it. We sat on the lido deck, with provided fresh, warm blankets and cocoa. It really felt like winter/ Christmas time! A couple nights later: Awesome! It worked perfectly to the tunes of -oh I can not remember! It was fabulous, though. Camp Carnival: Can't say enough about these fabulous ladies! They seem to truly enjoy their jobs! They work very hard, with many children at a time. They never once seemed to lose their patience, raise their voice, etc. I don't know how they do it day in and day out. The playrooms also rocked! They had everything! They were the biggest I have ever seen on a Carnival ship. Here are some things that we missed that i would book again just to make sure I get to do/see: the Pasta bar: Saw it once when it was closed, then forgot about it until it was too late The Indian food station: the best time to try something new is when it is free! Never saw it, or it was closed when I did and i did not realize what it was the Serenity deck: with kids this would have been nice to escape to. Unfortunately, my son was sea sick the last day and a half so unable to go to Camp Carnival. Bingo, shows with Todd (who rocks by the way!)galley tour, ice carving, towel/napkin folding, cooking demo, drink mixology contest, etc. Seems like I have a bit of negatives here, but i assure you, no vacation is perfect and we , overall, had a great time and would sail on this ship again. Any day we are doing something other than working, cooking and cleaning ourselves is great and better than being home! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
This was our third cruise on Carnival, the others being the Spirit and Legend. Dream is new, big, and still working through a few kinks, but the cruise was a lot of fun, and much better than the other reviews might lead you to believe. ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Carnival, the others being the Spirit and Legend. Dream is new, big, and still working through a few kinks, but the cruise was a lot of fun, and much better than the other reviews might lead you to believe. This was the New Years Cruise, and the ship was packed, 4400 passengers. Never had long lines though, although finding chairs was not easy, often went down to Deck 5, where chairs were easy to find, and much quieter. Food good, all locations, pasta good, pizza good, buffet good for a buffet, love the ice cream, never trouble getting service quickly, even when 2000 of us were packed onto the lido deck for new years celebration. Carnival provided free champayne, a nice touch. Ship is big, but Deck 5 provides a nice area for walking, two laps almost a mile. Ship does vibrate quite a bit, in rough seas especially, and a few folks suffered sea sickness one night. Lots of kids on the ship, many out of control, but I blame the parents for that, not the crew. Captain was out and about a lot, at the clubs, sometimes on the deck sunning with his family who were along for the holidays. Shows were great, including the comedians, although Jeff the fun dude is not funny, but the rest were funny. Would I do this ship again, yes, although travel to a from Florida from Colorado takes too much time, and blows a day each way. Port Canaveral was good, very organized, although our prearranged transportation from Orlando Airport to and from the Port, with Sunshine Limo, did not go smooth, they were late and rude, use someone else. Stayed in a suite on deck 7, very nice, still small, but nicer than regular. Free beach at Roatan very nice, and no extra charge. Beaches on Costa Maya very fun, very local, nice boardwalk. Belize fun to go to port and see the shops, not much else unless paying for an excursion. Cozumel was least fun, although typically mexican, what you expect to see. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
I didn't take extensive notes so this isn't a blow-by-blow review. I just want to add my positive remarks and reassure folks who are yet to board the Dream! This was our second Carnival cruise (sailed the Liberty in 2008) and ... Read More
I didn't take extensive notes so this isn't a blow-by-blow review. I just want to add my positive remarks and reassure folks who are yet to board the Dream! This was our second Carnival cruise (sailed the Liberty in 2008) and much about the Dream was familiar (cabins, ship layout) and pleasing. Our cabin (mid-ship) was plenty roomy for the four of us (two adults and two teenage boys), although we are neat by nature! Two closets for hanging and one with shelves, plus drawers in the dressing area and under one bed. We stored our suitcases under the large bed. I'm perfectly satisfied with the shower gel and shampoo provided by Carnival, so that saves space in the shower. The robes are comfy! For whatever reason, we did not feel crowded. Maybe living in the DC Metro area desensitizes us to crowds! We mostly used the stairs, but elevators were always available. The Mongolian Wok and Pasta Bar require a wait because the meals are made-to-order. Strike up a chat with the cruiser in front or behind of you . . . smile! Avoid crowds by taking advantage of the brunch on sea days -- it is fabulous and relaxing -- don't miss it! Go to the Lido early or late during meal times and walk right up to the buffet lines. We found the tables to be cleared immediately and never had to wait to sit. We were able to find seats in the theater by arriving 20 minutes before a performance (we usually went to the later show -- might make a difference). We went to the first R-rated comedy shows for easier seating. Any-time seating: We waited awhile the first night, but never after that (party of nine on most nights) and we were able to get our first choice wait-team (headed by Kenroy) three times. I'm not enamored of the wait-staff floor show, so I actually liked not having to watch! Different strokes! I'm glad Carnival offers this option. The adult deck space, Serenity, is niiiiice! We were happy to give up going ashore in Belize to enjoy the time on deck. I smelled a bit of icky smell a couple of times, out on deck, but can't remember exactly where and it didn't bother me. Walking all the way around Deck 5 (the Lanai) is wonderful!! The hot tubs on this level appeared to be uncrowded most of the time. The staff is working HARD to iron out the new-ship wrinkles. Upcoming cruisers should reap the benefits. But do remember that you are cruising with 4399 other people; there are lots of smaller ships if that is too densely populated for you! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
As our car service approached the port, we got our first glimpse of the Carnival Dream. It was certainly large (as it was parked next to the Disney Magic and the RCL Monarch of the Seas) but looked very inviting. We pulled up to the drop ... Read More
As our car service approached the port, we got our first glimpse of the Carnival Dream. It was certainly large (as it was parked next to the Disney Magic and the RCL Monarch of the Seas) but looked very inviting. We pulled up to the drop off line, and they were ready for us, took our bags, and instructed us where to go. A very pleasant surprise - the entire embarkation process took about 40 minutes (and this is arriving at 12 PM among many other guests). We boarded the boat and were told we could grab some lunch (as the rooms would not be ready until 1:30 PM) The good: The quality of the lunch buffet was outstanding (at least the stations.) People would line up and take advantage of the burrito bar, the pasta station, the deli station, and the tandoori station. All were surprisingly very good, and I honestly spent very little time at the rest of the standard buffet. The children all swore by their cheeseburgers, as this became their daily lunch treat. The pizza however, was better on other lines. The water slides were the best we have seen at sea. Kids and adults lined up to ride the racers, the drainpipe, and the twister all day. The kids loved the fact that the slides were fresh water, and although they did have lines build up, they were certainly manageable. We never waited more than 10 minutes (and that was only for the twister). The ship is experimenting with a comedy club, and this was among the best venues at sea. Jeff "the Fun Dude" was great and needs to be commended on building an all star roster of main land talent. These shows are done in both a PG and an R setting so people of all ages can enjoy. Another highlight was the piano bar. For a few bucks a pencil, the piano player gratiously played requests and really kept a lively atmosphere going. The laser light show at the pool deck with the large screen TV was a highlight. The shows were great. My only compaint was that they were too short. The ship advertised the music of Pink Floyd and Rush, yet only lasted 17 minutes (3 songs). The onboard show was also too short. Disembarkation was just as easy. We had an early flight and were given tags with a "2" on it. We were off the boat and in our car service by 7:30. The bad: The service in the main dining room was the worst I have ever experienced on a cruise line. They simply do not have enough help to handle the 4000 passengers on the boat. We would ask repeatedly for our wine to be opened (they could have supplied me with a corkscrew). They either took our order within 15 seconds of sitting down or 30 minutes - you never knew what to expect. Once we ordered we were rushed through dinner, and the average meal was completed in under an hour! This was hardly an enjoyable experience, and I wish they had more dining options, as I came very close to actually reducing their tip. We were actually told by a waiter at breakfast to please give us the entire order at once, as the galley was too far and he would only go there once for us! The food in the main dining room was mediocre. Sometimes too cold coming out, salads did not taste fresh, and the meats were sub par. I would recommend sticking the the seafood and pasta dishes. The desserts were OK (although the standby chocolate melting cake was outstanding). The lines for everything also could use improvement. 20 minutes at the deli bar, 20 minutes for a burrito, 10 minutes to pick up a golf club and ball, 20 minutes to pick up sushi, etc. Another complaint is the lack of food alternatives during dinner. The children love the grill but it closes at 6 sharp. The burrito bar, tandoori bar, pasta bar, etc are only open during lunch. The sushi bar is only from 5 to 8:15 and they give you 3 pre made pieces of whatever they are serving that day. Last complaint is the vibrations. I have never been on a ship that has vibrated so violently when approaching a port. It would jar you out of bed, and you would question if there was some kind of design flaw with the ship. Overall, the cruise was good, but not even as close to as enjoyable as our experiences on RCL and Disney. The price was certainly right, but usually you get what you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Hi Everyone, Well after being home for a week, I'm finally ready to share my family's experience on the Carnival Dream for its first New Year's Cruise. We (family of 4) have traveled on all major cruise lines (Carnival, ... Read More
Hi Everyone, Well after being home for a week, I'm finally ready to share my family's experience on the Carnival Dream for its first New Year's Cruise. We (family of 4) have traveled on all major cruise lines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norwegian, Costa, Disney), and this was our third cruise on Carnival. Our two favorite cruise lines are Carnival and Royal Caribbean. I will try to make the review as accurate as possible, as I have the capers in front of me. Please feel free to ask any questions. This is a long and detailed review, and I have highlighted and summarized the outstanding aspects of our cruise in addition to the areas for improvement at the bottom. Fortunately, none of the major complaints about the Dream were true. We had a really very good week aboard the Dream, and I will give an overview of our very good week; I will also share some suggestions for Carnival from our family and from other cruisers both for the Dream and Carnival's other ships to help improve Carnival go from very good to great. We arrived at the pier at 11:30. Boarding was extremely well-managed and easy. We had filled out all of our paperwork online, so we went through a short security line and walked up to the desk to receive our sail and sign cards. The whole process took about 20-25 minutes until we were on the ship. We walked into the lobby which was gorgeous. In addition to the ocean plaza, the lobby is a great place to sit down, people watch, and listen to Cool Breeze play, a fantastic duo. The rest of the day, we toured the ship, tried the Pasta Bar and Pizza for lunch (great choices in addition to everything else on lido), and just hung out around the ship. The entertainment throughout the week was amazing at times, while ok at others. The live music throughout the ship was A+ (except for the Calypso Duo). Voo Doo, the band that played in the Ocean Plaza and on the lido for New Years was exceptional. We, in addition to many others, often sat down with sushi and a drink while listening to them play. They took requests and played our favorites. Great job. Cool Breeze was a GREAT duo, and their quieter music perfectly fit the atmosphere of the atrium. Lastly, Vince in the Piano bar was AMAZING. He had the place PACKED from start to finish. He had everyone engaged and singing all night long every single night of the cruise - especially after New Years. He took requests and really knows how to interact and work the crowd. We have never seen a piano bar so energized and into it. Great job Vince! Unfortunately, the piano bar was really smoky at times. We would sometimes have to walk out, and we often witnessed others walking out, especially with their kids. As for ship activities, there is definitely room for improvement. Dividing the ship into the red and blue is really old and corny. Aren't there other pool games and contests that we can have besides the "hairy chest contest?" Master Mixology is a step in the right direction; it's something new and entertaining. New activities, especially for repeat cruisers would be great. Maybe Carnival can consider some new games and competitions in the pool. Bingo was boring, and we miss when bingo callers would make jokes to make bingo fun and entertaining. There were many announcements, yet there was not an announcement for the marriage game show, so many people did not attend this which was disappointing. The Calypso duo could have played a little longer. Not only this, but they were dull, they did not energize and engage the crowd, and did not play songs that we like and have heard of. The music was mostly pre-recorded / synchronized. PLEASE BRING BACK THE CALYPSO BANDS (4 band members) WHO PERFORM LIVE, ENERGIZE AND INTERACT WITH THE CROWD AT TIMES, AND PLAY SONGS WE KNOW AND LIKE. This is our (and many cruisers) favorite thing about cruising (laying out, having a drink, and listening to the live calypso band), and it was our biggest disappointment. The comedy club is a GREAT concept, and while all 4 comedians were good and entertaining, Al Ernst was our favorite. The ventriloquist Jerry Goodspeed provided for a great variety of entertainment and was very funny. Great job. The juggler Edge was good as well. Dancing in the Streets was one of, if not the BEST show we have seen at sea. What everyone has said about it is true - do not miss it. Get Ready was ok, nothing special, and we didn't even bother seeing the Xtreme Country show... but we heard those who went mostly didn't like it. The singers, dancers, and show band are ALL VERY TALENTED. Entertainment as a whole: A- Staff: EVERY SINGLE crew member works and tries extremely hard. They are all so friendly and both try and do their best, and I wish I could name and recognize all 1,400 crew members. Every single crew member went above and beyond. Our waiter Mario and assistant waiter Anselmo were the best out of all of our cruises. They truly went above and beyond. One bar waiter Octavious remembered our name after buying one drink, and he is such a nice person. We felt bad for the man at the pizza bar - some passengers have the nerve to have an attitude after waiting for a minute or two and to speak up to him. He was often the only one there during the day and worked extremely hard and does not deserve anything but praise. Very nice person who works extremely hard and should also be recognized - great job. Again, this is a very special group of crewmembers who all deserve to be recognized and rewarded for working so hard and going out of their way. The new maitre'd in the dining room who took over for Ken (Ante or Andre?) who has worked for Carnival for 14 or 15 years made appearances at tables and was very visible. We had made a recommendation to him about serving bacon in the same line as the omelet station to avoid waiting on line twice. The next morning, there was bacon at the omelet stations. Wow, what great attentiveness and customer service. A++ Rooms: We were in a balcony and inside stateroom on deck 9. Great location with the lido deck right above us. The robes are a great amenity, and the new beds are very comfortable. We got the main abc, nbc, fox, and cnn channels on the tv. A+ Lido: This is where we spent most of our time during the day. As I said, the staff all work extremely hard. This goes for all of the bar waiters, waiters working the lido, in addition to the deck attendants. They were ALWAYS cleaning and walking around. They were very polite. While we enjoyed our time on the lido deck, there is definitely some room for improvement here. As I said, Carnival really needs to go back to the full calypso bands (not duos). This is a main aspect of cruising for us and many others. It affects so many people out on the lido all day, every day. I remember when bands used to take requests, play our favorite Bob Marley and Caribbean songs, and sometimes at sailaways, even encourage guests to do the limbo or have fun and dance to their music. Carnival needs to go back to bigger, real calypso bands and longer hours. More, varied activities need to be done on the lido, and THE BIG SCREEN NEEDS TO BE USED MUCH less during the day. It is ok to have a football game on IN THE BACKGROUND WITHOUT SOUND, but we should not be forced to watch and listen to this and movies for our entire sea day. Not having the band play outside by the pool (and for some reason putting them inside in the ocean plaza on our sea day) and not having one single activity by the pool on the last sea day was a big scheduling mistake. There should be bands and activities many days, especially sea days. In addition to getting actual calypso bands like Carnival used to have, it would be interesting to on occasion see some of the other bands and duos on deck. In addition to this, the concerts played on the big screen should be more varied (Bruce, Dave Matthews, Billy Joel, Elton John, Tina Turner...) and they should ONLY be played on occasion during the day. Other than the occasional concerts and the morning show, the big screen on ALL Carnival ships should NOT be used during the day (unless muted). We had to wake up early to save a chair on sea days as if we didn't, we wouldn't have gotten chairs in the main lido area. Maybe Carnival can expand this area a little on the Magic. It's not that big of a problem though. The screen is cool to have and use at night, and the laser shows are also a great addition. Movies under the stars is also cool; the daytime use of the screen is the only problem. The slides and water park are fun for all ages, and the adults only area is nice and secluded for adults. Food: Very good! From pizza, to the pasta bar, to the main lido buffet, to the deli, to the Tandori, (didn't try the Mongolian Wok but heard it was great), to the burgers, to the burrito bar, to the sushi, to the main dining room food, everything was VERY GOOD. This is the first ship where the sushi was actually good, and we LOVED going for a pre-dinner sushi snack. VERY GOOD job to the sushi chef. The lanai bbq was also a very creative and tasty idea. A+ Observations: The front desk and customer service staff were very helpful and nice. We made one recommendation to add a chef to the deli during peak hours to help reduce long lines. They not only added a chef to the deli, but we received a call to follow-up with us and they notified the maite'd. A+ customer service. Security was very visible throughout our voyage. This definitely makes us feel comfortable knowing they are always out and keeping the ship safe. The ocean plaza is a GREAT addition, and it is a perfect area to enjoy the sushi, listen to the great band Voo Doo, enjoy a drink, etc. There were 2700 past guests onboard. One night before dinner, the back of the ship (Piano Bar, back lounge...) was open for past guests, and the drinks and appetizers were plentiful. The show band played and many people were dancing. Great job in making this hour very enjoyable. A+ for the past guest party. Also, A+ for New Years Eve. This was our first New Years onboard, and being at sea bringing in the new year with several thousand guests and crew was an amazing experience. Voo Doo played on the lido, and it was fantastic how the big screen switched between the Lido deck and Times Square. Champagne and New Years hats were plentiful, and everyone seemed to be out and having a great night. What a way to start off the new year. Thank you for making this one of the best New Years ever. *Carnival should definitely fix their tipping system. On other cruise lines with automatic tipping, we hand our cabin steward, waiter, and assistant waiter an envelope with a slip that says we prepaid our gratuity for them. We hand it to them so we know it goes directly to them. Also this method ensures that more people tip (just knowing that you have something to hand the crew members who have helped you). Also, Carnival should announce the importance of tipping and the importance of filling out the surveys and acknowledging crewmembers who have gone out of their way for you and should be recognized. I did not hear it once; while it may have been announced at the debarkation talk, it should be announced and/or typed in a place where everyone can see and/or hear it (at one of the main shows and/or in one or two of the capers). In summary: The Positive Things: -The small things like having a magician walk around the ship (at dinner and through the promenade) to perform tricks. -The sushi. Having really good sushi (first time we had good sushi on a ship) as a pre-dinner snack was really good for a change. Great addition, good sushi and choices each night, and excellent sushi chef. -The bands - Cool Breeze, Voo Doo, and Vince in the Piano Bar stood all stood out as exceptional. Cool Breeze was a perfect band to have at night in the atrium or in the Ocean Plaza and are very talented. We could listen to and dance to Voo Doo all day and night whether it be in the Ocean Plaza or on the lido. Vince had the piano bar packed and singing all night long. The show band is also a great group of talented musicians. -Dancing in the Street (and some of the other entertainment) - This is a fantastic show that is not to be missed. The variety entertainment, especially the ventriloquist, was also very good. -The food - the new additions such as the burrito bar, pasta bar, tandori, and lanai bbq are very good... in addition to the deli, pizza, sushi, and dining room food (try the lobster and cold soups, they're great!). -The comedy club - having four comedians perform both family and adult comedy is a good addition. They all did a good job, especially Al Ernst. This is a cool venue and a great addition to Carnival's entertainment. -The water park provides fun for anyone, any age. -The staff (every single staff member) - We LOVED our waiter Mario and Assistant Anselmo (Scarlett, Late, table 517). Octavious was a great bar tender who remembered our names after ordering one drink. The man at the pizza bar should be recognized for working alone and so hard. Our room steward Ian kept the room spotless, and I wish I could acknowledge every staff member from the deck attendants to the front desk staff. -Past guest party with all the drinks, music, and appetizers. Room For improvement: -Piano bar - the piano bar was VERY smoky at times. Although it was always packed, maybe Carnival could have and enforce non-smoking hours on a couple of days or a non-smoking piano bar night. -Sea day - there was no entertainment on the lido deck for the entire last day at sea. The calypso duo played in the Ocean Plaza for some reason, and there weren't any pool games or lido entertainment for the entire day at sea. We should have a few new types of lido games (other than the hairy chest contest)... maybe games and competitions in the pool. *In addition to bringing back the full calypso bands, it might be interesting to on occasion see some of the other bands and duos perform on the lido deck. The seaside theater had football on the entire sea day afternoon. This is unacceptable. If used at all during the day, this should only be used (other than the morning show) on mute (and for occasional concerts). -Seaside theater - OVERUSED! It is used properly at night with the laser shows and movies under the stars. During the day, it should ONLY be used for the morning show or if muted (or occasional concerts)... not for movies during the day (with exceptions where it should be used for major events such as the super bowl). We do not want to be entertained by a tv during the day while on vacation. We can watch movies at night or at home. Please limit the use of this during the day. Varied concerts (Dave Matthews, Billy Joel, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen) would be good to have ON OCCASION during the day. Other than the occasional concerts (without repeating them), please do not use the tv during the day and bring back the full calypso band to play throughout the days and the fun varied lido games. -Band - PLEASE BRING BACK THE REGULAR CALYPSO BANDS. This is a favorite aspect of cruising for many people, and the calypso duos just don't do it. The hours were ok (minus the last sea day where they played in the ocean plaza instead of on the lido deck... not their fault), but they were not entertaining or engaging and did not play much recognizable music. Much of it was pre-recorded and synchronized. Please bring back the full (4 person) calypso bands. Having real live calypso music is what cruising is about. There's nothing like having a drink, laying out, while listening to the live band. It also helps when the band is engaging. This sets the tone for the cruise, and it could also help bring back a Caribbean night and a fun deck party. -Sailaway - the duo played a little, but no one from the entertainment staff was out getting the passengers going. What happened to the calypso band playing "feeling hot hot hot," with some of the entertainment staff doing the line dances, and getting the crowd going? There should be a sail away party like we experienced in the past to get the cruise started with a strong, positive vibe. -More chefs at peak hours - To reduce lines during peak hours and to make it easier on the chefs who work so hard, please have more chefs at the deli and pizzeria during peak hours (either lunch on sea days or during sailaway on port days). -Bingo - More games should be played when possible for the $10 or $20, and more importantly, bingo should be fun. Cruising bingo jokes (both regular jokes and for the different numbers) that we have seen on other lines make bingo a fun cruising event. -Pictures - By now, we would have thought Carnival would have gotten this right. First, so many pictures go to waste. There should be a digital system where cards are swiped before photos are taken. Then we can digitally view what we choose to and print only what we buy. This would not only get rid of the waste problem, but it would also allow us to save time by being able to easily locate our pictures. This would also drastically reduce costs. Pictures cost WAY too much money. We would buy more if they were cheaper. Picture packages and just cheaper pictures would result in many guests spending more while being able to buy more pictures and take home more memories from their cruise. *Overall, we would definitely sail the Dream and sail Carnival again. Job well done with the Carnival Dream. Thank you to the entire Carnival Dream staff. Everyone works so hard and is very talented and dedicated. We had a great New Years, and a great week on vacation. We hope to see some of our suggestions taken into consideration and implemented. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
This was our 15th cruise, 5th on RCCL. Because of prices, we had recently done several Carnival cruises, but really wanted to do a RCCL this time. Freedom is now the 2nd largest ship. I really like the larger ships for their amenities, but ... Read More
This was our 15th cruise, 5th on RCCL. Because of prices, we had recently done several Carnival cruises, but really wanted to do a RCCL this time. Freedom is now the 2nd largest ship. I really like the larger ships for their amenities, but I think it is too large when dealing with holiday cruisers. Embarkation was okay; It went relatively fast on line. As a note, RCCL people at the port were very nice and smiled! We avoided the photographers, got into our room quite fast and our luggage was already there. Before doing anything, went to see if we could change our dinner seating. For future reference, we were there @ 1pm. (See below). Went up to the buffet and immediately saw changes in the selections. Carnival has so much more to choose from and RCCL did not have much. It didn't change in 7 days. Room was nice; nice to have a sofa to sit on, but had to climb over beds when put together. We are 61 and not skinny, so it became a chore. TV had little on it when in the cabin and they showed the same movies over and over. I look forward to seeing newer movies on cruises, but not on this one. We had booked late so we got late dining. With so many families on board (Thanksgiving), everyone wanted 6pm. We tried to change and were put on a waiting list. We then went to see about Anytime Dining, but it is anything but! The daily newspaper suggested checking each day for reservations, but they were made before boarding and subsequently couldn't get it. They kept telling us we should have checked earlier even though it was early. RCCL's attempting to have the same amenities as other lines, but failing dismally. Luckily, two days later we were put in a 2 person table. A word about the food. We always looked forward to the food, especially in the dining room, on RCCL. One evening, they served my husband and I filet: 2 slices of beef, 2 asparagus and about a 1/4 cup mashed potatoes. My husband had asked the wait staff her opinion and she suggested the beef. A word to staff: base your opinion on whom you are recommending food portions to. The best part of the cruise were the service personnel. All friendly and helpful. Entertainment was mostly good. Carnival has them beat on production shows & their commedy shows, but the singers at these shows were phenomenal. The jazz show at the Olive & Twist (the last evening) was great showing off the singers' range. The ice shows were good and they were accomodating when we had to change days because of the change of dining time. I must admit, having cruised a lot, we have a lot to compare experiences to. What I liked was the accessibility of the library and that it was truly a quiet place to read. We loved the Promenade and the Coffee shop with it's endless Seattle coffee and snacks. Sorrento's was okay but the pizza is "nothing to write home about!" They did have great little desserts though. The seventh day, they had what could be described as a street party with food samples and some "how to's." What you felt very conscious of was the large numbers of people onboard. I know people are raving about the Oasis, but if the Freedom had too many onboard, I can only imagine how it will be on Oasis. When is big too big. You had to get to most shows a half hour early to get a seat. The Casino was great-bigger than usual and the slots were a bit looser! Cage personnel were very nice as were many of the kiosk personnel. Husband was very disappointed as Saturday am, they ran out of Lox (smoked salmon). This is what he looks forward to on cruises (lox and bagels). Very surprised at this. Sorry to be long winded. Would we do RCCL again? Not unless we could get a better price (we booked after it went down $200, but later found someone got it for almost $200 less through a travel agent. I think next time Carnival. Unfortunately, we are seeing cuts to save $ industry wide. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
My girlfriend and I had limited time over the Thanksgiving holiday, so we opted to take a cruise. The travel agent I spoke with strongly recommended the Freedom of the Seas, and since it leaving from Port Canaveral, which was a very ... Read More
My girlfriend and I had limited time over the Thanksgiving holiday, so we opted to take a cruise. The travel agent I spoke with strongly recommended the Freedom of the Seas, and since it leaving from Port Canaveral, which was a very short drive for us, we decided to do it. We spent $4,000 on a Junior Suite. And this is why I will focus this review for Suite purchasers. I understand that there are many value-conscious consumers out there who either can't, or aren't interested in, spending a lot of money on a vacation. Royal Caribbean is perfect for people like this. However, if you do have disposable income and you don't mind spending on your vacations, PLEASE read below, I will save you from making one of the worst decisions of your life. Freedom of the Seas had a few bright spots: The ice show is very well done, the fitness center is unbelievable and the cruise director was tolerable, which is saying a lot for the lower tier cruise lines. But that is about all this cruise ship had to offer. If a couple is spending thousands of dollars in a suite, this is absolutely NOT the cruise to take. For starters, this is some of the worst food I have ever eaten, or tried to eat. I never would expect much from a cruise ship buffet, but even the "specialty" restaurants, Chops and Portofino, are mediocre at best. Our "suite" was nothing more than a slightly larger version of a standard room. It felt like we were staying at a Holiday Inn. And if you are a non-smoker, forget about using the balcony. We were surrounded by chain smokers who did nothing but sit on their balcony and puff away.... from early in the morning until late at night. But what was most aggravating was the way Royal Caribbean shamelessly and forcibly attempted to sell virtually every kind of service imaginable while on board. The extra space on Freedom of the Seas was crammed full of potential revenue opportunities for the ship. The Royal Promenade was "entertainment" thinly veiled as multiple sales opportunities. If you can believe it, they even had a $100 shaving experience! On a cruise ship! That rocks back and forth... Fortunately, they only used Bic razors! So who on earth would want to pay to use the same razor I have sitting in my shower? But the most shameless sales pitch of all came from the Windjammer every morning... The guy literally yelling at people to buy fresh squeezed orange juice! At that point, I looked over at my equally disgusted girlfriend and we both knew that this was not the place for us. In June, took a cruise on the Regent Mariner. Wow! For a couple of thousand dollars more, we had a once-in-a-lifetime experience of unparalleled luxury. After we finished our cruise on the Freedom of the Seas, it made us even more appreciative of the attention to detail, quality of food and overall 1,000 times better experience we had on Regent. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
My Wife and I booked this cruise to celebrate our 20th anniversary.Our problems started when we arrived at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.WE made it through US Customs in 10 minutes .We had time to get a meal before our plane ... Read More
My Wife and I booked this cruise to celebrate our 20th anniversary.Our problems started when we arrived at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.WE made it through US Customs in 10 minutes .We had time to get a meal before our plane left at 10:30am .We arrived at the gate for our plane well before it would be boarding.At 945am we saw airport security set up a table at the walkway to the plane and proceed to bodily inspect each and every passenger including young infants.The plane finally left the gate and departed for Orlando at 1230pm,2 hours late.I called the Carnival hotline to let them know this was happening.They said they would let the ship know we would be late arriving.They also said trasportation to the ship would be available upon our arrival.We arrived at Orlando Airport at 310pm saturday December 26 2009.We saw no one from Carnival there so I called the hotline again.They put me on hold as they checked the status of the ship.When they came back they said we could not get on the ship and they would arrange for us to stay in Orlando and meet the ship in Cozumel on Monday.We had to pay for the Hotel and our meals and would be given an onboard credit when we arrived on the ship.We spent 2 cold nights in Orlando instead of enjoying our cruise.On Monday dec 28 2009 we left Orlando at 9am for Houston the after a 2 hour stop over we boarded another plane for Cozumel MX.We arrived in Cozumel at 2pm.We paid for a shuttle to the ship.We walked past the stores near the dock to the security gate.No carnival rep was there as promised so we had to wait while the security personal filled out a form for us.We then walked our 4 suitcases down the dock to the ship and waited for 20 minutes while security on the ship made arrangements for us to board.At 4pm we walked on board and got our cards at the pursers desk for our room.No one helped us with our bags to the room.We had a quick shower then looked around the ship before going for dinner.Our table reserved for us had been given away so they sat us next to the kitchen entrance.Next day we got a crd under the door that said we had our booked table back.Wrong,they goofed! They put us at another table again!We found that the door between the balconys moved a lot during the night so i jammed the rubber door stop in it.The people in the room next to ours smoked a lot.We are none smokers.The galley of the ship is above the room we were in so yes we heard a lot of noise all night.I have sent a letter to Carnival asking for a refund of our cruise that we did not enjoy at all.We have sailed with Carnival 8 times in the past and this is the first time they let us down. Read Less
Sail Date January 2009
My 85 year old mother and I set sail on December 21, 2008 on the Mariner of the Seas. What a beautiful, elegant ship! The service was top notch. Everyone was falling over themselves to take care of us. Our Promenade cabin was lovely. The ... Read More
My 85 year old mother and I set sail on December 21, 2008 on the Mariner of the Seas. What a beautiful, elegant ship! The service was top notch. Everyone was falling over themselves to take care of us. Our Promenade cabin was lovely. The view from the large window was great. It felt like looking down on a busy street. We ate in the Rhapsody in Blue dining room for all our meals, except for hitting the buffet in the Windjammer when we first got onboard. Breakfast and Dinner were wonderful. Lunch grew boring. Same choices everyday. Our waiter was Mark from the Philippines. He was great. Our cabin steward was a lady named Smorty. We called her Smarty Pants! I just can't say enough nice things about the people on this boat. The shows were amazing. We had two ice shows. One was Circus themed and the other was a Holiday Extravaganza. The comedian on the last night was so funny we were crying. I don't think I have ever heard my mother laugh so hard! We will definitely cruise with Royal Caribbean again. I do have three complaints. 1. A passenger had a huge, hairy, dirty-looking dog that she said was a service dog because she has diabetes. I have never seen an uncontrolled service dog in my life. The thing drug the lady because it did not walk next to her. During breakfast one day it got loose in the dining room. The animal came and laid it's head on the table next to me. Scared the daylights out of me. The waiters were running around like the three stooges trying to catch it because it didn't have it's harness on. There was no vest identifying this animal as a service dog. I like dogs but not romping around my food. 2. The computers and internet connections were so slow they ate up the money in my prepaid account. It took me twenty minutes to get signed in and read two emails. I won't waste my money on that anymore. I wanted to email my children and grandchild for Christmas. 3. I went to a seminar at the Shipshape Spa only to find out after one hour that it was a sales pitch for a $700.00 toxin cleansing program. I missed some other things I wanted to do to go to this seminar. I never imagined they would try to sell me something like that on a cruise. I am now educated! Other than that we had a fabulous trip. Coco Cay was lovely, St. Thomas and St. Maarten were beautiful. I found some lovely little shops to take my friends to when we go there in March on another cruise on another cruise line. I booked that trip in September and this Christmas cruise 10 days before the ship sailed! Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
1. General Comments: A pleasant cruise and an experiment for us to see what it is like to travel on one of these "monster" ships. This was our tenth cruise and our third with Royal Caribbean (RCL). This was a Christmas cruise and ... Read More
1. General Comments: A pleasant cruise and an experiment for us to see what it is like to travel on one of these "monster" ships. This was our tenth cruise and our third with Royal Caribbean (RCL). This was a Christmas cruise and the ship was full: about 3,500 passengers, including over 1,000 non-US citizens, and 1,500 crew. There were loads of families with ages from infants to very senior citizens. We booked a cabin with verandah on the seventh deck. Details below. In contrast to previous cruises on RCL and others, our request for a table for two at dinner was honored; we were on the mid-level of the three-level dining room. The cruise had three sea days which were very relaxing. 2. Travel to Florida and Embarking: We made our own plane arrangements but used the RCL pre-sailing hotel in Orlando, the Doubletree at Universal, and the RCL bus to port. Cab from the airport to the hotel, including tolls, baggage charges and tip, came to $50 and took about 20 minutes. Hotel was fine, but the first glitch appeared the next morning. RCL has no representative at the hotel; you just receive a sheet of paper at check-in telling you to be in the lobby at a certain time the following morning with your bags. People gathered in the lobby and started drifting out the door toward a bus that turned out to be the right one. My wife and I noticed that everyone in line had preprinted tags on their luggage - except us. It turns out that since we received our RCL travel documents via e-mail, there was no way we could get paper tags for our suitcases. The bus driver seemed to understand the situation and segregated our luggage from the others. On arrival at the pier (a 45 minute ride), while everyone else went in the terminal to process in, we had to fumble with the porters (and an RCL rep) to tag our suitcases. It worked, though, and our bags arrived at our cabin around 5PM, the same time as other cabins around us. Having done Sea Pass check-in on-line got us through the check-in procedures very quickly. We were in our cabin by 1:30. The usual lunch was being served in the Windjammer and Jade areas. One interesting item to note if you order a drink before the ship sails: you will find tax on your bill. A small reminder that you are still in the US until the ship sails. 3. The Mariner of the Seas: What a large ship! And somehow it works! The cabin was a bit small for the two of us - should have reserved a mini-suite. However, there was enough storage space for unpacking clothes. Suitcases fit well under the bed. The closet could have been larger, but we made do. We join others who complain that the shower is very small. My wife is 5'2" and weighs under 100 lbs; she banged her elbows during her first shower. We got the hang of it. The cabin has a small safe and a small refrigerator. There is a TV that receives movies, CNN, ESPN, shipboard activities, and other channels. You get a daily planner in your cabin the night prior. You need to read it carefully as there are very few announcements on the PA system. A 4-page summary newspaper is available in the library. It takes a while - days - to get a handle on what is where on the ship. You receive a map sheet after boarding, and there are maps at each elevator bay. The elevators are quirky; often you push the button and watch the elevator go right past your floor. There is a huge childrens/teens area and programs for them. I defer to others with children to comment on this part of the ship. While the ship's staff will sell you stamps for your mail, do not look for postcards of the ship. There are none. And the ship's shops only had postcards for stops for previous cruises - none for this cruise. Do nose around the front of the ship on Deck 11, I believe, as there is an unadvertised spot that lets you see the bridge. You don't see all of the bridge, but you do see the Captain's seat and the array of electronic equipment in front of him...very similar to an airline captain's seat. There is a diagram and chart explaining what you see. 4. Meals: Food in the Windjammer and Jade buffets - which almost everyone uses for breakfast and lunch - is good. There are plenty of choices at both meals, and you can eat as much or as little as you want. It is a bit hurried, though, and not a place for a slow meal. There is no self-service coffee in this area; you have to ask for it. The dining room's food was very good, well-prepared, and well-served. We only used it for dinner, although it is available with open seating at breakfast and lunch. The main seating is at 6PM, and the meal is paced so that you are out of there before 8PM. The second seating is at 8:30. Food portions are of respectable size, and if you don't try to eat all the courses everyday, you should not do bad weight-wise. The wine list is respectable, and wine is available by the bottle or glass. I only had one meal - Christmas Day - in the dining room that bombed. The menu described the dish as "beef and veal tournedos." There was no veal on my plate, the beef was definitely not a tournedos cut, and the meat was quite leathery. Other than that one slip, no complaints about the dining room, and service there was excellent. We had made reservations on-line for the Portofino specialty restaurant. Excellent food, wine, and service. Well worth the extra charges. There are other food outlets around the ship as well as a goodly number of bars including a pub and a wine shop. You cannot go hungry or thirsty. Due to the number of passengers, the Captain's reception is now held in the Promenade. You still get your glass of champagne but no place to sit. In fact, there are very few places to sit in the public areas; if you want to rest your feet, you need to grab a table in one of the bars. 5. Dressing for meals: For this seven day trip it was two formal, one casual or Caribbean and four casual. Most people did not bother with doing anything different for "Caribbean." A good number - perhaps half - of men at formal nights were in tuxedos or suits; some who did not want to dress up just did not appear for these meals. Considering how the ladies dress up for these meals, I suggest more men who served in the military obtain miniatures of the medals they were awarded and attach them to their tuxes. It's permissible to do so, and the medals do add some color to our basic black tuxedos. 6. Shore Excursions: A word of advice: make your shore excursion reservations on-line! Otherwise you will either have to use the not-so-user-friendly on board TV system to make your reservations or stand in line on board at the excursion counter. The on-line billing goes direct on your credit card and not on your shipboard account. If you know the ports of call and want to travel by yourself, then, of course, you don't need the ship's tour office. RCL's tour prices are not cheap; you are paying for the convenience of having the ship organize the tour rather than you doing it after you get ashore. Also, if you obtain your tour through the ship's staff, you have support when there is a problem. As the Captain said, "we do not leave anyone behind, but we do leave on time." Those "standard" 4-page sheets on each stop with a map and recommended stores are hard to come by. They are not available at Guest Services, and the shopping person does not have them with her unless you attend her lecture in person. We did find, though, that the sheets are available at the gangway when you leave the ship. Coco Cay is the same as every other line's "private beach" in the Bahamas. Been there, done that. Enroute to St Thomas we were informed that as we were returning to the US (ie, the Virgin Islands), from the Bahamas, everyone on board would have to go through US immigration whether or not they would get off the ship. At the last moment it was announced that there would be no immigration to deal with. It could be that the immigration staff was stretched thin that morning; we were four cruise ships in port. St Thomas is attractive and was a pleasant stop. Had a couple rain showers while there. St Maarten deserves another visit due to a unique problem when visiting on Christmas Day. By law, all stores in both the Dutch and French sides are shut. A small shop area at the pier - inside the control point - was open as well as a couple restaurants and some street merchants in Marigot on the French side. The island is attractive, but it would be more interesting to see some people moving about. We were again four ships in port. 7. Shipboard entertainment: The ship has a daily schedule full of activities for all tastes: sports, lectures, bridge, bingo (for serious players!), etc, etc. Don't forget the rockclimbing wall. And do not forget the ice skating rink. There are times that you can practice skating, and you should try and get tickets (they are free, but are needed) to see the ice show. The show is not of super quality, but remember where you are: on a ship in the Caribbean. You can tell that the skaters, even with all their rehearsals, still have problems with the small size of the rink. The evening shows were fine; the performances by the ship's troupe were very good, and the two comics - one a juggler - were fun. The casino was of good size and the payoffs did not seem to be much worse than Las Vegas. Duty-free liquor on board was reasonable; you order your liquor and it is delivered to your cabin the day before disembarking. If you are flying, though, how do you take it home? There will be plenty of opportunities for you to have your picture taken by the ship's photographerspricey, but a good souvenir. There are various venues for night owls. 8. Tipping: Not a problem if you sign up for the recommended amounts (for cabin steward, waiter, asst waiter, and head waiter). The amounts are charged to your shipboard account; you receive vouchers and envelopes before the last night on board. Put the vouchers in the (pre-addressed) envelopes, and hand them out. You're done. You only need to tip separately (cash) the person who brings your room service breakfast. Your bar bill automatically adds 15 percent. 9. Settling of Accounts: During your cruise, anything you purchase on board (drinks, souvenirs, tours, duty free items, photos, even bingo) is punched into a computer; you sign one copy of the ticket and you receive a copy. You can track your account on the ship's TV channel. On Sunday morning you receive a paper final statement of your account. 10. Disembarking: Your bags have to be out before midnight, breakfast is early, and you have to be out of your cabin by 7:00 and in one of the designated waiting areas. Your bags are color coded. Disembarking starts around 7:00, and the announcements are made only in the waiting areas. Strong recommendation: Use the RCL "Luggage Valet and Onboard Check-In Service" for $20 per person. You receive special bar coded tags for your luggage. Put them on your bags, put the bags outside your cabin door, and you do not see the bags again until you land at your final airport. The catch? This is only for certain domestic airlines flying out of Orlando, you have to travel all the way on the same airline, and this is only good within the US. You also receive e-ticket boarding passes which also give you the luggage tag number. You arrive at Orlando airport and can go straight to security and on to your gate. At the gate, do check with the counter personnel if the e-ticket passes are OK. The clerk told me, "sometimes the bar codes are OK and sometimes they aren't." It only took her one minute to print off the regular boarding passes for the entire trip. We did see at our home airport that the barcoded tags we put on the bags must have been an identifying code for airline personnel at Orlando as the "regular" airline luggage tags (with the number printed on our e-tcket pass) were also attached. Again, the system worked. Downside to this system: You have to get up way early. We were the first ones off the ship at ca 7:10, zipped through immigration, got on a bus around 7:20, left the pier at 7:35, and arrived at Orlando airport at 8:20. And our flight out of Orlando was at 1:20. Thankfully, Orlando airport is pretty comfortable. 12. Conclusion: While not an outstanding cruise, it was certainly pleasant and well worth repeating. The ship's staff did provide briefings with slides and videos of the new Oasis ship that will start sailing in December 2009 (6,000 passengers and 2,000 crew). The Mariner is a good, smaller, example of what the new ship will be like. If anyone has questions, send me an e-mail at LTC519@satx.rr.com. Fred Groth San Antonio, TX Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
My family of 4 spent Christmas on the Carnival Glory, I am 43, my wife is 46 and my girls are 8 and 10. Let's start with the basic things you would enjoy on a cruise. Food and Entertainment... The food on the Carnival Glory is ... Read More
My family of 4 spent Christmas on the Carnival Glory, I am 43, my wife is 46 and my girls are 8 and 10. Let's start with the basic things you would enjoy on a cruise. Food and Entertainment... The food on the Carnival Glory is "Heinous" the dining room food was always overcooked and cold; served by zombies with no personality whatsoever. After 3 nights we had enough and either ate at the trough (buffet) or the Supper Club. The supper club was exceptional but at 30 bucks a head it should be. The grilled burgers were alright but how many can you eat? The pizza was nasty with so much fake cheese you had to peel it off. My eight year old has a policy that there is no such thing as bad pizza; well she found it on the carnival glory. The oriental food sucked, the deli lines were long for a "wish" sandwich (two slices of bread and you wish you had some meat) maybe they could get more than one guy working the counter. Even the deserts sucked unless you paid more money for something nice. Entertainment...I do not expect Broadway caliber shows, but my god these shows were so boring and the singers could not be any worse. The pool side Calypso band played the same 6 Bob Marley songs twice daily (very badly), the lounge bands were for dead people, and the comedy was mediocre. The low point was on Christmas day with the solid gold dancers performing a flash dance medley in the showroom and an Asian lady with bad english singing you light up my life by Debbie Boone to a group of 7-8 very old women. Come on Carnival what a wasted opportunity!!! The pool decks were empty by 5pm with most pools and slide closed. Not one rocking deck party at night during the entire cruise!!! Bad music and Bingo, I am surprised they did not have a "murder she wrote" theme party The boat itself was nice except for all of the wasted space for teen areas. The crew did a great job of keeping everything looking new. The pools are very small and freezing, the lido deck was very busy and if you wanted two deck chairs in the sun you had to be there by 8am. The casino was fun except if you don't smoke get a lung cancer shot before you get on board. While we are on the subject of smoking Carnival does not enforce any of its no smoking areas. We had smokers on both sides of our cabin so our veranda was unusable and smokers were at every bar and outside area. My kids enjoyed camp carnival and their only complaint was they could not understand the councilors with there accents. My only complaint was the fact even though you paid a premium price for this cruise, camp carnival needs to charge you more money to have your kids stay past 9:30pm. Some things went very smoothly like embarkation and debarkation I have no complaints with this process. The ports of Nassau, St Thomas, and St Maarten were a blast. Getting off the boat was smooth and very pleasurable; we chose this cruise because of these ports. Our stateroom host Mackenzie was great, he did an outstanding job keeping a very busy stateroom clean and stocked. He is the only person we gave an additional gratuity to. We have been on 3 cruises all with Disney and wanted to try something different. I was not expecting a Disney type experience but hoping for more of an adult type of trip. Each has their good and bad, I had several conversations with fellow cruisers with kids my age and they were just as disappointed/bored as we were. All of the people we spoke to who had been on a Disney Cruise were very disappointed they did not select them for the Christmas cruise, but like us wanted to go to St. Thomas and St. Maarten. We felt that this Cruise was not geared to active, fun, rock music type of cruiser, but rather a slot machine pulling, heavy smoking, lounge lizzard-leasuresuit Larry type of cruiser. I guess a better explanation would be Cousin Eddy form the Chevy Chase vacation movies. So if fast institutional food, heavy smoking, heavy gambling, and 4 kinds of Budweiser beer are your idea of a good time. Then get on this ship and you will have a wonderful time. And to Carnival, you should be ashamed of charging a Christmas premium for this cruise and nickel and dimming every chance you get. The supper club should be $10 tops, camp carnival should be complimentary as part of your cruise, nice desserts should be for all not just those who pay more at creams or the supper club. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
I began planning this cruise while my husband was deployed so I had plenty of time to read just about every review of the ship as well as each port we visited. I have to say that I believe that this was the main reason we had such a ... Read More
I began planning this cruise while my husband was deployed so I had plenty of time to read just about every review of the ship as well as each port we visited. I have to say that I believe that this was the main reason we had such a wonderful time. We drove in the night before and arrived at 11am at the port. From the time we got out of the shuttle to sipping our first drink was 30 minutes. Smooth and easy. All of the employees we encountered were helpful and smiling. We got to our room around 1:45 and was very happy to see that our deck was huge and the room was exactly as promised. If you can get the 9A do it. It's worth the money and it's quiet. The dining room was wonderful. Food was varied and good. Service was amazing and we were greeted every night by every server by name. We had two elegant nights in addition to New Years and most of the people I encountered were dressed in very nice gowns and suits and tuxes. We did eat at the Supper Club one evening and I can assure you that it is worth the $30 per person. The food was amazing and the service top. The shows were fun and entertaining. One evening the comedian didn't show up because of schedule mishap, but other than that we had a good time. The Legends show on the last night was hilarious. The gentleman who sang Frank Sinatra was as good (if not better) than many professionals out now. We won at the casino (only $300) and enjoyed it very much. I saw security move several patrons who were smoking in the non-smoking section of the casino and bar area right next to it. One end of the bar was smoking and the other non. I didn't have any issues with smoking like others have reported. I never saw people smoking on the port side of lido deck and my husband and I spent a lot of time out there. Deck chairs were hard to come by if you showed up after 10am, but I asked one of the men working at the towel stand and within 15 minutes he brought out 10 more. The New Years deck party was the highlight. I would estimate between 2500-2800 people on the Lido and upstairs dancing and partying. It was fun and loud. The horn blew at midnight and you could hear the other ships at sea blowing theirs as well. We didn't get to bed till the sun was coming up. The only negative was the long lines getting off the ship in Belize. Weather was slowing down the tendering for excursions and people decided that this (the weather) was Carnivals fault. I have never in my life heard such language coming out of the mouths of adults with children present. I would be ashamed to speak like that with a group of sailors and marines. Overall the cruise was a hit. I would do it again in a minute and that makes it 2 for 2 for Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
Me, my husband and two teenage daughters (14 and 15) decided to spend the holidays on the Carnival Glory. The trip started out pretty rough as there was an ice storm in the Northeastern US so many planes were stranded and unable to make ... Read More
Me, my husband and two teenage daughters (14 and 15) decided to spend the holidays on the Carnival Glory. The trip started out pretty rough as there was an ice storm in the Northeastern US so many planes were stranded and unable to make their schedules. We ended up spending 14 hours in airports before finally getting into Orlando. The cruise line booked our airfare so we were at the mercy of Carnival in getting flights set. Carnival booked us at the Airport Crown Plaza in Orlanda for the night but we were dissapointed when we checked into the hotel and found two full size beds. Now, my husband and I are not "big" but it was an uncomfortable night. Regardless of our travel difficulties, we all decided to have a great cruise! The embarkation onto the Glory was outstanding. It only took about 45 minutes from the time we got to the terminal to getting onboard the ship. This was a HUGE improvement from a Carnival Conquest trip we took in 2006 where it took 4 hours to board. Apparently, someone thought that they could sneak drugs into the US so everything came to a standstill. The cruise director, Butch, was outstanding. The shows and entertainment NEVER dissapointed and we enjoyed all of the onboard activities. We visited 3 ports on this trip. They were, Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maartin. While in Nassau we went on the Blackbeards stingray, beach party trip. It was HORRIBLE. The beach was infested with sand fleas, the stingrays were held captive in a large caged area and all of them were mutilated by removing their stingers and teeth. Unbelievable! All of the guests that went on this excursion complained and ran the store out of non-itch creams. Pretty much everyone that went on the excursion spent 3 days scratching the bites. Mental note: Always take bug spray. St. Thomas was a blast. We chose to do the parasailing and it was wonderful. Afterwards, we visited the linen merchants and made a slamming deal on a new lace tablecloth! In St. Maartin, we did the America's Cup Race. We were the crew on the Canada II and had a great time. I would strongly recommend this tour. We were lucky enough to be seated with a family from Wisconsin for the 8:30 sitting and we all made a deal on the first night to try something we hadn't had before each evening. We all stuck to this and really enjoyed our culinary adventure on board. The staff were incredible and our head waiter was the best! I can't remember eating better food on a cruise ship. We had a balcony room with the drop down additional bed so there were 4 of us in the cabin. REALLY too crowded and by the end of the cruise we were all pretty sick of each other. We are sailing on the Freedom in March of 2010 and have booked a seperate inside cabin for our teenage daughters. I would highly recommend the Glory to anyone interested! Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
Background Information Here is my best attempt at writing a review for my families Thanksgiving cruise on the Carnival Glory. We sailed on Saturday November 22-Saturday November 29th. I actually booked this cruise through a TA and was ... Read More
Background Information Here is my best attempt at writing a review for my families Thanksgiving cruise on the Carnival Glory. We sailed on Saturday November 22-Saturday November 29th. I actually booked this cruise through a TA and was pretty happy with the cost of the cruise considering it was a holiday week. I was traveling with my DH, 2DD, Mom and Dad, Brother and Sister-in-law. We booked three inside guarantee cabins. Since we were leaving out of Port Canaveral, we decided it was more coast effective for us to drive the 12 hours than to fly. Of course we had booked this a year or so out in advance and that was before gas had gone up to $4/gal. Thank goodness it was cheaper by the time we left. About two months out from the cruise my brother and his wife decided they wanted to fly and contacted the TA. Carnival was not going to guarantee them a flight at first, but after a week or so they did get a flight. It was around $1000 for the two of them, ouch! We got our room numbers about six weeks before we sailed. We were all in the front of the ship. My mom was not happy and nervous because she gets sea sick easily. I didn't really care where we were as long as I was on the ship. My brother complained a little too because we are past guests and we had all hoped for an upgrade. I guess you have to be a high spender to get that. Hotel Info (if any) We stayed at the Radisson Resort at the Port and would absolutely recommend this to others. I loved the idea of getting to leave our car there and there was a free shuttle to take you to the port. We left VA Thursday after I got off work around 3:45. We were going to drive until somewhere in GA, but as we got further and further and the DD's were sleeping we toyed with driving all the way. It would put us at the port at 3:30. I decided to call the hotel around midnight and asked if they had any rooms. The guy at the front desk was very nice and said that our room was ready and that since we were getting in after 3 AM that he would just do an early check in for us. That was great and we drove in and got there right at 3:30. This saved us an extra nights hotel pay. The beds were okay, I didn't quite get the whole sleep number bed thing, but I wasn't complaining. We slept in the next morning and went to the Omelette Station for breakfast. We decided to just see what was around us that day. There was a cold front passing through Fla. and it was very chilly. We had not packed for such chilly weather, so we actually wound up buying some warm clothes that day and I am glad we did. We visited Ron Jon's where I searched for over thirty minutes for a t-shirt. My family was getting annoyed. There were just too many to choose from. We decided to head back to the hotel and to let the girls swim. It was cold and windy, but the pool was heated so my DH and dad took the DD's swimming. I sat bundled up on the chair and took a few pictures. The pool area is beautiful and the bar service was great. I would stay here again for sure. Very clean and reasonable rates. You sign up for a shuttle time and for the most part it was on time. I think our shuttle was five minutes late but that was because of traffic at the port. Service and Dining I do have to say that the service does not seem to be as good on this ship as my past cruises on Triumph and Sensation. There were many times that getting a refill was hard because the dispensers only had water instead of lemonade or whatever. The hot chocolate was out often as well. I was able to get that about half the time. I only ordered room service one time. It took a long time to get the food, around 45 minutes for a grilled cheese. By the time it was there, it was cold and soggy for whatever reason. So after all that wait I ate about four bites. The pancakes on the buffet were always cold and tough. I am not sure why I kept getting them, but I was hoping for better each time. I seemed to get bagels and fruit for the most part and this was always good. The bacon was very greasy, but that is just my personal preference not to eat very greasy food. We usually did not get anything from the lunch buffet and opted for either the burgers, pizza or deli. Everytime we waited in the buffet line we found that the food was not something that we liked. The burgers, hot dogs, pizza, and deli sandwiches are good and were always fresh. My biggest gripe about the Lido deck is the desserts. They always look so good and then you get them and they have little to no taste. So I stuck with the ice cream, always a safe choice. The dining room was another experience. We were in the Platinum dining room on the back of the ship. We had very rough seas for two days and being on the back with the vibration from the engine and the roughness of the waves made it quite interesting. Carnival can not help the weather so I am just making a note of our own experience. We were on the upper level and I loved where our table was. Very easy to find and close to the exit and a bathroom. DD's can not sit through any meal without going to the bathroom at least once. I found the food to be wonderful. Most of the people at our table would order multiple starters of entree's and everyone seemed to be pleased. Our waiter seemed to struggle a bit. It seemed as if he only had three tables. Two were larger tables that had around 8 people each and one was small with two people. These two people were right beside us and were very nice. They had the best service by far. They had wine and drinks ready for them every night. We had to struggle to get water. Their food was there first and always correct. Their desserts were always right and not melted. I guess serving two is much easier, but come on lets be fair to all the tables. The other big table seemed to get refills easier than us as well. Not sure what that was all about. Our waiter was nice and was very kind to our kids, but this was the worst service we have had on Carnival. A lot of our table ordered something with ice cream and it was always melted by the time we got it. So that was disappointing. I ordered a souffle one night and had to wait 10 minutes to eat it because the waiter did not put the cream sauce on it. The small table had the same dessert and immediately had the cream sauce. Still the food was great, but service could have been better. Still better than me having to cook. Shore Excursions We usually opt not to do any excursions through Carnival. They are too expensive in our opinion. We just do our own thing. In Nassau, we walked around and went to the Straw Market. That was an experience. I am not sure I would do that again. It was very crowded and most of the vendors had the same stuff. I did not think the prices were all that great either. A lot of cheap knock offs that they would ask $75 dollars or more for and you could talk them down, but you could get them cheaper on the streets of New York. We then came back towards the ship and got a taxi and it took us over the the Atlantis. What a nice place that is. I wish we would have spent more time there. I recommend seeing that to anyone. In St. Thomas, we were late getting there because of a small medical thing in Nassau plus rough seas. I think we were about 2 1/2 hours late. We got a taxi/pick-up with benches to take us on an island tour. I think we paid $20pp. We had the oldest pick up on the island. We were on this with some people from SC and they were fun company. Our driver really wasn't that great, but we made the trip fun anyway. St. Thomas is beautiful from high up, but getting there is soo windy. My sister in law was not feeling too good by the time we did get to the top. I just enjoyed the scenery and being on land that was not rocking so hard. We had very, very rough seas for two days and this was a welcome change. Our last port was St. Maarten. I wanted to do the beach so me and SIL took the water taxi over and got two chairs and umbrella and many frozen drinks. We had a great time just people watching and enjoying the sun. The rest of my family got a taxi and did a 4 hour tour for $30pp. They enjoyed it, but the thing I heard the most about was their stop at Bikini beach. Apparently there were some women there who were not old and saggy. My DH, brother and Dad were very chatty about this. I tuned them out. I was stuck looking at saggy old men in speedos. Yuk! Stateroom We were in room 2224, 2228, and 2214. Our room was 2224 and had two doubles pushed together to make a king. It also had two beds from the ceiling. Our room was clean and nice. I like that the bunks can be put away during the day. Our suitcases fit nicely under the bed and the storage was adequate. I am glad I brought extra hangers because there were not enough at all. The beds were very comfy, just as I remembered. Our room steward did pretty well. I was a little curious why we didn't always get new drink cups though. I had to wash ours out in the sink several times, but that is minor. The kids loved the towel animals. I am glad the bathroom had all the little shelves. A word to the wise, bring your own hair dryer. I did, but my mom did not and she had a hard time with holding the button down the whole time and the dryer was very weak. We were in the front of the ship under the Amber Palace stage. We were not in the room very much except for showering and sleeping. However, one night I was in the room while a show was going on and if you were trying to sleep you would have major problems. Very loud and booming music. I have mentioned about the rough seas and I will mention it again because you could hear the waves crashing on the hull of the ship in all of our rooms. My mom was in room 2214 even further to the front and her room was awful. The drawers would slam open and close with each crash of the wave. The movement seemed much worse in there as well. She was sick in her room the first two days. Not fun for her. I would not recommend this room. It was clean, but not sure about the location and the deal with the drawers. My brother was in 2228 and his room was clean also, but still loud from the stage. On a side note, we were across the hall from the most annoying child ever. The baby cried from early morning until night. There wasn't a time where you wouldn't walk down the hallway and hear it. Now I have kids, but I seriously considered calling the pursers desk to see if they could say something to the parents. There was no reason for them to allow the crying to go on that loudly and constant. I know you think I am nit picky on this, but this was not normal. They were very inconsiderate to the others around them. Even my kids commented on the crying. Still this is not on carnival, that is on those parents. I hope they read this and feel embarrassed. There were others on the hallway who felt just as annoyed with them. Children's Clubs Camp Carnival is one of the main reasons we like Carnival. The kids love it. The only complaint I have at all is the time on sea days. You can take them in the morning from 9-11:30 or 11:45. I wish they would take into consideration those that do sleep in. We usually didn't even get to breakfast until 10 or so and that put the kids getting there at 10:45. It would be better if it was more like 12:30 or 1:00. We don't expect them to keep the kids all day, but sometimes the morning seemed like it wasn't worth the effort and the kids would complain that they weren't there long enough. I only have good things to say about the staff. Entertainment The shows were good. One show was cancelled due to rough seas but was made up later in the week. The Rock Down Broadway ended on this cruise and the new show was debuted on this cruise as well. I think they were good for cruise ship entertainment. We saw all the comedy acts and enjoyed them. I did not like the Just an illusion show, but everyone else did. I think I was tired and just ready to go to bed. I did like the Carnival Legends show, but others said it was the worst. I thought it was funny seeing the passengers up there trying their best. I am not sure what the other people thought the show was going to be. There was always something to do or see. I was happy. Disembarkation My parents insisted we do the self-disembark. We had a long drive home and they wanted to be first off the ship. Well we were late getting to port because of engine trouble. People were anxious to get off and catch flights. The lobby area on 3rd floor was a mad house. It was hot, crowded and full of rude pushy people. I was separated from my husband twice and they tried to separate me and my kids once, but I got pushy right back. There was a group of elderly asians that were the most forceful and pushy. I found them to be quite rude. People were stuck on the elevator because there was nowhere to go in the lobby. The staff did the best they could given the situation, but I was frustrated. I don't think this is the norm, but it was not fun. Once we were finally cleared, the line moved fairly quickly considering. I did not know we would have to take our luggage down escalators. This was fine for me, but my DD's were scary with their luggage. I was a nervous wreck thinking that they would fall. Once off the ship, everything was smooth sailing haha. Really this was the best disembarkation we have had. The waiting in the lobby was hectic, but unusual I think. Summary Overall, I had a great cruise. The weather was not ideal. Very cold in Fla. when we left and windy for two straight days. They had the barf bags out and all. A lot of people were sea sick. I usually get sea sick, but I tried Bonine this time and ginger capsules and was fine. I felt a little ill one night right at bed time, which was also the roughest night by far, but once asleep was fine and better by morning. Just make sure to take the pills before you get on the ship and continue. Once you are sick, there is not a lot you can do. I liked the Glory and really liked being able to drive to the port and the hotel situation. The service was not as good as previous cruises. Crying baby was not fun to be around. Wish we had the golden dining room, more mid ship. Lido desserts need to have flavor. They need to refill beverage stations more often. We did not get a soda card because I had read on here that it was fountain drinks that were flat. I noticed around the second day that it was all can drinks, so in hindsight I wish we had purchased one. Sometimes drink service was slow during the shows, sometimes not. I don't know what makes the difference with that. Dining room service could have been better, but food was great. The only midnight buffet was mexican and wasn't all that great. We ate a couple of things, but the rest was bland. The chocolate buffet was pretty good, but the chocolate fountain was dark choc. and bitter. I like milk choc. so I didn't like those things. The milkshakes were great. Go to the coffee shop near the casino and order one. We did not realize they had those until the last day. Probably a good thing because they are expensive, but tasty. I would stay away from the rooms we had. You should probably stay away from the casino as well. We had fun, but lost a lot of money in there. Haha! Wish the seas had been calmer at the beginning, but coming home the seas were very calm. I mentioned the engine trouble, one night the captain stopped the ship for three hours for them to work on the engine. I think the Glory may be having some issues. Lots of delays lately, mostly medical, but I wonder if sometimes it had been mechanical. I am just saying, if you have been reading the boards for the Glory there have been a lot of issues lately. I am ready to go again. If you have any questions I will be happy to answer them. Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
My husband and I booked this cruise in February 2008 and took the trip during Thanksgiving week. I will begin with the positives: -The service was incredible. Our waiters were wonderful, sweet, attentive, great at their job, and even ... Read More
My husband and I booked this cruise in February 2008 and took the trip during Thanksgiving week. I will begin with the positives: -The service was incredible. Our waiters were wonderful, sweet, attentive, great at their job, and even provided us with some brain teasers and tricks on most of the nights. They couldn't have been better, in our opinion. -The shows were wonderful. We really enjoyed having a show to attend each night before or after dinner. The entertainment was obviously not the best we've ever seen in our lives, but they did a great job and we were entertained. -The casino was fun, despite losing a bunch of money! The dealers were pleasant and we enjoyed our time there. -Our cabin steward was nice, attended to our requests, and left us with a new "towel animal" each night during turndown service. Now for the negatives: -The ports of call were terrible. Nassau is a dump. St. Maarten (on the Dutch side) is a dump. St. Thomas looked decent, but we did a snorkeling excursion and didn't get to see much of it. But we did take the skyride to Paradise Point and the service and cost were not worth it. The view was nice, however. When we got to the top, we intended to eat at the restaurant and watch the sunset, but we were informed that the power was out and they couldn't serve us. So we asked for our money back for the skyride and they gave it to us. -We booked all 3 of our excursions on the first day of our cruise right after embarkation. However, 2 of the three were cancelled due to "lack of interest". When we booked a second excursion to replace one that was cancelled, THAT was cancelled also!!! So we were forced to do our 3rd choice in St. Thomas. We have been snorkeling in Hawaii and Jamaica and let me tell you, the snorkeling in St. Thomas is a distant third. NOT WORTH IT!!!! Do not do the "shipwreck cove" snorkel excursion, it's not worth the money. We also did the "lagoon kayak" excursion in St. Maarten and it was sub-par as well. The water was beautiful, but the view was marred by the fact that there is nothing but squalor and shantys along the beachfront. -The deck and beach chairs were a huge pain. We wanted to sit outside on the sea days, but when we went up to get some chairs, we found entire families had saved chairs with their towels, books, shoes, etc. and then left. One person would be sitting there with 5 or 6 chairs saved. It was ridiculous. We had the hardest time trying to find chairs in the sun because people were rude about "saving" chairs for their family or friends who were off eating or in the pool or wherever. -As a young couple (25), we got bored on the ship. We would have loved to see more comedy shows, take some dance classes, or even see some movies. The Amber Palace would have been great to show movies on a big screen. We found ourselves bored after the show was over and we had nothing to do except gamble. So we slept a lot. This cruise is ok if you have a family or if you are an older couple. We just expected more adventure and more activities. The Glory does an OK job of having lots of activities to participate in. However, if you are a young couple, you will get bored. You will only be able to gamble for so long. After that, there's not much to do to hold your interest. We rated the cruise a 6 out of 10 because the staff was nice and accommodating, the food was pretty good, and the ship was clean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2008

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