Over the next few days I will hopefully be able to write up my experience of my 1st cruise which was 4/15-4/22 on the Carnival Glory. It may take me a few days and I will go day by day for the most part.
Let me start with a general description. It was our honeymoon; we are in our early to mid-30s. We are not big nightlife types, granted we both work at night as RNs in ICUs. We don't smoke, and we don't drink alcohol, and never really ever gambled before. My wife is a health minded eater while I definitely take liberties. My wife loves the sun, can layout and read all day, I sunscreen and nap.
Direct flight to Miami at 7am. Got to MIA at 930am. No Problems. MIA is massive, and I compare that to the next biggest airport I have been in which was Atlanta. We must have walked and taken monorails for about a mile just to get our baggage. It was a little confusing actually getting out there to wear the taxis were. The cool thing though flying into MIA we saw our ship from the air.
Taxi was about 15-20min with a flat rate of $25 to the terminal. We did see the Carnival Cruise shuttle meeting point. At first when I saw it I said I wish we did that. But once we made it outside, taxis were plentiful and it was quite easy.
Drop off at the terminal. Hordes of people I tell you. It was about 11am at this point. People leaving, new people coming. The taxi dropped us off and there we were, travel docs in hand, luggage tags printed and folded, and no clue what to do. 1st impulse was intimidation for me; my wife is less bothered by things like that. So we knew we needed to check the bags. We did not see signs or how-to's. So we followed the mob. We found a porter who took our bags, stapled the cruise tags on them. I gave him $3 tip, $1 per bag. No clue if we should tip or not so I did. We each kept a backpack.
Terminal phase 1; Boarding pass, passport, and security screen, a very large winding line. Again we followed the masses. 1st time I have flown since TSA type stuff, note to self, if you bring rolls of quarters, get them out or the digging through the bags happens. No problems there, just follow the masses, signs if they were there were missed. So many people.
Terminal phase 2; Inside and our 1st look at the Glory through the windows. Okay, These ships are massive, I know duh, but never seeing one up close and personal, they are massive. We had boarding docs printed out with our passports so got into a line for self-check-in. No problems there and a little slip of paper prints out and tells us to go to line B. We are seeing signs now. So in line B we go and move up until we get to the counter and there they give us a plastic zone 12 card and our sail and sign cards. No clue was zone 12 card was, but quickly figured it out. We sat for about 30minutes, the terminal filled up and they started to call zones for boarding. Either side of the terminal got us to the same place. Pre-cruise fun photo taken and on to the gangway.
Glory phase 1; On to the ship and into another large line. We get into the ship on deck 3 and they take our pictures tied to our cards. Lot’s our crew with “Ask Me” shirts on. Which was nice, but honestly I had no clue what to ask. I did not know what I did not know if that makes sense. We followed the masses. Cabin 6259 was ours. Instructed not to go there until after 130pm. This was stated on a Glory ship layout card given to us in the terminal. Off to deck 7 for lunch if we wanted. We wanted to so we went. Elevators we jammed and masses waited. We stair walked 98% of the cruise, the 2% was when my wife was wearing some new heels heh.
Deck 7 Lido; Open air and sunny, main outdoor activity area. Got in line for soda card and I bought a tumbler. 7day cruise = $60 soda sticker + $4 tumbler. (side note: I will never get the soda plan again. The lemonade, tea, water, coffee and juices were good and easy. Soda had to be ordered at bars and in lines. They would not give a can, so the tumbler was a good bet in that case. I am not knocking the plan, but did not come close to using the value.) Mass lines at the buffets, so again lines and waiting were not my problem at all, it was the what do we do or what are we supposed to do was the issue. After eating (side note: will talk about food later) we wandered the ship. We found our room, and met our steward, it was not 130pm yet so we were told not ready yet. We wandered, the shops, casino and so on were closed, droves of people lingered everywhere. We walked into the theater, and most places without issue. The Lido deck was slammed packed, mainly because that is pretty much where everyone goes during embarkation. It was the only thing really open and servicing people. It then was 130pm, and to the room we went. Done! We napped and it was good to be alone and quiet. We had a balcony so out we went and watch more and more people get on board. A bit staggering really.
Lower Platinum early dinning; Table number was on our card, cabin number was not. Took us a quick duh moment to realize why the cabin number was not on the card (aka room key) heh. Moving on… Our table was a set for 4, we were the 1st there. We met our main waiter and the rest of his team. Okay, they by far were the most enjoyable crew people we met the whole trip. We never thought once to ditch main dinning and go elsewhere for dinner because of them. They knew our names by the end of the meal and always greeted us with our names even if they saw us not in the dinning room. Outstanding, and again food review later. Our tablemates arrived, married couple about the same age, 2nd time cruisers, really fun. Next to us a family of 6 and to the other side a family of 4. We made friends with the family of 6 and our tablemates. The family of 4 was there the 1st night and never returned the rest of the cruise. After dinner we retreated to our cabin and turn down service was complete. Towel animal, chocolates (yum) and “Fun Times” and other info were on the bed waiting. Our 1st day was done and we were on our way.
Thoughts on Day 1; Confused at times, excited all the time, tired at times, lost most of the time. We were ready for coming days. No glitches at all, just the fact of not knowing. Welcome to 1st time cruising. Day 2 coming soon.