This might seem odd but here is my pre-cruise review. Yes that's correct, we've not even sailed yet and I'm trying to guesstimate what my review will be like. The cruise is July 21 on the Glory.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Congratulations....I hope you have fun! It sounds like you've done your research! Just returned from my first cruise in 30 years. I will give you some responses as it seems we have similar tastes and previous experiences.
As you may recall, in the very beginning I had asked on the forum about cost comparisons between a 7 day cruise and a 7 day land based vacation. I had mentioned that for years we have traveled the States, Mexico and the Caribbean usually always renting a beach front condo, rental car, air tickets and food for a week to be right around 4 grand for four people. This cruise has already cost me $6000 with everything paid for in advance except the sign and sail bill which I figure will be easily another $1500. So to me it's $4000 vs $7500. That's what I will be wanting to compare the most once I get aboard ship.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>There are so many "extras" on the ship that you might be lured to: Free jewelry, art auctions, Liquor tasting similar to activities you might see away from your rented vacation condo that would cost you extra. That is what brings the total upwards. What you pay for on the cruise ship is around the clock staff whether you see them or not, tending to your every need! They even TELL you to drop your towels on the floor!
Be careful and only purchase as many photos as you want, drink only as much as you can afford, gambler as much cash is in your pockets, and play as hard as you can!
Next will be the crowdedness. Will I feel herded? My initial thought is yes, I can't see how you can not feel that way. But then again I could very possibly be wrong.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>The only thing resembling a herd would be embarking and disembarking/customs and that experience was better than any bumper to bump traffic I have been through. It is fast and well-organized and to tell you the truth....I didn't feel herded at all. With 2400 passengers on board it was amazingly effortless to find a private quiet space/table to myself. with two dining rooms and 3 dinner seatings in each (staggered) the only crowds I ran into were seating times other than my own heading towards the dining room. If you are patient and not leave group settings when everyone else does, in 3 mins it will clear out fast. There is no rush to get food or anything else...there is always plenty of seats, and plates for everyone!
Entertainment. Honestly this is the least of my concerns. To me, being entertained is a lounge chair in the sun with a bottomless drink in hand on a non-crowded deck day after day. I'm a simple person and do not need these "Vegas" type shows at all. Nor the Casino.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Ditto here! I am the same and had no desire to see any shows. The show on deck of the blue skies and sea was great enough for me! Plenty of deck/lounge chairs!! Even when we looked for the family we could always find 4 together. Drink waiter$ abundant! They offered but knew when you wanted to be left alone. They were not a nag. Happy with my bottled water.
I showed my 18 Year old daughter how to play the slot machine...after $1 she said "how boring!" so that was the extent of our gambling. She hated all the smoke in the casino as well. ditto.
The food will be interesting as well. Yes we like to eat but not continuously as some have mentioned they do.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>I am diabetic and need to eat small meals every 4-5 hours while on the go. No problem with that and finding healthy foods/snacks to boot! I did not gain an ounce and enjoyed myself immensely as far as the selection of foods. I treated myself to a half serving of a decadent desserts each night...the trade off was no appetizer.
It might sound as though I'm not looking forward to the cruise at all. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I have researched the cruise from head to toe for months. Matter of fact I have read about , viewed pictures and video's of the ship and researched the islands in so much detail that I honestly feel I've already been. I do not necessarily believe in reincarnation but if I did I truly deep down inside feel my former life would have had something to do with the Sea or Ocean. I have a very special tie to the Blue Water that is not easily explained.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>...then I think you will have a lovely time! You cannot get more connected than floating on top of the ocean! Day or night it is a sight to be seen! We hit a storm..Rocky ride! I exucsed myself early from the Formal Night dinner. (drat!) We had the wrist band thing-ys but did not pack Dramamine. Hit the first farmacia for it and that saved us!
So here's my marks in advance:
Ship - very nice, well laid out but crowded. Pools, very tiny and not nearly enough of them nor room to relax. Not enough nonsmoking areas and the areas that are designated nonsmoking are not enforced. Would love to see a full nonsmoking ship.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Allergic to smoke, the only trouble I had with smoking was near/in the casino. Otherwise I consider it a non-issue.
Food - Simply put, abundant. One should never go hungry. Loved the Chocolate melting cake.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Abundant and GOOD! I saw the pizza line out the door with plates of pepperoni and cheese pizzas going by. When I finally got to the pizza line days later, thinking a good slice of cheese pizza would be a tasty snack after our Cozumel Swim Day, I saw about a dozen gourmet pizzas offered! Those people were wasting their time with pepperoni when they could have had goat's cheese, spinach, and mushroom like I did! YESSS! Don't you dare MISS the Chocolate Melting Cake at least once! But the Baked Alaska, Grand Marnier Cake, and Orange-something Souffle and even the sugar free orange chocolate cake were right up there too. I wanted to taste the fruit and cheese platter but was too full to try some! PS we had the latest dinner seating. Less children and gave us plenty of time to watch the ship leave port, take a swim, shower and relax after our shore experience. There was even time for a 4:30 snack since dinner was a 8.
Entertainment - Mediocre. Could have done without except for the steel pan music.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Decent bands poolside...silly contests held there too...But again, easy to find a quiet place away from them if you want towards the aft of the ship upper deck.
Ports of Call and Excursions - Wonderful. Love the islands, the island people, the food and the water.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>The experience off the ship was the best for me....not only for the destination activity but it breaks up the monotony of ship entertainment and gives you something different. You'll have a great time and then come back to the ship to relax..room clean a snack ready for you.
Overall experience and grade - C plus. Just as I originally figured the cost is over inflated compared to what I have gotten in a land based vacation in the past. Other than the sea going. high seas experience of the ship it's self, I'll stick to the beach.