Just returned from the 6/25/05 Eastern Caribbean sailing of the Carnival Glory out of Port Canaveral. A group of 20 of us sailed together and all had a wonderful time. Our group ranged in age from 1 year to 67 years young. Our 1 year old (my niece) was catered to at every turn. Too young for Camp Carnival, the staff none the less gave her and her parents plenty of special attention, especially in the dining room where a bowl of apple sauce and a plate of strawberries awaited her each evening at dinner. Our two 7-year olds (my duaghter and niece) adored Camp Carnival. Our nine year old (my nephew) attended some Camp Carnival events, and was very comfortable exploring the ship with his older cousin (my 13 year old daughter). I can not say enough about getting involved in the activities. Several members of our group won cash playing Bingo. Our kids won the Glory Treasure Hunt. We entered the ship building contest (we did not win but the family that did built an awesome replica of the Glory out of milk cartons). My nephew and youngest daughter won the ice-cream eating contests for there age groups, and our two families pooled to win the family scavenger hunt. The 18-year old son of friends traveling with us won one of the slot tournaments. First time gamblers luck we told him.
Embarkation: We flew into Orlando the day before. On Saturday morning we took Carnivals bus transport from the airport to Port Canaveral. We were at the pier and through the Funpass line, with our Sail and Sign Cards by 11:00 am. At noon boarding began and we were among the first 25 or so parties on board. Straight to the Red Sail for lunch and then out by the pool. Luggage was present and accounted for before dinner.
In Nassau we did the Dolphin Encounter at the Blue Lagoon. A very cool experience.
In St. Thomas we took Godfrey's Island Tour and went swimming at Coki Beach.
In St. Maarten some of us shopped and others went for more swimming and snorkeling.
Debarkation: Sad but painless. We were off the ship and through customs by 9:00 am. Basically 7 days to the minute of the previous Saturday when we boarded the bus to Port Canaveral.
Service aboard ship was excellent. Our dining staff were wonderful. Both were so friendly, we felt we left friends behind when the week was over. Our cabin steward was also excellent. Our room (Lido deck, balcony) was always neat as a pin when we returned from breakfast, and the sheets turned down and towel animals present after dinner. The Lido deck location was perfect, just down the hall from the pools and the Red Sail Restaurant.
The Dolphin Encounter was great. We booked it directly through the Blue Lagoon and it was $85.00 per person. The excursion through Carnival was $119.00 per person. One other good thing about booking it direct was that you can go as an observer for $20.00. My husband did this. He took pictures while my girls and I were in the water. The ship did not offer the observer only excursion.