Fourth Carnival cruise. Better than expected. Glory is a beautiful ship. Didn't find the layout confusing at all, just large. Cabin service was excellent, just make a point of knowing your steward. Upgraded to a Suite on deck 7 two weeks before sailing at a significant discount. Very spacious compared to usual staterooms, with a jacuzzi tub and separate dressing room. The Red Sail restaurant lunches were varied, unexpectedly good, and the fish and chips restaurant above the Red Sail had great lunches with no waiting ever. Formal dining was unremarkable, although service was excellent. In fact, the whole crew was very friendly and efficient.
Costa Maya - I recommend simply catching a $3 cab to the fishing village just south of the port. The villagers have tables, beer, even food available behind their houses oceanfront, many with tables, hammocks and chairs. Nice beach but not really any snorkling.
Cozumel has a great natural oceanfront park a short cab ride from the bustling touristy city. Great snorkling there, a nice beach with chairs and great service, if you want drinks or snacks. Also nature trails, scuba, and dolphin swimming (although the pens were pretty smallfor the dolphin).
Belize was a fun boat ride to the city. Don't go unless you are planning an excursion. Nothing in Belize City to see but blight.
Progresso, we avoided excursions and paid a cab driver $90 to drive us around Progresso and Merida, later to Dzibilchaltun. Had a great day and recommend the Mayan ruins highly.
Debarkation stunk. But so what, it was a great time and we will go with Carnival again.
We only live an hour from Port Canaveral so this part was easy! Arrived around 12:15 and dropped off Grandma, Dad and 12-year old son with baggage. Then parked in garage as Dad had porter check all our bags (NOTE-help others by putting on ALL your baggage tags before you get to the port!). Parking is $70, payable upfront by VISA/MC or cash for the week. Back in line with family by 12:45. No discernible difference between FunPass and non line-line snaked around for 20 minutes or so. In our cabins by 1:30 and eating by 2.
The Cabins and Packing
We couldn't do a guarantee/upgrade cuz we needed rooms near each other. Had oceanview (with a little porthole) 1216 and 1220 on the fore of the Riviera deck. This turned out to be terrific-two floors to dinner and the floor runs the whole ship so easy to maneuver around. Rooms are perfect for two (and glad we got two cabins!). One room was very stinky from smoke but Sonya, our cabin steward, had ozone cleaner in the cabin within 20 minutes of our concerns. Turned out the nightlights I packed wouldn'tgo in cuz of the location of the outlet didn't leave room for the air freshener portion. Otherwise there is PLENY of shelf and drawer space. The beds are very comfortable.
I gained only 2 pounds-my husband gained 8!!! But he ate constantly and I limited myself to a light breakfast and lunch and judicious choices at the most excellent dinners in the Golden Restaurant. We had late seating which worked out well for us most of the time except for days we were completely exhausted from the day's activities (more on that later!). The Coquilles St. Jacques was the best I've ever had and every lamb dish was exquisite. Portions are not huge and there was SPA selections-you could easily eat well and still consume less than 8 or 9 hundred calories. Amazing. Even the coffee was good. And the SERVICE was respectful and attentive, never cloying or overbearing (thanks to Mirella and Melvin!)
Breakfast in the Platinum Room was relaxing and a great chance to meet other cruisers but the Lido Deck buffet is also a good choice. The omelet station chef was willing to throw whatever I brought him into an omelet for me (apples and sausage from other stations, for example).
The pizza is also excellent-try the spinach and goat cheese. The crust (along with all the breads and sweet rolls were delicious). I had VERY meaty spare ribs (Cajun-style AND teriyaki) and the Oriental station served up excellent Chinese food.
I could go on and on about the food but I can't recall one thing I selected that wasn't good except for the stupid hash brown pucks for breakfast (Carnival has thousands of pounds of real potatoes-USE THEM!!!)
I got soda cards for my son and me. My husband and mother-in-law drank tea (which is free all day, along with apple and orange juice) at the Red Sail Restaurant. It turned out to be a bargain for us.
Thanks to all of you out there who posted reviews and helped us out here!
Costa Maya-We took the internet advice and rented a golf cart when we got off the boat-wandered through the small, very poor town and ended up at a small bar on the beach closest to the ship (Tequila's I think it was called-sorry). We had purchased all new snorkel equipment before we left so we spent the day snorkeling and swimming in the bathtub temperature water and reading in the shade. No cover charge for using the facilities and VERY NICE folks with very limited English running the place. The taco lunch was cheap and excellent. Cost for the day? $60 for the cart ($15 an hour) plus $30 for drinks and lunch. An excellent beginning.
Again, we took internet advice and booked on belizecruiseexcursions before we left. My son and I went cave-tubing with Xtreme cave tubing. My husband and mother went to Maruba Resort Jungle Spa (he to horseback ride, she to sit by the pool and relax). Because we didn't book through the ship we had to get a tender ticket (but I was third in line and got on the first tender). The tour folks waited for us and snatched us when we got off the boat (there was a little confusion at first cuz we had arrived so late but it was very quickly fixed). We had paid a 10% deposit via Pay Pal online and then paid the remainder in cash onsite. The cost is about 2/3 of the ship's cost. We ended up with one other couple, in a nice car NOT a huge van! Our guide was Colin Gillette, a native Belizean who is VERY knowledgeable about history and medicinal plants and a very sweet guy who kept us in sight the whole trip as he tubed with us.
As others have said, this is a don't miss experience. After 40 minutes of walking through the jungle, I was very happy to splash into the water. The walk is not REAL rigorous but the heat can get to you. Paddling is pretty easy though there are places you have to work a little. And don't worry about the 2-hour time difference. We made it back in plenty of time for the tender back to the boat.
My husband also reported a terrific time-my hard-to-please 80 year old mother-in-law raved about the pool and spa. Cost for the day for all four of us: $200! Plus $60 in tips.
Grandma stayed on the ship-our son went with other Camp Carnival kids to horseback ride ($71) and my husband and I took a $7 cab ride to Dzul Ha beach club, a prime snorkeling spot. No cover charge but a minimum of $15 of food/drink to purchase to spend the whole day under a tiki hut with a fabulous view. This is a rocky beach with steps into the water for snorkeling. All day we saw boats anchored just beyond us for folks who paid a lot of money to snorkel there and we just entered from the beach! The ceviche was cheap and plentiful-my husband's burrito equally good. We could easily walk to other beaches but ended up staying put! Cost for the day for the two of us: $47 plus $6 in taxi tips! Check out cozumelmycozumel site for lots of information about snorkeling and the Yucatan peninsula.
We booked the ship's tour to Dzibilchaltun and the Mexican Rodeo ($303 for the four of us). Didn't think the family could handle two hours on a bus each way to go to Chichen Itza so went for the smaller but very impressive closer Mayan ruins. The museum was very well laid out and very informative. The guides were also excellent. We had a buffet lunch at an American owned horse ranch followed by an hour of Mexican folkloric dancing and very skillful cowboying. We used to own horses and my husband's done some penning and roping-he was most impressed with the roping exhibitions.
Re: formal nights-I have to go to a lot of formal events for work so it's no treat for me. I wore simple long skirts and my husband wore a dark shirt and sport jacket, my son wore a dark shirt and tie. We were among the underdressed but didn't feel uncomfortable in the crowd.
Re: entertainment and activities-didn't catch any midnight shows but saw the cruise talent show (really good) and magic show (Justin Illusion) which was glitzy but too much hype for my taste. Scottee at the piano bar is extraordinarily talented and a lot of fun. Loved the dance lessons. Lounge singers are mellow and relaxing. And the galley tour is a great behind the scenes look at how the ship works (wish there were more tours like that).
My son loved Camp Carnival (for the 12-14 old group-which is a great grouping by the way).
The casino is pretty good. Never too crowded. I played black jack with a limited stake set aside for each day of the cruise and each time I ended up ahead, I went to pay the purser. Lost on three nights but won on four and ended up paying off $1225 of our $1360 bill (including excursions and tips) which was great! No credit card surprise this month. But, boy, did that bar bill add up!
RE: the spa-my one of two less than positive experiences. The hot tub wasn't hot-the sauna wasn't hot and the steam room smelled musty. After showering there were no hairdryers or hair gel, etc. in the ladies room. None of the things you usually find in a spa. The last few days of the trip they'd have a 50% off special (the first ten people, etc.) which seemed like a great deal.
RE: The cruise director and Nicole the shopping expert-the second problem. While I appreciate that high energy and personality count in these jobs, these two (especially Nicole) are just over-the-top and phony in their presentations of self. Way too much hype. We already need the information you have and we WILL listen to what you have to say-you can ratchet the hype down a notch or two and be a little more HUMAN! It's not a bad quiz show or the shopping network. It's people giving people the information they need.
If this is a cheap cruise I can't imagine what you'd get on one of the fancier lines! It's great for singles and for families. Every day there's something for everyone. Everyone in my family wants to do it again!
This was mine and my wife's 13 cruise, 6th with Carnival.
Over all this was a very good trip and can't wait till we go again. There will be some small petty stuff I will mention but by no means was it an issue with us. Like I said before, this was a very good cruise.
We live in Florida so driving is the norm. (Note: heading east from Orlando on Beeline Express way, once you pass under 95 the speed limit changes from 70 mph to 55 mph. One guess how I found this out. And I could see the ships too. lol.
Cape Canaveral pier is the nicest pier we have ever cruised from.
We got to the pier around 11: am and was eating lunch at noon, they gave us a note not to go to our rooms until 1.pm. We still went by and dropped off our bags and put stuff in the safe. The room wasn't ready but our room steward said no problem to leave it there.
This was my parents 50 the anniversary and is the main reason we went on this cruise. Because offinances we chose for the first time an inside cabin. At first glance my wife gave me the evil eye and had wondered what I did to her, (I kind of felt the same but couldn't show it) but once we were there a little bit it was just fine. We used the onboard bow cam on our TV to tell night and day. We left it on all night and as the sun came up our room got brighter. We found that the inside cabin was very comfortable and cozy.
We made reservations for the dinner club as soon as we got on the ship. O.K. How was it?
The service was awesome and the food was good the atmosphere was nice and quiet. Was it worth the $25 dollars yes but glad we didn't do it more than once. The food in the main dining room was very good, so I really didn't think the food at the dinner club was all that much better. Now last year on RCCL we ate at their specialty restaurant and thought it was so much better. Now we are not sure if it was better because the main dining room food on RCCL was no where as close as good as this trip. So the difference was much greater.
Speaking of the main dining room, we ate in the Golden dining room upper level. We had a table for 4 looking over the lower dining room. It just couldn't get any better than that. Our wait staff was one of the best we had ever had. They knew our names by the second night. It was a nice touch. The food as I said before was very good. (Always remember, if there is nothing on the menu you, like you can order a NY strip every night.) Just ask.
They had the normal buffet, NY Deli (sandwich shop) Fish Fried kind of like long johns, with extras like mussels and such. They had Oriental food that changed every day. Also they had the 24 hour pizza plus the grill with burger, chicken and steak sandwiches. They also had 24 hour room service. If you can't find something to eat that you like, I hope you never visit my house. lol.
The casino was a hoot; we donated but enjoyed the staff very much. They had
Craps, double odds
Caribbean stud poker
3 card Poker
Blackjack with different versions
Let it Ride
Slots $.05, $.25, $1.00 & $5.00.
I had read that it was hard to navigate the Glory lots of ups and downs. Well we thought this was not true. We found it easy. The only deck we could not get from the back to the front was deck 3 and that was because the kitchen is in the middle of the 2 dining rooms.
We had been to all of these ports many times, so I will not spend too much time in this area.
We just got off, walked around the straw market area, we were hassled so bad that we got irritated and just went back to the ship. I know they have to earn a living but this has to be one of the worst ports we had been to.
We did not have a tour planned like Godfrey. Just so people know a 2 hour tour with beach drop off and pick up plus shopping is $20 all the time just ask when you get off the ship. We lucked out and had a open air cab with just the 4 of us. We had a little rain but overall the day was great, Dad bought Mom some really nice stuff and had we had a ball.
We had reserved a car at the docks. We drove all over showing my parents the island. Our Best stops: Orient Beach very beautiful and Maho Beach where you can watch very large jet planes land right on the beach. Awesome site!!! Must do!!! Its also a nice little place to have a drink and lunch.
3 sea days may be too many for some, but we just love the laid back pace of a sea day. If some outdoor activity is not your thing, I could see you getting a little board trying to stay inside all day.
The shows were from O.K. to great. The first production show was so so, but the second was very good. Mark Price did his Robin Hood skit and it was very funny. Comedians are hit or miss any where you go. Ours was fairly good.
The Cruise Director, I'm sorry to say was the worst we have ever had. In all our cruises I have never wrote a bad thing on a comment card until now and it was about the cruise director. Nuff said. Maybe he is new and will get better. His name was Stuart Dunn from down under.
Staff was friendly and pleasant.
Didn't care too much for there film develop service 24 hours means maybe in the next 3 days.
Room steward, only saw him the first day but like magic every thing was done on time and he did a great job.
Like I said before, our wait staff (PUTU and Jose) was the best we had ever had.!!!
Over all this entire trip was great. Sorry it took a while for the review cause Im, still suffering from the Post Cruise blues.
Ed __________________ 81: Skyward, 85: Norway 97: Seabreeze, 98: Destiny 99: Ecstasy, 99: Jubilee 00: Explorer of the Seas 01: Destiny 02: Imagination 02: Regal Empress 03: Imagination 03: Adventure of the Seas 04: GLORY
On Saturday, May 15, 2004, Kevin, Melissa, Bobby, Amanda, Lexie and I set sail on a long anticipated, well deserved cruise to the Eastern Caribbean aboard the M.S. Carnival Glory. This was a 7-day journey that took us to Nassau in the Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Marteen of the U.S. Virgin Islands. To sum up this vacation in a few words- "It was freakin' awesome!" I really don't know how else to put it. This review will take you through our entire trip.the good, bad and the ugly!
Traveling to Port Canaveral
As I mentioned, we were all very excited about going on this trip. Our plans were to fly out the morning of the cruise, with Lexie and I flying separately on Northwest and meeting the rest of the group on the ship (they took an early morning flight on Delta). We awoke about 5:30 that morning to the sound of the phone ringing. Lexie answered and I could tell it was Melissa calling from the airport. I wasn't exactly sure what the conversation was, but I knew it was going to be a long day when I hearLexie cussing and saying, "You're kidding, right?" We had just found out that our flight had been delayed. We jumped up and started looking into the problem.
Basically, we knew we were on a tight schedule with little room for delays. We get to the airport and find out twice more that we were going to be even further delayed due to bad weather. Lexie was in tears and we were about to face the fact that we were going to miss at least the first day of our cruise.
I'll make this long story short-we finally take off from Memphis headed to Orlando. I had talked to Carnival and they said to try to make it to the pier using a taxi by 3:30 and we might make it. When we touched down in Orlando, we sprinted off the plane to find a Carnival representative waiting for us! They had 1 last shuttle at the airport waiting to take us to the pier. As it turned out, there were 20 people on our plane in the same situation, so they waited. We checked in on the bus and when we arrived at Port Canaveral, we went through security in 5 minutes and ran aboard. We were the LAST people on the ship!! We learned our lesson: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER fly out the day of your cruise. Too many things can happen to delay your arrival and it's simply not worth the stress of a crying wife! Trust me.travel the day before!
Overview of the Glory
Prior to cruising, we had seen many pictures of this ship on the web and read many positive comments. However, none of the photos did justice to the magnificence of this vessel. It was absolutely awe inspiring to stand next to the ship. One hundred and ten thousand tons sounds huge, but take a close look and you'll see why!
The ship is a beautifully decorated floating city. It has more bars than my entire hometown. We ate in the Golden dining room, which was very elegant and plush. The Amber Palace was a large 3-story amphitheater where all shows, comedians, and other indoor activities took place. This was also a very glitzy and elegant room. The Camel Club casino was an area that I must say occupied a good deal of my time on a few sea days and in the evenings. It's very large casino for a ship, and has a cool camel / desert theme. We never played slots-just blackjack and some Caribbean stud. As expected, nobody came out winners but we had fun trying!
The ladies visited the White Heat disco dance club a few times. It seemed to go from totally empty to completely packed at random times-but they seemed to enjoy it when it was kicking! Most of the time we spent on the Lido deck enjoying the warm sun, pools, water slide, and grazing on 'free' food. The weather awesome..we only got 1 five minute shower in Nassau and that was it as far as rain and clouds.
I'm not big on the shows, and didn't go to all of them, but they seemed to be enjoyed by most. The ladies especially loved the magic show and Las Vegas singing/dancing shows. The comedians were pretty good. Percy Cruz was funny until he used his time to make a political speech bashing President Bush-that seemed inappropriate and not appreciated by many.
We had a wonderful cabin, mid ship on level 8 with a balcony. Yes, the balcony was worth the extra $$, contrary to what I anticipated. If you ever cruise this ship, cabin 8347 is a great room to request.
Unfortunately, not everyone had such a great room. Kevin/Melissa and Bobby/Amanda had requested an ocean view guarantee room. Since we had this type of cabin on a previous cruise and enjoyed it, we didn't think it would be a problem. However, they were stuck in the absolute middle in the back of the ship on level 2. The other way to visualize this is the butt-crack of the ship. No joke. They were right above the propellers and when the ship sped up or went into reverse-hold on cuz you were going for a ride. The rattling would pretty much register on an earthquake Richter scale. Bottom line is that these rooms should not be the same price as a regular ocean view room. However, they complained to Carnival and were compensated for their troubles since there were no other empty rooms on the ship.
It's everywhere. Every time you turn around you are faced with a tough choice: Pizza, burgers, buffet, ice cream, fish, you name it! The problem is you have to try everything and the only way to do that in 7 days is to load up! As a result, we all have to loosen up the belt notches this week as we did some serious damage.
The food at dinner, of course, was the best. I have to recommend the lobster, New York strip, grouper, veal, oh hell it was all good! If you get something not so great, send it back and get something else. If not, just wait for dessert and I promise you won't walk away hungry! If so, there is always the midnight buffet that you can graze upon. Since we had the late seating dinner, we were always too full and never even tried this out..unfortunately!
The Staff & Crew
Fantastic. The crew went out of their way to make everyone as comfortable as possible. Our room-steward, Putu, was very attentive and did a great job in cleaning our messy room twice per day. Other crew members worked round the clock keeping the ship spotless. Our waiters, however, were the best. Many thanks go out to Renato and "Manny" for waiting on us hand and foot at dinner. These guys were very friendly, professional and courteous. If you ever get a chance to dine in the Golden dining room and get this duo, you can rest assured you'll be well taken care of!
Our cruise director was Marc Price. We saw him the first night and he seemed like he was going to be a great cruise director. Unfortunately, he got really sick after the first or second day and we never saw or heard from him again. The guys that filled in for him did a great job, although we hate we missed having a professional CD like we did with John Heald on our first cruise two years ago on the Victory.
We had a total of 3.5 days at sea. These days were extremely relaxing and went by way too quickly. We slept in a few mornings, headed up to the buffet for our morning feeding, and usually headed up to lay out for a few hours-you've got to do something between breakfast and lunch so this was out activity of choice! After the noon devouring of pizza and burgers, we laid out and checked out the deck activities. The hairy chest contest was by far the most hilarious and fun activity of the week. We are very proud of Bobby for winning this prestigious contest as he entertained the audience with his "strut" to M.C. Hammer's "Can't Touch This". He put on a good show for the crowd and camera and was an instant celebrity who was well recognized on the ship the rest of the week. He brought home the prized "24 karat gold plastic ship on a stick" trophy.
Bottom line-you can do as much or as little as you like onboard the ship during sea days. Whatever you do, you'll enjoy it!
Ports of Call
We had read that there wasn't a lot to do on this stop but figured we'd give it a try. We took a cab over to Atlantis and had a quick glance at the resort. We then decided to walk over to Paradise beach and found it to be absolutely beautiful. We spent the rest of our time playing in the waves and chilling on the beach. We also rented wave runners for a while and had a blast. Not much time to do a lot as we only had about 5 hours at this stop, and then it was back onboard.
We enjoyed Paradise beach, but otherwise, there didn't seem to be too much else to do. Overall, we had fun but this was our least favorite port of call.
2. St. Thomas
This was my personal favorite. We arrived early in the morning and took a cab to Megan's Bay. This was a beautiful beach surrounded by mountains of trees---absolutely beautiful. There wasn't a lot of activities here, so after a few hours, we took a cab over to Koki beach and that was fantastic! This was my favorite beach on the trip by far. If you ever go there, be sure to snorkel around the coral reefs. The water is crystal clear and the fish are amazing and everywhere. We were able to feed them out of our hands and get a good close view. We weren't here long enough, and if I ever go back, I will spend all my time here. There are other activities here also, such as wave-runners, parasailing, scuba diving and more. I miss this place!
After leaving Koki beach our cab driver gave us a tour of the entire island and took us to the shops where the ladies went wild. Then it was back to the ship. We watched sail away and saw a beautiful panoramic view of the island lit up at night. Very, very cool.
3. St. Marteen
This island was also fantastic. We took a water taxi over to the beaches and shops not far from the pier. Bobby and I headed to the beach while the rest of the gang went shopping downtown. We later rented jet skis and played in the water. If you plan on doing any jet skiing, this is the place. The water was very smooth and you could really cut up. Lots of fun!
Later that afternoon, we took a snorkel excursion over to shipwreck cove. We have mixed thoughts on this. I personally enjoyed it because we had a lot of time and a big area to snorkel and enjoy the water. However, the sunken ships weren't that impressive and there were not many fish to see. Especially since we had snorkeled on Koki beach the day before and saw much more and paid much less, that made this dive a little disappointing. However, I'm glad we did it and it gave us the chance to see another part of the island that we wouldn't have seen otherwise. The guides were very entertaining and they give you unlimited rum punch afterwards! Be careful-that stuff is strong!
The worst part of the trip is going home. This morning was just depressing, but I guess that's normal. The entire process went fairly smooth although it took a while for everyone to find their luggage once we got off the ship. We took the shuttle back to the airport and made it with time to spare.
The trip was a blast. Any trip is what you make of it, so go with a positive attitude and you WILL have fun. There are always glitches and things that won't be perfect, but deal with them and move on. We would definitely recommend this ship to anyone. We will also be booking another cruise as soon as feasible, and will probably go on Carnival next, although we'll try Royal Caribbean one day. Carnival impressed us with service and fun, so they have gained a few more repeat cruisers as a result!
Tips & Hints Just some miscellaneous ideas for your next cruise!
Never, Never, Never fly the day of your cruise!
A cruise can be great as a couple, but having good friends come along makes it that much better--so bring your buddies!
If you have a balcony, take a bungee cord to keep the door open. It's great to have the door open at night and listen to the ocean.
This ship did seem to rock more than others, as we had heard. One night the seas were fairly rough and we were jolted quite a bit. Take some bonine or dramamine just in case. I did for the first few days and stopped, but never felt motion sickness. Better safe than sorry.
Beer drinkers: When you get off at St. Marteen, there is a beer stand setup on the beach. They sell beers for 99 cents each. I bought 15 and put them in a backpack and brought them back through ship's security w/no problem. We all did this and saved a lot of $$ on bar bill (which was already too high!). We should have made more trips to refill! Put them in your cabin fridge to keep 'em cool.
Buy stock in downy wrinkle releaser-that stuff is great. No need to iron any clothes during entire trip. Don't forget a bottle before you leave.
Duct tape, extension cord, and a power strip are your friends..bring them along
Men: Be sure to cancel you sail and sign card before your wife has a chance to visit the photo gallery. OUCH!! J
If you have a problem onboard, let the staff know. They will compensate and take care of your problems!
If your waiter or room steward does a fantastic job, give them something extra in the form of cash. These guys work really hard for a few bucks per day, so don't forget the good ones.
We brought 4 bottles of wine in our carry on's onboard with no problems and took them to dinner 4 nights. They may or may not charge a corkage fee (they didn't charge us). Good way to save $$.
Don't over pack liquor. You don't want to run up to your room every 20 minutes to get a drink-you'll just order from the bar or bar servers.
Pictures can be found here: http://www.anthonyandlexie.com/CruisePics.asp
Let me know if you have any other questions!!!! Glad to help!
Our first Carnival cruise was on Celebration in September 2002. Since that was an older ship, we expected Glory to be much better - better design, better quality. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Granted, she's not a bad looking ship, but as a cruise experience she could have been better.
The quick review:
Ship: Good Itinerary (Eastern Caribbean): Excellent Service: Very good Food: Good Entertainment: Fair
Carnival Glory is just not a passenger-friendly ship, in my opinion. To get to dinner each night, we had to take only certain stairways. Because of the ridiculous way the dining rooms are laid out and split up, finding the dining room was awkward from different locations. Nowhere inside the ship could you get from one end to the other without having to go up or down one or two flights of stairs -- very frustrating at times. And if at times a particular lounge or bar was closed off, you had to find alternate routes to get anywhere.
Speaking of lounges and bars, there are too many on this ship! Before anyone thinks I'm some kind of a teetotaler, what I mean is that because there areso many bars/lounges, each one is too small for any great function. Perhaps Carnival thought this would lend intimacy to these areas, but it's hard to achieve intimacy when you're packed into a small area with a bunch of loud, drunk people. Even the Amber Palace, the ship's theatre for shows, is on the small side.
The shows were OK -- nothing spectacular. They were not very well performed. Either the dancers were new or just not that good. Too many times, it was obvious that they were focusing more on getting their steps right than actually dancing and performing. The singers, on the other hand, were great - at least the female singers – with great voices.
Something that makes the Amber Palace even smaller is that if you sit in the balcony close to the stage, you can't see anything behind the plane of the curtain line. We made this mistake one night; we could see the performers out near the edge of the stage, but we couldn't see those who were towards the back of the stage.
Having been on other ships with beautiful open atriums, we were hoping Glory's would match that kind of space. It doesn't come close. The atrium is OK, but it's dark and not very open. There are very few windows that let natural light in, and that doesn't help the dark colors in the atrium. The few windows there are were usually covered. As a result, instead of being a gathering place that attracted people, many just avoided it as we did. Most of the time there were very few people sitting at the large bar there.
Upstairs, open to the atrium two levels above, were the onboard shops. Again, the layout failed in this area. The stores faced the open atrium, but there was only 8-10 feet of walking space between the stores and the rail overlooking the atrium. When you had to walk past the stores to a show in the Amber Palace, there were frequent logjams of people. Add to this the times when sale tables were out in front of the stores, and people were browsing through the items, and it becomes a messy mélange of bodies trying to squeeze by one another.
If I'm going to point out the problems regarding onboard space, I must point out the high points. The area where Carnival Glory shines is her deck space for sunning. These areas are expansive. If you couldn't find a chair to lay out, you weren't looking very hard. Granted, many were not near a pool, but there were still plenty. I wish other ships had showers available at almost every deck area that wasn't near a pool, like Glory does. Even the adults-only deck up top had one. It was nice not having to go all the way to the pool to cool down. The rear pool was nice, and it was nice to see the sliding roof being used to shield it from the elements (we had one half-day of rain).
The sports court area was a waste of space. Sure, there was a basketball half-court, but why they bothered to shoe-horn in a much-smaller-than-regulation-size volleyball court is beyond me. Better to have a full-size court and use it for both sports.
Another awkward layout example: To access the gym, you had to enter the spa and then go through the men's or women's locker rooms to get there. Once you got there, the equipment was good and modern, with the minimum number of weight machines, six or seven cardio machines, free weights, and about 10 treadmills.
The food on Carnival Glory was OK, but not at all what I'd been led to believe by some online postings on different cruise websites. Carnival, from what I'd read, was supposed to have the best food. In my opinion, that's false. It was no better than other cruise lines I've been on. I'm talking about dining room dinner food. As for the buffet-style Red Sail Restaurant/Cafeteria, the food there was fair -- not that good. And the layout of the Red Sail was awful. You had to stand in long lines for its mediocre food. I prefer a layout that has different stations for different types of food (salads, hot sandwiches, carving station, etc.), where you can browse and find what you want without waiting in long lines.
Our dining room wait staff was excellent. Ksenia and Sergei, both from Estonia, were terrific. We enjoyed their service as well as their company and conversation every night. The maitre d' we never met. Each night he just announced eating times for the next day.
As for other staff, well, it was a very disjointed affair. I say this because only after midway through the cruise did we realize that Mark Price, the Cruise Director, had not made any appearances since day one. We asked some staff who said he had gotten ill, but it was never announced. Something else kind of strange was that the Captain was replaced midway through the cruise with another Captain. For all I know, that could be a normal rotation, but it just seemed a little strange.
Something that set the tone for a not-so-great cruise occurred at sail-away -- that is, if we had seen it. It would have been nice to go up top and do the usual partying with friends as we embark on our week-long adventure. Instead, the muster drill was held at the same time! So while we were packed together with others, sweating in our life jackets, we were sailing away and missing a chance to wave at the people watching the ships leave. We heard more than a few comments about that.
A couple of Carnival's on-board policies - at least it's what they say in print - are that no smoking is allowed on the port side of the ship, and that pool chairs are not to be saved. Apparently Carnival chooses not to enforce these, or there were a lot of illiterate people on board.
Some staff had said that "some of the stabilizers" were not working properly on Carnival Glory. There was some motion, but I didn't think it was that bad. It was a little more than normal, but not enough to ruin anything.
Lastly, debarkation was horrible. We were told the day before that if we had a flight departing at 1:00 or earlier, we should ask for luggage tags to debark early. Two people in our group had a flight at 1:30, so we didn't bother getting these early tags. On earlier cruises we'd gotten off the ship in plenty of time. This wasn't going to be one of those times. We were finally called to debark just past 10 a.m. We were still standing in lines 30 minutes later when I told a Carnival rep that our friends had a 1:30 flight. She led us to the front of a line, which only resulted in waiting in another line.
When we finally made it to the luggage carousels, we waited more than 35 minutes for our luggage to appear. During that time, one Carnival rep told me all the luggage was unloaded; another said our luggage might be on one of the other carousels (unloaded incorrectly); lastly, I was told by someone else that not all the luggage was out yet. By the time we actually got out of the terminal it was past 11:30 a.m. Since we still had to catch the rental car shuttle to the rental car place and drive to Orlando, our friends went ahead and took a cab to Orlando. They weren't very happy about it, and neither were we.
A cruise, like any vacation, is what you make of it. Overall, we still had a very good time. It's just that the ship could have added so much more to the experience, and it failed to do that.
Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Glory by jmb Western Caribbean April 10, 2004
We arrived at the ship at about 11:30am. The "fun pass" line was much shorter and we made it through the whole process in less then a half hour. We were delighted when we were upgraded from a guaranteed inside cabin to a balcony on the 8th floor! We had room 8454, all the way in the back of the ship, our room faced the back of the boat which was beautiful, but we felt a lot of motion.
Key West~ We love Key West. Getting off the boat was crazy, the lines where very long, but we took it in stride. We went Jet Skiing then to Jimmy Buffets for lunch and Margaritas.
Belize~ The weather in Belize was a bit rainy and the seas were a little choppy. We took the tender to the main land and had no idea what we were going to do. We ended up taking a tour of the town and a trip to the zoo. This took about 3 hours in total. We were back on the ship in plentyof time.
Cozumel~ We love this port. We were suppose to go deep sea fishing, but because of high seas a lot of tours were cancelled including ours. We were able to go on the ATV tour which was a blast. We then walked around for a while in search of an authentic Mexican lunch. We ended up eating outside at what I think was just someone's house! We had the best food we could have asked for. Then it was off to Carlos and Charlie's. Always an interesting place to people watch. We had 2 very expensive margaritas and then headed back to the ship. Rumor had it that 30 people didn't make the ship that day and took a bus to Progresso.
Progresso~ We really enjoyed this stop. We ended up on the public beach which was just fine and free. There were people who set up a lounge chair for you for a tip and offer two dollar beer all day along with free chips and salsa. This was right up our alley, nice and relaxing. We would go back here in a heartbeat, we loved this port.
The rest~ The rest of the vacation was good. There were a lot of teens on the ship which is to be expected, most of the time they were well behaved, but in the ports a lot of them drank a lot, and had to be carried back on the ship.
The seas were rough and one night in particular we were not feeling well. The food in the dining room was good. We ate there every night but one when we went to the Emerald room. That was very good and worth the money. The scrambled eggs for breakfast were inedible and the coffee was horrid. I resorted to tea. Lunches were good.
All in all we had a good time. We decided that this will be our last cruise for a while. We felt like we didn't have enough time in the ports and there was not enough to do during at sea days. Forget getting a chair anywhere near the pool, people but their towels down very early. We did go to a few shows and enjoyed them.
Getting off the boat was a nightmare. Apparently customs added a form for non-residents to fill out and Carnival was not aware of this. We took our own luggage off ourselves we got inline at about 7:45 and we were finally off the boat at 10:45. No kidding and there were still a ton of people still on the boat. I wonder what time they all finally go off?? Next year we will be taking a beach vacation. Please e-mail me if you have any questions.
Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Glory by Larry Blanchard Western Caribbean April 4, 2004
Arrived at the pier at 11:30 and it was packed, however we were on the boat eating at 12:45 very smooth. We booked an inside guarantee and got what we booked room 2377, very nice and the room steward made sure it stayed that way. We were assigned late dining in the platinum dining room, we were guaranteed when we booked, early dining since we are early to bed early to rise people we went to the maitre dee within the first 2 hours we were on board, he told us that he had over 500 requests already and that he was sorry there was no chance of switching, he also apologized for travel agents who make false promises. Anyway we stuck with late seating and when we met our tablemates, Ray and Lupe newleyweds from Chicago and Darren and Francis old married couple traveling without kids from SC we were hooked, you could not have asked for better conversation and fellowship. The itinerary was nice, we left the boat at every port, Key West was a messvery long lines on and off and very slow service, shopping was great and the weather was even better, Belize leaves alot to be desired, it was an absolute dump, we were told to keep an open mind about the country but.......we did the horseback riding tour, it was ok, the guide did not speak and the horses were honry, my horse battled with another the whole tour and then I was bitten by the other horse on the back of the leg breaking the skin and leaving a nasty bruise, all in all it made for great laughs if nothing else, the drive to and from was 2 1/2 hours each way through the nastiest villiages I have ever witnessed, house with no door and windows, some without roofs housing 20 or more people, our guide told us the people eat meat only once a week and roost on banannas and other fruit the rest of the week, I was rally sickened to see that as many ships were docked there that this place was a nasty as it was.
Cozumel was awesome, we saw the beautiful Mexican Folklore show, awesome, a must see, then we did our shopping, we were hoping for some good haggling, but it evidently is not needed anymore, there were 11 ships docked there with 20,000 people buying stuff, no one was willing to come down on any prices, still all and all a great day and a great port.
Progresso was my favorite port, day was short but was really interesting and fun filled, we took the Chichen Itza tour, highly recomended!! Our tour guide was awesome, he was a native to the land and was very proud of his heritage, he was very knowledgable about the land and presented it in laymans terms so everyone could understand, the Mayan ruins were awesome, a sight not to be missed, the pyramid was unreal, hard to climb more than once but really fun to come down from, if you are going to do just one tour, definately consider this one.
Now for the onboard stuff, Meals were awesome, food was good everywhere we went and anytime we went, our wait staff was good, it took a couple days for my wife and Dax our head waiter to gel, but it happened. Our asst waiter Jose was great, I think he was new and he took alot of heat because of it, we witnessed him getting yelled at one day for what we considered a crazy mistake, we could have done without the public berrating of some employees by supervisory staff, this was uncalled for in our opinion, definately something Carnival needs to work on. The guy working the hamburger grill was awesome, he was always smiling no matter how overwhelmed he was, he never seemed to get break, everytime I went up for something I made sure to tell him what a great job he was doing, I suggest everyone do the same, a little kindness goes a long way.
The crews activities dept left alot to be desired, Ronaldo was awesome, we took his crazy dance class and had a blast, even if you are a prude like myself, take the class, you will never see any of these people again, it was a blast. Bingo was very poorly run, they made way to many mistakes causing people to lose, seemed even rigged at some points. The rest of the activities people for the most part were not friendly and always seemed like they would rather be somewhere else, thumbs down to them.
There were an incredible amount of teens on the boat, most were very well mannered and cordial, but as always a few bad apples ruined the bunch, alot of public groping and underage drinking, not alot of policing in there assigned areas.
The shows were great, we went every night and enjoyed them, broke even in the casino which is always nice.
The ship was beautiful and we would highly reccomend it, we would definately do it all over again, we had a blast.
Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Glory by Jennifer Western Caribbean March 13, 2004
The cruise was a blast! I would do it again in a minute. I am a non-smoker and I did not notice the problems with smoke filled rooms like everone else. I was on the 7th floor and heard little ship noise. There was a small ticking in my room for a few of the nights but I was exhausted enough from having fun it was not too much of an inconvenience. The cruise ship picked fantastic people to put us with at the dining table. We had a blast hanging out with them and are going to keep in touch. The food was alright. I did not expect 5 star food so I was not really too disappointed. It was good enough to eat. I ordered 2 dinners on a couple of nights to make sure I ended up with something I liked. The gym was fantastic! They do need to adjust the temperature in the gym (it was a little too warm for people who arew trying to work out). The deck was fun. Even onthe most crowded days you could find 2 chairs together. Belize was a blast. We did the cave tubing and it was SOOOO much fun! We paid 89 for it on the ship and found out we could have done it for 30 once we got to the dock. It was stress free that way though because we knew if we got back late the ship would not leave us behind (we WERE about 45 minutes late getting back to the ship) Cozumel was wonderful. Great Margaritas (go to Pancho's Backyard for lunch they cook with purified water so you do not have to worry about getting sick). The liquor was cheap and the jewelry was really reasonably priced. I love the idea that everything is negotiable. Progresso was a very poor town. I would recommend sticking to the tourist area along the beach for fun in the sun. The water theere looked fine to me and the beach had beautiful sand.
The ship was kind of confusing but it was fun to walk around and explore. For folks who do not enjoy walking a lot I would recommend mapping out the routes or cruising on a smaller ship. I wish the cruise line served more low fat low calorie versions of dinner/lunch/breakfast. The pictures were way too expensive at the end of the cruise. They force you to pay 20 dollars for the 8x10 photo if you wanted smaller versions. Its a rip off. The drinks were good but the "specials" were very sweet and did not really have much liquor in them. They are pre-mixed and you do not make out with the smaller price. The beer was WAY too expensive (4.25 a bottle). I would recommend the late dining so you can stay out on the deck in the sun longer. We had the earlyy dining and we had about an hour and a half to kill every night that could have been better spent soaking up the sunshine. Take a good book or two, and get ready for relaxation if you are going on this cruise. The crew was friendly and everyone seemed to be having a good time
This is my second cruise and we went to the Western Caribbean.
The food on the cruise ship was very good in general. However, some items were bland. The steak and pasta were always great. Also I had coquilles st Jacques that were excellent. My favorite dessert was the crème brulee and tiramisu. We didn't go to the supper club but heard it was outstanding. The breakfast choices were the same every day. And the freestyle dinner buffet was good enough. The grill and pizzeria were usually busy but good. I also enjoyed the sushi bar.
Our wait staff and room steward were friendly and did a great job. The only complaint I had about the staff was the cruise director Stuart. He became really annoying announcing the same sales specials and excursions over the PA system throughout the day. I felt like they were trying to shove their stuff down our throats.
As for our cabin, we were class 4a and did not get upgraded. The cabin was a little small as expected and everything was fine. The cruise ship was beautiful. It was fun to go to the different bars and lounges.On our sailing the karaoke bar was particularly popular. We tried to go dancing a couple times but the disco was always dead.
The shows were good. We particularly enjoyed the comedians on our trip. They had some really funny contests that were later broadcast on the TV.
Ports of Call Costa Maya- no ATM and not any regular vacationers so you are the captive audience. The snorkeling was pretty good. You could walk from the town of Majual to where they had the snorkel excursion. It was about ¼ mile of a swim off shore. Heard the dune buggy excursion was fun.
Belize - There is an ATM at the port. Shopping was the most expensive in this port. We booked our own cave tubing excursion once we got to the port for $65 each and only had 6 people on our tour compared to 30 on the cruise tour. The cruise line tries to make you think you have to disembark later if you don't purchase a tour with them. After waiting 90 minutes we found this was not really true and was a way for them to sell more excursions. There is an ATM at the port.
Cozumel- Went to a little nature preserve and went snorkeling and scuba diving. It was great and the best place to snorkel.
Progresso- we went to Meridia but I don't recommend it. Also went to Zchipulchultan ruins . . .. I recommend buying a tour here when you get to the port. They don't offer a non cruise excursion to Chitzen itza and heard that the actual time at the site was too short. There is an ATM close to the bus stop. The shopping was the best price and most available at this port but quality of some items seemed sketchy.
Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Glory by Copperhead Western Caribbean May 8, 2004
We sailed on Carnival Glory on May 8th to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. It was our third cruise, the most recent being on Carnival Fantasy. I booked on-line and had an upgrade to the Empress deck. We are in our sixties, so this review will be of more interest to older cruisers.
Arrival: We drove. There were no problems finding the ship, but once at the dock there were long automobile lines which were not directed well. We had heavy bags in the truck and there was no help in getting them to the curb. After my husband parked the car across the street and joined me with the bags, things went much faster and we were aboard in no time. It was around 1: 30 and we were able to go directly to our stateroom.
The Ship: It took us a while to figure out why we were not as happy with the ship itself as we were with the Fantasy. More passengers, less public space. We felt crowded when moving about the ship. The deck plan isstrange. For instance, the Platinum Dining room is located at the back of the ship on level three, yet cannot be reached from the main lobby which is on that level. (Go up to level five, and take an elevator back down) Also, the Ship was very rough. Everyone was commenting on it. Sometimes, it would jolt as if hitting a speed bump! Anyone with a tendency to seasickness better pass on this one.
The Service: Great. No complaints. Crew very friendly. The ship is new and was sparkling clean. Many photographers were set up with interesting backgrounds for the perfect cruise picture. The spa prices seemed high, and internet hookups were available but costly also. Tours could be booked on the television in the stateroom which really expedited signing up. You could also check your on-going tab, see the Captains log, and watch any events or shows on the ship you missed. I was surprised it also had the major networks available. There was a daily news letter. We were very informed.
The Entertainment: Two excellent Las Vegas shows. Both male and female vocalists were outstanding, as were the dancers. Comics were great. Had a magic show one night. Great orchestra and lots of music. We enjoyed the cruise director. There was something going on most of the time, and the entertainment spanned all age groups. Around the pool there were events, there was a camp for children, gambling, and even art auctions of art by well known artists. Lots to do while on board.
The Food: Good, but not spectacular. Two formal (resort wear) dining rooms, but only one midnight buffet which we were accustomed to on other cruises, (and the lines were unmanageable to get to it.) Instead there was cafeteria type dining available all the time. This was convenient when returning from tours in the middle of the afternoon or for people who didn't want to get out of the shorts and tank tops. The various buffets had every type of food, from oriental, to Italian, to American, to seafood; there was also a grille, a deli, a pizzeria, and lots of desserts. You can't go hungry. There were two true formal-dress dining evenings; one to meet the Captain, the other the farewell dinner. You can now bring a limited amount of fine wine, which we did, saving on the liquor costs.
The Ports: Opps.problem here. There were some upset people who did not know Key West had been changed to Costa Maya until on board. Apparently the change occurred less than thirty days before sailing. Costa Maya is a port designed only for cruise ships, and is pretty much a waste of time. I had looked forward to Key West, myself. Many passengers agreed that we had rather skip Costa Maya for more time in the other three ports, but that's not gonna happen. The other ports had great tour opportunities to fit any interests, with the only problem being the rush, rush, rush. For instance, out of Progreso we were bussed 2 ½ hours on a/c Mercedes busses to view the Chichen-Itza Mayan ruins.($77 each) Had a brief two hours there, which should have been at least twice as long, and then 2 ½ hours back because of the short span of time in port. Most of the tours and the activities (scuba diving, tubing, biking, snorkeling, etc), are crunched for time. We loved the ruins, and also our tour of Belize City and the natural habitat Zoo, ($49 ea.) which was about thirty miles out in the country. Both tour guides were excellent. Saw the Mexican Folk Show in Cozumel, ($39 each) which was good, but timed so we could not see downtown Cozumel which was suppose to be part of that tour.
Departure: A piece of cake. Handled very efficiently even for those of us who elected to have our bags picked up the night before. Some athletic individuals elected to carry their bags themselves and got to go first, along with those with early flights. Customs was no problem. This time there were porters everywhere who would take the bags all the way to the car in the parking deck. We were driving away by 9:30 am.
Overall impression: In spite of the excellent entertainment, service and constant availably of different foods, I don't think I would cruise again on Glory because of the sense of being crammed and crowded.