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 is strange. 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.