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Tom Burke

Age: 49

Occupation:Minister

Number of Cruises: 8

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Glory

Sailing Date: 2008-09-27

Itinerary: Eastern

We drove to Port Canaveral from Tallahassee on Saturday morning. This is the eighth cruise for my wife and I and third on the Glory. This was our first time on the Eastern run. We traveled with friends from Panama City who were on their third cruise. We arrived at 11:00 am and had to wait for about 15 min to start unloading. Parking was $105 dollars which really hurts those of us on a budget. The lines were already forming but we were on the ship before 12. I have read many reviews that give the impression that the Glory is showing its age, I disagree. The ship was very clean and well maintained. The crew was friendly and in good spirits. We headed up to the lido deck for lunch. My wife loves the fish and chips. She had knee surgery a couple of months ago and has trouble climbing stairs so when she saw nothing on the buffet she liked it was my privilege to get her first fish and chips of the trip. We then walked the ship for a short tour before heading to our room. We had upgraded to an ocean view room a few weeks back when the price dropped and were very glad we did. We were in cabin 2446 which is in the port aft section of the ship. Our room was larger than the inside stateroom and we had a great view. This room was also close to the aft elevator which came in handy at times although it made for a long walk to the Amber Palace show lounge. The cruise director for this trip was Butch Begovich. He was a blast. He did a super job. We dined in the Golden Dining room for the 6pm seating. We were at table 229 upper. This table is in the upstairs area next to the rail overlooking the main floor. Our waiters were Mario from Guatemala and Eddie from the Philippines. These guys were great. It does appear that Carnival has given the wait staff more tables to serve but these guys were more than up to the task. They cheerfully filled every request and spoke to us every time we saw them on the ship. We have had some great wait staff on previous cruises but these guys were the best. Sunday - Nassau We arrived in Nassau at about 8am. It being Sunday, many of the stores were closed. We did not plan a shore excursion as we have been to Nassau several times. One of my medications was left at home by accident so we walked downtown to a pharmacy. It did not open until 10 am so we walked around and went in to the few shops that were open. When we retuned to the pharmacy I was able to get my medication at a great price. We then walked back to the ship for a round of hot tub and pool hop. The cover over the back pool was closed and we got a few showers. We pulled out at 2 pm and the word came later that two people hade missed the ship and would have to rejoin us in St, Thomas. It was formal night and captains cocktail party so we were dressed up early to have our pictures taken. At $20 each for 8 x 10 we take a bunch so that we can be picky. The show with the Glory dancers was great. Monday - Fun Day at sea It was a beautiful sunny day to layout by the pool. I also took part in Butch's disco line dancing class. It was super fun. It was then shown on the in house network about 500 times during the rest of the cruise. We also had dinner at the Emerald Room the upscale supper club. It is an additional $30 per person and there is a space for tipping. The prime rib, crab cake, Caesar salad and chocolate tart were scrumptious. Tuesday - St. Thomas We have been to St. Thomas before. We booked a tour through www.godfreytoursvi.com again. Godfrey loves his island and always gives a great tour. You have to wait and go through the immigration procedure when you arrive. You wait on your floor to be called then go through the line on the promenade deck. Our friends floor was never called so we lost an hour of shopping. Godfrey dropped us off at Coki beach for two hours. We had brought our snorkels and rented a chair and umbella for $15. It was great. Wednesday - St. Maarten This was our first time ever visiting this stop. It was beautiful there. This is a very mountainous island. We booked a tour with Exquisite Excursions through www.stmaartenexcursions.com were we could take a jeep ride through town and then ride Rhino Riders- small raft like boats with 25 horse power motors on them. This was so much fun. Then we went snorkeling off the boat for about 1 hour. My wife doesn't like small boats so the guide let her ride with her in the guide boat. After that we went got back in the jeeps and she took us to an area in town where we could get something to eat. This was an experience because they didn't speak a lot of English and their menus were in French. They also use euros as their currency. We found a place to eat and got a hamburger and fries. The cost was around $18.00. After lunch our tour guide took us to Orient Beach to take pictures and then took us back to the ship. If we would have booked this cruise on the ship it would have cost us $180.00 each but with them it was only $109.00 each. This trip was great. Thursday and Friday - Fun Days at Sea Thursday was a great day with lots of Sun. We spent time on the deck and then back to the water slide. I did get tired of the walk up but not the slide. This was also the evening of the second formal night and the past guest reception. It was fun to get dressed up and take a few more pictures. Friday was rainy but we took the opportunity to have some fun people watching in the casino. I am not a gambler but I am fascinated by those who spend so much time at the tables. I did put .50 in a slot machine and won $16. Walk away while you are ahead. This was also the night for my favorite desert - grand mariner souffle. This in my humble, but accurate opinion is one of the big three with warm chocolate melting cake and bitter and banc completing the big three. This is also the night we decided to self assist to get off the ship faster. Saturday - Debarkation One last trip to the dining room for eggs Benedict at 6:30 am and then wait. We were just getting to the pier so we had time. We went back to the room to wait for our floor to be called and at 8 am they called the second floor. My wife took the small bag and the carry ons which left me with the BIG suitcase and the bag for the hanging clothes. I was pushing the stuff out the door of our cabin when it got stuck on the lip of the door. I gave it one final push and over I went. I flew over the bags and landed in the hallway. I swear there had only been 12 people in that hallway all week – now there were hundreds including a cabin steward who was now eating a towel to keep from laughing out loud. I did not enjoy the self assist but we were on the road by 8:30. Closing comments - 1.There was a obvious outbreak of nor virus on the ship, but there were no announcements. The staff was serving at the buffets and people were missing. 2. The band did a super job. The Mardi Gras parade and dancing for older folks was great. This was a fantastic cruise and Carnival still has the magic. Please email me at tomythmin@hotmail.com for details on the shore excursions.

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