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Jeffrey Huff

Age: 37

Occupation:Property Management

Number of Cruises: 6

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Glory

Sailing Date: 01-31-2009

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

We upgraded to a suite a couple of weeks before the cruise, so arrival and embarkation at the pier were quite nice. For those not in the know, traveling in a suite entitles you to VIP check-in. Once we arrived at the pier, we were escorted to a private office and although there was a short wait, we were not made to stand in line. While we waited for an available agent to check us in, we sat on a comfortable couch away from the crowds. After check-in we were kept separate from the masses with other VIP guests and we were escorted on the ship before everyone else. Once we were able to get to the room, that is when the disappointments began. The room steward introduced himself, as usual, and we requested the twin beds be converted to a queen. Although this is a common request, the steward actually asked if he could do this the next night, because he was "busy." The cruise was Saturday through Saturday, however, it was not until Thursday that we got a "pillow menu" that we were told was part of the suite experience. We had to request a 2nd bath robe because only one was present. The door closer to the bathroom broke and it took three days of complaining to the steward AND to the pursers desk before it was addressed. The first night I went to use the mini-bar, I noticed things were not getting cold and much to my surprise I found a half drank can of Orange juice from the previous guest. The steward actually told me the mini-fridge was more of a cooler and that I should not expect it to get cold. Strangely, once the seal was replaced on the fridge, things miraculously got cold. We made several trips to the purser's desk to complain about the service from the cabin steward, which only resulted in him confronting us about our valid complaints. On Thursday of the cruise, his manager came to the room and apologized for his service, but still nothing improved. Our dining experience was no better, we were often left at the table with empty glasses (of water) or we were made to wait an inordinate amount of time (based on our past cruises). The server seemed rushed and inattentive at best. I can honestly say the food on this cruise was by far the worst I have experienced. Items were routinely cold and the variety was rather limited. Even based on the three prior Carnival cruises, this was an overall disappointment. The stateroom itself was very nicely appointed. We had hardwood floors in the foyer, a separate dressing room, a large bathroom with a whirlpool tub and double vanity sink. The extra large balcony was a nice touch, also. Having upgraded to a suite, I am a bit spoiled now and can't imagine booking anything less than that on future cruises (which won't be on Carnival). We did the cycling class in the gym, which was fun but grueling. Other than the gym, we really did not partake of any of the shows, simply because if you've seen one you've seem them all. In Nassau we did the deep water dolphin encounter at Atlantis which was worth every penny. Be advised, though, that the photos are NOT cheap. The cheapest package of photos with the CD containing your photos is $150. I didn't so much mind the price as I minded not being made aware in advance of the cost. I can only wonder how many folks who weren't expecting this added expense, left without their photos. On the advise of a friend who used to live in St. Thomas, we took a taxi to Red Hook and then a ferry to St. John and then another taxi to Trunk Bay. Of all of our travels in the Caribbean, and we've been to a lot of islands, this was our favorite. It was so peaceful, unspoiled and simply beautiful. There is usually a $4 fee to enter the park, but due to high surf it was not charged during our visit. The snorkeling trail was closed as result of the surf, also. In St. Maarten we visited Orient Beach which is among my favorites, also. We were able to open a bar tab on the beach and just relax. The waves were perfect for body surfing here, although I got sunburnt pretty bad. This is a topless / clothing optional beach, so be advised. The people of St. Maarten are among the nicest I have experienced in my travels, it's no wonder it's known as the friendly isle. While overall the experience on the Carnival Glory was disappointing, the ports themselves were quite nice. Given their seeming resistance to address the issues which occurred during this cruise, we have decided that going forward we will no longer travel on Carnival Cruise Lines. We have done two previous cruises on Royal Caribbean (Alaska and Bahamas) and the services on Royal Caribbean far surpasses what one can expect on Carnival. As a veteran of the armed service, I get a discount on Carnival (not on Royal), but I would much rather pay a few hundred dollars more to have a better experience.

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