Number of Cruises: 8
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Glory
Sailing Date: July 7th, 2007
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Glory Cruise Review
This was our 8th cruise, all but one of
which was on Royal Caribbean ships. It is very difficult not to compare ships,
service, food to what you are accustomed to and Glory certainly did better than
RCCL in some instances.
On a seven day cruise we had 3 ports (Nassau, St Thomas & St Maarten) and 3 days at sea. One more port would have made a better itinerary; too many sea days on this one.
Embarkation: I would certainly advise everyone to fill out the online pre-boarding information as this definitely does speed up your boarding process. Before you get on the first long line you see, please DO stop by one of the boarding desks because you still need to check in!
Debarkation: I have read many reviews which stated that this process was like “dismemberment” (LOL) and generally very bad. (I guess!!!) To the contrary, I timed the process and from the time they called our floor to leave until the time we made it past US Customs, it was 45 minutes total. We did opt to take our own bags off (they call this “Self-Assist”) and we definitely will do this again as we saw many bags on the turnstile waiting for owners to pick them up. I believe we did very well taking our own baggage off. The longest part of the wait was when we were on line to take the 2 down escalators to get to the first floor where Customs is. With large pieces of luggage, Port Canaveral had only 2 women there trying to help people down the escalators and this slowed the process down. But 45 minutes…hey, I can’t complain!
Bingo: We like Bingo. RCCL does a fantastic job with Bingo. Carnival needs to take a lesson from RCCL on this. The Bingo Boy “Mark” left the door open as the balls circulated all over the stage. He got a vacationer to help him pick up the balls but he never did a recount to make sure he had them all. At 2 other games, the power went out and they lost track of what numbers they had called in the middle of the games! In addition, Carnival set the games up to make some big bucks off of them by having very stingy pots ($100 per game and $1000 only on the last day plus they raffled off one cruise for 2 which they sold tickets for). RCCL pots were around $250-$500+ daily and $14,000.00 on the last day! AND they raffled off cruises daily. Kudos, RCCL. Carnival sees Bingo as a money-maker for them. RCCL puts the money back to the pot. Carnival should give up the game…
Excursions: As we have been this Eastern way several times prior, we passed on excursions and just wanted to enjoy time off with no plans. Very nice!
Room: We were upgraded to a balcony on the 8th floor (room 8255). We were in the front of the ship just below the Lido deck where the food was and three decks up from the “Meat Locker” the Amber Palace where shows and Bingo were held. We were NOT impressed with the room. Not only was the room small but the balcony was half the size of RCCL. Also, no flat screen TV BUT the station selection was far better than Royal’s Freedom, for example. But the room was well-positioned on the ship.
Service/Tipping: The service in general was good - we had no complaints except about our dining room waiter. Carnival automatically adds $70 per person to your room charges. We had this removed as we like to give tips to those who service us directly. Remove this at your friendly Purser’s desk. Here’s a thought: if 2 people stay in ONE room, why should they BOTH be charged?
Entertainment: Generally good. Instead of having an Ice Palace they had us sitting in Carnival’s version of one in the Amber Palace which was so cold you could hang meat in there. Be advised, if you take this ship, bring sweatpants, sweatshirts, a jacket, mittens and earmuffs. IT IS COLD and three people in my party got sick from it. The second and third floors were a bit warmer. Not much. The Dancers were good but the male lead singer was off key a lot and they had a male comedian who was better than we expected.
Gym: The gym was rather lacking; certainly not as well-rounded as RCCL. Also a lot smaller. Has a nice sized steam and sauna and was clean with plenty of towels. Get there early…No TVs on the equipment like RCCL has…
Food: Very much to our surprise, the food was very good. We ate in the Platinum restaurant 3 times (our dining room waiter missed a few orders so we bypassed him) and upstairs on the Lido deck the rest of the time. The omelet station server and the pasta station servers were very good. With the exception of the numerous children scurrying around the dining area, the trays and plates and silverware were all clean, drink stations were well organized and the coffee was definitely better than RCCL’s “Seattle’s Best”.
Supper Club: ** But the ULTIMATE food experience was at the Supper Club restaurant. For a mere $30.00 per person, we greatly enjoyed an incredibly well-done dining experience. It is by reservation only and had we known about it sooner, we would have dined there several more nights. The service by our head waitress Elena was superb. The entire staff was attentive to every detail of the meal; not once did we have to ask for anything. The food was the best I have had in a long while: the presentation of the food was like artwork; the most delicious lobster bisque, fork-tender filet mignon with grilled vegetables and a trio of deserts and specialties from the chef between each glorious course. And it was not “stuffy” at all; smart casual attire was more than acceptable. I would take another cruise on Glory just for this experience alone. It was that good. I could not close my review on a better note!