December 2013 - Carnival Glory to Caribbean
This cruise was the best for fun, activities and nonstop action. I have cruised for many years with different cruise lines, but this cruise was by far, the wildest cruise ever. This was due to the cruise director, Matt Mitcham and his assistant cruise director, Dr. E. These young, 20-something guys were entertaining and they kept the activities going. They were like a professional comedy team. I have never seen so much dancing and so many smiles on a cruise before. These guys get 5-stars.
The ship was very nice. The rooms, the venues, the dining areas and the ship layout were all great - clean and roomy.
There was an added feature on the Glory that was extremely nice - the Serenity Spa. This was an area on the upper decks that was designated for adults only. It featured nice cushioned sofas, chairs, large loveseats and chaise lounges - an upgrade from the standard chairs and lounges in the other pool areas. The Serenity Spa has it's own bar and two jacuzzis. It is the perfect getaway when you need time to break away from the party atmosphere. This area was a sweet surprise for me. Grab the MP3 player and the Kindle and just relax for hours... There is also an adults only pool on the rear of the ship if you want to take a dip without having Billy and the rest of the kids doing cannonballs in your face and yelling "Marco Polo" all afternoon.
The ports were good, but as usual, we never spend enough time in the port cities. I think that all cruise ships should dock in their port cities at daybreak and leave at night - giving the passengers at least 10 hours to visit the port cities. It seems like we only stay in the ports long enough for the passengers to come back from their paid excursions.
The stage shows were great. I've seen many Broadway-type shows with live bands on all of the cruise ships, but I have to say that Carnival's scaled-down "DIVAS" show was the best that I have ever seen on any ship. The cast of eight dancers and singers put on excellent shows and the ship used plasma screens and sets on the stage that enhanced the experience of each show. The featured comedians were great too.
The only thing that made me give the rating of 4-Stars instead of 5-Stars was the dining. Carnival still goes with the traditional dress and dine at assigned tables thing. That's cool for the folks who want to do it. They also have their version of "Anytime Dining", but you still have to be assigned to tables. For those people who chose to just dine in the buffet area for dinner, the food selection is sort of small and limited. Carnival could learn a thing or two about managing the passenger dining seating from Royal Caribbean.
Overall, this was the best cruise that I have ever taken. I spent less time in my stateroom than I ever have on a cruise. There were too many activities happening that i didn't want to miss. i have to say it again - this was THE BEST CRUISE EVER!!!