April 2015 - Carnival Glory to Caribbean - Eastern
We have taken multiple Carnival cruises and our younger family members as well as retired family members and their friends love cruising. However, this seems to be our last cruise, at least for the foreseeable future.
With great anticipation, we were looking forward to this cruise. Now that our young children have gotten more mobile (4, 6 yrs) we eagerly looked forward to creating a more interactive beach and water-filled family experience. Instead, we got a more cabin-locked experience that was great for our lazy bones but not much for memory building.
The three biggest reasons: (a) not enough activities for families with young children. Teenage and adults can always find things to do- with lots of sun, a great spa, lounge chairs, and a little booze, anything is great with these self-entertaining age groups. There was practically NOTHING for parents and small children. The camps were great daycare not much of a family experience. (b) beach ports were terrible: When you have 2-3 ships each with approximately 3,000+ people docking at the same time- that is about 6000-9000 people battling for a few options for transportation to beaches and destinations. The whole purpose of a Caribbean cruise, which was to be near/in the water got lost. By the time we finally got to the beaches, we had exactly 1 hour to enjoy the beach. In fact, our of our 7 day cruise, we spent a grand total of 2 hours in the beach water. (1 hour in St. Maarten because of trouble finding transportation to the beach; Puerto Rico was more of a site-seeing port, an Turks was AWFUL having to swim next to the industrial waters of the ports- not to mention the horse manure in the water; for our health and safety, we left after an hour which was probably an hour too long). (c) Amenities are lower-quality; felt like a budget-friendly cruise: Cabin servicer was wonderful but seems like the excitement and over-the-top friendliness (hallmark of a cruising experience) among the ship's staff was absent. On many occasions, they sounded annoyed or agitated when asked for something simple as directions around the ship. Shopping was extremely limited in quality and options. Just more of the cheap trinkets.
Overall, we had a decent time but I would not recommend this cruising- at least with Carnival. On our part, we have no plans to book another anytime soon.