Carnival Glory Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western
Review SummaryIt's not a good sign when the only highlights of a cruise take place off the ship, but that is exactly what happened on my recent cruise on the Carnival Glory. My wife and I had high expectations, as it was a New Years cruise, but ended up fairly disappointed and most likely will never cruise with Carnival again. I would also like to add the disclaimer that I have cruised before, both on Carnival and other cruiselines, so the following complaints are not just the impressions of some naive first-timer.
But first, the positives. 3 of the 4 stops (Cozumel, Isla Roatan, and Grand Cayman) were very pleasant, especially Isla Roatan, which has not yet been overly commercialized. However, I should say that my wife and I complelety ignored Carnival's suggestions and excursions at these ports and instead relied on local cab drivers to take us to less crowded beaches and show us around (I do speak Spanish, and this was helpful in Cozumel and Isla Roatan). Belize was the one stop where we paid ($140 for two) to go on a snorkeling excursion that was nice, but certainly not worth the price considering we had much better snorkeling experiences in the 3 other stops for free (we brought our own masks and snorkels and snorkeled right off the beaches). Plus, Belize City is a dump. In fact, Carnival employees on board referred to Belize as a dump, basically forcing you to book an excursion or stay on the ship, which, as I will explain now, was not a desirable option.
The ship had a variety of problems, the first of which was overcrowding. I understand that cruise ships are by nature going to be crowded, however I have never been on a cruise before were the crowds had such a negative effect on the experience. We chose the "your time" dining option, which was a huge mistake, as we had to wait an average of 30 minutes every night to be seated. Not only that, on the first "elegant" evening, we waited 25 minutes in line just to get a pager, which finally rang 45 minutes later. That's right, 1 hour and ten minutes to be seated for dinner.
Now, I would almost be ok with that if the food were of superior quality. However, it was decidedly below average. This was particularly frustrating, as the menu items sounded as if they would be served at an upscale restaurant (roasted breast of quail with duck liver for example), but once they arrived and my wife and I tasted them, they were awful. Every soup, appetizer, and entree was completely bereft of seasoning, making everything unbelievably bland. This was exacerbated by the inferior quality of the meat and seafood. I've had better steak at mediocre chain restaurants, and even the lobster tail, which is hard to screw up, was grainy and mushy.
Well, at least you could drown your sorrows in booze right? Not exactly. For one, the alcohol was ridiculously overpriced: $8.75 for cocktails and $6 beers. Secondly, the cocktails tasted just as awful as the food and they clearly short-changed you on the liquor.
Still, you could at least enjoy a nice show after your terrible meal and inferior drinks, right? Wrong again. I've seen more talented "dancers" in high school show choirs, and the lead male vocalist was mediocre (the lead female vocalist was actually fairly talented and a pleasant surprise). Now look, I get that these people are performing on a cruise ship for a reason, but still, I expect something semi-professional and this was at the high school level at best. The dancers also wore outfits that were extremely skimpy, which I have no problem with, but unfortunately did not flatter some of the dancers, one of which was just chunky, there's not other way to put it. Is that harsh? Yes, but no one wants to see a jiggly gut for an hour-long show (my wife is a dance teacher and agreed that the dancing was mediocre and that the one overweight dancer was particularly distracting).
I am now out of room, but I will include more specific comments below.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Ports of Call
Don't Miss: West End or West Bay beaches
Pros: 3 of the 4 Ports (Cozumel, Isla Roatan, Grand Cayman)
Cons: Any time spent on the ship