February 2015 - Carnival Glory to Caribbean - Western
We cruised on the Carnival Glory two years and have cruised Carnival many times. We planned this cruise around the itinerary and chose the Glory based on past experience. The cruise was fantastic, with the heat, sun, activities and food we have come to expect from past cruises. We ate dinner each night in the Platinum dinning room, early seating, except for one night in the steak house. The food in both was amazing, more than meeting our expectations.
Sea days were crowded on the deck, but we were up at a reasonable hour and got a couple chairs on the back deck one day and the Serenity deck the other. The first port of Cozumel we took the ferry to Playa del Carmen and met friends for the day. We chose to purchase ferry tickets through the shore excursion desk. It actually ended up saving us money!
In Belize we booked the zip line and cave tubing excursion through Carnival. We had a great time hiking through the jungle of Belize, seeing a real, wild Toucan and being introduced to a variety of local vegetation by our nature guide. We then went tubing through a mile long cave large enough to build a hotel in. It was a great time and a beautiful location. the tubes were linked together by rope to that we could relax and take in the scenery while the guide swam us though the cave, avoiding rocks and other tubers. We then went on to Zip lining! This is something everyone of able body has to try at some point. It is exhilarating zipping along above (and through!) the trees of the jungle from platform to platform.
In Roatan we decided that we would take it easy, spending the day at Mahogany Bay beach. We rented a clamshell, floats and brought along our snorkeling gear. After laying in the sun, people watching and swimming we donned our snorkels and masks and found out that Mahogany Bay is one of the best snorkeling sites we had been to up to that point that cost nothing extra! Just head to the far side of the beach by the wharf and climb in, swim away from the dock and look around.
In Grand Cayman we went swimming with the Stingrays with MOBY DICK tours. The tenders from the cruise ship were poorly organized (*we were told it was Grand Cayman's issue, there were five ships at anchor that day) and it took three hours to get off the ship! We waited and watched as tenders came and went empty, with no information given to us about why things weren't moving along. Once we finally made it to shore we had assumed we had missed the excursion, but no, the rep from Moby Dick Tours was waiting for us with, leading us to a boat and heading out to the reef!! It turns out that Moby Dick's added an extra trip just for those of us that were late getting off the Glory! I can't say how happy I was for this. We went swimming with the stingrays, an experience you can't even put into words properly. Spent 45 minutes snorkeling the reef seeing hundreds of fish and coral as well.
All in all this was great trip!! If I had to come up with some negatives I would say that Carnival needs to work on its ships a little more. The Glory is showing its age, and the wear and year of 3000 people every week. Some paint and elbow grease would bring everything back up to the level I expect form a cruise ship. I also found cutbacks to the service staff and the services in general in order to save costs onboard were very obvious. I have cruised with Carnival 9 times, and this one stood out for this, sadly.
All in all I would have to say that I really enjoyed this cruise and would suggest anyone that has the opportunity book the Western Caribbean, looking at the excursions we tried and one way or the other, enjoy the warmth and the sun of the Caribbean.