It's a bit late, but this is the first chance I've had, so please forgive me. We had a group of eleven: two sets of parents around the 50's mark, a gang of 20somethings, and a lone 15 year old. This was the first cruise for about half of the group. The other half sailed the Glory last summer on it's very first sailing to the eastern Caribbean. We enjoyed our first cruise so much that we brought some more friends and decided to head West!
The Glory sails out of Port Canveral, Florida. We have family in Orlando. The port is an easy 45 min drive from Orlando, so we put our relatives to work and used them as a taxi service and their house as a hotel. We arrived in Orlando a day prior to sailing. The reason? Not to have a relaxing day. No, the girls wanted to shop. Although, I think the guys ended up with the better deals. Premium Outlets had some amazing deals!
So, after re-packing my suitcase with all my new stuff, we hopped in our "taxis" and headed to the port. I think we got there around 11:15pm. Yes, we did complete the funpass, but it didn't even matter. We waited in line for 37 seconds. It was amazing! My advice: get there EARLY! After we all checked in, and took the first group photo of 50, we were walking onto the ship!
We had three cabins in a row. We were on the Rivera level...at the very bottom. I don't have any experience to go around comparing cabins. Personally, I love theinterior cabins. We are never in our room except to sleep, and there seems no better place to sleep than a dark interior cabin. I never really knew who our room attendent was. We intially had problems with towels and the beds not being separated. After talking to five different people the problem was fixed. Apparently, housekeeping's list had only two occupants in our room. After we corrected the mistake, it was smooth sailing. We never saw our room attendent, so I assume it was one of the five intial people we spoke with. All in all, no complaints about the room or the service. Oh, I have to mention room service. They were great. Even when we ordered 20 chocolate milks to mix with our smuggled Malibu, it wasn't a problem. The woman who delivered it had a good laugh.
On to dining... We had the 830pm seating in the Platinum restaraunt. The put all eleven of us at one table - no problem. Our head waiter was Marcin from Poland. He had an extremely dry sense of humor and I loved it! Mario from Venezuela? was his assistant. He was a very cool and charming guy - felt like a long lost friend. The two had very different personalities and styles, and that is what I enjoyed so much. We couldn't have asked for better! The food was good. Again, I don't have anything to compare it to, but we all certainly enjoyed it. We left each night stuffed well beyond capacity. Also, I should mention we are Indian, and one night the kitchen prepared a special Indian meal for only our table. What service huh? As for lunch, we ate in the Red Sail. Buffet, fish and chips, asian, deli, the grill, pizza - there was plenty to choose from. The 24hr pizza, which we raided each night after the club, was a favorite. Carnival can't do cheesecake, but they can do pizza for sure!
When we weren't stuffing our faces, we were doing some kind of activity. There is so much to write about, I don't even know how to organize it. Sorry, but it is all going to be thrown together.
There is plenty to do on the ship, and I don't think we covered half of it. The waterslide, ping-pong, arcade, and the lido deck in general were all favorites. We brought a soccer ball in our luggage and were kicked off the basketball court because we were playing after hours. Even though they don't lock them up, the courts shutdown at 530pm. I enjoyed the gym at 6am on a couple days. In the afternoon, I never found it extremely crowded, but it's so much nicer in the early morning.
We attended Ronaldo's salsa class and had too much fun. He was a very funny guy, plus it was a dance we used several other times during the cruise! I highly advise everyone to do it! None of our group enjoys the Vegas-style shows, so we didn't go to any. We did make it to Justin Illusion - a magic show. And, while I found it somewhat homo-erotic at times, it was a decent show.
Our main evening activity was the White Heat Dance Club! We were there every night from open to close. We are all dance-aholics and I can't say enough about this place. The DJ spun some great music and played almost every request we had. Good times. On, and you can't miss the Lido Deck party... even more dancing and a lot of fun! Did I mention I brought home three gold ships on sticks? I won two dance contests, and my group did a dance for the talent show. You thought I was kidding when I said dance-aholics?
Ports of Call: Costa Maya, Belize, Cozumel, Progreso. I'll mention a few things about the ports, but, if you're interested, you should check out our pics. They explain much more.
Costa Maya: It was very manufactured, but I didn't mind. I'm not saying I would go back, but spending a few hours there is hardly torture. I am glad we took some advice from the boards and went to Majahaul. You can read about it on the Costa Maya board. It was a great place to have a beach day - very laid back. $5 roundtrip cab ride. You won't be disappointed. One thing I shouldn't leave out, my girlfriend had a massage on the beach in Majahaul (30min/$20). She said it was the best massage of her life.
Belize: We booked a shark/ray alley snorkel with Coral Breeze. (http://www.coralbreezelimited.com) It was an AWESOME trip. The staff, the snorkel sites, the lunch - it was all excellent. They have a top notch operation going and I wouldn't hesitate to book them again.
Cozumel: We booked a 3-reef snorkel with Eagle Ray Divers. (http://www.eagleraydivers) Yes, we love to snorkel. This was another trip that blew away my expectations. There were more fish in Cozumel than Belize, but we booked Belize soley for the sahrks and rays, so each excrusion was unique. The free Coronas for the ride home also added a nice touch. We are hoping to doing the beginner scuba with Eagle Ray next time we are in Coz. Carlos and Charlie's was on the list, but we didn't end up with enough time.
Progreso: Two Coronas for $1. Progreso ended up being a nice litte port to chill out in. We had some drinks, bought some gifts, had some fun. I was pleased. Also, there was a great mexican drum band at the port building along with some dancing Sol girls. We did a bit more dancing and really had a good time. I wish we had made it there earlier in the day.
I think that wraps it up. Getting off the ship was no sweat. I am sure I left things out, so please feel free to ask any questions.