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  #1  
Old September 22nd, 2008, 07:04 PM
blackrose602 blackrose602 is offline
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Default Carnival Glory vs. Carnival Victory -- Reviews and Comparison

We are just back from the Carnival Victory 9/13 7 day New England cruise, and the Carnival Glory 8/16 7 day Eastern Caribbean. The two cruises were like night and day, so I wanted to provide reviews and comparisons for anyone who is curious about the differences. I do have photos, but decided not to include them here in order to avoid confusing things. I can start a separate thread with photos if anyone wants to see them.

The Players:
Me - Lisa, early 30s
Dad - Andy, mid-50s

These were our fourth and fifth cruises, third and fourth on Carnival. Both were booked last minute (3 weeks ahead of sailing on the Glory, 10 days ahead of sailing on the Victory).

Pre-Cruise
Glory
We live in Orlando, so we just drove to Port Canaveral. Dad has a disabled placard and wheelchair ramp for his van, so we got free parking at the port. Port Canaveral no longer honors just a disabled placard for free parking, there must be actual modifications to the vehicle.

Victory
We flew to Manhattan the day before, which was a good thing as our flight was delayed. We love staying in youth hostels, but our last minute planning meant that most in NYC were unavailable. We ended up at the Chelsea International Hostel, in a third floor walkup (no elevator). Dad has a mobility scooter, which we ended up having to chain up in the breezeway. Then the cleaning staff managed to soak the scooter with water (very bad for the electrical components). Staff was rude and unhelpful. The location was great, convenient and safe, but I can't recommend that hostel. The HI hostel, where we stayed post-cruise, was much better and had an elevator. More on that later.

Embarkation
Glory
We were running late for a variety of reasons, and it was pouring rain when we arrived. Miraculously, however, the clouds parted just as we parked. Since Dad uses the scooter, we are allowed to use the VIP check-in. It was simple, easy and quick. Despite our late arrival, we had plenty of time to settle into our cabin and hit the Lido buffet before the lifeboat drill.

Victory
We arrived by taxi at about 12:30. Again we were allowed to use the VIP line, so our wait was minimal. Carnival staff was very gracious and helpful. No problems whatsoever.

Cabins
Glory
We decided to try our first modified cabin. Dad used to leave his scooter at the Purser's desk or just outside the cabin door, but we were advised by our PVP that Carnival's new policy is that all wheelchairs and scooters must be kept inside the cabin. So we opted for a modified inside cabin on deck 10, cabin #1007. I have photos of the cabin if anyone is curious about the modified layout.

As it turns out, we didn't actually need the modified cabin. Our steward, Michael, recommended that we park the scooter outside the door since we were at the end of a hall. It worked out great!

Our cabin was at the very front of the ship, just steps from an open but little-known balcony. Unfortunately, the Captain made the decision to lock the balcony door a few days in, due to high winds. Still, it was nice while it lasted.

Victory
There were no modified cabins left in our price category, so we took a regular inside cabin on deck 8, cabin #8279. Dad's scooter is quite small and maneuverable, and we were able to get it through the door and into the cabin with no problems. We rearranged the furniture slightly, and the scooter wasn't in the way at all.

Coming up next... comparisons of the ships, the crew and the onboard activities. I'll be working on updates all evening.

Lisa
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  #2  
Old September 22nd, 2008, 07:08 PM
TakeMeAway1001 TakeMeAway1001 is offline
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Looking forward to reading more, thanks for sharing
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  #3  
Old September 22nd, 2008, 07:49 PM
blackrose602 blackrose602 is offline
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Part Two -- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Ships
Glory
The Carnival Glory is a newer ship, Conquest Class, inaugural voyage was in 2003. The ship's theme is Colors, and it is extremely well executed. Each room has an overriding color scheme, from the warm Amber Palace show lounge to the brilliant White Heat disco to the dramatic red of the Cinn-A-Bar. By far, the Glory has my favorite decorating scheme.

The ship is big but easy to navigate. I knew my way around by the second day.

Incidentally, if you are on the Glory, look for the giant eagle hanging on the wall in the center atrium. That's an internal Carnival award that goes to the ship with the best customer ratings. The Glory staff is understandably proud of the award, which it has won for several years in a row. The ship also received a nearly unprecedented perfect 100 on its latest health inspection.

Victory
The theme is the sea, and the ship itself is beautiful. Although it entered service in 2000 (Destiny Class), the decor is very reminiscent of old world ocean liners. Very peaceful, and surprisingly refined for a Carnival ship (I say that with love, as Carnival is my favorite line).

Having just sailed on the Glory, the Victory was exceptionally easy to navigate. The two ships are practically identical in layout, although the Glory is a bit bigger. The Glory has a supper club, while the Victory has the Seaside Theater.

Cruise Director
This is where the major differences between the two cruises begin. Butch, on the Glory, is my favorite cruise director ever. Malcolm, on the Victory, is my least favorite ever.

Glory
I can't say enough about how much I loved Butch! He does a morning show every day, which was a great way to wake up. He's extremely available around the ship, always making time to talk with guests. He was at the door greeting attendees for both the Captain's Cocktail Party and the Past Guest Party, and was always easy to find at other times. One of my favorite memories was sitting at the casino bar late at night drinking with Butch and several of the dancers and cruise staff, sharing stories. He really set a tone that made cruisers feel like honored guests.

Victory
Malcolm certainly has potential, as he was funny and personable on stage. However, he was completely unavailable. He delegated most of his show-hosting responsibilities to the cruise staff (primarily Dave, who strongly deserves a promotion!). He made his obligatory appearance at the parties, but did not greet guests or make any effort beyond what was required. We actively went looking for Malcolm around the ship, to see if we just hadn't happened to bump into him, and he was nowhere to be found for days.

I was willing to give Malcolm the benefit of the doubt until the Legends show the last night. This is a show in which guests star as famous musical legends. The cruise director always puts in an appearance as Dolly Parton. After the show, the cruise director and entertainers lead the guest stars out into the atrium for a sort of meet and greet with the audience.

When Butch did this on the Glory, it was a wonderful chance to mingle with the entertainers, as well as give the stars of the night their fifteen minutes of fame and adulation. The after-show meet and greet was easily an hour long.

When Malcolm did the same show, he made the obligatory trek to the Atrium. Several guests tried to stop him to congratulate him on his performance and express their thanks for the cruise, and Malcolm just made a beeline for the door. He barely acknowledged anyone, and practically bowled people over in his quest to escape. The entertainment staff and cruise staff followed suit, and the whole thing was over in less than ten minutes.

I strongly believe that the cruise director sets the tone for the entire cruise, and both the Glory and the Victory proved that theory. Coming up, onboard activities and cruise staff.
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  #4  
Old September 22nd, 2008, 08:43 PM
blackrose602 blackrose602 is offline
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Part Three -- Onboard Activities and Cruise Staff

Activities
Glory
As far as I'm concerned, the Glory could be the poster child for Fun Ships! A huge roster of activities of every description offered guests of all ages a wide range of choices. Dance classes ranged from Butch's disco class to ballroom to a Thriller lesson at midnight. Trivia games of every description vied for attention with a wide variety of live music, karaoke, deck games and parties and tons of other activities. There was never a dull moment for those who love nonstop action. However, there were plenty of quiet spots around the ship for those who just want to get away.

The Glory had three major activity highlights for us. The first was the Color Wars night. Carnival has instituted a Colors competition on each of its ships. The premise is familiar for anyone who has gone to camp -- the first night at dinner, you are assigned to a team based on your seating, either Red, White or Blue. All week, you receive points for your team based on participating in activities. At the end of the week, the points are tallied and the winning team announced. There's no prize, but it's a lot of fun.

The Glory took Color Wars to the extreme. Every time someone won Bingo, trivia or any other game, points were given to that person's team. Additionally, the night before the last sea day was Color Wars night. Each team met in a different disco with cruise staff assigned as team leaders. The leaders took each team through several lounges to participate in activities. As the teams passed in the hallways, each had a different chant to yell at the other teams. It all climaxed at the aft pool on Lido, where all three teams met for the final battle. Our team mascot (an elderly gentleman) ended up jumping in the pool, fully clothed, carrying the team flag. Finally, we all paraded onto the main Lido deck for a late night dance party. Easily 2/3 of the guests participated or watched the action, of all ages from toddlers to those in their 80s. It may sound really silly, but most guests we talked to agreed that Color Wars really added to the camaraderie on board.

The second highlight was the Glory Ninjas. Each day's Capers had a cryptic hint as to where the Ninjas would appear that night. They were a sort of Fun Patrol, that showed up in the designated location with random activity supplies. Guests would participate in the unannounced event to earn prizes and points for their teams.

The third highlight of the Glory was the Murder Mystery. Guests met in one of the show lounges on the first afternoon at sea where the story was told. There were six suspects, from the Golf Pro to the Spa Manager. Each gave his or her alibi, then we were given a sheet and told that each suspect had a clue to the mystery. There were also clues given in Cryptograms in each day's Capers. We had to track down each of the suspects and solve all of the Cryptograms to solve the mystery. This was a lot of fun, and gave the cruise an overall thread, as well as providing something to do during rare moments of downtime. On the last morning, there was a drawing from all correct entries for a very nice prize package.

Overall, Butch and the cruise staff did an amazing job of keeping everyone entertained and making the cruise feel like an inclusive party. It felt like we were all in it together, rather than an "us" versus "them" feeling of separation among guests or between guests and staff.

Victory
As mentioned in Part Two, Malcolm was not a genial cruise director. He seemed to take great pains to avoid guests as much as possible. This was reflected in the selection of onboard activities, as well as the general attitudes of the cruise staff.

The Victory supposedly had Color Wars. We were all assigned to teams at the first night's dinner. However, the only time I saw points awarded was at Win, Lose or Draw. Apparently they were handed out at a few other activities, as the point totals at the end were somewhere around 7,000 per team, but it was definitely not a focus of the cruise in any way.

Activities were relatively few and far between. The Sailaway Party out of Manhattan was pretty good, but there were absolutely zero Sailaway parties for any other ports. Lido parties were nonexistent. Even the Drink of the Day was relatively hard to come by, with only a handful of cocktail waiters/waitresses ever making an appearance on Lido.

What activities there were we found exceptionally low key. Trivia games were the highest energy things we found on board. There was one disco class and one ballroom class. There were no activities scheduled at times that late seating diners could attend on port days. Our routine was simply port, sitting around until dinner, showtime, perhaps a late night show (only 3 total scheduled for a 7 day cruise) and bed. There were a few gameshows and things scheduled during late seating for early diners to enjoy.

Sea days were not much different. All activities ended at 4 pm. That left those of us with late seating with nothing to do for over four hours. There was live music in some of the lounges, which we enjoyed, but again, it seemed very poorly scheduled with few options.

We're not sure if the midnight Gala Buffet ever happened. It was announced early in the week, but did not appear in the Capers, nor was there an announcement the day of the event. However, when we asked Dave (cruise staff) on our last sea day, we were told it had happened the night before (opposite the late night hypnotist show, which we attended).

I have no idea what the purpose of the Assistant Cruise Director was. We saw her hosting Bingo one night, and heard her make the morning weather announcement once. Other than that, she didn't seem to be present at all.

Activities were badly scheduled as well. For example, Charades was held in a lounge where a group was was in the middle of a painting class. The group had to stop work for the duration of the game. Charades was hosted by the same person who did Name That Tune two decks below in the preceding half hour. That meant that she was understandably late starting Charades. She tried to go long to make up for it, but that upset the painters, who had other activities scheduled immediately afterwards. On a ship with so many lounges and so few activities, it seems that an unused lounge and an unscheduled cruise staff member could have been used.

I must give a proper shoutout here to Dave, from the cruise staff. In general, it seemed that Malcolm (cruise director) had set a tone for the staff of avoiding guests and giving halfhearted performances. Dave, however, seemed really on top of things, energetic and good at his job. We didn't see him around the ship much other than at activities, but he gave his all to everything. He was the one that greeted guests at the formal parties, gave the Ship Tour and generally kept things going. Misty, the Karaoke/Name That Tune/Charades host, was great as well, although she was generally confined to the karaoke lounge.

The Victory has the Seaside Theater, and we both got the impression that it is being used as a babysitter. I love the idea of movies by the pool, but not to the exclusion of shipboard activities. Much of the time, the screen was tuned to sports (which we don't like) or news. The rest of the time it was showing commercials for the $29.95 DVD of the cruise. It seems that it was decided that if guests have TV available, then they don't need activities on deck.

Our overall impression of activities on the Victory was a very generic cruise experience. Nothing was wrong with shipboard life, but it could have been any cruise line in the world. It didn't have the "Fun Ship" factor. If you're just looking to get away and relax, the Victory might be the perfect experience for you. It's just not a high energy Carnival cruise.

Coming up next...the crew, food and nighttime shows.
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  #5  
Old September 22nd, 2008, 09:51 PM
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Default Yay!!

Going on Glory soon and, so far, am loving the news on her!!
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  #6  
Old September 22nd, 2008, 09:56 PM
blackrose602 blackrose602 is offline
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You'll have a wonderful time on Glory! She is definitely my favorite in the Carnival fleet. Say hi to Butch for us!!
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 10:33 PM
blackrose602 blackrose602 is offline
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Part Four -- Crew, Shows and the All Important Food

Crew
We have always found Carnival staff to be friendly, efficient and helpful. Both ships were packed with staff eager to make our experience memorable.

Glory
Our cabin steward, Michael, was one of our favorites ever. We learned here on the boards that a small upfront tip can guarantee amazing service, so we gave Michael a few dollars on the first day. He was terrific, just the right blend of professional and friendly, and extremely attentive.

The dining room is one of our favorite parts of the cruise experience, and I was mildly disappointed in our wait team. The service was impeccable, but our waitress seemed a bit annoyed. We were at a table for eight, and at times things got loud and silly, and our waitress didn't seem to care for our mirth. But she was good at her job and the service itself was great.

Throughout the ship, everyone from bartenders to housekeeping staff was personable and friendly.

Victory
Our dining room team, Maha and Icarta (sp?) was phenomenal. They were both quick witted, extremely friendly, and kept us laughing the whole cruise. Maha even made origami animals for us! Our table was on the upper level, all the way against the wall. We would have changed tables, but we didn't want to leave our team. The two work really well together, play off the guests, and have a lot of fun with their jobs.

With one glaring exception, the staff was even more friendly than those on the Glory. A surprising number of people we met once remembered our names and were eager to start conversations. We had several terrific late night conversations with crew members. We found it interesting that we had more meaningful interactions with housekeepers than we ever did with the cruise director or cruise staff.

The glaring exception was our cabin steward. We tipped him extra on the first day, and have never so fervently wished that we could get money back. It started with the remote control. Ours had a short in it, so that the channel buttons worked, but the menu buttons (for checking folio, dinner menus and so forth) worked only sporadically. We caught a maintenance guy who was walking by, who tested the remote and agreed it was broken. He took the remote to our steward to be changed.

A few minutes later, the steward burst through the door, angrily telling us that he had tested the remote in three other cabins and it worked just fine. He told us that we obviously just didn't know how to operate it.

Next up was the air conditioning war. The Victory is kept very cold, so we turned off the a/c in our room. Each day when we returned, it was on full blast. We turned it off again, and after dinner it would be on full blast yet again.

Things kept degenerating with the steward, and came to a head on the last sea day. I returned to the cabin in the late morning to retrieve some things. The steward had an air purifier running in the cabin, which he came in to unplug while I was there. I told him I was just staying for a moment, and it was fine. That's when he went off on me for smoking in the cabin.

Now, I know smoking is a touchy subject. But Carnival allows smoking in all cabins except Spa Deck. We were only in the cabin late at night and early in the morning, for a total of maybe three or four cigarettes per day. We weren't sitting there chain smoking all day. Nonetheless, he started being nasty about how much extra work we were causing him. We're pretty sure he was the same steward that told a friend of ours down the hall, with a balcony cabin, that she was only permitted to smoke on the balcony. He also never emptied her balcony ashtray the entire cruise.

It was the last straw. For the first time ever, we went to the Purser to remove tips. We filed a written complaint against the steward and had his tips removed. We then had those tips redistributed between everyone else. However, we were informed that if we removed our steward's tips, the assistant steward would not receive tips either.

Our assistant was really great. He was one of the crew that we had late-night conversations with, and really went out of his way for us. So on the last evening, we called him into our cabin. We explained the situation and let him know why he wouldn't be receiving the automatic tips from us. He was very gracious and apologetic for his colleague's behavior. We then gave him a very healthy cash tip, telling him to put it in his pocket and not mention it to anyone. We also gave him extra recognition on our comment cards.

Shows
A lot of people never attend the evening shows, but for us they are must-see activities. We love both the production shows and the guest entertainers. *Disclaimer* We have both been doing theater and film work for over 20 years, so we look at shows and performers with a critical eye.

Glory
We actually missed the Welcome Aboard show, because Michael Phelps was swimming for his eighth Olympic gold that night. But we did catch the show on shipboard TV, and it was hilarious!

The production shows were great. One dancer in particular, Cameron, really caught our attention. Whether he was on stage or selling Bingo tickets, he had a stage presence that could not be denied. I expected him to be uppity, but he turned out to be amazingly gracious and down to earth. I expect to see Cameron on Broadway or in films soon. He's a star!

One night's performance was a singing and dancing magician whose show lacked flow, like he was trying to be too many things at once, but otherwise the entertainment was top notch. Megan, one of the dancers, also ran the Thriller dance lesson and several other activities. She and Phil (cruise staff) were my team's leaders for Color Wars as well. Truly great people!

Victory
The only entertainment complaint I have was how the aforementioned Legends show was handled. Otherwise, the entertainment was, well, highly entertaining. No real standout performers, but a solid cast of professionals who are very good at what they do.

The comedian and the ventriloquist were especially good at audience interaction, and the comedy hypnotist was terrific! Catch the late night R rated shows if you can.

Food
I know a lot of people would disagree, but I think Carnival has some of the best food at sea. We aren't foodies per se, but we do enjoy a wide range of cuisine, and we have yet to be disappointed in a meal on Carnival.

Both Glory and Victory had consistent quality throughout the ships. We ate in the dining room and on Lido, and checked out the burger stands, pizza, room service and deli on both ships. All were quite good. We didn't make it to the Asian cafe or sushi bar on either ship, so I can't comment on those.

Room service has been extremely slow on every cruise we have taken. Unless you're just staying in for the evening, I recommend only using room service for continental breakfast ordered the night before. The food is good, but I generally don't have time to wait for two hours or so for delivery.

The Glory has a surcharge supper club, which is supposed to be excellent. We cancelled our reservation, as it conflicted with the Past Guest party, but I heard rave reviews from others. The Victory does not have a supper club.

Lobster is generally served on the first formal night, and chateaubriand on the second. The menus varied slightly between the two ships, but were very similar on both. Make sure you try the Chocolate Melting Cake!

*Tip* If you're on the Glory, take advantage of the cooking demonstration on the first sea day. It's the only way I've found to get the recipe for the Melting Cake.

Coming up next, ports of call and weather.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 11:44 PM
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Thanks for the info on the Glory. I am looking forward to cruising on her in Jan. It will be my first Carnival cruise and from your review it sounds like we chose the correct one. I am looking forward to the rest of your review.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 09:20 AM
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What a neat review, I have been on the Glory and loved her the first time and after reading your review I can't wait to cruise on her again
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackrose602 View Post
We are just back from the Carnival Victory 9/13 7 day New England cruise, and the Carnival Glory 8/16 7 day Eastern Caribbean. The two cruises were like night and day, so I wanted to provide reviews and comparisons for anyone who is curious about the differences. I do have photos, but decided not to include them here in order to avoid confusing things. I can start a separate thread with photos if anyone wants to see them.

The Players:
Me - Lisa, early 30s
Dad - Andy, mid-50s

These were our fourth and fifth cruises, third and fourth on Carnival. Both were booked last minute (3 weeks ahead of sailing on the Glory, 10 days ahead of sailing on the Victory).

Pre-Cruise
Glory
We live in Orlando, so we just drove to Port Canaveral. Dad has a disabled placard and wheelchair ramp for his van, so we got free parking at the port. Port Canaveral no longer honors just a disabled placard for free parking, there must be actual modifications to the vehicle.

Victory
We flew to Manhattan the day before, which was a good thing as our flight was delayed. We love staying in youth hostels, but our last minute planning meant that most in NYC were unavailable. We ended up at the Chelsea International Hostel, in a third floor walkup (no elevator). Dad has a mobility scooter, which we ended up having to chain up in the breezeway. Then the cleaning staff managed to soak the scooter with water (very bad for the electrical components). Staff was rude and unhelpful. The location was great, convenient and safe, but I can't recommend that hostel. The HI hostel, where we stayed post-cruise, was much better and had an elevator. More on that later.

Embarkation
Glory
We were running late for a variety of reasons, and it was pouring rain when we arrived. Miraculously, however, the clouds parted just as we parked. Since Dad uses the scooter, we are allowed to use the VIP check-in. It was simple, easy and quick. Despite our late arrival, we had plenty of time to settle into our cabin and hit the Lido buffet before the lifeboat drill.

Victory
We arrived by taxi at about 12:30. Again we were allowed to use the VIP line, so our wait was minimal. Carnival staff was very gracious and helpful. No problems whatsoever.

Cabins
Glory
We decided to try our first modified cabin. Dad used to leave his scooter at the Purser's desk or just outside the cabin door, but we were advised by our PVP that Carnival's new policy is that all wheelchairs and scooters must be kept inside the cabin. So we opted for a modified inside cabin on deck 10, cabin #1007. I have photos of the cabin if anyone is curious about the modified layout.

As it turns out, we didn't actually need the modified cabin. Our steward, Michael, recommended that we park the scooter outside the door since we were at the end of a hall. It worked out great!

Our cabin was at the very front of the ship, just steps from an open but little-known balcony. Unfortunately, the Captain made the decision to lock the balcony door a few days in, due to high winds. Still, it was nice while it lasted.

Victory
There were no modified cabins left in our price category, so we took a regular inside cabin on deck 8, cabin #8279. Dad's scooter is quite small and maneuverable, and we were able to get it through the door and into the cabin with no problems. We rearranged the furniture slightly, and the scooter wasn't in the way at all.

Coming up next... comparisons of the ships, the crew and the onboard activities. I'll be working on updates all evening.

Lisa
i would love to see some pics as we are staying in room 1001 on the Glory on Jan 3 and my wife is handicapped and require the use of a powerchair.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 09:29 AM
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Nice reviews. Butch truly is my favorite CD ever too. He's amazing, and seemingly everywhere at once, but he always has time to chat. I don't know how he does it.
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Carnival Miracle - Exotic Western Caribbean - 9/25/05 - 10/2/05
Carnival Inspiration - Western Caribbean - 6/9/07 - 6/14/07
Carnival Sensation - Bahamas - 1/24/08 - 1/27/08
Carnival Glory - Eastern Caribbean - 9/13/08 - 9/20/08
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Norwegian Pearl - Eastern Caribbean - 10/24/09 - 10/31/09
Carnival Inspiration - Western Caribbean - 9/11/10 - 9/16/10
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Carnival Imagination - Bahamas - 12/28/12-12/31/12
Carnival Victory - 5 Day Western Caribbean - 3/9/13-3/14/13
Carnival Victory - 4 Day Western Caribbean -3/14/13-3/18/13
Carnival Paradise - 4 Day Western Caribbean -7/31/14-8/4/14
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 09:36 AM
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VERY nice comparison of the ships. I like your format...........
Thanks for taking the time to post it...............
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 10:28 AM
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deenab deenab is offline
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Thumbs up Have been on both ships...

I loved the Glory! She is a beautiful ship and if you notice my signature, we have been on her twice. The color scheme is great and we loved the Color Wars. It is a perfect fit for the ship and it's crew. The cruise director was one of the best I have ever seen. The Emerald Room on the Glory is also amazing. The service is above board and during each of our visits, we had the same waiter who remembered everything about us, including the fact that I drink water, not tea, and like my coffee with my entree.

I had problems with the Victory's color scheme, just a little too green for me. After a while you begin to get sea sick. The crew did not seem as attentive and answerable to your needs. We had to ask several time for things from the steward.

Enjoying your comparison though, I know exactly what you mean.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 08:44 PM
blackrose602 blackrose602 is offline
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Part Five -- Ports of Call and Weather

I'm back with information on the Glory and Victory's ports of call and the weather on our trips. I'll post the photos of the modified cabin after I finish the review.

Ports of Call
Glory
We did the Eastern Caribbean route, which was new to me. Dad was in St. Thomas nearly 30 years ago when he was in the Navy, and was excited to go back. We wanted to see and do a lot in each port, so we signed up for the ship's excursion. It was pricey, but I think it was worthwhile for our scheduling needs.

Nassau
We have been to Nassau before and gone off on our own. While we enjoyed it, we felt that we didn't know what we were looking at. So we signed up for the History tour. It was a two hour bus ride that went all over and made a few stops. The driver was very knowledgeable and a lot of fun, and it was nice to learn the town's history.

The tour ended in downtown, where we went to the Pirate Museum. We had been there before, and enjoyed it just as much the second time. If you have the chance, don't miss the Pirate Museum. It was an early sailaway, I believe around 2 pm, so after the museum we just did a little shopping and headed back to the ship for a late lunch.

I liked Nassau better this time around, but it's still not my favorite port. I do want to go to Atlantis next time we're there, though.

St. Thomas
We were incredibly busy that day, and enjoyed every second of our time! First up was the Pirate Shopping Catamaran. This is a new tour, which I cannot praise enough!! The catamaran tickets cost $10 per person for an all day wristband. They travel back and forth between the three main shopping districts, providing a great alternative to taxis. While you ride, you get an in-depth harbor tour and legends of the area's pirate history. The guides are extremely knowledgeable and a great deal of fun! I was even allowed to drive the boat through the highly trafficked harbor, and the skipper did a great job of guiding me through safely.

Our destination was Mr. Tablecloth, a great little shop where Dad had made some purchases 30 years ago. We didn't have time to stay and shop at this point, we just wanted to locate the shop and find out their hours so we could return in the afternoon.

On the way, we were waylaid by a time share rep. Normally we would keep on walking, but something told me to stop. I played a scratchoff game where I won a "big prize." I'd just have to attend the 90 minute presentation to collect. Though we had no time to sit through the spiel, something told me to go along, so I agreed.

At the time share place, we got to talking with the presenter. Turns out he's from New Orleans too, and we started swapping Katrina stories. Ten minutes later, he said we'd been through a lot with Katrina, and he wouldn't make us sit through the pitch. He handed me my prize, which turned out to be a 3 day vacation in any of several cities, along with a buy one get one free airfare voucher. Not bad for ten minutes' time!

Next up was a submarine ride on the Atlantis. We've wanted to do one of these for years, and they never quite worked out. This was well worth the wait! We took a small boat out to dock with the submarine. It was great to watch the sub surface. The seats on board were comfortable, and the portholes were huge and very clean. We actually set down briefly on the ocean floor at a depth of 90 feet. We saw barracuda, coral and a ton of brightly colored fish. The best was a shark sighting, during which the captain played the theme from Jaws! Of course, Yellow Submarine was also played.

The sub tour left us at the marina downtown, so we caught a $4 taxi back to Mr. Tablecloth. The shop was amazing, filled to the rafters with all sizes and styles of linens. Dad had forgotten to pack pajamas, so he got a very nice silk set there. I got a beautiful hand crafted white linen dress, and of course, we got a tablecloth. Prices are extremely reasonable, and the personalized service is unmatched! I see why Dad loves it so much.

By this time it was nearing sunset. We were docked until fairly late, and Butch had made a point of telling us that we needed to be up on Paradise Point (accessible via tramway just across the street from the ship) at sunset. So we caught the Pirate Catamaran back to the ship and walked across the street.

Dad is both mobility impaired and diabetic, but there was no time for all that! We knew when we booked the excursions that they weren't accessible, so he left his scooter on the ship and went out with his cane. He was okay for the most part, but by this point all the walking was getting to him. We also hadn't eaten anything since breakfast.

Be advised that if you go to Paradise Point, there are a lot of steep stairs to reach the tram. Between extremely low blood sugar, all the stairs and the heat and humidity, Dad wasn't doing too well by the time we reached the top. I was feeling pretty shaky myself. Fortunately, there is a very nice cafe at the top, so we sank into chairs and split a wonderful spinach and artichoke dip. After food and a couple bottles of water, we were quite refreshed.

Taking our time to look around, we realized that Paradise Point is absolutely gorgeous. As Butch promised, the sunset view was spectacular! We were able to look down over the pier and watch the ship's evening lights come on.

We got lost in the moment, and before we knew it, the time was 7 pm. We were due back on board at 7:30, so we made our way to the tram for the ride down. Unfortunately, we weren't the only ones to take Butch's suggestion! There was a long line of Glory passengers ahead of us.

The tram is the only way down from Paradise Point. It holds 24 people and takes a full 8 minutes to make the round trip. Some quick math told us that we might be in trouble! We weren't even the last people in line, and everyone was starting to murmur nervously.

Thankfully, the tram operator knew we were all due back. Despite his jokes about us needing to spend the night "on this miserable island," he took responsibility for getting us down. The very last tram went out at 7:24 for the one way journey down. The tram was stuffed to overflowing with 45 very nervous Glory passengers.

We were off the tram with exactly two minutes to spare. All that was left was to descend the stairs, cross the street, make our way through an endless shopping plaza, clear security and walk the full length of the ship. No problem, right? Well, keep in mind Dad was in pretty bad pain and was hobbling on a cane. Everyone else broke into a run, and I will say Dad moved faster than I've seen him go in years.

As passengers on balconies jeered, we finally reached the gangway, huffing and puffing. We boarded, and a couple boarded immediately behind us. That was it! The crew snapped the gangway shut...I've never been that close to missing a ship before!

Needless to say, we skipped the dining room that night, choosing instead to hit the buffet before freshening up for the evening show.

St. Maarten
We booked the America's Cup Regatta. This is a fabulous excursion on which you have the opportunity to participate in sailing one of the actual yachts that has competed in the famous race. The group is divided into two teams to race each other on a shortened version of the course.

Though he really wanted to do it, Dad almost talked himself out of this one. It was listed in the shore excursion brochure as being "moderate activity" and highly participatory. Nonetheless, he decided to give it a try.

As it turns out, the tour can accommodate all but the very most severely disabled. As long as you can hold on to a lifeline with one hand, you can participate. There is a flat tender that can carry wheelchairs and scooters out to the yachts, and the captain and crew will lift you on board if you are unable to transfer on your own. They even have experience with deaf and blind passengers.

Each person is assigned a duty on board, depending on the level of activity they prefer. I chose "moderate activity" and was assigned to the "grinder" position. Dad chose "mild activity" and was given two important jobs -- timekeeper and bartender (just handing out cans from a cooler). It was a fabulous time, and our team won!

I don't recommend it if you get seasick though...when we saw a promotional photo of the tour with the boat listing drastically to one side, we thought it was Photoshopped. Nope, the boats really do list so much we thought we were going in a few times! Tons of fun!!

I needed to get some work done, so after the tour we went to an internet cafe and paid $6 for an hour. We then spent a bit of time shopping and exploring town before taking a water taxi back to the ship. Next time, I hope to see the French side as well.

The weather for that cruise was extremely hot and sticky. Tropical Storm Faye was expected to go straight up Florida that week, and outer bands were hitting up until an hour before sailaway. Miraculously the rain cleared just after we boarded, and the Captain did a great job steering us away from the storm. We had clear skies and smooth sailing all week, just a lot of heat and humidity. If you're sailing the Caribbean in the fall, be sure to bring plenty of lightweight clothes. I brought a jacket in case it was chilly on board, but I never used it.

Coming up next, the Victory ports and weather conditions!

Last edited by blackrose602; September 23rd, 2008 at 08:46 PM.
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  #15  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 11:47 PM
blackrose602 blackrose602 is offline
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Part Five A -- Victory Ports and Weather

Ports
Victory
The Victory was not only our first Northeast cruise, but our first trip that far north in the fall. We were really hoping for fall foliage, since we don't get too much in New Orleans (home) or Orlando (current residence).

We decided not to take shore excursions anywhere except Halifax. We booked the Lobsters and Lighthouses tour there through the ship, but everywhere else the goal was to get out and meet the locals.

Boston
Boston's reputation isn't the greatest in the South, so we were eager to see for ourselves. We weren't quite sure how to plan our time, because the ship didn't dock until 2 pm. Most of the tourist stuff closes at 5, and we were in town until 10 pm. So we researched a few things online in advance, and eventually decided to play it by ear.

We stepped off the ship and took the Carnival shuttle one way to downtown. I believe the cost was around $10 per person. For $15, we could have gotten round trip tickets, but the last shuttle back left at 6:45. We didn't want to waste the evening, so we convinced the shuttle rep that we could make our own way back (not sure if she was really trying to look out for us or just trying to sell round trip tickets, but she tried her best to convince us that we were risking missing the ship).

The shuttle stops at the Quincy Market, so we wandered through the market for a bit. There were jugglers and street performers, giving the area a decidedly New Orleans feel. We then headed just up the street to the Hard Rock Cafe (we collect Hard Rock shirts). We had noticed that there was an Old Town Trolley booth at the market, so we made our way back there. We had seen a ghost tour advertised online, and decided to buy tickets for that evening.

Next, we decided to take the Boston Harbor Cruise to the USS Constitution. We had a few extra minutes, so we stopped for a lobster roll at a nearby cafe. It was wonderful, and extremely inexpensive!

The harbor cruise was great, but we got to the Constitution just as it closed, so we decided not to get off the boat. Still, it was nice to get photos of the ship.

That weekend happened to be the Boston "Ahts" Festival, so we wandered through. It was about to close, so we were offered a ton of free snacks from the vendors. We had our Hard Rock bag, and food kept being dropped inside...better than trick or treating LOL

Soon it was time to meet our ghost tour. It turned out to be an amazing, highly theatrical operation. Numerous guides in full costume and makeup were on hand, greeting guests in character and entertaining us until the tour started.

Two trolleys went out together, each with its own guide. The guides remained in full character the whole time, and gave us a lot of fascinating history. There were two stops, both in graveyards, and the guides played well off each other. If you take the tour, look out for some surprises!

We were on the 7:00 tour, which gave us plenty of time to grab a cab back to the ship. Although the tours are only scheduled for an hour, ours went a bit over. I wouldn't recommend the 8:00, as you would be cutting it extremely close on time. We were pleasantly surprised that it was already dark for our tour.

Dad didn't take his scooter out that day. I believe that the trolleys can take collapsible wheelchairs, and the harbor cruises are accessible, but I can't comment too much on accessibility since we didn't have the scooter with us.

Portland
What can I say about Portland? It was very nice, very quaint, and very sleepy. After all the action in Boston and Manhattan, I was a little bored off and on. Nonetheless, the town was very pretty and I'm glad to have seen it.

I highly recommend the Narrow Gauge Railway in this port. It's a short walk down the street to your right when you leave the ship. You'll get a ride on the last remaining narrow gauge train in the United States, and a chance to visit the railway museum. Tickets were around $8 each. We decided to sit in the brakeman seats, up in the cupola of the caboose. It was great fun, but would probably be very hot during the summer! The round trip ride is just over half an hour.

We spent the rest of the day wandering through the town. There is a very cool park where the alternative crowd (all ten of them LOL) hang out. We met some friendly people there and ended up hanging around the park for awhile. We had lunch in a nice Irish pub and visited some cool shops.

The waterfront area is great, but rather touristy. I strongly recommend heading past the waterfront to the back of the Old Port. There you will find more local places with friendly staff and lower prices.

Dad took his mobility scooter into Portland, and it was easy. Everything is very accessible, including the train. The town is very pedestrian and wheelchair friendly, and there's no need to take any kind of transportation if your destination is the main town.

Saint John
I'm not sure if it's the usual at that port or if the tides were unusual that day, but the gangway was extremely steep! Dad took his scooter, and he says it was quite a ride. Thankfully he's a great driver.

This port was a lot of fun, much more than I expected. I had to get some work done, so we asked at the terminal for an internet cafe. The very helpful tourist office rep suggested the library, which could be accessed by following the pink brick road to Market Square.

It was an easy walk. There was a short wait for a half hour internet computer, so we hung around outside and met some great local college kids.

*Tip* If you use the computers in Saint John, be aware that the keyboards are French. I had an interesting time of it trying to type quickly, as not all the keys are where you would expect.

Next we decided to visit the New Brunswick Museum, located inside Market Square. The museum had a small admission charge (I can't remember exactly how much) and was more than worth it! It was a lot bigger than it looked!

We then headed out to the Jewish museum, just a few blocks away. I can't say enough good things about this museum. It's actually the local synagogue, which is now home to only 30 families, but once served over 100. The museum is free and takes only a short time to see.

Next we went to the local cemetery. It was quite beautiful and we took some great photos. We then tried to find the old drugstore museum, but it turned out to be closed due to construction in the port area.

We had left the ship relatively late that day, so by this time we needed to head back on board. All in all, it was a very pleasant and relaxed day.

Halifax
I had been looking forward to this port most of all. I wanted to move to Canada after the 2000 election, and got as far as researching cities. If I had actually moved, Halifax would have been my choice, but I had never visited in person.

I think Halifax would have been the absolute right choice! The city is gorgeous and the locals are incredibly friendly. We did the Lobsters and Lighthouses shore excursion, which necessitated being off the ship by 8:15. I'm not a morning person by any stretch, but I was so glad I made the effort!

It had been somewhat cold but not unbearable all week, and I was tired of wearing heavy jeans, so I opted for shorts and a hoodie that day. I knew it was a mistake as soon as I saw how many layers our boat captain was wearing! Especially in the wind out on the boat, I was freezing!

The tour was fascinating. We got an in depth history of Halifax's role as an important port town, and even some stories about pirates and ghosts. We pulled close to three lighthouses, and saw a fourth from a distance.

The excursion also included a lobster lunch at a restaurant on the water. The food was excellent, and there was plenty of it! I drank three or four cups of coffee with lunch in an effort to warm up.

Our next stop was the Maritime Museum. If you're into Titanic history, or naval history in general, I highly recommend this. We did a below decks tour of the Acadia, which was really interesting, and spent a lot of time in the museum.

We spent longer than we meant to in the Maritime Museum, so we got to Pier 21, the immigration museum, only a few minutes before it closed. We were allowed to go in and look around without paying admission. The place looked really good, and I would like to go back again.

We did a bit of shopping at Pier 21 before returning to the ship.

Weather
Being from the South, we had no clue how to pack. The entire cruise ranged from chilly to downright cold, with the exception of mild weather in Portland. Several days were foggy and drizzly, though we were lucky to avoid any major rain.

For some reason, the Victory is kept very cold, so there was no real way to warm up. One night Dad decided to try heating the cabin by blowing the hair dryer into the room. It wasn't doing much, so he turned the hot shower on full blast. The steam blew into the cabin (thanks to the hair dryer), and we set off the smoke alarm! An on board firefighter came running, and he had to call the bridge to have the Captain turn off the alarm! Talk about embarrassing.

The ship's pools are kept at a chilly 59 degrees, so needless to say very few people used them. There were a few people in the hot tubs at night, but we didn't join in. I didn't like the idea of having to get out of the hot tub on a cold night!

I like cold weather, so I enjoyed myself, but it was definitely a sort of culture shock transitioning from the balmy Caribbean to the cold Northeast. I didn't realize the ship would be so cold, so I didn't pack warm clothes for formal nights. Therefore, I apologize to anyone who was on board with me for the relative casualness of my attire! (Don't flame me, I wore dress pants and a dressy jacket, I just wasn't up to my usual formal night standards). I definitely wasn't alone, though, I saw a lot of people who chose warmth over fashion, particularly on Halifax night, which was the second formal night.

Coming up next, disembarkation, post-cruise and general thoughts on both ships.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 12:51 AM
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viciouslysh viciouslysh is offline
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Love your comparison. Thanks for sharing! I agree that Butch is the best CD at sea. Dancer Cameron was a great guy!! By far, the Glory is my favorite ship!
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Old September 24th, 2008, 10:42 AM
blackrose602 blackrose602 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viciouslysh View Post
Love your comparison. Thanks for sharing! I agree that Butch is the best CD at sea. Dancer Cameron was a great guy!! By far, the Glory is my favorite ship!
I see from your signature that we were on the Glory together...great cruise, wasn't it? Sorry we never met on board!
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Old September 24th, 2008, 07:40 PM
murphy4 murphy4 is offline
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glad to read your rave reviews about the Glory, we will be taking our kids on their first cruise in april.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 11:49 AM
blackrose602 blackrose602 is offline
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Part Six -- Disembarkation, Post-Cruise and General Thoughts

Sorry about the delay in finishing this...life got in the way. Anyway, here's a wrap up on the two cruises.

Glory
Disembarkation
Although we're frequent cruisers, we always go to the disembarkation talk to see if anything's changed. Butch did a great job of giving out the necessary information while keeping us all laughing.

We chose the self-assist, in which you must carry off all of your own luggage. Since we drove to the port and had no reason to be off early, we asked to make sure we could stay onboard after self-assist was called. We were told it was fine to stay until Final Call for all guests.

Disembarkation morning we packed up our last few overnight things and were out of the cabin around 7:30 am. We headed up to Lido for breakfast with all our stuff, to give our steward plenty of time to clean for the next people.

We sat and chatted with friends until Final Call. I think we were off the ship around 10:15-10:30. Once off, there was a huge line for Customs and Immigration, but it moved fairly quickly. We reached our car just before 11 am.

Victory
We decided to do one night post-cruise in NYC, so our flight wasn't scheduled until 9 pm the next day. At the debarkation talk, Malcolm instructed everyone to grab breakfast and then return to their cabins and wait to be called. That seemed odd, since it would give the stewards less time to clean, but since we didn't like our steward anyway we did as instructed. Malcolm did state that self-assist was welcome to remain onboard until Final Call.

The morning of disembarkation was one of the Assistant Cruise Director's rare appearances. She made the zone announcements for debarking. Can we say rude and pushy? Self-assist was called by decks beginning at 7 am. By 7:20, she was through calling ALL of the self-assist decks. I can only imagine the mess at the gangway! Then she started with rude announcements -- "Hello? Where is everyone? I said FINAL CALL for self-assist! Get down here NOW!" We were in no particular hurry, so we ignored her, as our plan was to stay onboard as long as possible.

She then raced through calling the zones for non-self-assist. We had received a letter from the Purser the night before, since Dad has special needs. If we wanted, we could join the other special needs guests in one of the lounges for assistance off the ship. The designated meeting time was 10:15 am.

We didn't join the special needs group, since we didn't need help. I'm not sure whatever happened with them, since FINAL CALL for all guests was made around 9:45. We were sick of sitting around by then anyway, so we left. Overall, not a very good ending to the cruise.

Post-Cruise
Victory
I can't speak for post-cruise on the Glory, since we simply drove home. For the Victory cruise, however, we spent the night in Manhattan at a different youth hostel.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the stories of "rude New Yorkers" are not true. People generally keep to themselves and don't go out of their way to say hi, but they are extremely approachable. If you take the time to start a conversation, they are more than willing to give directions, make suggestions or just stop and chat.

The HI-NYC is beautiful, so much nicer than the Chelsea Hostel where we stayed pre-cruise. There is a huge staff, all friendly and accommodating. We arrived well before check-in, and were able to store our bags in immense lockers that cost $5 for 24 hours. A single locker held two suitcases and two large, stuffed backpacks.

The hostel offers a lot of activities and tours, but with limited time we decided to go out on our own. Central Park was just a block away, so we headed there first. We had never been, and couldn't believe how vast it actually was! It sometimes has a bad reputation for being dangerous, but we saw tons of families as well as single women, and it did not feel dangerous at all. In fact, we met some of the nicest and most helpful people there. We ambled through the park, eventually making our way to Strawberry Fields and the Dakota. We tried to make it to the carousel, but after 45 blocks or so, plus a lot of hills, Dad's ECV ran out of juice. So we walked it out of the park and grabbed a cab back to the hostel.

It still wasn't time to check in, but the hostel allowed us to store the scooter in a locked room. We then headed out on foot, Dad using his cane, to explore the wonders of the NYC subway.

It was so easy! The only problem we noticed is that a lot of stations are not handicapped accessible. We looked at the map to see which stations are accessible, and it's certainly possible for wheelchairs to get around by subway, but it would have taken us out of our way. Since Dad was on his cane, we decided just to use the closest stations. I was surprised that there were very few escalators, just lots of stairs. If you have mobility problems, this is definitely something to consider.

However, if you're okay with stairs, I highly recommend taking the subways. It's $2 per ride anywhere you want to go, as long as you don't emerge from a station along the way. There are also unlimited ride cards in various lengths, but we just paid the $2 a ride since our time was short.

Next up was the WTC site. There is a museum, but we didn't have time to visit. Instead, we walked the pedestrian bridge that runs alongside and took a lot of pictures. It was my first time seeing the site, and it really hit me. It's wonderful to see that a lot of construction is happening there now though. A memorial and some things are in the works.

Dad was starving by this point, so we walked down the block to the World Financial Center. I don't remember the name of the restaurant, but there was a very nice little cafe inside with outdoor seating on the waterfront. We had a great meal while watching the sun set over the Statue of Liberty. Manhattan is pricey though, that meal would have cost $25 (we shared) in most places, and was over $50 there. Worth every penny though!

Next we took the subway to Madison Square Garden and Penn Station. We walked around and got some great photos. Then we headed to the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tram.

There is a story here. For years, I worked at Universal Orlando on Kongfrontation. In that ride, King Kong was on a rampage and intercepted guests that were being evacuated from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island via tram.

When we were last in NYC, in 1994, I was working the ride and wanted nothing more than to see the actual tram on which it was based. So we took a cab to the station, only to find out it was closed for repairs! So ever since, riding that tram has been my goal!

Thankfully, this time it was open. The tram is part of the Manhattan Transit Authority, so subway fare cards are accepted. In addition, if you take the tram within two hours of getting off the subway, it's considered a transfer and no additional fare is charged.

The tram was everything I hoped it would be! We took about a million pictures, drawing giggles from people who use it as regular transportation. I was impressed at how accurately Universal had reproduced the tram itself and the stations, as well as the views of the city and the Queensboro Bridge.

Once across, we paid 25 cents bus fare and took the local bus around the entire island. Roosevelt Island is really pretty, and I wouldn't mind seeing it during the day.

It was pretty late by this point, and we hadn't checked in at the hostel. So we took the subway back. Check in was easy. We were assigned to a six bed coed dorm, and our roommates were friendly. The price was right too, how else can you sleep on the Upper West Side for $40 per person?? Dad got some really interesting spaghetti from a Mexican pizza place across the street and we hung out in the hostel's gorgeous courtyard with a bunch of interesting international travelers.

The next day we got a late start. When I went online to print boarding passes, I checked my debit card statement. There was a huge fraudulent charge posted, so I spent the next few hours on the phone trying to get it resolved (on a Sunday, which meant even more headaches).

Finally we headed out. We had wanted to go to the Statue of Liberty, but by this point it was late enough that we decided not to try. Instead we took the subway to the Staten Island Ferry. We got bad directions from the employees at the first station, who said that the 1 line to the ferry terminal didn't run all the way on Sundays. So after following his directions and changing trains and getting off at some other station, we found out that the 1 line does indeed run on Sundays, necessitating backtracking and getting back on our original train! Time consuming, but not too bad.

The Staten Island Ferry is just fun (and free!) We got food from the cafe in the terminal and poked around Staten Island for a bit before heading back into Manhattan. We had missed the Central Park carousel the day before, so we decided to find it before going back.

We came out of the subway at Columbus Circle and walked just five blocks to the carousel area. Then it was a rather long hike to actually reach the carousel, and Dad was a bit sore by the time we arrived. It was worth it though!

The ride costs $2 per person, and I have never been on a carousel that goes that fast! We were joking that it was the only we'd ever ridden that should come with motion sickness warnings It's also beautiful, one of the last remaining old wooden, hand-painted carousels in the country.

By this point, it was time to go back and retrieve our luggage for the flight. We had spent more time than we had realized, and by the time we got our things it was about 6:30 pm.

Our flight was out of LaGuardia, for which taxis charge metered fare rather than a flat rate. The hostel had estimated $55 for a cab ride, before tip! There's an airport shuttle, but it was $20 per person and made a ton of stops.

So we decided to be adventurous and take the bus. The stop was about seven blocks from the hostel, and it's a local Harlem bus that eventually goes to LaGuardia. What better way to see the Harlem area?

The cost was $2 per person on fare cards, but the driver actually waived Dad's fee since he was on the scooter. All the buses are kneeling, so those with disabilities might want to consider just taking buses rather than subways. It was super easy, and going through Harlem at night was cool. We got great photos of the Apollo and other landmarks.

We reached LaGuardia just after 8 pm. Unfortunately the bus dropped us off at Arrivals rather than Departures, so we had to drag our luggage through the entire airport. We cleared security in no time, as there was absolutely no line, and made it to the gate by 8:30 (for a 9 pm flight ). Turns out the flight was delayed, so we grabbed dinner from a vendor right by the gate and waited to board.

The flight was smooth and the crew friendly. We made up a little time in the air and landed just after 12:30. When we received the scooter, however, it turned out that instead of simply removing the battery, someone had opened up the battery case and disconnected the wires. They then taped the wires with layer upon layer of packing tape. It took nearly 20 minutes to get all the tape off so Dad could use the scooter!!

By the time we made it to Baggage Claim, our luggage had been pulled into the Baggage Office. We had to go claim it. The supervisor asked for photo ID and boarding passes. I had managed to completely misplace our boarding passes, but when he saw we had passports, he said those were better anyway (another point in favor of getting passports!). We also filed a complaint about the way the scooter was handled.

Finally we called for the Holiday Inn shuttle, where we had left our car parked. The shuttle was quick and the ride was short. Our car wouldn't start when we reached it, but some very nice guy in the parking lot gave us a jump. After driving around looking for a 24 hour McDonald's (we were starving!) we got home just before 5 am. Whew, long day!

General Thoughts
Glory
What can I say? It's my favorite ship, primarily because of her crew! Everyone's wonderful, Butch is amazing, and the entire cruise was fabulous!! I'd sail her again in a heartbeat.

Victory
I adored the itinerary. New England and Canada are beautiful! Except for our cabin steward, the crew was great as well. But the activities are way too limited, the atmosphere is too subdued for us, and Malcolm is definitely not our favorite cruise director. Also, the ship is kept incredibly cold.

If you're just looking to get away and relax, the Victory may be the right atmosphere for you. Nothing was "wrong" with it at all, and we really enjoyed certain things. But it's definitely not the usual "Fun Ship" experience. Don't judge Carnival as a whole based on the Victory.

Would I sail her again? Possibly. I definitely want to go back to those ports, but I'd look at other ships that sail that itinerary and consider all of the factors carefully. If I did Victory again, it would be based on price and itinerary, not shipboard experience. By contrast, I'd gladly sail Glory to anywhere, or to nowhere at all. Give me the Glory doing donuts in the ocean for a month, and I'll be perfectly happy

I'll get the modified cabin photos up soon.

Last edited by blackrose602; September 28th, 2008 at 12:07 PM.
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