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Great Glory 8/11 Sailing!


bankofdad
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Enjoying your review, as I will be sailing the Glory out of NOLA in February. We are flying in from Rochester, NY 3 days prior to cruise. Our daughter and her family are flying in from Minot, ND the day before cruise. We are so excited to be cruising with them, as this is the first cruise with these grandchildren, and it is their first cruise. We are staying in the French Quarter. We have a different itinerary as you, as we will not be going to Jamaica, but I have to say that I agree with you about Jamaica. I have been their twice, and I advise cruisers all the time to not leave the port area unless an excursion is booked. We only book with the cruise line, as that is my comfort zone for safety, but if booking with third party tour groups, make sure it is a reputable company, and never book with the locals hanging near the port. I have never felt safe in Jamaica, and if I have an itinerary that stops there in the future, I intend to just stay on the ship. I can’t wait to read more of your review, and will take in consideration your recommendations for food. 😎🛳🏖🌴

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Port Day #2 – Crand Caymen

 

 

 

 

GC – The anti-Jamaica.  What a great port day!

 

 

We opted as usual to go out on our own.  The ship arrived early, but we opted to wait until around 9AM to tender out.  We got right on a tender and only had to wit about 10 minutes before heading to shore.  For the day, we were headed up to Calico Jacks further up on 7 mile beach than several other stops.  The cab was clean, the driver fantastic and straight up taking us where we wanted to go.  Most people got off at the Royal Palms resort prior to us, but our taxi ride as only $6 US/pp for the ride, so worth it!

 

 

Calico Jacks and this section of the beach have been known to us for years, so we know what we should expect.  There is a public beach area next to Calico Jack’s, but in front of it now is quite a bit of construction.  We did find out that the parking lot construction is related to a further commercial (non-hotel) development that is in progress/planning.  So, if you ever enjoyed Calico Jack’s and that stretch of beach as it is today, go see it soon!

 

 

We opted to sit at a table and order food and drinks, but they do have chair and umbrella rentals too.  We enjoyed what we ordered and the bucket (of 5) Caybrews for $20 set the mood.  It was great frolicking in the crystal clear water and the service was very friendly, attentive but non-obtrusive and in no hurry to have us move along.  But when you are ready to move along, honest and attentive cabbies are waiting out front.  This was our favorite stop of the trip!

Edited by bankofdad
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Port Day #3 – Cozumel

 

What to say about Cozumel, so much to do or do as little as you want.  So many options, and in my opinion a very safe Mexican port that I have had so much fun in over the year.

 

For this trip, we opted to go to Paradise Beach.  Paradise Beach is right next to the Mr Sancho’s all-inclusive and in my opinion, the two are becoming more like each other that as different as they used to be.

 

Paradise Beach was always a great place if you have kids or as an adult an active distemper.  Lots of fun water toys on a great beach, but until recently didn’t offer an all-inclusive package, and now they do.  Mr Sancho’s has always been a great all-inclusive with no (of few water toys), but now the have the water toys too.  As to which is better than the other, I can’t say because it has been a while since at Sancho's, but my first impression is slight advantage to Paradise Beach because of the pool for those that use it.

 

In any case, a $15 10 minute friendly no nonsense cab ride from the port got us to the club.  Once exiting the ship, making your way through the shop gauntlet that you are forced to go through at the pier and after making your way through more shops in the Carnival village you will make it to the taxi stand.  Fares are posted at that stand and we have NEVER had an issue with any cabbie trying to charge otherwise.  For me, I find the people of Cozumel to be very friendly and helpful!

 

Upon arrival at the beach, the entry fee is $3pp, or $18pp for those that want to use the water toys.  DS and I opted to use the toys, so we were given a wristband identifying that we paid.  Also, you are expected to spend an average of $10pp in food and/or drinks, though I don’t know if they really enforce this (others can chime in).  For us, that was no problem.  A bucket of 4 tecate’s $18, and two appetizers plus two frozen drinks.  15% gratuity is added to you bill, but just note the server will politely let you know that the whole staff shares that gratuity, so feel free to add on at will (which we did)

 

Upon leaving, numerous taxis outside the gate, honest service and a quick trip back to the ship.  We did arrive a few hours before departing port so we breezed through the shop gauntlet, but getting closer to departure it does get harry in there so don’t cut your return to ship time short!

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Oh, forgot to mention that Paradise Beach has a taco truck now.  I didn't try it, but others around me that did raved about not only the food quality and taste but the value.  I also forgot to mention the food we purchased from the restaurant here was exceptional and very reasonable in price.  Also, the place was immaculate.  We saw workers all around tending to it like a five star resort.  All facilities, including bathrooms were very well sanitized and stocked.

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Debarkation

 

As with embarkation, this was one of the easiest debarkation's we have had.  With FTTF we were given the opportunity for priority debarkation and told to assemble by 8:15am in the Golden dining room mid-deck on the lobby deck.  We arrived on time and found ample seating while we waited.  Groups 1-5 were told to be in that area.

 

After self-assist passengers from decks 1,2 and 6 were off, groups 1-5 were free to debark.  The process was painless, we were off the ship by 8:35 and in our car by 8:50.  We did not need them, but if you do, there are many porters waiting to help (for a tip).

 

In Summary

 

This was a FANTASTIC vacation!  Great onboard experience from all angles, one of the best we have had in recent memory.  On the service, we enjoyed this crew very much with note of my previous notes.  On the food, keep an open mind but don’t always expect five stars.  Three- star is the norm in my opinion, with occasional for and at the steakhouse closest to 5 stars.  We had a fantastic room steward, but I know they aren’t all clones of each other.  I hope future cruisers get we we got because it was great!  On the entertainment, we had fun and did diverse things.  For me, relaxing on my balcony and enjoying the water views were entertaining, but I’m a pretty simple guy.

 

My bottom line is that if you can’t find fun and satisfaction on this cruise, choose a different vacation means.  But for those that go, have a great time and happy sailings! 

 

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Your review seemed like a big preview for my Sept. 8th cruise.  We are staying at the Hampton, have a deck 7 aft cabin, and also have FTTF.    I really appreciate all of the information.

 

Thanks for the reminders and heads-up about Doctor's Cave Beach.  We went there a few years ago and plan to again.  We previously experienced something similar to your transport issues.  When the bus driver tried to convince all of the passengers to take her tour, I insisted that we were told that we had a direct taxi to the beach.  She grumbled, but still took us directly to the beach.  She definitely confused/intimidated a bunch of the other passengers.  If we encounter the same arguments that you did, we will do the same as you and just get off and walk the rest of the way.  Yep, not far.  It's a shame about your seats on the beach.  Last time, we had plenty of room and great beachside food/drink service.  I will definitely keep your issues in mind when getting our chairs and umbrella set up.

 

Since you drove to the port, you can't address this question, but I am not sure about how to arrange transport from the cruise terminal to the airport after disembarkation.  I know that I could use the Carnival shuttle, but it's often over-priced.

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2 minutes ago, Sophia67 said:

Since you drove to the port, you can't address this question, but I am not sure about how to arrange transport from the cruise terminal to the airport after disembarkation.  I know that I could use the Carnival shuttle, but it's often over-priced.

Rideshare service: Lyft or Uber.

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bankofdad thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Would you be so kind as to answer a couple questions? I have booked a similar stateroom. Mine is Verandah 8450 [8N]. Did you feel much vibration from the propellers or a lot of movement being so far aft? I will be sailing with DW & have MTD. Are you assigned a table with MTD? We prefer to dine alone? How do I go about arranging this? Thank You!

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5 hours ago, cleanandsober88 said:

bankofdad thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Would you be so kind as to answer a couple questions? I have booked a similar stateroom. Mine is Verandah 8450 [8N]. Did you feel much vibration from the propellers or a lot of movement being so far aft? I will be sailing with DW & have MTD. Are you assigned a table with MTD? We prefer to dine alone? How do I go about arranging this? Thank You!

Yes, we did feel a bit of vibration, but nothing that bothered us qt all.  This was our second time in an aft cabin like this one, so we knew that going in.  The only time I really even noticed it was when I would be sitting out on the balcony later in the evening when the ship was sailing at the top speed it would be sailing at, and even then, no big deal at all.

 

On the dining room, on the first night when we were seated we simply asked for a table for just us.  We weren't necessarily assigned to a table, but after the first night of being seated at the table we were, we just asked for the same server (Daniel) and they took us to the same table each time and we were by ourselves.  Sometimes I do enjoy the company of others that I am just meeting in a larger table setting, but on this trip, it was all about family time since we are all so busy and rarely have the chance to sit for dinner together at home.  Bottom line, if you ask, they will accommodate you, but for the best seating, I suggest arriving before they open for 5:45PM MTD when possible.

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