Carnival Glory | A Carnival Cruise Line Ship Review

Carnival Glory in port in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

If you’ve been following along recently, you’ve seen that I was just recently onboard the Carnival Glory out of Boston to Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada for a 4-night cruise. The Carnival Glory is a Conquest-class ship that was built in Italy and went into service in 2003. Weighing in at 110,000 GRT, the Carnival Glory is 952 feet long with 13 decks and can accommodate 2,974 passengers and 1,150 crew members.

The Carnival Glory was last drydocked in January 2010. During her time in drydock, hull structure maintenance was conducted including underwater hull equipment inspections and underwater hull painting. The Carnival Glory at that time also received her Seaside Theater on Lido Deck 9 overlooking the main pool. In addition, she received the Circle C club for kids 12-14 and 18 balcony cabins.

Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint coming soon to the Carnival Glory

The Carnival Glory is scheduled to enter drydock again in November 2012 for her scheduled Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades. Among the scheduled refurbishments, the Carnival Glory will receive the all new RedFrog Rum Bar, Blue Iguana Tequila Bar, Alchemy Bar, EA Sports Bar, Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint, Blue Iguana Cantina, Punchliners Comedy Club & Brunch presented by George Lopez, Hasbro The Game Show, Playlist Productions, and DJ IRIE.

Boston is a new home port for the Carnival Glory and her first cruise out of Boston was June of 2012.  She will be sailing two more 5-night Canada cruises out of Boston (July 21 and July 26) before relocating to New York.   She will then sail 4, 5, and 7-night Canada and New England cruises until October where she will then move to Norfolk, Virginia for four cruises before heading to drydock.  When she emerges from drydock, she will then port out of Miami for Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries until May of next year and then she will make her way back up the coast to ultimately land back in Boston and start the cycle all over again.

Platinum Dining Room waiters dancing during service

Dining: The Carnival Glory offers a variety of dining options for its passengers from its specialty restaurant, the Emerald Room Steakhouse to its two main dining rooms, the Golden Dining Room and the Platinum Dining Room, to the more informal, but popular option of their large buffet restaurant.  Guests with assigned seating for dinner are seated in either of the two main dining rooms according to their Sail & Sign card.  Those who have opted for Your Time Dining are seated anytime between 5:45 pm and 9:30 pm in the Golden Dining Room.  Regardless of when you go, stick around for the “show” each night by your wait staff.  Let’s just say it can be entertaining, depending on your taste.

My advice: Don’t worry about the dress code for the main dining room as it is clearly not enforced.  I saw flip flops, ripped denim vests, and baseball hats in the dining room alongside those who did bother to dress up and follow the dress code.

Tender roasted prime rib

As far as the food in the dining room, it was somewhat hit or miss.  My in-laws absolutely loved the salmon that was on the every day menu (Broiled fillet of Atlantic Salmon) and had it three of the four nights on the ship.  Now that may not sound strange to you, but my father-in-law normally would never eat salmon so that’s quite the nod to the chef on the Carnival Glory!  When it comes to meat, Carnival does a splendid job and everyone who chose their prime rib, for example, was ecstatic at what was served.  Some even ordered an additional plate in anticipation of a great meal.

Gluten free pasta and marinara sauce

As a non-meat eater, finding options for my husband and I were somewhat difficult. The first night they had tofu steak on the menu, but it was bad.  I would rather restaurants and cruise lines not offer tofu if they don’t know how to prepare it.  It came on a plate looking and unfortunately, tasting like a soggy sponge.  One of the members of our party is on a gluten-free diet and I was assured by Carnival that they would be accommodated once onboard.  They said to let the server in the dining room know as there will be GF bread, pastas, and other items  that they will be able to use to prepare the meals.  Despite having this information added to the reservation, there was nothing available the first day and so this young man had to dine on a broiled chicken breast and veggies.  There were no GF breads available for hamburgers or rolls at dinner. He ended up eating pasta and plain sauce, which can be monotonous especially when others have the opportunity to pick freely off the menu.  They were told that special bread was going to be prepared for him, but that never materialized.

My advice: Bring as much of your special dietary food with you because your options may be very limited onboard.

The only time there wasn’t a line at the Burrito Bar

Prepare yourself for the lines inside the Red Sail restaurant and the buffet is because it is always, always packed.  What I couldn’t understand was having sections of the buffet closed during peak times.  Having worked in the hospitality industry in restaurants and hotels, you always want to keep the customer happy. Passengers were not happy having to wait in the lines and believe me, you could hear the complaints wherever you went.  For breakfast there is an omelet station near the pool area and at lunch this becomes the Mongolian Wok.  But by the time you get your food, you have waited 15 minutes or more just to get at the front of the line and some might say that it’s just not worth it.  Our first day on the ship my husband and son hit the Burrito Bar and I’m glad they did it then because the line stretched around the corner every day after that.  The Deli line was equally as long so that was equally disheartening.  I ended up grabbing a salad every day at lunch just because it was the easiest thing to do, but breakfast was hard. Heavy on fried foods and meat, I wouldn’t exactly call their buffet heart healthy.  They always had cut cantaloupe, honeydew melon, bananas, apples, and yogurt, but then they also had canned peaches and prunes.  Ugh!  How I wished for some fresh fruit options like pineapple or watermelon, but that wasn’t meant to be.  I would have gladly traded the overly crowded Chocolate buffet at lunch on our final day of the cruise for more fresh fruit, fresh veggies, and less fried food.

My advice: Dine in the Platinum dining room for breakfast or lunch for table service and avoid the crowds altogether.

Buffet in the Red Sail Restaurant

Overall, I think that Carnival has a difficult job of trying to appeal to the masses and by doing so, sometimes the food becomes very middle of the road and might appeal to some, but certainly not all.  I would definitely liken the buffet to college cafeteria food, and although I loved college, I can’t say I thoroughly enjoyed the food there.  I am by no means a food snob, but I absolutely prefer quality over quantity and would have liked one really good meal where I felt the chef or the kitchen was cooking with passion versus all my meals coming out in the general vicinity of mediocrity.

Ocean Suite 7270

Accommodations: There are four basic types of staterooms available on this ship including interior, oceanview, balcony, and suites. Within each one of those categories there are various cabin types available, depending on the location of the cabin.  Our entire group stayed in either Ocean Suites or the highest category of cabin on the ship, the Grand Suite.  The Ocean Suite measures 275 sq. ft. with a 65 sq. ft. balcony while the Grand Suite measures 345 sq. ft. with an 85 sq. ft. balcony.  Unlike other cruise lines where staying in a suite means added amenities, you’ll get a slightly larger cabin than a balcony cabin, but the amenities somewhat hard to spot.  Apparently, suite guests are supposed to get priority embarkation and disembarkation, but we never experienced either. Compare the size of the suites to a balcony cabin at 185 sq. ft. and yes, you do get more room, but I would highly encourage you to weigh the cost of the cabin with how much time you anticipate being in it.  If you have more than two people traveling in the cabin, it is helpful as you do get way more storage with extra drawers, large closets, etc.

My advice: Consider the Aft-facing extended balcony cabin, which is 185 sq. ft., but has a 50% bigger balcony.

Pools: There are three pools onboard including the Cobalt Pool near the Carnival Twister Slide on Deck 10, the Main Pool on Deck 9 Mid-ship, and the Adults Only Aft Pool on Deck 9 Aft. As it was hot when we left Boston, it was no surprise that people were in the pools and they were crowded! Even in Canada while in port people went in the pools so if you’re thinking it might be too cold in the summer to bring a bathing suit onboard a cruise to Canada, think again.  Although not terribly large in size, the pools offer you a chance to jump in, cool, off and sit back and relax in a pool-side lounge chair.  Take in a movie nightly at the Carnival Seaside theatre on Deck 9 mid-ship.

My advice: If you want to avoid the crowds, pay a visit to the Adults Serenity area with hammocks, comfy lounger, and yes — peace and quiet.

Kaleidoscope Boulevard

The overall condition of the ship was excellent and there were almost now problems that I saw with the ship.  The crew members were constantly cleaning, painting, and repairing and you could see their hard work was paying off.  The only thing that bugged me a little bit was the wallpaper in our cabin had buckled in a spot and needed repair, but that was probably more of an OCD-type of thing that others could probably look past.  The decor and style of the ship is truly all Carnival and if you’ve sailed Carnival before, then you won’t be surprised by the bright colors and somewhat over the top styling.  Diehard Carnival fans love this style and that’s why they’ve been vocal about the new ships and how they no longer have the traditional Carnival style.  For me and for the members of our group, most found the decor to be somewhat gaudy.  I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just saying it doesn’t appeal to my personal taste.

Some people ask me why I am so brutally honest about the resorts and cruises I review. Just like you, I want to experience a great vacation each and every time I travel.  I hate the sugar coated reviews that I often find that make me feel like the person writing the review was somewhere completely different and has no interest in telling me like it truly is.  Not every resort or cruise will be right for every person and it’s better to match yourself up to the right product than to the cheapest, the most popular, or the product that the travel site is pushing at the moment.  Find what’s best for you and you’ll have a vacation to remember and that is why Travel Shop Girl is always honest about her experiences.

I would recommend a cruise out of Boston on the Carnival Glory to anyone new to cruising who wanted to experience a short cruise without having to fly to their port city.  With one port of call that is somewhat on the sleepy side, the cruise ship becomes more of the destination.  If this is your first cruise, make a list of what you liked and didn’t like and try to find other cruise options that might make your next experience better.  Maybe you want to sail to a warmer climate.  Maybe you want a bigger cabin.  Maybe you want to try a different cruise ship or cruise line.  With so many options out there for cruisers these days, I encourage you to try a few options before making a final decision as to whether or not cruising is for you.

The pictures of the Carnival Glory and our port of call of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada will be up tomorrow on the Travel Shop Girl FaceBook page so stay tuned!

3 thoughts on “Carnival Glory | A Carnival Cruise Line Ship Review

  1. Hi Marian,

    I couldn’t find your e-mail address so I am contacting you via here.

    I am the Online Marketing Manager for an information website on cruises and would like to be a guest blog on your blog. Would it be something of interest?

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