Carnival definitely knows how to entertain its guests. It is no wonder why they call themselves “The Fun Cruise” and it is definitely their priority to leave this idea in everybody’s mind. This, in turn, attracts a particular crowd “looking for fun”, much younger than the average cruise and mostly from the United States and Canada with very few international passengers. But Focusing so much on “fun” also means providing less quality to their passengers which in general don’t ask as much. Is this compromise in quality worth all the Fun provided? This is what I will cover in this article…
I have had only one other experience on a Carnival ship prior to this one, on the newer Carnival Breeze and at the time I was happy with the experience. It was totally different, there was much more to do, and at my younger age, this is a definite plus. I had a great image of Carnival in my mind prior to coming on the Carnival Glory and was excited about it. But I have cruised a lot on several other cruise lines since then and I have gathered a lot more experience to be able to compare them. Thus, it was expected that I would be more critic of any lack provided during the cruise. That said, my experience was in a whole interesting, but just as expected, I thought too many things were just too low in quality for my taste. Everything was there, but just a little “cheaper” and cutting too many edges for the experience to be complete. So let’s see in details my experience and ratings through each category.
Entertainment on-board: 10/10
Theater Shows: 7/10
Ship Common Areas 9/10
Room Comfort: 5/10
Service Quality: 5/10
Check-in / Check-out: 7/10
Overall satisfaction: 6.5/10
Special Note on the rating System: The rating system on my Cruise Reviews is based out of comparison to what many consider the best cruise line over the board: Royal Carribbean. In fact, Royal carribbean have become so good at the game that they currently have a steady 25% of the clientel of cruise ships over the world, a very considerate amount. I must agree that Royal carribean is the best experience one can have on a cruise, and this is due to the fact that they are excellent in absolutly all the categories I list in my Rating articles. When I say excellent, this means they pretty much rank a 8/10 without exception. Some cruise lines may have one or two categories with higher ratings than RCCL, but may lack in other caterogies. So in mt rating system, for comparison purposes, if a category ranks 7/10, it means it is lesser than the RCCL’s average, while a 9/10 means an Exceptional rating, better than the RCCL Average.
Focusing so much on entertainment is very obvious at Carnival and no one will leave disappointed on the Glory. From Comedy shows, game shows, live bands, animation teams and a very dynamic cruise director named “Dustin”, it feels like there is always something to do and FOMO kicks in whenever you are in a quiet place. For anybody under 40, this is an important factor in choosing Carnival Cruise Line and especially the Carnival Glory, where I found the entertainment on-board to be very amusing, even more than on the Carnival Breeze. There are so many bars on the ship that it is hard to count them all.
The Glory has a nice variety of musicians on-board, such as an Irish solo guitar signer, a latin band, a Caribbean barrel drums player and several others, to keep the boat entertained everywhere there are guests. I particularly enjoyed the Punchliner Comedy Club, one of the glory’s main attraction, having several shows every night.
One of the only negative point about the entertainment onboard, in my opinion, was the music in the nightclub, which was only oriented towards fans of Rap and Hip-hop, leaving a big part of the late night party people wanting to dance on other types of music feeling left out. It was a common critic while I was on-board and even having several people requesting other types of music to the DJ would have no effect, every single night. Many ships will have special nights even in the club, such as 70s or 80s night, but not on the Carnival Glory, prioritizing late nights to Hip-hop only.
Rating Entertainment on-board: 10/10
One of the Main Bars
The Glory possesses a great team in general. Their formula seems similar to that of the Breeze, where they showcase 4 singers and 4 dancers who have created 4 shows for the cruise, all of which are colourful and entertaining. There won’t be anything spectacular such as professional acrobats or even Cirque du Soleil type of artists on other ship, but in general, the Broadway shows are of good quality, enough to satisfy the crowd. I enjoyed the experience even though I prefer the shows on Norwegian and RCCL ships more.
Rating Theater Shows: 7/10
Ship Common Areas
The ship definitely has one of the best infrastructures I’ve seen on a ship, providing an amazing “common area to passenger” ratio. As stated, there are so many bars and places for people to socialize.
Rating Ship Common Areas 9/10
Another Bar available for Guests
The rooms look good in general, for a boat that is getting a little old. But, I somehow found it very hard sleep on the Carnival Glory. As early as 7:30, they constantly start blasting memos through the intercom which I found was much louder than usual ships, feeling like halfway between an in-room intercom and a hallway intercom. This made it impossible to sleep and made it very annoying hearing their shuttle embarcation procedures which take over 2 hours with repeated information, almost every day! Other than that, I found it very noisy with so much noise in the hallways with the stewards yelling at each other constantly, definitely not the usual experience accepted on other ships. This made the room uncomfortable to spend time, like naps in the afternoon or late morning sleep pretty much impossible.
Other than that, I found the in-room cleaning procedures to be of much lower than average. Trash left in garbages, towels left dirty on the floor are some of the things I encountered which would simply be unacceptable on other cruise lines. Carnival even has a system where the steward will ask passengers if they want service once or twice daily, an obvious tactic to decrease staff costs, but they do not offer to lower the service charge accordingly… Clever way to save on staff…
Rating Room Comfort: 5/10
The service in the restaurants and in the Lido Buffet was rushed and plainly bad. The waiters seemed to be acting in accordance with guests that don’t expect much quality. It felt more of a fast food joint than a normal cruise ship restaurant.
Rating Service Quality: 5/10
The food on the Carnival Glory is designed to please the type of passengers it attracts. In this optic, almost all the food will be the type of fast food, fried meals that North American Love. If Burgers, Tacos and Fried Chicken is your thing, then you will love what the Glory has to offer. However, if you enjoy trying fine cuisine and a variety of international cuisine, the Glory’s food is plainly poor. Compared to the average cruise ship’s culinary experience, I found the Glory to have some of the worst selection of food around! Lack of choice, lack of taste, greasy and oily meals, fried and fried again fast food, it’s just impossible to eat healthy on the Carnival Glory… If it is true what they say that the average persons gain 1 pound every day on a cruise ship, this average must certainly jump to 2 pounds per day on this ship.
Rating Food: 5/10
The boat is clean in general, with hand sanitizers available everywhere. But the boat feels old and rusty, and the Lido Buffet food doesn’t feel the cleanest. This also has to do with the passengers it attracts with many not having the basic manners of how to act in public, which is not Carnivals fault, rather the fault of their demographic target customers. However, I just can’t see how I can rank this category higher than a 6.5, compared to the efforts of other cruise ships in keeping the experience clean. The pool felt so dirty and the colour of the water was greenish…
Rating Cleanliness: 6.5/10
Check-in / Check-out
The experience in Miami was good in general and quick. So nothing special to note here.
Rating Check-in / Check-out: 7/10
The Carnival Glory is not expensive in general and many deals can be found prior to sailings. This, in turn, will attract a lot of Floridians on-board which wait for last minute deals to fill the boat and makes up the first demographic on the ship. With lower quality service and lower quality food, the quality-price ratio definitely goes down. So for my quality/price rating, I would have to give nothing more than a 7…
Rating Quality/Price: 7/10
Fellow Passengers On-Board
Carnival is very unique in the type of crowd that it attracts. Labelled the “fun cruise”, it will definitely aspire to people looking for animation and group dance opportunities. But after being on 2 carnival cruises, I now see the patterns of where people are from. By sailing out of uncommon ports like Lousiana and Texas, Carnival attracts mostly Americans from the mid-west and eastern central states of the united states and to usually lower-income Americans. In fact, the carnival glory felt to me at times like being in a Wallmart. There seems to be a lot of military and veterans that love to cruise with Carnival, with a daily “veterans” meetup and constant reminders from the cruise director to “thank the veterans”. In fact, I’ve never seen that many camouflage cloth on any ship! The animation shows reminded me of the TV show The Price is Right, where oversized American jump and dancing eccentrically to win a prize. The size of passengers on Carnival is also homogeneous, definitely 40 to 50 pounds heavier than most other cruise lines like Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. So this is to take into consideration when booking a cruise with Carnival. There is also about 20% of the passengers being African-American, which counts for 95% of the crowd in the nightclub at night. This will play in the choice of music the DJ plays, which is 100% Hip-Hop and Rap. Requesting anything else to the DJ would be denied. The average age is quite young, probably between 40 and 50 with not that many families with kids on-board.
The main pool deck on a Sea Day
In general, I was happy with my experience on the Carnival Glory, but I would not cruise again on this ship, as there is simply too much lack of quality and lower standards than the usual cruise line. Sure, it was entertaining, there was a lot of activities and a lot of entertainment. But cruising is much more than just ranking high in one category, and the lower ranks in service and food categories make it a bad choice of cruise line for me. It just felt like a 3-star resort in Cancun, rather than 4-star experiences you will get on Royal Caribbean and Norwegian for example. If this is ok with you and you prefer having party people on board at the expense of quality, the glory might be for you. However, if you want to be treated in the way a quality 4-star hotel treats its customers, I would recommend choosing another cruise line.
Carnival is known for its party vibe, and some smaller ships cruising to the Bahamas are explicitly oriented to a drunk younger crowd. The Carnival Breeze felt much more modern and with much more quality. The Glory is somewhere in between a booze cruise and a normal cruise in my opinion, and this is where I draw the line. I will certainly cruise again with Carnival in the future, but it will have to be on the higher quality, bigger and more modern ships of their fleet.
Rating Overall satisfaction: 6.5/10
Back Pool of the Carnival Glory
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