February 06, 2005

Carnival Glory Cruise

Port Canaveral - January 29, 2005

Today we depart on our Cruise on the Carnival Glory. It departs from Port Canaveral, Florida so it’s nice and close. We need to take out own transportation down there since the cruise line doesn’t offer any transfers from our area. There are three couples going so we’ve decided to take one vehicle that will hold all of us. It should be much easier since we can take our time getting there. When we leave from Ft. Lauderdale or Miami, we have to leave very early – 6AM usually – to get there on time for check in. Today we’re not leaving until 11AM – what a treat. We’re traveling with Mickey & Smiley and Lorraine and Ed. We always have such a good time together.

We arrive at the Port Canaveral terminal around 1PM – check in is at 1:30PM. You have to park the car across the street so the luggage gets dropped off first. The parking terminal is a multi-level parking garage. The instructions on the Carnival web site tells you that you need to take a shuttle back from the parking garage, but it’s very close and walk able.

Check in is a breeze. We’re decided to take suites on this sailing. I know it sounds spoiled, but we got a suite on this for the price of a balcony on the other lines. Anyway, you get special treatment when you sign in.. Category 11 and above goes to the Skipper Club and you get individual sign in at a special desk – one on one with a waiting lounge for others who are waiting to use the service. Then you get escorted to the front of the line and you check in to board the ship before all others. WOW – I felt like such a VIP. The cabins are really nice. So big, plenty of closet space, big bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub and a nice big balcony. Since we all took cabins next to each other, we always end up opening the doors between the balcony so we can socialize and party during the cruise. It works out so well. The cabins are loaded with closet space and drawers. Three closets to hang items in, one with shelves plus a dresser with 4 drawers, a vanity with 5 drawers (includes a hair dryer) and a desk area. It also has a mini-bar with items to buy, but if you have something you want to put in there, there is room. If you want to buy anything from the mini-bar, be prepared to pay a hefty price. They are just like hotels – very expensive. The room has a king size bed or two twins, plus a couch/sleep sofa, coffee table and chair. The balcony comes with 2 chairs and 2 tables and is plenty big. The room has a regular glass paned door to go out to the balcony and two big picture windows. I love the sunlight so it was great for me. The room was nice and bright once you pulled the curtains back. They do have room-darkening curtains on the windows for when you’re sleeping.

The balance of the day was spent getting used to the ship and eating and eating and eating. So far we’re very happy with the food but the lines in the Lido are very long. You do better if you use the Deli or Oriental kitchen on the Lido. They don’t seem to have as long a line. The grille that serves hamburgers/hot dogs and grilled chicken isn’t to bad – same for the pizza and Caesar salad station.

Dinner was casual tonight. The food was very good. Soups are excellent, salads and dressings fresh and flavorful and the entrees were just the right size so you don’t end up feeling bloated. You can have more if you want, but it was enough for me. If you ever get hungry later, you can always find more to eat someplace. Remember, the pizza place is open 24 hours plus you have 24 hour room service – no matter what room you have.

They have started something new and at dinner they announce the competition. They divide the ship up into three teams, red, white and blue. You find out what color you are in the dining room. We’re white. Each time you win something – like the trivia and other games they have, you earn points for your team. Winning at Bingo wins points. They give points for almost everything. It’s a fun way to get people involved that normally wouldn’t participate in anything. People really start to take their colors seriously. It lasts the whole week. We’ll see how successful we are.

The entertainment this evening was a comedian and he was really funny. Plus the cruise director was very entertaining explaining the ins and outs of the ship. They have mega bingo late at night. All the other ships I’ve been on had it in the afternoon. Here they have it in the main showroom between the two shows. It starts around 10PM. This really packs the showroom for the show.

Of course, the casino opens as soon as you hit the open seas. They have a nice big casino with something for everyone. The slots go from .05 cents to a dollar and there seemed to be enough for everyone. The nickels are always a popular spot so you might find it a little more difficult to get one of these. We were on a full cruise and it wasn’t annoying trying to find a machine.

Ready for bed – everyone is exhausted from the full day. Tomorrow is Key West.

Posted by MJ at February 6, 2005 11:04 PM