February 10, 2005

Carnival Glory - Key West

Key West Ė January 30, 2005

Not a big rush this morning. We donít arrive in Key West until noon so we can take our time getting ready and organized. We head out to breakfast around 9AM and encounter very long lines for the buffet. You have to wonder if you really need to eat breakfast when you have to wait so long. If you like omelets, skip the buffet line, go to the front of it and order your omelet. It goes much faster. Also, if you just want some pastry and fresh fruit, they have a separate area for that and you just walk right up to it. Much better than waiting for the bacon, eggs, pancakes etc.

Since the ship doesnít get in to Key West until noon, we decide to wait, have lunch then venture off the ship. Today we try the Seafood Grill located on Deck 10 above the grand buffet in the aft of the ship. This area of the dining room is nice and quiet and hardly anyone eats up there. The fish and chips are great, they also have Sushi, Fried Oysters, and several other fish items. We like this area so much weíve decided to have our meals up there each day instead of trying to find a table in the lower level Ė even if you donít eat the fish, the eating area is nicer.

Finished lunch and head back to our cabin. We have balconyís overlooking the pier and city so we get a birds eye view of what is going on. The Glory pulls into the old navy pier so youíre at a disadvantage right away. No walking on and off the ship at will. You need to exit the pier and take a shuttle bus through the navy area. Youíre not allowed to walk unescorted, plus when you return to the ship each shuttle is stopped and you have to show your photo ID and have your bags checked. The Disney Magic was across just across from us and they were at the pier thatís at the foot of the Mallory Square area. Much nicer. Funny thing, if you could swim a short distance, you would be across this short expanse of water faster than it took to take the shuttle to town. The nice part about the shuttle service is that you get a short narrative from the drivers during the trip. What we saw when we got back to our room was a line as long as the ship waiting to get on the shuttles. People had to wait over 20 minutes to get the transportation to town. Very inconvenient and seemed very disorganized. Coming back you went through the same thing in reverse. The wait wasnít as long but every time a bus pulled in they dumped another load of passengers on the pier to add to the line. Last shuttle is 5PM so itís a mad dash to get back on time. If you miss the shuttle, youíre out of luck because you canít get through the navy base without it.

Key West is not the city that I remember. Iíve been to Key West several times since my parents once lived in Key Largo, so usually a visit to Mom and Dad included a trip to Key West. That was many years ago. Key West is not the same city. Itís grown up and all the franchise names have entered. You still can see the original Sloppy Joes and a few other bars/restaurants, but being there during the tourist season you end up shoulder to shoulder with other tourists. There were three ships in town at the same time. Our ship holds about 3000 passengers plus all the crew are allowed off here. Add two other ships to that and you have one packed city. At least we werenít on the other ship in there, that one had to sit off shore and tender people in.

Tonightís dinner was casual but very good. No food complaints at all. Plus tonight is the first night the dinning room staff entertains you. They dance and sing just about the time they serve desert. Tonight was the Macarena and some other dance I didnít know.

The show tonight was a wonderful entertainer named Marcus Anthony. Heís performed with all the Motown entertainers from years back and he was great. He sang all the songs from the 50ís and up. He had great repore with the audience and got everyone up and dancing at their seats. So far the entertainment is top notch.

After the show was over, we went to the casino before heading back to the cabin. I was luckier tonight than last night and should be just about even again.

Posted by MJ at February 10, 2005 04:53 PM