Saturday, January 28, 2017

Carnival Glory Cruise Review


Carnival Glory Cruise Review

1/28/2017 and 2/4/2017

Just the Facts:
Ship: Carnival Glory
Captain:  Carlo Aquilone
Cruise Director:  Eric R. Brouman
Ports: Miami - Grand Cayman - Isla Roatan - Belize - Cozumel -
Miami - Amber Cove - St. Thomas USVI - San Juan - Grand Turk - Miami

This cruise is the beginning of five consecutive cruises for me.  The Bloggers and a later group cruise was booked long ago, I filled in other cruises to save travel.  This will be the review for the B2B on the Carnival Glory with the John Heald Blogger cruise being the second week.  I will chronicle both cruises in this one review.   This is my 66th & 67th Carnival cruises, my 5th/6th time on the Carnival Glory, and 123rd/124th cruises overall.  I am cruising as a solo.

Friday / Travel / January 27, 2017 / Day 0
Miami Beach from flight
Originally I was flying to Miami on Saturday, but American Airlines cancelled the early flight from Waco, so there was no way to get to Miami from Waco before sailing.  I now have to fly the day before…more expensive due to hotel cost…but a much easier travel day.  I didn’t want to leave the new truck at the airport for 41 days so DW dropped me at Waco Regional about 9:15 am.  Check in and security is easy at the small airport and soon our 40 minute flight was at DFW airport for the scheduled 12:30 flight to Miami.  Sometime that morning our plane went from a 767 to a 757 so new boarding vouchers and seat assignments for all…I had time and actually noticed that my boarding didn’t match the AA iPhone App so got mine strait away, no middle seat thank goodness.  We were a little late but arrived in Miami about 4:20 pm.  A zone taxi ($20) downtown and I arrived at The Langford just about 5:15.  I love the Langford, we stayed there just after they opened before our trip to Cuba.  A bit more expensive now as it’s more in line with Miami rates, but includes continental breakfast and as a returning guest they gave me two complimentary cocktail vouchers.  I went up to the Pawnbroker, the Penthouse rooftop bar where it was ‘happy hour’ and it's rather busy for an early hour.  Beautiful views of sunset over downtown Miami and this has become one of the ‘hot’ bars in Miami.  I ordered and enjoyed two of their signature cocktails until hunger overcame me.  About 7:00 pm I went across the street to the Downtown French Bistro that is rated well in guides.  It was not busy and I had a choice table.  It was happy hour on wine and beer so I ordered a Hefeweizen beer.  The menu is primarily French as is the decor.  I ordered the Petit Velouté de Potiron a small and sweet Butternut Squash Shooter as a starter and the Coquilles St. Jacques grillés sur Risotto avec Portobello & Huile de Truffes - Seared Scallops over Risotto with Portobello Mushrooms & Truffle Oil.  It was outstanding…scallops large and fried perfectly and the risotto was delicious.  It was also served with a small Arugula salad.  A wonderful meal.  After dinner I enjoyed some TV and the super fast internet (to me) then really ended up turning in early this evening.  It was a very easy and enjoyable travel day.

Saturday / Embarkation / January 28th / Day 1
Glory Sail Away from Miami 1/28
So nice to be already in Miami.  I slept very well and about 9:00 am went for the Continental breakfast included with the hotel fare.  Then I walked the two blocks to Walgreens for diet Coke and toiletries (liquids) I didn’t want to take on the plane.  I’m not going to rush to the port, i’ll let the anxious guests clog up the early boarding and I will enjoy some internet time at the hotel.  I checked out and got a Taxi ($18) to the port arriving about 11:35 am.  I thought they would have taken care of the super early Priority guests, but it was a huge mess…all backed up. Really no organization at all.  Priority guests really didn’t have any advantage over general boarding.  In fact when I finally boarded they were boarding zone three and blue cards.  They just were not processing the VIFP’s fast enough.  Once on board it went better: my cabin was ready, I met my cabin Steward Richard, and soon I was up at Lido deck enjoying a nice lunch of Salad Greens and Chicken Tenders.  It was already time for the 2:00 pm Facebook meet up so I just walked out to the Azure Bar for that meet up.  I saw a lot of cruise friends and enjoyed a couple of Pilsner Urquell’s. From Lido I sent a gag photo to Carnival Comedian Lance M that I screwed up and will now be one of my humorous cruise stories…you’ll have to ask me when you see me.  I went to safety drill about 4:00 pm and it went smoothly although I requested to sit and not actually go outside on the open deck.  Yes I took the easy way.  I returned to the cabin and Richard had placed my checked bag inside so I finished unpacking, hung clothes, and set up of the cabin.  I use hook magnets, various converter plugs, fan, and more in cabin set up.  I went to the Alchemy Bar for cocktails before dinner and met Ivana and Miro the Alchemists. They fixed me up with my traditional Quick Fix. John Heald actually popped in to say hello as well.  Hey John.  Dinner was at 8:00 and I was a little late as I assumed it was at 8:15…woops.  I knew most at my table so that will be nice for the week.  Dinner was good, I ordered:  Creme of Tomato Soup, Sweet & Sour Shrimp, and from the port menu the Fried Chicken and Tomato BLT.  After dinner I stopped by the Alchemy Bar for a Deal Closer as a nightcap.  It was an interesting and Fun first day on the Carnival Glory. 

Sunday / Fun Day at Sea / January 29th / Day 2
Platinum MDR
Just a little rocking in the seas overnight and I slept very well.  I must announce a new 'CruiseHack'--I brought a battery powered motion controlled light for the bathroom.  The kind you normally use to light toilet bowls...although I placed it on the shelves next to the large mirror.  When I went to the toilet in the night I was greeted with a very nice blue ambient light.  No need to find the light switch (which is outside in cabin) and just a  perfect amount of light.  It will be in my cruise kit along with my fan, magnets, electrical plugs, etc. from now on.  We did hit rainy weather this morning as we are off the northern coast of Cuba.  I had a light breakfast outside on lido aft and watched the rain.  Cabin time to update this blog then a walkabout the ship before lunch.  The Diamond event was a 12:15 Brunch in the Golden Restaurant located midship.  We ordered from the regular sea day brunch menu but I took advantage of the complementary cocktails.  I ordered a fruit plate, the Tomato Soup, and the 'Hey' Pork Chop.  For dessert a very nice Banana Creme Pie.  I did meet the Captain and several senior officers I had not met, and the GSM Vincent Whinset sat at my table so it was interesting getting some observations from him.  The goal for today was to have a nice brunch, cocktails, and a nice nap…I can say it was a very successful day…I slept until 7:10 pm.  I dressed for dinner and made the 8:00 pm seating on time.  Tonight I ordered the Italian Wedding Soup, the Spaghetti Carbonara as a starter, and the Slow Cooked Prime Rib entree. For dessert I had the Vanilla Crème Brûlée and a Fruit Plate.  The primary entertainment tonight is the production show Epic Rock in the Amber Palace Theater and I made time for a Spicy Chipolte Pineapple Martini from the Alchemy Bar before retiring.  The Platinum/Diamond gifts were delivered tonight...a nice boxed nightlight...won't work in bathroom as my new motion light does though.  No chocolates delivered and that may be a new policy...I'm actually fine with it...I didn't really eat more than one or two and delivery would have interrupted my great record-setting power nap.   It was a very relaxing sea day on the Carnival Glory.

Monday / Grand Cayman-Sea Day / January 30th / Day 3
My Scottish friend Griz at Q&A
Some rolling seas over night and another very nice sleep.  I had room service scheduled and delivered at 7:30 a.m. as the plan was to meet friends early and tender ashore to a private pool off Seven-Mile Beach.  Weather is beautiful, but the seas are not cooperating so Georgetown port was closed.  We sailed around to Spot’s Bay to attempt to anchor but that was a no go as well so we will have a sea day today.  The weather is lovely about 80° so it will be nice on the outer decks…a nice change from yesterdays heavy clouds. I sat out on Lido aft enjoying the sea air when I heard an announcement from John Heald, kind of rare since he not the CD, about a Q&A that he was about to do in the Amber Palace.  A nice fill-in on the unscheduled sea day as it’s actually a one hour comedy routine that John does so well.  I went and most that showed up were JH fans on board for the next sailing…and it was very entertaining.  The MDR opened for lunch since and it was not busy at all since it’s not on the original schedule…I confirmed it on the HUB App.  What a great benefit the HUB is especially when new events, entertainment, and opening times are added due to changes. For lunch I had the Penne Mediterraneo and a fabulous Breaded Chicken Cutlet with Passion Fruit Mousse for dessert.  I had a walkabout the ship and ended up sampling some Cheesecake and Pear Mousse as they closed the dessert station on Lido then sat out on Lido aft.  It began clouding up about 4:00 and they closed the retractable roof, I hope we aren’t sailing towards bad weather tomorrow.  There were Chocolate Covered Strawberries once I returned to the cabin, if they had come earlier I would not have accidentally ended up at the dessert bar earlier. Right.  I went to the Alchemy Bar for aperitifs about 6:30 and Ivanna prepared a special cocktail for me with Elderflower…similar to a Jana 88…it was nice.  For dinner I ordered two Shrimp Cocktails, Leek & Potato Soup, a Pork Chop from the Grill section, and the Oven Roasted Chicken marinated in island spices (very spicy) from the Grand Cayman port menu.  No dessert.  The production show tonight in the Amber Palace theater was Getaway Island, one of my favorites.  Late this evening a very nice Fruit, Wine, & Cheese basket was delivered to the cabin, I’m not sure who it is from, but thank you Carnival, I do like an occasional snack and I like he fruit much better than chocolate.  It was an interesting sea day on the Glory.

Tuesday  /  Roatan-Bay Islands-Honduras  /  January 31st / Day 4
Red Beet Carpaccio
Just slightly rolling seas overnight.  I noticed that it was wet outside early in the morning so had a banana from my fruit basket and into bed to sleep as late as possible. The ship does crew safety drills usually about 10:00am on some port days so no sleep if they do it.  I got around and went up to Lido for some pastries before they close breakfast then sat outside on the covered pool deck aft.  At least we are docked and the majority of guests seem to have gone ashore.  A bit surprising to me.  I did hit the hot tub for a while and just relaxed on deck.  By noon it was really pouring rain and it got busier on the deck.  I went up to deck ten to Ol' Fashion BBQ for lunch.  Its a great spot where the Fish & Chips used to be located, but since they now have an updated SeaFood Shack on Lido no need for duplication.  The BBQ was good, very similar to the C-Side BBQ found on the outer decks of Dream Class ships.  I had hoped it would clear enough to walk over and drink a few Salva Vida beers with friends and I’m sure some did, but easier and dryer to stay on board this afternoon.  I had a wee nap, TV and internet time, and updated this review. Since BBQ was my breakfast (I'm sayin') about 5:00 I went for my first Guy's Burger of the cruise...great as usual.  I visited with a guest while on Lido on her first cruise...a single Mom with 4-year old son. I think she may have needed some adult conversation and good for her for choosing a cruise for her vacation, very ambitious IMHO, I wouldn't do it.  No rain but cloudy and damp for sail away from the island.  I went to the Alchemy Bar for my traditional Aperitifs about 7:00 pm choosing my special cocktail from Ivana.  Dinner tonight included one of mt favorite Carnival dishes: the Red Beet Carpaccio so I ordered several of those as well as Heart of IceBerg Lettuce, an excellent Grilled Beef Tenderloin, and the Pescado Asado Cubierto Con Tostones from the Port-of Call menu.  Primary entertainment tonight was the Love and Marriage Show with Cruise Director Eric and the Piano Bar was busy tonight.

Wednesday / Belize City Belize / February 1st / Day 5
Alchemy Team
Smooth seas overnight and I slept very well.  We were tendered off Belize early  this morning and fortunately the weather is partly cloudy but fairly nice considering the forecast as of late last night was for heavy rain.  They proceeded as fast as possible to get guests tendered ashore while it is fair weather.  I had a lazy morning on the internet and doing a little work online.  An orange from the fruit basket is all I needed after a large wonderful meal last night.  I went up on aft deck and there is certainly more sun now and weather improved through the day...we are lucky.  I had a swim in the pool, very refreshing, and some time in the hot tub.  I got a table next to friends very aft with a great view and spent the afternoon.  BBQ from Ol' Fashion BBQ again for lunch...more crew than guests today.  I enjoyed the view and colors of the Caribbean Sea while reading and enjoying my Yeti filled with an ArnoldPalmer tea. I was going to vist with some friend on early sitting dinner so went down to the Alchemy about 5:15ish and missed them, but why waste a trip, I enjoy a nice cocktail or three.  Miro also made me a proper Sazerac that I had not had since staying at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans.  Very impressed. I had a longer cocktail hour until dinner time but it’s the Alchemy Bar…very doable.  Tonight I ordered: Roasted Pumpkin Soup, Beef Lasagna (as starter), Braised Short Ribs, and the Buttered Popcorn Pot de Creme for dessert.  Very good.  After visiting with a Scottish couple at the bar and Griz at dinner I set up my speakers in the cabin and listened to some Celtic music this evening.  Another Fun day on the Carnival Glory.

Thursday / Cozumel Mexico / February 2nd / Day 6
Church in San Miguel
Smooth seas overnight and perfect weather…sunny but not too hot.  We docked early at the Puerto Maya Pier so I decided to have a banana from the fruit basket and get off the ship as soon as possible to beat the crowds.  It can be a mess at the Mexican inspection table and at the taxi stand.  I got off in very good shape and there were few guests on the pier.  I was probably a bit rude going around some at the inspections, but they were clueless, I had my backpack off and in my left hand for the fruit inspection and passed right through.  I think I was forgiven once the guests figured out what was going on and they did indeed have to remove their packs.  (I had given them fair warning, but when I saw the lady with the rolling cooler I knew she was going to gum up the system so I went around about three).  No line at all at taxi stand so I had my private ride to San Miguel ($8) and there by 8:30 am.  I had a very nice breakfast and great table at Las Palmas.  It was cool watching the Carnival Conquest sail by on the way to the pier while eating.  Breakfast was good: Pan Dulce, Island omelet (eggs, pineapple, ham), Bacon, Sausage, French Toast, and Leche Caliente ($10.80).  Barber shop doesn’t open until 10:00 am so I had time to go by the Church to reflect.  DW does this every cruise and I try as well.  Martin arrived and I had my haircut from my barber of 10 years.  It was now time to head to my HQ in Cozumel:  Woody’s Bar and Grill.  I had just set up my computer to enjoy the fastest internet on the island when friends arrived, then more friends.  Always fun and live music began at noon.  I always start with a Coca-Cola Light (two today), then move on to Bohemia beer and Guacamole, Pico de Gallo, & Chips.  I lost count on the beers, at least 4-5, and my total bill was $400 pesos or $20.  After friends left I did a lot of internet work…just love the speed…it’s faster than the Ranch.  Took a taxi back to Puerto Maya ($8) and the Freedom and Conquest were docked since I left this morning.  Some lines to board, but I was on ship by 4:15 for a 4:30 requested on board time. We sailed about 5:00 and I decided to do what I have done last few Cozumel nights on cruises: absolutely nothing.  No Alchemy, no MDR dinner, no shows--just relax.  I prepared some laundry, took a long hot shower, and ordered room service: Green Salad, Vegetable Plate, & Chicken Tenders ($5).  A very relaxing evening.  It was a Fun Cozumel Day.

Friday / Fun Say at Sea / February 3rd / Day 7
Fun at Alchemy
Fair seas overnight and I had a nice sleep. I went down to the MDR for the final sea day brunch about 9:00 am and was seated strait away.  I ordered the Fruit Plate and three Fried Eggs with side of bacon and ham…very good.  I enjoyed the sea air on Lido deck aft all morning until I had a late lunch of Guy’s Burgers. Yes plural…one just plain meat and bread, other with lettuce tomato onion…different tastes.  Then a trip to Cherry on Top for some candy and people watching on Promenade deck until time for the 5:00 pm Diamond and Platinum party.  It’s nice to be nice to the cocktail servers…I had no problem getting more than my share of Cosmopolitans.  Nice party, Gus was high with most days and I was 7th, but my table had 4 of the top ten. I doubt I make the top ten next cruise with Bloggers week. I had saved my complementary drink voucher until the last day to use at the Alchemy Bar and Miro had concocted a special cocktail for me…it was fruity and my with my favorite Elderflower…delicious.  Wonderful farewell party with my new and old Alchemy friends.  Feeling no pain I skipped dinner in the MDR for cabin time. Al Ernst and Tony Esposito are two of the best comedians now on board and for Bloggers following.  The production Show was Motor City.  I passed on late shows to relax...I have a lot of sailing before this current adventure ends.  It was a great final Sea Day on the Carnival Glory.

Saturday / Miami / February 4th / Beginning Bloggers Cruise / Day 8
My lunch time view of Miami
Smooth seas overnight and I slept very well even through the early morning debarkation announcements.  Fortunately I’m in the same cabin for both cruises so it will be an easy transition.  Another MDR breakfast about 8:30 am same order but not as good as yesterdays…maybe because of debark?  The over-easy was hard fried. The large B2B group met at 10:00 am and we eventually made our trip down to US Customs and returned to the ship for a complementary cocktail and photo.  It was great seeing early Blogger guests arrive most I have seen & known for years.  We have a mini-Snoozemate group so close friends this week.  I went up to Lido for a light lunch then to the cabin to set up my internet plan for the week & update this blog.  I met my new cabin Steward for the week, I can for see problems as he asked if I wanted morning or evening service…I indicated both.  I have good friends sailing this week so I went up on deck and found them by the main pool at Blue Iguana.  Just a diet coke for me and some people watching.  The pool was already packed with guests as the weather is very nice.  Boat Drill was about 3:45 and I did the same just going to a sit down lounge…they really have NO way of determining if someone attends or not.  At 5:00 pm the first Bloggers function was a welcome party in the Amber Palace Main Lounge.  John introduced the comedians and some staff, very funny as usual and I enjoyed a few Stella Artois beers. I went to the Alchemy Bar for aperitifs, and met the new Alchemist Richard, I will miss Ivana. I enjoyed my new cocktail with friends until time for dinner that has been changed from 8:00 to 8:15.  I ordered the Creme of Tomato Soup, a Green Garden Salad, and both the Shrimp and Beef entrees with a Fruit Plate for dessert.  Tony and Al did late comedy shows and Eric’s Welcome Show was the primary event this evening.  It was an interesting transition day on the Glory.

Sunday / Fun day at Sea / February 5th / Day 9
Super Bowl in Glory's Amber Palace
Fair seas overnight and I slept well.  Beautiful weather again today.  Cabin steward did not do a turn down last night and did not leave the Fun Times…I knew it…we’ll see if it improves.  I went up to Lido for a very light breakfast eating on open deck aft and visited with new B2B friends. I watched friends in the slot tournaments then to the Golden Restaurant for the Diamond Guest Luncheon at 12:15.  I was very pleased to see the premium menu this week:  I enjoyed the Blue Crab Salad with Citrus, Mushroom Cappuccino Soup, and the Charbroiled Filet Mignon entree.  Excellent dinner and the cocktails were very nice as well.  It was a FUN luncheon.  I visited with friends in the lobby as the Bloggers Tea was going to begin in the same MDR in only half an hour.  The tea time was good...they set up a large buffet and had some tray service.  I had scones and clotted creme that were excellent.  It was now time to relax and await Super Bowl kickoff.  On lido deck the Blue Iguana, Guy's Burgers, and Red Frog Rum Bar are staying open until midnight for those watching on the big outdoor screen.  In the Amber Palace Theater they are serving Chicken wings and have bar service.  The Sports Bar and Casino on Promenade Deck also have the game.  I watched 1st half on Lido and had a late night guy's Burger...very different.  Then retired to the cabin for second half and very exciting ending.  It was a FUN Super Bowl Sea Day Sunday on the Carnival Glory.

Monday / Amber Cove, Dominican Republic  / February 6th / Day 10
Teleférico Cable Car - Longest/highest in Caribbean
Seas were fair overnight and I slept well however short due to Game and early excursion this morning.  I ordered a light room service breakfast as a wake up, but was up by 6:00 am. so reviewed my excursion and email until breakfast arrived. Soon I went out on deck to get a feel for our arrival at Amber Cove…this is actually a new port for me. This area of the Dominican Republic is where Columbus first landed in the new world and established a colony.  I was headed for deck zero about 8:00 am as I have a bit of a walk to the meeting location of my private excursion.  A good 12-15 minute walk: down the pier, through Amber Cove, past the parking, then through the gate to the excursion meet location…hope it’s worth it.  Soon the bus arrived as well as the other guests on the tour and we were on our way.  We drove  from Amber Cove the short way to the city of Puerto Plata driving down the Malecon and by the public beach of Puerto Plata. First stop was the Brugal Rum Factory, a nice modern facility.  After reviewing the history of the brand and drinking some samples, we could observe the production floor.  It was interesting.  Second stop is the Amber Museum, where we see many displays and of course Amber for sale on the way out.  We then walked to the Central Park (Town Square) where we visited the beautiful old Victorian era Church (earlier ones where destroyed), and the lovey square decorated for the Merengue Festival of Puerto Plata.  I did have photos taken with Festivale characters.  We visited a shoppe where they hand rolled cigars and gave us a sample of the local drink: Mamajuana…of course they sold souvenirs.  Next stop was the old original 16th century Fort San Filipe where we had a history presentation and we could observe the nicely restored fort.  Final stop is the Teleférico where we travel by Cable Car to the 793-meter-high mountain Pico Isabel de Torres, the highest point of Puerto Plata where there is a replica of Christ the Redeemer, the famous statue in Rio de Janeiro. Guides are there to help take photos but they want you to then visit their 'table' or shoppe.  So the common thread on today's tour is that there are nice places to visit, but they WILL try to sell you something at each stop.  Was it worth it...yes once for sure, my cost was $40 including the cable car ($10), and the small bus was adequate.  We were back at the ship about 3:00 for the 4:00 sail away.  My first stop was Guy's Burgers...what an asset to have a Guy's that can feed guests quickly...especially when just return to the ship.  I went to the Alchemy Bar early and they were very busy it being Elegant Night.  I had my two SugarRays and a new Pear cocktail.  Great job Miro.  My regular cruise friends, blogger friends, and new friends all came by before dinner.  Tonight I ordered:  Mushroom Creme Soup, Spaghetti Carbonara (as a starter), Broiled Maine Lobster Tail, and the Slow Roasted Prime Rib.  For dessert: Vanilla Crème Brûlée and a Fruit Plate.  The production show tonight was Motor City, and of course Piano Bar music with Ben Gentry (one of the best), and the Punchliner a busy night for guests.  It was a busy day in DR and the Glory.

Tuesday / St. Thomas USVI / February 7th / Day 11
Honeymoon Beach - St John USVI
Fair seas overnight and I slept very well.  I was awake early so I went down to the MDR for a nice full breakfast about 8:00 am.  About 9:30 I was on the Lido Deck aft and met friends for (their) breakfast and Bloody Marys.  It was then that the Captain announced that we would be late arriving in St. Thomas.  We were scheduled for 11:00 am but announced that it will be 12:15 pm.  We had a noon meet time for our excursion on the pier but that was changed to the Amber Palace…a lot of confusion but all was well as we arrived in St. Thomas.  The huge NCL Escape is also in port and it’s a nice sunny day as our excursion ultimately met on the pier and we were soon off towards Red Hook. All of our mini Snoozemates group and other good friends are all on the  St. John Catamaran Sail & Snorkel With Open Bar excursion. We had a nice manageable group and were soon sailing the beautiful waters to St John island.  We anchored off Honeymoon Beach in the National Park area and most snorkeled to shore and enjoyed some beach time.  Some rode the dingy from the Cat to beach.  I hit the water and snorkeled although there wasn’t that much to see so enjoyed the sand of the beach and water.  I snorkeled back to the ship as well so good exercise today.  When everyone arrived back on board the bar was opened and they also served fruit & cheese snacks as we sailed back to St Thomas.  When we were completely under sail you could really feel the higher waves in the open sea area so knew why the Glory took longer to arrive in port this morning.  Really glad that our beach was protected from the high waves.  We were taxied back to Havensight and the ship with a little time for shopping or beer before our 6:30 back on board time.  It really gets dark by 5:30 pm now but it’s a beautiful port in the evening hours.  I was too tired to dress and go to the MDR so I had Dinner in the Lido Marketplace and it was good, I sampled the Linguini Pasta Dish, had two BBQ Pork Ribs, two Baked Potatoes, and from the carving station the Grilled Beef Tenderloin.  I asked and received a nice thick cut…it was wonderful. The feature entertainment in the theater was John Heald’s infamous Marriage Show.    The Glory might as well take advantage of him being on board with the Bloggers Group.  After dinner and sail away I did some review updates and retired after TV time.  It was a busy, beautiful, and Fun day today in St Thomas USVI.

Wednesday / San Juan / February 8th / Day 12
Luis - Patio Bar - El Convento - OSJ
Again smooth seas overnight and I slept very well although I was up very early.  I did some updating (too tired last night) and work until just after 7:00 am when I noticed that the MDR opened very early this morning.  I went down for a nice Eggs Benedict breakfast, first of the cruise, and it was once my go to breakfast.  Then it was up to enjoy the wonderful weather up on lido aft where I visited with friends until 11:30 am.  I then changed and went to meet friends and share a taxi to see my favorite cocktail server in San Juan.  Soon we were at the El Convento hotel's Patio Bar enjoying cocktails.  Luis prepared a Smoky Cherry Ginger Mojito that was extra special.  I had to have another just to assure quality.  We walked back to the ship as it's all downhill stopping at the new Walgreen's Drugs then a couple of Madalla Light beers before boarding at 3:00 pm the designated time.  No line at all.  I went straight to Guy's for a double hamburger and it was great.  Cabin time until I went to the Alchemy Bar about 7:00 pm and enjoyed a special cocktail from Miro.  The Alchemy Bar has been packed each night this week, much busier than the previous I told the bartenders it would be.  The Blogger guests do tend to enjoy themselves.  Dinner was nice, tonight I ordered: Roasted Pumpkin Soup, the Escargot, a Green Salad, the Braised Short Ribs entree, and the Buttered Popcorn Pot de Creme for dessert. The primary production show was Getaway Island in the Amber Palace and John Heald hosted his Cigars Under the Stars late night event on Serenity Deck.  We also have new Comedians on board for the rest of the cruise as well as Piano Bar and all the other venues busy.  It was an interesting day in Puerto Rico and on the Carnival Glory.

Thursday / Grand Turk / February 9th / Day 14
Rolling seas as we left Puerto Rico that continued through the night…I enjoy them as it rocks you to sleep. I’ve watched the sunrise the past two morning…very pretty especially with the huge thundercloud cells this morning. The MDR opens later this morning as we have a late arrival so I went up to Lido aft to visit with 'the gang' for awhile, but ended up in the MDR about 9:15 am.  Another Eggs Benedict breakfast.  I watched us sail into Grand Turk and dock about 11:00 am, the Carnival Sunshine is already docked.  Great beach port as the water is so beautiful here (Main photo at top).  At this port I prefer to get off late and return late and if you can catch a sunset on the walk on the beach returning even better.  I left the ship about 1:00 pm and headed up the beach to Jack's Shack the destination for my cruising friends for many it's the destination for a LOT of people.  Over the years it has evolved from a shanty bar to a destination bar.  The water and perfect beach are an attraction for is Topher the Jack's Shack famous beach combing dog.  The Snoozemate's had a group photo taken with Topher when he was a puppy...and now a very happy mature dog that I have enjoyed watching over the years.  Some early arrival friends had a table so I was good once I arrived to enjoyed a full afternoon of wonderful Caribbean water and Turks Head beer  (BTW-prices have doubled over the years).  A great beach day.  We returned to the ship about 5:00ish and I always feel sorry for the room stewards at this port as there must be so much sand they have to clean up in the cabins.  We sailed away about 6:00 and it was just enough daylight / sunset to enjoy it. After clean up from the sand I was in too much of a beach mood to do elegant night dinner tonight so I had a great Fish & Chips meal ($6) at the SeaFood Shack on Lido Deck.  Two large fresh fish fillets fried perfectly served with tartar sauce, slaw and fries.  Very good...just like you'd get from a fish shop on the coast of Scotland (just fancier).  Very relaxing evening doing nothing.  It was a great beach day in Grand Turk.

Friday / Fun Day at Sea / February 10th
Sea food Shack -  Lobster Rolls
Slightly rocky seas overnight and I slept long and well as we begin our final sea day of the cruise.  I went up to Lido Marketplace before 8:00 am and since no line at omelet station I got my very first omelet of the cruise...a Western and it was very good especially with the side of bacon and toast.  I ate outside and it will be a nice sun shining day.  I went to pick up my Bloggers T-shirt and had a walk about on the ship, I had not made it to any of the upper forward decks including the two level Serenity Deck for adults only. I visited with friends on the Promenade deck then took some cash off my sail account at Guest Services.  I still have some OBC I need to spend so I had lunch at the SeaFood Shack. I had Lobster Rolls ($12) and they were great although I think I prefer the fish & chips I had previously.  This afternoon I did some prep for debarkation the attended the Diamond/Platinum party at 5:00 pm.  I had a few cocktails but paced myself well even trying some lighter cocktails.  Then it was the Alchemy Bar for my final visit.  I left in the early evening, but left it in the good hands of many members of the Carnival Alchemy Fan page on Facebook.  Skipped dinner in the MDR and had packing time in the cabin.  Got most done and will finish later.  I did order two BLT's from room service...they were very good...almost let the cruise end without a great BLT.  It was a busy final sea day on the Carnival Glory.

Saturday / Debarkation / Miami / February 11th
I woke early and finished packing.  Then to MDR for an Eggs Benedict breakfast.  My goal is to be among the last off the ship since I'm just walking to the next pier to board the Vista. I ended up leaving about 9:00ish as they were begging for self assist to leave.  Those left with tags had to wait for the luggage carousals to get to their numbers.  There was no problem getting an elevator or any lines...just walked off a bit after 9:00 am.  Good bye Carnival Glory.

I had cabin 8407 a 4G interior located on deck 8 aft on starboard side for both cruises (Yea).  A nice location just down from Lido deck at aft stairways.  The cabin is a standard interior space, with twin or queen bed. It has a swipe type safe, three-section closet, no chairs, one electrical outlet on counter/dresser, Telephone on desk, Small Stool at Dresser, Hair dryer in counter/dresser, and small flat screen TV with the interactive features.  There is an empty refrigerator. The cabin is great for me as a solo. Cabin steward Richard was very good, Bogus improved and the cabin was always clean and ice container filled.

Dining / Food / Bars / Entertainment

Both the Golden and Platinum Main Dining Rooms are very nice.  Set dining was in the Platinum Dining room located aft on deck three.  The Blue Iguana for burritos and Guy’s Burgers are excellent.  The buffet food is pretty standard fare, but selected entrees are very good.  The MDR food on Glory is comparable with other Carnival ships.  I had good table locations, good fellow guests, and the waiters were good.  They have returned the butter knife to the American Table. The saucers for coffee cups as well as tablecloths are now gone from breakfast tables. No Mongolian Grill nor Cucina del Capitano but they have the BBQ on deck ten and the Seafood Shack on Lido aft.  Very nice Alchemy Bar and location on the Glory. 

Crew / Other
The entire ship crew were very friendly, they themselves can make the cruise more enjoyable for the guest. Waiters and Cabin stewards especially very friendly. They always seemed to have a smile on their face and eager to please the guests. The excellent training by Carnival is quite obvious. The Carnival Hub application is wonderful, especially for checking your account balances.


Sailing with Friends and Bloggers
Diamond Guest Luncheons with Captain & Senior Officers
Amber Cove / Puerto Plata Day
St. Thomas Catamaran Excursion to St. John
Grand Turk Day
Alchemy Bar
Cozumel Day
Platinum / Diamond Parties
Carnival Glory Crew members

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