Wednesday July 25, 2012 at 11:11 AM | 1 Comment
My family had never cruised together, but when Carnival announced plans to start seasonal service out of the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal in Boston, I thought it sounded like a great summer family vacation for New England families. The idea of just driving the few miles down the Mass Pike and immediately starting a vacation seemed appealing. Carnival invited my family to sail on one of the new five-day itineraries to Canada, and we happily accepted.
We sailed on the Carnival Glory, one of Carnival’s fun ships, to Saint John, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia – both destinations that I’d always wanted to visit. In addition to the two days at ports, the Carnival Glory offers two full days at sea, as well as the first day in port in Boston. We chose to arrive early on the first day so we’d get to experience more fun on the ship.
My family had a balcony stateroom, which offered a king bed (made up of two twin beds that could be separated), as well as a regular twin bed and a pull down bed (creating bunk beds). The room was fairly spacious for a stateroom, with lots of space for our belongings.
The Carnival Glory, like the other fun ships, offer activities ranging from casino gaming to a kid’s club, which something for everyone. Activities, including the kid’s club, runs through 3am, so you really could party the night away if you wanted to. We stuck with the kid-friendly activities, which included mini-golf, two on-board shows, and a kid karaoke night.
Dining on the ship is actually a fabulous experience. When you book, you can choose a 6pm dining time, an 8pm dining time, or the freedom option, which lets you dine at any time. We were booked at 6pm, which was the perfect time for our kids, and were so impressed with the friendliness, efficiency, and memories of the wait staff. By the third night, I didn’t even have to request my usual decaf coffee with dessert – it was just brought directly to me. For those who choose to forgo the dining room, there are other options including a buffet and a sushi bar. Couples can also choose to dine in the steakhouse for an additional fee.
The two ports of call were great. Saint John was just so welcoming, and our whole family enjoyed the train over the Bay of Fundy that we took. In Halifax, we had a 5-hour guided private tour that took us to all of the hotspots. Both destinations were fabulous, and I’d highly recommend this itinerary for anyone wanting to explore Canada.
The Carnival Glory will be dry-docking in November to change over to the Fun Ship 2.0 concept, which includes a burger restaurant by Guy Fieri and an evening family game show. I’m hoping to head out again next year to see all of the enhancements.
Visit the Carnival website to learn more about the New England/Canada seasonal routes.
Insider Tip for the Carnival Glory:
It’s worth it to spring for the balcony staterooms. Although they cost quite a bit more than the interior rooms, the view and experience is worth it.
This is a guest post by Jodi Grundig of Family Travel Magazine. Photos are courtesy of Jodi Grundig. This cruise and excursions were provided at no cost for purposes of review.