It took about an hour to check in and board the Glory, much longer than we are used to. The fact that we have no "frequent flyer" status on Carnival, may have something to do with it, but we didn't notice any special queues, except for those with wheel chairs. We can thank our lucky stars that we don't need to get in that line yet. There were many large family groups who appeared to be doing this all for the first time. Probably this added to the check-in delay.
We were supposed to meet Nick from Budget Travel land his photographer at noon for a Bon Voyage photo, but by the time they arrived, we were past security and well into the lengthy line. So perhaps that photo will end up being a Bon Voyage for the flight home photo instead.
After the tiny hotel room we enjoyed near Times Square, our inside cabin feels positively palatial. We can walk around the bed and have room to hang up and stow everything we've brought. It feels great to be back on a cruise ship, even for a short period of time. But it sure would be nice to have a balcony...
Although we arrived before noon, when we sailed away from the dock at 5pm, we still did not have our luggage. We have heard about the naughty room and both of our suitcases were there. In these post 9/11 times luggage is scanned more rigorously than ever before and both our bags raised red flags. Ken had a very short extension cord and I had some rum in a small plastic container. Then rum confiscation didn’t surprise me, but the tiny extension cord was an inexplicable danger. Both items are supposed to be returned to us at the end of the cruise. No big deal.
As we sailed away we finally caught up with Nick. This is his first cruise and he has a million questions. We talked throughout the sail away. Normally we would be out on deck taking photos of the Statue of Liberty and that magnificent skyline, but it’s so hazy and humid, the photos we already have of these sights are better than anything we could have shot today. Nick wants us to keep track of everything we do on the cruise. Give the high regard in which we hold Carnival and our self contained approach, our log books may not be much help to him in writing his article. I would guess most cruisers don’t spend their precious time on board writing a blog.
The ship is full and there are many families and children here. We don’t mind kids unless they are whining, and so far everyone is thrilled and excited. We also see many more minority faces than we see on longer cruises. A short cruise like this is a great inexpensive introduction to the world of cruising and Carnival is building a future market. We’ve read that only 15% of Americans have been on a cruise, so there is lots of room for growth.
There are some gracious touches we are used to on other ships that seem to be missing here. We did not get the Anytime Dining we asked for, but were assigned to late seating and got Nick assigned to our table. Usually the first night a waiter helps you to find your table, but tonight people wandered around aimlessly getting into each other’s way until everyone finally found their spot. Menus on other ships have separate sections for appetizers, soups, and salads, suggesting that you might want to choose from each category, but here they are all clumped together, a cost saving for Carnival and perhaps a calorie saving for us. We can’t do too much damage in four days.