This was our 10th wedding anniversary trip so it was myself and my husband.
Emarkation in San Juan: We shared a taxi with another couple we discovered were going to our ship also and actually ended up sharing quite a few taxis with them and splitting the cost. Once at the port the process was quick and efficient, just the way I like it.
Our day at sea was great with the comedians, Jorge Serrano and Percy Crews II. We went to the casino awhile but remember the house always wins. HA! (the mininum penny machine bet was 30 cents which made it more expensive than the quarter machines. *rolls eyes* The sushi bar was good and a great appetizer right before dinner, I just wish it were open longer. (3pm-5pm daily)
By the 4th/5th day the spa onboard slashes prices. I got a facial, back massage and foot massage for $99 and on the 5th day they were offering 4 services for $99!!
Disembarkation ended up being a bit bumpy. We opted to self assist and carry our own luggage More
off the boat, so we had to do so only between 7am-8am. Well for approx. 10 min. the gangway was closed so we were in the small lobby area by the elevators with probably 50-60 fellow cruisers who were getting more impatient by the minute. Carnival never said what the delay was and I thought that was quite inconsiderate on their part. If you have time to kill between disembarkation and your flight, let the porters take your luggage off the boat. This way you'll have more time to eat breakfast and lunch before you leave.
I must say we really enjoyed our time on the Victory and plan to book another cruise next year to another island location. We've noticed Carnival continuosly improves each year and has the best overall cruise value. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
Day three was Barbados. There's free wi fi at the tourist center time you get off the boat if you want to check your email etc. You can take a $2 taxi downtown to shop. My husband and I went to the Boatyard Restaurant and Beach as it was recommended by one of the Carnival Staff. For $12 per person we got entry to the beach, cabanas/beach chairs and umbrellas and a free drink. There was also a free water trampoline and rope swing. I'd recommend buying souvenirs here as well because you get 2 Barbados dollars to 1 US dollar. DO NOT go to Carlisle Beach as we heard onborad later that evening that a fellow cruiser's jewelery was stolen right off his neck there.
In St. Kitts we went to Cockrellshell Beach and it was just ok. A bit crowded and the food was expensive and the water had quite a bit of coral in it. NOTE: Couples should set aside approx. $50 a day for transporation alone if you don't book any excursions. We made a lot of friends onboard and shared taxis which cut our costs quite a bit. The resorts on St.Kitts looked absolutely gorgeous!
The next day we were in St. Lucia. They had the most expensive taxis thus far. $25 US dollars per person for only 2 hours. We found an independent taxi driver (not a part of the taxi association) who drove us around for 2 hours $25 for the both of us. The key is to keep walking past all the PUSHY taxi drivers toward town. Once you get out the gate you'll see the cheaper taxi guys willing to bargain with you.Public transportation was only $1 but of course we learned that after getting back onboard later than evening. Rodney Bay was recommended by alot of taxi drivers but from what we saw it was small and crowded. Rodney Bay Mall was nice and very clean but the shopkeepers seem to open and close anytime they see fit.
St. Maarten: We ventured to the French side's Orient Beach and discovered 20 min. into our visit that portions of the beach are topless and full nudity. WHOA! Surprise! The taxi there was $6 p/p one way. We rented a chair and umbrella for $7 and got a "free" drink as well. Orient Beach was relatively relaxing but there were vendors trying to sell you various things, but on the bright side they were not persistent.
I highly recommend Coki Beach. The taxi ride was $9 p/p then we learned onboard later that public transportation was only $2 for the entire island!! Glad we didn't pay to book a tour! Coki Beach is free and the wait staff are very friendly. My favorite part about this beach, is there were no vendors there to harass you.