We just got back from another great cruise. We arrived in Miami on Saturday April 23 and stayed at the Hyatt Regency Miami. Nice room and a good price from Priceline.com. We went to Bayside Marketplace in the evening and ate at Bubba Gumps. The kids rode the carousel and the grown ups had a few drinks. We went back to the hotel and called it an early night for our Victory cruise in the morning.
We arrived at the port about 11:30 am. There was no line for check in but the line to receive sail and sigh and then to board the ship was about 30-40 minutes. we were onboard the ship by 12:15. I was very impressed by the decor of the ship. I had heard some people complain about all the green, but I found it relaxing and enjoyable to look at. The ship was very clean and well maintained. Some of the public bathrooms at the aft of the ship had a sewage smell but the facilities themselves were always clean. There was always soap in the dispensers and toilet paper was never out. And believe me I have a 4 year old girl who felt the need to see every bathroom on the ship. Our room was a balcony cabin on the panorama deck (10). Our room steward kept everything neat and tidy for all 7 days and fresh ice in our bucket twice a day.
My husband even saw the assistant steward scrubbing the shower with a small brush. My brother in law's safe did not open and he called 3 times to have someone open it and no one ever came. He had to use ours. Towel animals are always a kick for the kids. There was a shortage of beach towels and pool towels as the days went on. One day we received 3 instead of 4 and they were still damp from the laundry. At the pool area they started handing out bath towels when the pool towels ran out. Not a complaint just an observation. Pools were refilled each day and the slide kept the older kids happy for hours. Camp Carnival was fantastic. Our kids went for a few hours in the morning on sea days and the in the evening after dinner until we picked them up. They fell asleep each night except the night of the midnight buffet they just had to see it. ( not that they ate anything).
We did all of our own tours. We went to Paradise Beach in Cozumel. Another perfect day at this beach. The weather was not as good as last year,It was a little overcast and the water was choppy, we could not use the kyaks as it was too windy. But my son rode a jet ski with my husband and absolutely love it. The facilities and the food were out of this world. One of our favorite places on earth. In Grand Cayman we went with Nativeway Watersports to Stingray City, Coral Gardens and Rum Point beach. Beautiful day except for some sprinkles. Great service, good food and a lot of fun. My 4 year old daughter even fed a stingray. My 7 year old son preferred the snorkeling part of the tour. Rum Point is beautiful and I would love to spend a day there if we are ever in GC for a week. In Jamaica we went with Peat Taylor tours. His son Oniel was our guide for the day. We went to Dunn's River Falls and the to Margaritaville for the afternoon. It started out a great climb up the falls. Even my 4 year old was enjoying it. Then my sister in law lost her glasses in the falls. We were all crushed thinking her trip was now ruined. We felt awful. Out husbands and the guides would not give up trying to find them. One of the fall guides named King dove under with a face mask and found the glasses. They were a little scratched up but Thank God, ( and St. Anthony) they were found. Our climb the rest of the way was smooth. And Margaritaville cannot be missed. What an absolutely fun place. The water slide was a blast for adults an kids alike. The Jamaican people are so warm and friendly, it ended perfectly. The Cheeseburger in Paradise is the best burger I ever had.
Our days at sea were filled with sun and fun and relaxation. The reggae band is great. The nightlife on the ship could be a little livelier. If you like Karaoke, and smokey piano bars you'll be fine. Some nights the music in the disco was better than others. The DJ really needs to work on getting people up dancing. The deck party after Cozumel was a lot of fun, but some of the social host staff were kind of annoying. (especially one who called himself Verbalicious- I don't even understand the name) he was loud and not very funny. I found myself rolling my eyes all the time.
A few minor things, but nothing could ruin this trip. The staff were all attentive and friendly. The food from the buffets, to the dining room, to room service was all good. I enjoyed every meal and the 4 pounds I gained and the 9 pounds my husband gained proves it.
If you are going on the Victory, have no fear it is a beauty of a ship with staff to match. So leave your worries at home, you're going on VACATION !!!!