Victory Eastern Caribbean-San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten
Embarkation: (Arrived in FLL on 10/30/05 by 11:17am traveling with a group of 19. Easy Express Shuttle (highly recommend) waiting when we touched down. We were at the pier in MIAMI by 12:15. We stood in Line for maybe 10-15 minutes. I just checked with others to make sure this is correct and it was. Lines were moving really fast. We received our luggage for the group around 7:30ish.
Cabin: Once we were on board went to our cabin. Cabin was very clean. Met with the cabin steward who introduced himself as Oscar. Oscar did an excellent job throughout the entire cruise. Never a need to ask for anything. Oscar received a very nice tip.
Ship: Next we went to explore the ship. This was the largest ship I have been on to date. It was in excellent condition. The ship was very clean. Didn't notice any spotting on carpet ,walls and there was no foul odors on the ship. We found ourselves on the Lido Deck with drinks. They were a little strong. We still had 2 rounds of drinks Then there was the sailaway party. Not to mention the muster drill that I tried to escape until they announced over the public announcement system they would search each cabin. There were high winds so for day 1 & 2 , the ship was very rocky. It looked as if everyone was drunk. About 5 people in my group got sick including myself. We were prepared. Crew members said eat a red apple. Then some crew members laughed at that. All I know from that day on I had at least 2 red apples in my bag at all times.
Dining: We found ourselves on the Lido deck having drinks and food. The burgers and steak burgers (Mississippi BBQ) were always great. We were set to have the late dinner time at 8:00pm. Dinner the 1st night, as we left he cabin we realized our luggage was starting to arrive. So we just grabbed all the luggage with our ribbons and put them in front of the proper cabins. We purchased different types of ribbons to put on our luggage since our party had 19 people. All of our rooms were all along the same hallway. Dinner, the food was great every night. Our waiter name was Bibin. He was great every night. He took care of all of our needs. He received a huge tip from all of us. He deserved it without any questions. We tried lunch in the dinning room and it was great. It is open seating and you get to met new people. We met 2 couples they had stories to tell. We were all hears to both of them. Only thing if you would like to sit with a special group you need to arrive with them for lunch and breakfast. We didn't try the dinning room for breakfast. The Lido did very well with the omelets and toast for me. Although you can get this in the dinning room also. Menus just a little different. There was also an island in that area that had cereal, fruit, and pastries for breakfast and different types of juices. There is also a deli with great sandwiches and a 24 hour pizza place. Not to forget the 24 hour room service, they offer a great BLT and a excellent chicken fajita wrap.
Captain's Cocktail Party: This was before the formal dinners. It was a nice event but crowded. It was held in the Adriatic lounge and all other lounges. In the lounges they served cocktails and Hors d'oeuvres, however you could only have the drinks the servers had on their tray (free). We left the Adriatic lounge and went into the Black and Red Sea Lounge and found seats and had so much fun dancing with a group of people who we just met. We had a ball in there. We did the soul train line.
Past Guest Party: This could have been better, my last cruise it was in the big lounge where they have the shows. This it was in a smaller lounge and they did have the slide show of Carnivals fleet of ships. Just free drinks (again). Honestly me and my boyfriend got tired of all the drinks. This one got a thumbs down :( Our group also had a shared cocktail party again free drinks.
Casino: The ship's casino was open when at sea only. There wasn't a lot of winning in the casino. I overheard some old ladies saying they were done spending their money in there because it wasn't paying out.. I had already did some research about the casino. I heard it only pays out on the 1st and last night of a cruise. It isn't like the ones in Vegas or anywhere else. They don't have the same laws for the cruise ship casino. That is probably why they are only open while at sea. San Juan: Pulled into San Juan around 5:00. disappointed about San Juan not able to do a lot there in the dark. Did a little street vendor shopping. We went to Senor Frogs and had dinner . We were able to walk right in and get a table . The place was fun. Enjoyed the music and dancing and standing in the chairs Loved the liquor store when re-boarding the ship.
St. Thomas: It was very hot in St. Thomas. The earlier you get off the ship the more time you will have. We all went our separate ways but agreed to met at Sapphire beach at 1pm. I found some good deals. We had a great time at Sapphire beach. Purchased some nice gifts to take home. I also purchased jewelry. The beach was very beautiful.
St. Maarten: We took the water taxi to town and shopped. We took a taxi to Orient beach got a couple of chairs and umbrella and chilled out with friends. The beach is beautiful, the water was great. There are lots of bars that served food and drinks. I really didn't care for the food from the beach bars. Some of the beach is "clothing optional" we saw two old men enjoying the fresh air in the nude. Some of the women were topless. It didn't bother me at all. Our taxi driver stayed there the whole time waiting for us. He dropped of us off in the shopping area and we did a little shopping before returning to the ship.. We thought it was going to be such a line for the water taxi going back to the ship but it wasn't at all. We walked right up and got on. Dana, the cruise director was very talented and did a great job. Especially when hosting the newlywed game.
Debarkation: It was great we did the self -assisted and was off the ship by 8:19 am . I loved this option. We had breakfast early in the morning around 6:30am. Easy Express Shuttle called my cell phone and left a message at 8:00am saying they were at the pier. All we need to do was calling them once we were out in front of the pier.
I had a great time and I am looking forward to next year cruise on the Destiny to the southern Caribbean . I enjoy cruising with Carnival and not so sure I will try another line. Although I am looking at Freedom of the Seas for 2007. This was my 3rd cruise with Carnival.