This was probably the least expensive cruise my husband and I have ever taken, but without doubt it was the best, the most fun, and our favorite so far. Sorry this is a long one, going to break it up so you can read what you are interested in learning about. I hope you have as good of a time as we did.
We have not gone on a cruise with Carnival since 2009, when we had an especially mediocre experience. I have a new job and haven't gone on vacation since Nov 2010, so we decided to do a quick weekend away and the price was right.
The other passengers on this trip were especially nice. We made many friends on board, and a few friends that we will keep in touch with.
We cut it too close and almost got there late, arrived at 2:45. There was still a line and people arriving behind us. They sent us through several stations (drop luggage, passport check, X-ray handbags, pick up keys, and finally on board in about 15 minutes.
The ship is More
old and dated, but still very beautiful and clean. Blues and greens, there's a very Mediterranean feel throughout the ship. Our bathroom was mauve-pink with good water pressure and nice hot water. The shower head was adjustable and moved up very high to accommodate most tall people.
We mostly ate in the dining room. The quality of the food and the service are so much better down ni-0there! The buffet is a colorful Mediterranean restaurant, and very attractive. There's a mini-cafe with real coffee at one of the entrances. The coffee there and downstairs at the main coffee shop was very good. For $8.95 you get an insulated travel cup with coffee, latte, or cappuccino included. The Carnival travel cups in the gift shop were $12! They also had gelato and desserts for purchase as well as free croissants and Danish.
We ordered sandwiches from room service twice and both times they arrived quicker than they predicted and were good.
I did not care for the pizza, but it was popular and we saw people ordering Calzones that looked good. You had to wait about 10 minutes for the Calzones but people were ordering them and coming back for more.
Our balcony room was on 8th floor and had an overhang above it so no one could see down into it. It was very private. We were directly below the buffet but only heard movement up there a few times and it was never a nuisance or inconvenient.
Our first breakfast in dining room failed, they sat us at a big table with too many chairs crammed in, too close to our neighbors who weren't friendly. We left and went to buffet. We returned to the dining room for breakfast and lunch almost every time the rest of the week and asked for table for two from. The food was much better than the buffet and the service was always excellent and delightful.
We did not see the comedy show or the production shows. We heard the comedians were funny, but the production show was like watching a friend's kids recital. They did a great job with the music, live music, karaoke, and trivia games throughout the ship.
I started our day with a Fire and Ice Mani Pedi, very nice! Hot rock hand and foot massage with cooling lotion. Lovely technician whose company and conversation I enjoyed. It still looks beautiful.
Our balcony had a view of the city, and I was able to access two different public wifi connections out there. The "Hyatt Pool" and "Cruise Ships." "Cruise Ships" said they were an advert for the Key West trolley, gave me the best connection, still free. I sent my weekly report and a few last minute emails from the balcony without having to pay for the ship wifi.
I worked until the last minute on Thursday and never checked the weather. It was cold and rainy which I wasn't expecting, so I walked to Chico's on Duval Street to supplement the clothes I didn't pack. We stopped at Irish Kevin's for a drink, always a blast. The Singer/MC was toned down, more "PG-13" compared to the ones we've seen there in the evening. Still very funny and fun.
We had to be back on board at 1:30. While walking around onboard looking for something to do we wandered in to the bar just outside the casino. We met some great people from Ohio and Illinois. Had a few drinks and while we were there a Sports Trivia game started so we played along. Illinois won the trophy, I won the booby prize. Had a blast.
Later on we stopped for live music in the casino area, there was a fun music trivia game that turned into a sing-along and then a dance party.
Then we went to Karaoke at 9pm in the Red and Black bar, so much fun. Lee was the host, he was very nice, very cute and it was fun to watch him dancing along with the music. One of the Bachelor parties showed up (there were a few groups of men on board, nice!) and it really became a party. Lots of good and bad singers, loved it all.
We arrived at 1pm, it is such a beautiful port. It was chilly and windy, still sunny and beautiful blue water. Up until two hours out at sea it had been very windy, overcast, bouncy and cold. A number of excursions were cancelled, but we arrived in Cozumel it was cold but very sunny. It was much warmer when we stepped off of the ship than on our balcony, so we were off to Nachi Cocum!
We only stayed at Nachi Cocum for 4 hours, the wind was too much. My husband had a 1 hour massage in an outdoor cabana that he enjoyed and highly recommends. Then we ate nachos with cheese, pico de gallo (hot!) and guacamole (great!) Drinks were flowing, we started with a double margarita each, then my husband had a very good dark beer and I had sangria. Cheese quesadillas with refried beans were good. We met some nice people who were also from the Victory, we all had a blast.
When we got back on board a lot of the young men had picked up blanket ponchos. They looked great and I wished that I had seen them, I would have picked one up for my son for watching the dogs. We still had several hours left in port but it was so cold and windy that I didn't want to take that long walk back to the shopping and then get back in line in the cold wind to get back on board. Next time!
We were back on board by 4 o'clock, and even though it was sunny the pools and hot tubs too cold to enjoy. Especially at the Serenity, where they were in the shade AND cold. None of the hot tubs were ever really hot, so we never used them.
They had a fiesta after sail away at the main pool. Lots of music, dancing, celebrating. They had a late Mexican buffet in the Windjammer that looked great, but we were still full from our meal at Nachi Cocum.
Fun Day at Sea
It is a very pretty ship, older sure, but lovely. I must say that when the seas were moderate, 4-7.5", we really felt it. We rocked all night and most of the day at sea, one of our closet doors kept opening up and closing. I didn't mind it but felt sorry for those who get sea sick. They had bags taped by the elevators just in case. We didn't see anyone sick but they were probably suffering in their rooms.
After lunch in the dining room we went up to the buffet where they were having a Chocolate Festival. They had an assortment of chocolate desserts including chocolate fountain where a staff member was dipping your choice of fruit or cake into it for you. Nice, no kids double dipping! Then we enjoyed a game of bingo and an afternoon nap.
We ate our last dinner in the dining room and were serenaded with a farewell song by the wait staff. We did a little shopping, went to Karaoke with Lee again, and at 10:30 the band comes and people can Karaoke to a live band. It attracted some great talent, they rocked the place until after midnight. It was a great way to end an especially fun weekend cruise on the Victory. Less