FYI: This is a Very long Review, so get our cup of coffee, soda, or tea out because this is a good read.....
1st Day-Sunday May 20th, 2007 On Route to Western Caribbean
After a short nights sleep over my excitement for our cruise, we arrived at the airport two hours before we took off. We left at 8:15 on a US Airways flight which would stop in Charlotte, North Carolina in route to our final destination in Miami. We arrived in Charlotte to find this airport to be very busy and booming with several other travelers. We walked around the airport to get to our next flight which left in plenty of time for our Miami Arrival. As expected we found several other people going on a cruise as well either the Carnival Valor or our ship the Carnival Victory. Once we arrived in Miami it was like a 5 minute walk to the baggage claim, which was a confusing aspect to there airport. Then waited about 20 minutes and was praying for the luggage gods to deliver our luggage. Everyone else More
was there's but ours and the lines for Carnival was getting longer and longer. We met a couple who just got married the day before and we talked and waited with them and then realized that the luggage gods answered our thoughts and finally our bags were in site. We then waited in line for the Greyhound busses to the port of Miami, which we made the final bus. The driver, very funny but forgot to put the air conditioner on when he was loading the bags and several people were hot, he turned it on and gave us a speech about him and that he was retiring soon. The ride was not long about a 10 minute drive to the port where we were on the bus for a couple minutes, to declare our bags to the porter. Which for future refers give them a couple bucks so you don't hear them saying "A couple bucks please". Finally went through the security which was not intense but the lines for checking where long and it seemed our line was not going far. I spoke up to one of the ladies and we were in and out of the line as quick as a whistle. No lines, no waiting when we got near the boat but the ladies who were giving out our room keys were like "You better get on board quick the boat is leaving without you". Made the boat in time, with 15 minutes before the mustered drill so we ran to our room which was difficult to find because the boat was facing a different way then I planned on getting on board. Got into the room and didn't even take in the moment because Malcolm our Cruise Director was telling everyone to go to there station which was on the fourth floor, which we were on the eighth meaning we had to climb down stairs, not the best way to start a vacation. The drill which was hot and humid Miami weather was short and sweet, just the way it should be. Climbed the stairs back to our room, finally took in the moment and got our beads to meet our Cruise Critic members. The Lido deck was booming with people for the sail a way party which didn't go off at the right time due to late flights and late people boarding meaning we had to leave Miami at 6:30 rather then 4:30. We all met on the F Deck on the Victory which states only 21 years and older and people were not listen to that sign. We all had red, white, and blue beads to id ourselves and we all met one another and put names with faces. Had some drinks and took our group photo overlooking Miami Skyline. Went back to the room to get ready for dinner which we didn't have our luggage yet due to our late arrival, but finally came after the face we had dinner already. Yes, dinner in the Atlantic Dining room at 6:15 on the second floor, table 206. Our waiters were fantastic and there names where easy to remember, Glenn our Head Waiter and Ferry our Assistant Waiter, who just returned for another 7 months for Carnival. This night we had Tropical Fruits with a touch of Lime and Tequila, Asparagus Veloute, and the Three Peppercorn Lamb. My father that night had the Baby Back Ribs which looked really good, and dessert I had the Black Forest Cake and my Mother & Father had the Vanilla Crème Brulee. After we returned to the room, our luggage was there and got into better clothes. Later went around the ship on the Promenade deck to explore the Casino, Lounges, Shops (Where there was free shots), and finally the Lido deck. At around 10:30 there was the Welcome Aboard shows where we met our Cruise Director and the entertainment people. Funny and entertaining people, that night we had a comedian called Fat Kat who was very funny and he was doing an R rated show the next night. Stayed up that night and ate at the Pizzeria and had a Cheese Pizza because when I asked the pizza guy about the goat cheese he wasn't making any that night so I had a piece of cheese and pepperoni and some other stuff, the staff sets cookies and brownies every night by the aft pool right in front of the Mississippi BBQ. Made it in at around 1:30 and slept in the wonderful beds of Carnival Bedding the next day would be a "Fun Day @ Sea). Had a stomach ache that night due to eating late and some drinks, hey you have to celebrate your first night....RIGHT!!
Day 2- Monday, May 21st, 2007 (Fun Day At Sea)
After a long night of eating and staying up with the ship, I woke up around 8:30 or so to get Breakfast at the Mediterranean Restaurant which was not yet busy. The line started with your tray and plates/bowls then cereal was next followed by milk either white, fat free, or chocolate. Then it was yogurt I forgot to mention that fruits where first before the cereals. Then the line gets slow because either people are waiting for something to be filled or they want more. The hot surface items changed day to day, but scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast or pancakes each day. There was a sign which wasn't out in the open that stated that the Omelet station was located in the rear of the ship by the BBQ station. That morning I had an Omelet which was custom made as a Mushroom with Cheese. My Mother got everything on her Omelet and then some. The Chef was very nice, he asked where we were from and he talked about his experience on the ship and how long he was on for. This day at sea was laid back and all we did were seminars and other stuff. We were invited to a Spa special seminar in the Red and Black Sea Lounge where they gave us FREE Champagne and Strawberries, the manager which his name I can not recall was very nice and upbeat. He gave us cards to put name and cabin and a drawing of a total of $600 of free treatments were to be given out. Which we never won, but a good time was spent. The next seminar I went to with my Mother was the Travel and Adventure Talk with our Super Shopper Amelia. We were late due to the previous seminar but made it in time for the FREE giveaways but yet again did not win anything. Great advise from Amelia and gave us a layout of Costa Maya for our Shopping needs. Finally Lunch, in the Mediterranean the buffet theme for the Nations was Indian which made the front of the Lido by the main pool smell back. I also was not feeling up to par when I walked by but I guess people liked it. I had some food from the Deli this day and had the Turkey on the Baguette with little Mayo and Lettuce. This was amazing but not so great afterwards; with the drink I had I wasn't feeling good again. It must have been the sea motion of something because this day was the first formal and I didn't eat much this day. But made it to all the seminars and fun activities on the ship, one was the Water Wars, with Peaches (Yup that was his name, this aka name) Very funny and lots of points where won by the Blue team that day. I forgot to mention they split the ship into two teams, RED & BLUE; I was on the Blue team of course. We stayed in the sun this day and took an afternoon nap to keep up with everyone later that night. Missed the Captain's Cocktail Party but made it to dinner. Dinner was amazing this night; it was the night of the Lobster. I had the famous Strawberry Bisque, Lobster, which everyone else had, and for dessert. The only thing I wished we had was the Cherries Jubilee it was cherries and a flamed juice with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream. My father on the other hand had the Caramelized Apples with a Carmel sauce, it looked to die for. When we went back to our room later that night we found our first towel animal which was the Elephant, which also had our Caper for the next day. There was also our Past Guest invitation to the party for the next night. We all received a complementary Lapel pin that has the traditional fluke of Carnival with Carnival Victory on it. Then it was photo opportunity on our balcony where we took several photos of all of us. Monday night was also the night of our first performance by the Victory Entertainment staff, the Main Show was called Livin' In America, which was very entertaining was vibrant colors, and music you would know was kids. After the show, we went to get something to eat at the Mississippi BBQ, one of the best burgers I could ever eat, even the fries where to die for. The R rated show was this night as well with Phat Kat, a very entertaining and well spoken person about every sick and disgusting thing you could think of. After the show, we ended up back at the room for tomorrow it would be Costa Maya, Mexico. One of the ports, we didn't have an excursion for.
Day 3- Costa Maya, Mexico May 22nd, 2007
Arrived early but could not tell you if we docked or not, woke up late due to last nights late night. From our balcony we could not see land which we loved but when we went to breakfast that morning we sat upstairs in the Mediterranean Restaurant. Breakfast was nice because everyone had gotten off the ship early for excursions and the ship was quite. It was also nice to get photos of the port from the Restaurant level and to see how long the dock was. Very long, but they do have a trolley which takes you from the one point to the end of the dock, you do have to walk by the ship but to the port you don't have to if you don't want to. The Port of Costa Maya, Mexico, was nice. That is all I can say. We walked in the port where there is several shopping centers and Mexicans trying to sell you stuff, they were very pushy. Recommendation, do an excursion in Costa Maya, we refused because it was to expensive. We did buy some great things there, like Mexican Vanilla, Shot glasses which were cheap, several t-shirts, and that was about it in Mexico. Took several photos of the port and will be posting them later. We went back to the ship around 1 ish spent about 3 hours in Costa Maya's Port but loved going back to the ship for Lunch, a Swim, and a Nap. We changed to go swimming on the ship which no one was around due to late excursions, so it was nice to have the ship to ourselves; we found a nice area above the lido in the shade, yes the shade. It was nice to see that several other people had that idea. Slept through some of the onboard activities but was worth it, it was a long day of walking in Costa Maya. We split a Hamburger and fries and a Blue Margarita, to later save up for the Past Guest Party. We got dressed and went to the party, where they give you free drinks and free appetizers, I had a Rum Runner which tasted good and I brought it to dinner that night. This night I wasn't feeling good so I can only remember what I had, the Beefsteak Tomatoes with Mozzarella Cheese and Basil, the Penne with Vodka Sauce and Caviar and for dessert, a Raspberry and Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Sorbet, Very good. I took it back to the room and ate it later that night, something sweet to end the night. Our next, towel animal was a Boar, I placed it under the TV cabinet so our Steward could not find it, which he didn't find it. This night for the Showtime it was a musical and comedy theme, which was ok, the first guy stunk but the comedian held a lot of topics back, you could tell. This night also became an early night but comes to find out the Deck Party was this night and right above our Cabin. You could hear everything that was going on so we were up for awhile but everything cooled down after 1:00. Our next day would be a Fun Day at Sea!!!
Day 4- Fun Day @ Sea Wednesday May 23rd, 2007
Ate breakfast as usual in the Mediterranean Restaurant where a lot of people did not show up due to last nights Deck Party. We had a fun filled morning of luck, my Mother was like, "I'm feeling lucky, let's go play Bingo" Played the first game, and what do you know, we win!!! $200!!! We planned on staying the Caribbean Lounge this day due to all the chair hogs. Won a "Plastic ship on a stick" for Utterly Useless Trivia. 11:00 was our Super Shoppers Winning Hour for our next ports, Grand Cayman and Jamaica with Amelia. We didn't win anything this day because we weren't those people who beg for stuff, which we are, but she never gave us anything. Off to Lunch where we had the buffet items of the day, which I can't remember because I didn't bring the Camera that day. We later watched Survivor on the Lido deck where this girl ate a whole Orange, the skin in all to win points for the Red Team....BOOOOO!!! Went back to the Caribbean Lounge to play Musical Movie Moments which I won a Trophy in!!! GO BLUE!!!! We then stayed to watch the Dance Class of Austin Powers. Tea Time & the Galley Tour were next on our adventures, where we had flavored teas like Orange Spice, Mint Soother, and English breakfast. We were offered a small serving of a lemon meringue tart, smoked salmon on a baguette, and a scone filled with Lemon curd. We then left for the galley tour which all of our Cruise Critic member decided to attend as a group, which I found many of them. The galley tour was short and sweet but what can you expect when dinner is in two hours. The galley was large which you would not expect from a huge ship which had a whole wall full of photos of all the dishes they have each week. Then we turned the corner and saw a man carving a ship our of a Watermelon, very impressive, then we saw the soup and dessert lines and then we were out of the galley facing the Pacific Dining Room. We looked at the menu previously that day and decided not to attend dinner so we went to the Buffet in the Mediterranean Restaurant where everyone had something different. Later when we went to our room and found something that looked like a bull or something, couldn't tell you what it was because I didn't even know. This night in the Caribbean Lounge was the "Silent Film Skit" with our fellow passengers, Malcolm our CD, got four of our fellow passengers on the stage and did a skit. It was funny, and I recorded some of it on my camera and then we went to the late night Bistro area where we had some fun. We played cards and had some Goat Cheese Pizza, a Whole one which was very good. Had the drink of the day which was a Goombay Smash which tasted like sun screen but even better. I remember this night because I fell a sleep at the table where we were playing cards. So we later went back to our room late...again. The next day would be Grand Cayman Islands, which is a Tender.
Day 5- Grand Cayman Thursday, May 24th, 2007
Our first Tender!! It wasn't that bad, so whatever people say about Tenders they are mistaken. We booked an excursion with Carnival so all we had to do was get our excursion tickets which came the first night and right on the ticket stub, it states were your tour would meet. We had breakfast as usual in the Mediterranean Restaurant facing the island, not the other side where you face the two other ships, the Conquest and Mariner of the Seas. We then went down to the Caribbean Lounge and meet "Cheddar" aka Dale was his name with the other dancers to escort us down to the Tender boats. The lines for the Tender were ok, we were on boat two I believe and when they get all the people on a tender they mean they try to get everyone on a tender at once. The ride from the ship to the pier wasn't that long and rocky, but getting on a off was an average experience. We then waited 15 minutes for our excursion which was the Grand Cayman Island Tour, which our fabulous tour guide Kim, yes that was his name. He gave us great tours, which were only about 10 of us all together. We first went to Hell, the land formation they like to call a City, which it isn't, it's a shack turned into a gift shop with a deck facing a formation of rocks that look like Hell, Kind of. Then we got back on the bus and we went to the Tortuga Rum Factory Outlet where you sample FREE Rum Cake and Booze!! Had fun there. TIP: Order your Rum before 2:00, they will deliver it to the ship so you don't have to bring it with you. Then we went to the Turtle Farm, which was my favorite place. Kim showed up the breeding tank were there was several turtles male and female in this huge tank. Then the best part of the trip, was holding a turtle, yes I have photos so do this excursion. Back to the ships pier where we were dropped off and went shopping in the local shops. Margaritaville, Senor Frogs, and a wonderful shopping center is where we found most of our buys. We got back to the ship before it rained and went swimming in the rain. Had Lunch and relaxed for most of the day and got ready for Dinner for that night. This night was my favorite in the Dining Room; we all had the following items, Chilled Cream of Peaches Soup, Fried Mozzarella, Duck with glass noodles, Beef Wellington (My Favorite all Cruise), Tiramisu, and there Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream. This night we got our pictures taken with a ShowGirl and it was our best pictures ever. Later that night we had a Rabbit from our Towel animals or that is what I think it was. ShowTime was OK, there was a Juggler and he was funny and man he did get the crowd going. Pizza again for late night dinner in the back of the ship by the Lido Bars and by the Burgers, HINT: The line gets long for Burgers so get there early.
Day 6- Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Friday, May 25th, 2007
Early Morning for us because we had an early excursion, so we got room service, I might have this day confused with Thursday's Breakfast. (Can't remember if it was today or yesterday). Got off the ship early to walk the long pier which they say it takes 8 minutes but it really doesn't. We booked the Walkerswood Jerk Country, Wassi Arts, and Ruins; which we really liked because it was us and a couple in a smaller bus with our tour guide and the bus driver. She told us a lot about the island before we made it to the Jerk seasoning place where we got FREE rum punch and a tour of the fabulous factory that took only five minutes; but there was FREE samples. Shopping in the gift shop was small; they had spices, sauces, cookbooks, and other stuff. PROBLEM: They followed us around everywhere, to make sure what we were looking at. Next a short drive down the mountain on bumpy roads to the down to earth, Wassi Pottery Art factory; great stop, got a tour of the artist working then went to the showroom where the women followed us in the shop. Back near the ship, we visited the Ruins which were in a restaurant; cheesy but OK. Tour guide gave us a tour of the herbs that help with several remedies, got samples to bring home; but never had the guts to bring them home. Finally our tour was over and my father went back to the ship, while my mother and I stayed to do some shopping in the center. HINT: Go shopping in the center, GREAT BUYS!!! Finally stopped the shopping and went back to the ship to get something to eat and finally settle down for tonight would be our Final Formal night and the Gala Buffet. Dinner was amazing yet again, Chilled Cream of Bing Cherry, Lobster Bisque, Delice of the Ocean (Scallops, Caviar, and Smoked Salmon), Langoustines (Small Lobster with a Jumbo Sauce served with a Zucchini Cake, Grilled Chateaubriand, Delta Prawn EntrEe (Name I can't remember), and finally for dessert our waiter and server (Glenn & Ferry) brought us out Baked Alaska and served it side table. This night would also be a night where the staff danced there hearts out, very funny and very entertaining. Our final show was this night called Vroomm, a take on music of all ages, Favorite part was the Beetles (Yellow Submarine). Gala Buffet: Arrived around 10:45 to get a good spot and played Cards. HINT: GET A DECK OF CARDS AND PLAY, ALSO GET THERE EARLY FOR A SEAT, PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE TO GET THERE EARLY!!! Several people were like, is the Buffet cancelled. NO of course not go around the corner. I must have said that a thousand times to several people going to see all the great food. If you want I have photos on Webshots and I have everything in there that you would see on your Victory Cruise. Day 7- Fun Day @ Sea, Saturday, May 26th, 2007
Our Course we slept in because this would be our last day to do anything before leaving the ship for good and going back through Miami. A MUST: Go to the Disembarkation seminar with the Cruise Director, he will tell you anything and everything you need to know before you leave the ship. Lunch was later this day due to all our activities during the day which lead us to late Lunch, REMINDER: WHERE YOUR SUNSCREEN; it gets very hot!! For Lunch I had a whole bunch of stuff, things that would make you crave for. Deep Fried Chicken, a Chocolate, Chocolate cake, and some other stuff, I was just up for the Chocolate Cake!! At 1:00, there was an Ice Carving which was pretty cool, which turned out to be a head of a dragon. Pretty Cool!!! This final day of being on board the ship we shopping for Liquor deals and more deals in the Victory shops. Ending our day in the sun was laying in the sun getting some sun of course. Dinner that night was sad, because we knew we had to leave the ship that next day. Dinner this night was the following, Chilled Cream of Mango, Escargot (We all had it, and Mom had seconds), I had a Veal dish and Mom and Dad had the Sirloin with Broccoli And something else. Entertainment this final night was the Talent Show for all the passengers who did the Karaoke, wasn't bad. We finally got something to eat, at the Late Night Bistro at the Pizzeria & BBQ. The night went by fast knowing that tomorrow morning we would leave the Carnival Victory.
Day 8- Sunday, May 27th, 2007, Miami Finally back to Miami, we planned to wake up early and get something from the buffet before we left the ship for good. With time to spare we had breakfast, it did take long for us to be cleared by the Miami Port Officers so it was nice to have some more vacation added on even if we were in a rush to leave. We did Self Disembarkation which was nice because we had an early flight and you knew where your bags where, only downfall was leaving the ship, because everyone on our floor (Eighth; Verandah) Wanted to leave all at once. HINT: Take the stairs, or just wait for the next elevator going up trust me, it will not stop at the 8th floor. Getting off the ship was easy and smooth, just a couple of lines and that was it; Customs wasn't that big of a deal just fill out the forms that your steward give you night before and hand it to the customs officer. It was easy!!! The Bus services are really easy too, all you have to do is show your voucher and your off, the ride was smooth and a easy 10 - 15 minutes from the port. Checking in to Miami International was busy and chaotic but that was just our airlines. Got back home at the scheduled time and our vacation was over; yes it was true we were back to our normal lives.
OVERALL: Ship DEcor/Size: If you love GREEN then this is your ship, the atrium is green and the carpeting is green everywhere is green but the Caribbean Lounge which is BLUE and designed with Dolphins. All the Lounges are decorated to the name, example the RED & BLACK Lounge is Red and Black; if you are a drinker then you will love the Promenade Deck.
Shopping (In Ports & on Ship): In Costa Maya do an excursion; shopping in the center is ok but they love to get your attention and after the seventh person who says "Please come look at what I have" you are done looking at stuff that the person next to them had. Grand Cayman, was beautiful for shopping and fun to get different items in the entire stores, a must port to shop. Jamaica was worth the visit and walk from the ship; please go to the shopping center near the ship, it's a mall but worth tons of good buys. Shopping on the ship is always fun because of all the good liquor buys!! They are better on the ship rather then in the states. Everything on board of course is great!!! Good Buys are the following $10 sales in the Victory shops a MUST!! & that's about it.
Food: Of course, one of the best things on this cruise. Cappuccino every night after dinner for dessert is what I did to stay up for the night. The Desserts were different each night and were different, I was happy to see that Baked Alaska and Cherries Jubilee were on the menu, the only thing I really wanted out of this Cruise. Every aspect of the cruise food was worth it, the Breakfast to the Lunch, to Dinner to the late night eating. The Gala Buffet a Must that everyone should go to.
Cabin: Yes, Our cabin; 8315 on the Verandah Deck which was wonderful. I will never cruise without getting a Balcony ever again. The views were amazing and every morning you would wake up and see the ocean, port, or a sunrise/sunset. Worth spending the extra money to get this cabin, the room was small for the three of us, but it worked. Next time we hope to get two cabins or something, this would mean I would have to bring someone...any takers.
OVERALL: LOVED THIS CRUISE; LIKE ANY OTHER, I WILL CRUISE AGAIN!!!
Thank you for your time in reading this, I understand this was a long review, but hopefully now you have a better understanding on what I went through on my cruise and hopefully I have helped you either decide to cruise with Carnival and the Carnival Victory and given you a better understanding of the ship itself. Enjoy because I know I did.