Victory Western Caribbean Cruise :) 12/16/07 to 12/23/2007
Our cruisers consist of myself (52), husband (58), youngest daughter (21), youngest son (19) and son's girlfriend (20). This was myself and husband's 11th cruise on various cruise lines (NCL, RCCL, Princess, Costa, Carnival). I believe it was daughter and son's 9th cruise. We drove to the port of Miami from Auburn, AL Saturday and Sunday arriving at the port about 10:30 a.m. and found little congestion. Parking was not a problem - $140. - cash up front. Dropped our bags with the porters and off we went into the new terminal. The new terminal is fantastic. What a great set up! We walked in and were process in, no more, than 15 minutes. Were given a "zone card 6" and sat in a very comfortable waiting area until noon and onboard we went. The only disappointment was that the rooms were not ready - even by 2 p.m. We had our first lido lunch, walked around - husband changed our 8:30 dining time to our requested 6:15 - no problem. Finally, went to the rooms even though they were still sealed off and dropped off our stuff. We had a balcony aft, 7th floor, 7412 - kids had balcony, aft 7343. Both rooms were very nice, clean, plenty of space and storage. Ship was very clean, well kept, no odors the entire week. I believe we left Miami about 5 p.m. on our way to a rough sea day on Monday. It was really rough. Cloudy, chilly, windy and we all actually took "sea sick pills", which made us really drowsy for the entire day.
Tuesday we docked at Cozumel and the weather was very nice. All of us headed to Chakanaab Park for a day of relaxing and snorkeling. The Park has recovered well from the hurricane and we all enjoyed our day.
Wednesday brought very nice weather and a much calmer sea day. There were the usual pool games and concerts on the pool screen during the day - the usual chair saving - and at times, long lines for food. Nothing to drive you nuts...didn't bother us - we just waited :)
Thursday brought us to Grand Cayman - another beautiful weather day ... My husband, myself and daughter walked to Eden's Rock for some free snorkeling - it was fantastic. There were huge tarpon waiting for us upon entry to the water and of course, the other beautiful caribbean fish. Was really nice. After our fill of snorkeling, we grabbed a cab and went to 7 mile beach. This beach is absolutely the most beautiful beach! Was somewhat crowded, but we found our piece of sand and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of our day at Grand Cayman.
Friday found us docking at Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Lovely day. My son and his girlfriend did the Dunn's River Falls climb and Bamboo Beach. They loved the climb..did not enjoy Bamboo Beach Club. Just too crowded. Myself, husband and daughter did the Chukka horseback riding. This was absolutely incredible. One of the best excursions we have done in 11 cruises! The guides were wonderful, horses beautiful and very well cared for. The swim in the beach on the horses was fabulous. Cannot say enough about this excursion. If you're thinking about it,,,,do it! Wonderful. After our horseback riding adventure, we went back to the dock are for some fun at Margaritaville and shopping. Another wonderful day.
Saturday brought another beautiful day for our last sea day :) Did all the stuff we hadn't gotten to earlier - sliding down the slide, golf simulator/swing check, etc. The golf pro, Brian was great and definitely gave us many usable pointers for our golf game. We chose to put our luggage out (normally we do self-disembark) and had zone 6 cards again. They called us down about 8:15 and we were in the car headed for the interstate by 9.
Disembarking went very well - luggage was very easy to find on the carousels. As always, the only hitch was the LONG lines for customs.
Now for some notes on the ship, food, etc. The ship is definitely "choppy" in design - took a while to get the hang of the layout, but was fine in the end. Loved the new big screen on the lido deck. I know some folks don't care for it, but there are plenty of other areas on the ship to hang out where it is nice and quiet. Ship was very well cared for - never saw anything dirty (including bathrooms, public or otherwise) lido tables were cleaned off promptly. Workers seemed friendly enough and generally had smiles :) Food on the lido was okay - nothing special - ranged from good to very good. Food in the dining rooms was very good, nothing exceptional - except of course for the warm melting cake. Although, on two occasions it was warm melting pudding. Cruise Director, Malcolm was very good and certainly added some great comedy to the cruise - woo hoo :) The shows, Living in America and Vroom were very good. These young people work so hard in these shows. I know they are not "Broadway" shows, but they are very good for cruise ships. The singers were very good also. The Legends show, as always, had some good talent and lots of laughs. I think that about sums it up - was a very nice relaxing week. There was nothing exceptional about the cruise, food,etc. Would I sail the Victory again - absolutely. It was a wonderful, relaxing cruise with my awesome family.