Leaving New York I can say is one of the most exciting experiences of my life, but I will get there is a few.
Starting our morning leaving from Albany, New York which is located 2 and a half hours from Manhattan Pier 92. First thing in the morning we boarded a bus with 4 other people who were going on our cruise, but three other couples going on the Explorer of the Seas out of Bayonne, New Jersey. Yes, we did have to drive to New Jersey to drop them off before we could even see our ship. Let me just say Bayonne, is the weirdest and most disgusting port ever. You drive for miles just to reach a white tent to later be driven to the ship, how unorganized!!! Well after that ordeal we left for our ship which was another ½ hour of traffic in Manhattan, people don't know how to drive. After our journey through Manhattan we arrived at pier 92 for our Victory Cruise.
The ship was docked right in front of our bus, and pictures galore! We were then instructed to go up the fright elevator and there we would find our Carnival check in point. As expected you were instructed to place all items to be scanned ok that was easy, and make your way to the short lines which were short because they had people lined in the decks rather then all over the place in previous times in Miami. The line took us about 15 minutes at the most to get from line to Carnival Rep. Which then took another 5 minutes to get our Sail and Sign Card.? The one thing I loved about NYC port is that they took your photo before you even went in the lines...Thanks Carnival!!! 2 Points!!
After check-in proceeded to the ship and placed our card in the beeper thingy and got our photos for our cards...easy. After that we went to check out our room, but the cool thing is that they had blocked the deck so you couldn't reach your cabin till 1:30 another 2 Points!! So we headed to a very busy Lido deck for Lunch...key eat lunch on the upper deck of the Restaurant no one was there, just us and the crew members looking down. Lines everywhere so you are going to have to deal with it, food was amazing on the buffet, I had Pizza this day (Goat Cheese w/ Mushrooms...GREAT!) Bar waiters pushing to sell those drinks and yet we didn't take one today, I wish we had.
After lunch we preceded to our cabin which was located on the Verandah deck Midship away from the elevators....loved that part. I had got decorations for our cabin which was my parent's anniversary so it was decked out in cool decorations by Carnival...worth it! Something was missing from the room and it wasn't apparent until we realized that the other bed came from the ceiling. After a walk around the ship just to get some gag photos and still photos, we returned to find our last gift the fruit basket with wine, yes I got that for them. Waiting for Dinner is another story, we took late seating which was much better for us, but killing time was hard, so we headed to the lido deck to watch a movie, Transformers. ) A great movie by the way) only got to see up to the fighting and realized it was dinner time. Our luggage on the other case came early which was great...another point for Carnival.
Dinner was in the Pacific Dining room which I wanted from the beginning so I was kind of happy when I read my S&S card and it said Pacific Upper!!! We went to dinner @ 8 but weren't allowed in until 8:15 which was ok, but be aware that lines do form. Our table mates where very nice and we had lots in common, which we do still keep in touch with everyday. Dinner that night was great. Speechless. After a wonderful dinner, we were all tried and decided to attend the Welcome Aboard show, were we meet our entertainment staff, dancers, and Malcolm...WOOHOO!! The shows ended around 11:30 were we found ourselves doing nothing; we followed the crowd to the AFT Lido for the MIDNIGHT BBQ. Pretty much, everyone was there so we grabbed some cookies and ice cream and went back to the room. Late Night means sleep in tomorrow!!!
Fun Day @ Sea Well what can I say I normally hate these days before for some reason I liked it. Breakfast in the Lido, was busy but still deal with it; other people are on vacation as well. The lines aren't as bad as everyone says but you will have to wait for your grazing period. Yeah Grazing, if you're on this cruise and have Malcolm get used to the phrase everyone uses it and loves it. In the Caribbean Lounge at 11:00 please be aware of the Excursion talk with Malcolm if you don't have any thing planned do go and see this, funny and full of information. His jokes are funny but you must pay attention. After the show, was our grazing period on the Lido, today's Nations of Food was India food, didn't try it so I guess it was ok. Stick to the regular buffet and got something good. On this day it was very cold and wasn't the best day to go swimming or anything, but I guess those kids loved the pool; there was an incident in the hot tub, some little kid pooped in the pool. Yeah it was funny, had to be there. This would be the first day that would be the only coldest day on ship and of course the day we saw a Movie on the new Seaside Theatre. We watched Step it Up 2: The Streets; watched the whole thing and it was amazing but cold. Every so many minutes you would have to change position to get hotter. Thank god that it was formal dinner night, taking a shower in the room difficulty woke me up. Formal dinner was amazing of course, while during dessert, the wait staff did dance this night and yes it was moving conga line with several kids at dinner. This would also be the night that they did the Livin in America show, which was pretty cool and amazing, full of color and sound. I think I could hear my ears ringing all night. This day was also the rockiest day on the ship, several people were complaining of the ships movement, several people were losing there balance and falling all over the place. I had a sea sick patch on so I really didn't feel so sick but others did. You could see it in your water glass at dinner moving back and forth and you could see strangers not walking a straight line on the decks. You were bond to hit someone and knock something over. Also on this day it would be the Inch of Gold sale, if you fall for this stuff then go for it, if you like the Inch of Silver wait until the next day in front of the Fun Shops Starboard side. We also bought a lot of booze this day, a key note when buying don't take the bottles off the shelf they get mad and tell you all we need is to know what you want and how much. Let's say buy the second day great deals then any of the other days. They will deliver your booze during the afternoon/evening on your last day; you will have to sign for it so make sure your kids don't sign your booze away...just kidding. But you never know.
Saint John, New Brunswick Yes, today was the day of landing into our port. It was a smooth ride in listening to the bells and fog horn of the ship. We woke to the ship docking into Saint John sliding into the position as port facing out towards the sea and starboard to the port authority. We ventured to the top of the 14 deck to watch us pull in so well. I note to remember if you see lots of foam on the water it's not contaminated water, this is when the Bay of Fundy and the saltwater from the Ocean and once they are mixed they create this foam substance that looks like yellow foam you put in your walls. Doesn't worry it doesn't smell or it won't hurt you in any way. We ate breakfast in the lido this time to save time on getting off the ship and going to our first excursion, the Saint John Highlights Tour.
Once you arrive into Saint John you are greeted by the common people who give out roses to the ladies and pins to the men. It was very nice or them, which I still have my rose, which they do have lots of colors. The tour was ok, but make sure you don't get the lady in Purple; she really got lost on some key facts didn't look like she wanted to be there or something. She was very nice and gave us Mints. But back to the tour it was very fast, with a 2 hour tour you would like it would be slow or something but no. We stopped at the famous City Market for 20 Minutes…not enough time to look around, if you are looking for food, jewelry or anything this is the place to go. Back on the bus we visited the Reversal Falls, one of the cities national wonders of the world. It only happens twice a day that these rapids are huge enough to create massive waves and create a thrill ride in Saint John. After our stop we visited the area, looking at houses and the paper mill owned by Irving, they own the whole place it seems. There was this really cool called Marigold down Main Street, each year the children from the schools plant Marigolds down Main Street and they bloom the early fall. They close down the street and all the kids have fun doing it each year, like a tradition. We found that houses with Portholes on them were built by Ship Captains for there daughters or sons from them to remember where they lived…it was cool. These houses were the most amazing things I have ever seen in my next life I am moving to Saint John!!
Back in Port we visited the big white tent, this is where local vendors sell things at great prices, I bought a really cool necklace and some nuts…yes Pumpkin seeds!!! They are roasted and great!! After boarding the ship, we changed for our next excursion which was the Bay of Fundy Lobster Cookout…OMG so worth the money to do!!! The best lobster around!!! We were taken on a bus ride to the beach which over looks the Bay of Fundy were these lobster were from…amazing place. We were then instructed to sing a song to make us Fundy Folk; it came with a shot of beer so we did it. Next we got instructions on how to eat lobster; you learn a lot that you won't know before. In Saint John, they serve there Lobster cold, they first steam it for 21 minutes and then take the lobster and chill it down to room temperature. Served Cold then you cut the tail in half, smash the claws in the center with a knife and they you go. It is so easy to take apart. Served with clarified butter, Cole slaw, potato salad, and a roll with butter; did I mention it was served with a choose of pie as well. Yeah, Apple (OMG good), Strawberry, and Strawberry/Rhubarb. This excursion is so worth the money spent is was a nice day to relax with some friends over a steaming pot of Mussels and Lobster. This is a must excursion, if you are freaked out by the price then deal with it, it's worth every penny. We stopped at the reversal falls again and spent more time to look at the waves stronger then ever. Only a 5 minute stop turned into a 15 or longer stop. As we made it back to the port, shopping was a must in the port big white tent, check out the following vendors…..Roasted Nuts, Java Moose, Celtic Knots, and Miracle Cream. (This stuff works like people say it doesn't it does) Back on board you do notice some changes from the last time you have boarded the ship, once docked in port when you arrive the ship is higher and you will have to venture down the long ramps, but in the afternoon you will see a huge difference the ramps will be equal to the ship. This happens when the tides come in and out in port; huge difference. Once we left port, it became foggy; loads of fog came in and were around all night, you could hear the fog horn all night from the time we left to 2 am. But let's get back to the food; I will post the 4 day menus once this post is done. This would be the night that there was a Magician not bad, I have seen those tricks before but some of them were really cool. A must see if you like them. Late night again, catch as much as you can; this is only a 4 day so take advantage of the late nights…we did.
Fun Day @ Sea Last day of Cruise, now don't you just hate those words; I know I do. This day was packed full of stuff from the debarkation lecture at 11:00 to the wonderful day outside. This would be the most beautiful day on our cruise. It was so hot that all the chair hogs had taken all the chairs and the children had taken all the space in all the pools. My one goal of the cruise was to climb the stairs and go down the Carnival Classic Teal Slide, yet this day it was so packed that I wasn't in the mood to get on my suit wait in line. All in all that day we went to the spa and enjoyed the Sauna. I little known fact, if you go to the spa the Sauna and Steam Room are free of charge; we didn't know. Stupid US!! Also this day was full of fun events some we went to and others we have been to. We missed out on the Tea Time but made it up on the other sea day. This would be our final show of the Cruise and the best one of all, it is the newest addition but if you have cruised before on her then it is the same name, yes different songs…even better….it's VROOOMMM. Hands down the best show full of color, music, and great dancers. (They are hot by the way, the one guy with the light blonde hair…OMG..If he reads these call me…) it was a very upbeat show which got the crowds moving and dancing with them, a sight to see of course. Also this night would be our almost all nighters'.
As smooth and easy as it sounds, debarkation was the easier I have ever experienced on Carnival. We didn't have to leave the ship until 10 ish so we went to the Lido deck enjoyed an easy and relaxing breakfast. I nice place on the starboard side of the restaurant to watch us pull into Pier 92. Along side us we would find the Eurodam entering port as well. This ship was huge, big and pretty; from its dark blue hull to the outdoor elevators overlooking the water…OMG I wish I could have been on her too!! Debarkation took place at around 7:30 and was smooth sailing…Ingrid the Assistant Cruise Director instructed it from the very beginning (Great job) Because we didn't have to get off the ship until later we sat on the Lido deck and watched the Seaside Theatre with Denver news…yeah you are docked in New York and you don't even get New York News. We did get our information about the current hurricane and other info but really I wanted to know what was going on around NYC not DENVER!!! We did Self-Assist and it was a breeze, left our rooms at 9:40 took the elevators down and waited in a line for about 10 min not long at all. Swipe your sail and sign card to indicate you have left the ship and proceed down the ramp to land. You can see the ship from the port once you have entered Customs. Yes Customs it is a horrible word they use on the ship to scare you but really when they say they are going to check everyone's bag I guess they are right but they don't. If you fill out everything you need on you customs sheet, all you do is follow the line to an agent, give them your passport and declaration and you are good to go. Honestly we were in line for 1 min, got to an agent and within 2 mins we were done. Walk the long port again to reach the elevator to down stairs were we met our bus. The ship is stationed right in front of you it's like the ship is coming at you. The Porter's can be a pain sometimes but that is what they are there for to be pains. After our bus had arrived it was goodbye to the Victory and one day we would see her again. FYI: She is moving to San Juan and will no longer be doing the Canada run, her sister ship the Triumph will be taking over her position in Canada and then will be replaced again by another ship; this is what Malcolm has said in his show. Our bus had arrived on time like they have said and the massive load of people going on the next cruise was amazing, a lot of older people…yeah I am happy we settled on the 4 day instead.
Food: AMAZING!! I know other people may disagree but food is food and the quality of the Carnival Food was fine with me. I loved breakfast each morning with a bowl of cereal, bagel, and the best scrambled eggs I have ever had. Lunch Buffet, a variety of foods to try each day, I leaned towards Pizza/Burgers(the best) and Chinese food on those 4 days. Dinner…great each night, our tablemates are now our best friends we keep in touch once or twice a week to follow up on Cruise stuff, Family and personal stuff. I believe we just meet our next cruising buddies for our next cruise. Best Dessert: Grand Mariner Soufflé Best Appetizer: Escargot Best Entrée: Lobster Tail with Shrimp (Formal Night) Best Lunch Item: Goat Cheese Pizza Best Late-Night Snack- Cheeseburger w/fries
Entertainment: Hands down funny and amazing, the dancers and singers were amazing. I think I had a crush on one of the dancers. The Comic not so much funny during her act, didn't care to see her in her R rated show; the magician on the other hand wasn't too bad but didn't feel like staying up to see his show either. Malcolm the CD was hilarious as usual nothing to make fun of him, great CD and would love him to be on the Pride next year. Assistant CD's only seeing Ingrid most of the time the others not so much.
Cruise itself: Would love to cruise to Canada again, but next time on the Triumph!!!