My husband and I, our 4 kids and my daughters fiance just got back for the December 28th sailing of the Carnival Victory.
This is our 4th New Year's family cruise and the second one in the Caribbean.
We flew into San Juan from Toronto early Sunday morning and boarded the ship at 1:30 pm. The embarkation was quick.
We had booked 2 balcony cabins and 1 inside cabin. All the cabins seemed smaller than on previous cruises and the 3 boys sharing the balcony cabin were cramped but we expected that. The cabin service was excellent.
We found the food to be very good in the dining room and to avoid line-ups ate breakfast there every morning as well. It was fine. Lunch was usually on the Lido deck late afternoon after returning from island visits and we had some problems with lines. The service in the dining room for the dinners was excellent. The waiters seemed to have problems getting our breakfast orders correct though.
We found the entertainment to be good to very good. The acoustic guitar player was excellent.
St. Thomas. We took a taxi to Coki Beach and would not recommend it.
Dominica - We booked a private tour with bumpiingtours.com. Everyone of us thought this to be one of the best tours ever. I cannot say enough goods things about this tour. Every minute was fun.
Barbados - We did the Mount Gay Rum tour in the morning which we found interesting and then took a taxi to Lobsters Alive in the afternoon. The beach was beautiful and we all enjoyed it.
St Lucia - We booked the Cosul tour because of recommendations on CruiseCritic.com boards. We were very disappointed with it. Everyone of us felt ill by the end because of us having to sit at the back of a large van and having to endure many hours of driving twisty roads. Our driver was boring and had little to say. The waterfall viewing and volcano visit were nice but not worth the long long drive to see them. It was a huge disappointment to us.
Antigua - We took a taxi to Dickensen's beach. The beach is beautiful and 2 kids rented a jetski and 2 kids went horseback riding along the beach. A fun day.
St. Kitts - We walked off the ship and booked a tour from a taxi driver. It was relatively inexpensive and after the tour we were dropped off at Cockleshell Beach and picked up 2 1/2 hours later. A great final day.
New Year's Eve was celebrated onboard. In typical Carnival fashion free champagne was offered all evening and the party was fun.
There have been comments on previous postings of the rudeness of the "locals". We saw evidence of this on several occasions and even had to call security on board the ship once because of very obnoxious behavior of 2 women in the cabin beside my daughters cabin.
All in all though Carnival does a great job of putting together a great package for a family travelling over a holiday period.