Hello! My husband and I just completed the 7 day cruise on Carnival Victory Sunday, July 5th. I specifically picked this ship for it's itinerary; stopping at 6 islands in 7 days: St. Thomas, Barbados, Dominica; St. Lucia, Antigua, and St. Kitts. If you count San Juan we actually visited 7 islands.
While we are exhausted, we loved the cruise and the ship and have nothing but praise for our cabin steward Noel and dining room head server Victoria and Budi. In fact, one morning as I had gone for coffee and had my hands full, one of the maintenance staff saw me, stopped what he was doing and literally ran over to open the door for me. He did not have to do that but it was appreciated. I wish I had gotten his name.
Our cabin was on deck 10 - 1038. The only issue that we had was that the kids club was directly over our cabin and it sounded like the ceiling was going to fall in at night! Fortunately the noise did die down around midnight. Also, our first cruise with Carnival was on the Miracle and our room was a bit larger than Victory; but beyond that the room was comfortable, clean, and the beds are great. It is tempting to buy their sleep system!
The ship has 2 dining rooms; the Atlantic and the Pacific. They are very close to each other but getting to the Pacific (which was our assigned dining room) was very confusing. From the front of the ship; you needed to go down to either deck 4 or 5 - go behind the Casino and then down to the 3rd deck. You cannot just go to the 3rd deck from the front of the ship. Ladies - do remember your sweaters or shawls as the dining room and Casino can get chilly.
We went early so that we could experience Old San Juan. We stayed at the Sheraton and were able to walk across the street to the cruise terminal. We were onboard by 1230. Embarkation and debarkation are a breeze. Even the airport was straightforward - we had been warned about the USDA check but that took us maybe 5 minutes - maybe it was because we were an early flight out and got there before the rush of the late flights.
Old San Juan was nice - we saw the fortress along the coast which is impressive itself but all along the coast are colonies of feral cats; hundreds of them. We never got to the beach or the castle or traditional San Juan food but we enjoyed our visit all the same.
This part of Dickinson's wasn't as nice as where Sandals was located but it was still ok. The water was clear, the waves were moderate and we could take a good long walk. However we did see several jelly fish on the shore and in the water (we stills swam and we didn't hear that anyone was stung).
This is also the section where the horseback riding excursion takes place so the odor of manure was strong as well.
I would post a warning here: WE DID SEE A VERY SERIOUS JET SKI ACCIDENT which ended up with a young woman going to the hospital ending her cruise. Please, when the jet ski operators tell you to watch your speed and maintain a safe distance between jet skis listen to them. What happened is that this young man decided to ride too fast and literally ran into the second jet ski. Everyone was thrown into the water and the jet skis ruined. Fortunately they had on life jackets and a motorboat is present, but it took a long time for the ambulance to arrive and transport her to the hospital.
We were also warned here about posing with the monkeys as they bite and scratch. Sure enough we saw 2 monkey handlers with cute tiny monkeys in preemie pampers but we did not pose with the animals.
In each island either Diamonds International had a bracelet and island specific charms that were free, or as in St Kitts Kays had emerald topaz gem stones available for free. We ended up getting multiple stones and having them set into a necklace, ring, and earrings - all less than $250. They are absolutely beautiful. EFFY's also has a free necklace with earrings for $10. Unfortunately EFFY's was closed when we got onshore. They fly over from St. Martens just for the cruise ship on Sundays so the locals were incorrect when they said the store was closed for the season.
Lots of great shopping opportunities ... but we spent the rest of the day by the pool just chilling.
We hope you enjoy your cruise ... we wouldn't hesitate to cruise carnival again.
I will tell you, the ride over to the beach was thrilling to say the least and we did get two great photo ops - one of the ship and one of the beach. I'm excited to see how my pictures turn out!
Megan's became the standard by which we judged the other beaches.