Carnival Victory Cruise Review by 2Bluewater: Better Late than Never..... Carnival Victory 2/1 - 2/8/09
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Better Late than Never..... Carnival Victory 2/1 - 2/8/09
This will be a short and sweet review since so much time has gone by since taking this cruise. To sum it up in one sentence.... No wasted days "at sea", this cruise itinerary was GREAT !!!!
To wake up at a different amazing port every morning was well worth it !
Carnival Victory 2/1/09 - Depart San Juan, Puerto Rico 2/2/09 - St Thomas, USVI 2/3/09 - Dominica 2/4/09 - Barbados 2/5/09 - St Lucia 2/6/09 - Antigua 2/7/09 - St Kitts 2/8/09 - Arrive back in San Juan.
Did not have to tender at any of these ports.
I have nothing but good things to say about this cruise. The only insignificant negative thing I can say is that the ship's color scheme had way to much going on.
The OV Cabin was roomy enough for 2 adults and all of their stuff.
We had late dining and were assigned table 308, we were the only 2 at the table of 8. We only ate in the dining room 2 or 3 times the whole trip for dinner. The casual places and the buffets were pretty More decent and allowed you to get in and out pretty quickly.
Onboard Activities - nothing spectacular but enough to keep you interested every night. Less
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Cabin review: Carnival Victory
Cabin 2324 - No Issues with this cabin.
Port and Shore Excursions
I booked the Full Day Lobster Lunch tour on my own with Creole Cruises www.creolecruisesantigua.com/tours.html
I didn't get to see much of Antigua except for the coastline as we went to/from the cruise dock and to Bird Island. It was a 30 min fast and bumpy and wet ride to Bird Island. We dropped off Mario the 1st mate / chef to get things setup and started for the lobster lunch. We left Mario to do his thing and went to Maiden Cove for snorkeling. Snorkeling here was nothing to write home about, the only thing I wrote in my notes is that it was really sandy and hazy here. Don't remember how long we had to snorkel here and then it was time for lunch. Lunch on Bird Island was MMMMMMM MMMMMMM GOOOOODDDDDD !!! There is NOTHING BETTER than Grilled Caribbean Spiny Lobster with butter...... and doesn't everything taste better outside with your toes in the sand and blue water over your shoulder !!! There were various sides and beverages both leaded and unleaded. This was the best lunch of the entire trip. After lunch we took a short hike to the top of Bird Island, the view was amazing make sure you take your camera. I'm not hard to please, I live by Lake Erie so anytime I have a view of the different shades of Caribbean Blue it's amazing !! The "birds" of Bird Island weren't around since it wasn't that time of year. Back down the hill we have a little time to swim or just hang out on the beach until we have to leave. 15 - 20 mins we are at our 2nd snorkel stop - I will call it Starfish Alley. Water is pretty shallow here and there are all kinds of starfish here and that's about it. Rode by the private island where alot of celebrities have homes / villas and of course they were absolutely beautiful. Had a 30 min bumpy ride back to the cruise port. Even though the snorkeling wasn't great, this tour was well worth the $$$. Capt Glen and Mario were the best !!
Had enough time to shower and change and head back out. Walked around town a little bit and went to St Johns Church.
Lessons Learned 1. Only bush bathrooms are available on the Lobster Lunch tour. 2. Antigua (from what I could tell from the tour boat) is flat and not very green or scenic like St Lucia or Dominica.
I've been to Barbados twice before and decided to go on my own. I rented a Corolla from Stout's for $90 and shortly there after remembered what a headache it was driving here. Street signs are non existent and it's just plain difficult to find your way. The last time I was here I had a whole week to figure out where and how to get there. Silly me for thinking it was a good idea with the time constraints of the ship.
Made our way to Earthworks, needed to replace a vase and purchased a sugar bowl.
It took way to much time to get to Harrison's cave then expected and once we arrived it was too long of a wait for the next available tour. This tour is abandoned.
Went to Malibu Rum and took the tour and parked ourselves on the beach afterwards. Chair rental was included with the tour. The beaches are really nice in Barbados.
Visited the oldest church in Barbados on the way back to the ship.
Lessons Learned - If you do rent a car..... always, always, always take the car rental insurance. I did not need it on this trip but I had it. If I come back on another cruise, I might consider hiring a taxi next time.
Dominica is my kind of island. I will have to go back when I'm not on a cruise ship time deadline. The tour was absolutely worth the $47 plus tip !! Dominica is stunning, if you are an outdoors type you will love it here.
I booked a tour on my own with www.bumpiingtours.com
Levi the owner went out of his way to connect me with the van I missed because of a mix up. Lesson learned - DO NOT wait for the announcement on board that you can leave the ship. Apparently the other people taking this tour knew to get off the ship very soon after docking.
The tour included: *Trafalgar Falls: (two waterfalls in the same area) 10 minutes walk one way up a few steps. The walk is not too difficult and it is the second most visited site on the Island. After the ten minutes walk, you get to a platform where you and view the waterfalls and take photos. There is an extra two minutes walk to you the hot mineral water where you could soak . Can be a bit challenging if one has any difficulty with their backs, legs, hips or if one is short in breath due to lungs or heart condition.
Titou Gorge: One of the most unique areas on the Island and it's also a spot where part of Pirates Of The Caribbean 2 was filmed. One can get to bathe in hot and cold water at Titou Gorge. To enjoy the gorge you would have to take the short swim (about 2 minutes) up a cave like area (you do not swim under water). The swim is about 100 feet and the water is about 10 feet deep at it's deepest point, but it's only about waist high when you get to the middle of the cave-Like area. There is a small waterfall one can swim to, if the water is not flowing too heavy (must do). (there is an easy 5-7 minutes walk to Titou Gorge). Trail is Rocky. We provide swim belts to all our guests. The estimated duration of the tour is about 3.5 to 4.5 hours and has about 1.5 to 2 hours driving and about 30 minutes walking, total. The tour cost $40.00us per person (4 to 10 people adults).
ADD ON: Champagne reef (snorkeling) can also be added to this tour. Adding it would make this tour about 1.5 hours longer and $7.00us more per person.
*Champagne Reef: One of the most unique snorkeling areas in the eastern Caribbean. Take a short 5 minutes walk to the end of the stony beach, until you get to a cliff where you will gear up and begin a very different under water experience. You will be swimming in bubbles like you were in a giant aquarium. There will be complementary local beers, soft-drinks and local bottled water on the tour. ** NO FOOD **
Lessons Learned - If I would have purchased a Trafalgar Falls tour with the cruise ship, we would have had to stop at the observation deck. Having gone as far down as we possibly could, I can safely say that the cruise ship tour people missed out. Titou Gorge - this is not something you get to do everyday and it's well worth freezing your arse off in this frigid mountain fresh water. Champagne Snorkel - was ok. I'm glad I can say I did it, but there was NOTHING else to see except the tiny bubbles coming from the sea floor. More of a novelty than a must see.
I booked a 2 tank dive ($105) with Pro Divers on my own. www.prodiversstkitts.com
I was met by Pro Divers right outside the Port Zante entrance and it was a very short walk to the dive boat. There were 3 other divers scheduled for the trip but they didn't show up and I ended up having the whole dive boat to myself. Captn Auston is my dive buddy. It's a 20 - 30 min ride to the 1st dive site - Ponds Bar. This is a wall / reef dive 60 - 70ft and there is a ton of coral, fish and critters to see. It's dives like this I wish I had a digital underwater camera. Bottom time is 55 mins and I loved every minute of it. Our next stop is Green Point, 60 - 70 ft with a bottom time of 55 mins. Just like the 1st dive there was a ton of coral, fish and critters. I saw the largest balloon puffer fish I have ever seen. Now I do know that things appear bigger than they really are while underwater but this thing was HUGE, it's big round eye balls were the size of golf balls. St Kitts is definitely on my list of places to visit again and stay awhile. I still had some time on my hands after a quick shower and change of clothes. Based on the recommendation from Margot from Pro Divers I hired a taxi and went to Brimstone Hill.
As my luck would have it I ended up riding with none other than Capt Sunshine AKA Kenny (www.stkittscaptainsunshine.com). He gave me a great last min private taxi rate and let me know that I would only have time to do an express tour of Brimstone Hill. It's a 20 - 25 min ride from the ship to the Hill depending on traffic. Brimstone Hill is awesome and I'm glad I bit the bullet and spent the short amt of time I had. I will be going back and would love to have Kenny as my guide any day of the week.
I can't wait to get back to St Kitts !!
Lessons Learned - Go to St Kitt's on an airplane and stay awhile.
Love St Lucia !! It's my 2nd visit to the island, last time was a fly and stay.
I booked the 2 tank Dive from Carnival ($125) only because Scuba St Lucia did not have dives on the day I was in port.
I was met at the cruise ship dock by Eastern Caribbean, walked over to catch the dive boat for the 35 min ride to the 1st dive stop Virgin Cove. There was alot of coral here but not too many fish, I would not want to dive here again. The 2nd dive stop was Anse Cochon, this stop was better than the 1st but not someplace I would want a repeat dive. We were no where near the Pitons and I only got to see them on the way out from afar. My dives near the Pitons with Scuba St Lucia were so much better. The dive crew was great and it was a nice day out on the water, hopefully you have more to see on your dives. Make it back to the cruise dock with enough time to shower and change get off the ship again.
Took a taxi to the St James Church in town for $12 round trip, we also stopped at a local market so I could buy St Lucia bananas.
I've been to St Thomas many times before. I rented a car from Budget for $58 and toured on my own.
1. Burrito Bay Deli in Red Hook for the best breakfast burritos EVER. 2. Stopped at Drake's Seat and the photo op above beautiful Megan's Bay. 3. Went to Mountain Top for another amazing banana daiquiri and to admire the view. My favorite bartender Alex was not working today :-( 4. Back to Red Hook to hang out at my favorite hide-a-way - Secret Harbour. Rented Beach Chairs and Umbrellas from the Dive Shop for $5 bucks each. Went snorkeling and swimming and just veg'd out on the beach. This used to be one of my favorite snorkel spots but sadly I will have to take it off my list. There was hardly anything to see this time around and there is really no coral left. It was a very disappointing site. I stayed here for 2 - 3 hours. 5. Off to Paradise Point for one of the best Bushwacker's outside of Tortola. The view from up here is also worth the trip. I drove up the hill, but if you had to take the tram it would be worth it. 6. I didn't get to go back to visit David Hill at his Gallery downtown. I also didn't get a chance to see if the restaurant FRIENDS on back street was open again. David Hill does some great work, go see him if you can.
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