July 4th on the Victory! San Juan Airport was no big deal. Arrived around 1pm and took Carnival's transportation to the ship. Next time I will take a taxi, due to the lack of organization on the transport company. Your luggage goes on a truck, and you go on a bus. Hopefully, if all goes well, your luggage will arrive in your stateroom. I was a little uneasy about this process, but no problems. I personally like to take my luggage to the pier.
The ship was fine, no major flaws, but it IS showing some age. Rust spots in alot of places, but clean. Crew is ALWAYS working and polite. Stateroom was on Starboard side, and I only saw one port--San Juan. On this cruise, you need to be on the port side--much much better views. Wish I had known this before I sailed! I was always looking at open water from my balcony. Room was typical Carnival--no probs. Clean and neat!
Food was absolutely perfect. I am amazed at the number of people who say that the food is just average or poor. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I ate Prime Rib twice, and my wife ate shrimp every nite!! Lobster is served on Tuesday Nite which is "Elegant Nite". I wore a coat and tie, but many many do not. Next Carnival cruise for me, will be without dress up clothes. If Carnival is not going to enforce the dress code, then why should I carry all those clothes? Five nites of the cruise are "Cruise Casual" which means that short pants and a shirt is allowed in the dining room. No more dressing up for me! Plenty of people dressed in the finest attire, but clearly NOT the majority. If you enjoy dressing up, then go for it!! On the first dress up nite, the dining room staff had a collision at my table, and dumped two plates of food on my wife's head and shoulders. It was a mess! The staff was embarrassed, I was embarrassed and my wife was humiliated. They apologised continuously and sat us at a new table, and offered to send her to the ship's doctor. She was not seriously hurt, just a little bruised from the two broken plates. Carnival did NOT do anything special for her!! I thought a small token gift would have been very classy of them. Maybe some strawberries or some chocolate----NOTHING. That left a very bad taste in my mouth. They did offer to clean her clothes for her. It was an accident, and we understand that accidents do happen. But a little gift for her would have been a nice touch!
The ports/water is perfect. Snorkeling can be done in every port. Watch out for the taxi drivers in St Kitts--some are not quite honest. They agree to take you on a city/beach tour for one price, and then at the end of the tour, they change the price on you. If you get approached by a taxi driver on the street, trying to work up some honest business, just be careful. Make SURE you have complete agreement on the price! Write it down! That way there are no questions. Most drivers do an excellent job--I just happened to meet a crook! He did not get any more money from me--told him that I had no more, than what we had agreed to. He was mad, but HE was the crook--not me. St Thomas--we sailed with Captain Max---WOW---sail boat for 6 guests. For $140 each we had private beaches on St John, private bays, lunch with a table cloth, clear crystal water and SEA TURTLES!! You can find her on the Internet, and you can leave the boats with 100+ people behind. We did the Carnival 5 Star Catamaran for $100 in Barbados, but it was crowded. Boat was WAY too full of people. Never again. Captain Max and her mate Julie will work their butts off for you to enjoy your day on St Thomas. She will even get you a taxi, if you like. Best day of our vacation.
Debarkation was a breeze, but the San Juan airport is a zoo!! I waited in 11 lines before I got back home to Florida. Please be patient!! Sunday is a very busy day in San Juan. The USDA line is a joke, but you have to have your luggage inspected there. We waited for over 40 minutes in that line, outside in the heat. Hire a porter, and he will take your bags to the front of the line! Other than the dining room accident, we had a great time! No rudeness anywhere!! No line breakers, no problems. Yes the ship has kids on it, but they were not any problems to anyone. I would go again tomorrow!