We have traveled quite a bit around the US but we have never taken a cruise before. My son, graduating from high school, wanted this to be the family trip this summer. I am more of a mountain hiker than a beach bum, but for him we did it. We are so thankful!! We flew out of Indianapolis to San Juan by way of Atlanta. No problems at all. This trip on Carnival Victory with a stop each day at a different port was a wonderful experience!
We stayed the night before at Hotel Milano in Old San Juan. Very happy with the simple room, wonderful service, and great location. Enjoyed Old San Juan all day with a self-guided walking tour. Highly suggest spending some time in this quaint location! We did not board the ship until early evening. There had been long lines early in the afternoon we noticed when we were still touring San Juan, but by the time we got there we just walked right in. (Good thing because it was pouring down rain!)
The whole embarkation was new to us, but it was a piece of cake. We were very lucky with our room. We did not know what we would want since this was all new, so we just took what we got. We were on the 8th floor which gave us beautiful views. We were in the back of the ship. Actually we were right under the pizza place. Amazingly we never had excess noise or any issues at all. We had all 4 of us - teenagers 15 and 18, mom and dad - in one room. There were bunk beds for the teenagers. The balcony was worth every cent. It offered amazing views, a little extra space, and quite a lot to watch on the port side.
We picked this cruise so we could get off the boat every day and see something new. I wrote all about each days excursions! There are some wonderful choices with this cruise. However, due to our very busy and active excursions all day we did very little on the ship. The kids did not go to any of the teen activities nor did we see any of the evening's entertainment. Sorry! We did use the pools and the workout facilities. We were surprised how small each of the pools were. The ship's dEcor seemed a little tired, but that did not affect our joy of the cruise. We were exhausted for all of the fun in the sun! We did eat each evening in the Pacific dining room. We are kind of foodies, so we were a bit disappointed the food was never tied to the day's location. But that probably would not appeal to the masses. The food was just fine though. The staff was always friendly and helpful in every way. We are a bit addicted to our Diet Cokes, so we bought two of the soda cards and got to know several of the bar staff quite well!
We have never cruised before, so I was more than a bit concerned about getting on and off the ship at each port. It was so easy! Hardly any lines - unless you needed to be off the moment the ship ported. Very friendly staff - especially Hector! Each day was a new experience. We were hardly on the ship during the day. We spent all day in the port, boarded, and got ready for our late dinner seating. Getting off the ship back in San Juan for our early flight was again no problem. The San Juan airport on Sunday morning takes an extra dose of patience, but that is understandable. I thought this would be a once in a lifetime experience, but we all had so much fun, I think we will cruise again!