Southern Caribbean Spring Break Cruising 2010
This is the 4th time that I, along with my 3 teenagers, my dear friend, her teenager, and my sister and her 3 teens have taken a cruise out of San Juan over Spring Break and the 2nd time in a row that we have sailed on the Victory. We chose the Victory because we like be in port everyday and that is what the Victory gives you.
Between the 11 of us we had 2 balcony cabins and 2 interiors, all together on deck 8. Our location was good, cabins above and below us, and mid ship. Our cabins were clean and the area quiet. Our group would meet in the same location every morning for breakfast before heading out for the day. The buffet was usually crowded with fairly long lines. The food was fine. We would generally head off the ship shortly after breakfast and be gone for most of the day. Upon return, kids and moms would generally get a bite to eat (often a slice of pizza or a sandwich, if the buffet was still open) The kids always finishing with ice cream! We had dinner every night in More
the dining room, late seating. The food was fine. Since we have 5 large teenage boys, quantity is really more important than quality!
If the after dinner show did not interest us (the down side of being on board 2 years in a row is the shows are almost exactly the same as the year before) the younger teens, ages 14,14,16,16, and 17, would head off to the teen room and the older teens, ages 18 and 18, and the moms would head off to casino or the karaoke bar. We have obviously enjoyed our times on the Victory since we have done it twice. Our cabins have always been good.
We loved being in port every day and the kids love (need, if you ask them) 24 hour ice cream. You could get a really good pre-dinner cosmo at several of the bars. I had a good massage in the spa.
Now, here are a few things that I didn't like. The announcements on board seem to go on constantly and can be heard throughout the ship, including the staterooms. It appeared that Carnival had sold quite a few discounted fairs based on the number and behavior of some of the guests. Also, I didn't like the push they gave me in the spa to buy products. This years cruise will not be on the Victory but we shall remember her fondly. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
We chartered a catamaran that accommodated 12. After leaving the ship in the morning, we were met on the dock by a driver who took us to a beach area where we were met by our catamaran and our captain and first mate. We all jumped aboard and off we went. We sailed around the island, making several stops to snorkel and swim with the turtles. After several hours of sailing, we met the captains wife at a prearranged spot where she delivered to us a delicious home made lunch. After a brief swim, we sailed back to our pickup spot where we were met by our driver and taken back to the ship.
This is the 3rd time that we have been to Dominica. It is a very pretty and primitive island. This time, we walked into town, visited the Catholic church and wondered around for a bit. Then back to the ship.
We had no shore excursion planned. We just walked off the ship and got a taxi and headed off to a beach. I can't remember the name of the beach but it was at one end of the island and appeared to be in an area that was being developed. Our taxi driver arranged to come back at an appointed time to pick us up. The beach was pretty windy, as was most of the island that we saw. There were a couple of restaurants and places to rent chairs. It wasn't my favorite beach area but I think maybe we just didn't choose well. Our taxi drive, who was very, very nice picked us up at our appointed time and on the way back to the ship took us on a little drive through a residential are on a hilltop. It was very pretty and we (even our kids) enjoyed it. The people on St. Kitts were very nice and I think that we would someday go back there.
We have been to St. Lucia a couple of times before and have ended up on the same beach where people are always trying to sell you stuff. I think the taxi drivers like to take cruise passengers there. So this time we decided to plan an excursion. We signed up to go zip lining. We were met at the ship by a bus and taken up into the hillside. The road was full of lots of twists and turns and left a few people on board feeling a little queasy. By the time we got to our destination we were all happy to get off the bus. The course was a series of 10 tree top platforms with zips of varying lengths. We all had a great time zipping but, in what seems to be our experience with the people of St. Lucia, everyone we came in contact with (including but not limited to the people handing out the gloves) were hustling for tips. I am totally in agreement with tipping people in the service industry but I always feel like I am being shaken down in St. Lucia. Anyway, we had a really good time zip lining and st. Lucia is a very pretty island.
St. Martin is a very pretty island. We had no excursion planned and just wanted to spend the day at a nice beach. We got a taxi at the port area and were taken to an area called Little Bay. It is probably only a 15-20 minute from the ship. We were on the beach just in front of a resort, I think called Divi. We were able to get chairs and play volleyball there. The beach was gorgeous and the water wonderful. There were enough waves that we could body surf. Our driver picked us up at the arranged time and we headed back to the port. A few of us wanted to dropped off on Front street to do a little shopping and just walked back to the ship. The walk was a little longer than expected but certainly doable. We did all of these things on the Dutch side. We really loved St. Martin. It was clean and the people were very nice. I hope to go back again.
We have been to St. Thomas on all 4 of our Southern Caribbean cruises and have done something different each time. This time, we chartered 2 sail boats (each accommodating 6 passengers) for the 11 of us and sailed with a captain and first mate on each to St. John. This was an amazing excursion. We sailed into Caneel Bay and set out anchor. We all got our snorkel gear on and into the water we went. The coral and fish were amazing. The area was absolutely beautiful. After quite a while of snorkeling, back to the boats we went for lunch. All of us agreed best excursion we ever!