We travelled with my wife's sister and her husband. The 4 of us have travelled quite often together. Booking the cruise and air thru Carnival seemd to get us the best price on air fare. We reached San Juan about 8pm and had no lines to go thru to get to the ship. We walked up and got our ship cards/drink cards and went to our rooms. Upon entering the ship you could tell it was older, but all decor and fixtures were in good shape. We took the elevator to our floor and went to see the rooms and the balconies. The rooms were very clean, the colors were carribean and all was great. this was our first time to get a balcony on carnival so it was nice to sit outside when we wanted to. Seeing our luggage was not at the rooms yet, we decided to walk the ship and see some of it.
As we walked the halls and got to the elevator and then to the lobby area, I noticed that there were a great number of spanish speaking passengers on the ship. This made sence as we were departing from San Juan.We all ventured to the casino and gambled and had coctails for a while and then retired to our rooms to unpack our bags which had been delivered while we were gone.
That night we were notified that we were to have our ports of call rearranged due to the hurrincane that was headed into Puerto Rico and the northern island we were to visit(St Thomas and St Maarten)and instead the ship was headed to St.Lucia as it's first port. Safetey first I say.. and 100 mph winds woudl certainly ruin a day or two for everyone. So after a day at sea we arrived at the beutiful island of St Lucia. That day on the ship as the 4 of us went to brerakfast, lunch , snacks and then the 8:15 seating for dinner we noticed that many of the spanish speaking people on the ship were prone to cut into lined for food and drinks, they often gathered in the aisles to talk amongst them selves and would not move to let other passengers through. I realize we have cultural differences being from different countries. All of the food items were above average, compared to previous cruises. The lines for the buffet at peak times were a bit long, but moved fairly quick considering all the people who "cut-in" to the lines. The sandwich grill was really great, the hot grilled samwiches were very tasty. The pacific dining room was tastfully decorated and very clean, but again the decor was showing it's age by the colors of the decor and the carpet. Our 2 waiters, Hayward and Gerrado were excellent, the food was hot and they knew what we all drank(iced tea, water, coffee) so they would keep our cups and glasses filled. We all noticed that the attire of many of the other passengers was not what we expected.About 1/2 the diners work nice casual attire the other 1/2 wore shorts, tank tops and even a few had on ball caps. This was unlike other cruises we had taken where the men had on coats and ties for the evening meal. Another think I had noticed was that many peopel showed up very late for the 8:15 seating, actually showing up as late as 9:30, again this was unlike any other cruise we had been on. The Matre'd told me he had only been on this ship for 2 weeks and how people showed up for the late seating was totally different for him to see. The food at the late seating was very good, offering a good selection at all the meals.The wait staff preformed a brief dance every night which was very entertaining. We took in several nice shows and also the art auction as we cruised.
The "Shopping Guides" Rick and Hector were very helpful and very personable when we saw them on the ship or in the shoping district. If you plan to shop for jewelry be sure to get their list of suggested shops!
The cruise director,,,"Karl,,, with a K" was informative and was in several of the shows we saw. He was a bit over the top at times, but always entertaning and pleasant.
The captain was not seen by any of us during the week. We did not attend the past cruisers coctail party as we were very tired that day.
We'd reccomend the Victory and it's destinations(st thomas, st kitts, st lucia, dominica, and st maarten, which we missed due to the storms) However..Be prepared for a more casual cruise eperience than you might have had on other ships. And also be prepared for a few cultural differences compared to cruises that depart from Texas or Florida.
****Over all... compared to past cruises we would give the Carnival Victory an 8+ rating out of 10.
I read many reviews on this ship before booking the cruise and some of them were very,very negative. The ship, while older is in good repair, with dated colors of decor. All of which were very clean and made for a comfortable week on board.
Getting off the ship there were lines but Carnival had done a good job of having luggage arranged in numbered groups to retrieve. There were long lines to get on the busses to the airport so the 4 of us just got a taxi that cost us 4$ each to get to the airport.
****St Kitts,, Very Beautiful Island, agirculture included: cashews,advacados,coffee,vanilla,bananas We took a rain forest gondola trip and shopped some. Very nice people and gorgeous scenery
*********St Kitts Shopping and a snorkel trip, this island was very beautiful , the economy seemed poorer than st kitts
********Dominca Lots of local vendors at the pier, shopping was of lesser quality and while a beautiful place, we felt it best not to venture off the beaten paths
*********St. Thomas My wife had never been to St Thomas and she was so excited to see it and go shopping in the very nice shopping areas. We booked an excursion thru carnival on the "Bimini Breeze" snorkle trip, on a powered catamaran. We went to one reef to see sting rays,fish and coral. The young lady "Mellissa" gave a guided tour as we swam and pointed out many items of interest to all of us. The second stop was a smaller island near st thomas. where we anchored and immediately saw large gree sea turtles in the water. Upn entering the water ans looking down we saw several large sting rays. small schools of Yellow tail snapper and several large green sea turtles. mellissa once again pointed out fish and items of interest as we swam in the cove of this island.
This trip was by far the best excursion my wife and I had ever taken while on a cruis ship. The captain of the boat,his brother and Mellissa were so awsome! All were very polite, saftey concious and very very excites to have us on their boat that day. WE HIGHLY RECCOMEND THE BIMINI BREEZE TO ALL WHO WANT TO SNORKEL!
THEY SERVED WATER, SODAS AND RUM PUNCH ON THE TRIP BACK TO THE DOCK.. AWSOME SCENERY AND BEAUTIFUL BLUE WATER,, EVEN AFTER THE HURRICANE!