We just completed the Victory Southern Carribean Cruise on Oct 3rd. Hard to believe that we have been home nearly a week and already ready to go again. We arrived in San Juan late on Sat evening. I had booked( bid) a pre and post cruise stay thru Hotwire and got the same hotel for both stays.
We arrived at the Cruise port around 11:30 am on Sunday morning. It was pure chaos, people leaving and people arriving and it was hard to tell who was who. Everyone was smiling and laughing. There were cars, buses and taxi's everywhere. Embarkation was a breeze, completed in just a few min and no lines. We were allowed to board at 12:30, but only to go to the Lido deck for lunch. Our rooms were not ready until 2pm. After depositing our carry ons in the room it was off to explore old San Juan. There is a Fort within walking distance that is interesting, but it is all uphill. Before returning to the ship we stopped at the CVS pharmacy just down from Senor Frogs about a block, across More
from the cruise port. We purchased 12 pks of coke and water. A 12 pk of coke was $3, ( carnival was charging $3.99 for a six pk) and water was $2.50, ( carnival was charging $5.99 for a 6 pk.). Also pick up sun screen if you need, it will be cheaper there than anywhere else.
Debarkation went smoothly, probably the smoothest of all my excursions. I have always believed that cruises were what you yourself made of them. This one rates at the top of my expectation list. We had totally awesome room steward and Waitstaff. I was greeted daily by name and wished a good day or good evening. Just relax and enjoy You will have an AWESOME TIME. Less
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Cabin review: 8F9262
Cabin 9262 was near the middle of the ship, not far from the Lido restaurant, so was easy to grab breakfast and sit on the balcony to eat it and enjoy the scenery. Had amazing views from the port side balcony.
Port and Shore Excursions
We booked a beach tour thru Carnival. After a brief bus ride to the beach thru the city, we were give some history that was interesting, we arrived at a beautiful beach. This tour also included the rum punch drink. Take my advice skip this one, it was nasty. I am not sure what they mixed it with but was very sour. The beach I cannot say enough about. Absolutely beautiful. The water was amazing. Whether walking, swimming or snorkeling you will enjoy this beach.
I had read other guest reviews of Dominica and we had decided not to do an excursion and just have a day of rest. However we decided to walk the stalls at the end of the pier. Glad we did, there we were offered a tour of the island and the falls for $20 per person. There were others from the ship that also joined us. We were given a very informative tour around the island. Then up to the falls. Beautiful. Twin falls one hot and one cold. Strong sulfur smell. The rain forest was magnificent. We were gone almost 3 hours on this tour.
If you have the time to explore San Juan check out the two Forts(Cristobal and Moro). Also a trip to the Bacardi factory is worth the experience. The tour is free and requires a brief water taxi ride. $1 for a round trip ticket. Then it is $3 for a taxi to the factory and then another $3 for the return back to the water taxi terminal. You do get to try a couple of Bacardi rums. Also if you are staying overnight and have Sunday to explore there is a place just past the Cruise Port at Pier 2 that will store your luggage for a nominal charge. Most hotels will not check you in before 3pm or 4pm.
St Lucia was beautiful. We booked the adrenaline Zip line tour thru the rain forest from Carnival. Whether you are old or you this trip is worth it. You zip from platform to platform, swing like Tarzan, and drop out of a tree. The staff were friendly and make it worth while. Try the rum punch here, it was good.
This island is unique. It is both a Dutch and a French Island. Great history. However take the catamaran sailing adventure thru Carnival. Great trip.
In St Thomas we booked a sailing and snorkeling tour on the Jolly Mon, WOW!!!!! Captain Gayle and her daughter Sara were spectacular host. While they can take up to 6 guest,there were only two of us.We were able to see the Jolly Mon from our balcony. their email is: svJollyMon@hotmail.com. Captain Gayle picked us up at the end of the cruise dock and returned us to the same spot. Sara our guide was extremely knowledgeable about the ocean and its inhabitants. We sailed over to Buck Island ,the snorkeling was amazing.