Carnival Victory 01/09/11
This was our sixth Carnival cruise but the first for two of our sons who accompanied us on this voyage. We flew on JetBlue from JFK on the same day of the cruise and everything went like clockwork including embarkation. We arrived at the pier by 12:30 PM, breezed right through check in, and headed up to Lido deck for lunch. After we ate we headed back out to San Juan to see some sights and do some shopping prior to re-boarding the ship for our 10:00 PM departure.
Overall, we found the ship to be in good condition, although somewhat dated. The cabin was a good size however we found the closet space to be somewhat lacking. We were also disappointed to find that the room did not have a refrigerator and found the bed to be rather firm and uncomfortable. We chose the Your Time dining selection and were very pleased with it. The seating for Your Time dining is on deck four in the Atlantic Dining Room and thought the selection and quality of the meals was good. The service staff of More
Jessie, Khandra, and Marckly was friendly, attentive, and helpful. Breakfast was usually in the Pacific Dining Room on deck three. The few times that we did use the buffet on the Lido deck for any meal we found the food to be lukewarm and less appealing. The big screen television on the Lido Deck had a problem with the center of the screen that was distracting. We discovered the adults only area called Serenity(21 and over). It has hammocks, hot tubs, showers, seating with clam shell shades and a bar. We also discovered that age is not a good determination of being an adult. We were very disappointed that Carnival has decided to exclude Dominica from the itinerary as we were really looking forward to doing the river tubing excursion. The excuse of saving fuel doesn't fly with me as we passed right by Dominica to get to some of the other islands.
Entertainment other than the magician and one comedian was less than spectacular. Our favorite time was the Meringue lesson given by Smitty in the disco. Less
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Cabin review: Carnival Victory Balcony Upper 6360
Room was quiet except for the occasional people wandering the halls after the bars closed. Room could use more shelf space, night table, and refrigerator.
Port and Shore Excursions
On Barbados we chose the Pirates Party Boat Beach excursion and were very pleased. The boat ferried us to Carlisle Beach which was gorgeous. Calm clear water and plenty of sun plus the fun nature of the crew made this a great excursion. I would definitely go back to this beach but bring snacks as the food is very limited. The bar opened on the way back to the ship and the rum punch flowed.
We loved St Kitts. The tour we took was the Beach Extravaganza and it was very worthwhile. The tour operator was great and the drive from the port to Cockleshell Beach provided some of the most beautiful scenery of the trip. Cockleshell Beach was another absolutely beautiful beach and would love to return there again. I would warn against purchasing food there as we found it very costly. If you go bring your own snacks.
While St. Lucia has some beautiful scenery, both time I have been here I have been disappointed with the visit. This trip we took the Catamaran Cruise to the Pitons which also had a beach stop. The catamaran cruise was long, crowded, and uncomfortable. The beach stop turned out to be a half-hour stay at what looked like a small black sand beach that you had to wade in to from some fairly deep water. Despite the beauty of the majestic Pitons rising from the ocean I would not take this excursion again.
We did not plan an excursion on this island. We took the water taxi from the pier to the beach close by where there is plenty of shopping available and restaurants right along the walk. I would recommend Taloula Mangos as we had a great meal there and there was a wonderful reggae singer performing right outside. The beach was nice but entering the water is tricky due to a foot to foot and a half drop off just about six or seven feet out. There are also many people hawking their wares up and down the beach which got annoying after a while. You will be approached by locals offering you "good deals" some combination of chairs and drinks. Our first good deal involved three chairs and a bucket of beer for $25; further down someone else had it for $20; a little further down another local offered us three chairs and several rum punch drinks for $25. his price came down the less we seemed interested and when my son said we were just going to lay towels on the sand he gave us the chairs for $10 with the drinks. Don't take the first "bargain" you are offered.
We have visited St. Thomas several times and have have found it welcoming. We took the excursion to Trunk Bay, which we have been to several times as well, as it is a beautiful beach. This excursion involved a 45 minute "ferry" ride and then a short open air bus ride from the drop off point to the beach. While the beach is still one of the most beautiful in the world, on this day the surf was a little rough and made it difficult for the four of us to really enjoy the water.