We cruised aboard the Carnival Victory Jan 30 - Feb 6, 2011.
Boarding went smooth and fast in San Juan. We had a balcony for the first time ever and well worth the money!! The blow dryer in the room needed serious updating, I recommend bringing your own if you have thick hair. There is NO fridge in the room if you are planning on it. Our room # was 9250 on Lido deck FWD. It was very convenient to everything and quiet too. The linens were very nice and the dEcor in great shape. Our room service was great as expected the entire week!
Timing is everything when it comes to eating at the buffets. It has been mentioned before and I will mention again, the long lines for breakfast and lunch at the buffet are a challenge. They have other options, an area for Wok, a Deli, A Hamburger/Hot Dog counter, Pizza and lots of coffee/water/tea/lemonade stations. We found the lemonade to always be strong and sometimes needed water added to it. The water is nasty (except at dinner) don't like drinking all that chlorination. We did buy 1 drink card and I thought the sodas tasted old, not sure it was worth it.
We enjoyed the AFT section of the boat on Lido deck because it seemed a little quieter and more "just adults" area. There is a pool, a couple hot tubs, bar, pizza, hamburgers/hot dogs and 24 hour ice-cream, frozen yogurt station. We loved that!
The seated dining in Pacific was the 6:00pm seating for us and we liked that. Our waiters were awesome as expected and performed singing and dancing almost every night. This is not to be missed!! At times they asked us to participate and that made it more fun. We loved the "melting chocolate cake" and ice cream dessert on the menu every night. We also special ordered crème brulee and it was outstanding. They exceeded our expectations every night!
We did not attend any comedy shows, however we did attend to the two big shows for the week. The first one on Tuesday night was great. The second one was ok. The lady dancers wore string bikinis such that their behinds were all out there the entire performance. Ok for adults seeking that thrill, but not the right show for "family". We did see the kids club children in attendance and felt that was inappropriate for them (ages 5-12).
We played bingo a couple nights and even won!!! That was exciting and I would encourage you to play if you have some time to pass on board. They play it all week long at different times, mostly just before shows start.
The gym was great, the outside waterslide was fun when it was open and the outside Theatre had some great movies each night. There were a few pixels that needed fixed, but otherwise was just fine. Don't miss the serenity section for adults only on the top of the ship FWD by the waterslide. I found it 3 days into our cruise and loved that area to relax, sleep, read a book or just suntan!
We took in every port and did some activity, mostly "not pre-booked". Here is an account of each port.
Crazy taxi system there. We docked in Havensight and it was a nice little shopping area. We went to the new Harley Davidson store and had fun shopping there. We thought the gondola ride would be fun, but ended up taking a taxi downtown and then onto Magen's Bay. There were a lot of people there and it cost us $8pp to get to Magen's Bay and $8pp to get back to ship. The water was fantastic and the birds that torpedo into the water to catch a fish were the most entertaining. Not sure I would go to Magen's bay again, I liked Emerald bay better on our last visit here.
We spent the day at the Hilton. We took a taxi for $6-8pp one way I think and then paid $25pp for a day pass that included an umbrella, lounge chair, access to the beach and pool. $35 if you wanted lunch included, but we declined that. The beach sand was like silk and the waves were perfect for a little boogie boarding or if you just wanted to enjoy bobbing. Super relaxing day, would definitely do that again! Love the rum cakes in Barbados.
The best island we experienced during our cruise. We pre-booked an excursion with COSOL TOURS. I had read in other posts how fantastic this experience was and we had a van all to ourselves (10 of us) with our driver "JABA" and he did a super job. You can google Cosol Tours online and email him to arrange a tour for you. It was $65 pp and it was a land/sea tour that lasted a good portion of the entire day. We stopped for photos and information on island. We ate island favorites, had warm bread and cheese and had unlimited drinks. I must say, the visit to the Pitons via a water taxi was so fun, the best part was the snorkeling. Take your gear or rent from them $10 for their gear, it rivaled Hawaii. I will most definitely do this tour again if I can get back to St. Lucia in the future.
We just shopped on this island and absolutely loved it. I think everyone found something they couldn't live without. We were all a little tired and needed to catch up on our rest. We slept in and took in breakfast in the Pacific dining room. Nothing to rave about there. Stick to the buffet unless you need a change. I think this island was one of the best islands for shopping!
We took water taxi to town $6pp round trip I think. Right there you have a great sandy beach (huge) and then restaurants from the bay, then stores are right behind the restaurants for shopping. They have beautiful linens to buy in this port. We rented some lounges and umbrellas for $20 for all 6 of us due to the fact that our ship was the only one in port, more expensive and definitely crowded when more ships in town. They can have up to 8 ships in one day. Lucky us. We enjoyed the beach and had lots of ladies trying to sell us trinkets. We got an aloe leg rub from a couple gals that felt so good and then finished our day shopping and back to ship. They had the cutest backpacks that turn into towels for kids. Great gift idea!
Long, Slow and the Airport in San Juan on Sunday is major Chaos. I obviously didn't remember how painful it is going home. We finally got off ship at 12:00pm, through customs, then to the airport, thru USDA, then Check-in, then Security (the lines were all super long for everything). We finally boarded our plane at 3:00pm. If I could do over again, I would spend the night in St. Juan and go home the following day.
Hope this helps those getting ready to make the decision to cruise or those already getting ready to go on their cruise. I know these boards helped me a ton in determining needed information for the ship and the fun things to do in each port. I hope you find the same value with my review. I would definitely do this one over again!!