We arrived at the Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel one day prior to our cruise. Although not a great hotel, it makes up for itself by its location. We arrived at 3:05pm to find out our room wouldn't be ready for another 45 minutes. I say this because the lobby was packed with people who's rooms weren't ready. By 5:00pm I was upgraded to a suite because of the wait. Fort San Cristobal was a 5 minute walk away and tons of little shops, bars and restaurants also. Great location for walking.
We had a full boat, so all the food lines were long, long, long. Mississippi BBQ was always the longest line. It really didn't take that long and there was always tons of food at them. They filled them as fast as they were emptied. We had late dining in the Atlantic lower at a booth with another couple, but next time we do it, it'll be dine at your own time. The dining room food was very good and we never waited long for any meals. Our waiter was very good, and funny to. If you do More
breakfast, go before 8:00am. All the staff on the ship were very friendly and accommodating at all times. We got to know quite a few and as soon as they saw us, they went and got our drinks. Overall the ship was very very clean and really is just beautiful inside. We never did any shows and only sat by the pool one day, but the deck was packed with people all the time. There's so many things to do on this ship, where do I start. LOL.
CHEFS TABLE ON THE EVE OF BARBADOS: This was the most awesome thing we did on the boat. They only take 12 people and do it 1 or 2 nights. At 6:15 we were met by the Executive Chef of Carnival Victory, Aju. He asked us if we had any food allergies or if there was anything we didn't like. We started with a galley tour. This place is huge!!! 140 people work in here, not too mention the other 100 or so waiters coming in and out. He showed us how they control waste, how they cook, what's involved. Everything is cooked to order. Nothing is pre-prepared. It's true. One of the people in our group made the chocolate melting cake before we were whisked to another part of the galley for Hors D'Oeuvres. We had about 6 different ones each where he explained every ingredient and how it's prepared. Also, all the Champagne you can drink at this time. We then went to the Library where we sat down for our 7 course meal that is prepared right in front of you and explained to with every little detail. All the red and white wine, sparkling water and water you can drink. All the dishes looked like art work and in a few bites your done, but don't let that fool you, as it is so rich your stuffed by dessert. Everything was absolutely delicious. Each person gets a group photo and the menu. Also, each couple gets a Carnival Chefs cookbook signed by the Chef. Cost of this is $75.00 per person and I highly recommend this to all, even if you get a chance to do it just once, it's well worth it.
OVERALL: Great experiences, great people, good food, great itinerary, great value and most of all great memories. You can't go wrong booking this cruise. I most certainly would do this cruise again and again and again..... Less
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Cabin review: 8F1115 Balcony
DAY 1: The day of our cruise we arrived at the ship at 11:30am and was on at 12:30pm. We couldn't go to our cabin till 2:30pm, so we drank, drank some more, had lunch and drank some more. We were on Spa Deck forward cabin 1115. What a great cabin. It was 5 steps from the door to the deck. It was very quiet and private on this deck as there were only 7 cabins on each side. The balcony was small, but what a view from up this high. Also worth noting is that all the cabins on the spa deck have a sliding glass door leading out to the balcony where all the other balcony cabins on the other ships decks had the regular swinging open/close doors. Other than hearing the music out on your balcony it's very quiet inside. Another plus was the adult Serenity Bar area was right above us and you couldn't hear the people up there from our cabin.
Port and Shore Excursions
DAY 4 Barbados: Today we did the Thriller Adventure snorkeling tour. Got a taxi into town, shopped a little, then walked around a bit before we met up with Steve, the owner and operator of this fine tour. He believes less is better and so do I. He has a scarab boat with 3 250hp outboard johnson motors. It moves!!!! He only takes a maximum of 15 people, so he is very hands on with everyone. All the beer, rum punch, soda and water to drink plus salsa and chips and coconut bread for a snack. He tells you all about the stuff you see as you ride along the coastline leading up to your snorkeling spots. First spot was swimming with the endangered sea turtles. This was really cool as you can swim right along side of them and pet their shells. Take note the Carnival tours that do this have like 50-100 people coming to a spot all at once. Second spot was a coral reef where there were all kinds of tropical fish, sea life and of course some cool looking coral. Third stop was 2 different ship wrecks in the area. We also hung out on a beach for about 45 minutes before we headed back to the careen-age. Cost of Thriller is $60.00, lasts 3.50 hours and well worth it because of amount of people. Took a taxi back to the ship, shopped at the port a little, then boarded.
DAY 6 St. Kitts: We didn't do anything exciting here. We just shopped for a couple hours and had our picture taken with the Vervet or the Green monkeys that inhabit this island. I found St. Kitts to be the most rural of the itinerary. Very clean, very beautiful and very green. We were back on the boat by noon and hung out by the pool all day.
DAY 5 St. Lucia: So mountainous, lush green and just absolutely gorgeous island. Here we did Cosol tours. Let me tell you, this guy knows what he's doing and he and his staff are just like one of the gang. They are very very personable and funny as hell. Our guide was Bumpi. This was packed with so many things and so much information, I can't remember everything. If you go to his sight it explains what you do, where you go etc., but it's more than what's listed. I learned stuff I didn't even no. LOL. He is the only guy with a mobile bar. LOL. All of his vans are brand new and cool air conditioned. Although your in the van on these winding hills, they don't drive fast. Every view is and incredible view on this islands. The Pitons were amazing. And when he says it's all you can drink, believe me, 5 vans with 12 people in each, that's a lot of drink. You also sample their cuisine and stop and sample bananas, cashews, plants, etc. You also get a water taxi to a beach between the Pitons for 1 hour. I would do this tour again when I go there. The tour is about 6 hours long and costs $65.00. Got back to the ship at 4pm, shopped on the boat, had drinks and got ready for dinner before calling it a night as the day took it out of us.
DAY 7 St. Maarten: Our favorite island. Why? Because you could get off the boat and walk 5 minutes to downtown Philipsburg. It reminded me of a boardwalk as you walked along the beach on a large sidewalk with shops, restaurants, bars and homemade stands set up where the locals sell stuff also. A very clean island, tight, tiny streets and very friendly people. We didn't do an excursion here either. We did a really long walk, did lots of shopping, ate on the beach and of course for all you Hard Rock Cafe shirt or pin collectors, we hit the Hard Rock. I collect the shirts that are themed for that cafe only and now am up to 41 themed shirts from 41 different Hard Rocks from all over the world. There are also wild goats that roam the mountains and you could see them as soon as you walk off the cruise ship. We also collected some cool seashells here to. I don't smoke, but if you do, this island and St. Kitts are the cheapest for them. $17.00-$20.00 a carton or 5 cartons for $80.00-$85.00. This is the last island and I don't want to go home already. LOL.
DAY 2 St. Thomas: We did the Sea Lion encounter at Coral World Park and it was amazing how smart these animals are. Just like a dog, but a 350lb. dog. LOL. I recommend this because this is something most people would never get to do in lifetime. The encounter with the sea lion is 30 minutes long. Romulo was his name and he played catch, high fived, did handstands, hugged, kissed, smiled, roared and nodded yes or no, etc. This was our favorite excursion. We also toured the park as they have an aquarium, a nature trail, interaction with other sea life and tortoises and ducks. Cost of tour is $89.00 per person. We took a taxi into town and shopped a little before going to the Greenhouse and having a few drinks. On our way back to the ship we walked around at Havensight port. I didn't care for this as the people in the shops were pushy. All and all St. Thomas is very nice, but the best is yet to come.