Just returned from this cruise on the Victory. It's a good ship and a great itinerary. I did not find any of the negative comments posed on this board from time to time. The ship was full but my cabins was extra large and their where a lot of very nice people from around the entire world. Not many locals on this cruise for June 26th. Always a few rude people in a group this big but they were very much the exception. The overall cruise experience is as good as or better than other cruises' so you should not be disappointed. Here are some of my observations that may be of interest.
? In 6 cruises on different line this was the smoothest boarding. You can board as early as noon with hardly any lines. (I recommend coming down the day before, see Old San Juan and board early.)
? Buy the wine packages at the start of the cruise it saves you a lot if you like wine.
? The victory keeps a gourmet chef on the ship that does a chef table dinner that is very nice. You have to pay more for it though and it has limited availably on only a few nights.
? Overall the dining room food was the best I have ever had on 6 cruses and three different cruise lines. The gourmet chef position has helped the food. A couple of really good selections that you would not think to order were the egg plant and the Lasagna.
? The buffet food was average to cruise ships but still probably a cut above Royal Caribbean. You don't really need to eat in the buffet. Breakfast is served to order in the dining room by wait staff, gourmet meals every night, sushi bars, sandwich bars with made to order hot sandwiches, Hot dog and hamburgers, free room service. The hot dogs are an all beef blend and very good. Not the cheap kind of hot dog you would expect to be served in a buffet. Anything to do with Potatoes and fruits and vegetables was also done very nice, potato salad, sliced, diced, spiced etc.
? Carnival has an exclusive draft beer brewed only for carnival cruise lines called thirsty frog. It's a red amber beer. If you like beer, try it for sure. Very good.
? The female dancers may be the most beautiful women on the seven seas. ( enough said)
? The shore excursion booked through the boat is pretty much a Rip Off. We found the same or better excursion either on line or at the dock of 50 =75% less money so do your homework and save a lot of money and have even more fun. Taxis on any island will give you better torus for about $20 person.
? This is one of the few ways to get to Barbarous on a cruise and most other cruise ships have cut it out to save on gas money.
? You most see the turtles in Barbarous, but don't book the cruise ship excursion unless you want to be kept like a heard of cattle. We had a great excursion with Casablanca tours and Gina. First rate all the way including the fine cooking and drinks.
? The cheapest and greatest rum selection on the entire cruise is in St Lucia at the Bounty Rum Distillery. Be sure and go buy and get some great Rum at $7 bottle. For instance Chocolate orange rum.
? St Martin is the best overall shopping port for things like Cuban Cigars and diamonds jewelry, watches rings etc.