We are experienced cruisers taking a family vacation. There were 7 of us, a 60 Plus couple, a 40ish son and daughter-in-law, and 3 children , Boys 12,9 and a girl 6.
First I have to say if you are under 30 Carnival is the only cruise line for you. There were constant dance parties. Even at dinner the waiters danced and got the audience involved. It was a lot of fun. We have been on princess and Royal Caribbean and it is like pulling teeth to get anyone to dance. Of course the crowd was much younger on carnival.
We traveled on the Victory. Nice ship, water slide, several pools. Jogging track, nice exercise room. One large theater and several smaller venues. Besides the production shows they had comedy shows every night in one of the smaller bars. They had 2 comedians who did both general audience and adult's only shows. Shows were about 30 minutes and were different every show. Generally good
The cabin was nice, spacious with a couch. We had a window cabin. One thing carnival did was eliminate refrigerators. While they did keep the ice bucket supplied. I like to keep water and pop cold in the fridge and sometimes snacks I bring back.
Food was so-so. Breakfast and lunch was fine. Several omelet stations so it was never very crowded. Lunch had burgers, pizza, a sandwich deli(great sandwiches) and the hot buffet. I will have to say I was not crazy about dinner. Maybe I ordered poorly. There were many choices and steak was always included. I would have liked more fish and pasta dishes. I tipped the waiters on the first night and in the middle of the cruise. Service was outstanding. They really took care of the kids like I asked.
Drinks were expensive. Beers $6, Martinis $11. I didn't drink much so it wasn't an issue. BTW, carnival makes bad martinis. Get something else.
Since we were a family we went to a beach at most every port. At St. Thomas we went to Magens Bay. We have been there lots of times. Easy to get to by taxi. $7 taxi and you have to pay the $4 admission. Chairs rent for $7 and you can rent floats and other things. Bar on the beach and a snack shop. Burgers, hot dogs, pizza etc. Nice place
On Barbados we went to harbor light's which is down the beach from the boatyard. $5 cab ride and $20 to rent 2 chairs and umbrella. Beautiful beach. They have guys taking you snorkeling and jet skiing. Also tube rides. I went jet skiing. $25 for 15 minutes. Lots of fun in the ocean. They have restaurant there also, kind of expensive for burgers, hot dog's etc.
In St. Lucia we went to smugglers cover on a carnival tour. I would not do that again. Rocky beach with lots of seaweed. We ended up in the pools.
On St. Kits we went to cockleshell beach by the spice mill restaurant. 2 chairs and umbrella $15, taxi $6.50 each way. They had a great bar there and a restaurant. Expensive to eat so we ate at the ship when we returned.
In St. Maartin the kids stayed on the ship since they have international beaches. Chris and I walked thru town. Very nice town. Has an old European architecture with very tiny winding streets. Lots of up scale shops. They have a beach right in town. Restaurants behind the beach. I saw signs 2 chairs, umbrella, 2 red stripes for $15. Beer cheap in st.Maartin. We like orient beach better so we just walked around though we did have lunch in town
All in all a great vacation.