I set sail with the crew & guest from Miami on 1/16/05 enroute to Cozumel, Cayman Islands & Ocho Rios in Jamaica with anticipation of having a good time & I was not disappointed. After reading some of the other reviews & listening to others in our group (Mayes) comments I realize that the "cruise" experience is as subjective in description as the blind man describing the elephant. The experience for me was very positive regardless of weather it was the trunk or the tail that I encountered.
I am no authority on cruises as this was only my second but whenever I dined I couldn't help thinking about the men & women in countries like Iraq or Afghanistan protecting their food from being seasoned by the sandstorms not knowing if they would be eating their last meal. The amount & variety & quality of the food at every venue was amazing but I could not help but feel a sense of guilt as I thought about the thousands of lives affected by the tragedy of the Indonesian tsunami.
The Cayman excursion was a testimonial of the force of Hurricane Ivan & the perseverance of the people to recover, overcome & get back to the business of catering to tourists that too often forget that the world does not revolve around what pleases them. Most of the people I encountered were very appreciative, friendly & courteous.
The crew of the Victory are exceptional in being courteous, accommodating & putting a positive face on every circumstance. Two of the people in the Atlantic dining room that served our tables were exceptional. Sorina Lovin & her assistant Liviu (both from Romania) went above & beyond the call of duty to serve our tables with knowledge of menu selections & the promptness & graciousness every evening with a beautiful smile (Sorina) or a quick witted remark (Liviu) that kept the night lively. If all Romanians are like these two representatives, book my next trip to Romania.
The cruise director, Skip Lyons an Aussie informed us that the crew was made up of nationalities from 24 countries all working harmoniously together for one purpose: the enjoyment of their guests. I think there is a personal & world message in there somewhere which ask: What kind of a impression do we give to others as we claim our nationality?? Would they want to come visit us??
In closing I would be remiss if I did not mention the soloist, orchestra & Victory dancers. The shows these artists put together are beyond wonderful & I hope they will someday be acknowledged for the stars they are.
My only regret is that I had to return to the reality of not being pampered & catered & entertained but will look forward to my next cruise & without hesitancy consider the Fun Ship Carnival Victory as long as Sorina & Liviu are still part of the crew.