Almost every September since 2001 my wife and I have taken a vacation to celebrate our Wedding anniversary. This year instead of taking a land based vacation we decided to take a cruse. Our choices were to either sail from Baltimore on the Carnival Pride to The Bahamas or to travel to San Juan and take the Victory to the southern Caribbean.
After much discussion it was decided that we would take the cruse on the victory and after a quick call to Carnival were booked on out first cruse. For our shore excursions were chose and booked them in June. On a sunny Sunday we arrived from Philadelphia in San Juan at 1:30 PM and after using the rest room and retrieving our luggage we were able to find the Carnival rep for our transfer to the Port of San Juan to board the Victory. Before boarding the coach for the short ride the the port our checked luggage was placed on a van for direct transfer to the ship. Once the coach was loaded we were off to the port. We arrived at the terminal at 2:30 PM just a boarding was underway. Check in was very quick and after receiving our sail & sign cards,getting our boarding picture and a quick security check were we on board the ship entry was through the mail lobby atrium located on deck three. We boarded the elevator and made our way to cabin 7310 our home for the next week the room was prepared and well stocked for the voyage. The only criticism I had was with the lay out of the bed it was placed against a wall which made it difficult for the person sleeping against the wall to get into bed. The close and drawer space was more than adequate. There was a selection of samples in the bathroom.
Since out luggage had not arrived and we had not have had lunch yet we made our way to the Mediterranean Restaurant located on the Lido deck. After lunch we stopped a the shore excursion desk on deck three to pick up our shore excursion tickets our snocker excursion for the next day in St. Thomas was cancelled but we were able to move to anther snorkeling excursion. After getting our excursion tickets we made our way to deck 14 to get some pictures with Old San Juan in the background. My wife and I then attended a talk hosted by Matt our cruse director which was very entertaining and informative in the Caribbean lounge.
By that time we decided to return to our cabin where our baggage was waiting out side our door. We then unpacked and made out was to the Atlantic dining room for a nice leisurely dinner we found the meals throuout the ship more than met our expectations the only restaurant we were disappointed with was the 24 hour pizza bar on deck 9. We visited the fun shops and bought some souvenirs. At 9:30 PM we had the required us Coast Guard safety briefing once that was over it was off to deck 9 for the Sail Away Party after the party and a late night snack it was off to bed.
I awoke and got dressed and got a cup of coffee on the Lido deck as the ship was arriving in St. Thomas after breakfast we left for our fist of two excursions in St.Thomas since we were early we got some pictures in the port and did some shopping for souvenirs before going Parasailing which was a good excursions and very enjoyable. After parasailing we returned to the ship for lunch and it was off to go snorkeling the snorkeling was on board the Bimini Breeze and featured two stops to go snorkeling including one where you were able to view sea turtles. The water was clear and warm. The excursion crew returned to the ship in time to board bfred out departure form St.Thomas and out long sail to Barbados. After getting cleaned up my wife had some sushi, we had dinner and took in a comedy show that was ok and attended the welcome aboard show and took part in the late night buffet.
Day three was a Fun Day at Sea my wife wanted to sleep in which gave me some time to walk around the ship and take part in some of the trivia quiz and play a round of Bingo.
I alos attended a quick presentation by out cruse director on the reming ports of call.
After lunch we went to the pool at the aft end of the lido deck which was not a crowded at the other two pools on the ship. After being at the pool it was time to get cleaned up and put on our formal clothing for the first of two formal nights. The evening started we getting out portraits taken, attending a reception where we met our Captain and the ships senior staff. We than had dinner and attended the night show in the Caribbean lounge.
After the show ere changed and got a snack on the lido deck.
Day 4 we arrived in Barbados where we were not very impressed with the port after some souvenir shopping at the port we had lunch and went on our Fun in the sun excursion to the Cockspur Beach Club which was very enjoyable but at three and ½ hours a little long.
We returned to the ship got cleaned up and had dinner and attended the nights show and deck party and ended with the Mexican Buffet on the Lido deck.
Day 5 we arrived in St. Lucia where we left on an excellent 4X4 Beach get away this involved a tour of the island on an open air Land Rover with a 90 minute stop at a local beach it was a great way to see the island up close. After the tour we retuned to the ship where we had lunch got cleaned up and did some shopping for souvenirs. That evening we got dressed up for the 2nd formal night on the cruse we had dinner and took in the evenings show in the Caribbean lounge. All in all it was an excellent way to celebrate out wedding anniversary. Upon returning to our cabin there was a memo from our captain notifying us due to the impending tropical storm Maria that our port call in St. Kitts would be shortened with a departure at 3:00 PM
Day 6 we arrived in St. Kitts originally we were going to take a tour of the island and visit Brimstone Hill Fortress but my wife was tired so I was able to change our tour to the St. Kitts by Rail and Scenic Drive. After breakfast we left the ship and did some shopping before boarding our Toyota mini bus operated by the St. Kitts Scenic Railroad for the short drive to the train after boarding the train for a two hour ride on the railroad around the island. The railroad which was used to bring sugar to port was a great trip and an excellent way to see the island. After a short ride from the other end of the railroad we were back on the ship well before out scheduled 3:00 PM departure. In the evening we had our dinner, show and late night snack. When we returned to our cabin we found a memo from our captain advising due to tropical storm Maria we would not be able to make a scheduled stop at St. Maarten and would receive credit for all fees and excursions
And that the next day would be spent at sea.
Day 7 was another fun day at sea which after breakfast we spent at the pool on deck 10 where I tried the water slide which was fun but quick. After lunch we spent some time at the pool on the aft of the lido deck after getting cleaned up we began the process of packing since the caption announced that we would be arriving in San Juan on time on Sunday. After packing we had one final dinner in the dining room then returned to place our bags outside for pick up we than attended one final show in the Caribbean lounge and had our final late night snack.
We awoke and found that we have arrived at San Juan after having breakfast and packing our carry on's we went to the Caribbean lounge to await debarkation after a two hour wait we left the ship retrieved out luggage, cleared customs and boarded our coach to return to the airport for our trip home.
If you are looking for a wonderful cruse experience I would defiantly consider the Carnival Victory. We are all ready looking forward to our next cruse adventure.