We spent the day before and after the cruise in San Juan. I would recommend spending at least the day before. We did alot of exploring in Old San Juan and did a Flavors of San Juan Tour (wonderful!).
Embarkation was a little bit chaotic. We boarded around 12 noon and one of the porters was going to charge me $10.00 for express delivery to cabin?? We opted for another and didn't have a problem. Once we got through that, the embarkation was pretty easy. We took on a 6 pack of water (wish we had taken a 12 pk) but we kept filling the bottles with water on Lido Deck and our cabin steward (John) kept us supplied with an extra bucket of ice for our water and the wine that we brought on. We got the water/ice from the CVS, across the street from Pier 4. It was down the street a little way, but easy to get to and after all the walking we had done, was not that much of a hike.
Our room was fine, everything in working order. The balcony was a little crowded with both More
chairs and the small table. The one chair just always seemed to be in the way, but all and all would not cruise without the balcony. The room was close to the elevators/stairs, but was directly across from the crew supply area, so was a bit noisy in the mornings.
We had great service from John our cabin steward. Also dining room service was wonderful (Virgil and Iwayan) and from Petra at shore excursion desk. We had to switch out some tickets for our excursion in St. Kitts and she was very helpful. Usually on Carnival there is a questionnaire to fill out on the last day and there wasn't one delivered to our cabin. Really wanted to mention the great interaction with those crew especially, but everyone was pleasant (except the guy in the deli....LOL he did not want to be making those sandwiches!).
As far as on-board activities. We did some trivia contests, did the Behind the Fun excursion on board and was well worth the $55 per person cost. We saw the first show of the dancers/singers, none after that, not really our thing. The adult only comedy show by Happy Cole and Hank McGauley was very funny. Also saw Al Romero and he was OK. Karaoke with Ana was very entertaining. It was a much younger crowd and with the Spanish influence, WOW, everyone that sang was very entertaining and fun whether you participated our not. The Amazing Juggling Talents of Victor Zuniga was very good as well. The magic show, with Randy Woodbury was not very entertaining. Overall, entertainment was very good.
Food in the MDR was very good. One appetizer (eggplant) was not very good, but everything else was flavorful. The Jerk Pork was excellent! I did not try alot of the desserts, but the baked alaska was great! I got strawberry cheesecake one night and it was warm. Those were the only two desserts I got, husband got dessert each night and never complained.
Debarkation was fast and super easy! We tried to self assist for the first time and we were off the ship by 7:30am. If you are able to get all your luggage off on your own, definitely try this option. Two of us had two large suitcases and a small carryon piece of luggage and I had a tote bag as well and we had no problems what so ever! Less
Carnival Victory Cruises to the Southern Caribbean
Plenty of storage space for two adults. Deck was a bit crowded with the two chairs and small table, but was ok. Cabin was directly across from crew area and got a bit noisy in the morning especially, but not overly so. Close to mid-elevators/stairs and a easy walk to aft stairs/elevators for easy access to Lido deck.
Great excursion for first-time Segway riders. A lengthy bus ride to the excursion itself, but was given info on the island from the driver and it was scenic. The excursion was through a cow pasture, but the shoreline views were gorgeous. There was a short stop at a beach (about 30 min) on the way back to the ship, that I think could be eliminated.
Our plane got in around 12 noon, taxi ride to Old San Juan (around $24) and the hotel allowed us to store our luggage. We explored San Cristobal and had lunch, and walked around familiarizing ourselves with OSJ. That evening we took a Taste of San Juan tour and it was wonderful. The next day we hit the streets again. We took the ferry over to Catao (50cents) each way plus a short taxi ride to the Bicardi distillery tour. Nice information tour (free) plus two free drinks per person. When we got back to San Juan we got on the ship, had lunch at the Lido Deck, went to our room (ready by 2:30pm), and headed back off the ship for more exploring at El Morro. We got back on the ship by 6pm.
Pretty boring train ride, some nice shore scenery. This would be an ideal excursion for people with mobility issues. We had to change excursions in this port from ziplining to something more sedate and it was a perfect choice for that. The ladies that sang on the train did a great job, and we were served complimentary drinks and a taste of some local homemade candy.
Spent the morning shopping at the cruise port, got back on ship for lunch then headed out to Snorkeling excursion at the Pitons. About an hour boat ride to the Pitons and about 2 hrs actual snorkeling time. Drinks were available on the boat to and from. Very nice excursion. Booked through Carnival.
This was by far, the best port!! We did an independent excursion through Bernard's Tours and it was FANTASTIC! The Carnival Miracle was in port with us and we got on a 10 person bus with some people from that ship. Our guide, Mailman, took us to an iguana farm, some scenic stops for photo ops, was very informational on both the Dutch and French sides of the Island. Plus his rum punch was great! We stopped for about 90 min at Orient Beach, headed to Maho Beach for the planes landing/taking off. Could have spent more time there.
It was an excellent tour!
We walked (45 min walk) from the cruise terminal to Charlotte Amalie. We didn't do too much here. It was a very hot day. My husband basically chilled in Emancipation Park (he'll talk to anybody!!) while I went in search of 99 Steps. I was all over that place trying to find it, finally did, and let me tell you, got enough exercise to enjoy dinner and dessert that night at dinner. The view from the top was gorgeous. Took a cab back to cruise terminal. Did some shopping.