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This was our first cruise and it was the most enjoyable vacation I have ever had. We started out having to fly from Salt Lake City to Miami. Air travel is such a curse. We booked on our own, not through the cruise line and flew on American. Other than an hour and a half delay coming out of Chicago, things were pretty uneventful. Took a taxi to our hotel, the River Park Hotel in downtown Miami. We loved the river walk downtown and just sat out in the warm evening, watched the sun go down. Sunday morning, the hotel had a shuttle to the port, it was $6 per person, so not a bad deal at all. Got on the ship, no big hassle there, thought it was much better than dealing with the TSA at the airport (complete nightmare there). Once on the ship, we had lunch on the Lido deck which was actually very good. Of the Lido buffets, I particularly liked the Taste of a Nation. For sail away we met our Roll Call group and had a great time with them watching Miami fade away. We had the early dinner seating and so we went to dinner shortly after sailing. Our waiters were Antonio and Michael from the Philippines and they were simply amazing. We did dinner in the dining room every night and did not have a single meal that was bad. I simply loved the warm chocolate melting cake I heard so much about and had one almost every night. Of particular note was the ribs on the first night and the prime rib on both formal nights. I also enjoyed the lobster. On sea days we did breakfast in the dining room, which we preferred to the Lido buffet, but took too much time for us to make excursions on port days. Our first day was a sea day. I really liked the rear pool on Lido, Siren's pool. It was much quieter than the main Lido pool, which is more to my taste. The video screen was great, but it would have been nice for them to show something more than endless reruns of the hairy chest competition for the whole week. Transformers was great on the big screen. We booked an OV guarantee and ended up with a nice room towards the front of the ship with a nice window on deck 2. I loved watching the water from the bow splash out as we sailed. Our room steward, Florian from Romania was simply great. The service on the ship was in general outstanding. The only complaint I had with staff was the constant harassment from the bar waiters on Lido who, even if you had a beer in hand and a bucket with three others sitting next to your deckchair would still stop and ask if you needed a new bucket. If I want a beer, I'll let you know. Tuesday was Cozumel. I did the certified two tank dive and my wife did the Race Fantastique. The dive was truly amazing, great reef, water was warm and visibility was about 100 feet. My wife loved the race thing, guess it was some sort of scavenger hunt that involved a lot of walking around in town. Of course our credit card was blocked after charges in Miami, even though we called them before we left and told them we would be going on vacation, but a phone call took care of that. Next day was a sea day. We pretty much did nothing, laid around. Oh, also made a trip to the casino and won about $150 playing craps that I went and put on my sign and sail card. At night we liked watching the karaoke. I'm not much of a singer, but had enough liquid courage one night to make an attempt. Not sure my version of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song was that great, but it was still fun. In Grand Cayman, I again went scuba diving. Thought the fish were better in Cayman but the coral was better in Cozumel. Either way, it was still a great dive and conditions were similar to Cozumel. My wife did the hell, turtle farm and stingray tour. She really liked the turtles and the stingrays, but thought the visit to hell was way too short (had like 10 minutes there). On the sea days, my favorite activity other than lounging on deck was to play the trivia game. Met some great people from that and it was a great time, other than our team didn't win. In Jamaica, we booked with Marva Shaw and were on her son Javia's bus. Javia was simply amazing, his tour was great. We went to Dunn's River Falls, which was fun, but I didn't like the craft area at the exit. Those guys were just way too pushy and it really wasn't much fun getting out of there. We then went through fern gully, which was beautiful other than all the tourist junk stands on the side of the road and piles of garbage everywhere. We then went river tubing which was great. When we were done, we did a little shopping in town, which wasn't so bad, but walking back to the ship, I really got sick of someone offering a cab ride every 5 feet. Jamaica I could really do without. It just was so run down, dirty and everyone was out to squeeze every possible dollar they could from you. After leaving Jamaica, we hit some heavy seas and were tossed around a bit. Wife got a bit seasick, but once we got around Cuba the seas were calm back into Miami.

First time and will not be last

Carnival Victory Cruise Review by rsldonk

Trip Details
This was our first cruise and it was the most enjoyable vacation I have ever had.
We started out having to fly from Salt Lake City to Miami. Air travel is such a curse. We booked on our own, not through the cruise line and flew on American. Other than an hour and a half delay coming out of Chicago, things were pretty uneventful. Took a taxi to our hotel, the River Park Hotel in downtown Miami. We loved the river walk downtown and just sat out in the warm evening, watched the sun go down.
Sunday morning, the hotel had a shuttle to the port, it was $6 per person, so not a bad deal at all. Got on the ship, no big hassle there, thought it was much better than dealing with the TSA at the airport (complete nightmare there). Once on the ship, we had lunch on the Lido deck which was actually very good. Of the Lido buffets, I particularly liked the Taste of a Nation.
For sail away we met our Roll Call group and had a great time with them watching Miami fade away. We had the early dinner seating and so we went to dinner shortly after sailing. Our waiters were Antonio and Michael from the Philippines and they were simply amazing. We did dinner in the dining room every night and did not have a single meal that was bad. I simply loved the warm chocolate melting cake I heard so much about and had one almost every night. Of particular note was the ribs on the first night and the prime rib on both formal nights. I also enjoyed the lobster.
On sea days we did breakfast in the dining room, which we preferred to the Lido buffet, but took too much time for us to make excursions on port days.
Our first day was a sea day. I really liked the rear pool on Lido, Siren's pool. It was much quieter than the main Lido pool, which is more to my taste. The video screen was great, but it would have been nice for them to show something more than endless reruns of the hairy chest competition for the whole week. Transformers was great on the big screen.
We booked an OV guarantee and ended up with a nice room towards the front of the ship with a nice window on deck 2. I loved watching the water from the bow splash out as we sailed. Our room steward, Florian from Romania was simply great. The service on the ship was in general outstanding. The only complaint I had with staff was the constant harassment from the bar waiters on Lido who, even if you had a beer in hand and a bucket with three others sitting next to your deckchair would still stop and ask if you needed a new bucket. If I want a beer, I'll let you know.
Tuesday was Cozumel. I did the certified two tank dive and my wife did the Race Fantastique. The dive was truly amazing, great reef, water was warm and visibility was about 100 feet. My wife loved the race thing, guess it was some sort of scavenger hunt that involved a lot of walking around in town. Of course our credit card was blocked after charges in Miami, even though we called them before we left and told them we would be going on vacation, but a phone call took care of that.
Next day was a sea day. We pretty much did nothing, laid around. Oh, also made a trip to the casino and won about $150 playing craps that I went and put on my sign and sail card. At night we liked watching the karaoke. I'm not much of a singer, but had enough liquid courage one night to make an attempt. Not sure my version of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song was that great, but it was still fun.
In Grand Cayman, I again went scuba diving. Thought the fish were better in Cayman but the coral was better in Cozumel. Either way, it was still a great dive and conditions were similar to Cozumel. My wife did the hell, turtle farm and stingray tour. She really liked the turtles and the stingrays, but thought the visit to hell was way too short (had like 10 minutes there).
On the sea days, my favorite activity other than lounging on deck was to play the trivia game. Met some great people from that and it was a great time, other than our team didn't win.
In Jamaica, we booked with Marva Shaw and were on her son Javia's bus. Javia was simply amazing, his tour was great. We went to Dunn's River Falls, which was fun, but I didn't like the craft area at the exit. Those guys were just way too pushy and it really wasn't much fun getting out of there. We then went through fern gully, which was beautiful other than all the tourist junk stands on the side of the road and piles of garbage everywhere. We then went river tubing which was great. When we were done, we did a little shopping in town, which wasn't so bad, but walking back to the ship, I really got sick of someone offering a cab ride every 5 feet. Jamaica I could really do without. It just was so run down, dirty and everyone was out to squeeze every possible dollar they could from you.
After leaving Jamaica, we hit some heavy seas and were tossed around a bit. Wife got a bit seasick, but once we got around Cuba the seas were calm back into Miami.
rsldonk’s Full Rating Summary
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