Victory Is In The Eyes Of The Beholder: Carnival Victory Cruise Review by joelnmary007

Carnival Victory 4
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

Victory Is In The Eyes Of The Beholder

Sail Date: May 2009
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
We began our cruise out of San Juan.  After flying for 9 hours on two flights from Seattle, we arrived the night before sailing.  Exhausted, we went to our room at Hotel Miramar.  Our travel agent booked and we were a bit scared by the reviews we had read.  It worked out for a one night stay. It was clean and about $135 total for one night.  A bargain when you consider some of the other hotels in the area.  We learned upon check in that this hotel inhabits full time residents.  It didn't make a difference, but the front desk person acted like it was a secret.  Night desk person very friendly. Morning crew not so...we grabbed a cab at noon and checked out.

Arriving at the terminal, the ship looked beautiful and we were excited!  We began embarkation about 12:30 and it went super smooth.  We were on the ship by 1pm.  Just like we read on other reviews, we were able to take our own liquor on board from the duty free liquor More store! Yes its true.  We grabbed two liters of Cpt. Morgans only $9 per bottle.  Put them in our carry on backpack and went right through security.  No Problems.  Also carried on 3 six packs of coke as well.  Don't miss out on this perk.  You will save hundreds of dollars on drinks.  We also brought on board a half gallon of rum punch from from two different ports with no questions.  Carnival did however confiscate a 5th of rum punch on our second to last night.,which was delivered to our room at 7p the last night which we devoured on our balcony..relishing our last night on Victory.  We waited on lido deck during embarkation from 1-2:30, enjoyed a buffet lunch, then we were allowed into our cabin at 2:30.

Victory looks pretty bad from all the reviews and photos we saw on the web; however, in person she holds her own.  It is a vegas style decor, old but clean.  Our balcony cabin was beautiful, stateroom 6399.  I was worried about the stateroom decor, but they have done a decent job keeping it up with the times.  We loved our room, and would highly recommend a balcony aboard Victory to anyone.

Food was average, as expected.  You have to remember that Carnival is feeding 3500 people and they did just fine.  The Warm chocolate melting cake was as described. A must taste for all! We would suggest eating in the dining room for breakfast and dinner.  The lido deck is a good lunch stop if you are not out at the port.  Burgers and sandwiches were great, pizza was lacking.

A quick note for all the Puerto Rican haters:  There was no invasion as described in many reviews.  There was an even amount of all types of people and ethnicities, and everyone was very kind.  From crew to passengers, we could not be more impressed with the friendliness of all people aboard Victory. Less

Published 05/17/09

Cabin review: 8b6399

Great all around from the bathroom, to bed, to balcony.  Hallway was noisy during the late night hours but what can you expect on a "Fun Ship?"

Port and Shore Excursions

We were in need of a day at the beach.  After a stroll around town we grabbed a taxi to Jolly Beach.  Our cab driver was rude and dropped us off a Coco Beach.  We were a little disturbed when he drove off the main road and down a dirt road to nowhere.  However, a few bumps and potholes later, we were dropped off at Coco Beach. We agreed to be picked up a few hours later and the driver came back and picked us up as promised.  Coco beach has an all inclusive resort where we were able to use their grass hut umbrellas and beach chairs for free.  This beach was the most beautiful beach we had ever seen!  Just like a post card, blue green water and white sand.  A real treat!  It was quiet and only one vendor was trying to sell goods.  Everyone on the beach was friendly and accepted us like we were staying at the resort.  I even hopped on a jet ski for a small fee and it was a blast!  We are looking forward to a possible stay at Coco Beach resort in our future. Beautiful oasis type setting.  After swimming and soaking up some much needed sun we headed back to town and spent a few hours there.  The locals were awesome.  Most friendly of all the islands.  Definately looking forward to going back to Antigua.

Read 1192 Antigua Reviews

We took a taxi to town for $3 per.  It was a mistake.  Bridgetown a huge disappointment! Note to cruisers.  Camoflauge clothing is not accepted here.  We did not have any camo however, so no problem here.  We walked around town for 10 min. and headed back to the ship.  Along our walk we were encounter by a local taxi driver who offered to take us on a tour of the island.  A blessing.  Luck had struck.  He charged us $25 per hour for 3 hours.  Probably could have gotten a deal for about $20 per hour but we were very impressed.  His name was Elroy.  He gave us a tour of the west coast, mountains, and east coast(Atlantic ocean side).  Elroy was our private tour guide.  He stopped along the way for us to take pictures whenever we wanted. We saw oceans, hotels, homes, farms, sugar cane fields, old churches, etc.  We were blown away by the beauty of Barbados.  We stopped at Cherry tree hill lookout, and even tasted fresh sugar cane from a local.  He pealed the cane and gave us a fresh taste.  It was so good!  A hopeless walk through unimpressive Bridgetown, turned into a island tour getaway!  Being a sports fan, we were dropped off by the ship at Kensington Oval after our 3 hour private tour. Kensington Oval is the Barbados Cricket stadium.  We took a free tour, and tried to educate ourselves on the game of cricket, and the legend-Sir Garfield Sobers.  Famous for his overall game and 6 sixes!  It was a very random stop, but very impressive.  We then walked back to the ship.  Great island. Would love to go back.

Read 1228 Barbados Reviews

Dominica was different.  Locals were the most harassing of all ports.  The locals selling tours were kept behind gates like wild animals.  It was the only port that acted as such.  We walked through the market and got on a Carnival tour to Trafalgar Falls.  Dominica is one of the poorest places we have ever seen.  It was poor like Mexico.  Our tour van drove us through the local spots which were very depressing.  The ride to the falls was worth it, if you can handled winding, bumpy roads.  We enjoyed Trafalgar Falls and the complementary rum punch.  The rum punch became a way of life for us on the next 4-5 days.  Really good!  We would recommend this port as a place to take an excursion.  There is nothing in town to see.  It is best to take a island tour or excursion here, and get out and enjoy the island.  We would not probably come back to Dominica again unless a cruise ship was porting here.

Read 669 Dominica Reviews

As soon as we got to our stateroom, we jumped right back off because Victory didn't set sail til 10p.  We wanted to soak up as much of Old San Juan as we could.  Old San Juan could be the best port for walking around and soaking up a different view of the world, miles from home.  It is very old and beautiful.  We walked the cobble stone streets and enjoyed the outdoor market and local vibe.  The streets are beautiful.  All the buildings are painted with bright colors and look truly amazing.  We made our journey last about 3 hours, ariving at the old fort El Morro at about 6p.  The fort was just closing and we missed out on a tour that only cost $3.  The area around the fort is peaceful.  It was sunday, and all the locals were out and enjoying the day.  Many kites filled the sky.  We took a look around the outside of the fort and saw a cemetary along the ocean that was like nothing ever seen.  It is amazing, a must see! We strolled back to the ship and were back on board about 7.  We would like to see more of Old San Juan on our next cruise and would recommend arriving a day earlier, to soak up this wonderland, old, ancient, and like no other.  Not enough can be said about this port.  It is a must visit.

Read 2983 San Juan Reviews

St Lucia and St Kitts were more of the same.  Shopping and walking around was getting tiresome.  The Islands were beautiful but we were getting tired of the same old thing port after port.  The carribean ports become redundent after awhile, so excursions are highly recommended.  Get out and see all of the islands' inner beauty rather than pounding the pavement everyday.  St Kitts was a great place, but we felt like this island had a rough edge to it.  Some locals were rude and the people looked hard in appearance.  We still enjoyed St Kitts for what it was though.  St Lucia was pouring rain and we stayed on the ship that day relaxing on our balcony.  Overall we enjoyed our cruise.  The weather was terrible at times but we made the most of it.  Would like to go cruising to some other islands next time.  If there was one island to sit for 4 or 5 days and relax, it was definately St, Johns, Antigua.  This place was truly wonderful and we will spread the word....

Read 1323 St. Kitts Reviews

All we heard about St Thomas was the great shopping to be had.  It was fine for about an hour until the rains came.  Being from Seattle, rain is a way of life.  But being on vacation in a Carribean paradise, these were rains we were not expecting.  It poured for the entire day, and we were soaked from head to toe.  Did I say it POURED? Yes, and it was terrible.  We took a cab to downtown and traffic was the worst we have ever seen.  A two lane road for 2 miles took about an hour each way.  What a waste of time.  At least we got out of the downpour for a few.  The downtown area of
Charlotte Amalie was nice but we couldn't avoid the rain.  We stepped into Glady's Cafe and enjoyed a decent lunch.  Freezing cold, we boarded a taxi back to the ship.  We hurried to our stateroom and took hot showers to warm up.  Not the way we expected to begin our cruise of the Southern Carribean.  We would have hoped to leave the rain at home.  Maybe next time, we will fair better.  St Thomas is worth another try.
Read 4003 St. Thomas Reviews

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