7 Islands in 7 Days: Carnival Victory Cruise Review by Circuitboi

Carnival Victory 5
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

7 Islands in 7 Days

Sail Date: June 2009
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
My friends and I took a seven-day Southern Caribbean cruise leaving from San Juan. We flew from Dallas to San Juan the day before and spent the night in Old San Juan. Two of us, a married couple, stayed at the Sheraton right across the cruise pier, while my friend and I chose the Cervantes Hotel two blocks away. The Sheraton was nice but the Cervantes is probably the best kept secret in Old San Juan. It is a charming boutique hotel, recently renovated, only two blocks away from the cruise pier. The rooms are small, indeed, but clean and offer everything you'll need for the night before your cruise: a comfortable bed, flat-screen TV, and spacious bathroom with modern fixtures and walk-in shower. The hotel staff was very fiendly and available to answer our questions. We will definitely stay there again.


We toured Old San Juan, Fort San Cristobal, and San Felipe El Morro Sunday morning. Plenty of history and great vistas! We followed the More recommendations provided by Carnival and headed to the cruise pier around 2pm. It was definitely the quickest embarkation I have experienced in my five cruises so far. Lines were moving quickly, documents and credit cards processed efficiently in a couple of minutes and, before we knew it, we were heading to our rooms! We had chosen to carry our own luggage so we wouldn't have to worry about it. We unpacked and began exploring the ship.


My friend and I have booked a balcony room and it was definitely worth it. The view changed every day and it felt as though we had front row seats to the Caribbean. The room was clean and comfortable but had no refigerators! I can't believe noone else has mentioned this before in their reviews. The bathroom was decorated in this ugly pink color that took some getting used to.


The Victory is slightly smaller than other Carnival ships but offers everything you'll need in the late afternoon and evening because the itinerary keeps you busy during the day. The pools appeared crowded but we didn't care as we had booked shore excursions every day. The buffet lines were long, indeed, but I didn't notice any pushing or line cutting that other people have been complained about in their reviews.


Staff was friendly, as alwaus, and did not apprear as overworked as their colleagues on other ships I've been on. Our room attendant was spot on.


Food was ok, although mostly bland. The buffet offered the choice of chicken, salmon, turkey, roast beef, and burgers. Fruit and salads looked and tasted fresh. The deli offered a great variety of choices as well. Unfortunately, food in the dining room didn't live up to our expectations during the first formal night so we never went back there.


We went to the two main shows, 'Vroom' and 'Living in America,' and enjoyed both. In fact, we watched the second show twice. The dancers were very good and so were the seven band members. The female lead singer had a warm and powerful voice but, unfortunately, her male counterpart was not up to par. There was a pianist in the lobby area as well.

All in all, we had a great time because we had booked this cruise for the itinerary and knew what to expect. It was a wonderful vacation and I would definitely do it again. Less

Published 06/16/09

Cabin review: 8C Balcony

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Port and Shore Excursions

Antigua lived up to its reputation as 'the island with 365 beaches, one for every day of the year.' We went horseback riding in the morning, booked through Carnival, and enjoyed a pleasant ride from Runaway Beach to Fort James and back. At the very end, they allowed us to unsaddle the horses and ride on your own risk but few people took advantage of this opportunity. The white sand beach was very pretty. In the afternoon, we took  the 'Miniboats and Hidden Beaches' shore excursion, again through Carnival, and had fun. We took a bus rid to the town of Parham on the northeast coast and got the opportonity to be the captains of our own 'vessels', small inflatable boats that seat only two peope. We followed our guide into open water to the tiny Bird Island and spent about an hour on small beach there. We would definitely return to Antigua to visit Nelson's Dockyard and do the miniboats again.

Read 1191 Antigua Reviews

Barbados is probably the second most developed island after St. Thomas but definitely not as beautiful as Dominica or St. Lucia. We went to Boatyard Beach, a white sand beach with crystal clear waters, and had a great time. The beach is a five-minute cab ride away from the cruise pier for $3 pp. Entrance is $10 pp which includes two chairs, an umbrella, complimentary drinks (try the Shark Bite or Mount Gay rum punch) and a free ride back to the ship. The gift shop attendant was very nice and answered many of our questions about the island. The beach is great but the local vendors offering water sports and seling souvenirs can be quite annoying. Be prepared to be asked every 20 minutes or so if you want to have some fun, in other words, buy something or rent a jet ski. The cruise terminal was big, with many shops offering a great variety of merchandise.

Read 1223 Barbados Reviews

Dominica is a beautiful island with lush, green forests and unspoiled beauty that has no rivals except maybe St. Lucia. We took the 'Emerald Pool and Beach' excursion through Carnival and enjoyed every minute of it. The tour guide was quite knowledgeable and eager to answer questions. We toured the Botanical Gardens, drove through coconut, banana, and pineapple plantations, walked through the rainforest, and swam in the Emerald Pool. The walk was quite pleasant although the steps leading to the Emerald Pool were slippery. The water was cold, indeed, but not as cold as other reviewers had led us to believe. The locals believe that a swim in the pool makes you ten years younger. Finally, we went to Mero beach, a volcanic rocky black sand beach near the town of St. Joseph. The sand was hot!

Read 669 Dominica Reviews

St. Kitts is a small and relatively undeveloped island, with a big mountain in the middle and one main road circling the coast. Most people live on the Caribbean side of the island. We took the Scenic Rail Tour of the island; it was the best way to see the island and mostly enjoyable, although a bit too rocky and loud at times. The tour guide appeared knowledgable and proud of the history of her native land, although the references to 'our great prime minister' and 'government of the people' seemed rehearsed. They served us delicios cookies made with with cinamon, rum, and (way too much) sugar. The shops are conveniently located near the cruise pier but most items seemed ridiculously overpriced. It would be hard to come up with a good reason to visit this isalnd again.

Read 1320 St. Kitts Reviews

St. Lucia is just a pretty as Dominica but tourism is much better developed. We booked the 'Aerial Tram' shore excursion through Carnival and enjoyed a pleasant and informative 90-minute gondola ride above the rainforest. Our travel companions went on the 'Land and Sea' combo, again through Carnival, and came back raving about it. They said they would go back and spend a week on the island. There are many shops conveniently located at the end of the cruise pier.

Read 1134 St. Lucia Reviews

We went to Paradise Point in the morning and Magen's Bay in the afternoon. We had been to downtown Charlotte Amalie on a previous visit and knew there was nothing to see but jewelry shops. If you haven't been to Paradise Point, you haven't really seen the beauty of this island. St. Thomas has this unique Mediterranean charm and blends Caribbean influence and American culture in a way no other island does. The gondola ride to Paradise Point was definitely worth the 15 dollars and short walk from the cruise pier. Magen's Bay was pretty and relaxing, definitely worth the trip, too. We hope to return to St. Thomas in December and maybe take a trip to St. John.

Read 3995 St. Thomas Reviews

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