Sign and Sail Indiana: Carnival Victory Cruise Review by suitearia

Carnival Victory 5
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

Sign and Sail Indiana

Sail Date: July 2009
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan

Hello!  My husband and I just completed the 7 day cruise on Carnival Victory Sunday, July 5th.  I specifically picked this ship for it's itinerary; stopping at 6 islands in 7 days: St. Thomas, Barbados, Dominica; St. Lucia, Antigua, and St. Kitts.  If you count San Juan we actually visited 7 islands.

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While we are exhausted, we loved the cruise and the ship and have nothing but praise for our cabin steward Noel and dining room head server Victoria and Budi.  In fact, one morning as I had gone for coffee and had my hands full, one of the maintenance staff saw me, stopped what he was doing and literally ran over to open the door for me.  He did not have to do that but it was appreciated.  I wish I had gotten his name.


Our cabin was on deck 10 - 1038.  The only issue that we had was that the kids club was directly over our cabin and it sounded like the ceiling was going to fall in at night!  Fortunately the noise did die down around midnight.  Also, our first cruise with Carnival was on the Miracle and our room was a bit larger than Victory; but beyond that the room was comfortable, clean, and the beds are great.  It is tempting to buy their sleep system!


The ship has 2 dining rooms; the Atlantic and the Pacific.  They are very close to each other but getting to the Pacific (which was our assigned dining room) was very confusing.  From the front of the ship; you needed to go down to either deck 4 or 5 - go behind the Casino and then down to the 3rd deck.  You cannot just go to the 3rd deck from the front of the ship.  Ladies - do remember your sweaters or shawls as the dining room and Casino can get chilly.

We went early so that we could experience Old San Juan.  We stayed at the Sheraton and were able to walk across the street to the cruise terminal.  We were onboard by 1230. Embarkation and debarkation are a breeze. Even the airport was straightforward - we had been warned about the USDA check but that took us maybe 5 minutes - maybe it was because we were an early flight out and got there before the rush of the late flights.

Old San Juan was nice - we saw the fortress along the coast which is impressive itself but all along the coast are colonies of feral cats; hundreds of them.  We never got to the beach or the castle or traditional San Juan food but we enjoyed our visit all the same.

Published 07/07/09

Cabin review: 8E1038 Balcony

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Port and Shore Excursions

I had read about Dickinson Beach (also the beach that Sandals is on) and so we planned to go there. Once we got off the pier, it took 3 attempts before we could get a taxi to the beach. The biggest thing is that the drivers push waiting for a full taxi before they go; the more people in the taxi the less you have to pay. The first one started towards a taxi then she just disappeared on us. As we were walking back to the pier we saw a group coming toward us. I asked the driver if he was going to Dickinson, he said yes and we could join the group. Well ... I hate to say this but I am. My husband is black and I am white. The group was black. My husband and I were first on the bus. The rest of the group REFUSED to get on the bus. The driver was forced to get on and ask us to leave. The group did NOT WANT TO SHARE THE BUS WITH US!!!!! Can you believe that? So we got off and headed back to the pier a 3rd time. Finally we immediately found a driver to take us to the beach for $12 each way.

This part of Dickinson's wasn't as nice as where Sandals was located but it was still ok. The water was clear, the waves were moderate and we could take a good long walk. However we did see several jelly fish on the shore and in the water (we stills swam and we didn't hear that anyone was stung).

This is also the section where the horseback riding excursion takes place so the odor of manure was strong as well.

I would post a warning here: WE DID SEE A VERY SERIOUS JET SKI ACCIDENT which ended up with a young woman going to the hospital ending her cruise. Please, when the jet ski operators tell you to watch your speed and maintain a safe distance between jet skis listen to them. What happened is that this young man decided to ride too fast and literally ran into the second jet ski. Everyone was thrown into the water and the jet skis ruined. Fortunately they had on life jackets and a motorboat is present, but it took a long time for the ambulance to arrive and transport her to the hospital.

Read 1192 Antigua Reviews

We did the Malibu Beach and Distillery excursion - when we got to the beach we skipped the distillery and went straight to the beach. We rated this beach number 3 because the waves were very choppy and the sand wasn't quite as smooth as Megan's. But the beach was still lovely and we had a great day.

Read 1228 Barbados Reviews

The poorest island we visited and the most beautiful. We chose not to take any excursions. We walked into town and spent the day on the ship. The minute you are off the pier the taxi drivers are all in your face trying to persuade you to purchase an excursion from them. It wasn't uncommon to have 3 drivers trying to get your business at once. That was a bit irritating.

Read 669 Dominica Reviews

Another beautiful island - except for Dominica and perhaps Barbados, they all pretty much look the same! We did not do an excursion here partly due to the time constraint. Here we had to be back onboard by 330 for a 400 departure.

We were also warned here about posing with the monkeys as they bite and scratch. Sure enough we saw 2 monkey handlers with cute tiny monkeys in preemie pampers but we did not pose with the animals.

In each island either Diamonds International had a bracelet and island specific charms that were free, or as in St Kitts Kays had emerald topaz gem stones available for free. We ended up getting multiple stones and having them set into a necklace, ring, and earrings - all less than $250. They are absolutely beautiful. EFFY's also has a free necklace with earrings for $10. Unfortunately EFFY's was closed when we got onshore. They fly over from St. Martens just for the cruise ship on Sundays so the locals were incorrect when they said the store was closed for the season.

Lots of great shopping opportunities ... but we spent the rest of the day by the pool just chilling.

We hope you enjoy your cruise ... we wouldn't hesitate to cruise carnival again.

Read 1323 St. Kitts Reviews

When the excursion desk opened we asked the staff about which beach seemed to be the most recommended beach and were told that Reduit Beach the best close beach. We picked up a taxi for this beach - it cost us $12 for 2 people each way. We found that the taxi prices were a lot higher for the rest of the trip. We shared a taxi with approximately 15 other people. We liked Reduit beach - it was a very long beach with nice sand and moderate wave action. The only complaint was that the drivers of the motorized boats came right through the swimming areas to try and drum up business.

Read 1137 St. Lucia Reviews

We bought the excursion to Magen's Bay on Monday morning. This was the BEST beach and is rated in the top 10. What is interesting is that this beach marks the point where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean. The water was smooth, clear, and the sand soft and clean. You are nestled between green hills with an ocean in front. We could have done a taxi for a lot less than 70 US dollars but didn't want to risk not getting picked up. One couple paid 8 dollars each way for a taxi to Magen's Bay.

I will tell you, the ride over to the beach was thrilling to say the least and we did get two great photo ops - one of the ship and one of the beach. I'm excited to see how my pictures turn out!

Megan's became the standard by which we judged the other beaches.

Read 4003 St. Thomas Reviews

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