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First I will explain why we rated this cruise as low as we did then I provide information concerning the rest of the week. These comments are ours but reflect the feelings of many others we talked to during the week. This was the worst of 10 cruises on various lines including Carnival for us! As far as our cabin location for this cruise, we had a CAT. 8 midship balcony cabin on the Verandah Deck. The food in the main dinning room was just OK, usually served just warm and you could see where they cut back on the selections and quality. Our main complaint was the noise in the cabin area was to say the least ridiculous!! We have seen on previous cruised where the cabin area was one area where others respected the fact that others may be sleeping and kept the noise level to a minimum, not on this cruise! We are usually fairly easy to please but the cabin was extremely noisy every night to the point that I spoke with guest services several times but nothing was done. The noise in our area usually started about 11pm and lasted until about 2 am, others we talked to had to put up with the noise until at least 4am. The worst part of it was it was not the kids on board making the noise, about 400 on board, but the so called adults who didn't seem to care about anyone but themselves! Several times a couple of cabins down from us two inside cabins and one balcony cabin would block their doors open and actually yell back an forth to each other, what happened to talking? We have never encountered more rude and self centered people in any of our travels! I also noticed that all the entertainment went out of their way to cater to those from Puerto Rico, we and quite a few others actually walked out of the 1st night show due to the comments made by the so called comedian Al Romero especially when he said that when you go to another country you should learn to speak the language and in the case of going to the US that would be Spanish, we left! Due to the above we also have many doubts about going on Carnival again and agree with others that we will NEVER sail out of San Juan again! Now with that said we can get to the good stuff and some recommendations. We flew down the day prior to sailing and stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan, great location if you are leaving from the Old San Juan terminal. When we got to our room we found that the room had not been cleaned yet and I informed the desk who asked if we wanted to change rooms or have the room cleaned. We told them that cleaning of the room would be Ok and we would be back in a couple of hours. Upon our return nothing had been done to the room and we informed the front desk. They made it right by moving us to an upgraded room with a beautiful view and provided us with breakfast vouchers. Boarding was one of the easiest we have ever had. We took our bags over to the ship, right across the street, about 11:30 and dropped them off with the terminal baggage handlers and proceeded to the check in area. It took us about 5 minutes to get checked in and get a boarding number, when the start boarding they go by group numbers with about 25 in each group. Boarding started about 12:30 and we were on board by 12:40. The cabins would not be ready until 2:00 so we ate lunch, looked around a bit then went to our cabin. Our luggage was waiting for us. As far as the ship is concerned it was very clean inside and out and looked to be very well maintained. Every crew member we ran into greeted us as we went by which gave us the feeling they wanted us on board. Our last Carnival ship was the Carnival Miracle and this ship was pleasantly toned down in both color and decorations. In St Thomas we went to one of our favorite beaches, Sapphire Beach. The beach was still beautiful but they have some sort of legal problems so the restaurant isn't open but you can still rent beach equipment and there is a small snack area at the beach rental desk. The cabs charge by person not by cab in St Thomas with set rates for a given zone, when you go to the taxi stand they will give you the rate for where you want to go, our rate to Sapphire was $12.00 US per person one way. Tuesday we were in Dominica where we had rain off and on so we didn't do much except walk through the market area between rains. That evening was a very good show put on by the cruise staff which was a very high powered, fast moving, recommend going to it. Wednesday we went snorkeling with the sea turtles, we used SHASTA Catamaran Cruises. I would highly recommend this husband and wife company but for their service and the fact that there were only 6 of us on the tour, I think they take a max of about 10. As a point of interest all the ship sponsored snorkeling tours were cancelled due to weather. Our tour went as scheduled after they evaluated the weather and found it to be Ok, the weather was great. The show that night wasn't great but wasn't bad either. Thursday we were in St Lucia and did the Serenity Volcano and Beach Tour with SERENITY VACATIONS 7 TOURS. There were only two of us on the tour with our driver Russell who was great. After the drive to the volcano and a short tour we headed for a 3 hour beach stop at a secluded beach, the beach was beautiful with excellent snorkeling and free beach chairs and umbrellas if you bought lunch. The sandwich was huge so you may want to split one. Upon our return both of the owners greeted and thanked us. Highly recommend SERENITY. That night was another cruise staff show which was also good which I would recommend going to. Friday we were in Antigua and went to Jolly Beach. Jolly beach is open but the CASTAWAYS is closed for renovations but there are folks there to rent beach chairs and umbrellas. There was also a portable snack bar and drink bar set up so if you want something to eat or drink it is available, along with portable restrooms. I believe I saw a sigh that CASTAWAYS is reopening in November. Another beautiful beach! Cab fare is by the cab so with 4 of us the fare was $6.00 US per person one way. The show with Rand Woodbury was just OK. Saturday we were in St Kitts and just took the Sugar Train from the ship. If you want to get a look at the entire island, 2/3 by train and 1/3 by bus this was a good way to do it. The people on the train and bus really tried to please their customers. That night was a show formed from passengers who were selected earlier in the week at the karaoke bar, they actually put on a fairly good show. During the cruise we also notice that shorts on both men and women were allowed in the dinning room for the evening meals, including the formal nights, where was the dress code? One very positive aspect of our cruise was our waiter, Dennis, and our busboy, Norman, who were a joy to be with the entire week. Debarkation was very easy, for us. I did realize a potential problem Thursday evening when we did not have any debarkation paper work or CARNIVAL CAPERS left in our cabin by our steward. I check with the Service Desk Friday morning and they said we should have had paperwork left for us to fill out concerning our flight times. They asked when our flight was, ours was 12 noon, and gave us a debarkation number of 2 and was told ignore any other number placed in our cabin. That night we found a #14 in our cabin along with a Spanish Customs Form which would have been a real problem for us. During the debarkation talk given by the cruise director Lenny he had those with early flights stay after the talk for special directions. Those directions were to meet in the lounge at 8:15 and we would be the first to debark, prior to the general announcement. We were off the ship, picked up our luggage, went through customs, in a cab, and through airport security by 9:00. One thing which was not discussed during the debarkation talk was the need to go through agricultural screening at the airport prior to trying to check in at your airline. The agricultural inspection sticker must be all your bags before you can check in for your flight. No one really says anything about this requirement until you are at the airline check in counter, if you haven't don it you have to leave the airline check in desk, get in the agricultural inspection line, get inspected then get back in the airline check in line!

WILL NOT SAIL ON CARNIVAL OUT OF SAN JUAN AGAIN

Carnival Victory Cruise Review by JC&PBL

Trip Details
First I will explain why we rated this cruise as low as we did then I provide information concerning the rest of the week.
These comments are ours but reflect the feelings of many others we talked to during the week. This was the worst of 10 cruises on various lines including Carnival for us! As far as our cabin location for this cruise, we had a CAT. 8 midship balcony cabin on the Verandah Deck. The food in the main dinning room was just OK, usually served just warm and you could see where they cut back on the selections and quality. Our main complaint was the noise in the cabin area was to say the least ridiculous!! We have seen on previous cruised where the cabin area was one area where others respected the fact that others may be sleeping and kept the noise level to a minimum, not on this cruise! We are usually fairly easy to please but the cabin was extremely noisy every night to the point that I spoke with guest services several times but nothing was done. The noise in our area usually started about 11pm and lasted until about 2 am, others we talked to had to put up with the noise until at least 4am. The worst part of it was it was not the kids on board making the noise, about 400 on board, but the so called adults who didn't seem to care about anyone but themselves! Several times a couple of cabins down from us two inside cabins and one balcony cabin would block their doors open and actually yell back an forth to each other, what happened to talking? We have never encountered more rude and self centered people in any of our travels! I also noticed that all the entertainment went out of their way to cater to those from Puerto Rico, we and quite a few others actually walked out of the 1st night show due to the comments made by the so called comedian Al Romero especially when he said that when you go to another country you should learn to speak the language and in the case of going to the US that would be Spanish, we left!
Due to the above we also have many doubts about going on Carnival again and agree with others that we will NEVER sail out of San Juan again!
Now with that said we can get to the good stuff and some recommendations. We flew down the day prior to sailing and stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan, great location if you are leaving from the Old San Juan terminal. When we got to our room we found that the room had not been cleaned yet and I informed the desk who asked if we wanted to change rooms or have the room cleaned. We told them that cleaning of the room would be Ok and we would be back in a couple of hours. Upon our return nothing had been done to the room and we informed the front desk. They made it right by moving us to an upgraded room with a beautiful view and provided us with breakfast vouchers.
Boarding was one of the easiest we have ever had. We took our bags over to the ship, right across the street, about 11:30 and dropped them off with the terminal baggage handlers and proceeded to the check in area. It took us about 5 minutes to get checked in and get a boarding number, when the start boarding they go by group numbers with about 25 in each group. Boarding started about 12:30 and we were on board by 12:40. The cabins would not be ready until 2:00 so we ate lunch, looked around a bit then went to our cabin. Our luggage was waiting for us.
As far as the ship is concerned it was very clean inside and out and looked to be very well maintained. Every crew member we ran into greeted us as we went by which gave us the feeling they wanted us on board. Our last Carnival ship was the Carnival Miracle and this ship was pleasantly toned down in both color and decorations.
In St Thomas we went to one of our favorite beaches, Sapphire Beach. The beach was still beautiful but they have some sort of legal problems so the restaurant isn't open but you can still rent beach equipment and there is a small snack area at the beach rental desk. The cabs charge by person not by cab in St Thomas with set rates for a given zone, when you go to the taxi stand they will give you the rate for where you want to go, our rate to Sapphire was $12.00 US per person one way.
Tuesday we were in Dominica where we had rain off and on so we didn't do much except walk through the market area between rains. That evening was a very good show put on by the cruise staff which was a very high powered, fast moving, recommend going to it.
Wednesday we went snorkeling with the sea turtles, we used SHASTA Catamaran Cruises. I would highly recommend this husband and wife company but for their service and the fact that there were only 6 of us on the tour, I think they take a max of about 10. As a point of interest all the ship sponsored snorkeling tours were cancelled due to weather. Our tour went as scheduled after they evaluated the weather and found it to be Ok, the weather was great. The show that night wasn't great but wasn't bad either.
Thursday we were in St Lucia and did the Serenity Volcano and Beach Tour with SERENITY VACATIONS 7 TOURS. There were only two of us on the tour with our driver Russell who was great. After the drive to the volcano and a short tour we headed for a 3 hour beach stop at a secluded beach, the beach was beautiful with excellent snorkeling and free beach chairs and umbrellas if you bought lunch. The sandwich was huge so you may want to split one. Upon our return both of the owners greeted and thanked us. Highly recommend SERENITY. That night was another cruise staff show which was also good which I would recommend going to.
Friday we were in Antigua and went to Jolly Beach. Jolly beach is open but the CASTAWAYS is closed for renovations but there are folks there to rent beach chairs and umbrellas. There was also a portable snack bar and drink bar set up so if you want something to eat or drink it is available, along with portable restrooms. I believe I saw a sigh that CASTAWAYS is reopening in November. Another beautiful beach! Cab fare is by the cab so with 4 of us the fare was $6.00 US per person one way. The show with Rand Woodbury was just OK.
Saturday we were in St Kitts and just took the Sugar Train from the ship. If you want to get a look at the entire island, 2/3 by train and 1/3 by bus this was a good way to do it. The people on the train and bus really tried to please their customers. That night was a show formed from passengers who were selected earlier in the week at the karaoke bar, they actually put on a fairly good show.
During the cruise we also notice that shorts on both men and women were allowed in the dinning room for the evening meals, including the formal nights, where was the dress code?
One very positive aspect of our cruise was our waiter, Dennis, and our busboy, Norman, who were a joy to be with the entire week.
Debarkation was very easy, for us. I did realize a potential problem Thursday evening when we did not have any debarkation paper work or CARNIVAL CAPERS left in our cabin by our steward. I check with the Service Desk Friday morning and they said we should have had paperwork left for us to fill out concerning our flight times. They asked when our flight was, ours was 12 noon, and gave us a debarkation number of 2 and was told ignore any other number placed in our cabin. That night we found a #14 in our cabin along with a Spanish Customs Form which would have been a real problem for us. During the debarkation talk given by the cruise director Lenny he had those with early flights stay after the talk for special directions. Those directions were to meet in the lounge at 8:15 and we would be the first to debark, prior to the general announcement. We were off the ship, picked up our luggage, went through customs, in a cab, and through airport security by 9:00. One thing which was not discussed during the debarkation talk was the need to go through agricultural screening at the airport prior to trying to check in at your airline. The agricultural inspection sticker must be all your bags before you can check in for your flight. No one really says anything about this requirement until you are at the airline check in counter, if you haven't don it you have to leave the airline check in desk, get in the agricultural inspection line, get inspected then get back in the airline check in line!
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