Seven Islands in Seven Days - An Outstanding Value!: Carnival Victory Cruise Review by Laura_Atlanta

Carnival Victory 5
Member Since 2007

Overall Member Rating

Seven Islands in Seven Days - An Outstanding Value!

Sail Date: September 2010
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
I used Cruise Critic extensively for my cruises. My review has a double value for any member using it since I am giving a double review; 2009 & 2010.

Due to the economy, we are now looking for a great value. We have gone from a luxury budget on another "uppity" cruise line to the "Fun Ships" of Value. What many people don't know there is not a big difference between the two cruise lines except for the money left in your wallet. There was no champagne at arrival, but the rooms are bigger than the other cruise line.

I recommend arriving to San Juan a couple of days early to enjoy this island. The hotel, Caribe San Juan, is beautiful, on the water & centrally located. We rented a car and went browsing through the Old San Juan area. Enjoyed our first meal at a restaurant call Old San Juan & had the popular, native dish "Mofongo" beautifully presented in a wooden bowl w/a pitcher of Sangria. Yes, it was in a tourist area & a bit pricey. We loved the More "Mofongo" so much we tracked down another restaurant that also offered the "Mofongo" outside the Old San Juan area. (Mofongo is plantains w/a shredded beef)

We went to the Rain Forrest, the free Bacardi Run Tour, & the Observatory.

The only neg I gave for 2009 cruise was for the disorganized embarkation which was a 1 1/2 hour process in a room that was not air-conditioned. Much improved this year; about 15 minutes. Ship itself - Kind of a tacky Vegas style feel to it & surprised at the bath tub size pools filled with people. I loved the "Fun" attitude on the ship; large screen TV on the pool deck, big waterslide (Yes, my sister & I enjoyed this slide along side the kids)

Food - I rate the food on the ship the same ratio as the "uppity" cruise; 90% excellent w/great presentation & 10% what were you thinking? Someone on the 2010 cruise asked us about the waiters singing & dancing. We responded that, "no, we were on the same cruise last year & that didn't happened." Five minutes later, the lights started flashing & sure enough the waiters broke into a rap song in the middle of dinner! Filled the room with positive energy & smiles! Loved it! Enjoyed the booth seating that is not available on the "Uppity Line" The ship has a great variety of food areas; pizza bar, sandwich bar, Sushi Bar, Gelato Bar & Gourmet Coffee (extra fees for the last 2) Note: No matter what cruise line you are on, the entire staff will go out of their way to make your cruise a great experience, please remember to thank them! I see too many people abuse the staff & then they have to turn to you next with a smile on their faces! Not an easy job.

Love the Disembarkation on Carnival - You can sit and relax in your room until you are ready to leave the ship.

This is an outstanding value; 6 beautiful island in 7 days! Please don't change this. Less

Published 10/03/10

Cabin review: 6B Ocean View

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Port and Shore Excursions

09' The most popular excursion is the Catamaran Boat (Silver Moon) ride to swim with the turtles w/the string rays below them. 10' Land Tour to the Earthwares Pottery, St. Nicholas Abbey, Botanical Gardens & Harrison Caves. To give you an idea how the weather can throw off your day, we were on the land tour with a mild sprinkle of rain. Down at the ship's pier, there was a serious storm where they could not allow the people off the ship! We were lucky we got off before the storm came in.

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Very sad to hear that this island is scheduled to be removed from Carnival's Itineray. This is a beautiful island & was used to film Pirates of Caribbean II. The only industry left on this island is tourism, very disturbing to think Carnival is rumored to be pulling out. 09' Enjoyed a great tour w/Levi at Bumping Tours with swimming thru the cave & the Falls. 10' Hired a taxi to the Champane Reef; great reef for snorkeling & see the bubbles coming thru the rocks!

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09' Hired a local taxi for $20 each to show us around the island; downtown area, Batik Factory, & Black Rocks. This island is much more upscale. I expect to see this island covered in condos within the next 5 years. Many of your celebrities go to the neighboring island of Nevis. 10' Paid for a Tour by Thenford Grey (?) Pretty much the same things, but he included the Brimstone Fortress & the beautiful beach of Cockleshell. Make sure you have have a Pina Cola at the bar at Cockleshell.

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09 & 10' This is the only excursion that we wanted to take again; Cosol Tours! Cosol has been giving this island excursion for 10 years straight! It's a long, bumpy road out to the highlight of this island, the Pitons. Cosol makes numerous stops to make it as comfortable as possible; stopping at the Banana Plantation, stopping for the picture taking, & then a great native breakfast. With your snorkel gear, you take a boat out to swim/snorkel between the Pitons! Note: If you are an animal lover, please take a couple of baggies with you in your suitcase w/dog food. This year we saw many more starving dogs on the beach & in the streets. It was heartbreaking & I wish I had something to give them.

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09' Antigua - Great Island, but it was rumored to have an "incident with a islander & a cruise guest" I don't know if this is true, but Carnival now goes to St. Maartin.

St. Maartin - Again, a little bit more upscale of an island. This island is split "amicably" between the Dutch & the French. There is even a "mini-wall of rocks" dividing the two sections. The two countries annually sign an agreement between them. (United Nations please take note!) Our tour group took us to a great beach & directed us to an area that supposedly had a reef for snorkeling. We never found the reef, but we ended up in the middle of the famous "Orient Beach -Nude Beach". Yes, I was the only one in our group to admit to peeking....ewww, gross! Don't expect anyone that looks like they are from a page of Playboy to be on this nude beach! It's more like accidentally opening the door to see your Grandma in the nude. Not something you would want to do again.

St. Thomas - 4th Year in a Row to visit this island. Saddened by the news of an murdered tourist in the Coki Beach area. We avoided this area, but someone else said they were no informed of this incident & enjoyed Coki Beach. I recommend renting a car at Avis (located a block off the ship's dock. We took the car on the car ferry ($40) to St. John for snorkeling at Truck Bay. Hint: Make sure you bring your GPS with you.

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