Wonderful 1st Cruise on Carnival Victory: Carnival Victory Cruise Review by lexus423

Carnival Victory 5
Member Since 2011
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Wonderful 1st Cruise on Carnival Victory

Sail Date: August 2011
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
We arrived in San Juan a day early and checked into the Sheraton near the convention center. The hotel was great and relatively close to the Cruise Ship dock (about a 10 minute ride). We got to the ship around 12PM because we had heard the warnings about Tropical Storm Irene as she was bearing down on Puerto Rico. Embarkation was very easy as we were able to drop off our bags and pick up our Sail and Sign cards in about 45 minutes. We were told that the ship may not be leaving port because of the storm, but were also told to stay close to the ship in case we were to leave earlier than the expected 10PM departure.

I would recommend arriving in San Juan a day early. Old San Juan is a beautiful part of the city. I would recommend it to anyone who can appreciate good food, excellent shopping and old historical buildings and streets. The people are very friendly and many of the sights are very close to the cruise ship dock. DO NOT miss out on getting to see such a wonderful More city!

After stocking up on some supplies at the CVS down the block from the ship we headed back to board around 3PM. We had seen most of Old San Juan the night before and wanted to make sure we were on the ship in case they decided to leave early. Heavy rain bands from Irene had already started moving into San Juan at this point. The line to board the ship was a little long, probably took about 30-40 minutes but I think that this was the result of the rain and the threat of the ship leaving early.

When we arrived at our stateroom our bags were already there. We had booked a balcony on the Verandah deck and were very pleased with the size of the room as well as the bathroom. It was not huge by any means, but was more than we expected and was more than comfortable. Having a balcony is a definite plus as you can see what is going on outside. Our room was cleaned twice a day and the housekeeping staff was outstanding.

We were informed by the Captain that the ship was going to leave at 6PM instead of 10PM due to the Tropical Storm headed towards Puerto Rico. We were also told that we would have to miss St. Thomas and spend a day at sea because of the storm as well. We didn't mind this so much as we were just glad to be getting out of port. I heard that there were around 500 people left behind because of the early departure. I felt bad for them but find it hard to believe that so many people would book flights that landed so close to a cruise ship departure, especially with the uncertainty of airline arrival times. (Our flight the day before was 3 hours delayed for no good reason). I heard these people were put up in hotels and flown to Barbados to meet the ship a few days later.

The first night of cruising was a little rocky due to the rough seas but the captain did an outstanding job getting out of harms way and leading us into beautiful weather for our two days at sea. The only complaint I have about the boat is the lack of swimming pools. The are a few pools but they were small and tended to be packed all of the time. The hot tubs in the Serenity section were nice, but often packed as well. Be sure to use the water-slide, no matter what age you are, as it offers a fun way to cool down.

The ship itself is in great shape. Everything looks relatively new and all of the public areas were perfect. The layout made it easy to get around, but most importantly I did not feel that I was sharing the ship with 2000+ other people. There was always plenty of room to walk around and enjoy what the ship had to offer.

Dining on the ship was great as well. The breakfast buffet lines on the Lido Deck were a little slow but the breakfast was very good. We had dinner every night in the dining hall, we ended up switching to the early dining option at 6:00pm as this gave us more time to enjoy the nightly entertainment. The dining staff was great and attentive. The food was very good as well. I'm not going to say that every dish was great, but you are able to order more than one appetizer and entree off the menu at a time, so if you cannot find something you like to eat from a large offering on the menu then you are too much of a picky eater. The waitstaff went out of their way to entertain and make us happy at dinner. Dining every night was a great experience.

The boat had some great entertainment as well. We made sure to see every comedy show that was offered. The first two comics were great and had shows the first two nights at sea. The last two comics were not as good and had a hard time making the audience laugh. I would like to see a better quality of comics next time as well as shows every night instead of just 4 nights out of 7. We saw a musical performed by the Carnival staff. People seemed to enjoy the show except to me the cheese factor was through the roof. I am also not a big fan of musicals or anything Broadway so my opinion is biased as I could not stop laughing at how cheesy the songs and dancing were. I ended up leaving after 30 minutes because I could not take it anymore. I would definitely recommend that they review some of the live entertainment as I felt that some nights we were searching for things to do. The casino was always a good time except when we lost and found ourselves watching Karaoke and watching people make fools of themselves.

Overall our first cruise was a wonderful time. We will definitely be cruising with Carnival again in the future. All of the staff was wonderful and friendly and went out of their way to make sure we were happy with our experience. Less

Published 09/02/11

Cabin review: 8E Balcony

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Port and Shore Excursions

We booked a catamaran excursion with El Tigre on our own. They were very helpful in booking the trip as we paid by paypal before we even got there. Don't forget to mention you are on a cruise for an additional $10 per person discount. While they were a little slow to pick us up from the cruise ship dock and leave from the dock the rest of the trip was great. The crew on the boat went out of their way to make sure we always had a drink in hand. Our first stop was to swim with the sea turtles. We were not disappointed as the staff had about 6 turtles around the boat in a few minutes. Swimming with these creatures is not something to miss!! We then were taken to a few shipwrecks to snorkel, nothing spectacular but fun nonetheless. We then dropped off a bunch of people who had booked the 3 hour cruise as we stayed on for a few more hours as we had booked the 5 hour lunch cruise. We probably started off with around 35 people, but were only left with about 15 for the lunch. We anchored off a secluded beach where a delicious combination of local food and drinks were served up to us. The food was delicious! We then were able to spend about an hour at the beach swimming around and jumping off the boat. The beaches in Barbados are beautiful. Overall it was a great trip with El Tigre. It was definitely made better by the attentiveness of the crew, who made the experience a memorable one.

We decided to walk around Bridgetown a little after our excursion. At first glance the center of the city is very pretty but then it quickly turns into a hustling and bustling city with crazy traffic and pushy vendors. Walked up to Swan street where we were met with glares from the locals as if we were aliens from a different planet. We quickly turned around and headed back to the ship. The ship is a distance from the center of town so leave yourself some time to get back.

Read 1223 Barbados Reviews

The port in St. Kitts is one of the prettier ports full of colorful shops. The taxi drivers can be pushy offering all types of tours. Beware of the guys with the monkeys. They will charge you if their monkeys jump on you and you take a picture. We found a guy at the beach that charged us 5 bucks for pictures with his monkey. From the Port we went to Shipwreck beach. St. Kitts seemed to be a lot cleaner and well kept than any other island that we saw. The views are amazing.

Shipwreck beach was ok. There was a huge line of coral on the beach so you could only access the water from a certain point. The views were wonderful and the little bar that is there offered great drinks. I would have preferred to go to Cockashell Beach where they offer more water sports. But it was a nice relaxing day on the beach.

You can get some really goods deals on souvenirs at the shops in Port Zante. You can often get things for half price, especially when buying a bunch of things.

Read 1318 St. Kitts Reviews

St. Lucia is a beautiful island. The port of Catries was very nice with your typical vendors set up along with some high end jewelry stores. It was definitely a nicer port than Barbados. We had booked the Zip Lining Adventure through Carnival and were glad we did! We were picked up right from the ship and taken in vans to the rain forest about 30 minutes from the port. We were surprised to see that St. Lucia's interior was filled with poverty despite the beautiful views that the valleys and mountains provided on our way to our excursion. Be sure to have your camera ready as spectacular views wait around every corner there. The Zip Lining adventure was the highlight of our trip. We spent about 3 hours zip lining through a beautiful rain forest with the help of our guides who were both very friendly and helpful. We did about 20 zip lines and even did a tarzan swing across two platforms. This trip is not for people scared of heights as you swing 50+ feet above the rain forest floor for the majority of the time. After returning to the ship we took a taxi to Rodney Bay. Beautiful beach with great views. Be sure to get fresh fruit from the guy putting around in his rowboat. Amazing pineapple!! Be sure to book an early excursion so that you have enough time to visit the beach.

Read 1134 St. Lucia Reviews

This was our second time in St. Thomas. We had spent 10 days there on our honeymoon a few years back. We were planning on visiting St. John but missed the first ferry and decided to spend the day at Megan's Bay. We took a taxi from the port. Megan's Bay was by far the most beautiful beach we visited on our entire trip. The views and water were perfect. There was food and drink readily available and plenty of water sports to participate in. We spent most of the day here relaxing and swimming. We did not want to leave.

We ended up in Charlotte Amalie to do some jewelry shopping at the end of the day. You can walk back to the cruise ship from downtown (about 15-20 minute walk) so do not let the cab drivers fool you. You will get asked 1000 times if you need a cab back to the ship.

St. Thomas is a beautiful island. The natives could take better care of it, but the views and beaches are unmatched.

Read 3993 St. Thomas Reviews

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Member Since 2011
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