Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Victory
Sailing Date: May 7th, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Victory Cruise Review
Let me start off by saying that
this was a first for us. We have done a lot of traveling but this was our first
cruise. For the most part it was a great trip. And anyone that really wants to
have fun there are/were several opportunities to do so.
We drove in to Miami on the day prior to sailing and stayed with relatives. We were dropped off at the Port around 12 on the day of sailing.
Embarkation was a breeze, and as we had arrived early we had to wait for about half an hour but then they went ahead and let us board - no problems.
We were able to have our first meal on board during this time. The food was okay - there was plenty of it everywhere you looked but for the most part it was just okay. Only a few dishes really made you say oh wow this is really good.
As far as the decorations on the ship go it is a ship that is supposed to remind you of Vegas - some people thought it was gaudy but personally it really wasn’t' that bad. They kept the ship pretty clean and in good condition.
Everyone that was on crew that we encountered was absolutely wonderful. Our head waitress was Danielle and Edy was helping. They learned our names and the things that we liked and disliked. They were eager to please and we were happy to tip them likewise at the end even though we had prepaid gratuities.
Our cabin Stuart Kun was also wonderful. We had great towel animals every night and he even fixed the phone when I broke it (accidentally). Oh yeah for other first timers make sure you call your cell phone company and use it in port. I have Cingular w/ the International calling available and only had to pay roaming which equaled to about 7.50 for about 45 minutes worth of calls. On ship it cost 6.99 a minute - I called the bank to check a balance and paid about 20.00 bucks for it.
Some people complained about the lack of US citizens working on the ship - For us it was quite nice running into so many people from some many different parts of the world. It gave us the opportunity to brush up on old language skills.
If you don't drink or gamble then sometimes there are lulls in the realm of entertainment - but if you are outgoing and willing to be involved then there are a few things that are going on around the ship usually.
Ports of Call were Costa Maya, Mexico; Grand Cayman; and Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Costa Maya - we opted for the Kohnlich Mayan Ruins - BIG MISTAKE! The tour description said that Lunch would be provided - absolutely not true. They gave us a bag on the way to get on the bus that had Mexican cheetos, 2 muffins, a granola bar, guava juice, and saltines. I don't know what you consider lunch but to me this definitely was not it. The ride to the ruins is about 2.5 hours. We came in to port late which only left us with about an hour to actually view the ruins. The ruins are however in the middle of a 107 degree jungle. So with very little nourishment and the heat and climbing up and around ruins - this is not something I would recommend for a tour while on vacation. After doing this for about an hour we were back on the bus to Costa Maya which doesn't have very much to offer, once you leave the pier area there is hardly anything. The original stop was supposed to be Cozumel but do to the hurricane last year we were unable to go there. Costa Maya had the feel of something that was built about 2 months prior to us getting there - not at all a good stop in my opinion.
Grand Cayman - on Grand Cayman we opted for an Island Tour that was wonderful. We had the opportunity to go to seven mile beach, the turtle farm (awesome you must try the turtle soup), and a tourist attraction called Hell you absolutely must send a post card from this stop. The only disappointing thing was that there was not a whole lot of authentic goods to buy at Grand Cayman there were mostly stores that you find here in the states and the prices were comparable and some even cheaper in the states. Considering Cayman money is higher than American - so be careful of what the actual sales price is.
Ocho Rios was great. Again we went on an excursion to raft on the Martha Brae. We were on these lovely handmade bamboo rafts with a guide that rowed us down the river. This was really nice and relaxing. Jamaicans however are a bit pushy and no one has change. Do NOT pay the original price they offer - ever. When they hear you are not from there the price just went up. Everyone in Jamaica will bargain with you. I told one vendor I had 20 dollars and I needed 5 gifts. His initial price of 12 dollars a T-shirt went to 5 for 20 dollars you do the math.
The shows were pretty good the first comedian was really good - the Vegas shows I could have done without, but some of the dancers were good the singers not so much. The magician was sub par to say the least but his final trick was pretty good. The Carnival Legends Show on the last night was perfect. The guy that did Frank Sinatra was awesome.
All in all it was a good trip for what we spent - we had an ocean view cabin that was just right for the two of us but with more than two - I definitely think that it would be better to do the balcony or suite because some of our friends were pretty crammed in. Also definitely go for the bigger tables you get to meet so many great people that way. Game shows were awesome and didn’t have too many people which was great. Once again at the end of the day for everything we got and the price it was worth it and in comparison it was really a great value.
Debarkation - was pretty easy too they have all the luggage seperated by cabin and room type - you just get off and find yours which took about 10 minutes then go through customs. Depending on how much stuff you have you can self debark which I heard went pretty good too and they were able to get off the boat very quickly so depending on flight and travel time this may be taken into consideration.