I was part of a group of four gals who all work together,are fun loving and married but left the fellas at home. Next time guys!
Not much was going to spoil our year long planned vacation cruise. No sir, not the 56 degree Miami weather, niether the spurts of rain and cloudy skies nor 12-16 foot waves that rocked the Victory for nearly 2 straight days and nights. We are all nurses and wished we had stock in all the Scopolamine patches we saw folks wearing behind their ear during this trip. Just a side note...the patch can be worn anywhere on the body that is hairless and thin skinned like the inner aspect of the upper arm or wrist and be just as effective for nausea/motion sickness. Smart thinking on Carnival's part to tape up seasick bags near all the elevators.
So insignificantly small does one feel inside this vast and gorgeous ship. I only wished I'd had one of my teenagers with me so I wouldn't have gotten lost so much. Several of us had to retreat back to our cabins and re-trace our steps to find our dining room on more than one occasion. I think I finally got it straight on day 5 as to which set of elevators to take in order to get where I was going. Day one was spent rocking and exploring. Day two was Costa Maya. Not too crazy about flea markets but shopped some and went on the Uvero beach break. The temperature was in the high 60s, maybe low 70s. Much too cool for water play and too cloudy for sun bathing. Got to see and hold Latcho's boa constrictor. Check him out where you rent water toys. Drinks were flowing nicely but I am sure none of us drank the price of the excursion so it was not the best choice given the weather too. Next time its Majahaul on our own.
Loved everything about the ship. Had an inside stateroom and given the weather didn't care there was no window. Kinda liked how dark it got for sleeping anyway. We only did the buffet once and that was enough. Loved all the sit down breakfasts and dinners. We tried most everything exotic offered and sampled each dessert we ordered to share. The grill made a wickedly good cheeseburger when we opted out of breakfast. Pizza was pretty good too. We drank water, juice, ice tea and coffee all of which was free of charge. I brought a big 24oz drink cup with straw from home to fill with orange juice. I added ice and some vodka I brought in a flask whenever I wanted a cocktail instead of paying the four bucks a drink every time. I still racked up some fifty bucks or more in drinks while in the casino or lounge before dinner. Shows were entertaining and although I did not participate there was a lot of game playing activities with the crew.
Next excursion was the Caymans. Did the snorkle trip but missed out on the stingrays. Now I have to go back for that! Love the snorkling. Did the Fisherman's rock and swim that we booked with the ship. Dion was our guide on a type of fishing charter boat and we only had about a dozen folks with us. The stingray/snorkle had many more people. Dion was great and poked out a rather large Moray eel to thrill us all. He dived for chonchs and we participated in extracting the conch from the shell. I will NEVER eat chonch. Although quite interesting it was also quite disgusting. Shopping was a little on the pricey side but lots to choose in the way of quality stuff. They did a pretty good job getting us on and off the boat. We could of really used more time on the island.
Jamaica had great weather! We did the Enchanted Gardens and DRF excursion. The bird sanctuary was very cool with large parrots, doves, peacocks,etc. eating out of your hand and landing on top of your head. Don't do this if you are leary of birds. I would absolutely recommend climbing Dunn's River Falls if you have never. I can honestly say that I probably won't do it again but hey...I did it! It was a blast and really used the old team approach in giving helping hands to those needing it. Did not like going through the cha chi area with barters hounding you despite you only wanting to find the way out. I actually paid a woman 5 dollars to escort me out so I wouldn't get badgered by anyone else. Take only small amounts of money because getting change is not likely according to my bus group. Again, did not have much time to partake in anything else given the time constraints.
Enjoyed the spa, sun bathing, primping for dinner and shows. Had photos taken after hair/make up was perfected every night before dinner only to purchase one that I felt was okay. We are all so critical of ourselves. I thought the photos of others turned out fabulous. Staff and crew were friendly/helpful. I saw one lady come to tears saying goodbye to her waiter on our last day. I was bummed having to leave too but that was a bit much. All in all, it was probably more than I expected in the way of luxury and service. Since this was my first cruise I have nothing to gage my experience by except to say that I enjoyed it enough that I look forward to going again. As a tip...the one thing I took that I used a lot was one of those plastic waterproof cases that hangs around your neck and a small backpack. The case held a lot of money, sail/shore card and credit card and stayed waterproof while snorkling or in the falls. The backpack was great instead of a bag to carry at the beach or for shopping around. Mix and match outfits are a must. Doing a small load of laundry and hanging it to dry about the cabin was not a big deal either. Don't forget a large drinking cup or mug. If you are a coffee lover order room service and tip the server. Its worth it to have coffee right away without getting lost trying to find the coffee place. By the way...don't just wear PJs out on the Lido deck...use the robes they provide. And last but not least...guys over 40 with a pot belly...please don't wear speedo's and I promise I won't wear a thong!