We just got back from our cruise on the Carnival Victory, and I thought I would post a few thoughts about the cruise.
Embarkation: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Miami has to be one of the worst homeports that I have ever embarked from. It started with the arrival at MIA and the Carnival representatives that meet you in the baggage claim area. These people didn’t have a clue as to what was going on or why. We arrived, with bags in hand shortly after 11:00 am and then were headed around the terminal for over an hour before they finally had a bus available for us. Then we sat on the bus for nearly another hour before the driver finally got everything loaded and set out for pier. Once at the pier they make wait on the bus until the baggage is unloaded, and then herd you through the barrage of porters hawking for tips. Then it’s inside for security, sail and sign and pictures. We finally set foot on the Victory at about 2:30 pm. But were we done yet? NO! Now we had to stand in another line to in the Atlantic dinning room to get our sail and sign cards activated. Really this is one of the worst homeports I’ve ever been to.
Victory: The Victory herself is in pretty nice shape. I found her to clean, and in good repair. Her décor is standard Carnival over-the-top colors, and while not downright gaudy, it still takes a while to get used to. The addition of the mini golf on the sports deck was a nice addition. They also just installed a Water Wars (water balloon) area on the port side of the same deck. Victory’s crew was always, or so it seemed, cleaning the ship. I never found anything to be out of place, or in need of attention.
Our Cabin: We had cabin 7358. This is a balcony cabin on the port side aft of the ship on Empress Deck. When we arrived the beds had been pushed together to form a King Sized bed, the cabin was clean and neat. There is ample storage in the closets for clothing. The shower in the bathroom was more than adequate, and fresh towels and robes were waiting for us. I never met our steward, but he/she always had the cabin made up as soon as we left. On the balcony there were a couple of chairs and a small table. Needless to say we spent quit a bit of time out there.
Room Service: Ordered room service every morning of our cruise and at least once for lunch. We found the room service stewards to be knocking on our door within a few minutes of the request time, or within a few minutes of our calling. The guys and gals are fantastic, and or course we tipped them for their prompt service.
Dinning: We had the 6:15 setting in the Atlantic Dinning room. Our servers Alan and Hardy we just simply fantastic; Once you made a request they remembered it for the rest of the cruise. The food in the main dinning room was very good and the service outstanding. The Lido buffet food was ok. There is nothing fancy, just your standard buffet fare. The Deli has great sandwiches, and it seemed as if not too many people knew the place existed, there were hardly never any lines. My wife ate at the oriental place a couple of times and liked it very well also. Needless to say the pizza and burgers were good also. I wish the Victory had had a Fish-n-Chips restaurant, like the Conquest class vessels do.
Ports: Our first port of call Costa Maya was dropped due to a medical emergency on board. It appears that an elderly woman had a heart attack. We changed course and diverted to Cozumel instead. We arrived at about 1:00 am and she was transferred to a waiting ambulance and taken to the hospital. We heard the next day that she was in stable condition. While we hated missing Costa Maya, we were glad to know that she survived, and was doing better. We had booked a day at Tequila Beach in Costa Maya through Costa Maya Tours, and I was happily surprised when I got home that the money for this excursion had already been deposited back into my account (Way to go Otto, I’ll be booking with you again the next time I’m headed for Costa Maya).
Cozumel: We didn’t do much here, just got off the ship and walked around town a bit.
Grand Cayman: In this port we did the Seven-Mile beach break. The beach was nice and we even did a bit of snorkeling, but mainly we just relaxed in the sunshine and enjoyed the sound to the ocean, and the warm sand under our feet.
Ocho Rios: In this port we did the Dunn’s River Falls climb. Let me tell you this is quit an experience as you climb the 600+ feet of the falls. You start out at the beach with you guides and link hands then you begin climbing the rocks up the falls. For the most part the climb is fairly easy, but there are parts where the climb can be fairly difficult. There are various places along the climb that you can exit if the climb gets to be too much. I had always wanted to do this, and now I can say that I have. I don’t think I would do it again, but at least I’ve done it. BTW: the hardest part of the climb is near the top, when you are already tired for the climb. Listen to your guides, watch you foot and handholds though and you will be alright.
Conclusion: Was there some problems along the way during this cruise? Yes. Did it ruin our vacation? Of course not. We had a grand old time and can’t wait for our next cruise.