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Review of the Carnival Victory
Cruise Date: April 2011
Booking: Travel Agency
Embarkation: San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Cabin number: 2314
Cabin category: Interior
Southbound on Victory
After a great week in Puerto Rico sightseeing, shopping and visiting with old friends
it was time to return home the comfortable way, which means no airports and no overpriced flying cramped in aluminum tubes! *wink*
We boarded in San Juan by about 3 p.m. -a process made more lengthy by beginners presenting themselves with luggage tags in hand,
rather than pre-attached to their luggage, something you and I do at home, before we even head for the pier...
It was somewhat unreal as many of them stood there, tags in hand, waiting for the lady with the stapler to secure them to their bags: I found this both annoying and dumb, so I thought I'd mention it in the hope that it might shorten the waiting-to-board line, in the future.
Because our tags were pre-attached(difficult stuff), we were waved straight thru, as were a few others who had cruised before and knew what to do with their luggage tags!
Wife had two small living-room lamps in her carry-on: major problem for security.
We cried on them a lot -and were allowed to carry them on anyway LOL -Moral of the story? Check the long list of prohibited items you must not carry on board with you.
Muster Drill: this has become a lot easier within the past year. No more having to carry the orange fashion accessory with you from your cabin. No more having to actually wear the constricting thing,either! What WILL they think of next? So we all gathered in long lines on Deck 4, listened to the lecture and enjoyed! *smile*
Honestly, it wasn't so bad at 9:30 to 9:45 p.m. although little kids would much rather have been sound asleep in their beds, but since Carnival Victory departs San Juan at 10 p.m. that's when Muster Drill happens on this Southern Caribbean cruise.
Sailaway from San Juan was really quite picturesque, with all the city lights around us. Photos later.
St.Thomas was our first stop.
We went ashore, where my wife found a nice pair of pale blue Larimar ear-rings for $14! and a mod watch for $35 (heck, we're the last of the big-time spenders, okay?) then we found the cable-car ride up to the top of the hill close to the Havensight pier --$21 a head-- took pictures up there, spent about an hour I guess, drank an overpriced lemonade -and made it back down again.
Across the street to a Payless store for a pair of shoes and then back on board by about lunch time.
Because I've lived all my life in these islands, making a big deal of going ashore to explore the place is not high on my list of priorities, so please excuse my weird Going-Ashores which are quite unlike your North American 'explorations'.
Last time we stopped at St.Thomas, I paid $25 each to ride one of the open-air jitney trucks that do island tours, and was rather disappointed at what we were shown, so we weren't about to do that again(our other option), especially since the skies weren't a great photographic-blue --thus our brief and decidedly-unexciting time on the island!
A Fun Day at Sea came next:
Carnival did their best to keep us occupied, I must say....most folks sun-bathed while I walked the length and breadth of the several top decks taking photos. Not much else I can add for such an exciting 'destination'...
Barbados was where we got off, mainly because that's where our house is!
We docked in quite awful weather to be perfectly honest, grey and drizzly, quite unlike the typical weather for mid-Dry-Season in April when it's usually bluuue skies and parched earth with rapidly-desiccating brown grass and foliage. I was sorry for other cruisers expecting "Sunny Barbados" but it cleared quite a bit during the day --seems it was early morning showers that burned off by about 11, with only high cloud left(non-rain-bearing) --the big plus is that visitors didn't get burned to a crisp: instead they got a nice gradual tan.
Disembarkation for us was dead easy, since those who terminated here were a tiny fraction of the entire ship's cabins. Sweeeet!
And so ended our pleasant two week trip away from the confinement of living on a small Caribbean island. We cruised it North to Puerto Rico, spent a great week there seeing this large-ish Caribbean island better and more completely than most cruisers ever do, and then we cruised it back home again, to Barbados.
No flying, no airports --and all for considerably less than the cost of island-hopper airfare. It was a broken-cruise arrangement that happens only once in a blue moon, occasioned by a week-long charter(that fell thru, I'm told) -and I was so lucky to reap the benefits of a "half-cruise" North to PR, spend a week there, and then another "half-cruise" back home to Barbados. Beat that if you can!
I'm outa here.
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