We arrived in Newark on time and were met by my cousins who took us around New York for the day. Our first trip to NY, it had the feel of Las Vegas with people everywhere downtown on a Sat. Boarding the ship at 3:30 was a total of zero wait time, and we were on board in minutes. We had paid for an 8 A guarantee balcony, so did not know until we were at the pier where we would be. Our cabin turned out to be 7231 and we walked in and quickly walked out feeling we must be in the wrong cabin, THIS cabin was NOT an 8 A cabin! We looked again at our docs and cabin key and it was correct,...we were in a SUITE. Marble flooring, jacuzzi in the bathroom, double wide balcony. It was great.
We did none of the tours from the ship. In Boston we took the trolley to town and walked thru the city taking in the sites, then to a small pub for a lobster dinner, more sightseeing, then back to the ship.Basically the same thing in Portland, very nice area and lots to see. Tues was day at sea, plenty for all to do to keep busy. Too cold for the pools, many sat outside with their jackets on . Tues night "it" hit the fan, rain, high winds from our friend Jeanne again. Captin decided to divert the ship to Saint John and not Sydney, so we were in safe harbor until early Wed morning, then we had gale force winds and 25 ft high seas. The waves were slashing on our deck, and we were Empress Deck...7. I see we weren't the only ship having problems this past week from reading about the Rotterdam and Silver Seas.
Cabs in NS were reasonable, $30-$35 per hour and we were free to see what we wanted and stay as long as we wanted as well.
CD is Dana Hodson and you can't miss him, he's a young version of Jerry Lewis, even has his manerisms and I love how he gets his point across to the passengers, he cracked us up. "Folks, we had a passenger come back to the ship and ask for his money back because his 12 year old was with him and he booked a pub crawl". Get serious folks! "Another said he didn't realize he'd need to peddle his own bike on a biking hike". He is tops in his job.
Of the 3300 passengers, 3100 were over 50. Saw 3 teens and 4 younger ones. The hotest place on the ship if you like to drink, have fun and sing along is the Irish Bar, the entertainer Kevin is fantastic.
Best secret? Go all the way forward on deck 7, then turn right and go out the exit door, you'll be all the way up front on the ship...NEVER crowded.
Carnival continues to improve....first ever cruise we were able to have room service on day of debarkation. Food, although this is so personal to each one, I would rate very good. I like that the portions were small, you didn't feel like a stuffed pig when you left the table, you could order more if you wanted to. Breakfast is breakfast...lunch you had chinese, or the deli, try the pastrami, excellent. They also had rubens, turkey, and don't remember the rest. Also each day on deck was a "Taste of the Nation", French one day, Mexican, American. Plus you had the dining room or the Mediterranean restaurant buffet and of course 24 hour pizza that everyone commented it wa excellent
Crew is more friendly, open and does a much better job of remember passenger names, what they drink, sharing their lives and their countries and families. Much more of a family feel to this group of crew.
There is also a new "personal assist" feature for debarkation. Keep ALL of your bags in your cabin and you take them off the ship the next morning. First off the ship.Debarkation we expected to be a nightmare from what I read on cruise critic. There is no ship organized tours, nor is their bus service/transportation back to the airport. We expected a long wait, but it didn't happen. Walked outside, got a taxi ticket from the taxi dispatcher and walked up to an empty cab, gave them the ticket and we were on our way. From the port to Newark was $70 including far, plus $15 out of area fee and toll fees and tip.
Many spa services were on sale during the cruise and some are good bargains. We picked up a bottle of vodka on Thursday afternoon and were able to take it to our cabins.
I know there have been comments about the Victory looking a little ragged, but we saw very little rust and each time in port they were painting her. At the end of the month she will go to Freeport for 2 weeks of dry dock. We found the ship immaculate.
This was an excellent cruise with only our Alaska cruise beating this one.
Fun in the sun!