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My very detailed Carnival Victory review from December 9-16, 2012

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As promised, here is my review of my Southern Caribbean vacation and cruise on the Carnival Victory from the December 9th sailing. I know that the Victory and Valor are swapping itineraries in a few weeks, so I decided to split my review into two parts. The first part is specific to the Victory as a cruise ship and about sailing on Carnival in general. The second part will be a play-by-play journal style review of what we did each day, with tons of details and photos about our excursions. Hopefully this will allow people to read the sections that pertain to their cruise. Also, I will make all my posts in a larger purple bold font to make it easier to find my posts in case you don't want to read other peoples replies :) So here we go...

 

Cabin- We were in cabin 7335, which is the first inside cabin immediately forward of the mid-ship elevators. I was nervous about possibly hearing a lot of noise from the elevators (either because of the dings as the elevator arrived on our floor, or from people congregating outside our room and talking while they wait for the elevator). Fortunately, we didn't hear any noise at all from the elevators, and it was very convenient to be in a cabin so close to the stairs/elevator. The cabin had more than enough storage space, with 3 small dresser drawers, a cabinet with 2 shelves, and 3 closets to hang clothes. We also took advantage of the medicine cabinet in the bathroom to store all our toiletries. There were two single plus outlets, and my Belkin multi-outlet plug worked perfectly.

 

Steward- I think is name was Gerard, but I'm honestly not sure. He did his job but we rarely saw him. I used a dry erase board to leave him notes for extra ice or towels and he always got us whatever we asked for. He didn't confiscate the vodka we snuck in the ship or my Belkin multiplug outlet, he made good towel animals, and he opened my bottle of wine for me and left us the corkscrew in the room.

 

Food- Most of the food was edible but not very good, and it was often overcooked. There were many nights when Beth couldn't find anything good to eat in the MDR at dinner (or what they brought her was so overlooked that it was inedible) so we had to go to the Lido buffet for her to find something to eat.

 

Waiters- We were seated at one of the big 10 person tables when you first walk in the Pacific MDR. Our wait staff had to serve 3 of these large tables, so they were overworked and had very slow service. They all seemed like nice people, but we didn't get to know them as I have gotten to know my wait staff in prior cruises because they were so busy serving all the big tables. It was also very hard to find a bar waiter to get a soda, and this surprised me because they knew that Beth had a soda card, so they should have come to her every night!

 

Lido Buffet- We never had to wait on long lines (maybe two or three people at most) because we figured out early on how the buffet area was set up. There are several stations all over the deck (including 2 out by the main pool, two along the long span in the restaurant area, one in the middle of the restaurant area, and two more near the aft pool). The stations all basically served the same food, so if there as a long line in one area, we just went to a different station. The problem was that not everyone figured this out, so the buffet had a terrible flow. People would just all wait on the first line they got to so the deli/chopsticks lines were long but there was no wait at some of the other stations with the exact same food available. By the end of the trip, people figured it out and there was no line at the deli at all.

 

Flow/layout of the ship- Much in the way that the Lido buffet had a terrible layout, we noticed that the entire ship just didn't flow well. For example, you could only take the aft elevators to reach the Pacific MDR, and if you wanted to go from dinner to the lobby bar or guest services, you had to go down one floor, walk all the way forward, and then go back up to deck 3 because the galley prevents you from walking the length of the ship on deck 3.

 

Weather- we had mildly rough seas the entire week. I felt the ship rocking and moving every night. I am lucky that I don't get motion sickness but I can imagine that others weren't as lucky. The weather was warm and sunny every day, not too humid, but we had on and off rain in St. Lucia and Barbados.

 

Drinking water- The water from the sink and in the buffet/MDR had a weird aftertaste and it didn't quench my thirst. I didn't get sick from it like in Mexico, but I just didn't care for the taste (and I am not picky at all about water taste- I'll drink any brand of bottled water and usually have no problem with regular tap water).

 

entertainment staff- cruise director Hennie was great. He was funny and entertaining when he hosted the love and marriage show and other events. Amanda was also good as the host at the comedy club. Most of the other entertainment staff seemed like they were sick of doing their jobs and they were unenthusiastic. The singers in the bar/casino area were just okay, although there was one lady who was horrible.

 

Comedians- I went to 3 adult comedy shows by 3 different comedians. The two earlier in the week (Johnny Millwater and Mark Simmons) were good and had a few funny jokes but I've definitely heard better comedy elsewhere. Dylan Mandlsohn was HORRIBLE on the last night. No one laughed at any of his "jokes" because they weren't funny at all, and many people walked out before he finished. I sincerely hope that Carnival doesn't rehire him!

 

Stuff to do on the ship- there were very few things to do on the ship at night. I understand that this was a port intensive itinerary and that there aren't as many daytime activities while passengers are off the ship in port, but that doesn't explain the lack of nighttime entertainment. There were many nights when we would walk up and down the 5th floor searching for things to do, only to find the bars/clubs/piano bar completely empty and no good nightlife. I went to the comedy shows 3 times, both of the big productions on the formal nights, and the juggler, but those things only lasted 30-60 minutes.

 

Cheers bar package- we only had 1 sea day and are not big drinkers (we didn't even finish the half liter of vodka that we snuck on the ship!) so we did not sign up for the bar package. We met a group of guys who did get it and they said that they were cut off after ordering 15 drinks, but the bartenders let their friends with extra drinks left use one of their drinks to give to them.

 

Chogs- even on the sea day, we never had any trouble finding two lounge chairs together on lido/panorama deck. It never felt crowded and we never noticed people deserting their chairs for long periods of time. The following sign was posted near the towel hut:

 

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But we never saw any staff removing towels from chairs or enforcing the policy. Maybe they would have if there was a chair shortage. We actually preferred to sit on deck 10/panorama because it had a better view and was out of the walking path of other passengers. My only complaint was that there was very little shade, and I ended up pulling my lounge chair under the stairs behind where the band played just to get some shade to avoid a sunburn. Also, we didn't spend anytime in Serenity because we wanted to stay by the lido pool where the action was, but the handful of times that I did walk passed Serenity, there were always lounge chairs available, but the hammocks and clamshells were always taken.

 

Secret decks- I found the door to the secret decks on two floors on different days, but both times they were locked and had signs saying that the decks were closed due to high winds (even while the ship was docked in port). We had lots of windy days, so maybe the decks are open during better weather? I was a little disappointed because I was looking forward to seeing the views off the front of the ship, but no worries! The views off the sides and back of the ship were nice too :)

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Yay, I love port intensive cruises!!! Glad to see you had a good time. Looking forward to the rest of your review.

 

Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T using Tapatalk 2

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Looking forward to your port review, Im doing this itinerary on the Valor over the 4th of July!

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Now I will get into the day-by-day review of my trip. I am currently living in Tucson for work, so I had a very long journey to get to Puerto Rico. I left Tucson at 4pm on Thursday afternoon to head up to Phoenix, where I boarded my JetBlue red-eye flight to JFK airport in NY. The flight was uneventful, although my tv set didn't work and I was unable to fall asleep, so it seemed like a very long flight. Then at 8am on Friday morning, I flew from NY to Puerto Rico, landing at about 1pm. Luckily, I was able to drift in and out of sleep throughout this flight, although I doubt I slept more than 2 hours total.

 

I took this vacation with my friend Beth, and we met up at the airport in PR to share a taxi to Old San Juan. The taxi cost $21, plus $1 per suitcase, and that is the government regulated price for the entire taxi, not per person. We stayed at Hotel Milano in Old San Juan for the two nights prior to the cruise. The hotel was a small boutique hotel, but the rooms were clean and air-conditioned, and the hotel had an elevator (unlike most of the other hotels in OSJ) and a mini-fridge in the room. Here are some photos of the hotel room and bathroom:

 

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Luckily, our room was ready for check in when we arrived at about 2pm. After quickly dropping off our luggage and changing into shorts, we headed out to explore OSJ. The man sitting at the hotel front desk was very helpful with giving us directions on how to get to El Morro. It took us about 20 minutes to walk there, but we are relatively fast walkers. It was a fairly easy walk, with a few parts that are uphill, and there were sidewalks the entire way. Here are a few photos from our walk:

 

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Of note, when you leave the Hotel Milano and go to the right, just passed the first side street there is a dollar store on the left side of the road. This store was a great find! They have tons of things you might need for your cruise and either accidentally left behind or didn't have space to pack... shampoo/conditioner, razors/shaving cream, toothpaste, but no suntan lotion. Not everything cost only $1, but the other items were very inexpensive. Beth forgot her water bottle, so she got one from here for $1.50. And I was able to pick up a towel for $3 to bring along for Saturday's excursion and a souvenir shot glass for $1.

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Love your review but cannot see any of the pictures:)

 

 

Thanks for letting me know! Does anyone else have trouble seeing the photos? They show up fine when I view the thread on my computer. I posted them using the links from my Facebook page, so maybe that has something to do with it?

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Yes !!! I was hoping someone would do a Victory review before we leave. Looks like a great start and I'm subscribing now. Thank you.

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how was the over all condition on the boat, i will be on the Victory in March and basically curious if things are winding down (entertainment) for the move to Miami, and hope they are also taking care of maintenance issues on the boat.. have heard the cabin bathrooms needed updating a few months ago, could you tell if they have gotten to this..??

 

thanks..

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how was the over all condition on the boat, i will be on the Victory in March and basically curious if things are winding down (entertainment) for the move to Miami, and hope they are also taking care of maintenance issues on the boat.. have heard the cabin bathrooms needed updating a few months ago, could you tell if they have gotten to this..??

 

thanks..

 

The ship is definitely showing signs of its age but it's not like it's falling apart or anything! The bathrooms were old but they were clean (I will post photos when I get to that part of my review). I was generally disappointed by the entertainment on board but that has nothing to do with the transition to Miami. If anything, I assumed it was more related to it being a port intensive itinerary where most guests don't spend a lot of time on the ship.

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Appreciate your review. I get on the boat in 2 days. Hopefully all of these storms in the US don't mess with my flights. Fingers crossed.

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Appreciate your review. I get on the boat in 2 days. Hopefully all of these storms in the US don't mess with my flights. Fingers crossed.

 

Have a safe flight and an amazing time on your cruise!

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JetBlue should be giving you a credit for your TV not working. They did that for me before without me having to ask. But if they don't do it let them know. They are good about that. Come to think of it the whole plane's TV system was down when I got a credit, so yeah, you will probably have to ask them.

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JetBlue should be giving you a credit for your TV not working. They did that for me before without me having to ask. But if they don't do it let them know. They are good about that. Come to think of it the whole plane's TV system was down when I got a credit, so yeah, you will probably have to ask them.

 

Yea, I know I have to call them, I just haven't had a chance yet. It wasn't the whole plane this time- just my tv. There was a faulty connection for the screen so I could hear the volume ok but the screen was black. Last time I had no tv on a flight (bc we were flying over water and the whole plane lost the satellite) they gave me a $15 credit so I assume that's what I'll get this time too :)... If I find the time to call them! Haha

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We got to the fort around 2:30pm and paid the $3 per person entrance fee. It was fun to walk around and explore all the different rooms in the fort, and the views were beautiful, despite the cloudy and windy weather.

 

 

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We covered the entire fort in a little over an hour. There were lots of stairs to walk up and down, but they were not steep and many of them hand hand railings. After we left the fort, we walked along the water to see the big red gate to OSJ and some of the other views of the original outer walls of the fort.

 

 

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Our original plan was to walk around the forts and OSJ until our 6:15pm dinner reservation, but we finished the fort earlier than expected so we decided to grab a few things at CVS before dinner. The CVS across the street from the piers stocks the same things as a regular CVS at home, but it was EXTREMELY crowded when we were there! Also, it is located across the street from pier #2, but the Victory docks down the block at pier #4. It isn't a far walk, but be aware that it's not as close as I had anticipated (so we were glad we got our shopping out of the way on Friday and didn't wait until Sunday morning when we boarded the ship). I bought a large bottle of CVS brand suntan lotion with SPF 70 for $10, a bottle of Sutter Home wine for $8, a small bottle of aloe for $2, and a box of Natures Valley trail mix bars for $4 (in case I needed a snack during one of my excursions). Next, we walked across the street to pick up some Subway sandwiches for our excursion on Saturday (the mini-fridge in the hotel room came in handy so we didn't have to leave time on Saturday morning to buy the sandwiches then). I ordered the cold cut trio because I saw so many commercials at home about how they are on special this month for $2... well apparently Puerto Rico does not participate in the same specials that the mainland US does because they charged me the regular full price. Oh well! With our CVS purchases and Subway sandwiches in tow, we headed back to the hotel to drop everything off and wash up for dinner.

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A few weeks before the trip, we used Open Table to make dinner reservations at Barrachina for 6:15pm. We originally wanted 7pm reservations, but the system wouldn't let us book at that time (possibly due to the flamenco dancers??). We were seated immediately at an inside table. We both ordered pina coladas (Beth's was a virgin, and mine had the mid-level rum).

 

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For dinner, I ordered the chicken caribeno and thought it was very tasty with a light pineapple almond sauce which was not too gingery despite the menu description. It also included rice, veggies, fried plantains, and a bean sauce on the side.

 

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After dinner, we walked around OSJ a bit more. There was a huge festival that ran up and down our street, which meant the street was closed to traffic. It was a lot of fun to see all the locals outside enjoying the festival. All of the bars had their doors opened and were blasting music into the streets, and the restaurants all set up booths outside selling samples of their food. Fortunately, our hotel room was in the back, not facing the street, so we couldn't hear any noise in our room, but I imagine it would have been a bit loud in one of the street-facing rooms. We walked around the festival for a bit, and then headed back to the hotel to get some sleep.

 

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Up next, Embarkation Day!! :)

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Oops, I got a bit ahead of myself... not ready for embarkation day just yet!

 

Day 3- Saturday in the Rainforest

We woke up bright and early on Saturday morning, ready for a full-day excursion to El Yunque rainforest. We pre-booked the rainforest and kayaking combo tour through Kayaking Puerto Rico for $109 per person (warning!: they add tax to the price of the excursion when you pay at the bio bay, so make sure not to bring exactly $109! I think it came out to $116 per person, plus we each tipped the guide on top of that). We left the hotel around 9:30am and walked around the corner to Fefo's Deli.

 

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The restaurant was clean, and most of the patrons were locals so we thought that was a good sign. We each ordered eggs, potatoes, and toast, and when we placed our order, there was only one other couple at the restaurant, so we thought our food would come out quickly. After a very long wait, the waitress finally came over and told us that they had cooked our eggs with extra ingredients which we had not ordered, so they needed to re-cook them. Eventually, she came back with our breakfasts, and wow were we disappointed! This is a photo of my breakfast... I had only taken one bite of the bread before taking this photo. Clearly this would not be enough food to hold me until the 3pm lunch break on our excursion!

 

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We finished eating in less than 5 minutes. For what it's worth, the potatoes and toast tasted good, although the eggs were very greasy. The breakfasts cost about $5 each, so we paid our bill and headed back to the street in search of something more filling. A few doors down the street from Hotel Milano (going to the left when you exit the hotel), we found a fantastic restaurant called Siglo's with a blue tile awning outside. We ended up eating 3 meals here in the next 24 hours haha I ordered a grilled cheese (since I didn't want MORE eggs), and it was delicious- they used Pam spray instead of butter, so I didn't even feel unhealthy while eating it :)

 

After breakfast #2, we walked down the street a little further to Plaza Colon to meet our bus for the excursion. The excursion company called my cell phone on Friday afternoon to say they would pick us up at 10:40am from Plaza Colon because the bus couldn't drive down Fortaleza street since it was closed off to traffic. At 10:38am, my cell phone rang and it was our tour guide saying he was sitting in traffic and would be there in about 5 minutes. It was very professional of him to make that phone call, but totally unnecessary as we probably wouldn't have thought anything of it if they had pulled up at 10:45. The bus already had several people onboard when it arrived, so we took our seats and headed out of OSJ towards the rainforest. We had 16 people on our tour, and the guide named Flor told us we would be using the same air-conditioned bus all day so it was okay to leave bags on the bus so we didn't have to carry our clothes during the hikes and kayaking. Flor gave us a brief description of our agenda for the day, and then put on the radio so we could hear some music on the hour-long drive to our first destination. Here is a photo of Flor and the bus:

 

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Just before entering the rainforst, we stopped by the side of the road to pick up 3 more passengers who were staying at a hotel out there. Flor also gave us some time to get off the bus and buy snacks from a lady by the side of the road. Beth and I had just eaten breakfast (twice), so we didn't buy anything, but it looked like she was selling some tacos and fried dough, and it smelled really good!

 

Once everyone was back onboard, we went to the visitor's center at the rainforest. We had a few minutes to walk around and use the restrooms, and then we went to watch a 15-minute long movie about the rainforest. It was informative, but somewhat weird that when the movie ran in Spanish, they used Spanish subtitles, and when the movie ran in English, they used English subtitles. Perhaps the subtitles were to benefit those who are hard of hearing, but it probably made more sense to use subtitles in the opposite language of what was spoken aloud.

 

Anyway, after that, we got back on the bus and rode up the hill to the entrance to the trail which lead to the waterfall. The hike to the waterfall was just under a mile in each direction, and it had a paved trail for most of the way, with lots of stairs. Once we reached the waterfalls, Flor gave us about a half hour to go in the water. It was very crowded with people on other tours, the water was cold, and the rocks were very slippery, so we decided not to go in the water.

 

 

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We took a different trail on the way back up, which lead us past some interesting trees, birds, and lizards. Once back on the bus, we drove to the tower to see the views from the top. There were about 100 stairs to climb to get to the top, but it was worth it for the views.

 

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Our next stop was at another waterfall, but this time we only had about 10 minutes so we just took a few photos and left.

 

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Enjoying your review, looking forward to more of it.

 

Thanks! There's plenty more to come soon, I promise! :)

 

 

Thanks for the review!

 

Thanks :)

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Tagging this...we are planning on doing the southern after the western

 

I love your review.

 

 

Thanks!! :)

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Sorry it's taking so long to get the review posted. Unfortunately, I've been working all week and I can't work on the review while at work :( I promise to get a bit more posted tonight, and I will have lots more photos to post once I get to the part where I am on the ship! :) Thanks for your patience!! :)

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Looking forward to the rest! We go out of PR on the Valor in April (our second time on the ship) and while my friend lives in PR and I was there in 2003 (and swam in the bio bay!), it's super helpful to read about PR and your experience. Looking forward to reading about embarkation and the rest :)

 

Thanks again!

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The next stop was for lunch at a restaurant inside the rainforest (literally 3 minutes down the road from the last waterfall).

 

The restaurant:

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The menu:

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Breadfruit:

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They had a wide variety of food for such a small restaurant, including chicken or pork shish kabobs for $6, and a few different local food items. The food was not included in the cost of the excursion, so be sure to either bring money to buy lunch, or bring some food with you on the bus (as Beth and I did, since we didn't want to risk not liking the food options and being starved all day! haha) We had about an hour to eat, and then got back on the bus to drive out to the bioluminescent bay for the kayaking portion of our trip. The drive took about 45 minutes, and when we arrived, they gave us some time to get changed into bathing suits, put on lots of bug spray, and pay for the excursion with either cash or a credit card. Then they handed out the life vests and helped us put them on, and they gave us a brief explanation on where we would be going through the mangrove canal out to the bay.

 

The map of where we kayaked on the tour:

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We had 4 different instructors to help us throughout the excursion, and one of them had a camera to take photos of us along the way. I also brought along my waterproof camera, which came in handy later in the night (stay tuned to find out why!)

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We paired up and the instructors helped us get into our kayaks, and then we paddled across the marina to enter the canal. Our tour left the docks around 6:30pm, so it was still somewhat light out, but by the time we got through the canal, it was totally dark. Paddling inside the canal was a bit scary because the branches from the mangroves came out into the water, and it was hard to see where they were so we kept crashing into the branches! Also, we often heard the sound of something plopping into the water, and we later found out that we were kayaking passed some flying fish! The kayaks had lights hanging off the front and back, so we used that light to guide us through the canal, and eventually we made it out into the bio bay.

 

The instructors gathered us up and explained that the bioluminescence occurs when the phytoplankton in the water get stirred up, and they give off a glow. It was a pretty, sparkling effect, and you could especially see it if you dropped some water on your dark bathing suit. With all the research I did, I anticipated that the entire bay would be glowing, but the effect wasn't nearly that bright. Nonetheless, it was still interesting to see, especially considering how rare this plankton is and how few places in the world have it. Here is a photo of us in the kayaks as taken by the instructors:

 

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After a few minutes kayaking around the bay, it was time to head back into the canal. Unlike our trip out, it was now pitch black outside and impossible to see where the mangroves were. Also, there were now other kayakers entering the bay on their tours, so we had to make space for two-directional traffic in the alraedy-too-narrow canal! It was seriously like kamikaze kayaking! Every man for himself! We kept crashing into the mangroves and into the other boats, and then there would be a pile up of multiple boats! I even got hit with an oar a few times! Fortunately, no one fell in the water, but even if we did, it wouldn't have mattered much because the water is only 2 feet deep in the canal. The instructors told us that if we fell in, we should just stand up instead of splashing around and freaking out that we might drown haha This is where my underwater camera came in handy... I used the flash from the camera to see where we were going! Here is a great photo to capture the moment as we crashed into a tree:

 

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Overall, it was a great experience and looking back on it, it was a lot of fun, but while I was in the canal, I was definitely freaking out a bit! We wore our aqua socks and bathing suits under the life vest. I would recommend only wearing things that can get wet because we were SOAKED by the time we finished. Also, I would recommend doing the 6pm tour instead of the 8pm tour because at least we had some daylight on the way out to the bay. I can't imagine going both directions in the pitch black! Here is the group photo from after the tour:

 

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After we got out of the kayaks, they gave us about 10 minutes to change into dry clothes, and then we rode for an hour and a half back to OSJ and were dropped off at our hotels. Beth and I were dropped off at Plaza Colon at 9:30pm, and we were starving! The big festival was going strong at that point, so we had to squeeze through all the people to get down the street and back to our hotel. We dropped off our bags and wet towels, and headed back downstairs in search of something for dinner. After checking out all of our options, we ended up back at Siglo's restaurant (the place we had our second breakfast that morning). Outside the restaurant, they had a huge thing of paella mariscos which they were serving for $5 per plate. I had actually wanted paella the previous evening at Barrachina, so this really hit the spot, and you can't beat the price for the size serving they gave me! I didn't even finish it!

 

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I forgot to include this photo earlier, but this is what Siglo's Restaurant looked like from the outside. It's kind of annoying that they still had the stand set up outside from the street festival, but you get the idea of the blue shingled roof.

 

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After dinner, we went back to the hotel to rest up for embarkation day on Sunday!

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Hi everyone! I just needed to vent my frustration... This morning, I typed up a long post all about embarkation day and added in 6 photos, and when I hit submit, an error page popped up! When I clicked on the back arrow to go to the previous page, of course the entire post was deleted. I spent a solid half hour fighting with the cruise critic website trying to get it to load properly but I just kept getting tons of error messages. Eventually, I had to give up and leave for work. I see that I am able to submit posts now from work, so fingers crossed that it's still working by the time I get home and have access to my photos to continue on with my review! If so, you can all look forward to lots of ship pictures from embarkation day :)

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Day 4- Embarkation day

After months of planning, embarkation day finally arrived! We went up to the roof of the hotel and sure enough, we saw the top of the ship peaking over the buildings:

 

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The hotel did offer a breakfast on their roof deck, but they charged $5 and only offered fruit, dry cereal, and a few danishes, so we decided to go back to Siglo's for breakfast. I got a cheese omelette with some of the best whole wheat bread I've ever had!:

 

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Then we went back to the hotel, we asked the guy at the front desk to call us a taxi, and went upstairs to grab our bags. By the time we got back downstairs and checked out, the taxi arrived. It drove us 4 blocks and two avenues down to the cruise terminal, and we paid $15 plus $1 for each suitcase. We arrived at terminal 4 at 9:55am and the passengers from the previous cruise were still debarking. We were directed to wait in a line behind some barricades, and there was only one family in front of us. Clearly we arrived very early, but we figured we may as well just go to the terminal because we had nothing else to do at the hotel anyway!

 

They opened the doors to let us inside at 10:55am, and there were probably only 20 people total in line at that point. We went upstairs, took the embarkation photos, and immediately went to check in. There was no wait at all for checking in, and there were multiple Carnival employees on hand to keep things moving smoothly. By the time we checked in, 3 large parties had gone ahead of us and we got zone 2 for boarding. We sat in the waiting area until 12:40pm. At that point, we decided to see what was in the duty free store. They had a half liter of Finlandia vodka for $4, so we figured it was worth a shot (no pun intended!) and we bought it with hopes of successfully sneaking it onto the ship. At 12:45pm they called boarding zones 1-5, so I rushed to finish paying for the vodka and we got in the security line. After going through the metal detectors, I put the vodka in my backpack and we proceeded up the ramp to board the ship. Outside on deck 3, they had a table set up to take the liquor bottles but we just walked passed it and went straight to the sign and sail card photo, and then boarded the ship. We were on board around 1:15pm and went straight to our cabin to drop off our carry on bags. Our cabin was ready so we unpacked a few things before going to find the maitre d about our dinner table assignments.

 

We had the early dinner time and were hoping for a large table so we could make some new friends, but were disappointed to hear we were assigned to a table for 2. We put in a request for a larger table and the maitre d told us she would let us know by 1pm on Monday via a letter in our cabin. Next we went to lido for lunch. I had the corned beef and pastrami combo on rye and a little salad:

 

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I also got a DOD from one of the waiters who was walking around. The sandwich was good, although it would have been better if it was heated up, and the drink was fantastic!! After lunch, Beth wanted to stay on lido and watch the football game, and I went to walk around and explore the ship.

 

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At around 3:30, we went back to our cabin to unpack. I traveled with only a carry on rolling bag and a backpack (because I was super paranoid about having my luggage lost when I changed planes either in JFK airport on the way there, or in ATL airport on the way home!), but Beth's checked suitcase was delivered when we got to the cabin.

 

Just an aside, the closets only had regular hangars, but not the kind with clips to hang skirts. We called guest services to request clip hangars and there were about 5 of them in the cabin when we got back from dinner. After unpacking, we spent a little more time on lido and then went back to the cabin to change for dinner.

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