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LunaC

Just off the Victory 7/3-7/10

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Well, we survived Dennis... We were supposed to start out in Cozumel but because of Cindy, we were rerouted to Jamaica first. Once we got there Dennis came up on our heels and we went to the Bahamas. Not what we were hoping for but not worth getting stuck in a hurricane! It amazed me how many people complained about not going on to the Caymans...are they nuts or just not too bright?!:confused:

 

I'm going to put a review on this site, so please go there to take a look. I have a few words to say about embarkation and self assist debarkation!

 

Overall we had a good time, however not my best vacation but not for the lack of the staff or food!

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We are leaving Saturday for our Victory cruise. I only have two questions. Did you ever eat the buffet for dinner instead of going to the dining room? I'm interested in how the buffet was. Also, any tips on embarkation would be helpful. We were planning to get to the port around 10. Thanks.

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:) I can't wait for the review. I am going on the Victory-Aug. 7 Eastern Carribean Just 27 days away. I was away camping in the woods the last ten day. First I am hearing about hurricane Dennis. How bad was it. Any damage to the islands ie: St Thomas and St Maarten?

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We were scheduled to do the Western Carribbean so I don't know how the islands faired but it mostly would have affected Jamaica and Grand Caymans. We only made it to Jamaica and then we were rerouted to the Bahamas. I do know that St. Thomas is great for shopping and St. Maarten has a great beach on the French side, Orient Beach.

 

I wish I could offer tips on embarkation. We got in around noon. If you are getting to the port around 10am, I'm not sure. Will debarkation be complete when you get there? You may want to check on that a little further. We waited in 2 seperate lines (check in and S&S cards) and it took us 2 hours total. My 12 year old daughter passed out just as we were walking up to the counter to check in. All those people, long lines, and it got pretty warm.

 

I'm a pretty optimistic and positive person and even long lines don't bother me. I'll happily wait a hour + to ride a roller coaster but this was ridiculous! If embarkation and debarkation could be taken out of the equation, I had a nice time, but that really affected my overall view. If we cruise again, it will be on Royal Carribbean. They were much more organized when we sailed with them.

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Oh! Sorry, forgot to answer about the buffet...no we never eat the buffet for dinner only lunch and breakfast. We always had dinner in the dining room and never had lunch or breakfast anywhere except the buffet.

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:) Hi Luna,

 

Thank you for the info. I hope we don't have to wait to long in lines. My daughter is very fair and cannot take the heat at all. How was the service other then embarkation. I read many complaints about room stewards on this ship.

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LunaC, thanks for the info. I have read of others getting to the port around 10 am. They still had to wait in line but were on the ship around 12-12:30pm. Thanks again for taking the time to reply.:)

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........Thank you for the info. I hope we don't have to wait to long in lines. My daughter is very fair and cannot take the heat at all. How was the service other then embarkation. I read many complaints about room stewards on this ship.

We sailed on the Victory (Eastern) that just got back on 7-3. As our cab pulled up near the port about 1:00 pm we noticed there was no activity on the Lido or any other decks that we could see (not a good sign). There was a long snaking line in the parking lot that got much longer once we got in it. I'd say we got in line about 1:15, the line started moving about 2:15 and by about 3:15 we were on the ship. Seems there was a problem with immigration being late and/or getting people off the ship (nothing Carnival can do about that), but I was impressed with how fast they moved us through once the line started moving. The saving grace was the overcast skies in Maimi on 6-26 or it would have been very hot in the parking lot!

 

Food and service on the ship were great. We were on the Panorama deck and had no problems with our stewards, nor did our tablemates at dinner voice any complaints. We found the ship to be in very good condition and very well maintained. Our only complaint is we didn't want to leave!

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Hi Eliot,

 

That is so great to hear. I was getting a little nervous with all the negative responses you hear. I just got my tickets today so we are really excited. I noticed you went on the eastern cruise. Did you go to Coral world? How was it if you did. Also, did you Go to Divi Bay Beach resort on St Maarten? Where was your room? We are on the Empress deck balcony cabin. Sorry about all the questions:)

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Hi Eliot,

 

That is so great to hear. I was getting a little nervous with all the negative responses you hear. I just got my tickets today so we are really excited. I noticed you went on the eastern cruise. Did you go to Coral world? How was it if you did. Also, did you Go to Divi Bay Beach resort on St Maarten? Where was your room? We are on the Empress deck balcony cabin. Sorry about all the questions:)

On St. Thomas we took a Godfrey tour ($20 pp) which was very good:

 

http://www.godfreytoursvi.com/

 

It includes shopping, a tour of the island and a couple of hours at a beach of your choice. We choose Coki beach (right beside Coral World) and had a great time swimming and feeding the fish, but we didn't go into Coral World. Godfrey lets you lock your swimming stuff up in his truck while you shop, and then the item's you bought when shopping while you're at the beach.

 

On St. Maarten we just took the Water Taxi into the shopping district (much, much better deals than in St. Thomas), then a taxi to Orient beach. The taxi driver dropped us off at one of many little bars on the beach (I think this one was called the Pirate Bar & Grill) and for about $15 they set us up with two nice padded recliners, an umbrella, and two free drinks. The Taxi driver agreed to pick us up at 2:30 or 3:00 and the guy at the bar came and told us when he arrived. It is a beautiful beach, but I think I enjoyed feeding the fish at Coki more than laying on the beach at Orient.

 

We were in a balcony cabin on the Panorama deck (#1023), and I can't really think of anything negative to report ship, service, or food wise. You will see lines for the buffets on the Lido deck at peak times, but go earlier or later and it isn't that bad. You can also use the "open seating" in the dining room for breakfast and lunch and avoid the lines if you wish. My wife and I thought it was a beautiful ship, had a great time and wouldn't hesitate to sail on the Victory again.

 

I made up a chart for a pocket size copy of the deck plans in this thread that did come in useful:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=190850&highlight=Victory+deck+plans

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Thank You For All The Hints, Can You Tell Me If Victory Has Film Processing? :)

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Thank You For All The Hints, Can You Tell Me If Victory Has Film Processing? :)

 

Victory does have film processing. A couple we met on ship used this service and the pictures were great and they said the price was good, too.

 

We didn't have any problem with the cabin steward. Everytime we left and came back, it was cleaned and straightened. He also was good about remembering when we went to dinner so he would turn our beds down when we went to eat. We stayed on the Verandah Deck (8).

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I was on the Mariner of the Seas and we were in port with you in Ocho Rios and Nassau. We only got to two of our ports, the private island for Royal Caribbean which is pretty much in Haiti, and Jamaica. We had to cancel both Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Anyway, the day after leaving Jamaica, our captain, Captain Johnny, said that the Carnival ship (the Victory) had gone into another direction and was encountering high swells and were probably experiencing a "rollercoaster of a ride". Is this true? If so, how did everyone do? Hope your cruise turned out ok and you made the best of the situation!

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We are leaving Saturday for our Victory cruise. I only have two questions. Did you ever eat the buffet for dinner instead of going to the dining room? I'm interested in how the buffet was. Also, any tips on embarkation would be helpful. We were planning to get to the port around 10. Thanks.

Got off the Victory on 7/3. We ate at in the dining room only 3 times. Ate at the buffet the rest. The buffet was great. If you did not want the buffet go around on either side of the buffet and you have a deli with great sandwichs or the other side was Chinese. Or you could go out to the back for burgers, hotdogs, or pizza. Our dining time was at 8:30 and usually we ended up eating earlier and were not hungry anymore by then.

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Got off the Victory on 7/3. We ate at in the dining room only 3 times. Ate at the buffet the rest. The buffet was great. If you did not want the buffet go around on either side of the buffet and you have a deli with great sandwichs or the other side was Chinese. Or you could go out to the back for burgers, hotdogs, or pizza. Our dining time was at 8:30 and usually we ended up eating earlier and were not hungry anymore by then.

Thanks for the reply. Can't wait to sail.

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Hi Eliot,

 

That is so great to hear. I was getting a little nervous with all the negative responses you hear. I just got my tickets today so we are really excited. I noticed you went on the eastern cruise. Did you go to Coral world? How was it if you did. Also, did you Go to Divi Bay Beach resort on St Maarten? Where was your room? We are on the Empress deck balcony cabin. Sorry about all the questions:)

Got off Victory 7/3. Had a great time. Service was great. Went to Coral World. It was OK. Cost 42 dollars for 3 of us and our cabbie gave us discount coupons. I thougt it was kind of expensive for what you got. There is a beach next door and you can use lockers at Coral World.

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..........Or you could go out to the back for burgers, hotdogs, or pizza..............

Don't forget the grilled steak sandwiches ;) , quite tasty! (Tip: if they tell you it will be about 5 more minutes, tell them you want one rare, it will still be medium+).

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Hey Eliot Ness

 

We were also on the Victory June 26 - July 3 and had a great time.

 

We got to the port of Miami at about 11:20 and were on board by 1:00. Big line up that wasn't going anywhere. We were told a couple of different stories about the delay, first it was immigration, then it was a medical situation onboard and finally it was a problem with the screening machines for the carry on baggage. Anyway we finally got onboard and could see the lineup snaking around the parking lot ( glad we were on having our first drink of the day;) ). The ship was late leaving and had to return to port for a medical emergency (some thought it was for the luggage that got put on the Valor by mistake)(our travelling companions had one bag end up on the Valor and got a $100 credit for their inconvenence) but we finally got under way. I found the second day a little rough but it was my first cruise so I don't have anything to compare it to. The rest was smooth sailing. We had great attendants in the Atlantic Dining room and ate there every evening. The buffets and delis were also good and the lines not too bad. Our room stewart was the best, he/she knew our schedule and was not seen once during the trip. When we needed something we left a note (tip) and when we returned it was there. He even kept my cooler full of ice (yes you can take booze on, it was the first checked bag to arrive at our room:D ). We attended all the shows in the Carribean lounge and found them to be entertaining. I thought the female singer was really talented and her male companion would be a good karokee singer. Just my opinion.

 

San Juan..... First port of call, we had planed to take a taxi to the end of the shopping route that was on the map of the port provided by Carnival and walk back to the ship. When we got off we were approached by a tour operator who said Carnival gets them to do tours when Carnival is overbooked and for $15 each we would get a tour and get dropped off where we wanted. First stop on the tour was a fort which cost $3 each to get in. Had about 25 min to do a quick 30 min tour and then drove around San Juan for a while. We did get dropped off on the same street that we wanted to go to however it was the opposite end. All was not lost though as DW got to the Linen store and we ended our walk at Senor Frogs and had a couple of yards of drinks! If we had our time back we would have stuck to our original plan and taken the taxi instead of the bus. Although we did see parts of San Juan that we wouldn't have otherwise I think the $60 would have been better spent.

 

St Thomas.... We also did the Godfrey tour and thought he was excellent. Best $20 you'll spend. Went shopping, Coki Beach which was awesome (for the fish not the change rooms), and a tour. Had about one hour of rain but it wasn't that bad. Ness if you were picked up at nine then we were on the same bus! For those who don't snorkle (like me) don't worry, if you go to the right hand side of the beach and walk out to your waist in water the fish will swim all around you. I would recommend the mask though to see the fish under water.

 

St Marrten.....We did a tour through Carnival at this port and had a great time spending the day at Divi Bay Beach Resort. Transportation,chairs,meals,and 2 drinks for $39/person. Did some shopping back at the peir afterwards and got better deals there than at the open air market at St Thomas. It was hot, hot, hot but the water was refreshing. You can lie in the sun (get an umbrella for $5) play beach vollyball or jetski.

 

All things considered we had a great time and would certainly do it again.

 

I've read complaints about the smells and about lights being out and having to wait in lineups. Here's my opinion.... sometimes public bathrooms smell like public bathrooms....who cares if there's a couple of lightbulbs out.....and if you have to lineup to eat, at least you are getting to eat. Don't sweat the small stuff and enjoy yourself. Remember you are on a cruise and not at work.

And remember, "any day on the green side is a good one":cool: .

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I was on the Mariner of the Seas and we were in port with you in Ocho Rios and Nassau. We only got to two of our ports, the private island for Royal Caribbean which is pretty much in Haiti, and Jamaica. We had to cancel both Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Anyway, the day after leaving Jamaica, our captain, Captain Johnny, said that the Carnival ship (the Victory) had gone into another direction and was encountering high swells and were probably experiencing a "rollercoaster of a ride". Is this true? If so, how did everyone do? Hope your cruise turned out ok and you made the best of the situation!

 

We headed towards Freeport and Nassau after Jamaica..I didnt notice it to be rough although they did have bags taped up around the ship but I didnt see anyone getting sick.,.no one in our party of 42 got sick,.,.if it was rough it was while we were sleeping.. but there was a big bang that did wake a lot of us up and I had heard it was the stabilers? but I never did check into that..I just fell back to sleep...

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We sailed Victory last year. What a great ship!

Since you are leaving Saturday, can I assume that you are spending the night in Miami?

If so, here's what we did for embarkation:

We left our hotel at 8:15 and got to the pier by 8:30. There were tons of people coming out of the pier, so we left our bags with the porters. We went into the waiting area; we were first ones in. :D It was nice and air conditioned inside. It was a big entryway with no seats. Everyone just sat on the floor. At 9:30 or so, we were asked to line up. We walked, one family at a time, into a small office with three desks/Carnival employees who checked us in and had us wait in another line. About 20 minutes later, we went through x-ray then up an escalator. There was a huge area with seats, like in an airport. We went to the first section and sat down. We were there for about an hour, but everyone was talking and getting excited about the cruise. We were called, section by section, to get our cards and return to our seats. We were then embarked onto the ship by the same sections. Our kids were the first passengers on the ship. It was only 11:15.

We were so happy to be able to wait in the air conditioning. This routine has worked for us for all our cruises; we were always on the ship before noon.

Some people prefer to wait until late in the afternoon to avoid crowds; some people don't mind the crowds. We love being on the ship as early as possible, even if it means giving up our morning waiting in line.

Have a blast!!!

And don't forget the secret decks. They are great places to stand and watch as the ship sails in and out of ports.

 

We are leaving Saturday for our Victory cruise. I only have two questions. Did you ever eat the buffet for dinner instead of going to the dining room? I'm interested in how the buffet was. Also, any tips on embarkation would be helpful. We were planning to get to the port around 10. Thanks.

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Stargate: thanks for the info. You sure do get to the port early. I think we were planning on 10. Are the secret areas at the front of the ship on decks 6, 7 & 9? I printed a note a few months back that said the secret areas were on those decks. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm really excited about our cruise. Yes, we are staying in Miami. Our previous two cruises we flew in the day of the cruise and were always late getting on the ship (like around 3). I'm pumped to get on the ship early. :)

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.........Are the secret areas at the front of the ship on decks 6, 7 & 9? ...............I'm pumped to get on the ship early. :)

Yes, those are the decks. That's a good plan (fly in a day early), next time that's what we will do..... have a great cruise!

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We headed towards Freeport and Nassau after Jamaica..I didnt notice it to be rough although they did have bags taped up around the ship but I didnt see anyone getting sick.,.no one in our party of 42 got sick,.,.if it was rough it was while we were sleeping.. but there was a big bang that did wake a lot of us up and I had heard it was the stabilers? but I never did check into that..I just fell back to sleep...

 

Thanks for letting me know how it went. I was thinking that if you had pretty high swells then it must have been a pretty rough ride for everyone. Glad to hear that you and those with you did well.

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You are so welcome.

Yeah, we like to be on the ship early and we hate lines. So, we figure...what the heck, let's get to the port REALLY early. Works every time. We travel with other families, which makes the time go by very quickly.

Yes, the secret areas are at the very front of decks 6, 7, 9, and I think 10 too. Just go all the way forward until you hit the cabin doors in front of you. Well, not literally. :rolleyes: There will be doors on the left and right sides. Pick one, go out, and be prepared to say, "Ooh!". Amazingly enough, there were hardly any people on these decks.

And you have got to eat the Asian food as well as the deli. The Asian "window" has different specials every day. The only sad thing is that they are open very limited hours. At the deli, they slice the meats you want right then and there. Mmmm, corned beef, pastrami, turkey, roast beef. You can get the sandwiches warm or cold. It's been a year and a half since our Victory cruise :eek: , but I will always remember the food!

I am very excited for you. Have a blast!

Stargate: thanks for the info. You sure do get to the port early. I think we were planning on 10. Are the secret areas at the front of the ship on decks 6, 7 & 9? I printed a note a few months back that said the secret areas were on those decks. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm really excited about our cruise. Yes, we are staying in Miami. Our previous two cruises we flew in the day of the cruise and were always late getting on the ship (like around 3). I'm pumped to get on the ship early. :)

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