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sillylizzie

Carnival Victory - Western Caribbean

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We flew out of JFK bright and early Saturday morning and arrived at Ft. Lauderdale airport around 10am. We got to our hotel, and as it was too early to check in grabbed a quick lunch at “Jerry’s Famous Deli” then went for a walk on South Beach. I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful the water and the beach were… The turquoise faded into a purple which faded into a darker blue and so on. After checking into our hotel, we all went for a swim in the hotel pool, changed, and then grabbed dinner at “Johnny Rockets.” We spent the evening wandering around South Beach, shopping and so forth.

 

Sunday, we grabbed lunch at “Texas Taco Factory” and then grabbed a cab to the pier so we could board the ship. Check-in on the ship was great, super fast and super easy. Our room was beautiful, tons more spacious than I had imagined and we had a great view of the Miami skyline while we were sitting on the dock. I also had a dozen red roses waiting for me in our room, from M., which was a lovely and unexpected gift. We got a bit delayed and didn’t leave exactly on time, as there was a large group of people that were delayed at the airport. We finally set sail around ~18-1900. We had dinner at 2000. On the ship we basically were all assigned to the same table in the Pacific Dining Room (most of the spaces in the ship were named after bodies of water somewhere in the world). We ended up with one of the best tables in the dining room, toward the back end of the ship, and had a window view. It was really quite stunning. That night after dinner we attended the “Welcome Aboard” show, which was hilarious as the cruise director, Carlo Lombard brought audience members on stage. It also helped that he was simply hysterical on his own.

 

Monday was a “Fun Day at Sea” and M. and I got up bright and early and headed to one of the 4 pools that happened to be on our floor. Two friends joined us there, and around lunchtime we met up with the rest of the gang (we were traveling with a group of 10), had lunch and then a few of us headed to an afternoon comedy show before having to get ready for the formal Captain’s Dinner. The comedy show was ok; it seemed a bit as though the comic, James Sibley was holding back a bit. Everyone met up for cocktails and appetizers around 1700. Let me just add that whomever was working at the bar that night needs to find another job ASAP. Their martinis were horrible, as were their manhattans. After dinner, we went to the 2230 show, called “Living in America” where the Victory Dancers/Performers put on a great musical review, where they sang songs like “new York, New York,” “Kansas City,” “Chicago,” and other such songs. After the show everyone wanted to go to bed except four of us who decided to stay for the ‘R’ rated comedy show which was at midnight. The comedian at the midnight show turned out to be the same as from the afternoon, and was much better when he was able to swear, and didn’t have to be so politically correct. After the show we all wandered around for a little bit and headed to bed as we all had to be up bright and early the next morning for Cozumel, Mexico.

 

On Tuesday we had to be on the pier bright and early as we were actually spending our day on the mainland of Mexico. We took a ferry from Cozumel to Playa Del Carmen, and then hopped on a coach bus and drove to the Mayan Ruin site at Tulum. Playa Del Carmen was very interesting, out tour guide, Antonio was telling us how it is an up and coming vacation spot; the next Cancun. There were hotels being built, which our guide said was really helping out the local economy. From the drive to Playa Del Carmen to Tulum we learned a lot. A lot of what he talked about was some of the Mayan culture that still takes place in Mexico, a bit about the education system and government as well. We stopped twice to go souvenir shopping, and also received a ‘grab bag’ of sorts of Mexican snack food for lunch. Tulum was right on the water and was absolutely fascinating. There are sections of some of the ruins where you can see their ‘painted’ on handprints and artwork. It was amazing to see that the Mayans also used a sort of ‘door jam’ made out of wood similar to what you would find today in a modern house, as well as the fact that they used a concoction similar to concrete in some of their buildings, AND steel was found in some of the ruins. As well we saw where some sacrifices took place. I can’t even begin to describe how it felt to be standing on Mayan sacred ground that was built so long ago.

After Tulum we headed back to Playa Del Carmen, hopped on the ferry and went straight to the boat. M. and I grabbed a quick shower as well as a bite to eat and then headed out to downtown Cozumel. We shopped; we relaxed, and ran into the rest of the gang who had spent the day on Dune Buggy’s. We eventually headed back to the ship around 2100, and relaxed in our room/on our balcony and eventually fell asleep shortly after the ship left Cozumel (around 0100).

 

Wednesday was a “Fun Day at Sea” and the gang all met up for and all the guys went on the water slide a few times, it was way too hot for this Irish girl so V. and I headed to a ‘Name that Tune’ contest and had a great time. We met this really cool lady, Pat White and we won a copy of her CD. Then we all met back at the buffet and had lunch together. Josh wanted to check out the afternoon tea and classical music with someone, so I went with him there while everyone else stayed in the hot tub. The music and tea were pretty good. By the tea was over, Josh and I met up with the rest of the gang, and we all went shopping with Frank so we could help him pick something out for his girlfriend. By that time, we all headed back to our rooms to shower and change for dinner.

 

Grand Cayman was on Thursday, and V. and I had a 2 person submarine excursion while the rest of them all headed off to swim with sting rays. As we weren’t docked at a pier in Grand Cayman we had to grab and tender to get to land, and then met up with Dave, the guy taking us to the submarine boat. The three of us got on this tiny speed boat and headed to the pontoon boat where we would get on the submarine. The submarine was so cool. It looked kind of like a pseudo underwater jet ski with a big bubble on the front. Jarrod, another one of the submarine guys, who was waiting for us on the pontoon, drove our submarine from behind the big bubble, and we could talk to one another through walkie talkie type things. Going under was so very cool. We saw everything from ‘Nemo’ type fish to boxfish to jewfish to sharks to sting rays to a barracuda to a sea cucumber. The colors were amazing. The woman that went on the sub before V. and I put it best in describing it, she said “I never knew there were so many shades of all of those colors. It is truly amazing. If you didn’t believe in God or a higher power before you go down there you will when you come back up.” And yes, it WAS that amazing. After our sub ride was over we headed back to the downtown part of Grand Cayman. V. and I checked out a bit of their version of a ‘botanical garden’ as well as their museum/historical society building. As we were debating on heading back to the ship V. and I ran into M. and the three of us spent another 2 hours in Grand Cayman. The buildings in Grand Cayman (as well as in Mexico) were so beautifully colored, tons of bright colors and whatnot. The three of us grabbed one of the last tenders back to the ship and went to our rooms. We all met up for dinner, and when M. and I got back to our room for dinner our room steward had decorated our stateroom for my birthday, as well as had left a birthday cake for me. M. had obviously arranged it so they would set it all up for me, which was sweet of him, and definitely a great surprise. The rest of the gang met us up in our room for cake and then we headed to the Guest Talent Show that was taking place that night. After the Talent Show we all headed to the Irish Sea bar, where some guy was murdering Billy Joel songs on the piano. Since well all had to get up bright and early the next day for our Jamaica excursion we went to bed around 0100.

 

I still can’t believe I was in Jamaica for my birthday! Jamaica was gorgeous. We all were doing a 4x4 Jeep Safari along with climbing Dunn’s River Falls. The jeep safari was amazing, mainly because our tour guide, Stewie was really good. We went through a place called ‘Fern Valley’ as well as saw some of the real backwoods of Jamaica. As a side note let me just tell you that Jamaicans are by far THE craziest drivers I have ever seen in my life. No US driver can even come close to comparison. Similar to our Mexican tour guide, Stewie told us a bit how the Jamaican government and way of life really is we even picked up some kids walking and brought them to school. We eventually stopped at what was called ‘Chukka Cove’ which was the name of this large house that used to be part of a coffee plantation, where we could use the bathrooms, do some shopping and tour the house. We then headed on, almost tipping over a few times until we got to another building atop a hill, which was where we had a fresh lunch of completely fruit found in Jamaica. I tried some coconut water, which was bland but pretty good as well as a fruit known as ‘jackfruit’ which was very good. They were also serving rum punch that was 151 proof. After lunch we drove around a bit more, saw a vulture, some cattle, egrets, and some retired thoroughbred racehorses. We got to Dunn’s River Falls around 1300, and had only an hour there before we had to head back to the boat. M. and I started to, but it didn’t seem it was worth it as we weren’t going to have enough time to finish the climb. As we got to the pier M. and I did some speed shopping in the 10 minutes we had before we needed to get back on the ship. That night was the second formal night on the ship (as well as my 25th birthday) and we all met up to have our photo taken together before dinner. Dinner was excellent as usual, and our waiter, Harishchandra along with some of the other wait staff came out with a cake at desert singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. After dinner we all headed to the nightly show, which was a musical of sorts, where the Victory Dancers/Singers did a ‘Music through the Ages’ type of show called “Vroom.” After the show we all headed out to the bars drinking, when 0200 rolled around we went to the poolside bar, and realized how windy it was. Being the intelligent people that we are, we went to the highest point of the ship, where the wind was blowing us all around the deck. The winds were so strong it was literally forcing the liquid out of my cup, while I was holding it upright. Once M. and I got back to our room around 0330, we checked out the ‘Report from the Bridge’ [which you can access from the TV in your room] and found out that there were gale force winds.

Saturday was a low key day. We spent the day packing, chilling out, figuring out what times we were meeting the next day [as we had a super early flight and had to check our own luggage]. We spent some time at the pool, as well as did some of the activities on ship, bought some last minute gift and just generally dreaded having to come home. We all did the usual that night, dinner, the show and hanging out at a bar.

 

Sunday went well. Ft.Lauderdale has the most efficient security that I’ve been through since 9/11. We had no troubles whatsoever with customs or with the flight. We got into NYC around 3pm, where even though it was 60 something degrees outside I was freezing. Apparently, without noticing I had gotten used to the 80-90degree weather.

 

All in the entire trip was great. Very relaxing, and we all did some really neat things while at our ports of call.

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Great review!

Thanks for sharing... and happy birthday!

Catrin

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I also enjoyed your review. What time did you get to the port? We did the Tulum tour about 12 years ago and our tour guide was named Antonio. I loved that tour. Thanks for taking the time to post the review. Also, did you always do dinner in the dining room or did you eat do the buffet? We leave in two days. I'm so juiced.:)

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Thanks for writing your review and sharing your experience with us. We sailed the same ship and same itinerary back in April and loved it as well. Happy belated!

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I also enjoyed your review. What time did you get to the port? We did the Tulum tour about 12 years ago and our tour guide was named Antonio. I loved that tour. Thanks for taking the time to post the review. Also, did you always do dinner in the dining room or did you eat do the buffet? We leave in two days. I'm so juiced.:)

 

We had dinner in the dining room each night. Since there were so many of us, we all did different excursions. It was a way for us all to see one another at least once that day.

We would eat at the buffet for lunch most of the days, or breakfast.

We were in Cozumel by the time I woke up, though we weren't scheduled to get there till 7am.

 

Thanks for the birthday wishes! :)

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