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jpm1973

Our Victory Vacation to the Western Caribbean Jan. 15-19, 2015

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Hi all and thanks for stopping by to read my review of our Western Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Victory Jan. 15 – 19. I’m Scott and am relatively new to cruising, this being my third cruise ever. I was last on the Carnival Glory in November/December with my mom. Feel free to check out my review of that cruise.

 

I’m 41, work as a nurse, and live in New York though I'm originally from Chicago. Joining me on this cruise is my partner, Will; this was his second cruise ever having lost his cruising virginity with me in June 2014 on the Carnival Ecstasy.

 

First a little background on our cruising history. We both were reluctant first-time cruisers last June, considering we both have issues with motion sickness and we weren’t sure how well we’d enjoy life on board a ship. In January last year, Will discovered that his all-time favorite performer (Olivia Newton-John) would be part of the Carnival Live series of concerts so we decided that would be a good time to give cruising a try – especially since it was only a three-day cruise.

 

Fast-forward to June and we had a great time; no issues with motion sickness at all and we found we really enjoyed all the ship had to offer and exploring our one port stop in Nassau. We decided to give cruising another go and last August we booked this cruise; one day longer and visiting two new ports for us.

 

In the meantime, I found a great deal for the weeklong Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Glory leaving after Thanksgiving and wound up on that cruise with my mom. Quite a leap from three to seven days but I still enjoyed it despite the waters being not quite as smooth as our first cruise. When I reported back to Will about the rocky sea days, he was nervous about how he would fare on our upcoming trip. But much like turbulence on an airplane there’s not much we can do about it, so we hoped for the best and were sure to pack motion sickness meds just in case.

 

Flying into or out of New York in January is always a crap shoot with the weather, so to be safe we planned to fly out the night before and stay overnight in Miami. Luckily the weather was clear on Wednesday and we had absolutely no issues at all. We booked a room at the Comfort Suites near the Miami airport, mostly because it looked nice and offered a free shuttle to the port. We had a short wait for the shuttle from the airport and check in was a breeze. Our room was fine – pretty standard hotel room though a bit larger with a nice sitting area away from the bed. We arrived close to 11 p.m. so we weren’t interested in doing much other than settling in and getting some sleep.

 

The next morning we were up by 8 a.m. and headed downstairs to partake in the free breakfast offered. Lots of good stuff here: cereals, eggs, sausage, make-your-own-waffles, bagels, yogurt, etc. - definitely something for every morning appetite. After breakfast we took a quick walk outside and then headed back to our room to shower and get ready to go. We were back in the lobby by 10:30 and the shuttle arrived right around 10:45. Here we are waiting for the shuttle in the hotel lobby:

 

 

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The driver loaded the luggage and by 11 a.m. we were on our way to the port. There was absolutely no traffic and we made it in about 15 minutes. Our first glimpse of the Victory:

 

 

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We planned on carrying on our bags so we skipped the porters and went right in to get through security and check in. Since we were booked in an ocean suite we were able to use the priority check-in area. There was no wait for security or check in so we had our pictures taken and Sail and Sign cards in hand in less than 10 minutes.

 

 

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The VIP lounge was already pretty full but we were able to find a couple seats to wait for boarding. Not 15 minutes later they were already calling for us to board and we were on our way upstairs. Somehow there was no photographer waiting to take our boarding shot (not terribly sad about this) and we were on the ship by 11:45 a.m. Some views of the colorful lobby:

 



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Not wanting to lug our bags around with us, we took a walk up to Empress Deck 7 to see if we could leave our bags in our room even if it wasn’t completely ready. The door was open and we popped in; while inside a steward came around and said that our cabin wasn’t quite ready. We asked about leaving our bags and she said no problem, so we dropped them in the closet and then headed upstairs wander around and get some lunch from the Lido buffet.

 

When it comes to food, Will likes to say he has the tastes of a child: chicken fingers and fries all the way for him. Having enjoyed the chicken strips on our last cruise he was looking forward to more this time. So we stopped by the grill and he got his chicken strips and fries; I opted for a cheeseburger. We found a table at the very back near the Sirens pool and enjoyed our lunch and people watched for a bit. A few shots around the outside decks:

 



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Anxious to hear more about the Victory....we will sail on her, but not till Thanksgiving. It will be after her drydock and adding of 2.0.....

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It was close to 1 p.m. so we thought we’d venture down to see if our cabin was ready…and it was! We booked an ocean suite on this cruise as we really enjoyed the grand suite we had on the Ecstasy. My mom and I had a standard balcony room on the Glory, which was completely fine for me, but Will was afraid of feeling too claustrophobic in a smaller room so we stuck with the suite. We actually got a call a few days before we left to upgrade to a grand suite for $400 but we opted to stick with what we had and put that money to better use. Although the ocean suite on the Victory felt a bit smaller than our grand suite on the Ecstasy, it was perfectly fine for both of us; plenty of room to move around and lots of storage space.



 

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Some more pictures of our cabin:

 

 

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We unpacked a bit and settled into our cabin and then ventured back up to find a place to relax while waiting for the muster call. We opted to wait on Serenity in the comfy loungers and on the way I stopped at the bar for a margarita. Vacation has started!

 



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Great review we are looking at the 5 day during Thanksgiving. Hopefully 2.0 by then. Keep it coming!!

 

Sent from my PantechP9070 using Tapatalk 2

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Nice start to your review! Can't wait to read more about this! Thanks for writing it :D

 

PS- I am currently writing a review of the Glory, I was on the week before you were. I notice in your signature, it doesn't have "Grand Turk" listed as one of the ports. Did you guys skip it or something?

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Nice start to your review! Can't wait to read more about this! Thanks for writing it :D

 

PS- I am currently writing a review of the Glory, I was on the week before you were. I notice in your signature, it doesn't have "Grand Turk" listed as one of the ports. Did you guys skip it or something?

 

Thanks for reading! Hoping to get a bunch more posted today.

 

On that particular sailing of the Glory, Grand Turk was not part of the itinerary. Not sure why but it seems like sometimes they don't include that stop. We just had an extra sea day.

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We probably lounged up on the Serenity deck for about an hour and then they finally started calling for everyone to get to their muster stations around 3:15. View from the Serenity deck:

 

 

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We made our way to deck 4 and lined up with everyone else. On my last cruise in November this seemed to go quickly; this time it seemed to take forever. By the time everyone arrived and the announcements were made, we had probably been standing there at least 30 minutes. Toward the end a woman nearly fainted from the heat of it all and from being on her feet for so long I’m sure. Luckily she was OK and they were quick to get her out of line and to somewhere cooler.

 

Once that was all done we made our way back up to Lido to find we were already pulling away from the pier. Now vacation has really begun. Here are some pics from our sail away.

 

 

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Leaving Miami and the AIDAvita behind.

 

 

 

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Our escort.

 

 

 

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A few more sail away pics:

 

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The Crystal Serenity.

 

 

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Line dancing at the sail away party.

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Love the review, can't wait to see the rest. We're taking the same cruise next week. :o

 

 

Thanks for reading! You'll have a great time on this cruise.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Love your review, I can relate to you. My partner Jason eat like a kid too, I been trying for 11 years now to get him to eat somethings better, since we stared cruising he has ventured out and now is trying new things.

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Love your review, I can relate to you. My partner Jason eat like a kid too, I been trying for 11 years now to get him to eat somethings better, since we stared cruising he has ventured out and now is trying new things.

 

 

Will has definitely ventured out some too; he will eat sushi now (vegetable or cooked shrimp only, though) and will have fish that I cook at home. Any sort of red meat is still a big no though. He really enjoyed the meat storage area on the Behind the Fun tour lol

 

 

 

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We stayed up on Lido until we were out of the channel and then headed back to our cabin to relax a bit and get ready for dinner. They had originally called for rain in Miami on this day but we lucked out with some great weather and a pretty nice sunset as we were leaving the city behind. A few pics from our balcony:



 

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The pilot boat making a pickup...

 

 

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...and riding off into the sunset.

 

 

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Making use of the last bit of cell signal.

 

 

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See you in a few days, Miami!

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We had your time dining on this cruise, which had done on our Ecstasy cruise and enjoyed. We headed down to the Atlantic Dining Room on deck three around 6:30 and had no wait at all. I was excited to see gazpacho on the menu, as I really enjoyed this on our Ecstasy cruise and on the Glory cruise in November. I chose that as my starter and the tilapia for my main course. Will skipped a starter and chose the grilled chicken with a baked potato (you’ll see this choice come up again later on). Our food was good and the service was incredibly quick.

 

For dessert we were going to share two items so I chose the black forest gateau (which I later looked up to be a fancy French word for cake) and Will tried the orange cake, which was the healthy option for this night. I’m not sure why but I seem to always be underwhelmed by the desserts on cruises. Everything sounds so great and I expect to be amazed but these two were just meh. Of the two we both preferred the orange cake believe it or not, low sugar and all.

 

After dinner we took a walk around, checking out some more of the ship.

 

 

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I stopped at the Caspian wine bar for a martini and then we went to the casino for a bit. Will played his favorite slot and I alternated between watching him and watching the craps table. I wasn’t feeling much like playing anything this night but made up for it later.

 

 

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We decided we’d hit up the bingo in the Caribbean main lounge and then stick around after for the Welcome Aboard Show. When we arrived they were still doing something called Game Show Mania, which was more or less trivia with a game show-like set up for the three contestants to buzz in with their answers. It was fun to watch, though mildly appalling that none knew that “I Had the Time of My Life” was from Dirty Dancing. We did get to watch one slightly drunk woman from the audience attempt to recreate the lift in that final dance sequence from the movie with a member of the entertainment staff. He was laughing about it, but possibly crying inside.

 

 

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The Caribbean Main Lounge

 

 

 

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Waiting for bingo to start.

 

 

Bingo was a bust for us, but lucky for one woman who took home the $500 prize. The Welcome Aboard show was not what I was expecting, but fun to watch. The singers and dancers performed for a bit, and then Marcelo, the cruise director, pulled six people from the audience and interacted with them for a bit. That was it. For some reason I was expecting something more staged. The Victory does still have a live band accompanying the shows, however, which is a big difference from my other two cruises.

 

After the show we were pretty much wiped out, so we headed back to the cabin. We found this guy waiting for us:

 

 

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Next up … Key West.

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subscribing!

 

looking forward to the rest of your trip report!

 

I've just booked my 3rd cruise and reading trip reports while waiting my turn is the best way I can think of to pass the time!

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Leaving Wednesday for a cruise on Victory on Thursday. Looking to read what I can until then

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Heading out on the Victory in 26 days, can't wait! Thanks for the review - it's nice to see the ship before being on it and to hear about some things going on. Get the "lay of the land", so to speak.

 

Looking forward to hearing and seeing more!

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Day 2 - Key West

 

We were scheduled to arrive in Key West at 7:30 and by the time I woke up not long after that time we were already docked and people were starting to leave the ship. Our view when we got up:

 

 

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We hadn’t planned any excursions since we had such a short time in port and the weather wasn’t forecast to be overly warm. We had ordered room service for breakfast the night before and that arrived right on schedule. We took our time getting ready and headed out around 9:30.

 

 

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We decided to just take a leisurely stroll down Duval Street, check out some stores, and maybe head to the southernmost point to get an obligatory photo or two. There was a crazy line of people waiting to get their picture taken there, so instead of waiting we just got close enough and snapped a quick picture in between people in line.

 

 

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Walgreens is everywhere, even in historic theaters.

 

 

I found a couple stores selling some nice t-shirts with vintage airline ads on them, and being the airplane geek that I am I couldn’t pass them up. We also stopped for a bit at Durty Harry’s bar so I could get a Bloody Mary.

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After that we were both getting a bit hungry so we decided to head back to the ship and hopefully beat the crowds who would no doubt be lining up closer to our departure time. We stopped at the Lido buffet and grabbed lunch before heading back to our cabin to relax a bit and watch our sail away from Key West. Here are some more pictures as we got back to the ship.

 

 

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Edited by jpm1973

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