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0pelletier0

Surprise cruise! B2B Victory and Glory review Feb 2-15/15

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Hey all,

 

I have been lurking around for about a year now but haven't posted much... recently got back from a B2B (or side to side as some picky people might wanna call it haha:rolleyes:) Before I get started, I shall warn you - this is going to be a looooong review. I'll try and post a bit every day but be patient :) all this 'having a job and going to work' stuff sucks!!

 

Anyway, a little background about this trip. I am 24 and my boyfriend is 25. This trip marked cruise number 3 and 4 for me. It was my boyfriends first cruise, or rather first major trip. Every other cruise I've taken, he's had to work and I went with my parents. We have a 3 year old son who stayed home with my parents this time (he already has 2 cruises under his belt with number 3 & 4 coming up in 2016). This was my second time on the Victory, first time on the Glory. We live in snowy northern Ontario (Canada) so this trip was a nice escape from the -31 temperatures.

 

This whole vacation was a Christmas present for my boyfriend. I booked waaaay back in March some time and kept it all a secret until Christmas morning. Here i had to wait 322 days and he only had to wait 38! No fair!

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Can't wait to read your review! I"m in southwestern ontario and I totally get the weather...we're having probably the same as you...february was brutal with 20 out of 28 days with cold advisories.....my cruise is in 2 weeks and can't wait....so, tie me over with yours! What itinerary's did you do?

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Can't wait to read your review! I"m in southwestern ontario and I totally get the weather...we're having probably the same as you...february was brutal with 20 out of 28 days with cold advisories.....my cruise is in 2 weeks and can't wait....so, tie me over with yours! What itinerary's did you do?

 

Victory: 5 day bahamas: freeport, little stirrup cay (though we didnt make it there - more on that later) and nassau

 

Glory: 7 day eastern: half moon cay, grand turk, san juan, and st thomas

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So I guess I may as well start with the whole surprise process, as a few people were wondering how I ended up surprising him. I posted on the Carnival forum for some ideas and the suggestions I got were AWESOME! I ended up using my own idea though...

As the cruise costed enough already, he didn't really get much for Christmas other than a few stocking stuffers and a few small gifts from our son. I didn't want him to have nothing under the tree to open, so I made the whole thing into a game. I wrapped 24 clues in individual presents under the tree so that he had 24 gifts to open Christmas morning.

 

It all started off with a note inside his stocking...

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Each clue led him to a location where he found a puzzle piece. He had to find all 24 puzzle pieces and put the puzzle together which gave him the location of his final item - a DVD I made which would tell him about the cruise! I won't share all the clues on here as there is a lot but here's a couple of them!

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Once he solved all the clues, and put the puzzle together (i don't have a picture of the puzzle) but it was a 24 piece kids puzzle that I painted white, and wrote in permanent marker on it telling him where to find his last and final clue.

 

The puzzle told him to look under the corner of our mattress of our bed. When he did, he found a DVD. Here's the link to the video on youtube for anyone thats interested in watching. (**please don't judge my plane/ship drawings; im not an artist). The song in the background is one of "our" songs that we has quite a significant meaning to us as a couple.

 

Edited by 0pelletier0

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What a sweet and creative way to reveal your boyfriend's Christmas gift! I have given my boyfriend cruises as gifts for Christmas and birthdays through the years, and your well-planned and well-executed surprise puts everything I have ever done to shame. Looking forward to the rest of your review.

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Thanks for all the nice comments already to everyone that has posted so far.

 

Day before we left:

Finished getting all packed, and went around my house and took pictures of my four babies I would be leaving behind at home... my son, cat, dog, and my horse. I kept their pictures on my phone throughout the whole trip and looked at them CONSTANTLY.

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Keeta

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Arlo

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Jace

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Astro

 

Day 1:

We left our cold (-44 C/-47 F with the windchill to be exact) weather behind at 6:30 am. Getting up at 5 to head to the airport wasn't fun! But hey, the excitement soon fixed that. What better time for the first picture of the trip while we wait to board the plane? 5am selfie!!

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Edited by 0pelletier0

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Day 1 (con't):

 

We finally got called for our boarding time - this trip was about to begin!!

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Goodbye and good riddens snow!

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Wellllll... not quite yet. We flew into Toronto before flying to Miami. Toronto had about the same weather as us, so we weren't escaping that quite yet. At least we didn't have to go outside! We had a 2 hour layover at the Toronto airport. We got brunch and waited it out for our flight to Miami...

 

Finally around 10 we boarded our flight and were officially not going to see the cold for another two weeks. During our flight, I started getting super excited. Nick has never seen the ocean or been anywhere hot. I was more excited for him than he even was himself. During our flight, we flew over the Atlantic and it was Nick's first glimpse of the ocean which he thought was pretty cool.

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ALMOST THERE!

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Edited by 0pelletier0

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Day 1 (con't):

 

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We finally landed at MIA and had to find a shuttle to our hotel (we flew in the day before our cruise). This I think was the most trouble we had over the entire cruise - nobody could tell us where the shuttle would pick us up! We had to call three times and she finally figured out where we were and sent a shuttle. Unfortunately, the shuttles only run every half hour. We got there for the 3:00 shuttle, but because of all the confusion and calling back and forth, we missed it and had to wait around for the 3:30 shuttle.

 

We finally managed to figure it out and grab the shuttle to our hotel. We stayed at the Red Roof Inn Plus Miami Airport. We stayed there last year as well before our cruise. It is nothing special, but it had a free shuttle to/from the airport and the cruise port, as well as continental breakfast (which wasn't much of a breakfast.... oh well :rolleyes:) I also got the hotel for next to nothing due to a discount so I took it. Didn't take any pictures of the hotel. We did a bit of shopping at a mall called Westland Mall - I wanted some beach clothes and new bathing suits which are hard to come by at home in winter...

After shopping we had supper at Chili's because it was attached to the mall so we wouldn't have to get another cab... plus they were showing the Superbowl and Nick wanted to watch it. Was a very rowdy crowd and I got more of a kick watching all the fans (especially at the end) than I even did the game!

After supper, we headed back to the hotel and went to bed to get up in the morning for CRUISE NUMBER 1!!!!

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Day 2: Victory Embarkation Day!

 

We woke up bright and early with no patience and couldn't wait to get to the port. The hotel had a shuttle going to the port at 11:40 so we hopped on, and away we went. But not before taking one last pre-cruise selfie!

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As we pulled up at the cruise port and got the first glimpse of the ships, I watched Nick's jaw drop. We had looked at pictures together on the internet but I think the size of the ship still shocked him.

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We had FTTF so boarding was quick and easy. We dropped our bags at the porters, and went in the terminal. Within about 15 minutes we had our S&S cards and our picture taken (which was the 1 photo of the trip we bought)

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Before we knew it, we were walking through the tunnel onto the ship. I made Nick stop and wait for me to run ahead so I could catch a picture of his very first step on a ship.

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We carried on two cases of pop (we bought a bottle of vodka delivered to the room, and brought 7 up and "water-flavourers" (Mios) to make our own drinks in the room. So we decided it was best to go straight up to our room and drop the pop off - after all, that is half the fun of FTTF isn't it?!

My apologies ahead of time; I didn't take many pictures of the interior of the Victory because I have been on her before.

 

We stayed in balcony room 7358 which was on port side of the ship. Of course, both ports we ended up docking in, we docked on the starboard side. Go figure:rolleyes: Our room was nice, the only thing I would say that could've been better is if we had a fridge in the room. But I knew when we booked that the Victory didn't have room fridges. Our room steward was Muhammad and he was AMAZING. He was on the ball and was so sneaky. Sometimes we didn't even know how or when he got our room clean.

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Our Day 1 FunTimes was waiting for us, as was our first towel animal.

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We went out onto the balcony, took a few pictures, and decided what our plan of action would be.

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We went to the muster drill, which was the quickest muster drill I have ever been to. Once that was over, we roamed up on Lido for a bit then went up to deck 10 to watch sailaway. Carnival Ecstasy was docked behind us, then left before us.

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Around 4:45 they came and loosened the mooring lines - it was finally our turn! It was pretty cold and way too windy to stay up on the top decks, so we wandered back to our cabin to watch as Miami slowly passed by...

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The pilot boat finally left us which meant we were on our way to paradise!! We went to dinner in the MDR (picture to come later) and it was delicious! (I'm sorry, not much food porn in this review either). We splurged and ordered the steakhouse steak and lobster for $20 a person. It was okay, not the best I've had, but still better than anything that I have to cook and do dishes for!

 

After dinner we went to the Game Show Mania show. Now I have to say, we had the BEST CD and assistants on this cruise. They were all SO personable and absolutely hilarious. Our CD was Marcello and if you ever get a chance to cruise with him, I highly recommend it. Every single show or event we went to, was fantastic, and the people running it just made it even better. I did manage to get a few pics of the Caribbean Lounge (auditorium).

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Oops forgot to add the picture of the sunset on our first night! This was taken sometime after we embarked, before dinner...

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After the show, we went up to Lido to see what was going on with the deck party.... We didn't participate, we just watched from deck 10. We thought we would participate in a lot of the events like this, but we ended up doing our own thing for a lot of the cruise. Not sure what happened with the quality of these photos....

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After watching for a bit, we finally decided to turn into bed to get ready for a day in Freeport bright and early!! The ship was a bit rough that night, and it rocked me off to sleep just PERFECTLY...

 

Speaking of sleep, that's what I should be doing right now... Will be back tomorrow to post more. Stay tuned for Freeport!

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Great start to your review! You sound like me taking pics of your furry babies before leaving. I have a dog, 5 cats and 6 horses. Leaving them behind is hard!

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Such a GREAT start to your review:D:D

What a sweet thing to do for him.

You guys make such a CUTE couple!!!!

Cannot wait to read more.:D

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Nice review so far. Looking forward to the rest of it.

 

A bit of an off topic question.:) How much was the taxi from Red Roof Inn to Westland Mall?

 

Thanks

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Nice review so far. Looking forward to the rest of it.

 

 

 

A bit of an off topic question.:) How much was the taxi from Red Roof Inn to Westland Mall?

 

 

 

Thanks

 

 

$18 on the way there, $22 on the way back.

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*Subscribed*

Great start, and creative Christmas scavenger. Being a Mom myself, I have pictures of my son on my phone which helps, but the alone time that is needed is very important. Can't wait to read the rest to see how the whole cruise was, and what your BF thought of the cruise.

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