by Whitney Carter
May 8, 2005
Me, my husband and our 2 year old, Cameron, arrived to the ports around 11:30 a.m. on May 8th for a 7 day Western Carribean cruise on the Victory. When we arrived by taxi which by the way was $21 plus a tip from the aiport to the ports, we were approached by men to take our luggage to put on the ship for a fee (we tipped $1 per suitcase). Also I had read somewhere on this website that it was only $11 for a cab from Miami airport to the ports which was only maybe a 10-15 minute ride. Someone needs to update that information. We then entered what is called the terminal building where we set up our sail and sign account and began embarkation.
We then proceeded up some stairs where we stood in line to receive our cabin keys. The line was at a stand still so I took our 2 year old to change his diaper in the bathrooms there and left my husband in charge of our sons Nemo backpack that had all of his favorite toys in it. My husband had another bag as well as the video camera. We went to the restroom while my husband stood in line. He had the bags on the ground and when the line started to move he left behind the Nemo backpack. Well, someone stole it and never turned it in. This is how our vacation started! Who would steel a kid's backpack with toys?? We ran around frantically looking for it but had no luck.
We then were moved like heards of cattle towards the ship. Once we boarded they pushed us to the liddo deck for lunch because our rooms were not ready. We ate and then went to our cabin to find our luggage was not there yet and this was around 3:00 pm. Our luggage ended up not arriving until 6:00ish and my son's suitcase came even later. Thank goodness I had his diapers and an extra outfit with me in my carry on bag. We had a balcony room which I would recommend to anyone to get. I couldn't imagined a room with no windows or balcony. We walked around the ship and explored. We ate dinner that night and then crashed, sleeping like babies.
The next day we were at sea and my son survived the night without his toys. We took him to the little baby pool that is kind of hidden but he enjoyed it. We then checked out camp carnival which is just a room with toys and the girls do art projects with the kids and they have cartoon time as well. For the older kids they do scavenger hunts and so on. Our son went to camp carnival a few hours each day. He wasn't bagging to go in there like some parents say their kids do. The sitters were very nice though. While he was in there my husband and I went up to the main deck, liddo deck, to hang out by the pool. We had no problem getting chairs like previous reviews stated. There was a good band that would play by the pool. You never had a problem with getting drinks. Guys were always bugging us and asking us if we needed anything. Almost to the point that it was annoying.
The food was average and the entertainment was bad accept fot the magic show. Of course kareoke is always funny. The Piano bar is alot of fun and would recommend for age groups of 25-45.
We went to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios. We only did one excursion and that was Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios. The prices for excursions were ridiculous. For the Dunn's Falls and beach excusion cost my husband and I $126 total and that was one of the cheaper ones. Cameron was free but he couldn't climb the falls. My husband did and Cameron and I did the dry walk which by the way was very steep and hot and not for children.
All and all we had a good time and would have had more fun with friends and family with us. My son broke out in a horrible rash and itched liked crazy. I burned with 45 SPF on. I felt the Victory was a nice ship even though it was an older fleet.
Our final settlement bill was $665 which we expected. You can check your account through out the cruise on your TV. We did have one problem with our cabin bathroom. There is a drain in the shower stall and then a drain on the floor next to the toilet. That drain would over flow with water while taking a shower and a horrible smell would come out. We reported it and it never was fixed like it should have been. Our steward, Peir did put some sort of powder in the drain and it helped some but wasn't done until 2 days before the cruise was over. Peir did keep our room clean and had cute animal towels on our bed each night.
Our wait staff, Anna and Rosul, were great in the Pacific dining room. I would recommend eating there vs. the buffets. Expect to gain around 7 lbs with all of the food and drinks and ice cream available. Have a great trip and feel free to email me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.