28 February 2010

Carnival Victory 2004

FOUND IT!!!  My notes on the Carnival Victory....created while on the voyage from Miami to St Maartin in 2004

12Dec 2004

My first glimpse of the ship was from the windows of a Greyhound bus....you know it was just a wonderful looking ship.  You could see the fluke sticking out from the top and it makes you all happy inside.  This ship was going to be fabulous.  It was to be our first balcony cabin....at a price of $2,252.80 for all 4 of us (Grandma, Grandpa, John and me).  Airfare came at a whopping $193 pp from Memphis to Ft Lauderdale.

The Victory is a Triumph class ship....893 feet long and holds 2700 passengers.  She is the perfect size.  Our cabin was perfect as well.  We had of course the standard 4 beds (2 upper and 2 lower  berths), the balcony featured 2 chairs a table and plenty of space to move around.  The door slams every time it closes...BAM!!

This deck was WONDERFUL...a first for me...it featured a tiered look almost like stadium seating.  And the focal point of course is the Carnival water slide.  It is the biggest slide that we have had on a Carnival ship.  It stands at 214 feet long and called the King of the Sea.

There were mosaics throughout the ship...and in walking around I discovered they were made in Italy.  There are crafted in a way that I could only dream of doing.  There was one giant (and I mean giant) mosaic that depicted the Victory ship.  WOW is the only word to describe it.  I think I took about 5 pictures of it the first day that we were onboard.  I even had my photo made next to it.  There were so many mosaics....even the elevators featured them.  The atrium is the most beautiful that I have ever seen too...It is tiffany glass style and just glistens in the lights...it is indeed a marvel.

As soon as the ship left the port and got to a nice cruising speed, I just HAD to go back to the room, lean over the balcony and snap some photos.  I have always wanted to do this.  WE were so close to the water line that I could feel the spray on my face and I could smell the water.  However, this is not always a pleasant odor...so I shall be more careful.  There are tons of dead fish floating around. YUCK!!!

It did not take long to get to San Juan...John and I watched from the balcony...we could see the battlements of El Morro from our cabin.  Now that I enjoyed.  There is a storm brewing which is NOT going to be fun.  I need to call the kids, it is all ready almost dark and this is just going to make it worse.  It looks as though it is a HUGE storm.  Well, we shall soon see, we will be docked within an hour or so.

When we finally got to the terminal there was a RCI ship next to us.  This was the first time that I had seen a RCI ship and my ship was larger than it...ha ha.  This RCI ship was leaving the terminal and heading to the Southern Caribbean...part of me wishes that I could get on that ship. 

I am telling you I knew this storm was going to be bad.  As soon as we got off the ship it began to pour and was so black outside.  But I have to call the kids.  Henry and Ina opted not to get off the ship.  I went...I wanted to call and see Old San Juan again.  We saw tons of lightning strikes and we got soaked.  Hey we could see our balcony from the phone booth :)

This was the first time that I had been to San Juan in the evening.  They were decorated for Christmas and I remember the decorations from last time only I did not see them lit up last time.  The large flowers in the park are awesome, but my favorite is the nativity scene made out of rope lights.  There is also the palm tree made out of rope lights, I wish I could take it home. :(

We departed at midnight...there were parties going on all over and San Chrisobel was all lit up and looking beautiful.  When we wake up tomorrow we will be in St Thomas. :)

The 2 ships in port here were the Westerdam (we almost took this ship on this voyage) and the Century (we were on her last October).  This is my favorite port in the Caribbean!  Charlotte Amalie is so lovely the way it sits back in the cove.  We arrived at 8 am and going to depart at 6 pm.  We are going to go to St John.  We have not done that before.  It should be great, but first we do a little shopping.  The giant Longerberger basket still stands in the Havensight shopping district.  Last time we were here there was some hurricane damage, but all looks fine now.   Henry and Ina plan on going into Charlotte Amalie but our tour leaves at 12:15 guess we will catch up later.

Here I sit on Trunk Bay.  We took a ferry over here and saw Michael Jordan's house, Madonna's house, and Alan Alda's home all of  which were  HUGE!  John is doing some snorkeling right now, and I am working on some sketches.  The whole island is a national park thanks to Lawrence Rockefeller, and because of this it is against the law to remove any objects (even a shell) from the park.  Did you know that there is NO running water here? Rain is collected in cisterns and made into drinking water.  The students in middle and high school take a ferry to St Thomas every day to go to school. 

We passed a giant termite nest on the way to this beach, you could hear the buzz of the termites...GROSS

When we were on the ferry we passed the point where the Atlantic and the Caribbean meet.  It was very neat. 

St Maartin:
First trip...we were told it would be very easy to get to the beach on your own so we gave it a whirl.  When we got off the ship..there were lots of signs to different destinations.  We chose the Orient Beach one.  Henry and Ina could not decide where to go and were going to go with us, but at last minute they headed to town.  Jerry was our guide and took us up the winding streets of St Maartin.  We passed Marigot and entered the french side of the island and there was our beach.  As soon as we got off the ship it began to rain.  We have been plagued with rain this trip.  We found a shelter and I found a palm tree and took a frond off of it.  The ocean was a green with streaks of blue.  The waves were mild and folks were everywhere.  There was a sign on the private side of the beach that said "clothing optional".   Thank goodness most folks kept their clothes on.  Actually I only saw 3 folks that did not.  One guy in the ocean, one guy on a chair and one guy....I call him "ugly naked guy"  that paraded up and down the beach all day.  He was about 80 (no lie) and wore nothing but a bucket hat.  I guess that we were lucky that there were not more because this beach was full, but I was grateful that the times that it rained that none of the naked people tried to get into my shelter.  I am telling you, it rained on and off most of the day. :(

When we got back to Phillipsburg, I headed to do some shopping....shopping here is the best that I have ever seen.  I thought Charlotte Amalie was good....nope I was wrong.  This was the last land we were to see until we hit Miami beach in 2 days.  This is the part I hate.

On the ship:
I now had 2 days left to inspect the ship.  I found a bar that featured Czar Nicholas II and Alexandria in a giant mural.  It was the Caspian Wine and Spirit Bar.  It was always empty and a great place to draw or write.

My favorite hang out was the piano sing along bar.  I could have gone here every night just to hear this guy sing.  His name was Kevin and he was from Texas.  There was standing room only every night.  The women were CRAZY for him...because he was funny, talented, and very entertaining.  The women had a contest, "who could stuff the most dollars in his tip jar".  He loved this game too I am sure. 

We found a hot tub that children could NOT get into YES!!! Those kids kept diving in the ones on deck...so we hopped up to the spa and found a hot one there.  Hey, Grandma and Grandpa starting hanging out with us there too.  Grandma would not get in though.  She just sit there.

We took a galley tour and this was the worst that I had ever done.  The matre D' did not explain anything...he just walked us through and walked us out...took about 3 minutes. 

This is the last night of the cruise.  I am sitting on the balcony and everyone else is asleep.  I can see the lights of Miami up ahead and I am very sad that I shall be leaving this wonderful room soon. 

Here we are in Miami...I took one last walk out onto the balcony before we exited the room, and all I saw was the terminal....whoo hoo.  This was the last chance to get Ina out onto the balcony...can you believe that we have been here a week and she has not been out ONCE?  We are upstairs for one last omelet.  How many have I had this week?  5-6?  probably.  We are on ship transfers so I bet we will be one of the last because they take you by flights and our flight is a long time away (tomorrow). 

We spent $432 on board...what did I buy?  $98 in shore excursions....internet cafe stuff...transfers....and tips seems to be the most that I spent on stuff.  Pretty good, I would say.

We checked into our hotel and walked over to Bennigan's to eat a little lunch.  Our room was nasty...NASTY.....NNNNNNNNNAAAAAAAASSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTYYYYYYYYY!  There were little bugs everywhere.  I did NOT want to stay here!  John knew this and took me for a walk.  We walked around Miami found an office depot, a chicken joint, a dog track (the one that was featured in the opening credits of Miami Vice), an abandoned flight school (Baker), an airport, and a bill board for a tournament on 4 Jan 2005 for the FedEx Orange Bowl. 

It was a wonderful cruise.

Copied from my 2004 notebook on 26 Feb 2010