May 2015 - Carnival Victory to Caribbean - Western
This was my 1st cruise; I met a friend from another state in Miami and we headed out on the cruise together. The boarding was not very good, so I was getting nervous about being onboard for 5 days. Our hotel shuttle dropped us off at the port at about 11:30; our bags were immediately taken to be brought onboard, and we headed in to get our room keys very quickly. That's when we hit a snag. The line was already long, but we understood and waited patiently. The bad part was after getting the key we had to wait another 1 1/2 hours to board the ship; by then there were about 1,000 people also trying to board at the same time. At our first port of call (Ocho Rios, Jamaica) it was again a cluster as everyone tried to exit at the same time. We scheduled an excursion which was ziplining and climbing Dunn River Falls and that was a great day! The ziplining was so much fun but exhausting with all the climbing down to the next station and it also took most of the day. We only had 1 hour at the Falls so had to rush through it. I didn't enjoy that but I think it was because I was so tired from the ziplining--everyone else had a great time. On the next day we docked at George Town, Grand Cayman, and the departure was perfect! No long lines and it went very quickly. My excursion that day included riding a jet ski out the Stingray City but the winds were too strong and they had to cancel. We still had a great time wandering through the shops and then went back to the ship at our leisure--this was my favorite day. As far as the ship, the crew was beyond amazing; we never encountered a single abrupt or unhelpful employee. Loved our porter, Arip, he even tried to show us how to make some of the towel animals they leave in your room each night. Food was plentiful, shows were fun and very entertaining, the dining room staff danced each night which was so much fun. Overall it was a great trip but the boarding process really needs to be improved. Guests should be able to board as soon as they get their keys so there isn't such a delay and complete hassle like we experienced.