Monday, September 10, 2007

Carnival Victory 5 Day Canadian Review

We are officially back from our 5 day Eastern Canadian cruise on the Carnival Victory. In all the vacation was 8 full days with bookend weekends spent in New York City, but that will have to be another post (or three).

We arrived at the pier on Monday Sept. 3rd by taxi at around 11:30 AM. We were on the ship in less than an hour. The Carnival Victory is 7 years old, and well maintained. Many passengers had a little trouble navigating the ship because of the Atlantic dinning room which is mid ship on both decks 3 and 4 but by the end of the cruise, most people had no trouble finding their way around. Our cabin was a deck 7 (Empress) far aft Balcony. With the size of the ship and the cooperation of the sea, it was the smoothest it could have been. This cruise seemed to have an older crowed than we are used to seeing. I asked if it was normal, and more than one crew member stated that it was not the norm. It may have something to do with the first week of September being when school starts many places. There were a few small to medium sized groups on board, but even with the private parties, it did not have any effect on the larger venues.

The first sea day was very pleasant. Weather was perfect for the location. Even the crew commented on how wonderful the weather was. While still a little on the cool side for people from Phoenix AZ, the pools were getting their fair share of use. This was also formal night. I would have to say that most all in our dining room (Pacific 5:45) were dressed appropriately for the evening, and many (us included) were dressed down shortly after. We went to the show to see Vroom and sat 5 rows back from the stage. I remember this because row 6 was reserved all week because a Carnival executive and couple dozen members of their entourage were on board but we never found out exactly who was on board. It did not have any effect on the cruise itself other than the row being unused most of the week.

St. Johns N.B. was the first port of call. Beautiful city. We did the city highlights and beer tasting tour. Our tour guide Richard gave us more facts about the city that I could digest, and that was all before the beer. Many of the stops along the tour gave us a chance to see some of the highlights that other tours did (such as seeing the reversing falls). Beer tasting took place at O'Leary's tavern at the end of the tour. The bar was a short walk from the ship. I am not a beer fan, but thought the beer was some of the better I have tasted. Highly recommend the tour to anyone (not kid friendly with beer tasting at the end). Sea food fans will find ample opportunity to try out the local flavors as well. Again, the weather was on our side with clear sky's all day but we did need our light jackets when walking around especially early in the morning.

On day 4 we hit Halifax, another city rife with history. We went on the Whale watching tour. The tour was a little disappointing, but no fault of the tour guides who again pointed out historical significant sites and information. The whales were jut not cooperating, and only one was seen on this 2 hour tour. Afterwords, they stooped back at the pier near the ship to let those who wanted off there to debark before taking the rest of us deeper downtown (about another mile). We went to a local pub, visited the casino, and tried a few local snacks while walking back to the ship. The walk back to the ship was awesome as we were able to walk along the water the entire way. Keeping with the theme of the week, it was clear sky's but a little on the cool side (again remember this is a Phoenix AZ perspective).

Day 5, the last full day, it seemed warmer than it had been while in port. While the ship was sailing full, or at least close to full, we never had a problem finding a seat or navigating through any areas while at sea. The Carnival Legends show was having a problem filling some of the spots, so on this day they moved karaoke from the Adriatic Lounge to near the casino, which seemed to help them get the traffic needed. We love to watch the karaoke (which has always been packed on past cruises every night) but on most nights there were less than 20 people, with only 2 or 3 actually taking part.

Saturday we disembarked. Carnival has a new system which seemed to work well, but like any system, when you have 2000+ people you will have hiccups. We did self debark, which was done by deck. From the time our deck was called until we were off the ship and waiting for a taxi was not 20 minutes.

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