After four wonderful days at Universal Studios Orlando, my husband and I set off on a 3 day family cruise to the Bahamas. We boarded the Carnival Victory ship at the Miami cruise port. It was my first time on a cruise ship since 2004, and my husbands very first cruise. We weren’t really sure what to expect. It was a learning experience full of a lot of fun, and a few mishaps along the way.
Boarding the Ship
The boarding process was really simple. First you check in your bags outside, and then you wait in line to board the ship. You go through a line where your ID, passport, and carry-on bags are checked. Next you go through another line to receive your cruise ship card and have a picture taken for identification. You’ll get all your room information, and then you are free to board the ship! Before boarding the ship, you have the opportunity to get your first of many professional cruise ship photos.
The first thing we did was go to the Lido deck for the lunch they were offering before the ship took off. The Lido deck contained multiple pools/hot tubs, and the casual eating area. After eating and a little exploring, we were off to our rooms.
Our cruise was coordinated by a travel agent. There were nine of us total, and he made the process so much easier. He found a deal for us to stay in “Skyview cabins”, and to have our rooms close together. The Skyview cabin was offered to us as a very exclusive deal. With this room we were able to pay the interior room price, but to also have a small window and a more spacious room. We would have the same view as the captain of the ship, and our rooms would be close to a secluded deck. Another great thing about the rooms was that they were on the higher decks, starting at deck 7 which was where we were.
I thought the deal seemed too good to be true, but we all really liked our rooms! Its hard to find information about the Skyview cabin. They are also called obstructed view rooms or 4J rooms. We were at the very front of the ship and a few decks below the captains navigation room. The deck right outside of our room was very private, and we were always the only ones on it. We had amazing views of the arrival to our destination. I was worried that being at the front of the ship would lead to sea sickness, but none of us had any issues with our location.
My husband and I didn’t purchase a Wifi plan, and we ended up regretting it. With nine people in our group, it was extremely difficult for us to find each other at times. Our rooms were next to each other so we planned times to meet up, but two people from our group had a room in a different part of the ship. This led to a few miscommunications, and losing each other quite a few times.
I did like that there were phones in each room, and accessible phones around the ship. If the person you were trying to reach was in their room, it was easy to get in touch with them.
If you don’t have a cruise phone plan, and maybe even if you do, make sure to turn off roaming. This can lead to extra phone charges while your phone is searching for a signal.
The casual dining area was on the Lido deck. The pros of the lido deck were the laid back atmosphere and proximity to all the events at the main pool. There was a pizza line, buffet, and dessert bar. You could go through the lines as many times as you wanted, and eat as much as you wanted!
We had a reserved table in one of the dining rooms. The Dining rooms provided a three course meal restaurant experience. You could chose the dining time of 6pm(early) or 8pm(late) If there was only one thing I could change about my trip, I would’ve gone to the dining room for every single breakfast and dinner. The meals in the dining room were absolutely amazing. The service was wonderful, and we had the same friendly waiter every day.
Pools and Hot tubs
There were a few pools, hot tubs, and a waterslide on the Lido deck. The pools were often full of kids and a few adults supervising. There was a lot of splashing going on. The one time I tried to get into one of those pools, a kid jumped in and landed on my shoulder. It was an absolute nightmare, but luckily there was an adults only area called Serenity.
Serenity featured a bar and two large hot tubs. There was a beautiful overlook into the ocean. Unfortunately my beautiful view was obstructed by a girl twerking, while her friend recorded it on her phone. A consequence of the social media age we live in, I guess. There was also a strange piece of fruit floating around in the water, which I feared was something far worse at first. The water was lukewarm.
Needless to say my pool experience was absolutely terrible, but also hilarious.
The comedy shows on the cruise ship were so much fun. We literally went to a show every single night. They had family friendly comedy shows, but we preferred the less censored ones. One of the comedians we really enjoyed was Percy Crews II, and he was the reason why we kept going to the shows.
The Karaoke nights were pretty fun to watch, and always packed. You could tell the people performing were having the time of their lives. There was also a club area which I didn’t go to, but I heard it was pretty fun.
We all enjoyed the casino, but I didn’t win anything on the slots. I played carefully and only lost $5. My grandpa loves playing blackjack, so that was one of the highlights of his trip. Over all we spent a lot of time hanging out in the casino. There was a sports lounge connected to the casino, which I personally thought was awesome. There were a few big college basketball and NBA games going on.
I think we all had the best experience at the Love and Marriage game show(18+). My grandparents who had been married for 50yrs won the show. It was hilarious, and by the end of the show everyone was chanting my grandpas name. After the show people were coming up to meet my grandpa and shake his hand, and it was like he was a mini celebrity. It was too funny, and I know it made him feel good.
I definitely recommend that all cruise goers research their destination(s) and the excursions available. The time spent at the destination goes by fast, and you don’t want to miss out. Know whether you want a relaxing or adventure filled experience, and plan accordingly. I’ll tell you all about my time in the Bahamas in a separate post!
My cruise experience was one that I will never forget. I had such a great time with my family and the memories that I have are priceless. This definitely won’t be my last Carnival cruise experience!