Sunday, April 3, 2016

Carnival's Alchemy Bar

One of the best things about traveling is having new experiences, but after 30 cruises (sometimes more than once on the same ship) it’s becoming harder to find new things to try. That’s why I was excited to discover before our Victory cruise that during dry dock last year, Carnival had added an Alchemy Bar. The Alchemy Bar is a specialty cocktail and martini bar with a vintage-pharmacy theme. Mixologists wear white pharmacy coats, and the drinks have names like “The Remedy”, “The Quick Fix” or “The Antioxidant”. Everything is handcrafted with fresh fruit, herbs and juices. You won’t find any mixes at the Alchemy Bar. (No beer either but you can always go to the sports bar for that.)

This was my first ship with an Alchemy Bar so my goal for the cruise was to order as many different drinks as possible. With only three days, there was no way I could try everything on the menu but between Ron and me, we managed to cover a pretty good portion of it. :-)  I like citrus so I really enjoyed the Antioxidant (grapefruit vodka, Aperol, tangerine, fresh lime juice and a dash of orange juice). But I was also surprised how much I liked the Cucumber Sunrise. It had vodka, watermelon nectar and just enough cucumber to add a little spice. It was really refreshing.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Carnival Victory Spring Break Cruise

Port Canaveral

Last weekend, Ron and I took a 3-day cruise on Carnival Victory. This was our second time on Victory, but since our last cruise in 2014 the ship had moved from Miami to Port Canaveral and had gotten a face lift during dry dock. I was looking forward to seeing what had been changed or added.

Since it was Spring Break season and Easter weekend, the traffic was heavy on the drive to Port Canaveral. I don’t remember ever seeing so many out-of-state cars! I started playing a game to see how many different state license plates I could spot - Kentucky, Georgia, Rhode Island, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey, Texas. North Dakota??? The lower gas prices must really be helping out our tourism.

Boarding had already started when we got to the port at 11:30 and we were on the ship by noon. First stop was the Lido deck for lunch. I remembered from last time that the lines at the Lido buffet on Victory were heinous. It was still early so we decided to take advantage of the relatively short lines and get our lunch from the Pizza Pirate and Chopsticks stations (pizza for Ron, Chinese for me). We ate at a table by the Sirens’ pool at the back of the ship where it was peaceful and quiet. Ron and I have discovered that to avoid the chaos at the buffet, you have to keep going back and back as far as you can go. Most people just stop at the first table they see. This works pretty well for the first day or two until everyone learns their way around. :-)

Unfortunately, the Sirens’ Bar didn’t have any limes for my traditional “welcome aboard” mojito. The provisions for our cruise were still being loaded onto the ship and limes hadn’t made their way to the back yet. But they did have them at the Seven Seas Bar in the atrium so we enjoyed a drink there while we people-watched. Of the Carnival ships we’ve been on, I thought Victory had one of the prettier atriums. Yes, it was very green but I liked the Famous Bodies of Water theme and the seahorses on the staircases and bar stools.

Carnival Victory atrium
Seven Seas Atrium