We have just returned from a 7 day cruise aboard the Carnival Victory. This was our 7th cruise, the second with our children. Note: We have sailed on 6 different cruise lines, this being our second in a row with Carnival, after cruising on the Fantasy last year.
I have heard many complaints about the embarkation process in Miami, none of which I saw. The time we arrived at the port until we stepped on the ship was 1 hour. With over 2500 people going through security and check in, of course there are lines, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Our ship was spotless and our cabin was wonderful. We had a balcony room, and the space was more than ample. The ship itself is decorated very nicely, and everyone, yes everyone treated us well. Our cabin steward was very good, leaving the "towel animals" for our children 5 of the 7 nights.
The ship itself is large, 102,000 tons, and mostly easy to get around. The only issue is what is at the front of the ship and what is at the back. ie. The two dining rooms at are opposite ends of the ships and confusion on which end is which is present. Better signage would really be helpful.
The dining room staff and food were wonderful. Our waiter Carmelo and his assistant Jorge were wonderful. We were in the Pacific dining room and had early sitting. Table 563, which was a 4 person booth. This ship seemed to cater more to family and groups, allowing privacy at dinner.
Camp Carnival was wonderful as always, although our children only spent limited time there. My daughter (11 years) had an all night party from 10p-6a one night and had a blast with about 30 other children her age! Camp Carnival also left cookies for the kids the first night to welcome them on board.
Pools and slides were great, but you better get up at 7a and grab a chair because they fill up quickly, although there are ample seats for everyone, just maybe not where you would want to sit.
Port of call: San Juan, why bother. You get there at 5pm, leave at midnight. Although a nice city, (not a favorite of mine though) the tours are limited, and the timing is horrible. Rush hour traffic, and the city tour vendor was very unorganized. To Carnival's credit, they refunded 50% of the tour excursion cost to our account.
St. Martin and St. Thomas. You couldn't ask for better port stops. Megan's Bay in St. Thomas is a must see.
The entertainment was good. The main shows with the Victory Dancers and singers were some of the best entertainment I have seen on a cruise. The other nights included a magician, a juggler and comedian. All were good, but the Monday and Friday night shows were best! All in all, I would rank this cruise a 9 out of 10.
Remember one thing, if you are looking for things, you can always find things that are wrong, but you can find things that are right too. We are already planning our 3rd Carnival cruise for next year for the Western Caribbean and can't wait. With Carnival owning so many cruise lines now, no matter who you sail on, it will probably be a Carnival property, (Holland America, Princess, Cunard, Costa, Windjammer are all owned by Carnival). The ship, the crew, the ports (with the exception of San Juan, and even there we enjoyed the Forts), the food the activities were all great. Thanks to Carnival for another great time.