First off let me say we had a great time on the Victory. Overall we had a fantastic time. Ship design was a little irritating. This was the first time on a cruise that I needed a ship map more than one day. In fact the flow of the ship is poor at best and at times just flat out bad. But we found our way around and I had spent time researching out room locations and the one we picked was perfect for us. We had 1357 which is an ocean view and the first time that we didn't have a balcony on a cruise.
Embarkation was the best we have ever had. We were in Puerto Rico a few days early so we didn't have to worry about getting to the ship from the airport. We decided not to embark until 6pm. Great choice for us. There were no lines anywhere. We NEVER waited at all. It took us longer to walk from the drop off zone through the terminal then it did to check in. I think we were on the ship within 15 or 20 stress free minutes. We then went right to the Atlantic dining room for dinner to our cabin from there where we found our luggage waiting then ship drills at 9pm then let the fun begin. Save yourself the money and get there a little later rather than pay for the FTTF program.
We really enjoyed the food in the main dining room where we had Your Time Dining. I will say that if you went to dinner earlier rather than later it was much better as one of the few issues we had was the poor organization of the ma'tre d'. We asked for the same server every night because he was fantastic but the one night we got there at 8pm the ma'tre d' was flustered and disorganized. We ended up waiting 30 minutes to be seated and then ended up be led to the wrong table. We made the best of it but the reason we waited 30 minutes was to be seated with the serving staff of our choice. We had breakfast 5 days in the dining room and it was good and we got to be seated with new people each time which we like. The food in the Lido buffet was average at best and bad sometimes. We did like the Deli a lot where we got freshly made sandwiches made the way we wanted. The one amusing thing here was we asked for a Panini sandwich and was told that they didn't make then so we asked for grilled and they put them in a Panini griller. I had to laugh at that one. Never tried the pizza and the outside grill was okay although the chicken nuggets were good.
The staff was great although you could tell there have been cutbacks. Servers in the dining room spent less time with their tables then past cruises. Room steward was fantastic. Getting a drink could be a pain though that was not always a bad thing. We found the staff to be friendly and warm and except in one case where a staff member must have been having a bad day.
The entertainment was good but little was offered during the day even on a the only sea day. I can understand the port days but I found the lack of events on the sea day to be unusual from the other cruises I have been on. I think it is obvious that staff cutbacks have played a part in this. We love the shows in the main showroom and we enjoyed the first 2 comedians not so much the second 2. Had a great time in the piano bar but found the serenity deck to be a bit small and hard to find a place to sit. Plenty of places to catch sun on the lido deck though.
Great island itinerary, we had a lot of fun visiting the islands. One issue was that the itinerary was changed from the start and we had booked 4 tours ourselves. We had to cancel 2 but were able to go on the other 2 we set up. The 2 we canceled we went with Carnival tours and they were great. We really liked the train ride on Saint Kitts which we booked through carnival. So you got to be flexible because stuff happens. Never let it ruin your vacation.
Disembarkation was a bit slow but this was not Carnivals fault. We stayed an extra day in Puerto Rico so we were in no hurry to get off the ship and carnival kept their food and drink service going.
Over all it was a fantastic cruise and we had a great time but I must say you can tell they are cutting back and we will probably explore other options for our next cruise.