Carnival Victory - Western Caribbean: Carnival Victory Cruise Review by darlinjasa
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Victory - Western Caribbean
Destination: Western Caribbean
We arrived at the Port of Miami around 11am and got in line for what we assumed would be 1-2 hours to wait. To our amazement, Carnival announced they would early board and we could go on the ship and have lunch while our stateroom was being prepared. The lines were minimal, 45min from arriving and sitting down to have lunch on the Lido Deck! Smooth process. Kudos to Carnival for that. VERY IMPRESSIVE!
I will say that the staff was wonderful, and lived up to every expectation with the exception of never meeting our main room steward, as he never introduced himself to us. Which left me hesitant to contact him when I had a NON-WORKING REMOTE FOR 3 DAYS. I finally asked the afternoon asst if she could change batteries, or have it checked. I had to leave a note at dinner time, as I had no remote returned. It was back after dinner, and worked that More night and not again after that. But. I resorted to caveman days and got out of bed and changed it myself. When I needed to check our account, I borrowed next doors remote for the moment.
The ship was is great shape. Normal, yet minimal wear and tear for the number of guests in and out. Victory is truly a beautiful ship. The stateroom we had was a balcony room and spacious and clean. We had 1 upper that was perfect for our 12 yr old and the couch made to a bed was perfect for our 6yr old. We never felt cramped in this room. The balcony made breakfasts priceless. No complaints on our room. Our first port, which was supposed to be Cozumel, was changed to Costa Maya. This should have been a comparable trade off. On the contrary, Costa Maya was a substandard exchange for Cozumel and had very little accommodations on the island. Carnivals excursion list was minimal and booked very fast, which left us cruisers to fend for ourselves in this underdeveloped part of Mexico. Many of us were approached to buy drugs, and harassed when we wouldnt go to their beach or restaurant. I have been to many parts of Mexico, and have experienced the bartering and such, but others in our party were not so comfortable with it. I know some ships were already going back into Cozumel, I think more should go back there and less to Costa Maya until they have more to offer to the cruise ships. Losing Cozumel was the first strike against carnival in my book. We booked to hit Cozumel and Grand Cayman. Jamaica was just a perk to it as our 3rd port.
Next, the storms brought bad news that our 2nd port was not only going to be missed due to high swells, but there was NO REPLACEMENT PORT added. SO now everyone is in the halls frustrated that we all paid for a 7 day cruise to get 3 ports and we got ripped off by going to Costa Maya in place of Cozumel, and then now the best port on the cruise was not only taken away, but was replaced with a slap in the face of a fun day at sea. It wasnt even funny when the PA system cheerfully announced that IN PLACE OF GRAND Cayman WE HAVE PLANNED A FUN PACKED DAY AT SEA. Did the crew hear the yelling after that announcement? Did Carnival really think that would be an acceptable replacement for people who paid for a 7 day cruise? If we wanted 2 ports, we would have opted for a shorter cruise. I understand mother nature, but I also understand that more should have been done to accommodate us and 25.00 per person isnt even close to what we spent in order to assure 3 ports. There should be a better back up plan for each port for instances like this. At this point 2/3 of our scheduled cruise had changed and thats left a bad taste in the mouths of us as first time cruisers. By this time we just want to get home, and check out what the other cruise lines have to offer. Carnival changing 2/3 of a 7 day cruise has put the odds against them in my eyes.
Jamaica was great, but definitely not there long enough. We tried to make up for losing our well thought out excursions in Grand Cayman by trying to catch some snorkeling we lost out on and do some in Jamaica. We squeezed it in, but had no time to shop. And because we had plans in Grand Cayman, we didnt reserve those excursions for Jamaica and by the time Cayman was taken from the itinerary, all the good excursions were full and we had to again opt to fend for ourselves and find a place off the ship. if you are in need of a top rate tour guide, email me.
I was also on board to do a review for my local paper, as well as our military base paper. Once Grand Cayman was taken off the route, I nixed my review and just tried to make the best of the rest of the cruise with my family. Which takes me to Club Carnival. Its a great idea and great concept. The pros are the staff is fabulous, and the room is cute and cheerful with a good variation of events planned. The downside is my daughter had an incident where another child VOMITED on my child, and they never called me for a change of clothes or to take her out, away from this sick child. When we picked her up, my 6yr old was in her PANTIES AND A CAMP CARNIVAL T-SHIRT they put on her. We were given a trash bag with VOMIT FILLED CLOTHES to take with us. Were we to handle some other childs virus/germs and puke all over my daughters clothing? Were we to let them sit for 5 days and smell up our cabin? Or were we to spend $10.00 washing and drying them when it wasnt our child who got sick? I was livid. I sent my husband to talk to the Camp Director. At first she was adamant on the disclaimer about clothing. It took a while for my husband to get through to her that it was NOT OUR DAUGHTER WHO GOT SICK AND VOMITED> OUR DAUGHTER WAS THE VICTIM. ANOTHER CHILD ACTUALLY VOMITED ON HER at the babysitting hours. The Director said she had no report of this incident. My husband said basically, Thats all right, I have the bag of vomit clothes to prove it. Let me go get them. Then she changed her tune and asked what she could do to help us. We explained we were paying 6.00/hr for babysitting services and refused to wash some sick child's vomit off our child's clothing both for sanitary reasons as well as we shouldnt have to pay for that. She took the clothes and had them washed. We had to go back up and pick them up. I thought they should have brought to our room. Our daughter did NOT return to Camp Carnival after that incident & did not return to the babysitting either. Granted, it was eventually handled but we still felt it was not handled correctly. And my 6yr old daughter was not comfortable in the room in a long t-shirt and panties. We should have been given the chance to bring her a change of clothes. We were never notified & obviously the camp director was not either. Back to Victory...Our son who is 12 was bored at Camp Carnival. He said the 15-up club carnival was great, but he was too young to get into it. So most of the kids he met the 1st day at Camp Carnival ended up either lying to get to Club o2, or just running the ship in packs. Carnival needs to change the ages as ages 11 and up arent little kids who like to do scavenger hunts or pizza parties anymore. They like the dance club, computers, and PS2, etc. We didnt get any use of Club Carnival for our 12 yr old.
The food was fabulous; the sit-down dinners are one thing you dont want to miss. To savor faire that you dont eat daily is worth it alone. The presentation is breathtaking, and the flavors are undeniable perfect. Its a great opportunity to relax, sit back, and enjoy. And dont forget! You can order more than 1 of anything and everything. Want to try 2 different entrees or desserts? YOU CAN! Our wait staff was wonderful, and I miss them already. They give you great tidbits of information and become your friend on the ship. When you have misc questions, they are always happy to stop and answer questions.
As for must haves and must takes I must say I needed POST ITS, and my own HAIR DRYER. (Carnivals has no power). Things I took that were well used were: Ziploc baggies of all sizes, Highlighters, the over the door shoe rack, aqua socks, larger plastic cups, air freshener, and decorations for holidays. (Window Clings work great on the doors and mirrors). What I didnt need was: the bungee chords and duct tape. Our door stayed open with no problem all night.
Bottom line~ Carnival Ship, Crew, Food, and activities are fabulous. Camp Carnival has a few glitches, but is still great option. My daughter loved it the first few days, and they were great with taking the kids to shows, dinner, etc. For my daughters age it was the babysitting (after 10 pm) where the problem was, and again... it was rectified.
Disembarkment was a breeze! organized, and fast moving. Well, thats my review. Less
Cabin review: 8a8284
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