We took the Victory cruise when our originally booked Star Princess cruise was cancelled. Our first cruise with Carnival was a pleasant surprise.
This ship was clean, had a terrific layout and was easy to navigate. The decor was tasteful, except for the salmon colored bathroom sinks and floor! But I was pleased to see the toiletries available: toothpaste, dental floss, razors for both men and women, body lotion, shampoo (in addition to shampoo and conditioner in dispensers located right in the shower). Robes were a nice touch. Our cabin steward, Chat, happily replaced items as needed.
And yes, the beds and pillows live up to the raves! Definitely the most comfortable beds of any cruise line we have experienced (RCCL and Princess, thus far). Pillows are just wonderful also. Definitely satisfying and a good reason too book with Carnival for that alone!
We found the dining room food selection more than adequate..plenty of variety and well presented. Nicoleta and Atila made our experience a fun one with their easy banter. 8:00 pm dining sitting was perfect for our family of 6 adults. Buffets did the trick for breakfast and lunch. But I wish this ship had several food stations as RCCL and Princess do to avoid the long, long lines at either end of the buffet dining room.
Ports were Costa Maya, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. In Costa, just walked the lengthy pier (hoping to loose the tonnage we had already begun to put on) and shopped. I found that the dolphin encounter that was $159 through the ship could be had for $110, booked independently. Too late, though to make the excursion. In Grand Cayman, chose Nativeway independently for Sting Ray City and would do that again. They are good folks to book with via their internet site and a personal call from Sharon Ebanks to confirm, did the trick. And how could we not book with Phil Lafayette in Ocho Rios after all the positive reviews from previous travelers. This man is well worth the money and tipping him extra was not even something we needed to debate about! He is fantastic in every way. We never felt unease in his secure van and he made sure we were well taken care of at Dunn's and the river tubing. His restaurant selection for lunch made for a terrific respite. All the jerk pork, chicken and beef, beer and pop we could consume for $10 pp. Excellent! Shopping at the pier rounded out our day with Phil.
We are not gamblers so spent no time in the casino. The entertainment (especially the Miami based comedian) was on par with the other cruises we have taken.
Of course, no deck chairs available near the pool, but we found plenty on the uppermost deck that worked for us. Nice and close to the buffet dining room where we could replenish our drinks. There was iced tea, fruit juice, lemonade, coffee, water available all day. Did try the pool side pizza and found it to be delish.
I live for chocolate desserts and there were plenty at all meals! And the midnight chocolate buffet was worth attending...if only to take pix!
As for boarding, did take a 1/2 hour in a long snaking line and we arrived at 11:30 am! Like the way RCCL and Princess have people board by deck. Seems to move a lot faster that way.
We chose self-debark and would again if choosing Carnival. Lots of crowding everywhere, but we made it off and out in less than 1/2 hour where our limo driver awaited us and we were off to Ft. Lauderdale for our flights. We got to the airport shortly after 9:30 for our 1:00 pm flight.
On board shops are not as extensive as the other lines mentioned, but adequate. Wished there were more jewelry options though.
All in all, pleased with the Victory cruise...but we were vacationing so what's not to love about that!