Carnival Victory - Canada/New England: Carnival Victory Cruise Review by achriste26
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Victory - Canada/New England
Destination: Canada & New England
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
Embarkation: Getting to the pier and the embarkation process was SO much easier than we had anticipated. We have family who lives near the city, so we had visited with them for a couple of days prior to our cruise. We took a train into the city, and grabbed a taxi from Grand Central. Even with a weeks worth of luggage in tow, we managed just fine. We actually got to the pier a little after 10:30am. We were seeing passengers from the previous cruise still debarking.
Right as we pulled up to the curb in our taxi, there were people there to take our luggage. We tipped them well and were off to get signed in. There were probably about 30-40 people already sitting in chairs, signed in and waiting to board. There was no line at all and we walked right up to the next available attendant. We got our sign and sail cards More and got all registered. It took about 5 minutes, and then we joined the folks waiting to board the ship. They made an announcement shortly after we sat down that we would be boarding very shortly. We then went through security, had photos taken and were on the ship around 11-11:30am.
First Impression/Ship/Cabin: We did a lot of research before we took our vacation, including reading reviews and looking at pictures. I will say that the ship looked exactly like all of the pictures we saw, only better. The atrium was gorgeous. Looking up from the lobby deck was amazing! We really enjoyed riding the glass elevators too. The ship was quite large, and thankfully we had read somewhere that Deck 5 (the Promenade Deck) went from one end to the other. With that knowledge, the ship was much easier to navigate. It also helped that the elevators listed what was on each floor!
We went up to see our room after we arrived so that we could drop off our carry-on luggage. Our room was on the Panorama Deck. What a perfect deck to have a room! It was quiet and out of the way. Our room was an inside room with 4 beds. 2 upper, 2 lower. The kids got the upper beds and loved them. None of us ever really felt too crowded the whole trip. Yes, a suite would have been nice, but we were certainly comfortable enough. And the beds were VERY comfy. Our room steward Nesto did a great job; the towel buddies were all adorable. He even made certain to arrange all of the kids stuffed animals perfectly after making their beds each day.
NYC Sail Away: WOW. What an amazing place to have a sail away. We had early seating in the dining room (5:45), but ended up going a bit late so that we could catch the views of the beautiful city as we left. We got to the dining room a little after 6:00 and were not given a hard time at all. There were still people arriving after we did.
Dining: We had 2 very picky eaters in our group... we were a little worried that the limited menu in the Dining room would prove difficult. But everything was great. We ate in the Pacific Dining Room at a private table for 4. Our wait staff was great. They were very personable and friendly. Lobster night was wonderful, if I had room left, I would have had another! Between the 4 of us, we tried a great variety of soups, salads and main courses. Everybody enjoyed everything that they ordered and everything that we shared. We ate in the dining room all but one night, where we opted to try the buffet in the Mediterranean Restaurant. They had typical cruise buffet food, lots of choices. Some food was better than others. We enjoyed the pizza several times throughout the week and ate at the East River Deli too. All were terrific. And of course, we all enjoyed the 24-hr all you can eat ice cream.
Entertainment: I believe we attended most of the shows in the Caribbean Lounge. The Living in America show was fun. The kids loved it. We enjoyed the Magic Moments show, the Welcome Aboard Show and on the last night there was a Talent show (Carnival Legends) using Carnival guests and it was fantastic! Elvis, if you're reading this - you were great!! We hung out on the Lido deck for several of the events up there. The Hairy Chest contest was hysterical. The Sail Away parties were lots of fun, and the calypso music was great. We also enjoyed the Captain's Cocktail party as well as the Past Guest reception. Free cocktails are always a plus!! We spent some time at the Casino too... there were always plenty of slot machines available to lose our money in...
There really was a lot to do aboard the ship, I always find it amusing when I read reviews from people who say there is nothing to do or that they were bored. The Carnival Capers have loads of information in them every day. There are daily schedules listed on an easy tear-off sheet that you can carry with you. And if theres nothing else, you could always read a book or sit on the Promenade Deck , relax and people watch. Youre on vacation! It is what you make it.
Camp Carnival: Both of our kids did numerous activities with Camp Carnival and enjoyed all of them. They each made new friends. They were both in the 9-11 (intermediate) group. They did the all-night party on the Halifax night. (It cost $20 extra for each child in the same Family, $26 for a single child), it was well worth it for all of us! The party went from 10pm - 3:30am. And yes, they both slept until the following afternoon... St. John: We had beautiful weather in St. John. We did not book an excursion. We walked down to the water front area, and then went through the Market Square and Brunswick Square Malls. Each was very nice and had decent shopping. From there we walked to the Indoor City Market and up to Kings Square. We then wandered through the Old Burial Grounds and then went over to Trinity Church. St. John is lovely city, easy to walk everywhere. We especially enjoyed the lone bag piper on the pier when we departed. It was a very nice touch from the city of St. John.
Halifax: Halifax was a very different story. It POURED all day. We were in no rush to leave the ship, but had been looking forward to going to the Maritime Museum and the Cemetery where the Titanic victims were buried. We were able to get a cab to go to the museum, which was a very nice place. There was lots of information on the Titanic disaster and on the Halifax explosion. We did not end up going to the Cemetery, the weather was just too poor. We were very disappointed with not getting to see very much in Halifax... we will just have to go back again someday!
Debarkation: We were nervous about debarking a ship this large in NYC. But boy, it was the easiest process we've experienced. We waited for the general debarkation, opted not to do self-assist. Our deck was called 3rd. We headed down the 10 flights of stairs and were expecting to meet up with a huge line to get off the ship, but there was no waiting. We walked right off. A very helpful man was there to help us retrieve our luggage and he got us to a cab within 10 minutes of getting off the ship. It was amazing.
Overall: I would have to say that we all enjoyed our cruise very much. We really have no complaints at all. The staff was polite, the other passengers were friendly and the whole experience was positive. It was a terrific vacation and we all can not wait to cruise on Carnival again!! Less