All in all we enjoyed the cruise.
THE ARRIVAL: At the Port in New York the process was smooth and aggravation free. Our luggage was handled immediately from the cab and we headed into the Welcome Center where we were processed and on our way to the boat in a matter of minutes.
STATEROOM: We found our room quite comfortable and not too small. One comment, our friends had an outdoor view we did not. In addition to having a view, the room appeared quite a bit larger. They only paid $200 or so more for the week. Had we known the room was larger we probably would have gone for the $200. The stateroom assistant was incredibly nice and made sure everything we needed in the room was available. The bathroom was compact but do-able...and the shower was better than my shower at home!
One unusual thing we found annoying. In addition to the usual "Carnival" promotion television channels and a couple of cable channels (CNN, TBS, TNT and a few others) the only "network" TV was from Denver, Colorado for some odd reason. It was confusing since when they had the news and gave the time it was off by 2 hours and the weather report was totally different.
Since they are picking up the signal off the satellite why can't the provide either NYC stations, St. John stations or Halifax stations, or some combination. Also there was just TOO MUCH Carnival promotional channels...enough already! One channel I liked was the Information Channel from the Captain including temperature, humidity, distance traveled, distance to/from and stuff like that...very helpful.
THE FOOD: From a design standpoint, the restaurant (we were in the late seating in the Pacific Dining Room) was not exactly my taste, but the food was quite good and the wait staff was above average...helpful, friendly and always available. We always ate breakfast on the Lido Deck (9th Level), lunch was either on Lido (on sea days) and on land at various restaurants.
ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment, especially in the club at night, was quite good...they were entertaining, well produced and fun. Personally, I usually find cruise directors annoying...our guy was fine and knew his limits.
CASINO: They say the casino on the Victory is one of the largest on sea and they're not kidding. While it wasn't the size of one you would see in Las Vegas it had just about every kind of game you could imagine...and the connected sports bar was a nice quiet break from the noise of the slot machines.
GOLF SIMULATOR: I decided to sign up for a golf lesson after checking out the simulator. The pro was so good I decided to take another one at the end of the week. You don't have to bring your own clubs as the golf center is affiliated with Nike and they have the current models of virtually every club Nike makes...not to mention Tiger Woods stuff (shirts, hats, etc.) all over the place!
***on a side note, they do offer golf excursions which I understand were quite good. I talk about this in my views of the ports of call.
POOLS: There are 4 swimming pools on board the Victory. And while I never actually had a chance to swim, my 14 year old daughter loved it!
GYM: I had a tour of the gym and while I never used it it looked like relatively new equipment in very good condition.
SPA: Again, I checked out the spa with my wife. It looked nice and clean. She decided to take a "rock" massage...she really enjoyed it but it was quite expensive at $200 for 30 minutes (or something like that)
ON-BOARD ACTIVITIES: They had bingo just about every night and it was expensive...and, in my opinion, not worth it. They charge $10 for a card, $20 for a card of 3 and $30 for 6 (2-3 cards). They only played a few games at a time...one night was one game...the other night was 4...if I'm paying $30 for cards I'd like better odds than that!
PORT OF CALLS
We decided not to take advantage of any of the tours offered by Carnival as they were all a total ripoff! Way too expensive and didn't sound interesting to us.
ST. JOHN: Truth be told, St. John is a boring city...something like Wilmington, Delaware. Not exactly the kind of place you'd go to on vacation. If I had a chance to do it again, I would have probably made arrangements to play golf (as explained above) as I understand thru the golf pro on board there were some very nice, and very reasonably priced golf courses in St. John. Trust me, if you have something better to do...do it instead of visiting St. John.
HALIFAX: Halifax, on the other hand, was great...due in large part to our fantastic guide, Jonathan Duru of YourCab (http://www.yourcab.ca/). We booked him (6 of us...4 adults/2 kids) in advanced thru a friend's recommendation and he was great. Really made the day in Halifax a memorable experience. Halifax itself is a lovely city, with beautiful views and alot to see. In addition, Jonathan is so well known everyone says hi to him...and they all say how wonderful he is. He took us to see the Fort and the Cannon Shoot, Peggy's Cove, beautiful homes, a special visit to Tim Horton's (for great coffee!), lunch at a wonderful seaside little place called Shaws Landing owned by his friend Ian Shaw...great food and the hospitality and service were excellent. If you really want to get a flavor of Halifax, you MUST contact Jonathan in advance...forget the excursions on the ship...and tell him the S. family recommended you call!
DISEMBARKATION: They now allow you to leave on your own and take your luggage with you as long as all your paperwork is filled out and you don't have any issues with the customs people. We were off the ship by 8:30am, our car service arrived around 9am and we were home, on Long Island, around 10.