We took a four-night cruise on the Carnival Victory out of Miami, Florida, stopping in Key West and Cozumel. I've done this itinerary before, but we picked this sailing so that others in our group could do it too. We flew in the night before and stayed in Fort Lauderdale, driving down to Miami the next morning. We arrived at the port around 11:30 and were processed almost immediately, getting up to the Lido deck around noonish. Food on Lido was good and our rooms were ready around 1:15 p.m.
Our Room: We were on the Riviera deck (1) and towards the back. We must have been right above the thrusters for the ship because the room was terribly noisy when we were docking, this was the first time we've stayed on the bottom floor and we won't do it again. Our room was spacious and comfortable, the bathrooms on this ship are very large, we easily had two people in at the same time. Only complaint would be the older TVs.
The Ship: The ship itself is set up very oddly, More
it just doesn't "flow" very well, as others have said. This ship is larger than the Fantasy class ships, but flows so poorly, it feels smaller. Some examples: dessert bar at the base of the Lido deck stairs, so that every time you want to go upstairs, the dessert server has to move. No direct path through the seating on Lido, you have to bump into diners to get to the other side of the room. The Casino, a stage (where trivia is held) and a bar are all crammed into one space on the main drag. This makes no sense. Trivia players are spread out down the hall while gagging on smoke from the casino and trying to hear over the din of the people sitting at the bar. We were also a bit disappointed in the Serenity area on this ship, instead of being at the back, it is located at the very top middle. Both hot tubs were frequently cold and deserted, and there is just no good way to get up there without climbing multiple steps of stairs and stepping over sunbathers from the main pool area. We did love the big screen TV, although there should have been a listing somewhere of what movies would be playing when. The ship is in good shape, although it could use someone to go through and detail it a bit, i.e. paint chips missing, tiles falling out, nothing major. I did get sea sick on the sea day as we crossed the Gulf of Mexico, there were many that were sick. Instead of facing into the waves, we were rocking side to side and many looked ill.
The Food: Food was very very good. Main dining room food was delicious and served hot. We enjoyed the Lido desserts and snapping up some ice cream, although it was always a guessing game as to which of the three ice cream stations would be open and stocked. Lots of food selection, although, again, the flow of the dining area was silly. The lines for the deli and chop sticks were right in the only walkway through the Lido area. Pizza station was good.
Activities: The entertainment staff on this ship were excellent. Although we did not attend any shows (not our thing), there was one shorter male with blonde hair that did an excellent job of hosting trivia and the deck parties. He was a delight and the others with him were entertaining. The comics were alright, the shows should have been earlier in the evening though, we didn't want to stay up until 12:00 a.m. for a comedy show and the "comedy manager" or whatever she was needs to cut with her obnoxious "buh byes" into the microphone, you'll see what I mean if you go.
Overall: A fun trip. We would not pick this ship again solely because of the odd layout that did not agree with us, it made the ship feel much more crowded than it actually was. The itinerary was fine, as we expected. Less
We had an excursion planned, but it was cancelled due to rough water. We were docked at the Puerta Maya pier, and Carnival has done a really good job making this pier a safe place for cruisers. Right off the ship there is a free beach area with free loungers, bars, shopping, etc. If you leave this area, it does get a bit seedy.