This was my third cruise on Carnival and had good experiences previous. This experience was good, but not as good. The last two cruises I left out of New Orleans. Getting on the boat there was a complete nightmare, but Miami was better. Getting onto the ship took about 1 1/2 - 2 hours... not bad compared to almost 3 hours in New Orleans while playing musical chairs.
I don't recall the first ship I sailed on, but the last was the Conquest. The Victory seemed to have a similar layout, but the Conquest was a nicer ship... and in better shape.
Immediately we noticed our room wasn't cooling. We were on the Verandah deck in room 8322... an interior cabin. I thought it could be that we were in port still and waited until we started sailing. I finally called the pursers desk around 9PM and they acknowledged the problem and that they didn't have a time frame. By Monday morning the room was adequate... probably 75F, but on vacation I like to keep my hotels etc very cold. It was a minor annoyance, but we made the best of it.
Malcolm was ok. I could tell from day one the woohoo's were going to get annoying very quick. He was decent I suppose, but I had better cruise directors on my past cruises.
This ship was pretty run down and honestly the crew seemed run down as well. We were in the Pacific dining room and had Mel as our head waiter. He was good, but obviously tired and overworked. He kept me satisfied food wise and even slipped him an additional tip the last night.
The gym facilities were pretty good. Their workout machines left a lot to be desired, because they had a lot of resistance at first then flattened out. I did enjoy the hot tub and my girlfriend enjoyed the facial she got.
Entertainment... well Living in America was pretty bad. I just couldn't sit through the male singer. The female singer was good though. The couples game was quite interesting, but it definitely could cause some battles once those people got back to their rooms :)
Ports... I was very disappointed with San Juan. We arrived at 4PM and the sun was already coming down. We walked around a bit in old San Juan and oddly it was more expensive to drink there then on the ship... until I found a little side market and enjoyed 1.25$ Medallas. This was the one port I wish I could have booked an excursion or found something coming off the boat because we got pretty bored and headed back on the ship.
St. Maarten... best shopping on the cruise to me. Cheap beers and liquor... and cuban cigars. We snorkeled and came back to the ship and showered and got a water taxi... well worth 5$ each. I would have liked to spend a few days in St. Maarten.
St. Thomas... very scenic and beautiful. We took an island tour and it was well worth $30 a person. We went to all the sites over the course of 2 hours in a safari taxi. The shopping was decent, but the vendors haggled and ridiculed me for not stopping in their stores. It felt Jamaica'esque to me in a way. Once we got away from the main strip it was better. Food was cheaper in the alley ways and beers were pretty cheap too... once you got away from the market.
We had a scare Friday night about someone being reported going overboard. No woohoos from Malcolm on that, but it ended being nothing after we were all sent to our cabins and checked. Awfully strange though.
Debarkation was decent. We decided to not check our luggage and waited for 1 1/2 hours in the lobby deck to get off. After that it was painless. We got a taxi and headed back home.
If I had the chance to sail the Victory again I wouldn't. Out of the 3 cruises I have been on it was the roughest sailing and most worn out. I suppose that is the reason it was only $400 a person. Because of that I can't complain too much since we paid $650 a person for the Conquest a year earlier.