Sailed on the Victory on Nov 21st to the Western Caribbean with stops in Key West and Conzumel, Mexico. Prior to booking this trip I was a bit skeptic as Victory is almost 13 years old. So I read many reviews until finally deciding to give it a try. i live in the Miami area so getting to the port was not a problem. We arrived at the port at around 11:30am and with our VIFP status we were give priority embarkation. We were on the ship no later than noon time. It was quick and easy. The ship does have a bit of wear and tear here and there due to its age but I found it very clean. We entered the lobby with our carry on bags and immediately one of the workers by the elevator suggested that although the rooms were not done yet we would be allowed to put our bags in the room which was quite nice. I chose deck 9 because it was close to the pool and the Lido Buffet. We left the bags in the room and proceeded to the buffet by the pool. We were early to board so there was no line no waiting.
Just prior to 1pm our room was ready. This time around I chose an interior room since we don't spend much time in the room anyways. The room was very clean, had adequate closet space, it does have a pink bathroom but fits the purpose, it has an older tv from back in the day but it did have cable with multiple channels. The A/C was nice and cold and we had enough room. On day 1 at around 4pm they had a sail away party by the pool which was nice. They had a Game Show type show at around 8:45pm which was entertaining. They also a good show at around 10pm in the Caribbean Theater with dancers, singers, etc.
As far as dinner we chose the early session at 6pm. We arrived to dinner about that time with no line, no waiting. We were escorted to table 344 on the Atlantic Restaurant 4th deck upper. We were served by Rana he was very nice, well informed, informative, pleasant to talk to, joyous. Our food was served on time with no delays. We were in a table with three other families from Ohio, North Carolina and Michigan. The thing we did notice that the food portions on the Victory are quite small and they do not make it a habit of offering you a repeat or offer you more than one choice. On other ships I been offered "hey do you want something else, do you want another one" but the food was good, hot and decent.
On day 2 it stopped at Key West. Being from Miami I've been to Key West but had not been there in a long time. We chose The World Famous Conch Tour Train-Hop On, Hop Off. The driver was very well versed on the history of Key West being that he was born there and several prior generations of his family were born there. Very informative, very helpful. We were in train 110. The tour took about 1 1/2 hrs to go around the whole city. You had the option to get off at two stops and then just hop on the next train and continue. But the driver was so nice and so helpful we decided to stay with him the entire tour. Back onboard you have the typical bingo, sail away party on pool deck, later the different clubs. It was elegant night so you had to dress your best for photos and whatnot. Around 8:15pm they had another good show in the theater. Later on at night they have the Comedy clubs for family and the adult ones late at night.
In Cozumel we took the Ancient Culture/Mayan Ruins & Island Sightseeing. The tour started promptly at 2:30pm. So we had an hour or so prior to the tour to look around the port shops. At 2:30pm were escorted by our tour guides Alex and Silvia. They were both very nice people, very informative, very helpful. Well versed in the history of Conzumel and the Maya history and ruins. One thing I do suggest if you take any escursion to the ruins take or buy mosquito repelent. There is a lot of mosquitos especially around the ruins. This tour was on an air conditioned bus. The bus was very clean, decent and the driver was excellent. The whole tour took about 3 1/2 hours. After the ruins it stopped for a little while at a beach that had a restaurant called el Pescador. Nice place, clean, not enough time to go swimming but good place to take photos and take in the views.
Saturday Night was a bit boring onboard because there was no vegas style show. They tried to do a family type version of family feud called family face off and like 10 people showed up. The entertainment staff tried their best but the show had no flare. Then after that they tried doing the typical Love and Marriage Show that is copied on every other ship. Sometimes is funny and entertaining but this time around the contestants were not cooperating and it was quite boring. The casino, the evening clubs, comedy club was all quite nice. They had a group singing at the casino stage. Sunday was a day at sea. For being a day at sea there was not much to do onboard other than bingo, watch sale, fun shops shopping. At night they had a very good show at 7pm and 9pm which was very good. But during the day on Sunday did not find much to do. Other than the pool deck. The victory has a main pool with two jacuzzi's, it has a water slide next to a smaller pool. Kids have a great time on the water slide. They also have a big screen right above the pool that plays movies at night and you can watch from the pool deck. Overall I had a good time on the Victory. There are a few things they need to upgrade to make it better. I believe this ship is due for a renovation soon.
The cons or what they need to change:
The big screen on the pool deck is showing its age and has a lot of missing pixels on the display and you watching a movie and all of a sudden the missing pixels start flashing and doing weird stuff. You can still see the movie but you notice the malfunction. The grill buffet by the pool has no variety it was the same hamburger, hot dog, french fries menu every day. The lido buffet is decent and the menu changes daily but it does have long lines at times. After 6pm you are forced to go to the dining room, the only other thing open as far as food is the Pizza place deck 9 aft. Everything else is closed. As far as the free beverages they should offer different things. All you get is lemonade, tea or coffee. At breakfast they add orange juice. and one thing I did notice the cups have even shrunk. I remember on other carnival ships having bigger glasses. These are the size of a coffee cup. The day at sea they need to offer more entertainment to keep people happy and entertained. The shows like Family Face off and Love and Marriage need to change. One last thing upgrade the rooms like with hdtv's and fridge. There is fridge in the interior rooms. They provide an ice bucket but nothing to take the ice out you have to use your hands. Some people have issues finding their way around the ship but you can go from forward to aft via deck 3 and 5.