We planned this cruise as a family celebration for my mother's 60th birthday. Everyone in the group of 8 are previous cruisers with Carnival so it was the logical choice. We were looking for a cruise shorter than 7 days to work with everyone's work schedules. We found the 4 night Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Victory sailing out of Miami. In September I cruised out of Miami and was surprised to find a Carnival Check-in Desk at the airport. We flew into Miami Airport and found the check-in process at the airport pretty quick and easy. The bus was waiting for us as we finished checking-in. (We had purchased our transfers ahead of time) A short bus ride to the dock and we were ready for our cruise vacation.
When you check-in at the airport, you get to by-pass all the lines at the port. By the time we arrived at the ship, our cabin was to be ready, so we went straight there to check it out and drop some things off. Entering our cabin, we noticed 2 things. The cabin was dirty and our air conditioning was not working. We left the cabin to look for our cabin steward, and not being able to find him, we went to guest services. I had brought a can of Lysol wipes as part of my norovirus prevention kit, so I was not concerned about the spills left on the counters. We notified guest services of our A/C problem and set out to find lunch. When we returned to the cabin after lunch the steward stopped and told us the A/C was down for maintenance, but will be back up soon. When we returned to the cabin for the night, the A/C was trickling out of the vent. The room was more bearable than before but not by any means acceptable. While preparing for bed, my wife and I began to notice more and more dirt that had not been cleaned up. Most of the horizontal surfaces had a build-up of dust. There was dried splatters on the mirrors and the picture frame. There was residue from a spill still on the vanity top. All of the light switches and reading lights had a build-up of filth around the switches and the crevices. In the bathroom, there was rust on the ceiling and hair in the shower, The door frame was rusted through on the bottom. The grout in the tile on the floor was either stained or missing. When I pulled back the bed, I found a fair amount of hair in the sheets.
The AC never worked real well the entire cruise. I went to bed warm each night and the cabin became hot and humid after every shower. I was disappointed the cabin steward never noticed or followed up on our A/C problem.
We ate most breakfasts and lunches in the Lido. The food was good and I didn't notice too many lines. I did have to wait 10-15 minutes for pizza every time I went. The staff seems to wait until there is a long line to start making pizzas. We ate every evening in the Atlantic Upper Dining Room. The service was pretty typical of other Carnival ships I have sailed on. Pretty good service with an occasional slow-down in the pace or a delay to get water glasses refilled. The staff went out of their way to accommodate the 2 children in our party. They ordered their meals as requested and even cut up dishes that required it for both girls. I participated in the Tour De Cycle class the 2 times it was offered. The bikes are pretty dated, but mine worked as intended. The instructor (can't remember his name) put on a decent class but wasn't real interactive with the class. It was a real intense workout though. I have noticed a decrease in the quality of the entertainment in the main show lounge over the last couple years. Carnival says they are investing more money in the technology of the show and less in the performers. I believe this ship has the old style entertainment with the singers and many dancers. I enjoyed the shows, but question the kid friendliness of the show Vroom. I noticed they have a couple of equipment issues on this ship. In the gym, the sound system doesn't work properly causing the instructor to leave the class to fix it. In the piano lounge the lady was constantly complaining her equipment wasn't working and calling for assistance to fix it. Disembarkation was easy. We signed-up for the Everglades tour with transfer to the airport. We met in the lounge at the time, were lead to the baggage claim, pick-up our bags, through customs and boarded a motor coach for our tour. Probably the quickest and easiest disembarkation. My wife and I have no desire to sail on this ship again.