I chose this cruise when searching for a break from the horrible Michigan winter. The dates fit into my schedule perfectly and the price point was really reasonable.
Embarkation was a breeze. My flight was delayed about an hour, but I wasn’t really worried as I had purchased travel insurance through an independent website as I usually do when I cruise. When I got to baggage claim at Ft. Lauderdale airport, I checked in at the carnival desk and the gentleman there said he had been tracking my flight and not to worry, there was plenty of time to get me to the port. I had purchased my transfers in advance, so they knew I was enroute. Once I got my bags I joined a few other cruisers on the transfer bus.
I walked into the check-in terminal at 1:05pm and was on the ship at 1:29pm. I dropped my bag off in my stateroom and headed up to the lido deck for lunch. Other than the main dining room, all food venues were open. After having a bite I chilled out watching the people……….love that part of a cruise!
My inside stateroom on the 2nd floor was very clean and comfortable. I unfortunately never managed to shower without getting at least some water on the floor, I guess if the cruise would have been a week I would have mastered that task. I had three face-to-face interactions with my room steward and all three times were just a quick hello. I have zero complaints about my stateroom or my cabin steward. He and his assistant did a good job.
In Key West, I got off the ship just before 11:00am with a plan to find a place for a Florida stone crab lunch. After calling one of the places I head been referred to on CC, and learning their prices were almost $60 per pound, I settled on another spot highly rated on trip advisor. It was a HUGE hit! Located approximately half a mile from the port, walking was super easy. The stone crab and lobster roll I had for lunch were AMAZING!
I went to a few comedy shows, some karaoke, an art auction, people watched near the casino and main atrium stages listening to music and wandered around. I also spent a bit of time near the pool in addition to keeping up with some necessary work from home on my laptop while up on the lido deck in a booth near a window. I went to a couple of the bigger shows in the evening, but really enjoyed listening to music and people watching in some of the smaller lounges. I got off the ship very briefly in Cozumel, walked through the shops and decided I didn’t feel like getting hassled by the locals and got back on the ship.
I usually had a light breakfast and my lunch in the buffet on the lido deck. One day I had lunch in the dining room, but I had dinner every night in the dining room. I chose late seating when I booked the cruise. The food was good, not great………but I think my expectations are realistic. Everyone always talks about the food on a cruise, but if you think about it, what kind of quality do you really think you’re going to get when you’re paying about $100 per day for your vacation? It amazes me when people complain about cruise food. They are not going to serve unlimited portions of prime steak, seafood and delicacies on a mass market mega cruise line. It’s never going to happen. I am fairly particular about what I eat, I don’t like a bunch of fried or processed foods and I had no trouble finding plenty of decent food. There was more than enough fresh fruit, simply prepared meat, chicken or fish, salads and dessert for most reasonable humans to enjoy. My only complaint about the dining situation is that when traveling alone, it’s a little uncomfortable being placed at a large table when only a couple other people show up to dinner. I had a couple pleasant table mates though, so it was fine.
Most of the other passengers seemed friendly and I thought the crew was very welcoming and accommodating. Several crew members would stop and say hello or ask me if I needed anything when noting I was alone.
I didn’t go on any shore excursions, nor did I spend any time (or money) in the spa. It was a really nice treat just chilling out without any pressures except the little bit of work I did on my laptop and enjoying the warm sunshine. As usual on a carnival cruise, there were several highly intoxicated people making scenes. I tend to think that the “all you can drink” type package for about $50 per day really encourages people to overdo it and act like fools. I do recognize that for some people, getting as drunk as you can for a few days in a row is their idea of a great vacation, even though it’s not my thing.
To wrap it up, there’s nothing luxurious or fancy about the carnival victory. Both the staff and my fellow passengers were friendly and I really enjoyed the time away. The ship is well maintained and comfortable. I would go again and urge others with the priority of getting away in a laid back style to do the same. If, however your priority is elegance, fine dining and high class service, you will likely be disappointed and should consider paying at least five times the price and going to a high end all-inclusive resort of on one of the true luxury line cruises.