My background.. I am 40 years old traveling with my DH and 4 Children (15,14,13 and 11), This is my 4th Carnival cruise but my 25th over all. We had booked 2 Balconies on the 9th floor Cabins 9222 and 9218 FWD.
Embarkation was as easy as can be. We arrived at the pier at 10:30 AM, checked in, was handed our sail and sign cards and had a seat. We were onboard by 12:15. Cabins were ready at 1:30 so we headed up to the buffet area. The food selections were basic. We enjoyed the Deli the most and had most lunches there. Bar service is limited in the pool area. It was mostly self serve. We saw a few waiters trying to sell the drink of the day specials, but to get a soda was basically impossible. You had to go to the bar yourself.
This is where my DH purchased his soda card and my sons. The Adult card (and it is a REAL card, not a sticker) was around $25- and the Child Card was around $18-. I don't know if this card system is new, but I was on the Miracle in May and do not remember seeing them there? Carrying 2 cards was kind of a pain and they were very strict on checking the written name on the card and only one soda, In the dining room, if you weren't done with the one you had they would not give you another till the glass was empty. This frustrated my son mostly because he had a long wait between asking and getting his drinks. There is one bar on the 5th floor by the AFT elevators that wont take it. There is no sign, but when my DH asked for a soda he was told they don't take the fountain card. We moved to a different bar.
Cabins- At 1:30 we headed to our cabins. They were clean but we noticed they had put a cot in each room. Apparently, they do not want anyone sleeping on the couches. After a 30 minute argument with the room steward, he left one cot for my 13 year old, and took one away and made up the couch for my 11 year old. The room was wall to wall beds Not what I expected. This made moving around very difficult especially at night. We didn't have one Seahorse bite, but many bruises from the cot biting daily. There are no refrigerators in these cabins.
Ask for extra blankets on day ONE. We did and were fine, but the couple in the next cabin told me they asked and were told they had no more. It is chilly. One more hint. In my cabins the AC controls were on the ceiling. I never thought to look up.
There are plenty of drawers and closets. I have photos of cabin in detail in my webshot link under my signature.
They are not adjoining but the balcony dividers do open so we made one large balcony out of it.
The weather report in NY that day was forecasting showers and I was glad to see the AFT pool was covered. Though the pools are not heated as they are on other cruise lines and remained a constant 64 degrees all cruise. Too cold for my kids and myself. The main pool was not filled till we reached St John. We did see many kids and a few adults take advantage of the hot tubs.
We noticed we were assigned Late seating at two different tables, so off to see the Maitre de in the Atlantic dining room. The line was long but moved quickly. The first night we had a table for 10 lower at the late seating, but the next day we were given a table for 10 upper at 6:15.
Muster drill ran a little long, but as soon as it was over we were in cruise mode.
Camp Carnival-Tonight we signed out kids up for Camp Carnival. You actually had to sit thru a meeting about it. I had one in the 9-11 year old group and two in the 12-14 year old group though only one actually got involved. My oldest daughter had signed up for the Club 02 (15-17 year old group) earlier in the day. The nights activities for the Camp Carnival were family only events .. meaning I had to be there. They wanted to go on there own, so they didn't do any of those activities that night.
Overall they loved Camp Carnival. They had many activities, games and water sports and kept them pretty busy. What I didn't like was they had parties at night, like a pajama party that was an extra fee ($26-) They had 2 of these type parties on the 4 night we were on.
Food- The food was overall fantastic ever night in the dining room. We all found something we liked. My children very much enjoyed the assorted cold soups and deserts.
The Las Vegas style shows were fantastic. They had a lot of games like win loose and draw, trivia and others throughout the day. You could be as busy as you want or not at all.
It was COLD!! Bring a sweatshirt and some pants. Inside and outside. The winds were kicking and it rained. We hit a ton of fog.
Debark- We did self assist, and went to the lounge on deck three at 7 AM. We were off by 7:20 AM and headed home. First time I did self debark, and it was the best think we did!
Overall we had a great cruise. First impression of the Victory, Very Green. Also the pool deck is very cramped and not laid put very well. Would I sail her again... Yes!!