This was our first cruise. I was a bit apprehensive as to how it would turn out,but my husband and I enjoyed the cruise. We were picked up by a limo from our house and arrived at the pier at 2pm. We were told that we should not be at the port earlier than an hour before embarkation but we found out later that a lot of people were already in their cabins and alot of them eating. Someone had mentioned that they were there since 12pm! If we had known that , we would have been there early! The embarkation was not a lot of problems ,but since it was our first time, we had to ask a lot of information.There were supposed to be two lines to get into the line that gives you the Sign and Sail Card , according to your cabin , but some people just walked under the ropes , and went ahead of us.Thank god, I was on a Vacation mode, so I ignored them. We pushed our own luggage so it was easy. When we got to our cabin we thought it was very roomy and the balcony was a great addition, I would recommend it. Though some people say that cabin type is not important, I tell you it is. To be comfortable where you sleep ,dress and relax is first thing on my list.The bed was very comfortable and the soft feather pillows are relaxing (though I had to ask for two more, which our cabin steward happily provided.) The first time we heard Malcolm Burn (Cruise Director )speak was during the mandatory Lifeboat Drill at 4:30pm. He was hilarious! When he reached the part about no lighting of candles and added 'duh',I burst out laughing,even thought the man in front of me smelled like he swam in a tub full of cologne! We really did not avail much of the Dining Room since we really did not like to dress up. We went to the Pacific Dining Room one night ,on the third night. The food was good,I had the Steak and my husband had the chicken. We did not have any wine (we are not wine drinkers) though we had soda (which cost us $4.04). We enjoyed the small show put on by the staff at the end of dinner.I think the small Indonesian guy was very agile. We ate mostly at the buffet food at the Lido Deck and East river Deli sandwiches .Burgers were not bad. I love the fries! We ordered room service twice (just gave a little gratuity) and also brought back hot chocolate to the cabin in the middle of the night (24 hours of free beverages !!) There was a Grand gala Buffet the 4th night and the culinary expertise of the chefs were displayed.The ice carving was a great work of art. Our steward was Rochmad and he did very well. I think they work so hard to keep everyone satisfied and happy. Our cabin was always clean and the towel animals were great work of art.I took pictures of them every night and are now displayed in our Vacation album. I used the Gym two days and the track on Panorama the other times because if you go to the gym early, all the machines were in use.Next time I will remember to eat first and then go to the gym since I noticed that at 10 am ,there were only a few people there. There were two mornings that it rained and became so foggy but my husband and I did our walks on the Panorama Deck. I recommend also making sure you get pictures of the Sunrise and Sunset. It was grand display of colors. At night, we sat on the balcony (twice with our jackests ) and just listened to the sound of the water. The shows were good and the singers and dancer ( The Victory Singers) have really great voices.There was a comedian , Frank Del Pizzo was funny. We did not get to see his Midnight X-rated show though. The magician,Rand Woodbury, did some few tricks but nothing spectacular to recommend. I do commend the Casino Trident Band ( The Simple Friends), They made everyone sing and dance. They belted out 50s,60s and 70s songs so well, you think you are really listening to th real group.We ordered the drink of the day ( and get to keep the glass) and beer and pinacolada a few times. We took the Horse trolley tour of Saint John and the Moosehead beer tasting tour.The facts are interesting and next time we go we now know that we could just get off the ship and do our own tour , since the market place and the shops and focal points are just walking distances. The lone bagpipe player during our departure made me misty eyed.Do not miss that. The excursion at Nova Scotia was a bit confusing. Each tour should have their own booth . Everyone was milling about ! We were directed to the wrong bus and the tour guide did not look at the tickets. They really should look at them first. We were already halfway into the tour when we were told we were on the wrong bus. the Lady in Pier 21 pointed us to this bus when we asked.Anyway, when reached Peggy's Cove (it was a very picturesque place and yes , the Lighthouse has a Post Office), we met up with the right tour. We then proceeded to the lobster lunch. It was also a sad thing to hear about the Titanic Victims buried here and the Flight 103 crash site . We also had a small cone of Ice cream at the Whale's Back store. Duly noted, I saw that all the shops carried COWS ice cream.It was delish!! We really did not get to use the pools . They were always crowded with kids (including the hot tubs) and then two days it was cold outside. The debarkation process was not bad at all. they had straightened out some crimps in the system , so instead of debarking by colors,every deck from the top was debarked from self assist to the ones with luggage last. We had our own luggage , so it was quick. Though, I would like to recommend to the Carnival who organizes Debarkation that maybe they should make sure to designate only certain elevators for debarkation purposes. There were a lot of holdups, since a lot of people are taking the elevators to eat or to the other parts of the ship.The lines from just the Empress deck was long waiting for elevators towards the forward section.
We tried our hand in some slots at the casino but did not win big. There was disco every night, and also alot of programs. There were 2-3 Bingo games everyday (which we lost) But at the Last one my husband won a $75.00 worth of art work and champagne. We can't wait for our next cruise. We are planning for it.We really enjoyed ourselves and the crew and staff made our vacation worthwhile. We give the whole Victory cruise a 4.5.