We sailed on the August 11, 2007 sailing of the Victory. We are a couple in our late fifties. This was our second cruise. The first was the Carnival Spirit to Alaska. We chose this cruise because it sailed from NYC. We live about 3 hours away and have relatives nearby so there was no need for airlines and hotels.
Embarkation We were dropped of at the pier by a relative. Coming from the GW Bridge was a snap. No traffic until we reached the turn-off into the piers. We were dropped off at 11:50. The line was moderate but moved very quickly. Once through security there were other lines designated by deck. The Deck seven line was not long. We were given our S&S cards at check-in. We were on-board and on the Lido deck by 12:30. Our cabin was ready about 1:45 and at 2:00 we had 2 of our 3 bags! We unpacked and met our CC group on the Lido by the pizza. Good spot and having the Hawaiian lei made everyone easy to spot. It was a great group of people that we seemed to meet frequently throughout the trip.
Sailaway This was one of the glorious days that one hopes for - blue skies, white puffy clouds, low humidity, and cool breezes. Sailing past NYC, Ellis Island, and the statue of Liberty was everything I hoped for. When people see our pictures that can't believe the Hudson is that blue and beautiful. We stayed on deck till well after the Verazanno Bridge was fading in the distance. When we returned to our cabin our third bag was already in the room.
Room We had a balcony on the Empress deck. I love this deck because there are no noises from above or below. We were about three cabins aft of the laundry but heard no noise from there. Our only problem was the family next to us seemed to forget they were in close quarters with other guests. The two teens seemed to be wrestling around quite a bit and the mom had a habit of screaming at them at the top of her lungs. This was really annoying at 1:30 AM, however this seemed to stop after day 3. Not Carnival's fault. The cabin was the same as the balcony on the Spirit, although the balcony was narrower. Our cabin steward T was fantastic. Called us by name every time he saw us. The cabin was spotless. T kept our small soft sided cooler filled with ice everyday.
Dining We had requested 8 PM dining and received it. There weren't many children at this seating and since we were traveling sans family this was great. We were in the Pacific dining room at a round table for 8. Our table mates were fantastic. All in 40's-50's. We became great friends and couldn't wait to share our days activities with them. I don't know how they chose tablemates but they did a fantastic job. Food- Loved the lamb the first night, the veal dish was very good, our tablemates said the chicken was delicious, husband liked the prime rib-done perfectly. Our server Garry was top notch, the best we've had. He was personable and chatted with us every night. Our table was often one of the last to leave the dining room each night. Our Asst. Kamong was quite but very efficient. We ate most of our meals in the DR. I enjoyed being served breakfast and not waiting on line at the Lido. We also ate lunch in the DR twice. Buffet was just ok, although the staff were efficient cleaning the tables.
Ports and Sea Days First Sea day was warm and sunny. Lido deck was quite crowded. Band at the pool was fun. Some chair hogs. St. John was overcast and cool. We took the excursion to St Martin and the sea caves. Our guide was very knowledgeable and gave us a flavor for the area. The tides were not cooperative for walking into the caves but a nice trip. It was raining when we arrived back to St. John so we returned to the ship. St John was such a friendly place, roses and lapel pins for everyone when we debarked and a terrific bagpiper playing on the dock for our departure. The fog rolled in between St John and Halifax. It was milky white. I could barely make out the floor of the balcony when standing. Our pub tour of Halifax was cancelled so we decided to go on the hop-on-hop-off bus. Interesting tour but once was enough. The weather cleared in the afternoon for a while so we enjoyed the promenade and Buskers festival. Fog rolled back in for sail away.
Shows and Activities There were plenty of activities on sea days. Husband went to golf clinic and later took a lesson. Said the lesson was helpful and the pro excellent. I went to the art auction for a bit. We would rather relax and read than participate in the games but they were plentiful. Since we had the late seating it was often a rush to get to the shows. The first night's show was just too crowded by the time we arrived. We would head to the Ionian lounge for an after dinner drink and jazz. This is the cigar bar but it was so funny to see people holding their noses or fanning themselves when walking through. It was really not necessary to walk through the lounge to get anywhere on the ship but some people kept complaining about smoke in the cigar bar. Strange!
Service We had great service wherever we went. Friendly helpful staff always willing to do more.
Debarkation Super easy. They used the new zone system. We were Zone 6 so could have been off the ship by 8:45 but waited around a bit had a relaxing breakfast in the DR, since our car service wasn't scheduled till 9:45. Overall Great relaxing cruise, well worth the money. Convenient for a short trip.