first time for both of us on carnival (royal Caribbean cruisers). we got a great deal so we went with carnival.
we flew in the night before into ft lauderdale and stayed at a motel 6 (cheap and easy). we rented a compact from Alamo with the gps (great option when you don't know where you are. partied Saturday night and crashed at motel. the next day i got a haircut and picked up some wine and other odds and ends like last minuet woman stuff(as if 2 50lb bags for her was not enough)and returned the car to Miami airport took free shuttle to the victory.
boarding was quick and painless and we had our bags at the door by 6pm that night( very quick). our room was a interior and was the best interior room we ever stayed in. the bed was wonderful and the shower had room for both of us. the quality of the materials used in the room was very nice. I felt that they should have put a flat screen in (saves weight throughout the ship and matches the room). otherwise we were satisfied with the room.
The service was good however the first night our waiter had a huge attitude problem so we switched tables. there was always bar staff around ready to serve you a fresh drink and i had many smiles from the staff. i was able to chat with some of the sea men from India and found everyone to be quite accommodating.
during lunch the buffet was offering sub par food IMHO. and to make it worse there was always a line. ALWAYS. the pizza was just ok we are new yorkers so it would be tough to beat what we are used to. the BBQ was decent but nothing to write home about. in fact the food throughout the cruse was just ok. we were not disappointed because we believe you get what you pay for and this was a cheap cruise so we could not get upset. but i don't like to wait in line for sub FRIDAYS type food. dinner was the best food on the ship but that does not say a lot.
obviously the excursions on the ship are over priced so we just went on shore and did our own thing. Cozumel rented a moped and went to the Atlantic side drank tequila and coronas and then went to the Mayan ruins. then we got smashed at Carlos and charlies. also bought some wicked strong tequila ( could be used as paint thinner) and got back on board our budget vacation vessel
the casino was great. i did very well playing craps and Texas hold-em. the poker pro table takes a 10% rake. WOW. it deals more hands per hour that a live person and that i liked it however did i mention a 10% rake? and that 10% rake has no maximum. at one point the pot was 1000 and the rake was 100 un herd of. i was just happy to have cards at sea and would play again but carnival makes a killing with that poker pro.
the pool had a great layout except good luck finding a lunge chair every one claims a chair with their towel at like 5 am or something so be sure to get one quick. the water slide was lots of fun WOO HOO (Malcolm joke)
grand cayman was easy 7 mile bridge and swimming. we just vegged out and worked on our tan. would have liked more time here. be sure to get the rum cake from Tortuga and rum to while your at it.
the shows where very budget or poor if you will. we did not care for the night life on this ship. WARNING if you want nightlife don't sail on victory. this was primarily a older crowd and by 1 am it was bed time for 80% of the ship.
Jamaica was a big let down. it was raining and we had a half day there. the people here are very pushy so don't buy things in Jamaica unless you want people grabbing you into their huts and begging for you to buy. instead stick to Dunn's river falls and the canopy tour you will be better off.
All in all this was a last minute bargain vacation for us. the price was right and we got to relax. we had a great time because we always make the best of things. it is what it is a budget cruise ship at budget prices. don't expect fancy food or fancy decor. If you need to get away for cheap book the victory and you'll do fine.