Carnival Victory Cruise Review by garpts: Overall Okay - Spring Break - Ugh.
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Overall Okay - Spring Break - Ugh.
Okay, I gave a little insight on the message board about the not so much fun part of the Spring Breaker's in board, so I'm going to focus mostly on the parts of the cruise not affected by them.
First - We will NEVER book our air through Carnival, or any other cruise line again. Our flight was scheduled to arrive at 1:41 at FLL and the ship was to leave at 4:00. We were, of course, delayed and we showed up in our room at the end of the life jacket drill. I guess that wasn't bad missing the drill, but the stress of not knowing if we were going to make the ship was not good. We tried to talk them into an earlier flight and they would not work with us at all.
Okay, so we're on board - our room 8439, aft balcony - AWESOME. Best room ever. We completely enjoyed the deeper balcony and we had great neighbors (i.e. No spring breakers) on one side, and some French Canadian's that completely ignored us on the other. We only heard a minor amount of chair scraping from Lido More above us, and had no room across the hall. Our room steward was adequate, although she didn't really do much more than had to be done. No maintenance issues. TV remote was a little temperamental. Our bed was a little hard - not as good as the Inspiration bed we had last year.
Dining - We had the 6:15 seating in the Atlantic Dining Room. We had Rudolpho and Putra as our servers and they were excellent, we extra tipped them. I can't say enough about Putra, everywhere we saw him on the ship he was friendly and went out of his way to talk to us. Our meals were mostly good. After reading about the lobster being small, I ordered a surf and turf that day, and it was great. I loved the mahi-mahi, and thought the prime rib was great. DW is picky, and I think she only had a meal or two that she didn't enjoy. We had great table-mates - Hi Brian and Deb! We only had lunch in the Lido buffet a couple of times, and it was okay. The lines were terrible. We enjoyed the pizza several times, and I had a deli sandwich which was also good. Didn't try the sushi or chinese, but there were always lines at both. DW had room service for breakfast - only cold food, but did the job. Dining room breakfast was the same every day as far as choices go, but we didn't want to stand in line and there was enough choices. My personal favorite was pancakes with stewed bananas. Maitre D was MIA for us, couldn't tell you who he was or what he looked like, unlike George the Greek from the Inspiration.
Shows - We did not make the production shows but heard they were pretty good. We did see both comedians, Allen Paul and Al Romero?, they were okay. Magic show - eh. The variety singer had bad production problems, which hurt his show. The 'silent movie' skit was hilarious.
Activities - Couldn't get near the ones on deck due to the college kids. I did trivia the first evening, came in 2nd. No ship on a stick this time. I did take a golf lesson and excursion in Grand Cayman with golf instructor Brian Fallon. He's young, 25, and not necessarily the best people person ever, but he helped my swing and I enjoyed playing with him on Cayman. DW did a 90 minute stone massage that was over in 70 minutes and she was not impressed with the cost $175.00 or the service. I played in a Texas Hold-em' tourney on the Poker Pro machine, came in 4th, out of the money. The machine takes at 10% rake for cash games, be forewarned. DW won a little on the nickel slots.
Ports - We pre-booked a cab with Gerry on Cozumel (our table-mates came along, too), did a city tour, went to the ruins at San Gervais, which were okay - not as complete as Tulum, but worth the short trip. We did the tequila tour - that was great! It's $10 but you get an awesome margarita, and plenty of tastes of about 12 different kinds of tequila. We did lunch at a place I can't remember, but wouldn't go back to and then back to town for some shopping before returning to the ship. I would recommend Gerry for a private excursion, he's $80.00 for the first 3 hours and $20 per hour thereafter for a vehicle that can accommodate 4 passengers. You can find info on him in the Cozumel boards.
Cayman - I played golf with 3 other passengers and Brian. Course was just okay. I wouldn't pay $175 to play it in the states. It was nice to play though and that was the only port that would work for us. DW did some shopping. We were in Cayman last year, and did Stingray City - not much else appealed to us as DW is not a diver or snorkeler.
Ocho Rios - We booked river tubing with Mark Morris (Marks Tours), and that was a nice tour. Mark is a great ambassador for his country. More on him on the Jamaica board. I was a little under the weather, so we did the tour, some shopping, a snack at the Hard Rock and back to the ship.
Disembarkment was slow. We self-assisted and it still took us about an hour and a half to get off the ship. Airport transfer was fine. Flights home were okay, but they lost a piece of luggage (still haven't found it one day later).
Other tidbits - we like Malcolm the Cruise Director, we didn't mind the woo-hoo's. Ship was mostly clean, tough job given the Spring Breakers. Chair hogs were very prevalent, and no help from Carnival staff, other than a notice in the Capers to not do it. Overall friendliness of staff was mixed. We did not get our invite to the past guest party, and did get a letter from someone apologizing.
The out-of-control college students really put a damper on our week. We did not get to enjoy a lot of things on the ship due to their behavior or that they just took over parts of the ship. We will probably sail Carnival again, but NEVER during Spring Break. We didn't have it nearly as bad some some people we spoke with, but it was still enough to have me send a letter to Carnival.
Feel free to e-mail if any specific questions. Less
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