Hello fellow cruise enthusiasts, this was my 20th cruise. I had not sailed with Carnival Lines since 1986. I chose the 9/11/2004 New England/Canada sailing from New York City on the Carnival Victory. One of the reasons, I chose 9/11/2004 was that the 7 day itinerary began for New England/Canada. As an avid fan of Celebrity due to their outstanding food and service, I had very little expectations of Carnival in the same regard, but I wanted to try it.
Glad I did. Okay, there were positives. Since I was a single traveller, I had to pay practically two fares. I was advised that my cabin would contain bunk beds. What a pleasant surprise!! My cabin was the largest I ever had on a cruise ship. I had one single bed, a sitting area, tons of closet space, lovely terry robes, and two large windows! I loved the music channels in the cabin -- lots of selection.
The ship is typical Carnival. Some public rooms were magnificently decorated and in good taste. I especially liked the selection of piped in music at the outside buffets. The main lobby area is very green and really a bit too glitzy. The Atlantic and Pacific restaurants are downright ugly in decor. You should request a seat on the lower levels in order to get a view. I loved one of the bar areas where you could see videos of live marine life. Neat! The ship is an architectural monstrosity. It is huge and the public areas are not reached easily. One finds themselves going up, down, and around and the maps are not helpful. The gift shops had a lot of great bargains on perfumes, cosmetics, cigarettes, and hair accessories.
The food quality and taste ranged from horrible to edible. I sent back at least one meal every night. At the East River Deli, they need to include potato chips. If you want potato salad, you must get it at the main buffet to accompany your sandwich. The Victory uses Haagen Daz Ice Cream as their vendor in the main dining rooms. Not as good as Celebrity's homemade ice cream, but it was very good. The food presentation really lacked.
The service was not excellent, but very good and efficient. The staff was quite pleasant and tried to accommodate your every need.
The spa service looked terrific, a bit too pricey for me. The whirlpools in the gym area were delightful and they offer an enclosed panoramic view of the ocean.
Great weather during this vacation. The nights were chilly. I am not very tall so I had a difficult time reaching to the ceiling in my cabin to adjust the temperature. I think the climate control should be located on the walls and not the ceilings.
The entertainment was very good. The various jazz combos were first rate and very enjoyable.
Sydney in Nova Scotia was a waste of time. Nothing there of interest. Halifax was excellent and Peggy's Cove and that area in general is beautiful.
Debarkation for Boston was done inefficiently as we had to wait for 1,000 passengers to descend on 1 staircase for their tours. It really wasted time.
Embarkation in New York was long and the Fun Pass really did not expedite matters. Debarkation in New York was actually quick and efficient.
My tablemates were great and the ship had passengers of all ages.
Would I sail Carnival again, you bet ya. They need to improve mostly on the quality of food and presentation. Otherwise, it was a great vacation.
Thanks for listening.