Just off the Victory yesterday. We were first time cruisers and didn't know exactly what to expect and what to do even though I read a lot on various boards including Cruise Critic.
To summarize, we had a wonderful time and there was absolutely no part of our cruise on the Victory that did not exceed our expectations. Carnival handled all our arrangements for us and that worked out well. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale and went on a Greyhound type bus to the pier. There we zigged and zagged the lines to embarkation, back and forth, back and forth. Then we boarded and headed to the Lido deck for lunch and for sailing. The hamburgers/French fries were wonderful as were the steak sandwiches.
Our cabin was great, outside with balcony. The extra money for the balcony was well worth it. We spent a lot of time out there daily. The cabin was exceptionally clean and tidy in all aspects each and every day. Our stewards, Carlos and Inoneman, were terrific. I still am amazed at the service by all the ship's staff. They always had smiles on their faces and were pleasant! The crew greatly enhanced our trip!
Ports of Call: Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios. In Cozumel, we spent the day shopping and relaxing. For $6.00 each way we took a taxi to downtown and strolled the shops etc. A fun filled day, then back to the pier to relax on the small beach where we could see our ship. Loaded up on goodies for our family and I got a Tanzanite ring which was beautiful! Look at it as an investment ladies.
Grand Cayman: We took the coral reef/swim with stingray tour with Sotos! They were great but the water was a bit cold for me. Then off to see the sights and back on the ship. Tendering was a bit interesting. But good.
Ocho Rios: This was by far our favorite port of call. By all means do the Falls, you will never forget it and this was the highlight of our cruise! We booked with Orville Taylor and had the tour to ourselves! Stopped along the road to rent sticky shoes $5 and I think we were the first ones to the Falls that morning. The guys at the Falls, Big Foot was our guide, was great. He took lots of pix for us which were great! Then back to Margaritaville and shopping. No problem mon!
Food: You never go hungry or want anything on the Victory. We had room service each morning for coffee which we enjoyed on our balcony. We went to only one formal night as we found the dining room swayed a bit more than the Mediterranean dining room did. The food and service was outstanding!
Staff: I cannot say enough about the wonderful job those ladies and gentleman do! Never an unpleasant experience! Always a smile on their faces! I wonder how they can be so pleasant when some guests are absolutely rude to them!
Cabin: We had a 8A cabin. Lots of room for luggage, even room under the beds! Nice sofa and small table. This cabin had no fridge, but Carlos kept our cooler full. Bathroom was nice with lots of room to store stuff. No need for the shoe hanger thing. Suggestion, take the shower head off the wall and adjust the slide thing, this way you won't flood the bathroom.
Service: In all aspects A++++++
Suggestions: Book your tours off the line with private agencies. This will save lots of money. Try for the early tours if possible to avoid lines. We hardly had to wait in line for any tour we took! Room service for breakfast and lunch after tours. Gives you variety and you can enjoy from your balcony while sailing away! Definitely take a large rubber band type thing or bungee cord for the door. We had our balcony door open for 99% of the cruise to hear the water! Take binoculars, we enjoyed identifying the other ships etc. Take a water bottle or insulated glass to fill up on lemonade for the next day. Lemonade is turned off for breakfast.
Soda Card: keep in mind they only offer Coke products. DH loves Mountain Dew and they serve Mello Yellow. If you send postcards, buy on board and go to the Purser's desk for stamps and mail directly from the ship. I never did find a post office. Really do pack HALF the clothes! You need only a minimum supply and remember you have to cart those off the ship and to the airport at the end! Take an extra folding bag/allow for room for goodies on the way home. Disembarkation was an experience! Go for the self Disembarkation. It saves time and go right to the 3rd floor.
Shopping: catch the shopper on your fun TV if you don't want to go to the talk. It runs on your TV the same day in your cabin! Maps are great and there is free stuff, and get a map ahead of time!
We had a WONDERFUL time on the Victory and could not have asked for a better vacation for the price! I cannot say enough good words about the Victory and all the staff. Ignore the negative reviews and try her! For December, Victory was #1 with Carnival in guest satisfaction! Feel free to email any questions.