Our family just returned from a cruise on the Carnival Victory. We enjoyed the ports of call, however the Victory, compared to other ships, was a bit disappointing. We found the ship to be crowded and often had to wait in line for food on the Lido deck or to reboard the ship after a day in port. The rooms were standard cruise ship rooms, but no freebies in the bathroom, like on previous cruise ships. No soap in the shower dispenser - the Room Steward indicated that they ran out of soap. Our room did not have a refrigerator and getting the Steward to leave ice was always a chore. Two nights they didn't turn down the beds or clean the room. Overall, we found the staff in all areas of the ship to be less attentive than previous cruises we have been on. Finally, disembarkation was a disappointment because we received high number luggage tags and it took a couple of hours for us to get off the ship. Yes, I could have made my way down to the Service Desk to request lower numbers for an earlier disembarkation - but you guessed it - another line to stand in.
This cruise, thanks to reading reviews from other folks on Cruise Critic, we tried something different and did not book excursions through Carnival. And, we were pleasantly surprised. Not to mention, we saved a lot of money. We hired a taxi, in all ports, just outside of the cruise terminals and were never disappointed. One special note: in Barbados, we hired Carl's Tour and Taxi Service Tel: (246) 427-9702 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a tour. After a great tour of the island for a fantastic price, Carl dropped us at the beach for a swim and snorkel, and came back to get us at a designated time, for one low price. I highly recommend Carl when you visit Barbados.