It's hard to understand the reviews of the Victory. People seem to love it or hate it with few in the middle. We really enjoyed it.
Embarkation was quick -- about 20 minutes. This was largely due to the fact that we registered in our hotel in Miami and bypassed the long lines you see when entering the warehouse. We picked up our keys and our Sail and Sign Cards.
We are a couple from rural Washington state in our early 50's. I was a first timer and it was my wife's second cruise. Maybe we did not expect as much as others.
The ship was extremely clean. We never saw any dirt throughout the week. Our cabin steward (Harold) was exceptional. The crew was friendly and tried to accommodate us with our requests. Room service was quick and mistake free.
Food was good. The exception may have been the buffet on the Lido deck. We tried it once and then went back to formal dining or one of the other options. Try the Mississippi BBQ and the Eastside Deli. The pizza and calzones were also quite good. Formal dining offered a wide variety and you can order as many or as much as you want. There were always about 5 starter courses, 2 salads, 6 or 7 main courses, and about 4 desserts plus 4 types of ice cream if not interested in the desserts. Most items were quite good and it provided a chance to try items that you don't ordinarily eat. My only complaints were that the beef was overcooked a couple times and the only drinks were water or iced tea unless you ordered from the bar.
Entertainment was also good. The two Vegas shows are well done. The vocalists were inconsistent but the band and dancers were top notch. There were also magicians, comics and singers throughout the week. Lounges provided a variety of entertainment. Kevin in the Irish Sea Bar is a MUST SEE. You must be dead if don't enjoy his talents. Caution: the show becomes more "R" rated as the night goes along and if this offends you, find something else. Some nights found several things going on at the same time and tough decisions had to be made. During the day there were art auctions, Bingo and a variety of games. There were also a number of musical groups playing throughout the ship.
If this was not enough, you could always lie in the sun, use the waterslide or try the gym facilities. The gym is large, beautiful and mostly unused. The casino is large but the slots were really tight the week we cruised. If that's not enough, there are more passive activities including movies on your TV. There was simply too much to do in the period of time aboard.
For shore excursions, we walked ashore at San Juan and visited shops until dark then went to a casino.
At St. Maarten we rented a car, toured the island and then went to the Butterfly Farm and Orient Beach.
At St. Thomas we went on a tour with Sunny Liston. We went shopping, saw the island and then went to Coki Beach and Coral World.
We had a cabin on the 7th deck at the extreme back of the boat. While we could not see where we were going, we had a larger balcony and did not have to worry about falling overboard when it was rough. It also gave us the chance to talk to others above, below and to our sides. We would strongly recommend this type of cabin.
This was a great week for us. We came with the idea of having a fun vacation and we had it. We would have no problem sailing the Victory again. With our lack of cruising experience, there may be better packages out there, but we were completely satisfied.
(We did not rate the "value for price" category because we won the cruise and really don't know what it cost.)