Carnival Victory Dining
Carnival Victory has two main dining rooms, both spanning two decks: q the Lobby (Aft) and Atlantic (amidships). Each sea-themed venue (stoic mermaid heads, seahorses, fish murals) has two set seating times for dinner (6 and 8:15 p.m.), serves up to 900 people and features a second floor wraparound balcony. Passengers also have the option to sign up for My Time Dining, Carnival's flex-dining program. You can make reservations or show up anytime between 5:45 to 9:30 p.m. (Note: One of the restaurants has a designated My Time section.)
The majority of the pink-clothed tables seat eight or more, and the color and layout of the rooms give the impression that you're in a massive wedding reception hall.
The dinner menu in the dining rooms is limited, but there is enough of a variety to make choosing difficult. Choices are broken down into starters (blue cheese salad, gazpacho, fried shrimp), mains (linguini with sausage, oven roasted turkey, petit filet) and choices "from our comfort kitchen" (beef brisket, shrimp & fries). Vegetarians always have a dedicated main (tofu steak) and healthy options are designated as such with a little heart. Desserts, including the notorious chocolate melting cake, finish off the meal.
Carnival Victory's more casual venue is the two-deck Mediterranean Restaurant, located on Lido (8) and Panorama (9) Decks. It's fashioned after an (ersatz) seaside Italian villa, with alternating pink and teal paneling inset in (darker) pink stucco walls. Standard greasy breakfast choices are offered daily, including scrambled eggs, breakfast meats and fried potatoes. You can also choose from the healthier items, like fresh fruit, yogurt and dry cereals. There's an omelet station (the lines can get long) where you too can enjoy an omelet cooked with your choice of fillings.
If you're aiming to consume something more exotic for your first meal of the day, like Lobster eggs Benedict, head to the Atlantic or Pacific dining rooms for open seating breakfast.
For a typical lunch in the Mediterranean buffet, you'll find made-to-order pasta, salads, hot entrees like chicken parmesan, carved beef, baked salmon with bearnaise sauce, etc. There are also daily theme buffets, ostensibly offering foods from places like Mexico and India.
Beyond the usual buffet station offerings, but all located in the same general Lido Deck area, the Yangtze Wok (near one of two entrances to the Mediterranean Restaurant) offers made to order stir-fries; The East River Deli (located by a second entrance) features a variety of interesting sandwich choices -- salmon with cream cheese on a bagel, hot corned beef and pastrami on rye with mustard -- but the resulting sandwiches, with their fatty processed-tasting meats and untoasted bread were a bit disappointing. Just outside the Mediterranean Restaurant, Lido Deck's Mississippi BBQ serves burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, hot dogs and french fries; also on Lido Deck, Pizzeria Arno (available 24 hours and located a convenient one flight up trip from our cabin) serves pizza.
A popular sushi cart is rolled out nightly.
A short walk from the South China Sea Club Casino, you'll find the Coral Sea Cafe, which serves coffee, cappuccino, espresso and various desserts -- large cookies, chocolate cakes, pastries -- for a fee. The coffee is substantially better than the free stuff located throughout the ship.
There are also several highly intoxicating soft serve ice cream stations, available 24 hours a day.
Room service is available 24 hours a day, and it's fee-free. You can get a variety of food items delivered to your cabin, including sandwiches, cheese and crackers and booze too.. We must give commendation where commendation is due. They will accommodate bizarre requests without the slightest bit of scrutiny or judgment. A fair-skinned tablemate who became dehydrated after an extended sunning period ordered nine juices, which were brought to her without the slightest appearance of suspicion.
Continental breakfast is also available. Simply mark the card found in your cabin with your choices, jot down a time, and someone will deliver your food.
Also available on all of Carnival's ships is The Chef's Table dining experience, which affords a dozen passengers a multicourse dinner with a master chef, a private cocktail reception and a tour of the galley and its operations. This dining option usually takes place in a nontraditional venue, such as the galley or library, and it can be booked onboard at the information desk for a per-person cost of $75.