Departed Port of Miami on Carnival Victory for short jump to Key West (yawn) and then over to Cozumel (double yawn) before "day at sea" return to Miami. I will tell you we are seasoned cruisers, 13 total, across many lines (RCCL, ... Read More
Departed Port of Miami on Carnival Victory for short jump to Key West (yawn) and then over to Cozumel (double yawn) before "day at sea" return to Miami. I will tell you we are seasoned cruisers, 13 total, across many lines (RCCL, Princess, HAL, NCL, Disney, others) and have successfully avoided Carnival until the wife's company booked a 200 person sales reward cruise based on, guess what? Cost. I will be honest: the cruise overall was not terrible. It only seemed like it at many points during time on board. Embarkation and Debark relatively trouble free and the majority of shoreside Carnival reps are helpful and polite. No way to avoid the feed-lot scene; they do it as well as most.
Here is my summary of key aspects:
Cabins: we had a balcony cabin, which was good. Would never want an interior cabin, unless you are Never there. Balcony cabins are bad enough. The bed was decent, because we added a topper (key request of cruise). The room was small, the TV was bad (old tube type, which should tell you all you need to know about this tired old boat). The bathroom was pink tile (no kidding, would I make this up) with tons of caulking and ugly stains. It had a couch so that was a plus. Everything in the room was old, but it did not smell.
The food: not as bad as I thought it would be. The lobster formal night was actually good. All other food I would rate a 3-4 on scale of 10. If you rate it higher than this, you've not been around. The burger and chicken finger bar was passable. The sandwich bar was meh. (ordered reuben twice. Got ham and cheese twice.) The buffet was so resistable I never ate one meal there. The pizza bar was decent, but you had to order a pizza and then wait for it, some 10-15 minutes later. Idiotic, easily the worst food policy I have ever seen on a cruise. The ice cream machine served something else. Most folks had nary a problem with any of this, as the usual scenario was heap the plate and force a lot down, damn the taste.
Drinks/bars: the usual assortment of high-margin fruity drinks of the day and overpriced beers, but hey, this is the way you got your $349 or less cruise price. Buckets of beer the best deal. Soft drink packages at $27/cruise not bad if you guzzle more than 5 or 6 a day.
Entertainment: Knew it would be lame so didn't go.
Pools: Give me a break. Use these pools? With all these kids? And drunk teenagers? Death wish for sure. Never saw a hot tub without a dozen teens packed in.
Sun and deck chairs: hardly ever a problem, only slightly for day at sea. Towels decent enough, mostly worn out. Chairs reached the end of useful life about 100 cruises ago.
Bottom line: If not for the worst imaginable most insensitive idiots I ever had the extreme displeasure o being assigned a cabin next door to (think trash talking at all hours of day and night, and I mean ALL hours; gang bangers at their finest) I might not have minded the cruise. But this, along with the usual empty-headed teen drinkers, killed it for me because you cannot control the crowd, and let's face it, the uncouth low-budget cruiser is Carnival's primary target for this type of short out'n'back cruise. Here's the deal: the cruise was free for us, and I Still wish I hadn't gone. Read Less