Carnival Victory - Western Caribbean: Carnival Victory Cruise Review by tina1114

Carnival Victory 5
Member Since 2005
35 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Carnival Victory - Western Caribbean

Sail Date: November 2005
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
This is my second cruise  both with Carnival. We last sailed on the Destiny in Nov. 1999. I am going to give an honest review, but in spite of anything that I say that may sound negative, I had a wonderful trip! This was our first holiday cruise: Dec. 18-25.

I am going to apologize for being long-winded but I am a detail person.

There are some things that Carnival could change but others were way beyond their control. In general, I did notice that they have cut back (since last cruise) on their amount of activities and there were a couple nights were they didnt have the late night buffet.

General: We didnt have the best of weather. Most of the trip, it rained and the seas were choppy. I have to say, you can really feel the movement on this ship. Some of the crew mentioned that even they noticed the difference in movement from this ship to the others that they had been on. I am not prone to motion sickness but even I was feeling off kilter on Monday. I More just bumped up my ginger dosage to 4 pills (2-3 times per day). Never got sick, so yes, it works!

Embarkation Day: After all the horror stories that I heard about this process, I was amazed at how fast it went. We stayed overnight in Miami at the Intercontinental and left for the Port at 10:30. We got inside and in line at 10:45 and they were already letting people board the ship. I will say that about 11am, the lines were outside the terminal door. My advice is to get there early. We were on and having lunch by 11:30am, but werent allowed to room till 1:30.

Cabin: We booked an oceanview guarantee room and booked two weeks prior to traveling. When we got to get our keys, we found out we were upgraded to a balcony on the Lido deck. What a unexpected Christmas gift! The room had enough space and having the balcony was wonderful. I did spend more time in my room because of the balcony, plus it was nice leaving it open at night to hear the waves. If you are on this floor and you have Santiago as your cabin steward, you are so lucky. He was so good that we tipped him extra in the beginning and at the end.

Main Dining room  We ate two breakfasts and 5 dinners there. Most everything was good to very good. The soups were great as were some of the desserts. One recommendation is to be careful how you order your beef: they seem to undercook it. I usually order mine medium rare and it was too rare. Once I started ordering it medium, it was perfect. The menus were pretty much the same as in 1999. Ship: I found the ship to be clean and the public areas to be very pretty. The only disappointing thing that many people expressed was lack on holiday decorations. It took me two days to realize that there were decorations on the banisters. There was no big Christmas tree.

Entertainment: I have to say that I did not attend any of the big shows, so I cannot tell you how they were. We went to Karaoke every evening and had a great time. It is amazing to see how talented some of your fellow guests are. It was always busy. Damian is the Karaoke host and a great guy. He is as fair as he can be to everyone. Be nice to him  he will be there till Feb. 12th. (Be sure to tell him that his friend, Tina says hi) PLEASE NOTE: The equipment in karaoke is not the best, so if something technical happens, it isnt the hosts fault.

Other than that, the piano bar is a lot of fun. I tried to go there for awhile each night. Didnt really spend much time in the disco but heard it was great. The music that they played in the Adriatic Lounge was good. I think the band was Music Network.

I know that someone else had mentioned the Cruise Director, Dana Hodson. I have to agree with them that he is not very entertaining. Some of his jokes I had seen on the Internet. With his radio background, you would think that he would have experience with ad-libbing. You could tell that everything he did was overly scripted, which to some extent, I think is necessary. But, I never did get a sense that he enjoyed what he was doing and he seemed to just be going through the motions. You could also tell that he had a very high opinion of himself. Karl with a K is an excellent Assistant Cruise Director with a wonderful personality. He makes up for what Dana lacks. The rest of their staff is wonderful from social hostess, Emma to Club o2 (teen disco) Director, Theresa.

Food/Dining: I am a very picky eater and do attend a lot of fine dining establishments. If you cant find something you like to eat on this ship, you arent really trying everything. The only thing I didnt try was the oriental place because there are very few Asian items that I like. Was there things I didnt care for or were bad&Yes. If that happened, I just ordered something else. Lido  Everyone talks about the lines for the buffet but I have to tell you that I didnt think they were that bad. Sometimes they were long, but they moved very quickly. The food was good, I think better than many buffets that I have frequented. Some of the beef on the buffet was tough. One day, they had ham and it was delicious. The Taste of the Nation line always features a certain type of food. I like both the French and Greek days. Pizza  I have been spoiled on New York pizza but theirs was good. I had a couple slices almost every night. Deli  Great sandwiches. The Reuben was good and the tuna very good. I had them make be a tuna melt by adding cheese and grilling it and this was great. The staff at pizza and deli arent very friendly. The grill is wonderful for burgers and fries. The late nights I didnt have pizza, I had a burger and then ice cream for dessert.

Pools/Decks: Since it was raining, we only had 1-2 days to use the deck. We were on a full ship and I didnt really have a problem finding space. 15 minutes and I found a chair. Then, headed to the hot tub and there were only a few people in it. It was nice and warm without being too hot. The bartenders at the Sirens bar are great. Tommy always remembers everyones name and Marcelino is so nice.

Spa/Gym: I was a spa model when they gave ship tours on Sunday. I got the seaweed wrap and it was great. Later in the week, my feet were hurting and swollen, so I had the foot massage/pedicure. This was so worth the money.

Ports/Tours: Costa Maya  Not a port that I would go back to. Do not shop here as they are very expensive. We did the Jungle Beach Break excursion. For the price, you could not beat it. Now, the beach isnt as pretty as Cozumel but the staff is great. Unlimited drinks are included in your fee and we ended up sitting next to the party group who had tipped the staff as soon as they got there. We never had to get up out of our chair to get a drink and they never let our glasses get empty. Not being a heavy drinker, I had to start slowing myself down, so they wouldnt give me more.

Grand Cayman  Port was closed due to weather and rough seas. I had already been there and was going to stay on the ship anyway.

Ocho Rios  We were just going to go shopping but we had a wonderful cab driver, Jason, who gave us a great deal on a tour. He took us everywhere and spent 4 hours with us and only charged us $35 each for the two of us. We couldnt have done any excursion with the ship for that much, so we loved it. Seeing the Island this makes gives me a better respect for it.

Debark: Believe it or not, this was uneventful. We got up at 7:30am, got dressed, went to the lido to have breakfast. Our deck was called about 9am and we were on the bus to the airport by 9:30.

There are things that I think could be better but it would not make me stop cruising with Carnival. I think the staff was great from housekeepers, to bar staff, to entertainment staff, and dining staff. I would have enjoyed more of a Holiday atmosphere and everyone I spoke with mentioned that it didnt feel like Christmas or Hanukah. The main part is that I was on vacation and it is what you make of it. I heard some complaints about things but my comment was to just enjoy yourself  that is what being on holiday is all about. Less

Published 01/30/06

Cabin review: 8E9217 Balcony

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