Carnival Victory - Eastern Caribbean: Carnival Victory Cruise Review by Cherie

Carnival Victory 4
Member Since 2005
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Carnival Victory - Eastern Caribbean

Sail Date: March 2006
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
We cruised on the Carnival Victory for the Eastern Caribbean 7 day cruise from Miami on Sunday, March 19th. This was our sixth cruise, our first on Carnival, having already cruised on Princess, Holland America, and Royal Caribbean. Since it was Spring Break for college students (our daughter included) we were a little concerned about the Fun Ship concept, thinking that perhaps it would be noisy and filled with too many young party-types. Although there were younger passengers overall on this cruise than our other cruises, we did not experience any excess noise or raucous behavior. There were also many seniors and families to round out the clientele.


We had heard and read horror stories of long lines in Miami, but our experience was a pleasant one. We arrived at the pier about 11:30 a.m., checked our luggage in with a porter, and stood near the door with about maybe 50 other people. Then just a few minutes later, they opened the door, and we proceeded More immediately upstairs where we checked in and were given our cruise cards. There were no lines&we went right up to the desk. We then went on the ship, and were told that our rooms wouldnt be ready until about 1:00, so we explored the ship for a while and ended up in the Lobby Bar, where we met up with the rest of our party.


We had a balcony on Deck 6, port side. The room was extremely spacious, with lots of storage space. Closets were very large with plenty of hangars, and there were many shelves scattered throughout the room, providing ample storage. The beds were wonderfully comfortable, with plush bedding, comforters, etc. We also had a sofa in our room. Bathrooms were spacious, with a large medicine cabinet for storage. The showers were some of the largest weve experienced on all other cruises. There were dispensers in the shower for shower gel and shampoo. We received a basketful of toiletry items the first day, but it was not replenished. I had to ask for additional hair conditioner, which was mildly annoying. Our cabin service was good overall, with twice daily service and the traditional towel animals, turn down service, chocolates on the pillow at night. However, for some reason our room was not serviced on the last night, which was frustrating. Our steward even saw us leave for dinner, so he knew we were gone. We returned to our room too late to call for service, so had to deal with dirty towels, no nice neat bed, etc. Not a good way to end the cruise!


The food overall was good, not great, but was well presented. Some dishes were of inconsistent quality, however. For example, the night Beef Wellington was served, some in our party had very good, tender pieces, while others received tough portions. We ate in the dining room every night and the service was very good. We had a 10 month old child in our party, and the waiters and assistants were extremely happy to hold him, walk him around the dining room, and play with him. The only complaint was that it sometimes took a long time to receive the bottle of wine that we ordered nightly with our meal.

The breakfasts and lunches we ate at the buffet, the Mediterranean Restaurant, were of average quality. There were many choices for each meal, with something to satisfy everyone. Surprisingly, we never had trouble finding a place to sit, even at the busiest times. The best lunches we had were at the Chinese food window, and at the Deli. Both offered delicious alternatives to traditional buffet food. However, the lines at the Deli were very long at peak periods, which caused us to avoid it except the one day we arrived back at the boat later in the afternoon. All sandwiches were made to order, however, so the wait is understandable.


We attended many but not all of the evening shows. The two production-type shows were the best, with talented dancers and glitzy costumes. Some of the other shows included a magician, and many comedians. They were good, not great.

Shore Excursion

We only participated in one Carnival-sponsored excursion, which was a snorkeling trip in St. Thomas. We gathered at a local pier, within a few yards of where the Victory was moored. It took an extremely long time, however, for all the excursion boats to load up, as there were many trips going out at the same time and only about 3 places for them to load passengers. So this wait was frustrating, plus we had to wait out in the hot sun. It took an extra 30 minutes for us to finally board our catamaran. Once aboard, however, the trip was pleasant, with a fun crew, excellent snorkeling instruction, and unlimited rum punch on the way back!

On the day we were in St. Maarten, we took a cab on our own to Dawn Beach. The cabs are in a convenient location at the end of the cruise ship pier. Signs designate where each cab goes, prices are posted, so it is very organized. It took us about 15 minutes to get to the beach, which was awesome. It was not too crowded, and provided white sand beaches, beautiful Caribbean waters, and a great view of nearby islands. There are many little snack bars on the beach, so you can get lunch or beverages of your choice. You have to pay to rent a chaise lounge, however, but you can sit on the sand on your own towel for free! There are many local people peddling miscellaneous beach items, such as tropical shirts, swimsuit cover-ups, etc., which was tiresome after a while.


We had heard that it was difficult to get a vacant chaise lounge on sea days, and that was in fact correct. Most lounges near the pool were saved early in the morning. If you arrived after 9:00 a.m., you had to settle for the sides or rear of the ship, which were sometimes windy. However, it wasnt a major problem. We just went up to the deck, put our towels and a few personal items on the lounges, and went to eat breakfast. No one bothered our things, and since we were gone for 30 minutes at the most, we didnt feel too guilty about doing this, as everyone was doing the same thing. Usually by early afternoon, however, there were many choice locations available, as people moved on, got sun baked, etc.


Getting on the boat was a very pleasant experience, but getting off was a nightmare. First of all, we never received any information in our cabin regarding the disembarkation schedule, breakfast schedule on the last day, or baggage tags. On all our prior cruises, weve always had this delivered to our rooms on the day before getting off the ship. So we had to ask at the Pursers Desk when and where we would get off, had to ask for bag tags, etc. Annoying and frustrating. Then on the morning we got off the ship, we waited in our designated location, the Ionian Lounge, which was jam packed with people. Nowhere to sit, and they didnt even turn on the lights!! Then, when it was time for our group to depart, one person stood at the front of the room to announce that we would be leaving, but since he didnt use the P.A., most of us couldnt even hear the announcement. We just followed the first people out of the room, like cattle. They routed us through the dining room in a single file line, moving very slowly, to the atrium stairs and out the exit. After our experience, we were very glad to get off the ship, see some daylight and get some fresh air. Again, not a very good way to make a lasting impression of the cruise line!

Overall, the cruise was very pleasant and exceeded our expectations of Carnival. The ship was very clean, service was good, food was average. The worst part was the disembarkation process, but that aside, our experience with Carnival was good and we would consider cruising on them again. Less

Published 04/27/06

Cabin review: 6278

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Member Since 2005
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