Carnival Victory - Canada/New England: Carnival Victory Cruise Review by rooster4you

Carnival Victory 4
Member Since 2006
30 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Carnival Victory - Canada/New England

Sail Date: July 2006
Destination: Canada & New England
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
My wife and I just returned from a trip aboard the Carnival Victory (7/1  7/6). It was my 3rd cruise with CCL. I have also been on both Norwegian and RCCL - a total of 10 cruises all together. We were in a group of 80 people for a family reunion. We were very excited to have been going, as it would be our only vacation for this year. We arrived to NYC the night before- staying in the Doubletree Hotel in Midtown- attending the Broadway play Wicked the night before the cruise was to leave New York.

EMBARK - We arrived to the Pier at 9:45 am. The process to embark the Victory was some of the best that I have experienced- the process was quick and smooth- the people running the embarkation were very friendly and very receptive to the group's needs. I was very impressed. We boarded the ship just after 11:30 am- my wife was the very first one aboard for our group. Upon boarding we were told that the cabin would not be ready until 1:30 but that we could go into the room anyhow, so More we did. Our bags arrived at approx 3:30 pm- again- very impressive.

CABIN - Our cabin was clean - our steward was Gustavo- not a very friendly gentleman but never the less our cabin was cleaned daily and quickly- the balcony was a bit small than other's Ive had. The colors in the room were in need of an update  it looked like a hospital room. The bed was extremely comfortable - tops in the cruise industry. Our cabin sat above the arcade- we occasionally heard the noises from the games and music from the nightclub next to it protruding through the floor - not obtrusive - but there was a hint of noise. I enjoyed seeing all the amenities in the room- the shampoo the razors and such. Although my wife came prepared with our own things, it is quite nice and convenient to have it all in the cabin if others forgot to bring it. We had coffee, juice, and fruit from room service every morning- on the balcony at 6 am-very prompt. What was disappointing was that there was neither a clock nor a refrigerator in the room. I took this ship before, in 2001, and recall my cabin having had those conveniences. It was okay though because were up early everyday on vacation to get the most out of the day, waking up by the sun

Upon boarding we went to the Mediterranean Restaurant on the Lido Deck. For such an early time to be onboard (our boarding docs told us no earlier than 2pm)- I was really surprised to see such a spread - organized and cleaned - ready for us to start our vacation. The food was hot and fresh, and the service friendly. Unfortunately we found here what seems to be true with older ships  the public spaces are tight and get congested easily when a ship is sold out as this one was.

ENTERTAINMENT - Was disappointing all around. The volume to the music system both on pool deck and in Caribbean Lounge was very loud - way too loud even for this 36 year old. Requests to lower the volume were met by dirty looks - one crew member stating something under breath as I walked away. The best show of the week by far was the Legends show at weeks end. The performers were all very talented, yet these were our fellow cruisers, not the paid performers on the ship. The magician was pretty good as well, but the comic was awful. I walked out after six jokes were told at which I did not laugh one time. The music on Lido deck was awful- truly awful- a group playing reggae tunes on a Canadian cruise- we could not understand the logic there. The volume would go in and out which we found very annoying when you are trying to sit out and relax in the sun.

DINING ROOM FOOD - We were seated at table 165 in Atlantic room at 6:15 dinner. Our waiter was CJ and our waitress was Isabella. They were fantastic - very friendly and very courteous. They made our trip a special one. It amazes me that they are able to handle numerous orders so quickly and efficiently. Congrats to them. The lobster tails were some of the biggest I have had on cruises- the escargot was wonderfully done- not too buttery- and the steak (especially the filet mignon) was very tasty. We are so happy to have been placed in the Atlantic Dining Room. We had breakfast each morning in the Pacific. Our first morning we felt like we needed to be world travelers in order to find the location of this dining room. After asking four different staff members how to get to the restaurant we finally asked one gentleman to bring our ever increasing group of lost souls to the dining room. If you havent sailed yet, you need to go into the casino and through the lounge areas next to the bar, and then down two flights of stairs to find it. We failed to tip our maitre d (first time ever) as I was never introduced to him, and he never stopped by the tables that made up our large group. Everywhere we read that on a 5-night cruise there is only one formal night. When we received our Capers for Tuesday, it stated that that too would be a formal night. It sent our group into a slight tizzy because no one was prepared for it.

DRINKS - The ships wine selection is fantastic and reasonably priced. We had a few bottles ordered at dinner in addition to the free bottle that we got in our cabin compliments of our large group. Drinks poolside were okay- could have been more alcohol. I was amazed that the ship did not carry Heineken Premium Light Bee, so I went with my favorite - Amstel. However, my wife felt like she needed a giant fly swatter to keep the drink waiters away. At least every five minutes they were bothering you, even when you were currently holding a drink. Very had to relax with this going on. LAYOUT - The Victorys layout is hard to navigate. The signage for the ship is of poor design (all fiber optic lettering that blinks and changes colors). The signs are not big and bright to allow for easy navigation. Restrooms are not easily found. There should be some type of signage for these.

CASINO - Was crowded almost nightly- it is one of the bigger ones that I have experienced on ships- so you were never feeling cramped or crowded- which is a blessing. The first night all tables were at a $3.00 minimum, which I truly appreciated. I thought that was a great thing on Carnivals part. The staff for the most part was friendly. There was one exception - a dealer named Peter, from Canada, who seemed to be hurt and upset when he busted. I questioned him on it, asking him why he was upset - it is not your money? He winced and made some comment over control of the table. I complained to his pit boss that was seen later talking to him on the side. In contrast, Simon was terrific - very friendly and was cheering for our table. Win or lose he was making the time fun and enjoyable which is what it is about..

BINGO - Would highly recommend NEVER playing. Even the free cruise one. The free cruise can only be a 3,4 or 5 day on particular ships, only an outside cabin - no balcony or suite. I was on the Victory in 2001 and the final bingo was a free cruise- any itinerary- any ship- any length in a suite. I remember this well because my sister won the cruise. Carnival cheapened this prize severely. The cost to play Bingo is 20.00 for a 3 card. There is no board showing called numbers and the Bingo caller operated at a pace similar to a 747 leaving JFK at mid morning- way too fast.

CRUISE DIRECTOR  No one can compare to Ken Rush with RCCL- but Dana was all right. He was not the friendliest or the nicest  he never said good-bye or thank you as we were disembarking. He appears to be a little rough around the edges and very sexual in his act. Id be interested to hear other comments from cruisers on him. Again my comparison is to Ken Rush on RCCL who is just wonderful. If anyone has ever had him (I had him 3 times) he is just fantastic- makes you truly enjoy your trip.

PICTURES - Not a very good experience on this ship- picture quality was awful and the staff was not very supportive. The one exception was a photographer who agreed to take a group photo of us and it came out pretty good. We didnt find a single other picture worth the money that is charged. All those pictures are such a waste.

PURSERS - Under staffed- 2 or 3 calls to them did not get any responses other than please hold. We were calling trying to get important information and couldnt get it.

POOLS - We were not able to get in any of them all week. The adult only one was loaded with unsupervised children and never seemed to come free. Another on the Lido was closed for 2 days and when it opened it was absolutely filthy. The hot tubs were occupied for most of the week by unsupervised children - particularly a young boy who god forbid may of lost some skin as he seemed to be thoroughly enjoying his experience in it, occupying it day and night. I contacted security that did respond and put a note in the caper the next day to no avail. This was an issue throughout the cruise  no one adhered to posted policies. From the hot tubs to people arriving for a formal night dinner in jeans nothing was followed through on.

SHIP CLEANLINESS - For a ship only six years young, the ship shows lots of sign of wear and tear. We noticed numerous maintenance crew working around the clock on small, quick projects- and that is wonderful, but areas of concern are too great to be handled in cruise- updates needed on dEcor- update needed in public areas and on balconies.

EXCURSIONS - Too pricey and sold out quickly. In St. John we took a cab from the port. The charge was $35/hour and the driver showed us various different venues that we would have paid $50 a piece for through the ship. There were four of us, so even with the $15 tip we gave him (it only took an hour), it broke down to $12.50 a person. At one of the spots we saw people kayaking. He commented that by doing it yourself its about $38 a person, but to go through the ship its about $100. The same thing happened in Halifax. We wanted to go to Peggys Cove, which wound up being extremely crowded, but still beautiful. There were nine of us, so we hopped into two cabs, which were priced at $135 a cab for three hours. Ours had five in it and we talked him down to $125 (changing to American dollars plus it wasnt a full three hours), so it came to $25 a person. Through the ship it would have been at least double that. A hour and a half is plenty to spend there if you dont intend on having lunch at the restaurant while you are there.

My wife had quite the experience. Her pearl bracelet (my wedding gift to her) fell off her wrist as she was leaning over the atrium. Thankfully it landed on the ledge on the other side of the railing. I asked a crew member from the store to assist me in calling someone to help us get it before it fell, and he refused to get involved because the jewelry was not purchased on board. I was truly amazed at that- not wanting to get involved- I mean- they (CCL) are in constant competition with RCCL and they refused to assist? RCCL would most gladly do it. Luckily a taller relative of mine came along and was able to reach over and get it.

There are noticeable differences between Carnival and other cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean. The one thing that amazed everyone in our group was that my brother and his wife had to pay a full adult fare for their six-month old. Other lines dont charge until a child is at least two years of age. This is just outrageous and a total rip-off. What are they paying for anyway??

Overall we had a good experience because of the large group we had. I am a cruise freak, so any cruise can be good for me.

I hope everyone gets a little out of this for their next cruise and if there are any questions- please write me and let me know. Less

Published 07/30/06

Cabin review: 6370

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