My wife,our aunt and me have just returned from the 9/8-9/15 cruise on the Victory. We hadn't been on a voyage for quite a few years and we started looking for an itinerary last winter that included Saint John. My wife and aunt were born there and have many relatives in the area. We live 20 miles SE of Boston and arrangements were made for a bus to pick us up 9/8 @ 6:15 AM. The bus never made the scene and we were forced to take Amtrak to Penn Station,arriving at 1:30 PM. We could not find a porter and had trouble securing a taxi. We finally arrived at the pier around 2:15. The lines were long but we moved pretty quickly and were on board around 3:15. All the Carnival employees we dealt with at embarkation were very polite. At this point we were wiped out. It was a hot day in NYC and we had been hauling 6 pieces of luggage around all day and we are along in years. Life boat drill was 3:30 and we sailed at 4 PM. From that point on,everything was great. The stateroom was fine,more than enough closet and storage space. The bed was terrific and the bathroom was awesome,the pink colors didn't bother me at all! The hair dryer worked fine for my wife and our aunt in the adjoining cabin. Best of all was the shower plus the soap and shampoo dispensers which I found to be very handy. Our room steward,Rosario,was a nice young man. We saw him often in the hallway and he did a perfect job with our room. I have read countless complaints about the ship's layout and it is a little tricky at first but understanding forward and aft plus using deck 5 Promenade to get around made it easier. I thought the ship was quite clean and the 7 Seas lobby plus all other public rooms very colorful. the oceans of the world theme works! I have read complaints about being pressured for drinks,it never happened to me. This was the first 7 night cruise of the summer and it was very laid back. Only a few kids on board and I may be wrong,but the ship did not appear to be sold out. My impression is that service staff were ready for a cruise like this,after a tough summer of work. We had 2nd sitting upstairs at the Pacific dining room and there were quite a few empty tables. We had excellent service all week from our headwaiter Subhan and our waiter Manuel. A real sweetheart was our bar waitress in the dining room,Yuliya. The singing and dancing by the waiters after the meal was something I will never forget. As for other food:we ate lunch at the Mediterranean several times and were satisfied with the variety of choices. We especially liked the Mississippi BBQ and the hot dogs/cheeseburgers,the reubens at the deli and the 24 hr softserve ice cream and pizza near Siren's pool aft, I also ordered room service BLT and coffee at midnight one night and it was a terrific sandwich! For activities,i tried a few trivia contests and I entered the hairy chest contest. That was a blast and I will treasure the medal I received for entering. I also ordered the video and my sons can watch me making a fool out of myself! Check your Capers,there is too much going on! Our first port was Boston and we did not go ashore(we live nearby). I had the Spa hot tubs to myself and the showers there are great!
The lines coming back on the ship at Boston were moving slow. Many people from other parts of the country had booked serious tours and were late getting back---In Portland we went ashore to shop and meet up with an old high school buddy and his wife who live up the coast near Boothbay---We had a great day in Saint John, my wife's uncle and aunts met us at the gate and drove us to the cemeteries to pay respects and around town,we ate lunch at the Reversing Falls restaurant and went to the city market---in Halifax we hired a cab out front for $90/2 hr tour and saw most of the highlights,we had a beautiful warm,sunny day in Halifax---as far as entertainment,i enjoyed Simple Friends,the band at the trident casino bar,they can play. The band on lido stage,Tropical Fire I think,were good and i saw portions of Livin' in America and Vroom and they were high energy and well worth watching,I crashed before I could see any of the R rated comedy shows! Finally,disembarkation--no major problems,my aunt is a Canadian citizen so we went with her to Adriatic Lounge at 8 AM,sat there for an hour,lined up to leave ship and were off around 9:45--we had to kill time until our bus arrived at 1 PM and we arrived back in Boston at 7 Pm and home at 8:30,an excellent adventure(but tiring)for all-FINIS