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First a little background. I have sailed Carnival many times and I have Gold status in their loyalty program. Unfortunately, I will not be loyal with them any more. When I first sailed with them years ago, we were impressed with the service, the friendliness, and attention to detail. Apparently this is all gone now as it seems like they are trying to run it like a cheap airline rather than a vacation. I brought my parents with us, as first time cruisers, I found it embarrassing that I put them through such a low rent experience, and trust me, they noticed! All the special touches are now gone. The stewards don't do turn down service anymore and will ask you what time of day you want them to come by. We eventually had a towel animal, but that took until day 3. Compare that to the old days when they would straighten your room almost like magic when you weren't looking. Also absent were robes in the closet and chocolates on the pillows. Embarkation was easy BUT the safety drill is DANGEROUS. I am serious! It takes about a half hour standing crammed in with hundreds of people in the hot Miami sun. There were a few people around us who looked like they might have heat stroke. I can only imagine people drop like flies in August when it is 87 degrees with 98 percent humidity. You would think after a few decades Carnival would have their stuff together with things like this. If you see elderly people during this drill, keep an eye on them. The Victory is "old" in today's standards, but it is falling apart unacceptably. For comparison, the Disney Wonder is a year older, but looks brand new. Things on the ship are rusty and in disrepair. There is a smell of sewage that seems ever present, which is probably related to the many non-flushing toilets we encountered. The ambient air on the inside decks smells like someone smoked a pack of pall malls and covered it with pina colada. A once smoker myself, I understand that smoking is allowed on the ship, but this is 2016 and investing in a good air handling system would alleviate that. Dining: The waiters seem dreadfully understaffed and under trained, no fault of their own. They come over within a minute of you sitting and expect you to be ready to order. It is like they follow a script. Deviate from that script and they can't handle it. For people pushing booze on you all day, you would think you wouldn't have to hunt them down for a beer at dinner. Also strange, selling shots during dinner! What is this, a wet t-shirt contest at Hooters or formal night on a cruise ship? this The food is OK, but has definitely taken a nosedive. Quality is like going to a friend's dinner party: Sure they can cook, but it isn't restaurant quality. Also if you want quality food, you have to pay extra for it. Lobster apparently is for those who are on 7 day cruises after I asked about it. You can buy it though for 20 bucks. I am from Maine, I could get two whole lobsters in a nice restaurant for that price. Before I go on, let me thank the staff again. These are hardworking people that work hard for their families. I am convinced it has nothing to do with them, but how Carnival has been training them as of late. Excursions: Grand Turk Cruise Center is excellent. They have a great pool and we rented a cabana since we have young kids. I recommend it! You will be right by the pool and have the option to chill out in the AC if it is hot. It is a short walk to the ocean as well. The cabana is staffed by Margaritaville. The staff there are very friendly and the prices are quite reasonable considering it is both an island and a captive market. Half moon Cay was a blast. Just chilled at the beach. This island is a gem. In Nassau we did the private island beach. Really nice relaxing place with bar and food, although the bar only had Bud and Bud light (I'm a beer snob) and some mixed drinks.

More Cutbacks than a Budget Airline

Carnival Victory Cruise Review by stacheman

19 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2016
  • Destination: Bahamas
First a little background. I have sailed Carnival many times and I have Gold status in their loyalty program. Unfortunately, I will not be loyal with them any more. When I first sailed with them years ago, we were impressed with the service, the friendliness, and attention to detail. Apparently this is all gone now as it seems like they are trying to run it like a cheap airline rather than a vacation. I brought my parents with us, as first time cruisers, I found it embarrassing that I put them through such a low rent experience, and trust me, they noticed!

All the special touches are now gone. The stewards don't do turn down service anymore and will ask you what time of day you want them to come by. We eventually had a towel animal, but that took until day 3. Compare that to the old days when they would straighten your room almost like magic when you weren't looking. Also absent were robes in the closet and chocolates on the pillows.

Embarkation was easy BUT the safety drill is DANGEROUS. I am serious! It takes about a half hour standing crammed in with hundreds of people in the hot Miami sun. There were a few people around us who looked like they might have heat stroke. I can only imagine people drop like flies in August when it is 87 degrees with 98 percent humidity. You would think after a few decades Carnival would have their stuff together with things like this. If you see elderly people during this drill, keep an eye on them.

The Victory is "old" in today's standards, but it is falling apart unacceptably. For comparison, the Disney Wonder is a year older, but looks brand new. Things on the ship are rusty and in disrepair. There is a smell of sewage that seems ever present, which is probably related to the many non-flushing toilets we encountered. The ambient air on the inside decks smells like someone smoked a pack of pall malls and covered it with pina colada. A once smoker myself, I understand that smoking is allowed on the ship, but this is 2016 and investing in a good air handling system would alleviate that.

Dining: The waiters seem dreadfully understaffed and under trained, no fault of their own. They come over within a minute of you sitting and expect you to be ready to order. It is like they follow a script. Deviate from that script and they can't handle it. For people pushing booze on you all day, you would think you wouldn't have to hunt them down for a beer at dinner. Also strange, selling shots during dinner! What is this, a wet t-shirt contest at Hooters or formal night on a cruise ship? this The food is OK, but has definitely taken a nosedive. Quality is like going to a friend's dinner party: Sure they can cook, but it isn't restaurant quality. Also if you want quality food, you have to pay extra for it. Lobster apparently is for those who are on 7 day cruises after I asked about it. You can buy it though for 20 bucks. I am from Maine, I could get two whole lobsters in a nice restaurant for that price.

Before I go on, let me thank the staff again. These are hardworking people that work hard for their families. I am convinced it has nothing to do with them, but how Carnival has been training them as of late.

Excursions:

Grand Turk Cruise Center is excellent. They have a great pool and we rented a cabana since we have young kids. I recommend it! You will be right by the pool and have the option to chill out in the AC if it is hot. It is a short walk to the ocean as well. The cabana is staffed by Margaritaville. The staff there are very friendly and the prices are quite reasonable considering it is both an island and a captive market.

Half moon Cay was a blast. Just chilled at the beach. This island is a gem.

In Nassau we did the private island beach. Really nice relaxing place with bar and food, although the bar only had Bud and Bud light (I'm a beer snob) and some mixed drinks.
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