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This was our first cruise and I was told to check out Carnival's line. We choose Victory primarily because of dates and it was going to Cozumel which I'd always wanted to go to. I was advised to purchase FTTF. So glad I did. While our itinerary didn't have any tender ports it definitely helped with embarkation and debarkation. The moment we got off of the shuttle it was easy to see where to enter with FTTF. After going through security we were led to an area to wait with other FTTF people. On a side note when doing all my online info with Carnival it had me select a staggered boarding time. Ours was 10:30-11am. Not really sure what the point of this was as even with FTTF we didn't board until 11:30. Needed to wait on priority passengers to board. Not a problem with me just not sure what the point in selecting staggered times was for. But back to embarkation...we boarded at 11:30am and I had my one carry on bag. Tried to go to the room immediately like I thought we were supposed to be able to. Saw all of the doors closed off with signs that rooms wouldn't be ready until 1pm. Decided to go to lunch. Found the buffet on Lido's deck. Very few people in line at the time so we grabbed lunch. Food was pretty good. After that we toured the ship and went to the room at 1pm. Our luggage showed up about 15minutes after that. Awesome!!! Our room was a good size compared to what I expected and we just got an ocean view. Loved how they came in the morning and cleaned the room then again showed up in the evening for turndown and left the brochures for the next day's activities. Being our first cruise I didn't really know what to expect so the ship was pretty large and awesome for us. BTW it was just myself, my 11yr old daughter and 15yr old son. We found the kid area and they both checked out their clubs. Most of the cruise they hung out in their club or with friends they made. The amount of activities they had on the ship definitely kept me entertained. I tried to go to all the shows and comedy acts. I definitely wasn't bored at any time. Our Cruise Director Matey made things pretty fun. Getting off at the ports was easy enough. Many people recommended not doing any excursions and just do your own thing. In Key West this was fine. We walked the shops and did the hop on hop off trolley. Only had a few hours there. Now in Cozumel we actually found ourselves not knowing what to do. We walked the shops and headed out of the port area. Didn't go too far. Ate lunch at Hard Rock. Walked back to the shops and headed back to the ship. We had an entire day at Cozumel and only spent about 4 hours there because I didn't know what to do. I was so worried about transportation, exchange rate, going too far from the ship and getting back too late. For people who have traveled to these places before or just know what to do, going of on your own might be nicer. But for those newbies like me an excursion would have been better. So to say I was disappointed is an understatement. But it was my decision not to do an excursion and one I won't repeat. Dining on the ship was entertaining and the food was good. We chose the early dining so we all knew what time to meet up for dinner each night and I could make the show right after. I loved how after a night the waiters knew exactly what the kids liked or didn't like. It amazed my kids how they remembered their names and would joke with them or ask them about their day. The food was really good and I liked the ability to order a couple different things so you could try foods we've never had. My son learned he loves calamari! The Chocolate Melting Cake was probably the best dessert I'd had on the whole trip! We also did the Dr. Suess Breakfast. It was enjoyable but not something I need to repeat. Food was similar to the breakfast in the dining room (unless you ordered green eggs and ham) so you're really just paying to meet the characters. As I said earlier the ship was really nice. I don't have anything to compare it to yet. There was times when the Triton pool was closed off and the splash pad was closed the whole time. Not a big deal with my older kids but had I had younger ones it would have been disappointing. The main pool was much smaller then I thought and the kids barely swam at all because of that. We watched the Dive in Movies a couple of nights. They showed Beauty and the Beast, Moana, and John Wick II. We definitely liked that they showed new movies. Debarkation was a breeze. We awoke early and ate breakfast in the dining room. We chose to carry our bags off and we met in the room we were supposed to at 7:30 for FTTF people or those who had early flights/long drives. We sat down with our bags and then immediately had to get back up as they were ushering the FTTF guests off. Walked right off, went through customs and was outside by 7:45. Shuttle pulled right up and we were back to our car and on the road by 8am. Not sure if this was the norm but I was wowed by how easy and fast that process went. Overall we had an amazing time for our first cruise. My kids had so much fun they started researching carnival cruises on the very long ride home. It wasn't until then that we realized how small our ship was compared to other ships and that most of the other ships have been updated to get the Guy's restaurants and other features. By the time we got home we had figured out what ship, port ect we were doing next and booked it a day later. I definitely purchased FTTF again!!! This time I will use what I learned on the first cruise. We will book a few excursions this time to make the most of our ports. So here's counting down to our cruise on Carnival Dream 2018!!!

1st Cruise

Carnival Victory Cruise Review by vallierjenn

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was our first cruise and I was told to check out Carnival's line. We choose Victory primarily because of dates and it was going to Cozumel which I'd always wanted to go to. I was advised to purchase FTTF. So glad I did. While our itinerary didn't have any tender ports it definitely helped with embarkation and debarkation. The moment we got off of the shuttle it was easy to see where to enter with FTTF. After going through security we were led to an area to wait with other FTTF people. On a side note when doing all my online info with Carnival it had me select a staggered boarding time. Ours was 10:30-11am. Not really sure what the point of this was as even with FTTF we didn't board until 11:30. Needed to wait on priority passengers to board. Not a problem with me just not sure what the point in selecting staggered times was for. But back to embarkation...we boarded at 11:30am and I had my one carry on bag. Tried to go to the room immediately like I thought we were supposed to be able to. Saw all of the doors closed off with signs that rooms wouldn't be ready until 1pm. Decided to go to lunch. Found the buffet on Lido's deck. Very few people in line at the time so we grabbed lunch. Food was pretty good. After that we toured the ship and went to the room at 1pm. Our luggage showed up about 15minutes after that. Awesome!!! Our room was a good size compared to what I expected and we just got an ocean view. Loved how they came in the morning and cleaned the room then again showed up in the evening for turndown and left the brochures for the next day's activities.

Being our first cruise I didn't really know what to expect so the ship was pretty large and awesome for us. BTW it was just myself, my 11yr old daughter and 15yr old son. We found the kid area and they both checked out their clubs. Most of the cruise they hung out in their club or with friends they made. The amount of activities they had on the ship definitely kept me entertained. I tried to go to all the shows and comedy acts. I definitely wasn't bored at any time. Our Cruise Director Matey made things pretty fun.

Getting off at the ports was easy enough. Many people recommended not doing any excursions and just do your own thing. In Key West this was fine. We walked the shops and did the hop on hop off trolley. Only had a few hours there. Now in Cozumel we actually found ourselves not knowing what to do. We walked the shops and headed out of the port area. Didn't go too far. Ate lunch at Hard Rock. Walked back to the shops and headed back to the ship. We had an entire day at Cozumel and only spent about 4 hours there because I didn't know what to do. I was so worried about transportation, exchange rate, going too far from the ship and getting back too late. For people who have traveled to these places before or just know what to do, going of on your own might be nicer. But for those newbies like me an excursion would have been better. So to say I was disappointed is an understatement. But it was my decision not to do an excursion and one I won't repeat.

Dining on the ship was entertaining and the food was good. We chose the early dining so we all knew what time to meet up for dinner each night and I could make the show right after. I loved how after a night the waiters knew exactly what the kids liked or didn't like. It amazed my kids how they remembered their names and would joke with them or ask them about their day. The food was really good and I liked the ability to order a couple different things so you could try foods we've never had. My son learned he loves calamari! The Chocolate Melting Cake was probably the best dessert I'd had on the whole trip! We also did the Dr. Suess Breakfast. It was enjoyable but not something I need to repeat. Food was similar to the breakfast in the dining room (unless you ordered green eggs and ham) so you're really just paying to meet the characters.

As I said earlier the ship was really nice. I don't have anything to compare it to yet. There was times when the Triton pool was closed off and the splash pad was closed the whole time. Not a big deal with my older kids but had I had younger ones it would have been disappointing. The main pool was much smaller then I thought and the kids barely swam at all because of that. We watched the Dive in Movies a couple of nights. They showed Beauty and the Beast, Moana, and John Wick II. We definitely liked that they showed new movies.

Debarkation was a breeze. We awoke early and ate breakfast in the dining room. We chose to carry our bags off and we met in the room we were supposed to at 7:30 for FTTF people or those who had early flights/long drives. We sat down with our bags and then immediately had to get back up as they were ushering the FTTF guests off. Walked right off, went through customs and was outside by 7:45. Shuttle pulled right up and we were back to our car and on the road by 8am. Not sure if this was the norm but I was wowed by how easy and fast that process went.

Overall we had an amazing time for our first cruise. My kids had so much fun they started researching carnival cruises on the very long ride home. It wasn't until then that we realized how small our ship was compared to other ships and that most of the other ships have been updated to get the Guy's restaurants and other features. By the time we got home we had figured out what ship, port ect we were doing next and booked it a day later. I definitely purchased FTTF again!!! This time I will use what I learned on the first cruise. We will book a few excursions this time to make the most of our ports. So here's counting down to our cruise on Carnival Dream 2018!!!
vallierjenn’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 6B 2830
Very good size. Plenty of space for storing suitcases and clothes. Kids slept comfortably. We were located about halfway between multiple elevators. Room was very quiet even being across from a maintenance closet/room. Very seldom felt the ship moving either. Great location for a first timer.
Main Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins