Carnival Victory Cruise Review by nbnaked
This was our first cruise with a big cruise line. We had taken a 3 day cruise to the Bahamas on a groupon offer two years ago. We loved that cruise. We thought that a bigger cruise line with a bigger ship, more restaurants, more entertainment would be even better, we were wrong. Embarkation and Debarkation were easy peasy! We came at our assigned boarding time, 1:00 and we just walked right on, no delays or waiting at all. It was about 1:20 when we got on the ship. We had to wait til 1:30 to get into our cabin. We carried our own luggage on so we didn't have to wait for that either. We loved the cabin! We got 6th floor, 6276, right by the elevators and since we are night owls, noise didn't bother us at all. Having a balcony suite was amazing! The bed was big and comfortable. There was so much storage we didn't even use half of it! Loved standing on the balcony before going to bed. One night we even saw bioluminescence in the water, it was a dream! We didn't need to use the extra electrical plugs I brought along because there were plenty in the room. We didn't see our steward very much but we really didn't want to. He kept the room clean and tidy and made cute animal towels for us (a dog and an elephant). This ship was pretty confusing. We still didn't quite have it down even when we left. The first port was Key West. We did not even leave the ship. The hours the ship was docked were 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. At that time of day pretty much the only thing to do is shop. We had been to key west many times so there was no draw for us to get off and walk around shops, especially in the intense heat. We stayed on the ship and played the lobby games that were going on, trivia and connect four. My husband won the first trivia game and won a ship on a stick, a cute replica of the Carnival Victory. We purchased the drink package and did not come close to drinking the 15 drinks that were allowed. It was still probably worth it because drinks range from 6.00 for beers to 12.00 for specialty drinks. The only problem I have with this package is that we pay for 5 days and there are really only 4 days or less (depending on what time you arrive on the ship and how long your excursions are) The last "day" of the cruise is not a "day", its barely a morning. By 7:00 a.m there is constant badgering by loudspeaker to leave the ship, politely, of course. From what we observed, nobody was pouring any alcohol on disembarkation day. We didn't run the length of the ship, of course, but from what we did see, that was the case. We believe Carnival should change its policy on Cheers. Disembarkation day should not be charged for as there is little to no opportunity to take advantage of it. We understand that it is known before hand but when a policy is wrong, it should be changed as a sign of respect for customers. Breakfast in the pacific dining room was listed in disembarkation day from 6:30 to 8:30, however when we arrived at 8:15, there was nobody but wait staff there and there was nobody even cleaning up as if the dining room had been serving. The buffet was open but with the long lines and the quality of the food, we decided to pass. Now, about the food. We were very disappointed! The buffet was almost inedible. Actually, it was inedible, for us. It was also very disorganized, for instance, people were lined up, back to the pool, it went slowly. Also, they placed the waffles at the end of the buffet and placed the syrup in the middle of the buffet so people had to break into the line to get syrup for their waffles. Out of all the meals we had, only 3 were worth eating. The first one was elegant night, with the captains dinner, very good prime rib and strawberry bisque and chocolate melting cake. The second was late "snacks" on the cozumel excursion day, salsa, guacamole, RUM BALLS!!!!!!, octopus ceviche. The third meal was on fun at sea day, breakfast in the pacific dining room, popovers, filet mignon, eggs over easy, roasted tomato, fruit plate, delicious. Other than that the food was substandard. The flank steak was tough, the shrimp cocktail was basically 6 small, apparently previously frozen limp shrimp with sauce. The last night I ordered something interesting, hot buttered popcorn, something or other. It ended up to be flan in a cup with three kernels of stale caramel corn on top. On our first cruise the food was amazing, beef wellington, for example, I expected much more on this cruise. Our excursion was the VIP Mayan Ruins and Cenote swim. The tour guide, Carlos, was amazing. We could tell he loved his country and its history, he was a font of knowledge from start to finish. We were treated like royalty, always in air conditioned accomodations. The first leg of the journey was an hour ferry ride to the mainland, then an hour bus ride to Tulum. When we arrived in Tulum we were treated to snacks of salsa and chips and guacamole and chicken enchilladas with water and coke. This was served in a little shopping area where people were trying to sell merchandise. We would have loved to shop but this was a "moving" tour, no time to shop. Our next leg was a walk to the ruins. It was at least a mile. Along the way we saw black iguanas, birds, etc. It was quite a swift walk and very hot. When we arrived at the ruins there were a lot of hills, steps, walking and VERY HOT! Carlos did his best to help, stopping in shaded areas to tell about the history of the ruins. We were there about an hour with 20 minutes on our own to take pictures. It was a beautiful site along the sea side cliffs to the ocean below. After the ruins we got back onto the bus, we were handed a cold wet towel before boarding, HEAVEN. About a 20 minute bus ride to the first cenote where we boarded canoes and paddled to the 2nd cenote. It was a paddle of half a mile or so, but still a little bit of a work out in the heat. Next was another 1/4 mile walk to the last cenote, the "blue" cenote. By this time the mosquitoes were starting to come out. We spent about a half hour swimming in the cenote. It was beautiful, crystal clear, with little caves around the edges. There was a high edge for cliff jumping, which we did not do but alot of people were having fun doing it. We had bought full face snorkels for this trip and enjoyed using them in the cenote. Next leg of the trip was another 3/4 mile walk to an authentic mayan village that people live in today. The huts are made of bamboo with thatched roofs. The people sleep in hammocks with mosquito netting, it was very interesting. We were served a traditional meal of roasted chicken, beef, pork, vegetables, fruit, hibiscus punch (delicious) and coffee. They had two salsas, one mild and one HOT!!!!! I tried the hot. it was HOT!!!!! After the meal we walked another half mile to the bus, through heavy jungle vegetation, not machete heavy, there was a rocky path, but definately jungle. The mosquitoes were voracious! It was very unpleasant as there was nothing one could do but swat and slap. This was not the problem of the tour company, it is just the nature of things. Once on the bus the mosquitoes were gone and we began our trek back to the cruise ship. I forgot to mention, at our first stop in Tulum we were encouraged to buy charms made by the local people, they are made of black rock and they have your name written in mayan symbols. 99.00 for two, we bought them and they are very pretty. We arrived back at the dock at 9:30. We were very hot and tired but had a good time. When we got on the ship we realized that all the restaurants were already closed. We took showers and then went to look for food. That was the day they had the good "snack" buffet, thank goodness. We did our best to use our cheers package that night but the most we could do was 6 drinks. We have to mention the staff. Especially the staff at Alchemy Bar, Nathan, Nickola and Dayiana. They were spectacular. We spent quite a bit of time there and got to know them. They understood that I loved spicy hot so they crafted a drink especially for me with habanero infused tequilla, delicious! The pools were nice, a little small. We never actually went into any of the main pools because they were very crowded, a lot of children. We spent our time in serenity soaking in the hot tubs and meeting very nice, fun people from all over the world! We spent a few nights in the disco, it was always hopping and was open late, as was the casino. We did not gamble but got a few drinks at the casino bar. The only entertainment we saw was the comedy club with Manny Oliveira. He was FANTASTIC! Filled to capacity for every show. This guy would do his act on stage then bring up the house lights and interact with the audience, each show was different and each show was great. We would see him again in a heart beat! All in all, a good trip but we feel the food was very disappointing, restaurants and bars shut down earlier than we had expected, it was more crowded and had more children than we expected and the urgency of staff to empty the ship the last day was a bit disconcerting so basically all I can give is 3 stars.
nbnaked’s Full Rating Summary
Beautiful, spacious cabin with wonderful balcony. Tons of storage and good sized bathroom.
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