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Carnival Victory Cruise Review
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,527 Reviews


Carnival Victory Cruise Review by Howie from Maui

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2018
  • Destination: the Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View

This cruise was supposed to be a special occasion for us but instead it wound up being our worst cruise ever.

We were coming off of an NCL cruise in Miami and just had to walk down the dock to get to the Carnival Terminal and the Victory. We got there about 30 minutes ahead of our 10am scheduled arrival and had a seat outside the terminal entrance. At 10am the question was asked, "What's going on?" and the answer was that the Victory had just come out of dry dock (surprise #1) and embarkation was going to be delayed while they unloaded construction equipment and workers who had been on the ship for the last two weeks. "How long?" we asked. The answer did not sit well with those who had already gathered at the terminal expecting to check in and have a seat inside a comfortable terminal with chairs and restroom facilities. Noon was the answer. So we waited and when Noon arrived there was more delay and nobody in a uniform that worked at the terminal (not Carnival folks but the agency they use to operate the terminal) had any answers. So let's skip to the boarding which started about 2pm and continued for the next 3 or 4 hours. We walked onto the ship at Deck 3, Atrium Level and noticed there were a lot of pallets of material still on the deck outside. Upon entering the ship we were met by the Hotel Director and some of the Entertainment Staff who said because we were the first ones on the ship that we were going to be escorted to the Lido Deck to help celebrate the opening of some new venues that had been placed on the ship. Blue Iguana Cantina was the one we had the pleasure of cutting the ribbon for. We got our picture made, a free margarita and a thank you from the staff. That was the highlight of our cruise because it is all downhill from here.

We had an Oceanview B room on Deck 2 towards the aft of the ship and it was for us a good location. Close to the elevator and a lot of the nightly entertainment venues. Large and spacious room with lots of closet space. Stateroom was #2398.

During the week we experienced, along with everyone else on board, a dirty, dusty environment because of the construction that had taken place and was still being done even while we were sailing with 2000 passengers on board. There was problems with the water, the water pressure, hot water and noise. Smells of paint thinner, although we were told it was not harmful to humans, wafted through the ventilation systems and into the staterooms at times and sometimes was so strong that we had to leave our room and find an outside fresh air source. And that was also a problem because they had the outside decks on 3 and 4 fire doors closed during the entire trip to keep passengers from going outside. The decks were dirty and railings were missing in places. Only the smokers ventured out on these decks and I think even they felt inconvenienced.

We addressed these issues, including the fact that there was no Internet Cafe/Kiosk area on the vessel, with the powers that be. Included were the Guest Services Manager and the Hotel Director. We actually thought that we were making some headway into getting some answers or at least get something done while speaking with the Hotel Director on the 4th afternoon in the Atrium because about 8 to 10 Officers, whom you never see on Carnival, had come to the Atrium and we thought they were there to discuss the problems that were being reported by dozens if not hundreds of passengers but as it turned out they were just there to be interviewed by a TV crew who were reporting on the renovations being made to the ship. Disappointment was the word.

The Hotel Director offered us a glass of wine. No thanks.

Later we received a call from the Guest Services Manager offering a bottle of wine as a gesture of good faith. We made an appointment to meet with her and we had another opportunity to express our concerns and feelings. Not much came out of the meeting with the exception of an approximate refund of one days fare for our troubles and assurances that we would not lose another nights sleep worrying that the paint fumes would again wake us in the middle of the night and force us out of our room.

We skipped the Platinum/Diamond VIFP party on the last night as we didn't want to see or speak with any of the officers who for the entirity of the trip seemed to take a side door through a secret passageway whenever a passenger approached them. And what is it with Carnival Officers and their phones? Are they really speaking to someone or is that their way of avoiding conversation with people?

So in summation I would recommend that the Carnival Victory be marked off your To-Do list at least for another couple of months or until they can prove that conditions warrant our bookings.

Howie from Maui's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 6B 2398

spacious, lots of closet space, refrigerator, safe, bathroom was average. Located under Galley on Deck 3 so expect a little noise around 4 or 5am. We used a sound app on our phone to mask the noise.

Close to aft elevator and just one floor down from the restaurant where sit down breakfast was served and 7 floors under the lido restaurant at the back of the ship. You have to use Deck 2 or 5 to get from one end of the ship to the other.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Grand Turk

Grand Turk is one of our favorite ports and the island has mostly recovered from the hurricane damage but there are still signs that it was severely damaged. The beaches were great, Margaritaville was in full swing and the shops were welcoming tourists with enthusiasm.

Amber Cove (Puerto Plata)

Clean and safe. Lots to do and see and friendly staff in all of the restaurants and shops in the village. The pool was cool and clear, the zip lines were zipping and the smoothies at the cafe were excellent. We also appreciated the addition of the bike pedicabs that carried us from the ship to the shops and vice versa for tips. There are so many lounge chairs around the pool and lazy river connecting the pools that everyone could have a chair and there would be chairs left over. Shade is not free unless you get there early and find a spot that has a building next to it. The cabanas looked to be empty with the exception of one or two. Pricey but if you want comfort that might be worth looking into. WiFi is available but you may have to buy a drink or a meal.

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Howie from Maui
6 Reviews Written
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