Carnival Victory Cruise Review by RickySQL
- Sail Date: February 2012
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Balcony
Meet & Greet at 8pm (aft Lido bar) was well attended, but the first night of Karaoke with Kim was lightly attended. Kim was very entertaining and personable all week - always with a smile. He was a little "off" during the Legends show on the last night, though.
Room stewards for cabin 8265 were VERY responsive and helpful all week. Tips were given daily for keeping the ice-bucket full and other extra services.
Someone needs to proofread the daily capers and ensure times are clearly readable. One day the times ran off the margin and it was guesswork as to what they should be.
For breakfast, depending on the time, the buffet lines could be very short or very long. The fare was somewhat the same each day but could be varied with prepared eggs or fresh-made omelets, or fresh fruits and cereals from the inside dining area at the Mediterranean Restaurant.
Most lunches were on-shore, but afternoon offerings were always pleasing, and varieties of pizza and ice-cream was always available (24-hours).
Dinners with servers Zoltan and Ziggy were especially enjoyable, as both were very personable, friendly and helpful with suggestions. We very much enjoyed Zoltan's personal stories and affable nature. All of our evening meals were just delightful, well-prepared, and presented. Zoltan always had a "plan B" if anything was not to our liking. Best table steward ever! And we always enjoyed and participated in the "show time" events by all the waiters after dinner.
Evening entertainment was fabulous with choices for movies on the big screen, theater shows, karaoke, various bands, and dancing choices. Only 1 day of windy weather made walking on the upper decks challenging, and hats were at risk.
The seas were swelling more than usual, which meant the ship was constantly swaying, sometimes enough to wake you up during the night. No bother to our party of four, though. Our mid-ship cabin minimized the sensation of swells, but our friends with an aft balcony felt it alot more.
The ship was clean and well-maintained. Some repair was being done to the deck near the pool, but the inconvenience only lasted two days.
The ships' captain was friendly and welcoming, and willing to spend time chatting with you.
Bar service for the loyalty gathering was quick, as waiters made their way through the room with ready-made drinks. The presentation was interesting and informative.
We enjoyed two formal nights and even succumbed to portraits as we don't often have the opportunity to get so well dressed-up.
Trying out for the Carnival Legends show was rewarding and it was thrilling get the most votes for the part of Frank Sinatra, then getting to meet and sing with all of the other members of the cast who were fellow cruisers. Hoever, the quality of filming, camera work, and editing for the shows' DVD was pretty poor. The vidoe ending was lopped off too soon, losing about the final 2 minutes, and the sound track was not so great. The segue routines (between cruise member songs) were a bit hokey - not crisp - almost like the cast was bored with the routines. Also, the show should have started earlier, like 9pm, and the attendance would have been higher. 10:15 was just too late for many folks, and the empty chairs showed it.
Debarkation on Sunday was smooth for us, as we simply waited until 95% of the boat was emptied before departing. We had an evening flight and not in a hurry to debark from such an enjoyable experience.
For our excursions during the week, we did walking and shopping tours and beaches on St. Thomas and Barbados.
On St Lucia, it was a bit overcast, but the day pass at Smuggler's Cove was a hit with our group, with plenty of relaxing and a great meal on the dock under cover during the hardest rain of the day.
Our BEST excursion of the week was the All-day catamaran adventure on St. Kitts. The bar was open from the moment we were on-board, after the safety talk, of course. Reggae music was playing, the snorkeling was great, the lunch was sufficient, and the dancing started big-time after re-boarding for the trip back from Nevis. This was a great excursion!
We enjoyed a drive around St. Martin, with a stop at two beaches (Orient and Happy Bay). Got a good start on a tan! We also bought some inexpensive rum to replenish the bar back home.
On Sunday, back in San Juan, we enjoyed lunch and had the benefit of storing our luggage at the Barrachina restaurant. Then we had an afternoon walk to "El Morro" which is the fort protecting the island bay inlet. It was a beautiful sunny, but not overly hot afternoon. There happened to be a dog show/event occurring in Old San Juan and we saw many breeds, as well as enjoyed a walking tour of the fort until we had to leave to check-in to the airport.
This was a GREAT cruise experience for us, and a wonderful way to take a break from the New England winter. With six ports in seven days, this itinerary is a bargain I would highly recommend to anyone considering it.
I hope your table waiter is Zoltan, because he's the best I've known in 5 cruises! Give that man a raise!!
Issues - Number 1 issue is NO REFRIGERATOR. When I called the service desk, I was told that this ship did not include them in balcony cabins. There were a few available for medical purposes, but they had to be reserved ahead of time. All of my previous cruises were in balcony cabins with a refrigerator. Made due with an over-sized bucket filled with ice. Paid tips to room steward daily to keep it filled.
- Hinge on cabinet door was broken. Repaired after three days.
- Remote control for TV not working. Turned in for repair, and never saw it again.
- Switch for air-conditioner was hard to find, and no instructions.
- Location of bed was away from the walled mirrors.
- No tie-back for curtain to maximize daylight into the cabin.
- TV was very old and out-dated, thus took up a lot of room on the shelf. A flat-screen model would enhance the cabin and provide additional shelving space.
- Evening bed chocolates were awful. Cheap-tasting and waxy. (Celebrity uses Lindt chocolates that are awesome!) They shouldn't even bother, if they aren't going to get something better.
Positives - Location with regard to elevators, daily trips to shore, ship movement, and muster station.
- Minimal noise from elevators, floor above, or floor below.
- Debarkation number was 8 (out of 25).
- Balcony and two chairs with small table was sufficient.
- Privacy barrier on poles and between the balcony wall spaces was very good, allowing for comfort and freedom to enjoy it.
- Bathroom shower size was sufficient and well-stocked with towels daily.
- Bed was comfortable, pillows needed to be doubled up.
- Towel animals were varied nightly and entertaining.
- Room stewards were friendly and attentive.
I rate this cabin a 3.5 out of 5. The easy improvements to bring it to a 5 are: #1 - refrigerator, #2 - TV upgrade, #3 - Bed location to mirrors, and #4 - Evening chocolates.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
BarbadosOn a prior trip to Barbados, we had done the segway tour. We highly recommend that to anyone considering it! The views from the cliffs on the north side of the island are beautiful!View All 1,285 Barbados Cruise Port Reviews
This time we went to Payne's Bay, as recommended by a local cabbie. I enjoyed my first jet-ski ride, until I ended up upside-down when the ski tipped over. My driving friend and I perhaps exceeded the weight limit suggestions. Got it turned back over, but one-ride was enough for me, and I spent the afternoon relaxing in my chair on the beach.
The sales pitches for local wares, umbrellas, chairs, use of the bathroom and snacks/food could be annoying at times, only because of the frequency of having to say "no, not interested, thank you".
View Cruise Critic's Barbados Cruise Port Review
San JuanAfter debarking, we enjoyed a fantastic lunch at restaurant Barrachina, where our table stewards, both Jose's, offered great tips and service. The restaurant offers free luggage storage until 5pm, to allow folks to tour Old San Juan, which is exactly what we did! There was a dog festival that day and we saw many varieties and costumes on several of the show dogs.View All 3,095 San Juan Cruise Port Reviews
We shopped for a hat I had been looking for (white with a wide black brim), and souveneirs for our daughter back home. We were able to pack them in one of the suitcases before heading out on a tour of Old San Juan, but wearing my new hat, of course!
We really enjoyed the walking tour through "El Morro" and it only cost $3 each! One of the park guides was very knowledgeable about the history and development of the fort (which once protected the inlet bay from unauthorized ships). It was "hold onto your hat" windy that day, but the sun was bright and warm. I almost lost my new hat when it blew off my head and over the wall, but one of the park guides was able to retrieve it, thank goodness!
We couldn't believe it when two hours had passed so quickly on the walking tour. We had to leave to get through airport check-in ontime for our flight. We enjoyed viewing much of the architecture of the building in the Old SJ district.
Touring Old San Juan is so worth the trip, and we'll do it again one day!
View Cruise Critic's San Juan Cruise Port Review
Catamaran TourWe were surprised by the 70 total on this excursion, and were concerned that we would feel "cramped". Not to worry....the cattamaran had PLENTY of room front and back, which allowed the crowd to divide into "highly energetic" in the back, and "mellow relaxing" at the front of the boat.View All 76 Catamaran Tour Reviews
The weather was picture-perfect, with just a little wind, but plenty of sun and warmth, without being stifling hot.
The crew was very friendly and knowledgeable. The bar was opened as soon as the safety drill was finished, and the party started right away! Snorkeling was great and the instructor for first-timers was very helpful and encouraging.
After the morning of snorkeling, and a few rum punches, a barbecue lunch was served at a private cove. The offerings were adequate - fresh salad, chicken and hot dogs - basic fare.
Post lunch snorkeling, a nap, and more rum punch kicked the party into high gear. The crowd had divided into it's preference (all on it's own!) and the dirty dancing, pole dancing and conga lines in the back made for some great pictures and memories. Even the crew joined in the fun, singing and dancing to entertain the guests. When asked for our preference for music, the unanimous choice was REGGAE!! People either danced, or enjoyed watching others, but everyone seemed to have a great time!
I gave this a 5+ rating for the value, crew (worth the tip), the music, the snorkeling, and the whole package! Highly recommend this excursion! We booked it through Pereira Tours.
St. LuciaOn a previous trip to St. Lucia, we signed onto the Spencer Tour, but this time chose to enjoy a Day pass at Smuggler's Cove.View All 1,195 St. Lucia Cruise Port Reviews
The day was overcast with intermittent rain showers, some heavy at times. We were hoping to enjoy some of the sporting amenities - snorkeling, tennis, water volleyball, but the weather was not co-operative. I did enjoy the local beer "Piton" name for the famous twin peaks, and found it tasteful and refreshing.
Reading a kindle while my wife and friend joined others in the "Aqua aerobics" event was a hoot! At some point I fell asleep and enjoyed a restful nap. Lunch was right on the dock, during the heaviest rain of the day, and the offering was varied for my wife's vegan leanings and my not-so-much tastes. A second choice was a burger and dog buffet (with fries, of course) and some salad.
Drink servers seemed scarce and it was just easier to belly-up to the bar. There were several pools to choose from, to wade or swim, and the resort was secure and well-kept. Would recommend this to others.
View Cruise Critic's St. Lucia Cruise Port Review
St. MaartenOrient beach is always interesting...watching the kite/water skiing was a first...while we enjoyed the nude-side of the beach for 90 minutes, before the high whipping winds got the best of us, and we went to plan B.View All 4,132 St. Maarten Cruise Port Reviews
We had rented a car and headed for the west side of the island, thinking the wind would be less. We parked at Friar's bay and hiked to Happy Bay. It ended up we were the only "naturist" couple on the beach, but enjoyed the sun and warm waters anyway, and the wind was much more subdued, but still noticeable.
Overall, this was a relaxing day of beach napping although there was some great snorkeling amongst the rocks close to shore at Happy Bay.
Before heading back to the ship, we purchased some rum at great prices for our bar back home.
View Cruise Critic's St. Maarten Cruise Port Review
St. ThomasEnjoyed a "Blackbeard's Castle and Rum" tour. The history of the castle and the stories told by the guide made the tour interesting. The view from the top of the castle is simply breath-taking.View All 4,104 St. Thomas Cruise Port Reviews
The weather was warm and sunny with a cooling breeze - just perfect! After the rum-tasting, I bought a bottle of delicious and fresh pineapple rum, made right on the grounds. We took a cab ride to a beach and enjoyed snorkeling, a nap, and some of the rum!
View Cruise Critic's St. Thomas Cruise Port Review