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Sail Date: July 2019
Cruised several times on American Queen boats and loved each of those. Wanted to try their new acquisition, Victory Cruise Lines and their Great Lakes itinerary. As with the Queen and Duchess, we weren't disappointed. The ship is a ... Read More
Cruised several times on American Queen boats and loved each of those. Wanted to try their new acquisition, Victory Cruise Lines and their Great Lakes itinerary. As with the Queen and Duchess, we weren't disappointed. The ship is a small version of an ocean going cruise ship. 200 passengers, very intimate, easy to navigate. The ships decor is beautiful, very updated and did not experience a single problem or issue. The cabins are small, but very well designed with a lot of storage space. We found that by separating our beds, we had much more space and the cabin seemed larger. Beds very comfortable. Bathroom is very nice with ample storage, small shower, but we've had smaller. We call it a one person bathroom unless one of us was in the shower. Dining in the large dining room or the smaller casual Grill buffet. Never crowded and food was very good. Menu items displayed in the hallway entering the dining room for dinner. Nice to be able to see what you might want to order. Also 24 hr. coffee machine in the main lounge and coffee and ice cream machines in the Grill. Public areas are: the 1) main lounge where we met before dinner for cocktails, talks on next day's activities, daily activities, nightly entertainment and afternoon teas: 2) tavern with a pub type atmosphere behind the lounge with a bar and tables: 3) two separate seating areas on the top deck (note: the elevator does not go to the top deck. The itinerary and excursions were awesome. We were on all 5 Great Lakes with beautiful scenery and wonderful ports of call. The excursions were well planned, seamless in execution and all guides were interesting. Nightly entertainment was a three piece band made up of a piano player (also the cruise director), drummer and a guitar/trumpet player. They were very talented and played popular songs that we know and could sing along or dance to. Different theme each night. The staff aboard Victory I were excellent, hard working and their service was impeccable. This was right up with the best service we've ever experienced. If you're looking for a relaxing cruise on a great small ship with wonderful food, service and excursions, in or close to America, this would be a great choice. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Pick something other than Victory Cruise Lines. The Great Lakes were a great place to cruise; just pick another cruise line. Or set your expectations low and deal with it. We did Detroit to Halifax. For example, if you don't ... Read More
Pick something other than Victory Cruise Lines. The Great Lakes were a great place to cruise; just pick another cruise line. Or set your expectations low and deal with it. We did Detroit to Halifax. For example, if you don't mind waiting 45 minutes for the crew to figure out how to put the gangway down to get off the ship at your ports of call... then deal with the limited excursion time. If you don't mind that your port of call for a whale watching excursion is canceled and you simply drive by the area... then deal with it. The ports of call on the Great Lakes are not what you find on cruises anywhere else in the world. If you don't mind that you dock with the cargo vessels in many ports... deal with it. Like I said, the Great Lakes are worth doing a cruise on; even if the ports are quite up to what you find to welcome you elsewhere. But, what you do NOT want to do if find yourself on a Victory Cruise ship with any "sea days". These ships are small and without adequate facilities. Other reviews have already noted the tight quarters, terrible plumbing (flushes all night long and water totally stopping mid-shower), and as one fellow put in a lounge that reminded him of the visitor area of his mother's nursing home. On the positive side, Food was good. Coffee and cookies in the lounge as a snack option was good for those on a diet. Excursion's were good other than often cut short in duration. Service was marginal but with potential. We were booted from an earlier Victory II cruise because the ship didn't get out of dry dock in time. No compensation for then accepting a cabin downgrade to take a later date was only part of the issue here. The big issue was that the staff on the ship were simply NOT ready for prime time. A handful of staff were great and likely had prior experience. Much of the staff were very weak, inattentive, and more focused on serving the captain and senior crew than the guests. Would we do a Great Lakes cruise again. Yes! But we will be looking for another cruise line. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Had the opportunity to experience the Victory II inaugural voyage. It was a great experience filled with amazing food, exceptional service and new friends. This ship is small, with great character, the best environment to receive a ... Read More
Had the opportunity to experience the Victory II inaugural voyage. It was a great experience filled with amazing food, exceptional service and new friends. This ship is small, with great character, the best environment to receive a personal service. The staff knew my name and my diet coke for breakfast request by the third day. The all-inclusive excursions were very nice. I felt immersed in the culture of the place. The karaoke nights at the tavern were amazing and we all got together and sang like family. No one does the destinations like Victory Cruise Lines. We had dinner at a vineyard, entertainment every night, local foods were cooked on board, the best desserts and more. Lavender Creme Brulee is the single best dessert I have ever had!!! Lourdes is the best server. I highly recommend Victory Cruise Lines because they make sure you create friends and memories you will never forget. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Delightful - best cruise we’ve had out of 11 cruises! Chose it for the destinations and the excursions. Wanted to go through the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Welland Canal, as well as the cities involved. Ship was nice small size (200 ... Read More
Delightful - best cruise we’ve had out of 11 cruises! Chose it for the destinations and the excursions. Wanted to go through the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Welland Canal, as well as the cities involved. Ship was nice small size (200 passengers), crew was superb, food was great, and everybody was friendly. We enjoyed cruising without the hustle and bustle of large ships. We particularly enjoyed the personal attention of the crew, that they got to know you by name, and that there was no waiting in line for anything. The excursions were superb and included in the cruise price, as was the wine and beer. We enjoyed that there was no smoke-filled casino on board (and no smoking at all) and we were not bombarded by the many big ship announcements touting and hustling the many things and shops on board. It was just simple cruising in the most pleasant of circumstances. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I was lucky enough to be part of the Victory II inaugural voyage from Montreal to Detroit and I loved the experience. I love food and I couldn't be happier with the delicious cuisine and service. Their two restaurants, the Victory ... Read More
I was lucky enough to be part of the Victory II inaugural voyage from Montreal to Detroit and I loved the experience. I love food and I couldn't be happier with the delicious cuisine and service. Their two restaurants, the Victory Dining Room and the Lighthouse Grille are beautiful and they offer options to please everybody. The staff is amazing and I’m already missing them (Amelita and Lourdes)! I had the chance to discover Montreal, Quebec City, Niagara Falls, Toronto, the warm hospitality in Kingston and be surprised by Cleveland and Detroit. I loved the Cleveland Museum of Art, it was a great find during my stop in the city. The views were breathtaking and the atmosphere is relaxing. Nothing like sitting with your drink or coffee while admiring the world. Every sunset and sunrise was unforgettable. It was a lovely time and I’ll be back for sure! Thanks !! Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was an outstanding cruise in terms of service, food and places visited. The staff, aside from the captain, was very friendly and engaging. The captain, however, ate with his wife every night and seldom smiled or made eye contact with ... Read More
This was an outstanding cruise in terms of service, food and places visited. The staff, aside from the captain, was very friendly and engaging. The captain, however, ate with his wife every night and seldom smiled or made eye contact with passengers. The average age of cruisers was in the low to mid eighties, many of whom had significant mobility problems or other visible skin conditions. Out of maybe 150 passengers about 110 were from Texas, some from southern from Florida and maybe 4 from the east coast. There was strong Trump support in the air as well as army loyalty. Customers did not mingle much and stuck to themselves most times. The Lounge was small and many times to me at least (I just turned 60) seemed lune I was in the lounge of my mother’s nursing home. Most of the people gathered to drink and do puzzles. There was a small exercise room which was good enough if you want to get your blood flowing on any given day. I wish there was a yoga class offered... but there was nothing along that natures offered. The cabins were nice but beware of the extremely loud toilet flushes which were heard throughout the decks at all times of the night. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was the inaugural cruise to Cuba for this ship and this cruiseline.. Having cruised on this ship with it's Great Lakes Itinerary, we were anxious to be a part of the "cultural exchange" experience being offered with ... Read More
This was the inaugural cruise to Cuba for this ship and this cruiseline.. Having cruised on this ship with it's Great Lakes Itinerary, we were anxious to be a part of the "cultural exchange" experience being offered with this Cuba cruise. First off, we were very impressed with the entire staff on this ship. Everyone was extremely helpful and friendly. In just a short time, we all seemed to know one another by name. The included excursions were, for the most part, outstanding. A couple days, the time seemed to run a bit long, and everyone was exhausted by the time we got back to the ship, but the excursions were very rewarding. The only negative we could see, was that two travel agencies had each booked a number of cruisers on board, and provided a "coordinator" with the group. It became apparent, that these two groups had a "preferred" status - always seemed to have info prior to the remainder of the cruisers, were always the first groups to arrive at the events and got the choice seats for viewing and listening, etc. Also on board was a Victory Cruise Lines director of programs and entertainment, and with that director was a party of 12 people. This party had an "entitlement" approach to much of what was taking place on the ship. For instance, we were to meet up with another couple we had met on board, and have dinner at the deck 4 Cliff Rock Grille. That couple had gone early to the Cliff Rock Grille, and taken a table in "open seating" at the rear of the ship that was quiet and out of the way, and one that provided a very nice view. After being there and ordering their wine to go with dinner, and while waiting for us to join them, they were asked to move to another table. They were told that in spite of the open seating policy, this entitled group of 12 wanted that particular table and the adjoining ones with the best views, for their group dinner. When we arrived and learned of the situation, we encouraged them to join us and leave the Cliff Rock Grille, and take our dinner in the MDR on deck 1. As it turns out, that group of 12 had done some similar thing to this couple on the first night of the cruise. The guest speakers on the cruise were quite varied, and most provided a "treasure" of information. All guest speakers had accommodations on deck 4. Read Less
36 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We were interested in this 10 day cruise since we haven't been to this area other than Chicago & Cleveland. We also wanted to see Niagara Falls. We purchased this cruise thru Vantage which leases the ship thru Victory ... Read More
We were interested in this 10 day cruise since we haven't been to this area other than Chicago & Cleveland. We also wanted to see Niagara Falls. We purchased this cruise thru Vantage which leases the ship thru Victory Cruiseline. The Victory I holds about 200 passengers. There was 115 passengers on the cruise we took - 93 being Vantage passengers. There was one Vantage staff person (cruise director called an Adventure Leader) who worked in tandem with the ship's cruise director (Expedition Host). We flew into Toronto the day before the cruise and met the Vantage Adventure Leader at the Marriot Hotel. The next day, we took a city tour and then embarked on the Victory I. Hiighlights include: Niagara Falls, Niagara area winery lunch, Lolly Trolley in Cleveland, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village (purchased ticket separately), cruising the St. Clair river, going thru the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie into Lake Superior (we can say we have been on all 5 Great Lakes), info about the Edmund Fitzgerald & Mackinac Island with the Grand Hotel buffet. Cruise Lecturers - There were 2. One focused on the port talks and history of the area. He also talked about etiquette - it's history and application into today's business world. It sounds strange, but many of us found it very interesting. The second lecturer had worked for NASA during the Apollo project & he had lectures on astronomy. They were well informed and enjoyable. We also had a guest lecturer from the Grand Hotel the evening after our visit to Mackinac Island. Very funny! Service - The staff & crew onboard were friendly, courteous & efficient. The morning after cruising on the St. Clair river into Lake Huron, we found the crew washing off the many bugs that collected overnight (Mayflies?). The Wi-Fi was included & reception was pretty good. Food - We found the food was varied & very good. There was a cocktail hour before dinner where announcements were made. Beer & wine were included on the cruise. Breakfast was buffet style, however you could order from your table if you wanted to. You ordered from a menu for lunch & dinner. There was also an outdoor grill where breakfast & dinner was offered. We did not go to any of the meals there, hubby would walk over to it in the morning for his coffee. It was a great place to have a drink and see sunsets in the evening - weather permitting. Afternoon Teas - There was 3 afternoon teas. A Royal High tea, Spirit of the Maharajahs, and a Viennese Afternoon tea. Lots of goodies to be had. Disembarkation was at an industrial port south of downtown Chicago. Transportation was arranged by the Vantage Adventure Leader. We ended up sharing a taxi - our share, $20. We are very glad we went on this cruise. I am looking at another Great Lakes cruise advertised by Victory Cruiselines - Western Great Lakes. It includes ports in Lake Superior. Read Less
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