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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
This is our 5th cruise with Carnival and it will probably be our last. Sad to say because the Cruises to Nowhere fit our schedule as well as our budget. I'm not the type of person to complain if there weren't any chocolates ... Read More
This is our 5th cruise with Carnival and it will probably be our last. Sad to say because the Cruises to Nowhere fit our schedule as well as our budget. I'm not the type of person to complain if there weren't any chocolates left on my pillow or anything like that so take this as an honest review. We received an email that they are trying something new---staggered check-in and to arrive between 1pm and 3pm. We arrived at 12:55 and stood on-line (outside in the heat) for about 3 hours :-( No one came out to tell us what the delay was. At one point, my husband looked at me and asked if I was okay. I sat down in the shade in order to get out of the sun. I don't mind waiting but as least let the passengers know what's going on. Once we arrived inside the port, we had a number stamped on our boarding passes and were told to wait (again) in a section. At least we were able to sit down but it felt like we were at the DMV. This was just terrible. Now, we finally got inside the ship and went to our rooms to use the restroom and put down our luggage. We took no more than 2 minutes and we rushed up to the Lido desk to have lunch. Once we arrived, the buffet was being shut down. I would have appreciated if they stayed open longer due to the looong wait to check-in. By this time it was almost 5:30 and our first day was pretty much gone. Normally, we check-in in about 90 minutes and this allows us time to enjoy our first day. Not this time, due to the standing in the sun for hours, everyone was pretty much pooped. Now on to the fun part.....I am African-American, so please don't get the wrong idea when I say this. However, there were quite a few other African-American's on board who clearly had zero class. I am all about having fun and enjoying myself but there is a time and place for everything. There was a lot of cursing and talking extra loud and I really didn't appreciate it. Our party consisted of my husband, step-daughter, parents and brother. Each one of us was ready to go once we were back to the port on the last day. Now, back to the ship, our cabin steward cleaned our room the next morning and later around noon, we went back to change our clothes. The steward knocked on the door and about 3 seconds later, entered without giving any of us a chance to say come on. I asked if I can help him and he said he wanted to know if we needed our room clean. I said that he already cleaned it this morning and he left. That was VERY fishy to me. I did send Carnival a complaint on-line regarding that. Also, they only had karoke one time at 2pm. I like karoke in the evening when people are ready to have a good time. Not at 2pm, and some folks are still waking up. We didn't have toiletries in our cabin, maybe they are trying to save money, not sure. I look forward to the lobster tail dinner on the second night but that was ONLY offered for an additional charge. This is the first time in 5 cruises that the lobster tail wasn't included. On the second day, we went to play one of the trivia games. It was over in 15 minutes. Normally, they play 2 or 3 games in a row. Also, many of the night clubs and bars were closed at random times of the day,not sure why. The pool had also been closed, we heard it was due to kids playing around, again, not sure. You know how the serves come around and offer you the drink of the day in the cute plastic container, we were asked only once the entire time. I don't drink much on vacation, but I would have appreciated if I had been asked more. We decided to go to the art auction. Normally, they serve champagne as you walk in. This time, we waited for about 20 minutes and the presenter said that there was a delay with the server. At the auction, we were given 3 stickies for you to put on artwork you would like to see them show so that you can (possibly) bid if interested. After we took our time walking around and placing the stickies on work as instructed, they never showed ANY of them. My husband put a sticky on 3 pieces, not one was showed. Again, we aren't sure why. The ship itself is very nice. We liked the pink/shell/oyster/pearl decor. One plus, was the Asian band that plays R&B music and also good music to dance to. They are really good. Give them a try next time you visit one of the bars. There was also a Latin group that we heard as we were passing by and they had some really nice music to dance to. All in all, I really enjoyed Carnival up until this point. Perhaps I will try them again on a different cruise. Maybe the Cruise to Nowhere is no longer for us. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
I have been cruising and loyal to Carnival for years now. Mainly because of the great service, fun times and awesome prices. Carnival Splendor changed my perception of Carnival completely. Where do I begin? *It took 2.5 hours standing ... Read More
I have been cruising and loyal to Carnival for years now. Mainly because of the great service, fun times and awesome prices. Carnival Splendor changed my perception of Carnival completely. Where do I begin? *It took 2.5 hours standing and waiting in the HOT sun just to board the ship. *We were provided luggage tags only to find out that they were not checking luggage. (would have been nice to know this in advance) *Once we finally reached the counter the person checking us in was very nice but just did not know how to work the system. We were asked to go stand in yet another line just put our credit card on file. *Once we swiped our sail and sign cards to get on the boat we were rushed and not given any information/ directions on anything. Where were the JUST ASK T-shirt crew members that we are use to seeing? *Camp carnival wasn't available 1st night of our cruise (on a 2 night cruise)??? *Paid for night owls and the kids were made to lay down and go to sleep??? WHAT FUN? *Every crew member we asked for directions had NO CLUE how to find anything on the boat. Either they did not speak well enough English or they would simply point us in the wrong direction! *The only staff that were friendly and accommodating were our servers at our 6 o'clock dinner. *the staff that waited on us for breakfast on Sunday seemed completely irritated when we asked for coffee. Putting up there finger saying "your going to have to wait" I have never experienced a cruise like this before. I called the 800 # to complain and they said there wasn't anything they could do. I have sailed on Fantasy several times and never had a bad time. Everyone on Fantasy was great! DO NOT SAIL WITH CARNIVAL SPLENDOR. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
Just a short review as it was a short cruise. Carnival does the weekend "Cruise to Nowhere" out of Norfolk to round out the Glory' weekly calendar during it's Caribbean season (the ship goes up to Boston/Canada for the ... Read More
Just a short review as it was a short cruise. Carnival does the weekend "Cruise to Nowhere" out of Norfolk to round out the Glory' weekly calendar during it's Caribbean season (the ship goes up to Boston/Canada for the summer starting in June). The wife and I got a last minute deal on Cabin 2483, which is an ocean view at the very aft end of the ship. Two remarks for those trying to choose what cabin (disclaimer - I also spent 30 years in the Marine Corps and have spent years on almost all manner of ships). - The very aft of the ship will "wag" like a happy dog's tail. I find this very relaxing and sleep very well. There's a decent amount of vibration and rocking. On the Glory, the aft cabins on the main deck are right below the Platinum Dining Room - meaning that at 9:30 pm when the 2nd dinner seating "show" goes (the service staff will sing a little song and dance - it was "Gungham Style" this week)- you can hear and feel it in your cabin. Otherwise, very quiet. Overall this is my favorite location; down low and isolated. - Most passengers prefer mid-ship, as there's minimal vibration and rocking. - I don't prefer the bow, as in rougher waters, the bow will "pitch" much more than the stern...just like Uncle Bob's speedboat. - The higher up decks will have greater arcs of motion, like the end of a see-saw plank as opposed to being close to the fulcrum. Also bear in mind that if you're up closer to the public spaces (Decks 6, etc), you're going to hear all manner of people coming and going all night. The staff was wonderful, Konstantin, the Matre D'Hotel for the Platinum Dining room, is fantastic - and does an extremely credible Sinatra in the nightly after-dinner-song. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
Our cruise was a 2 night cruise to nowhere out of Norfolk, Virginia. Travelers were my 12 year old daughter and I. It took us just about 2 hours from the time we arrived at the port until we were actually on the ship. We arrived at ... Read More
Our cruise was a 2 night cruise to nowhere out of Norfolk, Virginia. Travelers were my 12 year old daughter and I. It took us just about 2 hours from the time we arrived at the port until we were actually on the ship. We arrived at the port, and were directed to parking- which was a drive away (close to 2 miles away), and parking was $15/day. We finally found it, following the instructions we had been given, then we took our bag, and walked over to the bus (we got the back of the parking lot, so it was a pretty decent haul to the bus). Bags were loaded, and we hopped onto a motor coach to head over the cruise ship. So far so good- honeymooners on the bus, lots of happy people. We got off the bus, then they showed us where to go- we had to go get in line with everyone else- up the stairs, and across a bridge, (there were elevators available), and wait to get through security. We waited on the bridge about an hour and 30 minutes. Wind whipping through us, and cold. We got up to security, finally, and there were exactly 4 sets of metal detectors and scanners going. Since we all carried our bags onto the ship, this was the cause of the bottleneck. There was space for several more scanners, and frankly had they changed their setup a little bit, they could have gotten as many as 15-20 scanners in there, to eliminate the security line. I'm not sure what the "ideal" waiting time is, but frankly 1.5 hours is too much. They need to work some operations management, and get this fixed. Telling me that those people don't work for the cruise line, is a cop out I'm not likely to accept. Note to Carnival- Fix your embarkation process. I got up to the scanner, and they saw that I had a hole punch in my bag (which I carry to put a hole into my room key so I can wear it on a lanyard around my neck, and I can do the same for the kids with me).. They searched through every bit of my bags, and eventually took the hole punch. Apparently they take away all tools, since they could somehow be a hazard on duty. Uh- frankly, I could have done more damage with other things they already give me on board- can you say steak knife? Or broken glass? Or any of dozens of other items, so this just seemed, asinine, and petty. And frankly stupid. They kept it in safe keeping until the morning of embarkation until we were getting ready to get off, but still on board the ship. Uh- okay.. If it's so dangerous, do you think I should have this "dangerous" thing on me at any point during the cruise? And guys- it's a _hole_punch_. Color me really confused. So, note to self, next time I get on a carnival ship (which will be with a party of 15 people), take them all by guest services to get our key cards punched, because we need them punched to keep from losing them.. Yeah. That'll be swell. Lines- There were lines, especially for the breakfast buffet on Saturday morning. We didn't actually attempt to get into line, since it wrapped half way around the deck, and made do with rolls, cold cut meats, and cheese. Frankly they NEED to fix the lines at the buffets. Make the actual buffet lines shorter, and separate sections. Don't put every single thing on one buffet line, just the "basic" stuff. If I want an omelette, i'll go to a separate station. This is another area where they need to get their acts in gear and work with some operations management folks. The ship felt crowded, probably due to the fact that the weather was chilly and no-one was up at the pool deck. The stores were a mess. There was jumbled merchandise, pinch points in the flow of the stores, counters where there was no merchandise, just stuff stacked in the corner. The cabin- was very nice. I like that the bathrooms are fairly spacious. and that the door opens out into the room, so I don't have to play a game of twister to get into the bathroom area. The area is a single module, which contains shower, next to toilet, next to sink. It is very economical in space, but very usable, and doesn't feel cramped. I like the lay-out of the balcony stateroom we were in. The room is a peach/white/beige color scheme with peach/dark red in the carpet on the floor. There is a couch, chair, stool, and table. The bed was on the firm side. The couch was cushier. The beds are on the back half of the room, with the "living area" in the front half, next to the bathrooms. Closet space is ample, and closet doors are open-close, and very functional. I had enough space to set my bag on the desk for the 2 night cruise. our cabin steward was AMAZING. We'd go to breakfast, or to dinner, and come back to the room being made up 100% of the time. Food- overall was quite good. We had dinner in the Platinum dining room at 6:00 PM both nights. Aside from the buffet lines, all of the food was quite good. We ordered room service a couple of times (once for a snack, and once for breakfast on debarkation morning), and that came promptly both times. The first night I couldn't get through on the phone due to being on hold the entire time, despite repeated attempts. We were unable to dine at the steak house, as reservations were not available for anything before 9 PM once we got onboard. The spa was good. They layout is unusual in that the treatment rooms are directly off the salon, and there can be noise from the salon or other locations coming into the staterooms. I had a manicure, pedicure, facial, and massage done at a couple of different trips up there. They were all quite good. Circle C- My daughter found the program for the 12-14 year olds to be wanting, both in terms of the quality of programming, and the amount of programming available. It was better than Royal Caribbean's Oasis (from December), but worse than Disney's Wonder (in April). Debarkation- was very smooth. Since it was a closed loop cruise to nowhere, we didn't have to go through immigration, or customs. They were calling cabins by floor, but fairly quickly, people were just getting off the ship. The line never did get very long, and just kept moving quickly. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
This was my eighth Carnival cruise, taken solely to help me achieve Platinum status this summer. I talked 4-5 people who were on the boat for the same reason. Positives - Blue Iguana Cantina (breakfast and lunch), Guy's Burger ... Read More
This was my eighth Carnival cruise, taken solely to help me achieve Platinum status this summer. I talked 4-5 people who were on the boat for the same reason. Positives - Blue Iguana Cantina (breakfast and lunch), Guy's Burger Joint, and the opposing bars on deck. Very cool setup that no other cruise line has. The burgers and burritos very good compared to typical buffet fare. The combination of these bars and eating places made for a very lively main deck. Boat was in really nice shape and the service was good, similar to others in the same class. Pizza was very pretty good to for "cruise ship pizza" (thin crust). Negatives - Smoking rules not enforced all that well, charging for a behind the scenes tour on a cruise to nowhere, lido deck buffet somewhat bland and horrible lines at breakfast. I realize that space is limited, but this is something RCCL does much better by breaking up the foods by type/station. This itinerary is only offered a handful of times a year so I'm not going to tell you about every detail. Just know that due to the very short length (and low cost) don't go on this boat looking for something to complain about. I know the stereotypes of the Carnival brand, and this crowd lived up to them. That being said, I had fun but would probably stick to 5 day minimum cruises going forward (couldn't do it this time as I have already scheduled all my available time off). Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
Embarkation: Couldn't ask for anything better. It is a shame the port in Norfolk is so underutilized, it is a nice place, we got through security and checked in quickly and were on the ship by right before noon after arriving at ... Read More
Embarkation: Couldn't ask for anything better. It is a shame the port in Norfolk is so underutilized, it is a nice place, we got through security and checked in quickly and were on the ship by right before noon after arriving at 10:15am. Dining: For something fast and quick Guys Burgers, Blue Iguana and the pizza place were all great. The Steakhouse is an absolute must if you are a foodie and it is WELL worth the $35 fee. Our dinner the first night in the MDR was lackluster for me, and going forward I wouldn't go out of my way to eat there and waste the time it takes. My app was a shrimp cocktail and they were super small shrimp, almost like the ones you toss into a salad. My salmon was small and bland, the potatoes were undercooked and veggies were basically raw. The Fish and Chips station was tasty, though the fish was a little on the greasy side. I stayed away from most buffets due to lines. For breakfast I just hit up Blue Iguana for a breakfast burrito and it was great. The one time I did hit the buffet for breakfast it was just ok, with the eggs Benedict stealing the show for me. Entertainment: The only entertainment I went to on such a short cruise was the Piano Bar. It was fun but we caught them when they were in the middle of a trivia game, so for the first half hour all we were hearing were little snippets of songs. Once that was over it got better. We then walked to another bar that had a acoustic guitarist that was good...only problem was he was on him last song of the night and it wasn't even late...oh well. Bars: Hands down the best bar for me was The Alchemy Bar. Bartender was awesome, drinks were great but be warned at $9 (or $10 if you want top shelf) a drink your tab can get out of hand quickly. Casino: The Casino was fine, I know they can't stop smokers, but it really does detract from the overall experience having labored breathing while you play. One thing that did throw me off is I wanted to play Wheel of Fortune slots, specifically the $1 machine. They had one of them and a woman literally camped out at the machine from sun up to sun down. She even had a squatter hold her seat while she went to the bathroom. I know there isn't much they can do about it, but having two of each machine would help (the other WoF machine was a 25c machine). Service: Everyone was great on the ship. Friendly, welcoming and just really seemed like they wanted to be there to help you. That really surprised me. Cabin: I could not have been happier with my aft extended balcony on the Empress deck. It was plenty spacious and the deck was great, two chairs, a table and a lounger fit nicely. Only problem was it was very windy and chilly so unless you are somewhere warm or going somewhere warm I wouldn't waste money on a balcony as you won't be out there much. The surprise for me was the shower. Nice heat and water pressure from the shower, didn't expect that on a ship...it was better than most land hotels I have been in. Public Areas: Elevators were slow so we took the stairs the whole time. Each floor had its own strange smells which threw us off though I've never been cruising before so maybe that is normal. But it ranged from fish, to onions to musty...but it mainly stuck to the stairwell and elevator areas. Value for Money: Honestly this is where I have a problem. This Cruise to Nowhere cost me $918 for two people....to me that is just way too much, for the same price I could do a 5 day with an inside cabin. The value just wasn't there and I won't be taking any more 2 day Cruises to Nowhere. Overall: We had fun, we learned some lessons, like not to over eat or you will spend your trip taking food coma naps instead of partying. The alcohol is very expensive so when we do a longer cruise I will certainly be doing the Cheers! program. We didn't see anyone getting out of control which we expected with it being a two day "booze cruise". I will cruise again for sure, but next time it will at least be a five day. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2011
A bit of background - prior to this cruise we had only sailed with Disney Cruise Line. We are Disney fans, so it is a natural fit. However, we had been exploring options as to what to do for our 5th Anniversary. We had a limited amount ... Read More
A bit of background - prior to this cruise we had only sailed with Disney Cruise Line. We are Disney fans, so it is a natural fit. However, we had been exploring options as to what to do for our 5th Anniversary. We had a limited amount of time, and after looking for a few weeks I found Carnival's two night cruise to nowhere departing the day after our anniversary. So we decided that was a great fit! It would have us both back to work on Monday - as the cruise gets in at 8:00am - we thought it was fantastic! So we booked - found the perfect stateroom - and started making plans. It was impossible to find the information that we needed (would there be a formal night was one of the biggest questions) YES, the representative said when I called - it would be our first night on board. SO, being that it was a two night cruise, we didn't want to bring along a ton of clothes, so we decided that we would just skip our dining room seating our first night. There wasn't a 'formal night' there was an OPTIONAL formal night that very few folks observed. The Carnival Agent was incorrect. Anyway - on with the review... The port's website said that parking outside the city and taking a shuttle in was the best option - so I had thought we would do that. We ended up parking right across the street, for LESS than it would have cost to park outside the city and shuttle in - and took FAR less time. More on how we decided where to park later... All of our documents provided by Carnival said that check-in would begin at 1:00pm - and not to arrive any earlier, as you would be turned away to return at 1:00pm. However, I had read on a thread from last year's cruise that check in started at 11:00am. But we took the documents provided by Carnival to be the most correct and we planned for 1:00pm arrival at the port. We drove down on Friday evening and spent the night beachfront at Va Beach - left the hotel around 10:50am with plans to explore the parking options and decide what was best. We got into downtown around 11:10am and found parking garages ALL around the port with CRUISE PARKING signs out. It was a Saturday morning so they were all nearly deserted, with a few folks leaving from the previous cruise that was nearly finished disembarking as we arrived. We had planned to walk around downtown between 11:00am and 1:00pm and grab lunch while doing so - but that plan didn't follow through... So we decided to park across the street - simple enough - cheap enough ($30) - and no shuttle involved in either direction. Since we parked across the street - I looked across the street at 11:15 and people were already ON the ship! What happened to 1:00pm? The port terminal is beautiful, I really didn't expect it to be that nice, but it really is top notch for a port with so few sailings - it really is more than just a place to board a ship! I love the displays of an ocean liner era gone by - it really was a history lesson! Security was very smooth - didn't feel rushed - it was very practical, and easy to understand what they expected from you - very clear communication, and a great streamlined process. Simple - and efficient! Check in was very smooth - a breeze, and THEN - on to the waiting. Boarding of regular passengers has just started (previous patrons and the disabled had already boarded). We were placed in the boarding zone group 24. We waited, and waited, and waited. We have never waited that long to board a ship. It was not fun! Finally we board, simple enough - pose for your awful embarkation photo - and then you're off... Staterooms were to be ready by 1:00pm We ended up boarding the ship around 1:15 - just as they made an announcement that staterooms would not be ready until 1:30. Bummer - since the cruise was so short - there was no option to check baggage - so what you had, stayed with you until your stateroom was ready. Lunch was being served on the lido - so we thought we would just grab lunch, and then wait a few minutes and our room would be ready. WRONG - with the ship less than 1/2 boarded, the lines were 1/4 the ships length long for lunch. WOW - that's awful. Then they announced that staterooms were ready - so we found ours, explored - VERY ROOMY! A great price for an interior stateroom with an ocean view! Then - to find something to eat. Wait lines for EVERY SINGLE MEAL were no less than 45 minutes. I'm not joking or elaborating. Carnival does NOT know how to manage lines - or food service. Waiting in line would be the theme of the cruise - they often joke that you can't leave a cruise hungry - well, Carnival has changed that! The food was awful - I had fish and chips for lunch on the 2nd day and it tasted like dirt. Absolutely disgusting! We went to our 8:15 dinner seating - and once again - LINES 1/4 of the way through the ship! This ship's dining rooms are so horribly tacky, gaudy, and dated that I felt like I had stepped back into the 70's. AWFUL! We were in the Platinum dining room on the upper level - get this..... IN A BOOTH!!!!! Who in all creation thinks it is a good idea to put booth seating in a formal dining room?!?!?!?! Our table mates were pleasant - and the conversation was as well. The food however - I've had better meals at Denny's! The food was a joke - the servers were so impersonal - and the service was slow. I had grilled chicken breast - the chicken fillets at Wendy's are larger! Such low food quality - I was shocked. There really is a lack of activities on the ship - our previous experiences had been running from activity to activity loving every minute of it - or just chilling out on deck, swimming, or reading. Chilling out on deck wasn't a possibility - there are smoking areas EVERYWHERE. You cannot get away from the stale odor of smoke. As I unpacked my bag to wash clothes when I got home everything in my bag smelled like smoke. I have restrictive airways and can't be around smoke for more than a minute or two, or I have difficulty breathing. I spent my time running from the stench or cigarette smoke! Everywhere you go they are trying to sell you drinks - I have fewer than 24 drinks a YEAR, and the presence of THAT much alcohol is insane! There are 21 bars on the Glory (according to one of the bartenders). REALLY - that much space on a ship is dedicated to alcohol service? WOW We wanted to try our luck in the casino - and once again - smoke - smoke - and more smoke. There are signs all over the place in the casino that you cannot smoke in the casino unless you are actively playing. No enforcement on that rule - trust me! We sat at breakfast on our 2nd morning with an older couple, tried and true tourist gamblers, and they described the casino as the worst they had ever played. They said the machines were tight, and the payouts very low - when they happened. On Sunday we tried to find a place on deck to relax, and there was no quiet place that was free of smoke - so we went to the adults only area, and found a couple chair, no smoke, low noise - and THEN, a party shows up with their stereo, another party shows up with buckets of beer, and then the smoking starts - all within 40 minutes - so I finally decided to just go to our stateroom and read. We arrive in our stateroom only to be greeted by such a strong chemical odor that I had a headache within 10 minutes. I had had enough at that point. I went to guest services to complain - and the agent was very apologetic - but offered us absolutely no solution. We literally sat in the atrium and stared at each other for 45 minutes with absolutely nothing to do. There was no place to go that was quiet and free of smoke, there was nothing to eat without waiting in line for 45 minutes, and there weren't any activities scheduled for another 2 hours! Fun ships? Hardly! Let's talk about the shows - well - show - we only saw one and had quite enough. It was rated PG-13 - NO WAY would I let a 13 year old watch that show. It was vulgar - obscene - and lacked any sort of story line. I fell asleep 3/4 of the way though and it wasn't even exciting enough to make me up. It was awful - and I've seen a lot of awful shows at amusement parks, and community festivals - this was a high budget, low value show. No story, no plot, just a lot of rear ends waving in the air for no reason at all. I am totally fine with risque as long as there is reason for it - but this was for no sake other than oogle factor. It was a disgrace, and very indicative of what Carnival thinks of its patrons. The show objectified both men and women, and is of no value what so ever. OK - I've talked about just about every aspect of cruising - now lets talk about about one thing that ALL cruises have in common - and that is the required muster drill. For safety sake - and to prepare for the worst case scenario, the muster drill requires attention to detail, a sense of purpose, and needs to be taken seriously by the crew to be taken seriously by the passengers. Yes, I am about the rate the muster drill. My wife and I have only sailed on Disney Cruise Line previously - so we expected the same thing - as it has to be pretty standard - right? WRONG Disney Cruise Line assigns you not only to a Muster station but also to a life boat. You know where to go on the ship, and what boat you will be on in case of an emergency. Carnival starts it without warning, and pushes everyone to the same deck, at the same time, and you line up in rows. It was absolute chaos. The crew members were laughing and joking - there was no instruction being provided - the young lady assigned to our station was off laughing and joking with other crew members when the captain started the life vest instruction. There was no sense of urgency, no urges to remain silent, people were talking laughing, joking, and NOT listening to the instruction. After that - I DID NOT feel safe on board the ship. What IF there was an emergency and minutes = lives saved or lost? There would be no time for laughing, joking, catching up on crew gossip, or talking about how tired you are, as a crew member, or providing instruction during the muster drill. REALLY? This cruise line values my life so little that they don't even assure that everyone knows what to do in case of emergency? That's sad. And so dangerous. We felt trapped on a two night cruise - I HATE to think what it would have been like if we had given Carnival a try on a 7 night cruise. There was literally nothing to do, no place to go, and not even a chance of having 'FUN'. Carnival definitely isn't for us. We took a look around the kids clubs when we got on and they were pretty sad - they were kid themed of course, but having toured those same areas on Disney's ships - I REALLY can't imagine a kid wanting to spend time there vs. somewhere else on the ship. The area seemed very very childish - and I can't imagine a teen would be entertained enough to stay out of their parents hair on a 7 night cruise. The ship was not clean. There were abandoned glasses, trash, and stuff everywhere. There were shipping pallets on one of the decks loaded with exercise equipment. Was this a cargo ship to no where? The overall maintenance of the ship is very poor. The decor in the staterooms is very 80's - (the ship wasn't even in existence then... why decorate two decades back?) The crew members speak very little English - not even enough to provide directions around the ship. Buffets often sat empty while lines 45 minutes long were at service areas. The drinks I had contained VERY little alcohol, and I couldn't believe that they didn't swipe your card and ask for a signature. They still use printed paper slips to take orders. The huge jumbo-tron on the Lido deck had 3-4 areas that were malfunctioning and flickered blue/green/magenta or didn't display anything at all. Windows were dirty - carpets were dirty and stained - we were so disappointed with the entire experience. We were hoping it would be very similar to Disney - but WOW were we wrong. Disney manages crowds and assures the ships never FEEL crowded - even though they sail at 100% capacity the vast majority of the time. I wish we had done a 3 night with Disney - it would have cost about the same - the food, service, shows, and ship would have been amazing. BUT, we didn't have 3 nights, and Norfolk was so much closer to home. However, it definitely made up our minds - we aren't Carnival cruisers. We will try Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, or another line - we won't 'always' cruise with Disney - but we just have to find a line that will meet our expectations on entertainment, service, safety, and cleanliness. Carnival failed in every category. The only thing that was as expected on our cruise was our continental room-service breakfast we had on our last morning - it was exactly what we ordered, when we ordered it. But that's not enough to bring us back to Carnival for a 2nd try - it's too expensive to given them a 2nd shot. Not saying that ALL of Carnival's cruises are this bad, but I can't imagine they would be THAT much different. Not worth the chance for us! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
We are first time cruisers so we picked the cruise to nowhere as a trial run to see if we would be interested in doing it again. Embarkation: We were told that we could board the ship at around 11am so we wanted to be early so we ... Read More
We are first time cruisers so we picked the cruise to nowhere as a trial run to see if we would be interested in doing it again. Embarkation: We were told that we could board the ship at around 11am so we wanted to be early so we could get the most out of this experience. We drove to the suggested parking lot and was told that we couldn't park yet because they weren't through unloading the previous cruise and to come back in an hour,even though we could see the parking lot was mostly empty. I asked where we should go wait for the hour in down town Norfolk and the lady told us to go to IHOPS or something because we weren't getting in. We left. We did find a parking garage right across the street that turned out to be $21 cheaper and we didn't have to take a shuttle or go away for an hour. We finally met up with our friends about 11 am and got in line to go sign in. We waited in that line until about 1230. Once we got through that and through security we went into a large room and checked in and waited until about 430 pm while they crammed hundreds of people in behind us like cattle to the slaughter. We finally got on the ship.Once on the ship we carried our baggage to our room and it was small but nice and clean. We liked it. Public Rooms: Roomy but confusing to find what we were looking for at first. A lot of dead ends and ups and downs. The elevators were slow as molasses but we figured out if you want one,get on the first one that comes by whether its going up or down because it was faster then waiting and they seemed to pass you by all of the time. Cabin: Loved it. No problems there. They must of came in and straightened it up 3 times a day. My wife was overjoyed. Dining: We didn't go to any of the restaurants. We hit the buffets,the grill,the fish n chips and the pizza. The pizza was awesome the rest was cold and the lines were long. The problem we had was the drinks. If you wanted a soda you had to find a bar,push your way up to the bar.Wait awhile. Order a soda for $2 then go back to your table and eat. If any of your food was warm when you got it,it wasn't now. Entertainment: It's just like you see on TV except a hell of lot louder. At one point I was really hoping a giant wave would come along and flip the ship over. Service: In my opinion they were overstaffed in some areas and understaffed in others. I don't think it's necessary to have your bed made 3 times a day but I would like to be able to get a drink in 15 minutes or less. Over all I think the people working there did a fine job considering the language barrier. Value for Money: I'm still debating this one. Considering this was a 2 day cruise that really was supposed to be only 40 hours that ended up being only 34 hours. I think it should be billed as a 1 day,2 night cruise. Plus, the gratuity is mandatory on drinks whether you liked the service or not. Overall: We had a good time but next time we'll make it at least a 5 day cruise. They say live and learn and we learned a lot but that's exactly what we intended to do. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Embarkation was somewhat slow. After we parked our car and shuttled to the port it took almost two hours from the time we arrived (about 1230) till we boarded. The local roads surrounding the port seem inadequate for the amount of traffic ... Read More
Embarkation was somewhat slow. After we parked our car and shuttled to the port it took almost two hours from the time we arrived (about 1230) till we boarded. The local roads surrounding the port seem inadequate for the amount of traffic that results from the folks arriving and leaving the ship. Our advise is to try to get there early; otherwise, you will be stuck in a line for over two hours. Our Ocean view cabin on the main deck was spacious & comfortable. The overall service was outstanding (e.g., dining room crew/Maitre d', cabin steward)! The ship's day-time entertainment was a bit lackluster; but, the evenings shows dance clubs, and comedy club more than made up for it. In any case during the day we rested and enjoyed the cool sunny day. Evening dinning in the main dinning room was just OK. The food in most instance seemed bland. For lunch we highly recommend the Mongolian Grille. Disembarkation was the best of the four cruises we have been. We waited in our cabin until our section was called and in minutes we were in our shuttle to the parking lot. Overall we enjoyed our short cruise & planned to do it again next year. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
First let me clairfye that this is my 9th cruise, and after being on may 7 day cruises this one obviously wasn't one of the "best" cruises but it was in fact very fun for the short time we were on the ship. Since we ... Read More
First let me clairfye that this is my 9th cruise, and after being on may 7 day cruises this one obviously wasn't one of the "best" cruises but it was in fact very fun for the short time we were on the ship. Since we are from virginia, we figured norfolk would be the ideal port to leave from right? WRONG. Norfolk is a very crammed city that just can't handle being home to a ship as huge as the glory. There was a lot of confusion and I wasn't crazy about the thought of our car being parked 2 miles from the port in a random commuter parking lot. We parked in the parking lot at about 12:45 and didn't walk onto the ship until 4:15. We waited in a massive line that was very unorganized and people were starting to get very grumpy. I don't know if something was going on that made the line so slow but it was ridiculous. Sorry for all of the complaining, but after getting onboard everything was much better. I'm 19 years old, traveling with my 19 year old friend and my family. There were very few people under the age of 30 on this ship, it seemed as if it was "a cruise away from the kids." The glory is a beautiful ship, lots of color and sparkle. In my opinion, you really can't even tell the ship is as old as it is. I really liked the layout of everything except the location of the casino. I felt a tad boxed in when i was gambling, and it was hard to get away from the smoke. As far as the food and service, everthing was up to carnival's excellent standards and they did fit a lot of great activites into 2 short days. All in all I had a great time, but it was so short that it seemed like there was no time to relax. It is really hard to be excited for a short cruise when you are booked for a 7 day on the oasis of the seas. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2007
We are just back from our very short cruise to nowhere on the Victory and had a great time. We had an overall fabulous trip but also had a few mixed opinions about the trip. This was our second cruise - our first was on the Miracle out of ... Read More
We are just back from our very short cruise to nowhere on the Victory and had a great time. We had an overall fabulous trip but also had a few mixed opinions about the trip. This was our second cruise - our first was on the Miracle out of Tampa last year and we have two more booked for the Liberty. We booked this as a last minute deal when prices dropped by about half - the CTN is usually pretty expensive for a two night trip. Embarkation - We arrived about 11:30am and they were still disembarking from the prior cruise. Security and check-in were very quick, but we had about an hour wait until they even began boarding for our cruise. After that it only took another 20 minutes or so for us to board. Heard from others on the ship who arrived later that the wait was very long. The new terminal in Norfolk is very nice and well laid out - it will hopefully bring more cruises to the area very soon. It was really nice not to fly to port. Warning! - For those of you who may still have those old Carnival party ship, lowbrow cruise line notions - this is not the cruise to disabuse you of that idea. Please take a longer cruise and see what Carnival truly has to offer. This was definitely a party ship and also a very different demographic from what we experienced on a seven day cruise last year. We kind of expected that and were fine with it, but saw a lot more drunken and rude behavior than we saw on the Miracle. On the flip side, we also met some great people as well. Ship - The Victory is a great ship and the decor seemed a little more subdued than some other ships. She seems to be well maintained and there are people cleaning everywhere you go. The only real issue we had with the ship itself was traffic flow. We knew the trick about using decks 5 and 9 to go front to back, but there always seemed to be a few spots where traffic bottlenecked - especially near the buffet and by the Promenade shops on deck 5. Cabin - We booked a last minute 1A and were upgraded to a 4B inside. The room was fine for two days, but wow was it small. My best guess is only slightly more than 50% of the size of the balcony we experienced on the Miracle. I will be glad to have a balcony again on our next cruise. The bed was in the corner of the room so the inside person had to climb over the other one if they needed to get up in the middle of the night. The foot of the bed was blocked by a case holding the life jackets. There was no sofa - just a chair and no mini-bar or fridge. Since this was our first inside, we weren't sure if this was an odd room or if they were all that small. Our cabin was 2329, midship. Our only issues with the location were a loud banging noise inside the back wall that happened about every five minutes during the night. There was also a lot of foot traffic in the halls, an unfortunately lots of screaming drunks in the halls at all hours of the night. Wish I could say I'd gotten more sleep but the noise kept me awake. I will bring ear plugs next time! Dining - We had dinner both nights in the Pacific dining room as well as lunch on Sunday. Food was good but seemed to be a little bland for the most part. The Mango Cream soup was really good and one of the standouts along with the warm chocolate melting cake! The buffet was the usual fare, although the pizza place was closed both mornings of the cruise while maintenance was being done. My husband was a bit disappointed as he is one of those people who likes pizza for breakfast! Lines at the buffet were really long at peak times. Saw lots of jeans/shorts in the dining room as well as people using their cell phones during dinner. Formal night was a bit less formal than on a 7 day (which I also expected) - mostly nice dresses for ladies and shirt and tie for men. I would guess over half the ship did not dress up at all for dinner. I did see several people turned away from the Captain's cocktail party who were dressed in shorts and tee-shirts. Pools/hot tubs - we pretty much couldn't get into a pool for the crowds. Chair hogs were out in force. The aft adult only hot tubs were only open briefly on sailaway day and were full of children doing cannonballs into the hot tubs . Even the hot tubs in the spa were crowded. I sunburn easily so I wasn't too upset about the chairs and pools but would have liked to see them enforce the adult only hot tubs as well as keep them open more. Shows - We went to the Livin' in America show on Saturday night as well as the adult midnight comedian. Livin' in America we thought was just ok - my husband really liked the costumes, though! For those of you with small children - the dancers are in thongs most of the show so if you are offended by that you might want to do something else with the kids. The comedian was pretty funny. We planned to go to the show on our second night, but discovered right after dinner that the liquor we had ordered was delivered to our cabin wrong and spent show time in the liquor store getting that fixed. We were too tired for the adult show that night. Overall I have kind of a mixed feeling about the whole experience. We had a good time - the cruise just didn't quite live up to our expectations after what we experienced on the Miracle. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2006
Victory Cruise to Nowhere - 6/10 to 6/12/06 OK, folks! For those that are interested, here is a full review of the Cruise to Nowhere out of Norfolk, VA! Background: We are in our 30s and this was our 9th cruise on Carnival. We live ... Read More
Victory Cruise to Nowhere - 6/10 to 6/12/06 OK, folks! For those that are interested, here is a full review of the Cruise to Nowhere out of Norfolk, VA! Background: We are in our 30s and this was our 9th cruise on Carnival. We live about 1 ½ from Norfolk, so drove in the morning of the cruise. Parking: For the Norfolk pier, they suggest parking at an outside lot, Cedar Grove, and then they will bus you to the pier. We arrived earlier than planned because we had found out the day before (thanks to fellow CC'ers) that Harborfest was going on in Norfolk and the main streets in front of the Marina (Waterside Drive) would be closed down. Got to the parking lot around 10:35am and were told they had to clear out the lot from the folks getting off the ship before we could park. We were given two options -- sightsee for an hour and then come back, or proceed to a pre-staging area until they were ready for us. We chose to be staged and followed the car in front of us to a satellite parking lot. They parked us in rows of about 10 cars and we were at the front of row 5. Got out to stretch and discovered that the people parked next to us were from the same county we are, then that they only live about 5 miles away from us. Small world! We ended up seeing them throughout most of the cruise. What a great way to meet new friends! Getting to the ship: Approximately a 10 minute bus ride to the Pier/Marina. Embarkation: This was really the only bad part of the experience. The lines were long and slow. They are doing construction around the pier and the people checking us in were not very experienced. We had all our docs filled out and signed and should have only needed to get our S&S cards and verify our credit card. Took much too long because the lady helping us had to keep checking things with her supervisor. All in all, we were in line for about an hour. We made it to the room around 12:50. Oh, and the people that opted to go sightseeing -- they ended up with about and 1 ½ hour wait or longer. Line really started backing up by then. Our room: We had an interior on the Main Deck Midship about 3 doors from the elevators. It was mostly ready when we got there, so we dropped off our bags before going to eat. The room was about average size, but the bathroom was bigger than what we are used to (Fantasy class and Celebration -- much older, smaller ships). Had lots of counter space and shelf space. Quite nice. We never did see our Cabin Steward, but things were taken care of. On the Sea Day, it took a while for the room to get made up, but it finally was after lunch. We did get a towel animal each night, easily identifiable. The ship: The Victory is the largest, newest ship we had been on and that was part of the reason we decided on this short cruise -- to get a feel for the bigger ships. I thought the dEcor was nice, lots of greens and blues to give a tropical feel in the general areas. The South China Sea Casino was very oriental. I kept feeling I should be munching on an egg roll as I waited for a spot at the slots or casino. Which brings me to one other disappointment. The casino was very small for a ship of that size. I am certain that the Celebration casino has more space and more slots available and I think as many or more table games. Now consider that the Celebration carries 1,500 pax while the Victory is supposed to carry 2,700. There was simply not enough room for all the gamblers. That being said, we still enjoyed! During the Fun Day at Sea, there were less crowds and I was able to donate more quarters! The Roulette wheel was good to us and the Craps table was always full with lots of excited people. Dining: Since this was such a short cruise we elected not to do the formal dining room thing. We ate lunches on the Lido deck, had room service a few times, tried the deli and, of course, the 24 hour pizza. Lido deck food was normal. The burgers were good, salads were the regular fare. The 2nd day had Indian food as the other choice. I was hoping for spicy, but it was quiet bland. Not too impressive. The East River Deli has delicious Ruebens and the pizza was its normal good quality, as were the Caesar salads. I did try the cookies and brownies from room service one more time, but again was not impressed. Everyone's opinions are different, I guess, since so many folks seem to recommend these. Entertainment: We did not attend any of the shows, so can't comment on them. Some friends attended the R-rated comedy show on the first night and said the comedian, Anthony Acosta, was hilarious! I never made it to Karaoke although it seemed crowded when we walked past and that folks were having fun! The Lido Deck Sail Away party was lots of fun with "Impulse" as the band. They did very good Reggae and Calypso and could really get the crowd involved. The other band we saw, which really blew us all away, was "Music Network". They were five Asian/Oriental guys (unfortunately, I never got to find out their country of origin) that played unbelievable Rock and Roll covers! If you closed your eyes, you would swear you were hearing some original music! They did everything from the Beatles to KC and the Sunshine Band to Lynyrd Skynyrd and everything in between. Absolutely unbelievable! They played both nights in the Adriatic Lounge on Promenade aft and I would highly recommend giving them a listen! Muster Drill: Boy, was this long and painful! I saw several people overcome by the heat. In the past we were always some of the first to get there for the drill, but this time we came in towards the end. Thank goodness for that! We were all packed like sardines in our life jackets in rows in front of our assigned lifeboats. As new people came in, we got pushed further back towards the wall. There were about 6 rows of people where we were. One row in front of us. I was concerned for some of the kids that were behind us until their parents held them up so they could get a fresh breath! Basically, just took too long and it was too hot! But finally, it was over! Art Auction: This ship had Park West galleries running the auction. I had attended one they had done years ago, but left early due to no interest in the hard sell approach. I've been to four in the past 2 years that were run by Carnival. I strongly prefer Carnival. Not much has changed since the last Park West auction I went too. Quick comparison: Carnival has a preview, then serves free champagne during the auction. PW serves champagne during the preview only, so during the auction you are trapped with 0 bar service, not even if you want to pay for it. Carnival will bring up all of the requested works by an artist at one time, describe the artist and their style and allow bidding on any and all of the works. PW has no organization and just brings up whatever is next one at a time, so for example you may see a Thomas Kinkade, then three other artists, then another Kinkade, then etc., etc. This way takes FOREVER. Again, I left before it was over, but after I should have. I won't attend another PW auction and plan on passing this on to Carnival. Formal Night: This was on the 2nd night. We did not attend, although there were lots of people dressed up. They did have lots of portrait stations open and pictures were on sale from 7:00am to 9:00pm the morning of disembarkation. There was only one Captain's Cocktail Party and instead of it being in one of the big lounges like I was used to, it was in the four lounges on Promenade aft. Again, we did not attend, so I don't know how well this went. Disembarkation: The Capers stated that they would begin calling decks at 7:15am. They did it exactly on the button. We actually weren't quite ready, but frantically finished packing and were off the ship, bussed back to the parking lot, and in our car by 7:45am. Very easy getting off when there is no Customs. Also, they were to leave for New York and their next sailing by 11:00am so they were ready to get everyone out of there! Miscellaneous: The Funnel Deck is the least private I've ever seen. No opaque netting or closed off areas. I'm not 100% sure that the kids using the waterslide could see everything, but I'm pretty certain the adults with their video cameras beside the waterslide got a good view. Bar service was actually very good, but slowed down when the lunch crowds started growing. Best Lido Deck bar waiters: Petar from Serbia and Glenn from India. Aegean Sports Bar: Had the NASCAR race on for the beginning and the end, but lost the feed for most of the middle of the race. They did sell buckets of beer here, although usually we've only gotten them on the Lido decks. New Favorite Frou-Frou Drink: Kiss on the Lips. It really is as good as everyone says! Kids: There were a few around, but didn't cause much trouble that I could see. Not really a cruise geared towards kids anyway. Chair Hogs: Alive and thriving. We walked out on the Lido at 8am on Sunday, and the C-hogs had beaten us there. There were many chairs with one shoe or a bottle of sunscreen all in a row. We toyed with the idea of gathering up all of the towels and selling them back to the C-hogs for $15 a piece (better than $22) or turning the shoes, etc. into the Lost and Found, but since there were plenty of chairs on the F-deck, we just left them alone. Other Cruise to Nowhere info: You must carry everything on and off of the ship. Because the staff is not used to the CTNs, you may get conflicting info on this and other things. I noticed several typos in the Capers because things were different from normal. You do not go through Customs in anyway, so there are no limits to what you can buy on board and when you get off the ship, you just walk right out. Bottom line: Would we do this cruise again? Yes, for the right price, although it really was too short. Would have liked one or two more days at least. Are the bigger ships better or worse than the smaller ones? Not really. Still happy with the small ships, but not afraid of too much crowding on the bigger ships anymore. Happy sailing everyone! Read Less

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