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Carnival Victory Review

Carnival Victory
Carnival Victory

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Carnival Victory
3.5 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
to book


Signature Carnival dining and bar options, refreshed staterooms and abundant activities


Outdated design is apparent in public spaces and it lacks on-deck sports features

Bottom Line

This midsized ship combines popular culinary options with fun choices in entertainment


Passengers 2,764
Crew 1,100
Passenger to Crew 2.51:1
Launched 2000
Shore Excursions 93

Jodi Ornstein
Cruise Critic Cruise Critic Contributor

Carnival Victory Overview

Originally launched in 2000, Carnival Victory underwent a multimillion-dollar upgrade in January 2018 that really gave it new life, adding several Carnival favorites including poolside bars and eateries (Guy's Burger Joint, RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Cantina and Tequila Bar); other dining options including an updated deli in the Lido area, a Bonsai Sushi Express and Cherry on Top candy store; and new cabin accommodations.

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As with all Carnival ships, the onboard vibe is all about fun, so you'll find bustling pool decks by day and buzzing lounges by night. We particularly loved the spiraling 214-foot-long Twister water slide and Punchliner Comedy Club and we saw kids having a great time with the Dr. Seuss and Build-a-Bear programming. Great service abounds as evident in the ship's enthusiastic bartenders, friendly and helpful cabin stewards, poolside bar servers who will part any crowd just to deliver a Bahama Mama to your pool chair or servers in the Lido buffet who will grab you a bowl of oatmeal while you're waiting in a different line. As with many small(er) ships, the Lido buffet and pool deck has its popular, crowded times, but with so many alternative dining options to eat and underused rooms to hide out in and relax, you can always find a quiet spot, either indoors or outside, should you choose.

You can't help but notice a consistent underwater theme throughout the ship, from seahorses on barstools and door handles to mermaids on the walls of the dining room and behind the casino's Trident Bar to glass-encased coral at the coffee bar. You'll spot nautical artwork and sculptures like a giant octopus leading to the Virtual Sea Video Arcade. Even the names of many public spaces bear watery names like the Atlantic and Pacific dining rooms, the Mediterranean Restaurant (the ship's buffet restaurant) and the Adriatic, Irish Sea, Black & Red Seas and Caribbean lounges.

Overall, even though most public areas have yet to receive the modern design overhauls they deserve, the ship boasts other Carnival favorites in both dining and entertainment that make up for any style shortcomings. The midsized ship is perfect for passengers looking for nonstop fun in a casual environment that offers a wealth of activity options for all ages.

Fellow Passengers

Carnival is known for its family-friendly fun, so Victory definitely sees its share of families as well as those who are kids at heart. Overall the ship draws many young couples, singles and groups of friends, the vast majority from the United States and Canada.

Carnival Victory Dress Code

Daytime: By day, casual attire goes, so shorts, jeans, capris and tees are just fine. By the pool, of course, it's bathing suits and cover-ups; inside the Lido restaurant, shirts, cover-ups and footwear (including flip-flops) must be worn at all times. If you prefer to stay in your bathing suit, just bring your plate to one of the many tables and chairs outside.

Evening: Most evenings are Cruise Casual, which means slacks, khakis, jeans (no cutoffs), dress shorts (long) and collared polo shirts for men and casual dresses, skirts, pants, capris, dress shorts, jeans (no cutoffs), blouses and tops for women. Other nights are Cruise Elegant (once during two- to five-night cruises; twice during six-night or longer cruises) when you can don your elegant attire if you choose. Formal attire for men could include dress slacks and dress shirts (sports coats are suggested but hardly worn); while a suit or tuxedo would be appropriate, we never spotted anyone that formally attired. For women, cocktail dresses, pantsuits, skirts and blouses, or evening gowns are acceptable.

Not permitted: Not permitted in the dining rooms are cutoff jeans, men's sleeveless shirts, gym or basketball shorts, baseball hats, flip-flops or bathing suit attire.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Carnival.

Carnival Victory Gratuity

Carnival Cruise Line recommends gratuities of $13.99 per person, per day for standard staterooms and $15.99 per person, per day for suite staterooms. Gratuities can either be prepaid and added before sailing or can be automatically added to your Sail & Sign account onboard. Gratuities are not assessed on passengers less than 2 years of age. For cruises that begin in Barbados, all gratuities must prepaid and automatically added during the booking process.

In addition, an automatic 18 percent gratuity will be added to beverage purchases, the cover charge of the Chef's Table and spa treatments (these gratuities cannot be adjusted); room service staff may be tipped as service is rendered.  

Carnival Victory Awards

Cruisers’ Choice Awards

2013 Best for Shore Excursions

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Riviera Deck
Main Deck
Lobby Deck
Atlantic Deck
Promenade Deck
Upper Deck
Empress Deck
Verandah Deck
Lido Deck
Panorama Deck
Spa Deck
Sun Deck
Sky Deck

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Carnival Victory Member Reviews

Carnival Victory
Sail Date: May 2019
second Carnival cruise, the first about 10 years ago. I wasn’t much of a fan the last time but Carnival Victory managed to win me over, in spite of my reservations. Here were the pros and cons: Cons: ...Read More
Carnival Victory
Sail Date: Jan 2019
the Cruse. We booked it from Miami just one week before our cruise. The low cost ''4 days Carnival Victory Cruise'' for Caraïbes escapes motived our choice. We started from Maimi and visited Keywest...Read More
Carnival Victory
Sail Date: Jan 2019
also be known for great service which was an unexpected highlight! Great job to all on the Carnival Victory!...Read More
Carnival Victory
Sail Date: Aug 2018
My husband and I celebrated our first anniversary on Carnival Victory over Labor Day weekend. The ship while old has had some upgrades such as new televisions in cabins. Embarkation was a breeze...Read More

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