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Carnival Victory Review

3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1404 reviews
1 Award
Carnival Victory
Carnival Victory Dining
Carnival Victory Cabins
Carnival Victory Activity/Entertainment
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Editor Rating
Jodi Ornstein
Cruise Critic Contributor

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.


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Outdated design is apparent in public spaces and it lacks on-deck sports features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 : 0

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.


Included with your cruise fare:

  • Two main dining rooms, the buffet and select other eateries
  • All theater and comedy shows
  • Use of the sports court, mini-golf course, water slides and pools
  • Most daily activities unless noted below
  • Use of the gym, but not most classes

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Daily gratuities of $13.99 per person, per day or $15.99 per person, per day for anyone staying in a suite
  • Most room service deliveries, plus tip
  • All drinks beyond water, tea (including ice tea), coffee and select juices in the buffet; all drinks are subject to an 18 percent automatic gratuity
  • Spa treatments, plus automatic 15 percent gratuity
  • Shore excursions
  • Wi-Fi
  • Activities including, but not limited to arcade games, bingo, Build-A-Bear and casino play
  • Photos

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.

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Carnival Victory Cruiser Reviews

Better Crowd, Better Blackjack

Second cruise, comparing NCL Sky to Carnival Victory. I have a review for the Sky for those interested. 1. Service.Read More
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2-5 Cruises

Age 30s

Great time on this short Bahamas cruise.

Not using this as a negative mark against the Victory because I'm sure Carnival does this on all of their ships. But just a word of caution.Read More
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2-5 Cruises

Age 30s

Victory over mundane

We have avoided Carnival due to some big problems in the distant past. We're letting bygones be bygones. The dis embarkation was NOT Carnival's fault.Read More
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10+ Cruises

Age 70s

Awesome experience

I will definitely recommend my family and friends for Carnival Cruise lines.Read More
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First Time Cruiser

Age 30s

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