Carnival Victory Entertainment & Activities
The 1,500-seat, three-deck Caribbean Lounge (Decks 3, 4 and 5) is the main show lounge with comfortable seating, many with individual tables. Done up in nautical feels such as the blue wave-like carpet pattern and seashell-esque columns on the surrounding walls, most seats have good views of the stage as long as you don't sit directly behind a pole.
During the day, you'll find hosted games, activities and presentations as well as the once-per-cruise Carnival Towel Animal Theater. Evenings bring a selection of stage shows (one seating, usually 10 p.m.) including the Welcome Aboard Show hosted by the ship's cruise director. Other shows could include Vroom, a musical journey through time with hits from The Beatles, Elvis, Pink Floyd, Queen and others; and Livin' in America, a flashy and energetic tribute to the diverse music of the United States. (For all its music shows, Carnival suggests parental guidance due to costuming.)
Daytime activities onboard are plentiful and include bingo, paper airplane and mini-golf competitions; game shows like the Love & Marriage Show; towel-folding lessons and the Towel Animal Theater (a children's puppet show); dance classes, trivia contests, art auctions, retail sales events and wellness seminars.
Be sure to check the Fun Times printed daily schedule for special events like the Seuss-A-Palooza Parade and Story Time, where a special character parade is followed by a Dr. Seuss book reading; the Groove for St. Jude, where a $10 donation to St. Jude gets you a T-shirt, wristband and participation in a fun and exclusive dance event; and the Build-A-Bear at Sea workshop (prices start at $26 for a bear and $6 to $12 for additional outfits) and parties featuring music, bear-themed snacks and photo ops.
There's something for everyone in the evening and entertainment includes stage shows, live lounge music, sing-alongs and karaoke; numerous comedy shows, including late-night 18 and over shows; special retail sales, liquor tastings, spa events and photo ops; casino tournaments and demonstrations and other social mixers. Pools and hot tubs are open until midnight so you can even catch a nighttime Dive-In movie on the big screen while lounging in the pool. In addition, the South China Sea Club Casino features poker, blackjack, roulette, craps and slot machines as well as scheduled tournaments both day and night. Also, the library, mini-golf and video arcade are all open 24 hours so you can get your game on into the wee hours.
Carnival Victory Bars and Lounges
Seven Seas Bar (Deck 3): This popular bar located in the heart of the atrium is a great spot for gathering with friends and watching the surrounding action. Ask about the drink of the day or order from the extensive menu of fruity cocktails, martinis, wine, beer, icy concoctions and smoothies. Grab a drink and a barstool or a nearby table and chair and let the socializing begin, oftentimes accompanied by live music including Caribbean sounds, acoustic jams and solo guitars.
Ionian Room (Deck 4): This large show lounge features nightly live music so you'll find a piano, a dance floor, lots of tables and plush leather chairs and a large, full bar with a painted Mediterranean mural as its backdrop. A Roman column motif is repeated in the barstools and mini tables as well as around the room. Grab your favorite drink from the bar and then just sit back and relax.
Club Arctic Nightclub (Deck 5): This large nightclub boasts a central dance floor, tons of seating including at the bar, tables and chairs and several extra-long banquettes with individual tables. The arctic theme is showcased through a repeating icicle pattern and cool blue and silver colors that are prevalent throughout the room. Dance to your favorite tunes -- from Latin music to DJ'd mixes to '70s and '80s hits -- which play late into the night. Keep an eye out for special events such as Ladies Night and Electric White Night.
Irish Sea Piano Bar (Deck 5): Grab a seat at this fun and lively piano bar for sing-alongs that go well into the night. A gem green palette pays tribute to the bar's namesake sea while its centrally located piano is surrounded by a round bar complete with piano key decor, just in case you forget where you are.
Black & Red Seas Lounge (Deck 5): This swanky lounge is totally done up in -- what else? -- red and black from floor to ceiling. From the carpet and furniture to the bar top and dance floor, this eye-catching intimate space is the spot for fun and lively nightly karaoke (18 and over for the later session) and other music.
Adriatic Lounge (Deck 5): This oversized show lounge with a capacity of more than 400 features an extra-long bar and plenty of comfy seating including round banquettes and tables and chairs. The light-and-bright cream and gold palette also features faux Roman columns and adorning busts of famous people in history that surround the room. A full bar is available to enjoy during scheduled daytime activities or evening karaoke.
At night, the lounge is home to the Punchliner Comedy Club, so a special menu serves drinks and pitchers with humorous names like the Witty Margarita, the Jokester Martini and a Woo Woo shooter. You can even fill out a provided drink order form and hand it to one of the servers who will deliver your drinks so there's no need to miss a laugh.
SkyBox Sports Bar (Deck 5): Looking to catch the football game on a Sunday afternoon? This quintessential sports bars comes complete with heavy wood furnishings, sports memorabilia and numerous surrounding TV screens broadcasting multiple sporting events and games. There's an extensive menu of beers on tap, by the bottle and by the bucket including craft, imported and domestic beers, zero-proof beer and hard cider. Signature cocktails have names like the Grand Slam, The Kickoff and The MVP. Order a Double Play for a double shot of select shots straight up, on the rocks or in your favorite mixer. And don't forget the favorite bar snacks of hot soft pretzels and peanuts in the shell ($1.25 each)
Trident Bar (Deck 5): Located in the South China Sea Club Casino, this casino bar is the place to stop between games and tournaments and to listen to a variety of scheduled live music on the small adjacent stage along the promenade. (Smoking is permitted).
Alchemy Bar (Deck 5): This unique vintage-pharmacy-styled venue -- complete with a framed periodic table of elements on the wall and an apothecary cabinet behind the bar -- serves cocktail creations using select spirits, fresh juices, infused syrups and spices. Watch your mixologist shake and stir your drink right in front of you as they create your custom "elixir" (with or without alcohol). Try a French Kiss (Absolut vanilla vodka, Chambord, Domaine Chandon sparkling wine and a touch of fresh lime), a Quick Fix (Pernod absinthe, Bacardi Rum, Grey Goose vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin, Midori, citrus and a dash of Sprite) an Alchemist's Sidecar (Hennessy Black cognac, Patrón Citrónge, fresh lime juice and simple syrup) or one of the other almost two dozen creative selections.
BlueIguana Tequila Bar (Deck 9): This casual, colorful Mexican-themed poolside bar serves up a wide variety of more than a dozen featured tequilas as well as tequila-inspired cocktails, margaritas, frozen drinks with floaters and Mexican beers and beer buckets. (Try Blue's Corona Extra Michelada, a spicy beer cocktail made with fresh lime juice, Worcestershire, Tabasco and Corona Extra beer in a salt-rimmed glass, with or without tomato juice). Sharing with friends? Order a pitcher of margaritas or spiked lemonade. You can also purchase your drink in a souvenir glass, yard or twister, which are refillable for a reduced price.
RedFrog Rum Bar (Deck 9): This casual poolside bar features a great selection of Caribbean rum-based concoctions by the glass or pitcher; beers on tap and by the bottle and bucket; 10 featured rums and a long list of rum-based cocktails are also on offer, as are mojitos and frozen drinks. You can also order pitchers of margaritas or spiked lemonade or a 101-oz. tube of beer to share. Be sure to try Carnival's signature private-label draft beer, ThirstyFrog Red.
Sirens' Bar (Deck 9): Located aft by Sirens' adults-only pool, this quiet bar comes with sunshine and ocean views and features a standard drink menu, while a visit to the adjacent Pizza Pirate is perfect for a quick snack to accompany your poolside beverage.
Beer Station (Deck 9): Also located by the adults-only Sirens' Pool and Bar is a self-serve P.Y.O.B. (pour your own beer) station that's open 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Swipe your Sail & Sign card, pull the tap handle and pour up to 14 oz. of Thirsty Frog Red, Carnival's private label draft beer.
Serenity Bar (Deck 12): Perhaps the best-kept-secret bar is at the Serenity adult-only retreat where you'll find a selection of signature sangrias by the glass or pitcher, wine and Champagne by the glass or bottle, beer by the bottle or bucket and a list of signature cocktails by the glass or pitcher, including frozen and skinny versions. Enjoy your refreshing beverage in one of the two large hot tubs, in a relaxing chaise lounge chair or even in one of the oversized hammocks as you take in the surrounding ocean views.
Carnival Victory Outside Recreation
Triton's (Deck 9) is the main pool area for sunning, eating, drinking and catching an evening movie at the Carnival Seaside Theater. There are also two hot tubs as well as a little splash pool (King of the Seas Pool) and a hot tub at the bottom of the spiraling Twister water slide. There is no lifeguard on duty, and supervision is required for children at the pool areas. A children's life jacket loaner station is available. There's also a towel stand and several poolside bars and eateries surrounding the main pool. Grab a lounger or a table by the window to be amid all the action, or go up a deck or two to find a quieter spot.
Children who are not toilet trained (and those in diapers or swim diapers) are not allowed in any of the water facilities onboard, including swimming pools, hot tubs and the water slide.
The aft Sirens' Pool is adults only (18 and over), and also features two hot tubs. There are plenty of loungers and tables and chairs should you decide to grab a drink at the accompanying bar or a bite at the adjacent eateries.
In the secluded adults-only Serenity area (21 and over), you'll find two large hot tubs, a bar, hammocks and other plush loungers as well as a super-cool shower area featuring a warm water bucket to dump, plus cold rain, warm hydro jets, warm Caribbean waterfall and hot rain shower heads. Serenity is quite sprawling and spans two decks across the back of the ship, so here's a hint: Avoid the top deck port side area during playtimes at the kids' outdoor play area, which is only one deck below and can be quite loud.
Although hours may vary, pools are generally open from 8 a.m. to midnight, the water slide is generally open 9 a.m. to sunset and hot tubs are generally open 8 a.m. to midnight.
On-deck recreation includes shuffleboard, an 11-hole mini-golf course on Deck 12 right next to the funnel, the Twister water slide (which carries a minimum height limit of 42 inches and a maximum weight limit of 300 pounds) and Ping-Pong.
You can find all types of seating on various decks including comfortable poolside lounge chairs, lots of tables and chairs near the Lido Deck eateries and extra-plush chairs, hammocks and bed-style loungers at Serenity. Looking for another more secluded spot? Head aft on Deck 10 where you'll find more lounge chairs with the bonus of amazing wake views. If you're thinking of hogging a chair, don't. Carnival is strict about reserving deck chairs, and if you're not in your chair after 40 minutes, towels and personal belongings will be removed.
Carnival Victory Services
Onboard services and public rooms include the very small but pretty Indian Library, which offers tables and chairs for reading and playing table games amid glass-cased bookshelves. Onboard shops include perfume, jewelry, watches and accessories; alcohol, cigarettes and sundries; and logoed souvenir items. Our bonus find (and perhaps a little random) was finding a small Victoria's Secret section selling a line of its products.
Centrally located on Deck 3 is the hub for the shore excursion desk and guest services (with a separate express line for Diamond and Platinum passengers). There are several ATMs available around the ship. A medical center is available on Deck 0 and includes doctor's hours and 24-hour emergency service.
You'll find an art gallery displaying pieces that are featured in scheduled art auctions; and the Pixels Gallery, the all-digital photo gallery where you can search for your photos at computer stations that let you print, download and share your favorites. A limited selection of electronics and photo accessories and gifts are available for purchase as well. You can even view your photos on the Carnival HUB app right from your phone.
If you need laundry services, you can either opt for valet, wash and fold, and pressing service (same day or next day), which ranges from $2 to $10.50 per article, or wash and fold by the provided laundry bag ($15 per bag) or pressing ($20 for 12 items). For self-service, you can find launderettes and ironing rooms available on most decks ($3.25 per washer load, $3.25 per dryer load, $1.50 per small box of detergent and water softener).
There's a small computer station adjacent to the Coral Sea Cafe as well as shipwide Wi-Fi. Packages include a Social Plan for social websites and apps (pre-cruise price: $6.80 per day, onboard price: $8 per day); the Value Plan for access to social websites, email and select popular apps at a faster speed (pre-cruise price: $10.20 per day, onboard price: $12 per day or $16 for 24 hours) and the Premium Wi-Fi plan for access to all sites at the fastest possible connection onboard as well as Skype calling where coverage allows (pre-cruise price: $14.45 per day, onboard price: $17 per day, $25 for 24 hours).
Before your cruise, download the free Carnival HUB mobile app on Google Play or iTunes and you'll get schedules, menus, ship maps, port information, onboard chatting ($5 per cruise), account information, Pixels digital photo viewing and much more right at your fingertips once you're onboard. The app works with the ship's free Wi-Fi.
Onboard drink packages are also available.