Carnival Victory Entertainment & Activities
Every night in the three-deck Caribbean Lounge, there's some sort of entertainment. On our three-night sailing, every performance was a dated song-and-dance revue in which the talent of those onstage was overshadowed by the sheer cheesiness of what they were doing. Las Vegas showgirls, women in thongs, men dressed as the Village People and an appearance by giant caricature-type versions of The Beatles rounded out the mediocrity.
During the day, there are your standard "Fun Ship" pursuits, including hairy chest and belly flop competitions, the Love & Marriage Show, trivia and extra fee bingo and slots tournaments in the Casino.
An outdoor movie screen showing concert videos, movies and sporting events is located midship on Panorama Deck (10).
The South China Sea Club Casino is an ample casino with bright red columns, ornate gold light fixtures and giant blue foo dogs (Chinese lions that serve as protectors). Game offerings include slots, roulette, blackjack, craps, Texas Hold'em poker, Let it Ride poker and various games of chance.
Deck 5's Virtual Sea Arcade features a solid selection of consoles, as well as claw games, air hockey, Skee-Ball and other diversions. Parents, be warned that, if your child has charging privileges on his or her Sail and Sign card, all it takes is a swipe to play, and the charges can quickly accumulate.
The minuscule Indian library, located on Deck 4, is used less for the tiny selection of reading materials and more for people playing board games or attending the near-daily Friends of Dorothy or Friends of Bill W meetings. On our cruise, an oddly childish magic show was held there, but the room wasn't nearly large enough to hold everyone who wanted to attend.
For a fee of $55 per person, cruisers can also sign up for a Behind the Fun tour, which lasts nearly three hours and includes stops in the bridge, engine room, crew dining room, galley, storeroom, laundry facilities and more. It's offered once per sailing and is limited to 16 passengers.
Cruisers will also find plenty to keep them busy at night. In addition to shows in the Caribbean Lounge, passengers will also find piano sing-alongs in the Irish Seas Bar, karaoke in the Black and Red Seas Bar, dancing to live music in the Ionian Room (Latin dancing on our sailing), comedy in the Adriatic Lounge, live music at a small stage set up on the promenade by the casino and dancing to DJ-spun music in the Arctic Nightclub until the wee hours.
Carnival Victory Bars and Lounges
Seventh Sea Bar (Deck 3 midship, atrium lobby): This bar is located on the first floor of the ship's atrium. Because it's in such a central hub, it's always bustling and is often the site for trivia and live music. On one afternoon, a steel drum player livened up the area with beachy tunes. The ship lacks Carnival's signature RedFrog Rum Bar and the RedFrog Pub, so Seventh Sea is also the only place onboard where you can find Carnival's signature beer, ThirstyFrog Red.
Ionian Room (Deck 4 midship): The Ionian Room is a comfortable space with red leather chairs, Hellenic columns and glass display cases with Grecian-style urns. You'll find jazz there in the evening, as well as a quiet place to relax while reading or playing games during the day. It's also a great place for a pre-dinner cocktail. After you drink your scotch, you simply head a touch more aft for the Pacific, forward for the Atlantic; go down one flight, and you've arrived at your dining destination, slightly more relaxed.
Skybox Sports Bar (Deck 5 midship): Added to the ship in 2015 as part of Carnival's Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades, this venue serves small bites and a variety of beer (Corona, Dos Equis, Red Stripe, Stella Artois, Kalik, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Blue Moon, etc.). It also boasts live score tickers and several giant flat-screen TVs, which are perfect for sports aficionados who want to watch the latest game or match.
Trident Bar (Deck 5 midship): Located just off the promenade, the Trident Bar serves as the ship's casino bar.
Club Arctic (Deck 5 midship): For late-night partying, there's Club Arctic, with a kaleidoscopic, opalescent theme and icy feel. Inside, you'll find a bar, an inset half-circle dance floor and surrounding seats to watch fellow passengers busting a move. This was also the location of an art auction on our sailing.
Alchemy Bar (Deck 5 midship): Another Fun Ship 2.0 addition circa 2015, this bar, reminiscent of an apothecary, offers drinks designed to treat what ails you. You can order a predesigned drink from a light-up menu (we highly recommend the Cucumber Sunrise), or create your own concoction. LGBT gatherings were also held at Alchemy on our sailing.
Irish Sea Bar (Deck 5 aft): The Irish Sea Bar is a sing-along alcove fashioned after a traditional Irish pub that features a piano player.
Black & Red Seas Bar (Deck 5 aft): This spot hosts nightly karaoke, featuring a stage, plenty of seating and tables for drinks from the bar found at the back of the room. Just about everything inside is black and red, giving it a bit of a sinister, otherworldly, Queen of Hearts vibe.
Adriatic Lounge (Deck 5 aft): The Adriatic Lounge is a more adult hangout. Modeled after a French salon with columns and gradually ascending steps, this light, gold-hued venue is a bit more elegant and a bit less in-your-face. This spot is home to the Punchliner Comedy Club, another Fun Ship 2.0 addition. Two shows are offered nightly: a family-friendly one and a later one for adults.
Triton's Pool Bar (Deck 9 midship) and Sirens' Pool Bar (Deck 9 aft): These two bars serve their respective Triton's and Sirens' pools, so you'll never have to venture far for a fruity cocktail or a bucket of beer while you're busy soaking or sunbathing.
Carnival Victory Outside Recreation
The ship's four pools include Sirens' pool (all the way aft on Deck 9), featuring a retractable roof; Triton's Pool, centrally located on the open portion of the lido (Deck 9); the King of the Sea pool (Deck 10), the drainage receptacle for the Carnival slide; and the Children's Pool (Deck 12), a small splash pool, which was closed for the entirety of our sailing. There are towel huts and showers located by the pools.
Triton's Pool is flanked by two standard-size hot tubs, while Sirens' Pool and King of the Sea Pool each have one large hot tub. Two additional whirlpools can be found at Serenity, the adults-only area on Deck 12.
For entrance to the Twister water slide, head up to Deck 14, and get ready to propel yourself down a slowly snaking tube into a receiving basin of water. Many of the youths will slide down, sprint up, slide down, sprint up, etc. -- 30 times in a row.
High up on Deck 12 is a nine-hole mini-golf area. The rubber and AstroTurf holes are modest in size with small croppings of faux-rock hazards. It takes less than 15 minutes to complete all nine holes, so you might want to play a few times.
Carnival Victory's Seaside Theater shows concerts, sporting events and new-release "Dive-In" movies throughout the day on a giant screen by Triton's Pool on Deck 9. At night, popcorn is served. Parents: Be aware that midnight showings often feature movies with more adult content.
Large portions of decks 9 and 10 offer sun loungers so passengers can catch some rays. Although chair hogs were rampant, we didn't have trouble finding a spot of our own.
Passengers must be 21 or older to use the Serenity adults-only sun deck on decks 12 and 14. You'll find a couple dozen padded loungers and umbrellas, two hot tubs, a shower/dump bucket area for cooling off, a small shaded area with chairs and tables and one lone clamshell lounger.
Carnival Victory Services
In the atrium on Deck 3 midship, passengers will find the purser's desk, where they can ask questions and deal with onboard account issues, and the shore excursions desk, where they can set up and ask questions about shore tours.
Deck 5 in the atrium is the place to shop. Formalities is a candy shop that offers sweets by the pound, as well as flowers, bottles of wine and Champagne, small gifts and special occasion cakes for order. Although it hasn't yet been converted to Fun Ship 2.0's Cherry on Top, it still offers some Cherry on Top-branded items like cookies and caramel corn. The Victory Shops are a collective set of retailers that sell everything from designer watches, purses, jewelry and sunglasses to perfume, duty-free alcohol and cigarettes, apparel, sundries and trinkets like keychains and stuffed animals. Per regulations, the shops are only open when the ship is at sea.
In the same area on Deck 5, kiosks provide cruisers with a way to check their onboard bills and manage their Sail and Sign onboard charge accounts by applying payments, restrict account users, withdrawing cash and more. The machine will also change large cash bills into smaller ones.
Internet onboard is spotty in places, but it's light years ahead of where it used to be, thanks to Carnival's new upgraded service. Fees are also more affordable than the packages of yore, as well. Starting at $5 a day, the Social package allows passengers to access social media from their smartphones, tablets or laptops. Two other packages offer additional capabilities for slightly higher daily charges: The Value plan features web browsing and email access for $16 a day, while the Premium plan also provides website and app access, email capabilities and the ability to use Skype for $25 a day. (None of the packages allow for the use of FaceTime or streaming services like Netflix or Hulu.) Discounts on the daily rates are given if packages are purchased for the duration of the sailing. For those who didn't bring their own devices, two computers are available for passenger use on Deck 3 in the atrium, near the shore excursions desk. Another bay of five computers and a printer is provided on Deck 5 midship.
For onboard art-lovers, a small gallery is positioned on Deck 2 forward and features art by the likes of cruise line stalwarts such as David "Lebo" Le Batard and Peter Max, among others. Auctions are hosted throughout each sailing, some including free Champagne.
Cruise ship photographers will pop up throughout your voyage to snap photos of you as you embark at the terminal, as you disembark in port and even while you eat dinner. Photos will then show up at the Pixels Gallery on Deck 4 midship for everyone to see. If you like them, you can purchase them as souvenirs. Photographers also line the promenade on Cruise Elegant night, which often causes congestion. If you'd like to set up a time to have professional portraits taken, you can do so at the studio on Deck 4 midship, accessible from the Ionian Room.
Six self-service laundry rooms are available throughout the ship on decks 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9. The cost to do one load is $6.50 ($3.25 for a washer and $3.25 for a dryer). Soap is available for sale if you haven't brought your own. Machines are operated by swiping your Sail and Sign card. Irons and ironing boards are found there, as well. Valet laundry services are available, as well, if you don't have time to do it yourself. Laundry bags can be found in each stateroom (usually in one of the top drawers near the vanity). Simply fill it with what you'd like washed. Prices range from $2 each for small items like underwear, bras, socks and T-shirts to $7 for jumpsuits or sweatsuits. Press-only options are available, as well, at 80 percent of valet laundry prices. Dry-cleaning is also offered from $3 for a tie or vest to $10.50 for evening dresses.
Cigarette smoking is allowed in the casino and nightclub and at the Trident Bar, as well as outside on certain designated decks: Deck 3 starboard and Deck 10 starboard midship. Cigars and pipes can only be smoked outdoors in the designated area on Deck 10. Smoking of any kind is not allowed on stateroom balconies.
A medical center is located on Deck 0.