November 26, 2000
OK..I haven't sailed Carnival in many years and because of my one and only Carnival experience I was a little reluctant to try them again. Since I seem to sell more Carnival than anything I thought I would try them again. Here is my review.
We arrived at the Port of Miami on 11/26/00 at around 12:30. The passenger drop off area was a complete mess. Porters were yelling at our driver to stop and back up redirecting us to a spot approximately four feet behind our original stop. Once our luggage was unloaded the porter began to tell us how to tip him. When we informed him that we did not need instructions on tipping he said "lady I give everyone this speech". Overall, that was a nasty experience.definitely an F.
Embarkation was much smoother. After informing someone of my fathers back problems we were escorted to the front of the line and quickly checked in. After check-in we were directed to the 2nd level of the terminal where we had to get our keys/sign and sail cards. These lines were unstructured but they moved quickly and we were then onto the ship. Once we boarded we were greeted by several officers and crew but no one offered direction as to where to go. This was ok for us but I couldn't imagine a first time cruiser not feeling a bit overwhelmed.
Overall, embarkation was pretty painless and quick.an A.
We booked two Category 4E staterooms. One for two adults and one child, and the other for two adults and two children. These cabins are considered large at 185 sq. ft. but compared to our 190 sq. ft. Category D cabin on Enchantment it seemed tiny. That 5 sq. ft. really make a difference. Even though, we did find our rooms adequate enough for sleeping and showering. The bathrooms had a lot of counter and cabinet space and there was a decent amount of closet space. Drawer space was minimal but we managed to fit everything in. The decor was basic Carnival: muted earth tones, minimal character, etc. When it came to sleeping arrangements, things were not good. I shared a room with my sister, her 8 y/o son, and her 2 ½ y/o son. Our cabin was a true quad so I had an upper berth..only for the first night.After hitting the wall everytime I made a move, I requested a rollaway be brought in for the rest of the week. I am not a tall girl, and am not large in any respect but the upper berth is too small for the average adult.
Overall, our cabin was ok...a B.
We decided before we left that we would not be doing any formal nights and that worked out fine because you have lots of options for food on this ship. The Mediterranean Restaurant was great for breakfast. It offered most of the same choices as the dining room, without the time restrictions. However, because of the size of this ship and passenger capacity, lines were usually long. Food in the Med Restaurant was good. Nothing exotic or really spectacular, but lots of variety. The Chinese food and Deli offered some very good choices and those lines moved the quickest. The pizzeria was the best. You must have the De Chevre pizza. It was great, but watch the garlic!!! The Mississippi B-B-Q was also great. The steak sandwiches, burgers, and fries were a lifesaver with the kids. Food in the dining room was great. In fact, my whole family rated it better than Enchantment. There was a great selection of entrees on every menu, and the desserts were incredible.
Overall, dining/food was a B+/A-.
The service varied. Our cabin steward was not the greatest. He left the same dirty glasses in our stateroom for days. Our waiter, asst. waiter, and headwaiter were the best. They were there whenever we needed anything, and they were very personable and pleasant. We were most impressed with the headwaiter who phoned me the third day of our cruise because we hadn't eaten in the dining room yet. When we did finally show on that night he was very engaging and attended to our every need. Service elsewhere varied. You could tell that the adjustment period for being placed on a new ship was not quite over yet.
Overall, service was an B+/A-.
Camp Carnival was great for the kids. They do take 2 y/o children who aren' t potty trained which is wonderful, and they are well staffed. There were always plenty of activities planned for both sea and port days, and the camp runs all day until 10 pm. The kids had no complaints.
Overall, Camp Carnival was an A++++++.
The dessert bar..what can I say. The Fat Chocolate Cake is incredible and the Cheesecake is better than what they serve in the dining room. The cost is only $2 for desserts and about the same for Cappuccino. I was expecting the prices to be much higher but they weren't. This is located on Neptune's Way and I loved the ceiling lights..definitely check this out.
Overall, a big fat A +.
Virtual Sea..too expensive. How do they expect people to ditch their kids when they are charging $1.00 a game. But aside from the cost the game room is great. They have air hockey and loads of other video games, I spent a lot of time there and could have probably spent less if I just drank the whole time.
Overall, a B.
Now onto the good stuff..I know a lot of you are waiting for this:
The lounges and bars were awesome. There is something for everyone. My favorites were the Ionion lounge (a cigar bar), and the Adriatic lounge. Now I can't rate the bars because I didn't use them at all (believe it or not), but I can tell you about them.
The Ionion was tastefully decorated in rich wood tones with dark brown leather seating and smelled like a fine humidor. Classical music was mostly played here. This is also where the card room and internet cafe was.
The Adriatic lounge was absolutely beautiful. It looked like a classic Florentine ballroom and had a small dance floor. Music here was mostly oldies.
There was also the Irish Sea Bar which felt a lot like a real Irish Pub. The music varied here but there is no dance space.
The Black and Red Seas Bar always had a live band playing Jazz/Blues. Dance space in this bar was good and the decor was funky with the obvious black and red.
Club Arctic was the biggest hot spot. Plenty of dance floor and top 40's/dance music. Furry bar stools were the coolest thing about this spot.
The Caspian Wine/Martini Bar was a great little nook on Neptune's Way. This was a great spot for pre-dinner drinks.
Finally, there was a spot just outside of the casino where a 1 man band played classic rock mostly. There is some dance space here and many people did use it even though it is right in the middle of Neptune's way.
Entertainment in the showroom was also very good. They did 2 major productions which were good. Also, there was a magic show which wasn't as good but the comedian was excellent. Finally, the passenger talent show was the best I have ever seen. They could have been professional!
Entertainment was an A!!!!
My overall feeling on The Victory is it was an awesome time and a great ship. Ship Decor was not as tacky as I expected. There was a lot of green but it wasn't offensive. The food is much improved, and the staff was good.
My tips for future Victory cruisers..be prepared for extreme shipboard temperatures. It an be tropical in one area of the ship, and below zero in another. Board the ship with as much luggage as you can because it can take up to 10 hours before your luggage arrives to your stateroom. Request the balcony in dining rooms. The first level of the dining rooms are so crowded and noisy that you won't be able to carry on a conversation with table mates. This was a common complaint among passengers. We had the balcony and it was very spacious and quiet. If you have trouble bending or sitting, don't sit on the bench seats in the Mediterranean Restaurant. They are too low and you won't ever be able to get back up!!!
Well, that's all folks.