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Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Victory

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Victory Review

Insider Take

Overview

A Conquest-class vessel sailing the southern Caribbean from San Juan - no Funship 2.0 upgrades.

Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer

Those who enjoy solitude, quiet days at sea, or who dislike the disruption of children and never-ending activity announcements, are advised to seek out the more understated, refined ambiance offered on smaller ships.

Decor

A lot of passengers are reminded of Fantasyland, Joe Farcus being the most unapologetically fanciful cruise ship interior designer at work today. Sort of the cruise ship equivalent of Cher's performing wardrobe in the ‘70s and ‘80s, in other words.

Public Rooms

Victory won't take long to steal your breath away; you'll no sooner have boarded than you'll find yourself in a soaring nine-story open atrium, with glass elevators rising to top (Pool) deck. Promenade Deck flows like a serpentine tour of fun and diversion, from lounges and pastry shops to the casino and uber-disco. You can jump into the action at any opportunity, and just sit and enjoy observing the passing parade of humanity.

The Piano Bar gives everyone a chance to be a star. As the night wears on, this is an atmosphere guaranteed to remove even the stubbornest inhibition. The jazz and cabaret room is can be SRO at night, or it might be empty depending upon what is happening next door in the Point After dance club which has no fewer than 500 video monitors and a see-through dance floor lighted from below.

The Sports Bar features seven big-screen televisions that get ESPN Network, and video poker machines built right into the bar. The two-floor disco has Additional public rooms include boutiques, a patisserie/cappuccino bar (where there's a separate charge), small library, video game room and wine bar.

Cuisine

Carnival's food has improved greatly over the years and now compares favourably to that of more expensive cruise lines. You'll marvel at how well managed the everything is, especially considering that there are apt to be 3,400 passengers aboard. No one at sea serves better pizza, and available any time of day at that! Both the breakfast and luncheon buffets offer specialty food stations where you can make a custom order. The lunch buffet offers a marvelous salad bar. New Carnival menus include such upscale favourites as chateaubriand, lobster and rack of lamb. Dessert is usually a choice of cheesecake, apple pie, and chocolate in the form of mousse or pudding. Rather bland at times. Ice cream is always available.

Service

Carnival's staff is efficient and professional, but don't anticipate a lot of personal attention aboard a ship this size.

Best For People Who Want

Glitz and glamour, flamboyance and razzle-dazzle at a price sure to please your pocketbook. Destiny offers a wide range of nightlife choices, including Las Vegas quality production shows, a generously sized casino and late-night adult comedy. The daytime activity is equally inviting, with live music and fun and games around the pool, the latest fitness and spa facilities and extensive programs for kids.

Onboard Experience

Carnival Victory is the third sister ship to Carnival Destiny, the first ship larger than 100,000 gross tons. By day, the decks are awash in people soaking in the sun with umbrella-laden cocktails, or dancing on deck to a live Caribbean band. But nighttime is when the action goes into high gear, with a variety of venues offering lavish production shows, a sing-along piano bar, dancing to live music or in the uber-disco and late-night adults-only comedy shows. After midnight most of the actions shifts to the casino or the disco, both remaining open into the wee hours.

Victory appeals to a very wide range of passengers; singles, families with throngs of young children, and even retired couples. The passenger mix varies depending upon the season, but the number of kids onboard swells dramatically during the summer and school vacation periods.

The ship can feel crowded. It may list as 2642 passengers, but that is just counting beds on the floor. The maximum capacity is 3360 people, and when the ship is full a lot of those will be kids in rollaway and bunk beds. Don't be surprised to find yourself in long lines at the shore excursion desk or the luncheon buffet. And finding your way around can take some doing, as the signs at elevators and stairwells are neither as numerous or as clear as you might hope.

Restaurants

The food's mostly delicious, and you'll marvel at how well managed the service is, especially considering that there are apt to be 3,400 passengers aboard. The dining room service is hilarious during dessert, when waiters do foolish dances while balancing trays on their heads.

Carnival's Total Choice Dining offers four seatings for dinner (at 5:45 p.m., 6:15 p.m., 8 p.m. or 8:30 p.m in the main dining rooms). Alternative Bistro dining at an additional charge is an option every evening. In addition to the multiple dining room seatings, the poolside Lido eateries are converted between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. each evening into Seaview Bistros, offering casual buffet dinner with no reservations or advance notice required.

Victory has two dining rooms, Galaxy and Universe. Both comprise two separate levels (upper & lower), and are assigned according to cabin. Diners in the open area on the lower level may have to speak up when they converse, as it can get pretty noisy; tables on both sides and on the balcony are a much better bet. There are a few tables for two, but expect to dine in a group of four or eight.

By day, most opt for breakfast and luncheon buffets in the ship's poolside Lido restaurant, which offers wonderful sea views and al fresco dining. You'll also find the ship's 24-hour pizzeria here, serving multiple varieties and Caesar salad. A very limited room service menu is available round the clock.

Tipping

Carnival's automatic gratuities arrangement adds $10.00 per person (except children under two) per day to your Sail & Sign card. This includes $3.60 for the stateroom steward; $5.50 for the dining room team. and $.90 for service in the alternative dining rooms, amounts that can be raised or lowered at the purser's desk. You may also prepay gratuities for all service personnel at a rate of $10.00 per person per day. On Cruises-to-Nowhere, such prepayment is compulsory.

A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to all beverage tabs. Tip the maitre d', room service, spa, casino and other staff as you deem fit.

Entertainment

When it comes to nightlife, no one at sea does it better than Carnival. The performers in the smaller lounges are uniformly excellent, and the production shows in the theatre will take your breath away. Try to get one of the slightly off-center seats in the lower balcony, as, on the main floor, you may well spend the evening trying to see between heads.

Cabins

When it's time to get away from it all, you'll do so in some of the largest cabins at sea.

The Victory-class were the first Carnival ships to offer private balconies in a majority of the staterooms. Regardless of which stateroom you choose, it's likely to be bigger than on another line; outside standard cabins are an ample 220 square feet and include a sofa and coffee table, while inside cabins measure 195 square feet. Many have pulldown berths to accommodate third and fourth passengers, consequently making the ship popular with families and groups of singles. There are also 230 square-foot "family" cabins with connecting doors near the children's center.

Given Mr. Farcus's flights of fancy in the public areas, cabin decor is often surprisingly understated. Count on a color TV with CNN, ESPN, plus movies. The bathrooms are nice and roomy, with shower, hair dryer and a basket of complimentary toiletries. Oceanview staterooms and suites offer a minibar and bathrobes. The ship's 48 suites and penthouse suites' bathrooms and decor were upgraded in 2005.

A small caveat: The soundproofing between staterooms could be better. A room too close to the casino will have you hearing bells and sirens all night long.

Fitness/Spa

Sports and fitness lovers will be in their element on Carnival Victory. The gym, with floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views, has 13 treadmills, eight Stairmasters, seven stationary bikes, rowing machines, free weights, and hydraulic weight machines. The Steiner's of London-operated spa, all 15,000 square feet of it just next door, offers just about every massage and beautifying treatment ever heard of. Be forewarned that the staff can be a bit in-your-face in pushing its own products. The pool area features a 214-foot circular water slide that kids adore. The jogging deck encircling the entire pool area is eleven laps to a mile. Topless sunbathing is allowed in a secluded section near the main funnel above the pool area.

Attire

7-night cruises include two formal nights. Most men wear dark suits and tuxedos are almost a rarity. If one needs formal wear it may be rented from the eveningwear shop. Daytime wear is strictly casual, but jeans aren't allowed in the dining room or anywhere after dark.




Ship Overview

The third and last Destiny-class ship to launch, Carnival Victory was introduced in 2000 and is on schedule for a major refurbishment in 2013 when it will receive Carnival’s "Fun Ship 2.0" upgrades with new casual dining options, poolside bars, and additional entertainment features. Carnival Victory sails a mix of short four- and five-night cruises to the Western or Eastern Caribbean and the Bahamas from her departure port in Miami.

The first class of Carnival megaships weighing in at more than 100,000 tons, everything on these vessels is in keeping with their size—bold interiors highlighted by nine-deck atriums, 200-foot corkscrew waterslides on the Lido deck, and public areas that often span multiple decks. Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory are bigger and have more cabins and crew than the original Carnival Destiny, for which the class was named and which was totally refurbished and renamed Carnival Sunshine in 2013.

The variety of indoor and outdoor spaces ranges from relatively small lounges with a nightclub atmosphere to huge showrooms where lavish production shows are staged. Most public rooms open off wide indoor promenades that branch fore and aft from the spectacular atrium.

Expansive pools and sport decks have plenty of room to spread out for sunning and more active pursuits; both ships have been retrofitted with massive poolside 270-square-foot LED screens.

The world's largest cruise line—and one of the most widely recognized—originated its "Fun Ship" concept in 1972 and has been launching party-packed superliners with signature red funnels ever since. The line's ever-growing fleet features entertainment and activities designed for passengers of all ages, from game shows and lip sync competitions to twisting waterslides and mini golf. These ships are a reliable choice for families as well as young singles and couples who want a vacation that won’t break the bank.

Nearly all onboard dining options are included in the fare, as are comedy and production shows, children’s programs, and use of state-of-the-art fitness centers. With some of the most comfortable accommodations at sea, large new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern, while older vessels are updated with popular features, such as the poolside BlueIguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina, the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, and Guy’s Burger Joint, created with Food Network star Guy Fieri.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • Tiered sunning decks above the Lido pools offer a good view of the jumbo-size LED screens
  • The upper-level seating area in the Lido restaurant almost always has tables available
  • The lobby bar is a surprisingly off-the-beaten-path space with a lot of visual impact

Cons

  • There is no steak house on either ship
  • Private balconies on high decks in the middle of the ship may be noisy when there are activities on the Lido deck above
  • Lines at the buffet can be seemingly endless at peak meal times
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 1,100
  • Entered Service 2000
  • Gross Tons 102,000
  • Length 893 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,397
  • Passenger Capacity 2,758 (3,470 max)
  • Width 116 feet
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Mar 1, 2017

Review of Carnival Victory

Lori Age: 41 Occupation:administrative assistant Number of Cruises: 6 Cruise Line: Carnival Ship: Carnival Victory Sailing Date: 2014-03-29 Itinerary: Caribbean This was our 6th Carnival cruise and unfortunately, our least favorite. Unfortunately, I believe it is the passengers' fault rather than Carnival's. My husband & I are very social, go-with-the-flow kind of people. We realize every one is on vacation & keep that in mind at all times. Wow...this

trip...there were a lot of people who did not have that mindset. Our stateroom was located in a hall with some of the rudest, foulest mouthed people ever. Kids screaming at each other in one stateroom, couples cursing each other, teens hanging in the hallway screaming, families bickering loudly...you name it. It was all around our stateroom. We had to call & complain at 2:30am on the morning we were to debark after being kept awake for hours by yelling, screaming, & laughter by a family just down the hall. They were so wrapped up in themselves they forgot there were other people who occupied the other staterooms. There was definitely a general rudeness on this cruise I have not previously seen on our other cruises.. People with zero regard for the staff or other guests. Cutting in line, leaving trash wherever they wished, etc. Not everyone was this way but more than I have seen on previous cruises. We met some wonderful people on the ship & on our excursions but unfortunately, the rudeness we experienced really dampened the overall vacation. :-( 24 hour ice cream & frozen yogurt...YUM! The buffet was OK. The pizza a wee bit greasy. The grill...Super! Dinner in the Pacific Dining Room...wonderful! Some nights more fantastic than others but still wonderful! Coffee Shop desserts...Holy Moly! One slice is toooo much for one person but OMG...heavenly! Our staterooms were comfortable as we have come to expect. But...our steward took our used deck towels & forgot to replace them with fresh towels once and neglected to remove dirty glassware from our stateroom 3 times. Not a big deal but...this is the first time we've ever had less than excellent service by a steward. Our daughter & niece were in a room across the hall. When we checked in I noticed they only had 1 deck towel & mentioned it to him. His reply was "I know...I'll get another in here for them." He didn't. The evening after our day in Jamaica (the 3rd morning of the cruise)...the girls told me they had not received the 2nd deck towel & now had none at all. When we saw him in the hall I politely mentioned that their deck towels were not replaced and his reply to the girls was "You can't leave them on deck. Bring them back to your room." Of course, I knew the girls had brought their ONE towel back to their room and I gently told that I had seen them return the towel to their room. He immediately gave them replacement deck towels. Again...not a big deal but in the past we have never had a complaint about a steward. Some of the Lido Deck activities were a little eyebrow raising. A couple of contestants got out of hand during the "Last woman standing"...an innocent bystander had her bikini top torn off without her permission & another female took hers off to help the contestants. Ummm...there are children on the boat too people!!! The 11-14yr old club...DISAPPOINTING! Every time our girls went down there it was either closed, empty, or just a couple kids were playing video games. Past cruises...there was ALWAYS something happening in the kids' clubs. The shows...enjoyed them! The female lead singer was beyond talented. She brought something new to each of the songs & stayed true to the song. If it was a Madonna song...she did it Madonna style. If it was Shania Twain...she did it Shania style. The male lead...not so much. Every song he sounded exactly the same. If it was soft...you couldn't understand what he was singing. He had some pipes but again...every song he sang was sang the same way. River tubing in Ocho Rios was good. Great guides. Nothing scary. Just a nice float down the White River. We were fortunate in having a great group of people on this excursion (except the parents who didn't stay with their little one & someone else took it upon themselves to hang on to his tube & reassure him). Coral Garden & Stingray sandbar...was also great. But...we made it back in time for the LAST tender. The excursion started at 12 & was supposed to be only 3 hours long. The last tender was scheduled for 3:45pm. Yikes! We made it! We got a little shopping in before the excursion but would've liked a little more time. We felt very hurried & stressed after our excursion. Watch out for the guy behind the fence at the Ocho Rios cruise shopping area...creepy! Stands behind fence trying to sell stuff!

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By Lori_CR

  • New

Mar 29, 2014

Caribbean

This was our 6th Carnival cruise and unfortunately, our least favorite. Unfortunately, I believe it is the passengers' fault rather than Carnival's. My husband & I are very social, go-with-the-flow kind of people. We realize every one is on vacation & keep that in mind at all times. Wow...this trip...there were a lot of people who did not have that mindset. Our stateroom was located in a hall with some of the rudest, foulest mouthed people

ever. Kids screaming at each other in one stateroom, couples cursing each other, teens hanging in the hallway screaming, families bickering loudly...you name it. It was all around our stateroom. We had to call & complain at 2:30am on the morning we were to debark after being kept awake for hours by yelling, screaming, & laughter by a family just down the hall. They were so wrapped up in themselves they forgot there were other people who occupied the other staterooms. There was definitely a general rudeness on this cruise I have not previously seen on our other cruises.. People with zero regard for the staff or other guests. Cutting in line, leaving trash wherever they wished, etc. Not everyone was this way but more than I have seen on previous cruises. We met some wonderful people on the ship & on our excursions but unfortunately, the rudeness we experienced really dampened the overall vacation. :-( 24 hour ice cream & frozen yogurt...YUM! The buffet was OK. The pizza a wee bit greasy. The grill...Super! Dinner in the Pacific Dining Room...wonderful! Some nights more fantastic than others but still wonderful! Coffee Shop desserts...Holy Moly! One slice is toooo much for one person but OMG...heavenly! Our staterooms were comfortable as we have come to expect. But...our steward took our used deck towels & forgot to replace them with fresh towels once and neglected to remove dirty glassware from our stateroom 3 times. Not a big deal but...this is the first time we've ever had less than excellent service by a steward. Our daughter & niece were in a room across the hall. When we checked in I noticed they only had 1 deck towel & mentioned it to him. His reply was "I know...I'll get another in here for them." He didn't. The evening after our day in Jamaica (the 3rd morning of the cruise)...the girls told me they had not received the 2nd deck towel & now had none at all. When we saw him in the hall I politely mentioned that their deck towels were not replaced and his reply to the girls was "You can't leave them on deck. Bring them back to your room." Of course, I knew the girls had brought their ONE towel back to their room and I gently told that I had seen them return the towel to their room. He immediately gave them replacement deck towels. Again...not a big deal but in the past we have never had a complaint about a steward. Some of the Lido Deck activities were a little eyebrow raising. A couple of contestants got out of hand during the "Last woman standing"...an innocent bystander had her bikini top torn off without her permission & another female took hers off to help the contestants. Ummm...there are children on the boat too people!!! The 11-14yr old club...DISAPPOINTING! Every time our girls went down there it was either closed, empty, or just a couple kids were playing video games. Past cruises...there was ALWAYS something happening in the kids' clubs. The shows...enjoyed them! The female lead singer was beyond talented. She brought something new to each of the songs & stayed true to the song. If it was a Madonna song...she did it Madonna style. If it was Shania Twain...she did it Shania style. The male lead...not so much. Every song he sounded exactly the same. If it was soft...you couldn't understand what he was singing. He had some pipes but again...every song he sang was sang the same way. River tubing in Ocho Rios was good. Great guides. Nothing scary. Just a nice float down the White River. We were fortunate in having a great group of people on this excursion (except the parents who didn't stay with their little one & someone else took it upon themselves to hang on to his tube & reassure him). Coral Garden & Stingray sandbar...was also great. But...we made it back in time for the LAST tender. The excursion started at 12 & was supposed to be only 3 hours long. The last tender was scheduled for 3:45pm. Yikes! We made it! We got a little shopping in before the excursion but would've liked a little more time. We felt very hurried & stressed after our excursion. Watch out for the guy behind the fence at the Ocho Rios cruise shopping area...creepy! Stands behind fence trying to sell stuff!

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  • New

Aug 16, 2013

Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman

Once again, Carnival did not let us down. Activities from early morning to late night. Very friendly staff. Good food and plenty of it. Can't wait to cruise again. The food was always good. Sometimes on the bland side and preferred the buffet over the dining room just because of selection. However, the buffet lines were ridiculously long and moved way too slow. Larger than expected, nice window view. There were plenty of activities

to choose from. I loved the music trivia and piano bar. If you do not do a shore excursion in Jamaica I advise not to get off the boat. My husband and I made the mistake of thinking we would just walk around and explore. We were hounded by the locals the second we made it into the city. Ocho Rios downtown is filthy and dangerous. We were offered drugs by several locals and could not escape one man who would not leave us alone. We eventually paid him $20 to go away then another $20 for a cab ride back to the boat and safety. Major waste of time and money. The highlight of my trip was snorkeling in Grand Cayman. Gorgeous island with plenty of activities.

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  • New

May 1, 2012

Southern Carribean

This was my 5th cruise with Carnival. Balcony cabin was OK, somewhat "worn." Service usually very good. Food at buffet not so good-dinning room much better. Entertainment also decent. Excursions we selected were very good (Barbados-snorkel & swim w/dolphins: St. Lucia-adrenaline zip line: St Maarten-Tiki hut snorkel & swim). Only have 3 negative comments-2 Carnival, 1 non-Carnival. Carnival: passenger "demographics" was 75% Latino/Black so most music

and entertainment was geared toward them. Ship is showing her age-scheduled for drydock remodeling in 2013. Finally negative comment: I will NEVER sail from San Juan again! The airport is a joke! For returning flights, Carnival dropped us off at the curb and said "adios" without ANY mention that all bags MUST go through USDA screening PRIOR to going to the ticket counter. After figuring that out on our own, we checked the bag and went to security screening. The line was nearly 3 BLOCKS LONG!!! The TSA only had 3 agents checking passports!!!!! REALLY?? For 2 cruise ships and nearly 5000 passengers all at once??? You decide...much better Carnival cruises leaving from the States IMHO. Dinning room-generally good. Buffet/Grills-not so much! Nice/Clean. Showed a little "age" in places (carpeting, shower, walls)

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  • New

Mar 21, 2012

South Caribean

Having been on a RCCL Cruise in the past (my wife has been on 2) that is what I have to compare it to. Overall it was a good time, but a lot of that is because we were not on the ship much during the day. Friendly staff, definitely a downgrade from Royal Caribbean. The food was ok. We ate dinners in the dining room and the servers were nice. The food was pretty much the same that was available in the cafeteria, but it was usually hotter...usually.

The Cafeteria lines we long and slow and often only one side was open. They 24 hour ice cream was open 24 hours, the 24 hour pizza was open 2 out of 3 times I went. The food seemed to be bland, perhaps because many of the senior citizens need low salt, non spicy food. One of my steaks had clearly been grilled on the same grill as some fish. I was not impressed by the food. It was often cold. (I live at high altitude where food doesn't stay hot, and this was colder than what I am used to. Food gets a 5 out of ten. If it was a restaurant, I probably wouldn't go back. Clean room. On the the bedside reading lights was broken. The show had cracks in the grout, and just a curtain and a metal rail on the floor to keep the water in (RCCL has shower doors) . We had an interior cabin. They had 4 comedians on board. We went to the family friendly shows. Only one comedian was clearly comfortable with that format. The others seemed to be fishing for material by talking to people in the audience a lot. They used the words @ss, h#ll, [email protected], "Jesus Christ" a LOT. Most of the jokes were "potty" humor. The "Family Friendly" musical show started out with girls in G-strings. My family doesn't roll with that, so we left 30 seconds in. They had a magician who I thought was going to fall asleep. He seemed so board with the act he had been doing on Carnival for "20 years". Best excursion we had was walking of the boat in St Thomas with no idea where to go and hoping in a bus called "David's Tours" where we got a tour of the whole island, got dropped off at Coty Cove for a couple hours and the back to the ship for a total of $20 per person. Most tourists go to Megans Bay, but our guide said the snorkeling was better and crowd smaller at the place he took us. It is right next to Coral World. Snuba at St Lucia was fun, but the water was murky, and the guide said it was always like that. Some people we were with did it at Coral World in St Thomas and said it was much better (We snorkeled right next to them) and they feed the fish so you see more. Snorkeled at Ship Wreck in St Kitts, great reef. Again, hired a taxi and it cost us $20. St Martaan- Go see the Yoda Guy! Had a great time, VERY disappointed with the ship...but if I hadn't been on a cruise before, I probably would have liked it a lot more. Great ports. Bad Shows. I don't drink or gamble...so I can't tell you about those.

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