Number of Cruises: First Cruise
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Victory
Sailing Date: May 29, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Victory Cruise Review
My husband and I booked this
cruise as a much needed vacation away from our two small children. This was our
first cruise; we had heard so many great things about cruises that we decided to
try one. We sailed from Charleston, SC with the ports of call being Freeport and
Nassau. We were dropped off at the ship by a family member and were escorted to
Embarkation. We booked a suite (Level 12) so we were allowed VIP treatment
(meaning we were able to jump the long embarkation line once we passed through
security.) Embarkation took about 45 minutes.
When we made it to our suite, our bags were sitting by our door. I found the room to be spacious but yet it totally reminded me of being on an airplane (cabin doors…low ceilings…toilet.) We were taken aback by the ships “cheesy” décor and stale smell of smoke. To be honest, we regretted our decision from the moment we stepped onboard.
The crew was very cheerful and our cabin steward was hardly visible…every time we left and came back our room was immaculate. When we did see him he called us by our first name. Our waiter at dinner was very nice and remembered that I liked ranch dressing and that my husband preferred a double espresso every night after dinner. While we were not blown away by the Atlantic Room’s dinner, it was for the most part good.
We were disappointed by how crowded the ship was. At lunch and breakfast we found ourselves waiting in line a lot. When we tried to find a seat it took some time. I was happy though, that the crew was quick to jump on a vacated table to clean it off for the next group. We choose room service for breakfast and lunch most days and found this to be quick and easy. The menu was simple, sandwiches, chips, bagels, and coffee.
Our first stop was Freeport where we booked the 18 mile bike excursion. We loved this port and this excursion. Our excursion was small (9 people) and our guide was knowledgeable and took us to a great lunch spot with a beautiful beach. We felt safe and truly enjoyed ourselves. We got to see a lot of the island as well as burn some calories. I had read other reviews that downplayed Freeport. We just picked the right excursion. We booked our excursions through Carnival who uses Grand Bahama Tours.
Our next stop was Nassau. This was surprisingly our least favorite. It was very crowded. We booked an island historical tour. I liked that our guide met us immediately off the boat although we were literally herded through like cattle. This port seemed to be more about shopping. If we could have done things differently I think we would have done the Atlantis Resort excursion. Instead we went on a historical tour that had my husband and me nodding off in the taxi. My husband felt that Nassau focused most of its attention on getting you to shop rather than enjoying what the island had to offer.
My husband and I attended the shows each night on board. My husband found the dancers and singers to be cheesy while I found them entertaining. We both agreed that Rand the Magician was our favorite. We enjoyed our cruise director Dana. He was full of energy and seemed genuinely concerned about our experience onboard. He would hold talks about what to expect onboard, how to get on and off the boat at the ports, as well and debarkation. Debarkation was quick as we did the self-assist and were the first deck called (this might have to do with the suites being all on this floor.) It took 30 min. from start to finish.
Overall, my husband and I had a good time. We have decided that cruising is not for us but not because the cruise was bad. We prefer a less crowded vacation where we could relax and have some more “alone” time. Maybe we did not know what to expect but we will try something different next time around.