Kevin D Johnson
Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Victory
Sailing Date: June 4th, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Victory Cruise Review
Kevin D Johnson
First of all, this was our second
cruise and both of them were on Carnival Victory out of Norfolk. I hope what I
have to say will be beneficial to new cruisers or someone who is considering
this particular cruise. We were in a group of eleven consisting of family and
friends. We all had a great time and would definitely cruise on Carnival again.
I will do the negative things first and then the good things. The good outweighed the bad and these are things that Carnival needs to work on and fix. This is a long review so bear with me.
1.) Smoking- if you are a smoker, you will be in smoker’s heaven. If not, you may have a hard time. Most of the smokers on the ship were rude and don’t care when and where they light up or where they blow their smoke. They smoked in the non-smoking areas and one person lit up two rows in front of me during the lifeboat drill. The casino will be the biggest smoke trap and if you have asthma or breathing problems, go first thing when they open. Carnival needs to enforce the meager non-smoking areas they have on the ship.
2.) Excursions- they are over-priced and most of them are misrepresented. First, if you book online, the selections look limited. Once on the ship, they have more and multiple times for the same excursion. Wait till you get on the ship to book excursions. Not all excursions are bad and I will touch on one in the positives. We took the Historic Harbor Cruise and Atlantis Tour. The Historic Harbor cruise is a fifteen-minute boat ride to Atlantis and they tell you where four or five famous people once lived. Atlantis was interesting but I would take a taxi to it. We also did the over-priced stingray adventure. It was interesting but costs too much. My biggest complaint has to be the excursion operators. They do this daily all year round and they still seem lost and disorganized getting people checked in and the excursion started. Be prepared for a long wait getting started. Also, people casually show up late for the excursion, further adding to the wait. Bring water and plenty of it. The weather is very warm.
3.) Embarkation/Disembarkation- embarkation out of Norfolk is getting better. They are building a new cruise terminal and this will help out. From parking lot to cabin, be prepared for at least a two hour wait. Disembarkation can be a pain but my biggest advice; don’t be in a rush to get off the ship. Leave your luggage outside your cabin between 7pm and midnight the night before and let them take it off. They will call you by tag color and we were off of the ship and to our vehicle in 40mins. We did the self-assist debarkation last time and it was a nightmare. This time was a breeze.
4.) Miscellaneous- no big deal but the CD writer on the photo store had been broken for two cruises prior and you would think they would be able to get that fixed so that you could download your digital pictures to a disc. They also have a whole deck dedicated to the pictures that they take of you on the ship and they want you to buy. They could cut that part in half and put some more shops on this huge ship.
Now the positives! The biggest thing is to keep an open mind. There are a lot of different nationalities on the ship and remember, you are an ambassador to all of these people. Smile, be polite, talk to them and learn about them and you will be a better person for it.
1.) Food- I loved the food. Was all of it excellent? No, but most of it was good and it was plentiful. If you want 5 star, go on NCL or Princess. On the Lido deck, the hamburgers are really good, the deli sandwiches were excellent and the breakfast buffet was great. The fresh fruit is really good too. In the dining room, the food was always good except for a few of the desserts. The food can be a bit gourmet but I had prime rib, quail, filet mignon, salmon and more. If you are really hungry, they will readily give you another serving, just ask. The waiter team was excellent and eager to please. They love to talk and laugh and I tipped them more at the end of the cruise.
2.) Drinks- The drinks, although overpriced, never disappointed. They have great tropical drinks and if you like them strong, you won’t be let down. Also, for a big coffee drinker like me, the coffee was very good.
3.) Crew- almost always friendly and constantly cleaning the ship. Smile at them and they will smile back. Thank them for taking your plate or getting you something. It goes a long way.
4.) Ship- for the most part, the ship was always clean or being cleaned. You have to remember, this is a big ship. It takes a lot to keep it clean but they kept trying!
5.) Bahamians- very friendly. Smile and say hello. They will do the same. Yes, some do want handouts, or want to sing you a song or braid your hair for money, but just smile, be polite and tell them no thanks.
6.) Cabin stewards- our cabin steward team was excellent. They were eager to please and cleaned our cabin twice a day. I tipped them more at the end of the cruise.
7.) Karaoke- this is a must do! Trust me, even if you don’t sing, it is fun to watch! We had two members of our group that were in the Carnival Legends talent show. One did Ricky Martin and the other did Britney Spears. They were fantastic and the show was fun.
8.) Excursions- Atlantis is really neat, especially the aquarium which is a must see. Also, my son and I did the bottom-fishing excursion in Freeport and loved it. We wanted it to last a lot longer. Even in 80 feet of water, you could see the bottom. The crew of the boat was hilarious. It was also moderately priced out of all the excursions and a pretty good value. Freeport can look like an industrial wasteland until you taxi to the other side of the island. There are also a couple of nice beaches near Port Lucaya.
9.) Activities- There is plenty of bars including a sports bar on the ship. The casino was always busy but fun. Some of our group did the spa and loved it. The deck party was fun and there is just something always going on.
There are some things I missed I am sure but the biggest thing is to just have fun. The cruise is definitely what you make of it. If you focus on the negatives, you won’t have fun. Let Carnival know promptly if something isn’t right. Also, on the comment card at the end of the cruise, recognize the people that made your cruise enjoyable. They do the job that a lot of people wouldn’t do and they do it very well. Carnival can always do better, but if you keep the cruise in perspective and realize that it is a Fun Ship, you won’t be as disappointed. I look forward to cruising with Carnival again.