Number of Cruises: First Cruise
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Victory
Sailing Date: June 13th, 2006
Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Victory Cruise Review
I took this cruise with my husband, my kids (5 of my 6 children, ages 4-16) and both my parents. We sailed out of NY, which was awesome, since we live on Long Island. My husband and I had 2 rooms on the lido deck, across from each other and my parents had an inside modified cabin on deck 6 (upper deck), because my mom uses a wheelchair most of the time. My room was a balcony room, and across the hall we had our teenage sons. This was our first cruise and I have to say it was great. I had a lot of preconceived notions and doubts about this ship in general from past reviews, but our experience was positive. The ship is well-maintained inside and out and there were workers constantly painting, repairing and cleaning the ship. Our room steward was Song, and my little ones loved the animal towels and smiley face cookies that were left in the room in the evening. We ate dinner in the Atlantic dining room/early seating and the wait staff was great.
We had breakfast in the Pacific dining room, and on our last day , we ate at the buffet and it was just as good. Yes, there were lines at the buffet, but we never really waited too long. The food was good, not cold as in some other reviews. I recommend the East River Deli for delicious rubens, hot pastrami, and turkey sandwiches. My teen boys loved that and the Pizza/calzones. My little ones loved getting soft ice-cream and frozen yogurt whenever they wanted.
The pools were nice, although not too warm, only about 72'F, so my guys really didn't go in, but there were plenty of kids in it. They did go in the hot tubs, there are 7 on the ship, which was nice. There is a beautiful fitness room/area with a view of the ocean. There were activities going on constantly, either in the Caribbean Lounge or on the Lido Deck. Some of the activities were The Newlywed Game, Bingo, Survivor, and the Men's Hairy Chest Competition. They also had Art Auctions and Wine Tasting. You can go to the Casino to play slot machines or blackjack. They had 2 formal nights for dinner, on the 2nd and last nights, although my boys wore collared shirts and/or polo shirts and they were fine to get in. They had plenty of opportunities to take professional pictures and informal ones, too.
We arrived in Halifax on the 3rd day, and it was rainy, cold and windy possibly from the hurricane, so we just got off the ship and did some shopping in the port (like a flea-market), it was ok. There were people that did go on the excursions, but it was extreme weather and we didn't want to have to deal with it. That night leaving Halifax was a bit rocky and several people got sea-sick, including my Dad. My husband and boys took the sea-sick meds from the front desk, and they got through the night ok. By the next day things had calmed down and it was comfortable again.
My mom uses a wheelchair, and the ship layout is a little tough to get to certain areas. Our embarkation and debarkation was a breeze. We waited on the Lido Deck and then they called our deck to get off the ship and we walked off within 5-10 minutes. Definitely carry off your luggage if you can because that's who they call first. My parents had a tougher time, because of the wheelchair, she was in a "holding" area which was very crowded and disorganized. It took her over an hour to get off.
They had the kids program for all the kids, although mine went only a few times...it wasn't that enticing to them, although there were many children that participated and seemed to have a great time.
Tipping is done automatic on your sail and sign account, which was fine. For our 4 day cruise, for all 7 of us, our tip amount was $280. Too me, that was sufficient, although I felt at the end of the cruise all the stewards and wait staff were expecting more tips. Even, Dana the cruise director made a point at one of the informative meetings, that you should tip more to the staff! I did see some groups giving envelopes and cash to some of the staff. We are a large family and even though overall this was a great bargain, it still was a trip that cost a lot. I felt their service was great, but truthfully that's how I expected it to be on a cruise. You shouldn't have to do anything!
If you are taking this ship, I do recommend being on a higher deck, like the Lido. It was great being near everything. Also, pay the extra for a balcony, its so worth it! If leaving out of NY, watch out when you go under the Verrazano Bridge and past the Statue of Liberty...It is an awesome sight! If you can, get a layout of the ship...I got one off one of the reviews and it really helped me because I knew where everything was before I went on and it made it easier to get around!
Anyway...I will say that I truly enjoyed
this trip and want to plan another one soon. I would recommend this ship Victory
and carnival cruises to anyone.