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Before I begin I should put in a disclaimer that I did not really care so much about what cruise I was sailing on this time as my main intent was to meet up with some very good friends we hadn't seen in a while and friends of whom had booked it first and they were first time cruisers and we later joined in. This cruise is my 3rd. I first cruised on Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas to Jamaica and Haiti from Miami, and the second one and the best one was an Alaskan itinerary on the Silverseas Silver Shadow. So it was a no brainer that after the last intimate luxury ship experience in the breathtakingly gorgeous Alaskan itinerary, I would not be leaving good reviews for a loud and totally unrelaxing Carnival cruise. However I still swear I went on board with an unbiased and open minded attitude thinking it was a big ship, more activities on board, more bars and could be a great time. My husband was much more pessimistic right from the beginning. However to make things smoother for us, I had booked a verandah suite, with priority access to embarkation and got the Cheers beverage package; not because we wanted to get blacked out drunk but just so we didn't have to deal with the hassle of paying every time for a drink. First thing we noted: there were annoying and intrusive photographers literally every step of embarkation into the ship, or when you would try to step out on a port. For example, not one, or two, there were at least 6 at Cozumel. Some of these were ridiculously dumb photo backgrounds- a weird white towel elephant character, or a part of a railing of the gangway, etc. and of course you pay a fortune to buy them (if stupid enough to buy) . I was sucked into buying a few of our "cruise elegant" portraits- which were at least with a nice canvas art background, and we had a few good ones together with friends. Enough about the photographers. I should also say that our embarkation with the priority access was relatively easy - although the whole boarding process was delayed by 2 hours; at least they emailed us in advance about it. Next on board; staff members with glasses of rum punch standing around and shoving them toward you - and as soon as you pick it up they make you sign a 9 dollar check - and again I had the Cheers package so it was included - but it just made it feel like a trashy type of thing instead of feeling welcomed with a welcome drink as they would do on a classy cruise. But hey, I don't blame the cruise line either because most of the people I could see around were not the classiest and they were there to have a cheap getaway with unlimited food and booze and loud music. So they pretty much got what they wanted. Next thing; the lines at the lunch buffet at the poolside grill and Lido deck. The food looked unappetizing and it was a good thing we had a very good Peruvian meal before embarking so we skipped lunch. We relaxed in our cabin which was surprisingly better looking than I expected with wooden accents and a comfortable bed. Two twin beds put together to make the king but hey I am not complaining about that. Although considerably smaller than a suite would be expected ; and the balcony wasn't really impressive. Our steward Suardika met us and was a nice young man who was always smiling and offering to help; we didn't really ask for anything during the trip but it was refreshing to see someone come forward with smiles as a lot of the other staff really did not seem happy or friendly. I would say though that the girls at the Coffee shop or the Alchemy bar were very very nice and friendly and efficient. Especially considering the people they had to deal with day and night. We mostly avoided eating lunch buffets; breakfast was mediocre; the Huevos rancheros on the last day brunch was excellent. Dinners were not great; they did have an Indian vegetarian meal entree which was actually very good - and understably so as the food service manager and head chef were Indian- but surprisingly and disappointingly they did not have any Mexican food or South American or Asian inspired cuisines on the dinner menu. Prime rib was decent and some of the seafood appetizers and entrees were good. Desserts were good- the melting chocolate cake was very good. Drinks were ok; I liked the martinis at the Alchemy bar; Katarina makes a great vocktail. They had a sports bar with some craft or local beers and otherwise I had premium scotches which was actually included in the Cheers package, which was another pleasant surprise. The coffee shop was also very nice; we got our chai each morning and their Irish coffee or frappe drinks and milkshakes were excellent. What else? The gym- probably our favorite part; as it had no drunk, yelling, obese and obnoxious people . We ran on the treadmill everyday and did some strength and core workouts; they had a nice set of weights and machines and I enjoyed the rowing machine as well. The views could have been better ; and definitely lacked things like bottles of water/Kleenex tissues/ fresh fruits etc in the gym as good gyms usually have. That's another thing which was hard to find- trash cans or tissues- even in the public restrooms. Pools and sun decks - not my favorite place due to the type of people I mentioned earlier. (But I guess that's the average American population these days on cruises like this one) . Our room was conveniently located near the stairwell but unfortunately made the loud music float up every night and our sleep was very disrupted. One thing we enjoyed quite a bit was playing Blackjack and Craps with our friends at the casino. The casino was nice and large but very smoky. Smoke doesn't bother me very much for short periods but my husband caught a upper respiratory illness on board so it was annoying for him. Shore excursions- we actually had not planned this beforehand as it was nowhere comparable to an Alaskan itinerant as far as activities were concerned. Key west and Cozumel were the only ports; and one can drive from Miami to the Keys! We spent the morning walking on the streets and visited Hemingway Museum and climbed the lighthouse tower. At Cozumel we did do a last minute catamaran ride, snorkeling and beach party; saw stingrays and colorful fish and coral beach was great; free beers and margaritas and very nice staff. That was one of the best parts of the trip. Our ship staff did not seem well informed when we asked about activities or food options at the Cozumel port; they made it sound as if there was nothing there at all; when in fact there are several shops, restaurants and bars; albeit very touristy but not as barren as they made it sound. The white sand beach and pristine waters at Cozumel were the only time we actually were in our swimsuits ; I stayed away from the gross pools and whirlpool tubs in our ship which were always crowded. Even the adults only serenity area was crowded. In short- the theme of the cruise was a loud, obnoxious, obese, trashy crowd who got exactly what they paid for and I guess so did we; I feel bad for the workers and staff who come from other countries trying to make a living and work very hard to cater to the demands of this cohort of food wasting, drunk loud Americans. (There was this one man yelling profanities on his cellphone to someone outside my room one evening that a security guy had to be called to watch) Did I sound harsh and snobbish? Well maybe it is because I have had better travels and vacations and have out grown my days when simply getting drunk was great fun. (Our friends came here hoping to make it a family vacation with two little kids and their parents) and we are professional people with busy lives and not much patience for the type of people I described. So , last large cruise vacation for my husband and I - next time we do go on a cruise after some of the trauma fades away, it Silverseas or maybe I d try Regent Seven Seas; read some good things about that one. My husband wants to do an Antarctica or South American itinerary. I d like a Mediterranean cruise too. Hope this review helps some of you out there! Stay away from this if you want relaxation and class!

A cruise for partying and getting drunk, not for a relaxing or classy vacation

Carnival Victory Cruise Review by Anonycruiser

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Before I begin I should put in a disclaimer that I did not really care so much about what cruise I was sailing on this time as my main intent was to meet up with some very good friends we hadn't seen in a while and friends of whom had booked it first and they were first time cruisers and we later joined in. This cruise is my 3rd. I first cruised on Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas to Jamaica and Haiti from Miami, and the second one and the best one was an Alaskan itinerary on the Silverseas Silver Shadow. So it was a no brainer that after the last intimate luxury ship experience in the breathtakingly gorgeous Alaskan itinerary, I would not be leaving good reviews for a loud and totally unrelaxing Carnival cruise. However I still swear I went on board with an unbiased and open minded attitude thinking it was a big ship, more activities on board, more bars and could be a great time. My husband was much more pessimistic right from the beginning. However to make things smoother for us, I had booked a verandah suite, with priority access to embarkation and got the Cheers beverage package; not because we wanted to get blacked out drunk but just so we didn't have to deal with the hassle of paying every time for a drink.

First thing we noted: there were annoying and intrusive photographers literally every step of embarkation into the ship, or when you would try to step out on a port. For example, not one, or two, there were at least 6 at Cozumel. Some of these were ridiculously dumb photo backgrounds- a weird white towel elephant character, or a part of a railing of the gangway, etc. and of course you pay a fortune to buy them (if stupid enough to buy) . I was sucked into buying a few of our "cruise elegant" portraits- which were at least with a nice canvas art background, and we had a few good ones together with friends.

Enough about the photographers. I should also say that our embarkation with the priority access was relatively easy - although the whole boarding process was delayed by 2 hours; at least they emailed us in advance about it. Next on board; staff members with glasses of rum punch standing around and shoving them toward you - and as soon as you pick it up they make you sign a 9 dollar check - and again I had the Cheers package so it was included - but it just made it feel like a trashy type of thing instead of feeling welcomed with a welcome drink as they would do on a classy cruise. But hey, I don't blame the cruise line either because most of the people I could see around were not the classiest and they were there to have a cheap getaway with unlimited food and booze and loud music. So they pretty much got what they wanted.

Next thing; the lines at the lunch buffet at the poolside grill and Lido deck. The food looked unappetizing and it was a good thing we had a very good Peruvian meal before embarking so we skipped lunch. We relaxed in our cabin which was surprisingly better looking than I expected with wooden accents and a comfortable bed. Two twin beds put together to make the king but hey I am not complaining about that. Although considerably smaller than a suite would be expected ; and the balcony wasn't really impressive. Our steward Suardika met us and was a nice young man who was always smiling and offering to help; we didn't really ask for anything during the trip but it was refreshing to see someone come forward with smiles as a lot of the other staff really did not seem happy or friendly. I would say though that the girls at the Coffee shop or the Alchemy bar were very very nice and friendly and efficient. Especially considering the people they had to deal with day and night.

We mostly avoided eating lunch buffets; breakfast was mediocre; the Huevos rancheros on the last day brunch was excellent. Dinners were not great; they did have an Indian vegetarian meal entree which was actually very good - and understably so as the food service manager and head chef were Indian- but surprisingly and disappointingly they did not have any Mexican food or South American or Asian inspired cuisines on the dinner menu. Prime rib was decent and some of the seafood appetizers and entrees were good. Desserts were good- the melting chocolate cake was very good.

Drinks were ok; I liked the martinis at the Alchemy bar; Katarina makes a great vocktail. They had a sports bar with some craft or local beers and otherwise I had premium scotches which was actually included in the Cheers package, which was another pleasant surprise. The coffee shop was also very nice; we got our chai each morning and their Irish coffee or frappe drinks and milkshakes were excellent. What else? The gym- probably our favorite part; as it had no drunk, yelling, obese and obnoxious people . We ran on the treadmill everyday and did some strength and core workouts; they had a nice set of weights and machines and I enjoyed the rowing machine as well. The views could have been better ; and definitely lacked things like bottles of water/Kleenex tissues/ fresh fruits etc in the gym as good gyms usually have. That's another thing which was hard to find- trash cans or tissues- even in the public restrooms.

Pools and sun decks - not my favorite place due to the type of people I mentioned earlier. (But I guess that's the average American population these days on cruises like this one) . Our room was conveniently located near the stairwell but unfortunately made the loud music float up every night and our sleep was very disrupted. One thing we enjoyed quite a bit was playing Blackjack and Craps with our friends at the casino. The casino was nice and large but very smoky. Smoke doesn't bother me very much for short periods but my husband caught a upper respiratory illness on board so it was annoying for him.

Shore excursions- we actually had not planned this beforehand as it was nowhere comparable to an Alaskan itinerant as far as activities were concerned. Key west and Cozumel were the only ports; and one can drive from Miami to the Keys! We spent the morning walking on the streets and visited Hemingway Museum and climbed the lighthouse tower. At Cozumel we did do a last minute catamaran ride, snorkeling and beach party; saw stingrays and colorful fish and coral beach was great; free beers and margaritas and very nice staff. That was one of the best parts of the trip. Our ship staff did not seem well informed when we asked about activities or food options at the Cozumel port; they made it sound as if there was nothing there at all; when in fact there are several shops, restaurants and bars; albeit very touristy but not as barren as they made it sound. The white sand beach and pristine waters at Cozumel were the only time we actually were in our swimsuits ; I stayed away from the gross pools and whirlpool tubs in our ship which were always crowded. Even the adults only serenity area was crowded. In short- the theme of the cruise was a loud, obnoxious, obese, trashy crowd who got exactly what they paid for and I guess so did we; I feel bad for the workers and staff who come from other countries trying to make a living and work very hard to cater to the demands of this cohort of food wasting, drunk loud Americans. (There was this one man yelling profanities on his cellphone to someone outside my room one evening that a security guy had to be called to watch)

Did I sound harsh and snobbish? Well maybe it is because I have had better travels and vacations and have out grown my days when simply getting drunk was great fun. (Our friends came here hoping to make it a family vacation with two little kids and their parents) and we are professional people with busy lives and not much patience for the type of people I described. So , last large cruise vacation for my husband and I - next time we do go on a cruise after some of the trauma fades away, it Silverseas or maybe I d try Regent Seven Seas; read some good things about that one. My husband wants to do an Antarctica or South American itinerary. I d like a Mediterranean cruise too.

Hope this review helps some of you out there! Stay away from this if you want relaxation and class!
Anonycruiser’s Full Rating Summary
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