Carnival Victory Cruise Review by NYSandy23
- Sail Date: March 2019
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Interior with Picture Window (obstructed views)
Embarkation was the easiest I've ever done. At your appointed time for entry you just showed your passport and boarding docs and went up to the buffet for a drink or some food. Your sail away card was were delivered to your stateroom on your cabin door when you were allowed down to your cabins. There were no lines and no hassles. Other cruise lines should take note.
Our cabin was roomy with plenty of storage. We were on deck 7 at the front of the ship. It was listed as a Interior with a Picture View and it certainly delivered. It felt like our own balcony as there was deck that no one used right in front of us. We felt like we had a balcony. Although we had preordered the queen bed variation it was not completed before we arrived and had to ask our cabin steward. I had ordered a birthday package and they did decorate the room with balloons and hanging greetings which we enjoyed along with the cake. The bathroom came equipped with a funky smell, which the crew tried to fix but it never really left the room. It felt like the pipes needed cleaning. Otherwise the shower was nice with good pressure. The bed was comfortable and the hallways were quiet.
The food was just okay. There were really long lines for the buffet. They could have used at least one more serving line. The lines were so long they stretched back along the walkways and interfered with the small specialty dining options that were offered to help space out the food lines. It was awkward at best. There were very limited sugar-free options available to eat and drink. If you needed that diet restriction, this would not be your ship. The food was standard fare, good but not overly original. There was a carving station and small salad bar at lunch and dinner.
There were a fair number of activities on board for folks to do however many of the ones we wanted to do were at the same time in the morning so we couldn't do many. They were no repeated on the short cruise. There was a large cruise staff and they had good energy. They kept people bust, mostly on deck with dancing and parties. The shows were entertaining using a production crew . The seating in the showroom was uncomfortable on the main level. Seating upstairs was better,
The ship was small and compact which we prefer over the Mega ships. There were lots of places to walk and sit outside. Movies under the stars were poolside on the very big screen. Warm blankets would have been nice rather than just grabbing a towel from the stand. There were 2 areas that were Adult only with 2 pools and hot tubs. They were very crowded given all the children on the ship and the need to find a quiet place near water.
The staff were very friendly but not terribly engaging. They did not necessarily greet passengers as they passed them on deck or engage in spontaneous conversation. We only saw our cabin steward a few times but he kept our room very clean and fully provisioned. There were lots of announcements by the Cruise Director, perhaps more than necessary. I only heard the captain once talk about the ship, direction and weather.
The ports of call of Key West and Cozumel were just fine, once you got there. This ship parked at the Naval Base in Key West and you needed to be transported into town. It was time consuming. Getting back to the ship was even longer as there were only so many buses in operation and each bus had to be checked by military authorities before you could be unloaded next to the ship. That created long lines and almost an hour wait in town, in the hot sun and heat with no water to drink waiting for a bus to arrive. Knowing that was the case a suggestion to Carnival would be to set up a tent with towels and water at the bus stop in town. Guests are going to wait until the last minute to get back to the ship and they need to account for that. Disembarkation in Cozumel was awful. Long lines, throughout the ship including the stairwells, only one gangway, times to leave were not followed made for angry people. Carnival needs to do a much better job. As good as embarkation was at the start of the ship it was that bad trying to get off.
The other disappointment was the use of the Internet and kiosks aboard the ship. None of them worked well. They were slow and near impossible to do anything regarding ships business. Yet, we were told over and over again we could conduct business rather than wait at guest services but by the end of the trip folks had pretty much given up. It was easier to talk to a person. While on shore it was easier to use your own data plan. I did use Carnival's Hub App which worked okay but you couldn't look days ahead and plan your calendar. It was a today only thing.
Overall, the people are what make the ship a happy place and we found ourselves engaged in conversations with folks at meals and at other times. It made the trip go quickly. I know Carnival is known as a Party Ship Line and people were partying especially as it was Spring Break, but we enjoyed ourselves as we kept our expectations low so that we could come away happy when they were met or exceeded. If you are looking for a quick trip to get away, this could be your answer for some fun and sun as long as you keep your expectations even.
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