The food aboard the Carnival Victory was good and consistent for the most part. The buffet food is about average, but the main problem are the lines to access given food. The pizza is excellent, but waiting 30 minutes for slices of pizza is not something that I enjoy doing while on vacation, and the same goes for the Asian venue. Breakfast can prove a challenge, I suggest you stay away from the eggs Benedict. Another suggestion is to go to the express lines. The only thing missing in the express lines are items like the eggs benedict and maybe other selective items. I never tried the omelet station due to a constant line of over 10 people.
The Main Dinning Room is much better, and the service there is top notch. All the items we tried there were delicious, and the menu is wide enough to offer something for everyone in the family. I highly suggest you try to make it to the MDR every night, it is well worth it.
The main reason for the average score here, are the lines at the buffet and the lack of variety of the buffet. In addition to that, there is a lack of specialty venues on the ship, and that really limits you to 2 dinning options.
The rooms aboard the vessel are slightly smaller than the average cabin. Then again we had an odd shaped cabin, with one awesome balcony. The cabins are just really outdated, and it is really starting to show. Maybe with a little more maintenance and updating they would look better.
The lack of a fridge, might be a big issue for some. The Safe only locks with one room card at a time, and the TV, well is that even a TV? And the placement of the TV in the interior room makes it near impossible to watch that screen.
That said, the AC in the room is fabulous. The bathrooms are wide and ample. The water temperature and pressure are consistently good. And the rooms have enough storage to satisfy a family of 4. All in all a good room for those 4 and 5 day voyages.
Cabin TV System & Internet 7/10
The internet aboard the Victory is one of the strongest points of my cruise. It was absolutely incredible to have a stable connection throughout the cruise, and not have to worry about the cost of it. The connection is good for the most part, although there are peak times when navigating on the internet comes to a standstill. As long as you don’t use the internet during those times, then this is a total hit with me. I will miss this internet when sailing with other cruise lines. Hopefully, they all follow suit soon.
The only reason I scored this area so low, was due to the pathetic TV system. If you can call it that. The TV is an antique in my book. But the main issue is that it is so dated, that the image is washed out. TV aside, the channels available are rather limited, and they played Madagascar 24hrs a day on the movie channel. The information available on the TV is missing a lot of data, including current weather conditions and other not so crucial. The TV does not offer any way to view the account, or ways to order room service from it.
In a way I think the internet scores a 10 out of 10. But the TV scores about a 3 out of 10. I recon 7 is a fair score for both combined.
Pools, Jacuzzis, & Adult-Only Area 9/10
There are 3 pools and 7 large Jacuzzis aboard the ship. A total of 1 pool and 4 Jacuzzis are for adults only, that makes is a winner in my book. The Aft pool has two of those Jacuzzis, and quick access to food, since it is so close to the buffet. There is also one bar there, as well as another bar in Serenity. Carnival sure has figured this out and made it very comfortable for those looking for a quiet pool in the ship. The temperature of the Jacuzzis can be a bit hot at times, but that is the purpose after all.
The only issue that I had was that the music was quite loud in aft pool, and the music was scrambled from song to song changing genres. Just when you thought you got in the mood of one type of music, they would change it. I also wished that the serenity Jacuzzis had a cover to provide some shade.
The other two pools are in the middle of the ship, and will get very crowded. This is the area that kids are allowed to be in. The only other thing to mention is that the pools are dated, and the age really does show. Maybe if they maintained them a little better, the age would not show as much.
Wear your inexpensive bathing suits while in the Jacuzzis, the massive amount of chlorine will destroy them.
Activities (for Adults) 7/10
The CD for this cruise was Marcelo, I have already expressed my dislike of him. I was not very impressed with the activities he offered on the FunTimes, and much of the time he spent advertising for a “fee” activities. This area could use some help, and maybe some creativity.
On our last sea day he barely had anything going on the Lido, I am not sure if it was because it was our last aboard, but still, being a sea day he should offer much more than consultation services and trivia’s.
That said, this is very personal. Other CC members expressed how Marcelo is one of their favorite Cruise Directors.
The few shows that were done by the Carnival staff were fantastic. My family stated that they were very well choreographed and performed. The very little that I saw reminded me of the ones aboard the Breeze that I enjoyed so much.
The main problem was that several of the shows involved the passengers, they even had one show that presented the talents of the cruisers. Quite honestly, I think that they could invest more energy into creating their own shows, and not use us as their main acts.
Bars & Lounges 7/10
There are plenty of bars and places to relax, you will not struggle to find a seat. The piano bar does need to be opened up, that way traffic just flows into the venue like it does on the Breeze. But for the most part I was satisfied with the bars, and the drinks were nice and STRONG! Which is an important factor for me.
One thing to note here is that most everything is spread throughout one deck only, deck 6. So if you want to make it from the aft the front, make sure you go on deck 6. It would be nice if the ship had more areas to explore on decks 5 and 4.
Another thing to point out is that there is nothing really especial bar wise, that is why I scored it at an average score.
Ship Decor & Elegance 6/10
I won’t go much into detail here. This is a rather personal opinion. All I will say is that I was rather unimpressed with Joe Farcus work on the Victory. There is too much going on at the same time, it was very distracting. I can only imagine getting seasick while on the Atrium, that would not be a pretty sight.
The only areas of the ship that appealed to my eye was the Alchemy bar and the Sports Bar. Both are new additions to the ship after the last dry dock.
I guess the buffet area is not too bad either.
Unique Area—There is nothing to note here that sets it apart.
This area will not be accounted in the final score. I will not deduct any points and just take the final score out of 90 points.
Service aboard the ship was flawless. This is something that I also noticed aboard the Breeze. Carnival really tries to go above and beyond to make everyone aboard pleased and happy. Our room steward was always on top of things, he was quick and made sure we had everything we requested. He also made us towel animals every day, and that is something that my family appreciated very much.
The buffet is well attended and the tables are cleaned quickly after people leave. Bar service is quick and efficient, and very friendly.
We only had one issue with one employee in the main dinning room, granted the issue was our fault to begin with. The only problem was that the employee kept giving us the evil eye until the end of the cruise. Even after we tried approaching her after the incident had happened. Carnival should not have an employee that holds grudges like that. That said, the rest of our MDR experience was very pleasant.
We had a great time aboard the Carnival Victory! It was a very enjoyable family vacation and one that we will never forget. However, as a reviewer it is my job to point out my overall opinion of the ship. I think I rated the ship fairly and gave ample points where she deserved them. I think that the ship scored quite well, especially considering that it is a 15 year old vessel, without the 2.0 upgrades. I would love it for Carnival to bring the 2.0 to this vessel, that would certainly give her the boost that she is lacking.
One thing is for sure, Carnival has nailed how to run a smooth cruise. From easy flowing elevators, to perfectly separated areas in which different type of people can relax according to their wishes. And lets not forget how easy it is to take the tender in Half Moon Cay. I think that rarely you find a cruise line that has this down like Carnival does, maybe RCCL?
One HUGE PROBLEM that the Victory has are the lines, they have lines for most everything involving food. And do not forget the constant torment of the photographer, they really have to get that in line. I think that if the line issue was solved, this ship could have easily scored higher. This is something that reflects on the entire expereince aboard.
All that said, would I sail the Victory again? Most likely not. Like I said, I get bored easily and I am trying to sail as many ships as possible. I think if the Victory had a specific itinerary that I wanted, then maybe that is something that I would look at.
Just a quick recall of scores:
Disney Dream 89%
Allure of the Seas 86%
NCL Sky 62%
As you can see, the Victory scored quite well considering the circumstances. We were all very happy with our vacation, and it will be sure to go down in our books as one of the funniest cruises.
Now I can confirm my prior claim that Carnival has a great product. I am sure it is not for everyone, but I will never understand why some people trash talk the company so much. It took me so long to try out the company, but I am glad I did.
I think that encompasses my overall opinion of the ship.
P.S. Right now we have a 3 night cruise booked aboard the Norwegian Escape on Nov 11th. We will try our best to make it to that cruise, but there a few things that my prevent us from going.