Cruising the Victory

Carnival Victory Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Experience: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 9

Overall Rating:

3 out of 5
Verified Review
Carnival Victory

7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail Date: April 13, 2008

Ship: Carnival Victory

Cabin Type: Suite

Traveled As: Family (young children)

Reviewed: 10 years ago

Review Summary

This was our second cruise. Reviews indicated Carnival cruises were by comparison too neony and cheesy, but the price was right, so we tried it. Overall, I thought the ship was well designed, well decorated and well laid out. The rooms were a little smaller and they pack in more people, but this wasn't a problem with the various facilities (lots of choices for meals). They had a good kids program that was free. They even subdivide the kids by age which helps them cater the activities. Some of the activities they had on this ship we liked were: the free sushi bar, the pay-for gelato bar, the pay-for golf simulator. Entertainment was good, particularly the event on the last night. On the downside, there was only one dance club, while there were many lounges for drinking, they were all interchangeable. Everything comes with a 15% surcharge. Even if you drink the water in your room or buy it from the spa, they tack on 15% "gratuity", so drink prices are high. Drinks of the day cost you $8 a pop. We would have liked more activities on the ship to do, particularly free ones. On sea days, there wasn't enough to do that didn't cost you a bunch more money. The daily menu of activities spent 90% of their space advertising ways for you to spend more (golf, spa, drink this, drink that, buy ship excursions, onboard duty free shopping, events to encourage you to buy more drinks, accupuncture, art auction, etc.) It was getting to the point where we felt the cost of the cruise was simply a cover charge, and we had to dish out lots of money each day just to partake in what was going on.

Ship Experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Pretty good. Food in the main dining room was not quite as good as our other cruise, but they had excellent alternative dining choices. Plus a free sushi bar from 5-8 pm !


3 out of 5
Entertainment was good (the nightly shows). More activities were needed-- the two dance classes were offered during our dinner seating. Other cruises do cooking classes, or wine tasting classes, or sporting events (volleyball, basketball, etc.) which this ship didn't have. I really think there should have been more free activities to keep the adults entertained.

Children's Programs

5 out of 5
They separate the kids into groups: 2-5, 6-8, 9-11, etc. which helps them cater the activities. My kid had lots of fun. They also do a talent show. The staff vary somewhat. Some are really enthusiastic and clearly like their job. Others are so-so. They looked after the kids well even when transporting them to different sections of the ship.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
I'll rate this excellent for the people you interact with the most (your dining staff & room steward). They were very friendly and went the extra mile each day. The bar staff were more at the opposite end-- their goal was to sell as much liquor as possible, were not friendly. Often wouldn't go up to the higher level decks since it wasn't worth their time.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Excellent. Nicely decorated, fairly spacious. Would have liked more shady areas up on the main deck. By the end of the cruise, many people were sunburnt.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Pretty good. Only negative comment would be that the rooms were a little smaller than on our other cruise for the same category. But they were well laid out, providing drawers and sufficient closet space to stow things in.

Ports Of Call

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

5 out of 5
Despite what the ship excursion person told us, this was a better destination for shopping. Lots more stores, just not so many highend ones. But prices were lower (~10% better than St. Thomas for goods, about half the price for bar drinks). Beaches were nice. We went snorkeling on very sandy beaches and drank 75 cent beers.
Don't Miss: Beaches

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
This is a good place for shopping in a very familiar/safe encironment. Higher end stores plus souvenir shops. Beaches were rocky so not as fun as they could be.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

3 out of 5
Unfortunately, they arrive at 5 pm which makes sight-seeing tough. It's more of a dinner & drinking stop really. Fortunately for us they arrived an hour early so we were able to make it just in time to the fort to see some of it before it closed about 20 minutes later. Note that prices are high for stuff.
Don't Miss: The two forts in town. And Puerto Rican rum.

Pros: Activities for the kids

Cons: Every opportunity they used to try to extract more $ from me

Recommends Carnival Victory? Yes!

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