I have feared sailing after my one and only sailing experience which was a college graduation gift over 15 years ago. It was a much smaller ship and the sea sickness which I withstood was unbelievable! I actually lost weight on that cruise! I decided to take the plunge this summer. I had called a travel agent with regard to the Canada trip as I live in NJ and neither I nor my husband and three children wanted to fly. I also opted for a 5 day trip which was not too short or too long. I definitely wanted the Victory because I had read so many wonderful things about its beauty. I was totally dismayed when I was told that there was NOTHING available until the Fall. I moped around for a couple of days and then decided to contact Carnival myself. I explained that I needed enough room for 5 people and wanted the best accomodation available. To my surprise Carnival found me two category 11 staterooms right next to each other with attached balconies. I booked the trip immediately (on July 4th) for the July 28th sailing from New York. We arrived at the port of NY at 1:30 and were in our rooms by 2:00. I was amazed that other visitors were already enjoying their lunch and swimming in the pools. There were ship staff at every turn with helpful information and pamphlets to help us navigate our way through the ship. The rooms are not fancy but clean and tastefully decorated. We had loads of storage space and could fit the entire family out on the balconies (the steward provided extra chairs and opened the partition for our use. The cabin steward, Pedro was very polite and patient with my children ages 9, 13, and 15. There were days when the kids slept in and it seemed that whatever the time, he would somehow get into their rooms to straighten up and stock up. He never forgot the candies or animal figures made out of towels. The ship itself is an eye opener! Gorgeous, best describes it. This designer has a wonderful imagination and makes you really look at your surroundings. The food was terrific. I am originally from Brooklyn, NY & have never had a more tender corned beef sandwich. We opted for the breakfast buffet in the morning and then the formal dining room for lunch and dinner. Our waiter, Lloyd, could not do enough for us. He always remembered our names and what we liked to drink ( the kids were always armed with their soda cards) I had read that many passengers order more than 1 entree and Lloyd would sort of push us in that direction because he wanted us to try different things (especially when the kids wanted burgers). I cannot agree with many of the reviews about the portions being small and therefore HAVING TO order more than one entree. In my opinion, the portions were just right when one considers that you can practically eat all day! We ate in the Atlantic dining room, 8:30 seating. I never got to the midnight buffet because I was still too full from dinner. The waiter, maitre'd and head waiter would dance for us each night and celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, etc. I cannot understand the reviewers who find the waiters in the dining room rude and "just doing their jobs." Perhaps they have taken a turn for the better. They stopped by and spoke with us and joked with us nightly. We had a lovely couple and their son at the table next to us and we would usually joke and laugh with the waiters jointly. Room service arrived IN MINUTES!! The shows are unbelievable. The comedien had me rolling in the aisles. The Vegas style shows left me astounded. When I think about the crew staff and the extremely long days (7 days per week, a minimum of 12 hours per day) they put in, I am so impressed with the cheerfulness, thoughtfulness, and dedication with which they do their jobs. The cruise director, Peter, was a comedy act all by himself. The shore excursions were fine but this trip is the ship itself. The pursers were polite and helpful. After all they have a serious job. Sail the Victory again? YES!!!!!!!
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