Way better than expeced!
Carnival Victory Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas
Sail Date: August 14, 2016
Ship: Carnival Victory
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 8405
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 10 months ago
My new husband sailed on the Victory to Freeport and Nassau from August 14 - 18th, and we had as amazing time! It was my fifth cruise fourth with Carnival, and my husband's first cruise. I'm a cruise veteran, so I knew I would enjoy cruising, but even my skeptical new husband was talking about our "next cruise" by the second night. I definitely think it was my favorite cruise yet. I has read quite a few bad reviews of this ship and crew, so I was nervous, but everything ended up being fine.
Embarkation was a breeze. We parked at Park Port Canaveral for about half the price of parking at the terminal, and they shuttled us to and from the port, and helped with our luggage. We had Faster to the Fun, so we got to the port around noon and were onboard by 12:15. After grabbing lunch, we went straight to our cabin, Balcony Cabin 8405, which we were pleasantly surprised to find had been updated with a flat-screen TV, new thermostat, new carpet, and refurbished tile and vanity in the bathroom. We met our steward and requested to have our room turned down morning and evening. I think that only happened once or twice, since our late-morning nap times (hey, it's vacation!) kept aligning perfectly with their cleaning schedules, but everything stayed clean and well stocked. We ordered room service breakfast three out of the four mornings with the door-handle cards. On the first morning, the menu card never got picked up, but I just called in our order and it was still delivered within the time frame we put on the menu card, so no harm, no foul. I was worried about the sewery smell that several other reviewers had mentioned, but we only noticed it a few times, and it was mild and fleeting, and never in our cabin. There was some construction going on on the lido deck 3 of the 4 days, but it was only small sections, the crew was very nice about it, and hey, it was only about ten feet or so roped off here and there, so it was easy to avoid. I know it's vacation and supposed to be care-free, but we weren't bothered by having to take the long way around a stairwell. The only reason I bring it up at all is because other reviewers have been so whiny about the "major" construction on the lido deck, and I feel the need to elaborate on the "huge inconvenience" that people are complaining about.
I did not notice the lines for food nearly as much as I had expected to, based on prior reviews. The only time we waited more than five minutes for food at any of the buffets was on embarkation day lunch, which was to be expected, since 2,000+ people were cramming on the ship and grabbing a bite to eat at the same time. We ate lunch in the lido restaurant every afternoon and one morning. We didn’t care for the desserts on the lido deck, but everything else was great. The Mexican buffet on Night 3 was excellent! We got late-night pizza a few times, and Carnival must have listened to the feedback about the understaffed station and long lines, because there were always two of three guys working at the pizza station, and only a short wait. The best food and service, of course, was in the dining room. The first two nights, we were seated at a table for four, and our tablemates never showed up. We ended up asking to move to a table for two by the window in the same section of the dining room for the last two nights, and they had no problem with that. We even saw our waiter, Jose, a few times on the lido deck, and he remembered our names and made sure to say hello. We were very impressed with his professionalism. I was slightly disappointed that the only selections at Afternoon Tea on the sea day were plain Lipton black tea and plain Bigelow green tea, which were also available everyday on the lido deck. I expected at least a couple other types varieties to be offered at the event specifically about tea, but it wasn’t a huge deal. Overall, I thought the food was excellent!
The entertainment was great. We went to three of the comedy shows, and both comedians were hilarious! Don’t sit in the front row unless you want to share a bit of the spotlight, and definitely don’t show up late for Jorge’s shows! We also went to karaoke every night, and it was probably the funnest venue onboard. The Love and Marriage show was great, but that had a lot to do with the fact that they picked funny couples. We also did a few of the trivia games, and won a Ship on a Stick at Trivial Pursuit (thanks, George!).
Overall, we had an amazing vacation. I don’t know what previous reviewers are complaining about. Yes, it’s an old ship and repairs are underway, but the staff goes out of their way to accommodate for any issues that may arise, and disruptions are kept to a minimum. A vacation is what you make it. If you’re capable of shaking off the small things and going with the flow, you’ll have a great trip. If you have to make a huge deal out of every single second of your vacation, I can't imagine you satisfied with ANY type of vacation. Take a deep breath, release the build-up tension (which is the point of vacations, afterall...) and relax. You'll have a great time on the Victory.