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Carnival Victory
Southern Caribbean Cruise
May 8-15 2011

By Hugh F. Barbour


Carnival VictoryThis is my 17th cruise. I am traveling with my family and a friend of my nephew’s. For a total of 7.

SHIP FACTS

Registry: Panama
Launch Date: 2000 (refurbished 2005)
Tonnage: 101,509
Decks: 13; Ship length: 893 feet; Beam: 116 feet
Speed: 22.5 knots
Passenger capacity: 2,758 (double capacity)
Total Staterooms: 1,379
Private Balcony Staterooms: 480
Officer’s Nationality: Italian
Crew’s Nationality: International
Total crew: 1,100
 
Carnival Victory is the second ship in the Carnival’s Triumph Class. The world’s seas are the inspiration for the Carnival Victory’s décor. Carnival loves its themes, and the giant Carnival Victory serves up a nautical one with each of the public rooms named after the oceans and seas of the world. Carnival loves its glitz and the Victory doesn't disappoint there, either.

The sky dome, crafted of illuminated Tiffany-type glass, creates a “window under the sea” atop Carnival Victory’s Seven Seas Atrium—the nine-story main atrium. The atrium is gorgeous and done in tones of green and blue, colors of the seven seas, which is the Victory's design theme. There is extensive use of colored glass too, which gives it an ethereal quality.

Over 60% of the staterooms on Carnival Victory offer an ocean view. Of those, more than 60% have private balconies.

Carnival Victory features three swimming pools, including one with a waterslide full of twists and turns. For young cruisers, Carnival Victory features Virtual Sea, a virtual reality arcade.

Every week, Carnival Victory’s guests consume 26,300 cans of soft drinks and 900 gallons from the bar fountain, plus 33,150 domestic and imported beers, 1,800 quarts of fruit juice for exotic drinks, 1,530 bottles of champagne and sparkling wines, and 1,200 gallons of iced tea.

EMBARKATION: Embarkation was at the Port of San Juan, Puerto Rico. For a normal Embarkation: Once you passed Port Security at the Terminal entrance, you have to line up to check in. Have your passport out with your passport and credit card for the check in personnel. My Check In was different. Both of my parents had Pier Side Assistance (Wheelchairs). We were then taken by elevator to a special check in counter. We had to fill out a Health Declaration (which is new to us), and hand over our Passports for verification and processing. At this point you fill out the form for payment onboard ship and they run your credit card if that is your form of payment. Then you are given your Key card for your room. We only waited 10 minutes for the rest of our party to join us. When you get on board, Security takes your picture for the key card then checks you in onboard the ship.

CABIN & AMENITIES: We had a Balcony Stateroom (8351) on Deck 8, Verandah, a Quad. (2 lower beds, 1 sofa bed, and 1 Upper) and it was a let down after having Ocean View cabins in the past. Layout and size was 185 sq. feet. Adequate storage space (2 full size closets, 1 closet fitted with shelves and safe, 4 of drawers and 2 small cabinets with shelves). The cabin was equipped with a small safe, and Television. The television got a bunch of satellite stations (1 was from Puerto Rico and 2 from Florida) and ship originated channels.

The balcony is large enough to hold 2 chairs and a small table. The outside light does not work while the Ship is at sea. Deck 8 has the Ships Navigation Bridge located at the front of the ship, so the lights on the Balconies interfere with the Bridge crew’s night vision and the safe navigation of the ship.

The bathroom is very well equipped, with molded counter top, a wall-mount hairdryer, and a 110 VAC and 220 VDC sockets were provided for electric razors. This was the exact same set up we had on the Veendam in 2007.

NOTE: If you use a Walker or Wheelchair they will not fit through the cabin doors. You also can not store your Walker “opened” in the cabin. As for the Wheelchair we rented, I had to store it on the Balcony. Look into a Wheelchair accessible cabin.

The onboard Daily Program "FUNTIMES" was delivered every night with announcements and schedules for the next day. Times Digest, a condensed version of the New York Times was delivered to your cabin every day.

ON BOARD: Your door key these serve as I.D. and credit card while on the ship will You will also find your Dining Room Assignment, Table Number, and Muster (Life Boat) Station on the Key Card.

Carnival was good about getting our luggage to our rooms within a few hours of our arrival, and we unpacked. Even large suitcases will slide under the beds! You do have to play with them a little.

The second night was all about learning where things are on the ship. This ship is quite large with several different lounges, a disco, casino, shops, a phenomenal gym and spa, 3 Adult pool, 1 Kid pool, 4 hot tubs, etc. Walk around with the little color coded map they give you and get comfortable—there is a lot to see.

PORTS OF CALL: Same tours as every other cruise line. Consider booking online. You can get all the tours you want if you book early. You can make your own arrangements in port for tours, but you will have to make your own arrangements to get to the next port of call if you miss the ship at sailing time.

• St. Thomas, USVI
• Bridgetown, Barbados
• Castries, St. Lucia W.I.
• Basseterre, St. Kitts W.I.
• Phillipsburg, St. Marrten N.A.
• San Juan, Puerto Rico

Club O2: My Nephew and his friend Anthony, both 17, spent their time at Club O2 when they weren’t roaming the ship or spending time with us.

CREW: The crew is multinational and all speak English. They go out of their way to try to accommodate your every request, if it is possible for them to do it.

DINING OPTIONS: Carnival’s dining service is based on the traditional assigned seating’s. The Victory has two main dining rooms which is a new concept to me in Ship Board Dining. The Atlantic Dining Room is located mid ship on decks 3 & 4 and the Pacific Dining Room is located aft on decks 3 & 4 and is the larger of the two. Both Dining Rooms offer “Your time Dining” which allowed you to show up at either location and, they would seat you for dinner on the lower level of the Dining Room. “Your time Dining” is similar to Holland Americas “As You Wish” dining and NCL “Freestyle” dining.

Your Choice Dining:
• Early Dining (6:00 pm)
• Late Dining (8:15 pm)
• Your Time Dining (5:45 - 9:30 p.m.)

Decide on which Dining Option you want when you book your cruise. Trying to change after the ship sails is next to impossible as a few passengers found out.

More Dining Options:
• 24-Hour Stateroom Service with a limited menu.
• Sushi Bar: Deck 5 Starboard side, next to the Trident Bar in the Casino is free. Hours are: 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
• Coral Sea Café: Deck 5 Starboard side, aft of the Casino, offers coffees and pastries for a fee.
• Mediterranean Lido Restaurant: Decks 9 & 10 aft is Buffet/Cafeteria Style. This is where the Grand Midnight Buffet is served in the middle of the cruise.
• Yangtze Wok, a Chinese restaurant line: Deck 9 Starboard side in the Lido Restaurant.
• East River Deli, a sandwich shop: Decks 9 Port side in the Lido Restaurant
• Pizzeria Anno: Deck 9 Aft of the Mediterranean Lido Restaurant by Sirens’ pool. Open 24hours.
• Mississippi BBQ: a grill line for hamburgers, etc. - Deck 9 Aft of the Mediterranean Lido Restaurant

The VICTORY currently does not have the STEAKHOUSE like the other ships in the Line.

FOOD: I can honestly say the food was good. As on any Cruise Ship you do have your complainers about the food.

Mediterranean Lido Restaurant: For breakfast, the buffet lines get quite long because of everyone going on tours in port and tables are at premium, but most people did not try to use the tables on the second floor dining area. The Food Stations by the stairs to the second floor had dry cereal, milk, fresh fruit, pastry and Bread and rolls. For breakfast, the 2 beverage stations had OJ, Passa-Guava Juice, Apple Juice, and unsweetened ice tea along with ice water coffee and tea. During the rest of the day, these beverage stations offered lemonade, unsweetened iced tea, ice water coffee and tea. The Atlantic and Pacific Dining Rooms are closed in Port for lunch.

ENTERTAINMENT: Your standard Broadway/Las Vegas type entertainment that we are accustomed too. The dancer troupe was excellent.

PHOTOGRAPHERS: They do a great quality job. Photos were displayed on Deck 4 by the Photo Studio and the Library. Prices were about average for the pictures.

INTERNET CAFÉ: I didn’t use it. Located on Deck 4 by the Ionian Room. About 12 computer terminals and WIFI at select locations around the ship. The attendant was always available at his posted hours.

LIBRARY: One of the oddest setups I have seen on a ship! They charge a fee up front when you check out each book and remove it at the end of the cruise. Some one told me it was $75.00! Books are due back the day before you disembark. They have current, hard cover and paper backs, and Magazines.

Spa Facilities: Fitness Center, Dual Saunas, Dual Steam Rooms, Massage Rooms, Beauty Salon/Barber Shop, Thermal Suite, Relaxation Rooms, Volley Ball/Tennis Court, Basketball Court.

MISCELLANEOUS:

6 Elevators
3 Launderettes (Self-service Laundromats)
1 Kids Pool
3 Swimming Pools
4 Hot Tubs
13 Bars and Lounges

MEDICAL CENTER (HOSPITAL): An on board medical center located on Deck 0, is staffed by a licensed physician and three registered nurses. The infirmary is equipped with emergency medical facilities and a well-stocked pharmacy capable of handling a majority of medical conditions at sea. Use is quite costly!

DISEMBARKATION: Breakfast starts at 6:30 AM. Because everyone is eating at once, there are long lines at the buffet. Go to the main restaurant and have breakfast there. It is tasty, hot, and they have a good selection.

After breakfast you go to your color coded assigned waiting areas. Anyone who needs assistance Debarking is asked to go to the Casino and wait. There are Crew Members to assist you down to the terminal and your luggage. The system works very well, but you do still get some foreign nationals who can’t follow directions and hold up the disembarkation because they didn’t report to Customs and Immigration. When your color is called, you go down to the gangway and use your Carnival Card one last time to check out of the ship.

Once on shore, you proceed to the color coded area to claim your luggage, then you go thru Customs. After claiming your luggage, you hand in your customs declaration to the Agent at the Door and leave the terminal to the Busses and Taxis to take you to the Airport

Air Fare Note: We got a round trip, direct flight from Orlando to San Juan from Jet Blue for $290.60. Carnivals price was $451. A savings of $160.40! Check your Air Fare before hand. We paid $30 a person for Carnivals Transfers. Worth the money.


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