Southern Caribbean Cruise
May 8-15 2011
By Hugh F. Barbour
is my 17th cruise. I am traveling with my family and a friend of my
nephew’s. For a total of 7.
Launch Date: 2000 (refurbished 2005)
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
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
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
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
• 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
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
• 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.
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
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.
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!
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
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.