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melodienj

Questions about the Victory

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Hello everyone, my name is Susan and I have never been on a cruise. I am getting married September 17, 2005 and we have decided to take our honeymoon on a cruise.

I have many questions and I have been reading this board for the past few days and have already started a folder in word and I am copying and pasting a bunch of information to take with me.(by the time I am done I do believe I will have a whole books worth of info pasted to take along, lol)

I am sorry if this is long and any help would be appreciated. I also know that I am jumping around a whole bunch on many topics but I am very excited and so looking forward for us to have the best time that we can. :)

 

Well......before I start the questions I guess I should tell you that we are looking to leave on September 18th on the Carnival Victory to the Eastern Carriban which is leaving out of Miami.

 

Ok here it goes...............

 

1. What is the best way to book a cruise? There are many sites that claim

to "give you the best deal on your cruise"......so far I have checked out

many of these sites and the best price I have seen was from the Carnival

rep who I have spoken to on the phone.

 

2. When I talked to the Carnival cruise rep she suggested a level 9A balcony.

Well being that I have no idea what level 9A means besides that we will

have our own balcony I was wondering if I could get feedback from real

experienced people who arent just trying to get me to book a room and

"seal the deal" I am looking for previous expierence on what room with a

balcony is your favorite or if one is better for one reason or another at the

same time if there are any that you would not recommend.

 

3. Can anyone who has been on this ship give me information on things you

"must" or "must not" do on this ship. Any tidbits of info on things that

really stoood out in your mind during your trip(secrets of the Victory

Cruise if you will)

 

4. Which deck on this ship is in your opinion is the best deck to book a room

on? Do you prefer to be on a certain side of front or back of the ship? As

you can tell I have no idea what the difference is and am in need of help.

 

5. My husband to be is on active duty in the military. I heard that many

cruise lines offer a special discount for people in the military and if any

other active duty people in the military could share their experiences with

me on this matter.

 

My head is spinning and I know that I will have many many questions being a "newbie cruiser" (hope that is not too corny) but I will stop right there

I just wanted to thank you in advance for all the useful information that I have already gotten from reading other posts. I now have a list of things that are a "must bring" and what type of clothes to wear to certain events.

 

From what I have heard about cruise vacations I am certain that we will have a wonderful time and we might even someday become "seasoned cruisers" (lol ok I know I can't help the corny side of me);)

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Hello everyone, my name is Susan and I have never been on a cruise. I am getting married September 17, 2005 and we have decided to take our honeymoon on a cruise.

I have many questions and I have been reading this board for the past few days and have already started a folder in word and I am copying and pasting a bunch of information to take with me.(by the time I am done I do believe I will have a whole books worth of info pasted to take along, lol)

I am sorry if this is long and any help would be appreciated. I also know that I am jumping around a whole bunch on many topics but I am very excited and so looking forward for us to have the best time that we can. :)

 

Well......before I start the questions I guess I should tell you that we are looking to leave on September 18th on the Carnival Victory to the Eastern Carriban which is leaving out of Miami.

 

Ok here it goes...............

 

1. What is the best way to book a cruise? There are many sites that claim

to "give you the best deal on your cruise"......so far I have checked out

many of these sites and the best price I have seen was from the Carnival

rep who I have spoken to on the phone.

 

2. When I talked to the Carnival cruise rep she suggested a level 9A balcony.

Well being that I have no idea what level 9A means besides that we will

have our own balcony I was wondering if I could get feedback from real

experienced people who arent just trying to get me to book a room and

"seal the deal" I am looking for previous expierence on what room with a

balcony is your favorite or if one is better for one reason or another at the

same time if there are any that you would not recommend.

 

3. Can anyone who has been on this ship give me information on things you

"must" or "must not" do on this ship. Any tidbits of info on things that

really stoood out in your mind during your trip(secrets of the Victory

Cruise if you will)

 

4. Which deck on this ship is in your opinion is the best deck to book a room

on? Do you prefer to be on a certain side of front or back of the ship? As

you can tell I have no idea what the difference is and am in need of help.

 

5. My husband to be is on active duty in the military. I heard that many

cruise lines offer a special discount for people in the military and if any

other active duty people in the military could share their experiences with

me on this matter.

 

My head is spinning and I know that I will have many many questions being a "newbie cruiser" (hope that is not too corny) but I will stop right there

I just wanted to thank you in advance for all the useful information that I have already gotten from reading other posts. I now have a list of things that are a "must bring" and what type of clothes to wear to certain events.

 

From what I have heard about cruise vacations I am certain that we will have a wonderful time and we might even someday become "seasoned cruisers" (lol ok I know I can't help the corny side of me);)

 

 

Hi and welcome to cruising!

 

I think you've picked a great ship for your first cruise. Congratulations on your marriage. I can't think of a better honeymoon that a cruise.

 

We've sailed on the Victory three times and I think they'll take real good care of you.

 

As far as where and how to buy a cruise goes it's not appropriate for us to recommend specific travel agents on this cruise board where you really don't know who it is typing this stuff but we can make some recommendations concerning if you need one or not.

 

Finding a good TA is much like finding a good insurance salesman. Travel Agents are sales persons, make no mistake about it. If you can find one that will be an advocate for your travel needs that's great. But it IS common for them to attempt to "upsell" you into a higher cabin category, going on and on about the wonder of a balcony cabin if you have an outside cabin or a suite if you have a balcony.

 

There's nothing wrong with this commonly used sales tactic.

 

Other travel agents might get you into some group booking space where they have said to the cruise line "Give us a bunch of cabins at a reduced rate and we will sell them". The cruise line in return says "Ok great, the more you sell the more goodies we will give you. You can make these goodies benefit your group by adding amenities or reducing fares or you can make these benefits benefit you with free cabins or extra commissions".

 

One of the most important features of a good cruise travel agent is efficiency. You need the behind the scenes part of your booking to be handled correctly and on time. Attention to detail in this area is a must.

 

But you need to be your own advocate too.

 

You're doing that right now by coming here to learn about this stuff and gain valuable information that could make or break your cruise later.

 

To find a travel agent, much like finding an insurance salesman, you can look to professional organizations like the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA, www.cruising.org ) who helps train and certify cruise travel agents, awarding various levels of competency. Look for one that's at least a Master Cruise Counselor(MCC) (There's also an "Elite" designation). They've gone through training, attended seminars and toured various cruise ships to get a goodunderstanding of what they need to know.

 

Another professional organization that is a good indicator that an agency is at least doing some business is The American Socisty of Travel Agents (ASTA, www.astanet.com), the members here have rigorous criteria to meet in order to join and maintain membership.

 

If you do an Internet search for travel agents remember that in many cases the listings you see first are sponsored meaning those people pay the search engine to be listed at the top of the list.

 

Word of mouth, of course, is one of the best sources of finding a good travel agent. Because recommending specific travel agents on an Internet based forum such as this is NOT the same as a recommendation from, say, your neighbor we don't allow it on Cruise Critic and you should be happy that we don't. The people you come to "know" here could be travel agents, sales people, trying to make a sale without the best interest in mind that your neighbor might have.

 

My point here is to find neutral, unbiased sources, ones with documentation to support their recommendations if possible like your state attorney general or consumer affairs office.

 

Personally, I think its important to develop a good business relationship with your travel professional, be that an agent you find from one of the professional organizations, a neighbors recommendation or, yes, even an attractive yellow pages ad.

 

Armed with the right information about agents and the knowledge to ask the right questions you'll fare much better than blindly accepting somebody's suggestion.

 

Before you contact that agent get an idea of what you want. Search online or send off for some cruise brochures. Read reviews and other first timer information here on cruise critic. Ask questions (there are NO dumb ones) and get answers from the members here.

 

THEN make that call

As far as the recommendation for a category 9A goes I can whole heartedly recommend this choice of cabin. I think its the best value on the ship and offers an unbelievable corner balcony location that will spoil you for all future cruises.

 

Cat9.3.jpg

 

Here's more information on the cabin choices

 

As far as cabin location goes it seems like there are two schools of thought; "I don't care just let me get on the ship" and "I want a specific location". We're one of the ones that likes a specific location and tell our travel professional just which ones to look for. We like aft cabins because of the view off the back of the ship.

 

Here's a short video that shows what I mean

 

We think thats just great. The down side is that by requesting a specific cabin we pretty much eliminate the possibility of a complementary upgrade but thats fine, we don't want to go anywhere else anyway

 

I've heard about the discounts for our military and know that someone will answer with specific information on that too. I'd also suggest checking out the ship reviews section of the Cruise Critic board as well as the Ask a Cruise Question board which is specifically for first time cruisers for anything you don't get enough information here.

 

But I think you'll find that the members of this board can probably answer most any question for you, they're a great resource that I tap frequently!

 

Welcome again!

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We returned from the Eastern Caribbean on the Victory on January 16th and had a great time. There are several suggestions-but keep in mind I'm twice your age so tastes may be different.

 

We stayed in a balcony at the very back of the ship and it was EXCELLENT!! Most action on the ship is on the 5th and 9th levels and we were on the 7th. This means there was a level between us (6th and 8th) to eliminate noise. Also, at the back, no one is walking by to go anywhere so we seldom heard any noise above, below, or outside our room. Also, the balcony is much larger than the rooms on the sides of the ship. It would be worth considering.

 

Things to do-

 

1-Kevin in Irish Sea Bar (sing-a-long piano lounge. He's fabulous and ton of fun. It becomes more R rated as night goes on.)

2-Exercise rooms-if nothing else for a sauna or whirlpool

3-Barbeque and deli-excellent fresh sandwiches and usually better than buffet

4-Vegas shows and most midnight performances

5-Formal dining-usually good-ton of variety to choose from

6-Pools and waterslide

 

Things to avoid-

 

1-Casino-it was fun-but so expensive. Slots were ridiculously tight.

2-Buffet-food was average at best-so many other good options

3-Bad attitude-if something goes wrong work around it and find something else to do that you enjoy.

 

This is a very quick summary. Some were disappointed with their cruise-we loved it. Much was due to our attitude. We had our mind made up we were going to have a good time and did. We ate at 6:15 in Atlantic Dining (would choose 5:45 in Pacific next time) which allowed us the whole evening to choose our entertainment without having to worry about eating. Presently on page five of this site is a thread on "Secrets about Carnival" with nearly 400 replies. I would read all of them and make notes. There are also a lot of reviews on the Victory and your ports of visit. Continue reading and taking notes. Google will find these sites for you when you look up "cruise reviews" or "port reviews" or something on that order. I joined this site about 6 weeks before our sailing and because of it, knew more than most on our cruise. It also allowed us to eliminate wasted time-especially on our port days. I had all of the reservations for excursions taken care of before we left home. Your time for your cruise will go faster that you expect. Also, if you should have specific questions, feel free to contact us directly. (d_sedy@yahoo.com) My wife or I will get back to you asap.

 

You've done a good job in starting your research this early. There are a lot of people on this site that will help you to gather information so that you have a great cruise. Give them the chance to help you.

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Well the other two did such a great job of answering your questions, the only thing I wanted to add that might help you with your organization of all the info... I had a small black three ring binder and made tabbed sections for each thing.. like.. cruise.. where I put quotes etc... one for each port of call where i put info on excursions and things to do at each port etc.. recommendations for shopping etc...

 

You might want to consider decorating your cabin and door with a honeymoon theme? You can get cardboard pictures etc from a party supply store and have a great time if your into that kind of thing, its really fun...

 

As far as travel agents, I just wanted to say don't be afraid of booking directly with Carnival as well.. every one has preferences and there are a lot of people here who would NEVER book directly with Carnival and ONLY use travel agents.. however I am the opposite... I would never book with a travel agent.. I have always gotten great rates from Carnival and I cant beat the customer service... I dont have to deal with a middle man if I have questions about the cruise etc or want to make changes. If you book through a travel agent you will not be allowed to call Carnival directly, you can ONLY deal with the travel agent, which is ok if you pick a really good one, but not so ok if you make the wrong choice... I guess the most important thing is to shop around and try to get the best deal with a good person...

 

Wedding gifts? Are you considering asking any one for cruise related gifts?Carnival has some thing called Fun Ship Dollars that people can buy for you... you have to redeem them at least two weeks before the cruise by sending them in to Carnival... that gives you money on your sail and sign card which is your on board account and the way you pay for everything.. that you guys can use for spa services such as a romantic couples massage etc... or, even better than fun ship dollars if you give people your booking number they can call Carnival directly and add the money directly to the account rather than having people order certificates and you having to mail them in ahead of time.. we did this and it was great... we had so much fun in the spa... also you can use the money to pay for pictures, which really add up and are realllly nice... and drinks etc...

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Thank you for your advice, it was very informative and helped me make a decision and finally book our room. We are going to be staying in room 8428 and I made the reservation today.

The only bad part about the whole thing is now we have to wait 7 whole months until we go, ah well something else to look forward to.

Again thanks again and I will continue to search the boards and gather up useful information. :)

P.S. We will defientally be checking out the Irish Bar and the piano player, I am really looking forward to that :D

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Thank you for your advice, it was very informative and helped me make a decision and finally book our room. We are going to be staying in room 8428 and I made the reservation today.

The only bad part about the whole thing is now we have to wait 7 whole months until we go, ah well something else to look forward to.

Again thanks again and I will continue to search the boards and gather up useful information. :)

P.S. We will defientally be checking out the Irish Bar and the piano player, I am really looking forward to that :D

 

I hope you have a wonderful honeymoon! I was on the Victory - Dec /04 and had a wonderful time. I do hope you and your husband got the military discount. you deserve it! I hope the next 7 months will go by quickly for you. Have fun planning!

Susan

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We got married on the Victory in December. We paid $750.00 to get married in a bar in front of the band area. All they did was throw a white sheet over the piano(you can see the bottom half of the piano and the music sheet holders in the background in all our ceremny pics) and threw a white runner down with 2 pillars with flowers on them. They put a sign out front that read,"Shh, wedding in progress" They didn't even close it down so, people were wandering in and out during the ceremony and some even sat down with drinks and smoked! No matter what room they give you, it's a bar! The pics were $2500.00 and the package is done without you getting to pick out any poses or sizes. It consisted of 80 8x10's and 40 4x6's and the copyright cd. You have to buy the entire package to get the cd also. I suggest you get married on one of the islands. We could have gotten married in a bar at home for free! It was all a big scam and we got ripped-off!

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I have stayed in Cabin 8428 (last year on Spring Break Cruise). You will love it. Alot of privacy, great views and a huge wraparound balcony!!

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Hey that's great!! When you get back can you let me know what you thought of it?? Have a great time. :))

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Great news!!! Thank you and I am just sitting here with a grin on my face dreaming about the cruise. Hopefully soon the fiance will be back in town and we can celebrate. :))))

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Sebastion:

 

I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad experience on the Victory with your wedding. We just returned from our Jan 21, 2005 wedding on the Victory and thought it was fantastic (see my review on the wedding and honeymoon board). As for photo prices, they were very negotiable. We purchased close to 250 processed photos (including over 50 8x10s) and the CD for $1200. We could have walked with the CD for $500.

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