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coka

Victory 2/20...The Good, The So-So, The Ugly

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Here is our list of the good, the so-so, and the ugly for the 2/20 sailing on the Carnival Victory. The list was compiled by four wild women aged 41-47, so please keep that in mind as you read what we thought was great and what we thought was lame throughout the week! If I run out of space, I will add to my own thread.

 

Embarkation and Debarkation were excellent. One in our party was in a wheelchair and Carnival did a great job accomodating her. The tranfers included a special van for the four of us. Had we known that at the beginning, then we would not have rented a limo. Even so, I have some great blackmail footage of one sister hanging out the roof in mid-town Miami...

 

Our cabins were excellent. We were upgraded to a large balcony and that meant our cabin and balcony was twice the size as everyone else's (I snuck a peek). My sister was in the handicapped inside cabin a few doors away. We thought the bathroom amenities and the bathrobes were a nice touch. Our steward Eduardo (and his helper) were very good to us. They were fast, efficient, and they carried out our special requests. We left a fake snake in one of our beds for Eduardo but we did not scare him as he was planning on putting it in one of our beds that evening...

 

The four of us met up with our 9 cousins and Carnival was great to make sure that we all sat together. The adults all loved the nightly meals. Nimesh from India and his sidekick Rocio were excellent. I think they were not sure what to think of our group at first, but it did not take long for them to have fun with us and us with them!

 

Although the nightly meals were awesome, the four of us thought that the morning buffet was not very good. I ate in the dining room for breakfast and it was worse. I wondered where the other 1/2 of my so-called eggs benedict went...???? I was surprised the same food was displayed every day. Other cruise lines have different buffets every morning. Even so, l ate it.

 

The 24 pizza and room service was good (I liked the goatcheese pizza) after late-night dancing. The deli bar was great for in-between meals (when they had the yummy rolls and when they ran out and served wonder-bread). I also found the ice-cream dispenser (went it was full and when it was empty).

 

According to us, the best bar/lounge atmosphere was the Ionian lounge. We enjoyed going there for cocktails and jazz music before dinner. Alexander from Macedonia was very good to us. I wished the band played later in the evening because not everyone wants to sing Bye Bye Miss American Pie every night in the Irish sea bar. When we stopped in the Irish sea bar, it seemed those in attendance were having fun. Claudia, the Belgian waitress was very good to us. Maybe we would have stayed longer had our 1/2 Irish family seen some good ol' Irish drinking going on with the songs to go with it...!!! Some passengers were also having fun dancing with an Asian rock n roll band in the Black and Red Sea Lounge but I never saw any ashtrays in there so we never stayed...

 

The Sirens bar on deck 9 aft was also excellent. We figured out they stayed open until 4am every morning so that is where we ended most of our evenings after dancing in the disco. We hung out in the aft pool area during the day as well. The best drinks were served there and the bartenders were great. Be sure to ask Praphat to show you the jewelry trick...

 

The casino had a nice variety of machines and the bar was in a great location. You could sit and watch players or watch people walk by. My cousin-in-law did well in the blackjack tournament and my cousin got a nice piece of jewelry the next day...!!!

 

We were extremely pleased with the security on board. They were the most visible than any sailing (this was my 21st cruise) I have been on. Of course, at one point I asked myself why they were always around...so I asked and they said it was regular for them. The day and night security were very personable and one sister and I are very sure that they miss our dancing even as I write this review...

 

Our entire group was also very pleased with the photographers' professionalism and with the quality of the photographs on board. Never a line anywhere because they had booths set up all over the ship's main areas.

 

My cousins enjoyed the spa services and they used them frequently. They said it was worth every penny. They were not pleased with the salon services as they felt they were overcharged for their two teenager's up-do's on formal night.

 

I think I am running out of space so I will post this and keep writing in another post. I will next discuss the ports-of-calls and then get to the "so-so" and the "ugly."

 

Coka

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We arrived in San Juan at 6pm-midnight. My cousins did the night horseback ride tour and they thought it was great even though a horse bit one in the leg. She had the teeth marks to prove it! My sisters and I walked around town for a bit and saw a free show where the Puerto Ricans danced for us. We then went to Senor Frogs so that I could get some blackmail footage of two sisters in the conga line getting the free tequila shots...We stayed until they booted us out of our table. I think they were getting ready for the band to come on and needed more space...???

 

Back on ship we went to the Caribbean deck party which we thought was lame! Keep in mind we were comparing to Norwegian, Princess, and Royal Caribbean deck parties...I think it was bad because of how the lido deck is set up. If you sit at the bars, then you can not see anything. If you are at the pool, then you are looking at the band's backs. Two of us did not care and we still joined the "hot hot hot" line...

 

We arrived in St. Maarten from 11am to 7pm. My cousins went jewelry shopping and my sisters and I went liquor shopping. We walked into town and found the guavaberry liquor store. Be sure to taste-test everything they have...quite yummy stuff and we bought a bunch of it...! On a side street we found cartons of cigarettes for nine dollars each and Absolut Citron for about nine dollars! They were very accomodating to us as the shop-keepers even poured it into our empty water bottles for us...

 

I found my perfume that costs 90 dollars in Montreal, 35 dollars in Grand Caymen, for only 25 dollars in one store. I was pleased. We also bought some scarfs and one shopkeeper kindly wrapped it around my head. I was excited because I felt incognito. As my sisters ate lunch on the boardwalk, I hit the beach (which is right there) in order to catch some zzzzz's. Or so I thought. I was sun-tanning with the huge wrap around my head, with my sunglasses on, and people still managed to talk to me. I thought my geeky wrap covered up the big "talk to me" sign stamped on my forehead. Even so, I ended up drinking with and telling my best jokes to the crew members on break from the Caribbean Princess...Unbeknownst (sp?) to me at the time, my sisters now have a great blackmail picture of me surrounded by five internationals...!!!

 

The third port was St. Thomas. My cousins went on the Five Star Trunk Bay snorkel tour and they thought it was so-so towards the lame category. It was only 45 minutes of snorkeling during a five hour trip. They had lunch and punch. They had 45 minutes on the beach. They were a bit disappointed.

 

Two sisters cabbed into town for three dollars each and took the ferry to St. John (I think six dollars each way). They enjoyed it. Two of us stayed on the ship because NOBODY was on it! Oh my gosh, I found any chair I wanted! So, we sat in the comfy lounge chairs by the aft pool and we had the swimming pool to ourselves. The clouds came at about 2pm so we we went into the shopping area right by the ship. Overall, we thought the prices were better in St. Maarten but we still managed to get some good bargains in St. Thomas. I will know for sure once my sister has her jewelry appraised at home...Overall, we were pleased with ourselves that day.

 

Okay, I am going to post this and then to get to the so-so and ugly stuff.

 

Coka

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Thank you for your review. I'm waiting to hear the rest. We were on the Victory, the week before you but went to the Western Caribbean.

Maddie

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This sailing had a lot of time spent on the ship. The four of us felt overall that some of the entertainment was mediocre and that some of the entertainment was abominable. Please keep in mind that other passengers may have enjoyed it immensely.

 

The nightly shows were so-so. We enjoyed "VROOM" the best but the others were not up to par in comparison to the JAR Company on Norwegian Cruise Line. The magic show started off well but unfortunately the finale did not go off as planned. That is what happens with live entertainment...

 

People laughed at the midnight comediens shows but unfortunately for me I had heard 95% percent of the jokes about six years ago. It seemed since billed as "R" rated, the first comedien found it necessary to use the "F" word in every sentence. Even so, I will tell two of his jokes once I get back to work. The second comedien did a little better than the first. The irony is that the dirtiest joke he ever heard was rather tame according to my standards. I must have been a tough customer for him because the only way he could get me to crack a smile was to compliment my dress...

 

The late night dancing at the disco was never really crowded since there were many under-18's on the ship. Although a bummer for the singles in our group, I had more dance floor room for married me! The decor and the dance floor was great but not all in the group enjoyed the music. I can listen and dance to any type of music because it is a great workout. My sister can not wait to get home and tell her children that she "got down" in her wheelchair to rap and hip-hop music...!!!

 

We went to the Man Show one night. Eight in our group attended and all eight found the man show abominable. I had read on CC that this was a show not to be missed. I respectfully disagree. Did I laugh? Of course. You look at the people you are with and laugh because A) you can not believe what is going on, B) you feel bad for those on stage, and C) some on stage were really enjoying it...

 

The Carnival Legends show had four singers who sang extremely well. We were pleasantly surprised because sometimes it does not work out too well in that department, but all four did a fabulous job. The CD prepped the audience for respect yet we think he slipped in some hidden slams along the way. Or, maybe it was just the way our minds were working that night...

 

I went to the past passenger party. I sailed Carnival over ten years ago and was surprised that they knew. I enjoyed the appletinis at the bar but I had to LOL at their raffle. Six hundred people filled in a lounge. We watch a video about how wonderful Carnival is. I can not remember who spoke afterwards but he told us how the other cruise lines used to "laugh" at Carnival and put them down. Now Carnival owns Princess, and they own this and they own that, and they are the largest in the world, etc etc etc. Business is booming. People applauded and then it was time for the raffle. Of the six hundred in attendance, one ticket gets drawn and that person got a free bottle of champagne...Am I the only one who saw the absolute humor in that???????

 

I concluded after their informative talk that the company could spring for some trays to carry our buffet food along with some wet-naps hand sanitizers...

 

The carnival colors game concept is a good one but we did not think it was pulled off as well as it could have been. I think our group missed something along the way or in the end. I know that our group was blue and I do remember shouting my head off for blue one night...but for what in the end? I still do not know!

 

Funship Freddy is Freaky looking.

 

Okay....finally down to the "ugly." This ship was the coldest ship any of us has ever been on! We are not talking about the standard operating procedure of "bringing a wrap to the dining room." We are talking about pull out the winter jacket you brought down with you and wear it all over the ship's interior. The air conditioning was absolutely freezing! My sister wrote on her comment card that if she wanted to freeze, then she would have stayed home in Vermont! Had I thought of it at the time, I would have suggested they exchange Funship Freddy for the Abominable Snowman!

 

It was so cold in every location. At one point I felt the disco ceiling's little blasts of freezing air jetting onto the middle of the dance floor. One night I noticed that while dancing in a particular spot, a blast of freezing air hit my neck and shoulders at various times. It felt very much like those cool breath mint commercials and I was going to freeze over. At the time I thought it a good concept to have something like that on a dance floor where dancers may get hot and they may need some coolant...until I realized that it was some guy getting fresh with me by blowing on me. That is how cold it was on that ship!!!

 

The only other "ugly" thing that occurred on this ship was the passenger chair hogging. With the one exception in St. Thomas, we sat for five days on the deck floors, on the wooden deck chairs by the pools, and on the wooden "Carnival Victory" benches. As I sat on the hard wood I watched 1/2 of the "saved" chairs remain empty for most of the day. I was mortified, disgusted, and very disappointed in my fellow passenger.

 

On the last day I took part in it. At about 9am I found a little spot in the back of the ship near a hydrant and hose. Few chairs were out there yet so I pull out two and place them all by themselves in a location next to the Carnival Victory bench (so that my handicapped sister could get into it). I leave for 20 minutes to get my sister up in the elevator...I return to find that someone moved the chairs and placed theirs in our spot with their towels tied to them! So, I moved one of theirs in the shade and replaced mine where it originally was. I sat in my chair from 9:30am to 2pm waiting for them. Good thing my original goal was to lay in the sun all day...but I kept waiting to see who was going to come. I thought of so many things to say to them. I finally figured what I was going to do until I dozed off from 1:50-2:00 and when I opened my eyes, the two towels were gone...

 

So, that is the good, the so-so, and the ugly of our Victory cruise! I asked my sisters to tell the most memorable moment(s) of their week (other than the best part with family and re-connecting with cousins) and I asked if they would sail Carnival again. Here they are:

 

Sister 1 who cruised RCCL once: Planning for it, the balcony cabin, successful booze smuggling strategies, the ports, and shopping. She would probably not sail with Carnival again.

 

Sister 2 who cruised Princess once: She could not think of anything until she came up with meeting new people. She emphatically answered never.

 

Sister 3 who is a newbie: Seeing the ship for the first time, the size of everything, sailing away from the ports...She would probably sail Carnival again.

 

What about me? I have sailed RCCL, Princess, and Norwegian. Would I sail Carnival again? Of course! I can have fun all by myself in a shoe if I need to! I enjoy the entire experience from beginning to end. There are a lot of serious things going on in this world to get upset about so anything mentioned above did not ruin my vacation. Oh, by the way, I was going to give up my chair when they arrived...

 

Coka

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Thanks for your review. I am going on my first cruise in May. Regarding the chair hogs, can't you take the towels or stuff off the chair? What time did you try to get a chair? I would like to know what I am up against!!

 

Thanks again.

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As far as the chair hogging, we have never had a problem as long as we don't want a chair right in front of the pool. It appears to vary week to week. :confused:

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When you said about the morning buffet being horrible. Well it's a buffet, we don't go to the buffet for brekfast, we like to sit down. Plus the dining room has much better food.

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We sailed the Triumph in March 2003 and had a wonderful time but did have the same issue with regard to chair saving. On our first day at sea we should have marked our chairs early in the morning but went to the port talk and didn't get out on deck until around 11:30 a.m. or so. It was packed and my husband and I searched for 20 minutes or so for two chairs...none to be found. We finally went to the aft pool and just sat on the wooden benches. I wasn't pleased but did learn my lesson to get up and out early in the morning to mark our spot. I know the capers say no chair saving but if you don't it's tough finding one especially on a sea day. While you are in port is different. We liked being at the aft pool and had no problem finding a great spot on the next deck up. Near the pool, restrooms and the buffet. What more could you ask for??

 

We're sailing on the Glory in early April and can't wait. Sorry to hear that your group didn't enjoy the Victory. No vacation is ever perfect including RCCL, Celebrity, Princess, or a land vacation etc., but attitude is everything...I'm going with the person I absolutely adore and love and what could be better spending than a week on a beautiful ship in the Caribbean! If something doesn't go quite right, we'll just move on and hopefully, have a laugh out of it. I am truly blessed!!

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I am sure it can vary from week to week regarding the chair hogging. It happens across all cruise lines and ships. Around 7:00-8:00am all the chairs around the pool areas were taken. By about 10:00am the chairs were taken on the ship's side areas. "Taken" means I saw lots of empty chairs with either a towel wrapped on them, or a shoe, or a book, or a lotion marking it. The unfortunate part is that a few hours later, the chairs were still marked and were still empty. Your sailing may be very different.

 

What people do not realize is that most do not sit in the sun all day long. There are morning sunbathers, noon sunbathers, and afternoon sunbathers. In my opinion, if everyone came and went according to their sunbathing schedules, then finding a chair in a good location would not be such a problem. The problem occurs when people mark their chairs and then do not use them until hours later.

 

I totally understand the buffet-is-a-buffet concept. I ate it most mornings.

Keep in mind that I compared it with other breakfast buffet experiences. Believe it or not, there are differences!

 

Oh, I forgot to mention that I brought home all the Carnival Capers. If anyone has further questions, I will do my best to answer them. I am home all day sitting through a Nor'Easter!

 

Coka

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I would agree about the buffet...after a few days it got old but we loved being outside so went every day. Maybe this year, we'll try the dining room on some days especially those days at sea. I don't want to miss anything like coming into port so that's why going to the lido deck for breakfast is so convenient.

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Coka, Thank you for your review - Loved hearing it all.

We will be on the Victory in a few months - Can't wait to get out from the snow!

Kristen

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Hi there...I'm a newbie.

 

My family & I were on the Victory last week also (our first cruise ever). I looked for chairs on deck for myself & my daughter for two days in a row.....lots of "empty" ones, empty of people, but filled with towels or other "valuables" (suntan lotion, plate of food, etc.) On the way back from St. Thomas, I was able to snag one chair that my son & I had to share squeezed in-between chairs on either side of us.

 

The 2nd last day on the way home, my husband found us two chairs on one of the top decks....nice location, no wind but they had two towels on them also. The people next to the chairs said they had been that way for two hours....so we sat down anyway. If there were people saving them....they lost their towels, because we took them with us (wonder if they got charged $22.00 each).:rolleyes:

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Thank you for taking the time to post your review, I loved reading it!

We will be on the Victory in May, and I think I will take the "hogged" chair and move if they come back in a reasonable amount of time......otherwise tough luck!!!!:D

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Thank you for taking the time to post your review, I loved reading it!

We will be on the Victory in May, and I think I will take the "hogged" chair and move if they come back in a reasonable amount of time......otherwise tough luck!!!!:D

 

And I think that is THE answer to the chair hog problem! Everyone puts up with it and complains.....just move the things on it if you really want that chair! Now if someone just comes back from the rest room, that's another story.

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Funship Freddy is Freaky looking.

 

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that.

 

This ship was the coldest ship any of us has ever been on! Had I thought of it at the time, I would have suggested they exchange Funship Freddy for the Abominable Snowman!

 

ROFL! I can totally agree. I was shivering one night and the air was NOT on inside the cabin. Now, I bring my little electric throw. It takes up some room, but its worth it to me.

 

Besides, when I hear Abominable Snowman, I can't help but remember the character in Monsters Inc. "Welcome to the Himalayas! Hey, I got some snow cones! No, don’t worry, it’s Lemon!!!"

That line always kills me!

 

Your review was very informative, objective and a hoot to read! Thanks for posting :)

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And I think that is THE answer to the chair hog problem! Everyone puts up with it and complains.....just move the things on it if you really want that chair! Now if someone just comes back from the rest room, that's another story.

 

 

Thank you!! I will have no problem moving if they are back within an hour, maybe 2, but after that they will get a piece of my mind;) ( I am usually a very nice, laid back sort of person until I see people acting like there is no one else in the universe but them, lol.):D

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Mnsawyer, our group had a good time! We laughed all week long and enjoyed the overall experience!

 

I forgot to add that the water slide was awesome. One sister and I concluded that it was worth the wait in line!

 

Coka

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Coka...great review! We'll be on the Victory 4/10...second time on the Victory and 3rd time doing the Western.

 

I remember the Victory being very cold...and so was the Triumph last year. I totally froze in the dining room until the last night when we were able to switch to another booth...which was warmer but still COLD! I guess all Carnival ships are freezing?! Can't even have a nice sexy top on without having to cover it all up with something!

 

btw...did you have a "corner wrap-around balcony" cabin? That cabin is awesome! Had one on the Triumph last year so now we are hooked...absolutely awesome view from that vantage point...and maybe even more importantly...MUCH MUCH LESS HALLWAY NOISE/TRAFFIC!!! That's a biggy! No more midship cabins for me...no no no!

 

Sounds like we'll be seeing the same ol'shows...oh well. Same food too I suppose.

 

Which dining room were you assigned to and do you remember who the maitre'd is/was?

 

Oh, yeah, and what did you think about the cruise director...and who was he/she?

 

Great review...and thanks for the headsup on the FREEZING SHIP! I must say, I remembered the cold and plan to be WELL prepared this time around!

 

Linda

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Linda,

We were assigned to the Atlantic Dining Room. I do not remember the name of the Maitre D's but both were not too bad to look at!

 

The balcony was not the corner wrap-around. Instead, it was the last one on deck 8 aft, starboard side.

 

Cruise Director: Skip Lyons

Captain: Rocco Lubrano

Assistant Cruise Director: Brian

Cruise Staff/social hosts: Pip, Verbalicious, ???

Hotel Director: Ron Ness (I heard from others that Mr. Ness was beginning his contract the week we sailed and they were very excited...that he is great for the crew's morale).

 

The Calypso Band: Total Eclipse

Classical Music Trio: String Trio

Live Jazz Music: The Sergio Manzo Trio

Cocktail Piano Music: Augustine

Sing-a-long Piano Music: Kevin

Piano Music: Julie

Karaoke: Juliette

Variety Dance Music (the Asian band in Black/Red Seas): Lifeline and the

Dana Jordan Band

DJ's: DJ Scottish and DJ Colin and DJ Costi and DJ Kiltman

 

I guess it did not occur to me that there were different bands and different DJ's. I only saw one dance band and two DJ's...so I do not know if they are really different people...or they change their names from night to night...???

 

Coka

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Glad to hear that I wasn't the only one who froze on the Triumph! We're sailing on the Glory in early April and I'm taking a couple of sweater sets because I was so cold last time on the Triumph. I had khakis and a cotton long-sleeved sweater that I wore two nights because I was so cold. No spaghetti strapped dresses this time!

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I have to tell you our story about the hogged chair issue. We were on the Victory the week of February 7th and by 7:30 in the morning, more than three quarters of those deck chairs were already "reserved" by folks who got up, saved them, then went back to bed or elsewhere. After watching some chairs for over an hour, my husband said they're now ours. We moved the stuff and put it below the chairs. About an hour and a half later, this guy shows up and tells us that we're in "his" chairs and we need to move. My husband held his ground, told him no and about Carnival's no saving chairs policy. The guy continued to complain, very loudly at this point for all to hear. My hubby then told him if he had a problem with it, to go see security. The guy then said he'd do just that and we watched him as he approached security. He walked away a few minutes later, obviously pissed, but security had reiterated the policy as well and the former chair saver now had to go and find himself some new seats, if any were available. So, don't be afraid to move those items and stand your ground.

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I have to tell you our story about the hogged chair issue. We were on the Victory the week of February 7th and by 7:30 in the morning, more than three quarters of those deck chairs were already "reserved" by folks who got up, saved them, then went back to bed or elsewhere. After watching some chairs for over an hour, my husband said they're now ours. We moved the stuff and put it below the chairs. About an hour and a half later, this guy shows up and tells us that we're in "his" chairs and we need to move. My husband held his ground, told him no and about Carnival's no saving chairs policy. The guy continued to complain, very loudly at this point for all to hear. My hubby then told him if he had a problem with it, to go see security. The guy then said he'd do just that and we watched him as he approached security. He walked away a few minutes later, obviously pissed, but security had reiterated the policy as well and the former chair saver now had to go and find himself some new seats, if any were available. So, don't be afraid to move those items and stand your ground.

 

 

 

You are my hero!!!!:D Good for you, I am so impressed that you stood your ground. Now if only more people would do this, maybe there wouldn't be such a problem.;)

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