Carnival Victory - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Carnival Victory

★★★ +

Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 359 out of 500

Accommodation: 144 out of 200

Food: 218 out of 400

Service: 246 out of 400

Entertainment: 76 out of 100

Cruise: 255 out of 400

Overall Score: 1298 out of 2000

Carnival Victory Statistics

Size: Large Resort Ship

Tonnage: 101,509

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Lines

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9172648

Builder: Fincantieri (Italy)

Original Cost: $410 million

Entered Service: Aug 2000

Registry: Panama

Length (ft/m): 893.0/272.2

Beam (ft/m): 116.0/35.3

Draft (ft/m): 27.0/8.2

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (34,000kW)/2 azimuthing pods

Passenger Decks: 13

Total Crew: 1,100

Passengers (lower beds): 2,758

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 36.8

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.3

Cabins (total): 1,379

Size Range (sq ft/m): 179.7-482.2/16.7-44.8

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 508

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 25

Wheelchair accessibility: Good

Cabin Current: 110 volts

Elevators: 18

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 3 (1 w/ sliding glass dome)

Hot Tubs (on deck): 7

Self-Service Launderette: Yes

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: US$


Floating fun for a family-friendly first cruise adventure

Overview. Carnival Victory belongs to Carnival Cruise Lines’ Destiny-class ships, along with Carnival Conquest, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Glory, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Sunshine, Carnival Valor, and Carnival Victory. The ship is built to impress at every turn, although it has extremely short bows (the front). The ship is too large to transit the Panama Canal at present.

The Ship. Amidships on the exterior open deck is a water slide, about 200ft (60m) long; it travels from just aft of the ship’s mast. Tiered sunbathing decks are positioned between two small swimming pools and several hot tubs.

The terraced pool deck is cluttered, and there are no cushioned pads for the deck chairs. Although the outdoor deck space has been improved, there is still much crowding when the ship is full and at sea.

Inside, the decor is quite tasteful, and public rooms are given a visual theme. On this ship it’s the oceans of the world, with seahorses, corals, and shells prominent throughout the design. The layout is logical and fairly easy to navigate.

There are three decks full of lounges, 10 bars, and lots of rooms to play in. Like their smaller (though still large) predecessors, this ship has a doublewide indoor promenade, nine decks high, with statues of Neptune at both ends, and a glass-domed rotunda atrium lobby. On the lowest deck of the atrium lobby is a square-shaped bar, which faces forward to glass-walled panorama elevators and sits under the 10-deck-high dome. A sports bar has tables displaying sports memorabilia.

From a safety viewpoint, passengers can embark directly into the lifeboats from their secured position without having to wait for them to be lowered, thus saving time in the event of a real emergency.

Carnival Victory is a floating playground for the young and young-at-heart, and anyone who enjoys constant stimulation and lots of participation events, together with the three ‘Gs’ - glitz, glamour, and gambling. This really is cruising Splash Vegas style - a fun, all-American experience. Because it’s a large resort ship, there will be lines for things like shore excursions, security control when re-boarding, and disembarkation, as well as sign-up sheets for fitness equipment.

Forget fashion - the sine qua non of a Carnival cruise is all about having fun. While the cuisine is just so-so, the real fun begins at sundown when Carnival really excels in sound, lights, razzle-dazzle shows, and late-night high volume sounds. However, getting away from people and noise is extremely difficult.

Families. Youngsters have their own play areas, with children’s programs divided into five age-specific groups under Camp Ocean (ages 2−11 - with children ages 2−5 called ‘Penguins’; 6−8-year-olds called ‘Sting Rays’; 9−11-year-olds called ‘Sharks’). Tweens have ‘Circle C’, while teenagers have their own ‘Club O2’ - a chill-out (no adults allowed) room/disco. Also, soft-drinks packages can be purchased for children (and adults).

By the end of 2015, the words and world of Dr. Seuss will have been rolled out as part of Carnival’s children’s program (check before you sail) − from ‘green eggs and ham’ for breakfast, served by waiters in Dr. Seuss-inspired uniforms, and characters such as the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and Sam attending, to special showings of movies such as The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (these will be shown outdoors on the poolside Seaside Theater screen on Lido Deck).

Accommodation. There are a number of different price categories. The price you pay depends on the grade, location and size you choose. Over half of all cabins have outside views and, at 225 sq ft/21 sq m, are quite large. They are spread over four decks and have private balconies extending from the ship’s side; these have glass rather than steel balustrades for unobstructed ocean views, as well as bright fluorescent lighting. The standard cabins are of good size and have all the basics, although the furniture is angular, with no rounded edges. Three decks of cabins - eight per deck, each with private balcony - overlook the stern.

Eight penthouse suites each have a large private balcony. Although quite smart in their appointments, at only 483 sq ft (44.8 sq m), they are really quite small when compared to the best suites even in many smaller ships. There are also 40 other suites that are nothing special, although each has a decent-size bathroom and a good amount of lounge space.

In cabins with balconies, the partition between each balcony, is open at the top and bottom, so you may well hear noise from neighbors or smell their cigarettes. It is disappointing to see three categories of cabins (both outside and interior) with upper and lower bunk beds - lower beds are far more preferable, but this is how the ships absorb hundreds of extra passengers over and above the lower bed capacity.

Dining. The ship has two main dining rooms, the Atlantic - forward - with windows on two sides and 706 seats, and the Pacific - aft - with windows on three sides and 1,090 seats. Each spans two decks, and incorporates a dozen domes and chandeliers. The aft dining room has a two-deck-high glass wall overlooking the stern and the ship’s wash. Tables are for four, six, and eight. There are even a few tables for two (good for romantic couples). The dining room entrances have comfortable drinking areas for pre-dinner cocktails.

Choose either fixed-time dining (6pm or 8.15pm) or flexible dining (any time between 5.45 and 9.30pm. This gives you very little time to ‘dine’ - although it should give you some idea of what to expect from your dining experience. Although the menu choice looks good, the actual cuisine delivered is adequate, but quite unmemorable. Note that the two main dining rooms are not open for lunch on port days.

Other dining options. An informal ‘international’ self-serve buffet-style eatery (the rather fancily named Mediterranean Lido Restaurant) has seating on two levels. Included in this eatery are a New York-style deli (open 11am-11pm), a Chinese restaurant (Yangtze Wok) with wok stir-fry preparation, an East Close deli, a Mississippi BBQ, and a 24-hour pizzeria (Pizzeria Arno) which typically serves an average of more than 800 pizzas every day.

At night, the venue morphs into Seaview Bistro to provide a casual alternative to the main dining rooms, serving pasta, steaks, salads, and desserts. There is also a barbecue for fast-grilled foods such as chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs, and a salad bar. In addition, there is a self-serve ice cream and frozen yoghurt station, at no extra charge. If you want to eat 24 hours a day, you can (sort of).

The one reservations-only, extra-cost dining spot is The Steakhouse. It features prime USDA steaks and grilled seafood items (it’s worth paying the extra cost). It has fine table settings, china, and silverware, as well as leather-bound menus, and a design theme set around Scarlett O’Hara, the heroine of Margaret Mitchell’s classic novel Gone With the Wind.

Entertainment. The three-level Caribbean Main Lounge, the ship’s showlounge, is quite a stunning room, with a revolving stage, hydraulic orchestra pit, superb sound, and seating on three levels, the upper levels being tiered through two decks. A proscenium over the stage acts as a scenery loft.

Spa/Fitness. SpaCarnival spans two decks, with a total area of 13,700 sq ft/1,272 sq m, and is located directly above the navigation bridge in the forward part of the ship and accessed from the forward stairway. Facilities on the lower level include a solarium, body treatment rooms, sauna and steam rooms for men and women, and a beauty parlor; the upper level consists of a large gymnasium with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, including forward-facing ocean views, and an aerobics room with instructor-led classes, some are at extra cost.