We sailed on the July 6 Carnival Victory to Halifax. We have cruised previously on Carnival, Princess, NCL etc so we have some idea of what to expect. Frankly, we were concerned after reading many reviews as they were mostly neutral or negative. Thus, we were pleasantly surprised.
Our experience would overall be rated above average with few problems. The embarkation in NY occurred about 11:30 am and was reasonably fast (no more than 20 minutes). We found the ship, as others have said, to be difficult to move around in as many decks don’t go through, but we learned….I should say I am 63 (and my wife is MUCH younger she would want me to add), we are retired, and also had 2 of our kids and spouses with us. We stayed in 7427 balcony cabin on the back end of the ship (larger wonderful balcony, but you give up the couch – great for sun bathing with one chair and one lounge chair and would love to have it again—though I would ask for another lounge chair); the kids were in 7205 and 7206 (front of ship outside corners) which don’t allow beds to go together, but do have a larger shower, and are adjacent to a more or less ‘private’ deck on the front which they enjoyed as a ‘semi-private’ balcony (though no lounge chairs).
Jerry, our steward, was perfect in that he was attentive but not obtrusive. Just what you want in a steward. Facility was clean and had reasonable storage, etc. THE BEDS ARE WONDERFUL. They advertise the beds as special, and they are!!! My body just LOVED to get on to the bed, it felt so good.
We had first sitting in pacific dining room and found the food and service again above average. Yes, I noted the lobster was tough…..one of the few prior reviews I agreed with. The food, however, we found to be very good. Our waiter and other servers were among the best we have experienced.
Activities were normal, with overpriced bingo, etc. The shows were good and overall available activities pretty standard. The foot massage I asked for in the spa was just ok for the $35 (I can remember when reflexology was $10, and now you can seldom even get the reflexology and the plain old foot massage is three times as much)!!! I have never been offered so many products during a foot massage, but I was equally persistent in saying no!!
Our weather was much better than previous trips, so I suspect that helps to keep attitudes positive. Halifax was seen with the hop on-hop off bus tour (nice town, tour as billed but nothing special). One of the kids went to Peggy’s Cove and found that town very nice. We saw no whales (though some said they did) but did see some porpoises or very small whales!!
Had only one bad experience (if you don’t count my losses in the casino) in that my wife’s card demagnetized, and when it was reissued I found at 10:30pm it wouldn’t let me in the room (she was using mine in the casino to get past the 1000 points for the $10 prize – which she spent too!!). Unfortunately, this put me in the line the night before debarkation at the purser’s desk. Lots of hostile people (security problems, billing issues, some wanting to simply pay bills, etc. After 15 minutes in line, they told me the machine had gone down and could I wait until someone came to fix it. Now I was standing off to the side at the front of the line when new people in the line of course thought I was trying to get in front of the line…..interesting to see how people handled subtly asking me what I was doing, and if I hadn’t been tired it would have been funnier (it is in hindsight). Well, after another 30 minutes, the repair tech left, they tried the machine for my card, and it still wasn’t working. I should mention that in this whole time of observation, I found the 4 people working the desk to be highly professional and PATIENT. Well, to make a long story short, they sent someone to open my door after another 30 minutes of waiting in the hall, so I wasn’t the happiest person at that moment. All of that said these things do happen; they were no ones fault, so life goes on.
Debarkation was slow (as normal) with the ‘self-disembarkers’ carrying more suitcases than I would and jamming the process for an hour. We were in no hurry, walked off when our color was called and found our bags within 2 minutes without having to carry them down all those stairs or elevators.
Thank you so much for the review. I'm so glad you had a great time.
I figure each cruise taken can be good or bad depending on how you approach it. If you expect to have a bad trip then you will have one but that goes with anything.
Did you take any excursions? How were the seas? Did you go to any shows?
Life is too short to let the ship of your dreams sail without you.
Carnival Destiny Feb. 2006
Carnival Fascination Feb. 2007
Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Feb. 2008 The DTW & MsBJ tour
Carnival Valor MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2009
Carnival Glory MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2010
Carnival Dream MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2011
The seas were calm for the trip, though there was movement in the front and rear (where the caribbean lounge shows are and the Pacific Dining Room). My daughter is VERY sensitive to movement and had a patch, and still suffered the first day. She then added dramamine and had a good trip from then on. Our rooms were in front and back, so it was like being rocked to sleep...I personally loved it!!
The two shows were good - typical singing/dancing cruise show. I didn't see him, but I heard the comedian was very good (and VERY dirty at the midnight show).
We did the hop on bus tour; my daughter did a Peggys Cove tour that included a lighthouse (bus tour) and enjoyed it. Didn't really hear any other comments pro or con.
Demagnetized Sail & Sign....this happened to me on my very first cruise, I put my card in a little purse that has one of those magnetic closures and it demagnetized my card, I never used that purse again on a cruise.
It happened to me on our last cruise. I put the cards in my wallet near the credit cards ..... puff gone!
SS Norway (12 times) '85 - '97; Radiance OS 06/01; Island Princess 11/04, Grand Princess 11/04/05, Golden Princess 7/21/06, Golden Princess 2/24/07, Explorer of the Seas 12/23/07, Island Princess 11/15/08