We were on the Carnival Victory out of San Juan, Puerto Rico last week. It was a great trip! I'll be posting information on excursions, ports etc. in that section of the Message Boards soon. Here's info on the Victory:
Had two side-by-side balcony rooms. Had the steward open the door that separated the balconies. That made for a huge balcony - it was awesome!
Cabins were efficient with great storage space and the pink bathroom seemed roomier than the one on the Imagination last year. However, the bed was hard as a rock! Our rooms were directly below a restaurant and some nights we could hear noises above us from them cleaning - like moving chairs, etc. (Rooms 8388 and 8384)
Made the mistake of tipping our steward upon arrival. Only to find out an hour or two later when our REAL steward showed up that the other guy was only filling in for him. So we essentially tipped two stewards for the week. Never saw the first guy again after the initial hour on the boat! Our real steward, Ariel, was excellent.
Food was mediocre. We weren't there for the food so it was fine. Except that the lobster tails we ordered on the formal night weren't quite done. Didn't even bother sending them back, they came with shrimp and we had already had appetizers, so we were full anyway. Regarding the dining room, we were a group of 5 and were given a booth with a chair stuck at the end of it for the 5th person to sit at. This was not comfortable. We had booked this cruise almost a year in advance and weren't anywhere near a window. That was disapointing.
We skipped the dining room a couple of nights because we were exhausted from excursions. Upon revisiting the dining room we were given alot of pressure by our waitress as to why we hadn't been there in a couple of nights. It was quite a guilt trip that was laid on us. My husband and a couple of my kids went on another night without me and she also quizzed them heavily on why I was not there. No amount of explaining that we were tired and didn't want to get dressed for dinner and sit through an hour and a half dinner process made our absence exceptable to her. This was rather irritating to me.
The gym was terrific! Went to the spa two times. One facial - should have waited until the last day of the cruise for this one. I ended up just abusing my face with sun and salt water after the facial, so it was kind of pointless. The other was the body wrap to help with cellulite and inch loss. I only lost around 4 inches total. They advertise that you can lose up to 8 inches. I didn't have much to begin with to lose plus they measure you in several places and add up all the little mini losses in each place to make you feel like you had a huge inch loss. Losing 4 inches in one place would have been nice, but that's not how it works. It really was just water loss anyway. Important point: Upon completion of both spa treatments, it seemed to be expected that you will make a significant purchase from the line of items they used on you for the service. These items can be quite pricey.
Getting on the boat in San Juan was interesting. It had started to rain on us and we were standing outside in the rain trying to squeeze in under cover. There were lots of people both disembarking and trying to board at that time. We basically fought our way through the crowd and somehow got through pretty quickly. It was pretty early - I'd say around 11:30. After eating lunch on the Lido deck, finding our room, roaming around a bit, we then found our luggage already delivered so we got unpacked and then left the ship to shop Old San Juan. It was easy on and off. FYI - we had rented a Hertz car with an option to return it at the Sheraton across from the cruise terminal. Returning that car at that location was a small nightmare. It would have probably been easier to return it to the airport and take a shuttle straight to the cruise terminal.
For disembarkation, we chose to pay the fees for the luggage express option since we had early flights out. This worked very well for us and was well worth the cost. We were one of the first ones off the boat. We met a cruise terminal worker who helped us collect our bags onto a cart. He then pulled the cart and us through customs who simply took our claim forms, asked us if we had passports and then waved us on by. Carnival then took the cart with our bags back from us. We grabbed a taxi and were at the airport within minutes. Our luggage arrived with us safely in our home airport. Piece of cake!
Pros about the Victory:
Nice rooms and great balconies
Pizza and burger counters were great
Great salad bar in the Mediterranean Restaurant
Two pools and 4 hot tubs
Great big screen above the pool that showed movies
Shops were good
Casino was nice
Cruise Director, Wee Jimmy, was great fun!
Decks 3 and 4 don't go all the way through, which makes moving around a bit cumbersome.
Alot of locals on the boat, that stay on the boat rather than getting off and visiting the islands. So when you get back on you feel a bit like you are joining a fiesta, which is fine if you like that kind of music, atmosphere, etc.
Cute sea horses on the stairways but they bruise - so be careful not to cut it too close walking around the corner!
Mermaids in the dining room are a bit too much. If they could remove about half of them it would be better.
Dining room accomodation and expectation that you will attend.