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Super27

12/9 Victory Review

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We just got off the Victory yesterday, and had a 4-day sailing out of Miami with stops at Key West and Cozumel. This time it was me, my girlfriend, and her mother. We had two interior cabins on deck 10. We were booked on a casino offer that came with a Drinks on Us card and some onboard credit. Here are some quick thoughts, I'm not going to go too in-depth because the Victory is only going to be around for about 3 more months so a lot of what I talk about here will probably change.

 

Embarkation: We purchased FTTF for both cabins, and thought that the embarkation process in Miami went very smoothly. We got to port about 10:45am, and were onboard by about 11:20am. Check-in was quick, and there was literally zero line at security. It was SO much better than our last experience at Ft. Lauderdale, and at this point we've pretty much decided that FTTF is a must-do. The room was ready upon our arrival onboard, so we were able to immediately drop our carry on luggage and start exploring the ship. Our checked bags arrived well before dinner; if I remember right by the time we got lunch and wandered around a bit, our checked bags were there and we were able to start settling in prior to the muster drill.

 

Stateroom: My girlfriend and I were in cabin 1020, which is an interior on deck 10 (Panorama Deck). The layout is pretty standard, and we were overall very happy with the room. There is plenty of storage space for everything in the bedroom area, and a decent amount of shelving in the bathroom. The temperature in the room was comfortable throughout the cruise, and the thermostat seemed to work pretty well when we wanted it warmer or cooler. I was pretty happy with the location of the room, as you can walk right from deck 10 out into the lido pool area, so it's very convenient to get to everything. The hallway did get a little noisy though, and it seemed like you could hear EVERYTHING through the cabin door. I don't ever remember the doors being that "thin" on past cruises. The door also let in quite a bit of light, and the position of the electronic thermostat meant that the light from the LEDs reflected off the mirror towards the bed at night. Those were, overall, pretty minor issues, and they didn't bother us too much.

 

Ship in General: Overall we really liked the Victory. Although a different class, we thought her layout felt very familiar from our previous cruise on Liberty. There were definitely some places where the age of the ship showed, but in general I was really impressed with how clean public areas were, and how well kept up everything was. In particular, I was wowed by the cleanliness of the public bathrooms; every time I used one it was spotless. Although there is no Ocean Plaza on this ship, the promenade area on Deck 5 is spacious, and there are plenty of places to sit indoors and relax while not feeling like it's insanely crowded. I like having the Alchemy Bar in that area as well; it just feels a bit more "off the beaten path," and doesn't seem to get as ridiculously crowded as the ones in Ocean Plaza on larger ships do. The outdoor lounging areas are large and spacious, although there is definitely a lack of deck chairs compared to the larger ships. On the Breeze, for instance, we never had a problem finding a quiet spot full of loungers that wasn't crowded. Not so on Victory, I think mainly because the loungers are more concentrated around pools and they don't have that extra wrap-around lanai deck with loungers and hot tubs. That said, we appreciated that the aft pool on Victory was adults only, which was actively enforced, and they didn't hesitate to pull the roof closed when it started to rain.

 

Food: I was pretty happy with the food on the Victory, but can't say I was wowed.

 

MDR: We had the open seating, which was in the Atlantic (forward) dining room on deck 3. We liked our waitstaff the first night, and requested them each night, which the hostesses were happy to accommodate. We never had a wait to be seated. The food was good, but not spectacular. Highlights for me from throughout the cruise were the braised rabbit appetizer, the peach soup, the beef tenderloin, the sweet and sour shrimp (the fried rice they serve with it was amazing), the melting cake, and the tiramisu. One disappointing item was the strawberry soup; it's normally excellent, but this time was a little too clumpy. The baked potato I got with the prime rib on formal night was also a little underdone. Service was excellent; my only complaint here is that they now expect you to order appetizer, entree, and dessert at the same time. I really don't like that at all, as at the beginning of the dinner I'm not even sure if I'm going to want dessert. Overall, though, we really enjoyed our meals in the MDR.

 

Guy's Burgers: Excellent as always. Not much to say here since it's been discussed so extensively in the past.

 

Dining Room Breakfast: The food was solid, but the service was consistently slow. They also made a few minor mistakes with our orders, like an incorrect side, but it wasn't a big deal. I really enjoyed the avocado toast; the poached eggs were done absolutely perfectly. On the Sea Day Brunch (new menu), my girlfriend was quite disappointed with the Huevos Rancheros; she said it's nowhere near as good as it used to be. I was happy with my salmon eggs benedict though. 

 

Pizza Pirate: As always, we thoroughly enjoyed the pizza onboard. One thing we both noticed was that on the prosciutto pizza there was some sort of garlic spread on there that they were VERY heavy-handed with. We love garlic, so wasn't a problem for us, but I could see it being an issue for some folks. I did notice on a few occasions that there were people lined up at the Pizza place and nobody seemed to be there to take orders.

 

Seafood Shack: For lunch, we tried an order of raw oysters. I was very happy with them, and at $1.50 each, I though they were a good value. Definitely worth the up-charge.

 

Sushi: They have the Bonsai Express, and it's located at a small cart near the casino bar. It's basically the same menu that they call "Sushi at Sea" on other ships. I tried a few pieces each of salmon and yellow fin tuna, and was happy with it. The price was also very reasonable, and I thought it was worth the up-charge.

 

Casino: We spent a fair amount of time in the casino, and I have to say that overall I was disappointed. The selection of table games was pretty limited, and most of the time they didn't have very many tables open. Almost all of the tables were $5 or $6 limits; I prefer when they have some $10, $15, or $25 tables. They did have one $25 blackjack table that was open on occasion. The craps table was also only open about 50% of the time, which was extremely disappointing. They had plenty of slots and video poker machines, so if you're a slot player you'll be perfectly happy. The hosts and pit bosses did not seem nearly as friendly or outgoing as on past cruises either. I still enjoyed the time I spent playing, but not as much as I have in the past. They got far less money out of me than they might have, which I guess is good for me in the long run. Oh, one other thing - I will say that the cocktail servers in the casino were phenomenal. They were very friendly and quick, and by the second day knew peoples' names and orders.

 

Entertainment: We went to the welcome aboard show and Vroom, and really enjoyed them both. If you happen to be on Victory between now and March, GO TO THE SHOWS. It is the only ship left in the fleet that doesn't have the same "Playlist Production" shows, so it's the last chance to see some of the "old school" shows. They also have a band in the stage pit providing the music for every show, and they were awesome. My girlfriend and her mom did bingo one day, and said that the host Olivia did a great job. Our cruise director was Savannah, and I wasn't overly impressed with her. I rarely saw her around the ship, and she just didn't seem that friendly. One thing I will give her is that the shows/events she ran all started on time, which was a pleasant change from our last cruise where everything seemed to run 15-20 minutes behind schedule. We did go to the piano bar one night, and I really enjoyed the show that Donald did. He had a good personality and there was a little banter, but it was mostly just playing and singing songs, which is what I prefer. Too often I think the piano bar performers try to be too much comedian/talk show host and not enough piano player. Donald got the balance right, and I regret we didn't spend more time in there.

 

Well, that's about it. I didn't get off the ship, so I don't have any comments on the ports. The one overall comment I will add is that the crew of this ship was excellent. Everyone was very friendly and went out of their way to be helpful. While I try not to let the behavior of other guests affect my experience, I do have to say it was really disappointing to see just how obnoxiously rude some folks can be to the crew, and particularly how demeaning they were with the manner in which they speak to and interact with them. I hope we all take the time to remember that these crewmembers work their you-know-whats off, and 99.99% of them do an AMAZING job, so even when something doesn't go perfectly, it doesn't hurt to cut them some slack and remember you're on vacation...relax and enjoy it!

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Really a very nice review!!  Thank you for taking the time to do so.

I have my eye on the Victory for end of Jan. or early Feb.  Might do a back to back to get in 7 days.  Since I will be flying, it just isn't worth it to me to do the shorter cruises.

It is too bad that some guests seem quick on the rudeness.  I believe if they walked in the shoes of the staff for just one day, they would have a whole new outlook.

Just curious...was there any particular reason that you didn't get off the ship at either port?

Thanks again!

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23 minutes ago, E@syPe@zy said:

Really a very nice review!!  Thank you for taking the time to do so.

I have my eye on the Victory for end of Jan. or early Feb.  Might do a back to back to get in 7 days.  Since I will be flying, it just isn't worth it to me to do the shorter cruises.

It is too bad that some guests seem quick on the rudeness.  I believe if they walked in the shoes of the staff for just one day, they would have a whole new outlook.

Just curious...was there any particular reason that you didn't get off the ship at either port?

Thanks again!

 

I actually prefer to stay onboard at pretty much any port. My thought is there's so much to do on the ship that I've already paid for, I just don't see the thrill to getting off. I usually spend port days enjoying the empty bars and reading a book by the pool. 

 

My girlfriend and her mother did get off at both Key West and Cozumel. On this itinerary we got into Key West at 7:30am and had to be back on board at 12:30pm. They walked around a bit, but said that a lot of places weren't even open for most of the time they were there. Cozumel we arrived at about 12:30pm and back on board time was 7:30pm. They cabbed it over to a private beach club. They said the place was fine but the beach was rocky. It also was a little rainy that day, so not a great beach day in general.

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Thanks for doing the review, her days before becoming the Radiance are numbered, good to have reviews from her.  

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I love the Victory, she has always been my favorite.  We are booked on the Radiance in Europe in May- so I will get to try out the new changes- but I am certain I will miss the seahorses and mermaids.  

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We were also on this cruise, and for us, it was a little more Meh than usual.  Granted, the high points were REALLY high points, but some of the lows were really disappointing.  After a couple of days reflection, I think it comes down to that our last cruise (just my Wife and I) was Jamie Dee's final sailing as CD for Carnival, and she and her staff absolutely went lights-out on it.  Spectacularly high bar to follow.

 

Again, overall it was a good cruise for us, but there were a few warts that I feel that I noticed a little more than normal.  For example, I was disappointed that there was not the Whiskey tasting class, or Escargot on this cruise in particular.    Either way, I tasted an awful lot of Scotch via the deft hand of Ioanna in the Alchemy bar (Macallan Quest Old Fashioneds for the win), and like, the braised Ox Tongue was really nice as an alternative (I'd still rather have had the Escargot 🙂)

 

I believe I saw Savannah twice - once on the TV, and once while she was doing the Very Hairy Chest contest, featuring CRAZY CARL from Wisconsin.

 

I'm envious that you got to request your server with little difficulty - we requested, were seated completely elsewhere, and had to wait to be reseated where we asked to be.  That was awkward at best!

 

Now that I have finally tried a Guy's Burger, I declare them to be burgers.  Blue Iguana was more our speed!

 

We also had kind of hit and miss in the MDR Breakfast.  

 

Overall, it was a cruise, which makes it good.  The kids seemed to enjoy it, and want to do it again, so this was a success.

 

 

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thanks for the review, we go next week for Christmas and are looking forward to doing nothing.  we've been to both stops many times so will probably just relax and enjoy the ship.

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On 12/16/2019 at 10:22 AM, Don Kehote said:

We were also on this cruise, and for us, it was a little more Meh than usual.  Granted, the high points were REALLY high points, but some of the lows were really disappointing.  After a couple of days reflection, I think it comes down to that our last cruise (just my Wife and I) was Jamie Dee's final sailing as CD for Carnival, and she and her staff absolutely went lights-out on it.  Spectacularly high bar to follow.

 

Again, overall it was a good cruise for us, but there were a few warts that I feel that I noticed a little more than normal.  For example, I was disappointed that there was not the Whiskey tasting class, or Escargot on this cruise in particular.    Either way, I tasted an awful lot of Scotch via the deft hand of Ioanna in the Alchemy bar (Macallan Quest Old Fashioneds for the win), and like, the braised Ox Tongue was really nice as an alternative (I'd still rather have had the Escargot 🙂)

 

I believe I saw Savannah twice - once on the TV, and once while she was doing the Very Hairy Chest contest, featuring CRAZY CARL from Wisconsin.

 

I'm envious that you got to request your server with little difficulty - we requested, were seated completely elsewhere, and had to wait to be reseated where we asked to be.  That was awkward at best!

 

Now that I have finally tried a Guy's Burger, I declare them to be burgers.  Blue Iguana was more our speed!

 

We also had kind of hit and miss in the MDR Breakfast.  

 

Overall, it was a cruise, which makes it good.  The kids seemed to enjoy it, and want to do it again, so this was a success.

 

 

 

Oh I forgot about the escargot! That's always one of my favorite appetizers, and you're right it was definitely missing on this cruise. 

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11 hours ago, Super27 said:

 

Oh I forgot about the escargot! That's always one of my favorite appetizers, and you're right it was definitely missing on this cruise. 

If it is *any* consolation, they're super easy to make at home! I learned not too long ago after a night out at The Oyster Bar in Fort Wayne - they had a dish that was Escargot in a bleu cheese pepper cream sauce.  Turns out that works really, really well with fettucini.

 

Canned escargot are quite fine - it's not like Carnival goes and picks them off the hull 🙂

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this cruise on the Victory may have been my most favorite. 

Prefer it by far over the Valor out of New Orleans.

There is no way i could've stayed on ship in Key West and Cozumel. We did the pub crawl in Key West and loved it and Mr Sanchos in Cozumel. hope to di ti again soon but sadly may not be on the Victory next time!

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Thanks for the info.  We are on a similar offer in February.   A couple of questions.   Were the drinks on us cards in your room or do younhave to pick them up in the casino?  

 

Is it easy to use the obc in the casino?

 

At what level did the blackjack tables pay 3:2?

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44 minutes ago, ejnsb said:

Thanks for the info.  We are on a similar offer in February.   A couple of questions.   Were the drinks on us cards in your room or do younhave to pick them up in the casino?  

 

Is it easy to use the obc in the casino?

 

At what level did the blackjack tables pay 3:2?

 

The DOU card has to be picked up from the casino host. That said, I ordered a couple drinks while playing video poker before I got the card, and they were comped, so I assume DOU is already on the S&S account and the physical card is just a formality. 

 

The OBC is automatically added to your account as a credit, so it will apply to anything you charge to your room. To use it in the casino, I just charged $500 on a slot, and then immediately cashed out and took my S&S card to the cage to get money. That avoids the 3% fee that they charge at tables. 

 

The only 3:2 blackjack was the $25 table, and it was only open in the evenings for a few hours. That was probably the biggest disappointment for me, because I refuse to sit down at a 6:5 table, so ended up playing a lot of 3 card poker instead (my girlfriend's game of choice) since craps had limited hours too. 

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