Originally launched in 2000, Carnival Victory underwent a multimillion-dollar upgrade in January 2018 that really gave it new life, adding several Carnival favorites including poolside bars and eateries (Guy's Burger Joint, RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Cantina and Tequila Bar); other dining options including an updated deli in the Lido area, a Bonsai Sushi Express and Cherry on Top candy store; and new cabin accommodations.
As with all Carnival ships, the onboard vibe is all about fun, so you'll find bustling pool decks by day and buzzing lounges by night. We particularly loved the spiraling 214-foot-long Twister water slide and Punchliner Comedy Club and we saw kids having a great time with the Dr. Seuss and Build-a-Bear programming. Great service abounds as evident in the ship's enthusiastic bartenders, friendly and helpful cabin stewards, poolside bar servers who will part any crowd just to deliver a Bahama Mama to your pool chair or servers in the Lido buffet who will grab you a bowl of oatmeal while you're waiting in a different line. As with many small(er) ships, the Lido buffet and pool deck has its popular, crowded times, but with so many alternative dining options to eat and underused rooms to hide out in and relax, you can always find a quiet spot, either indoors or outside, should you choose.
You can't help but notice a consistent underwater theme throughout the ship, from seahorses on barstools and door handles to mermaids on the walls of the dining room and behind the casino's Trident Bar to glass-encased coral at the coffee bar. You'll spot nautical artwork and sculptures like a giant octopus leading to the Virtual Sea Video Arcade. Even the names of many public spaces bear watery names like the Atlantic and Pacific dining rooms, the Mediterranean Restaurant (the ship's buffet restaurant) and the Adriatic, Irish Sea, Black & Red Seas and Caribbean lounges.
Overall, even though most public areas have yet to receive the modern design overhauls they deserve, the ship boasts other Carnival favorites in both dining and entertainment that make up for any style shortcomings. The midsized ship is perfect for passengers looking for nonstop fun in a casual environment that offers a wealth of activity options for all ages.
All cabins are comfortable, welcome retreats in which to relax after exploring on shore or being active onboard. The refreshed decor is clean and inviting, done in a soothing color palette of blues and creams. Especially inviting are the ultra-comfortable Carnival Comfort beds with luxuriously soft linens.
All of Carnival Victory's 1,382 staterooms feature a safe, hair dryer and ample draw, shelf and closet storage with hangers. The staterooms also feature flat-screen TVs that broadcast a good selection of channels, on-demand movies and interactive features that allow you to check your account or order room service. There's also a set of 120V outlets as well as separate USB ports.
Bathrooms provide enough countertop and shelving space for your toiletries, and shampoo, shower gel and soap are provided. Most cabins feature a stand-up shower with curtain, while suites may offer a bathtub/shower with doors.
Select staterooms are connecting, which is great for people traveling together, and are available in a variety of categories. There are also 30 accessible accommodations in various categories. Some cabins in various categories even sleep up to five by using combinations of two twin beds (convert to king), a double sofa bed, pull-down beds and an added trundle bed.
Inside: The 558 185-square-foot interior stateroom options include cozy standard interiors that sleep up to five and are the most affordable way to cruise on Victory.
Two types of staterooms that actually have a view are still considered by Carnival to be Interior rooms. These are the porthole staterooms, which are a little bigger, sleep up to two and have ocean views; and interior with picture window staterooms that sleep up to four and provide a partially obstructed outside walkway view.
Oceanview: The 286 ocean-view staterooms include scenic ocean-view cabins, which sleep up to four and feature floor-to-ceiling windows for amazing views; standard ocean-view staterooms, which sleep up to five and feature a picture window; and obstructed-view ocean-view staterooms, which sleep up to two. All are 220 square feet.
Balcony: There are four types of balcony cabins on Carnival Victory; all 488 of them are 185 square feet, but balconies can be 35, 60 or 75 square feet in size. Options include standard balcony rooms that sleep up to five; aft-view extended balcony cabins that sleep up to three and feature larger balconies with stern-side views; premium balcony rooms that sleep up to four and feature an oversized balcony; and premium vista balcony staterooms that sleep up to three and have balconies that wrap around the aft corners of the ship. All balconies feature two chairs and a table.
Suite: The 50 suite accommodations on Carnival Victory fall into three categories.
Ocean Suites (275 square feet with a 65-square-foot balcony) sleep up to four and include plenty of space inside and a large balcony, VIP check-in, walk-in closet, and bathroom with hot tub.
Grand Suites (345 square feet with an 85-square-foot balcony) sleep up to five and feature VIP check-in, a huge balcony and a dressing area with vanity.
The two Captain's Suites (approximately 560 square feet with a 258-square-foot balcony) sleep up to five and feature a huge balcony, large indoor space, a king-sized bed, two full bathrooms (one with hot tub), plus a separate living room that sleeps three, as well as VIP check-in.
One of Carnival Victory's best attributes is its variety of dining options. Traditional cruisers will love the two main dining rooms with open breakfast and early, late and anytime dinner times, as well as the classic Lido buffet area for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night options that go beyond the usual buffet selections. In the meantime, those who appreciate today's expanded dining choices will love the selection of alternative venues (some complimentary and others with a fee), from casual poolside eateries to the fanciest dining experience onboard. The variety of cuisine is impressive too, from Asian to Italian to Mexican, and it's hard to sample everything during a short cruise. No matter your dietary needs, momentary craving or whenever hunger strikes, you'll can most likely find something to satisfy your hunger around the clock. For example, vegetarian dishes can be found on nearly every menu and servers are helpful in deciding on menu items to meet various dietary needs from gluten-free to low-fat.
The food in the main dining rooms and the Lido buffet food lean toward average, but the plentiful and delicious alternative eateries are what make this ship's dining experience really stand out. Be sure to try favorites like a burger from Guy's Burger Joint, a burrito at BlueIguana Cantina and a lobster roll from the Seafood Shack. In addition, if your cruise features the Sea Day brunch and/or the Dr. Seuss-inspired Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast, don't miss either one of these fun, tasty and unique dining experiences.
Atlantic Dining Room (Decks 3 and 4): Boasting nautical artwork and mermaid accents, the two-deck, midship Atlantic Dining Room features rotating menus with culinary offerings that run the gamut. In both main dining rooms, there's also a children's menu featuring a wide variety of kid favorites along with two daily specials.
Dinner in the Atlantic Dining Room includes three seating options: early dining at 6 p.m., late dining at 8:15 p.m. and Your Time Dining, which allows you to dine any time between 5:45 and 9:30 p.m. Menus features appetizers of soups, salads and other light bites, plus main entrees that include fish, beef, chicken and pasta dishes as well as a featured vegetarian selection.
Also available nightly are "Rare Finds," which might be a food you've never tried before (braised ox tongue, anyone?); "From the Grill" selections of chicken breast, salmon fillet, pork chop or flat iron steak with a choice of sauces; various side dishes of vegetables and potatoes; as well as "Steakhouse Selections" (an extra $20 surcharge applies) for a choice of Maine lobster tail, surf and turf, filet mignon or a New York strip loin steak. There's also a Colossal Seafood Tower ($60) that serves two with a whole Maine lobster, six fresh oysters, 20 large shrimp and 1 pound of premium snow crab legs. In addition, depending on the day's port of call, a special section will also include selections inspired by where you're sailing. So if you called in Cozumel, for example, look for margaritas, tosdado de pollo and steak tacos for dinner.
Don't miss each night's featured wine section and save room for dessert and after-dinner cocktails. Take your pick from a wide variety of pies, cakes and ice creams, but at least once, be sure to order Carnival's signature chocolate melting cake, which is served every night.
Pacific Dining Room (Decks 3 and 4): Open for breakfast (open seating) and dinner (early and late seatings), this two-deck forward main dining room boasts imaginative nautical decor from mermaids and seashells that adorn the walls and tables to blue wave-like lighting overhead.
Breakfast menus include a range of dishes from pastries and griddle items to eggs all different ways to cereals and sides. Check for items marked as vegetarian, as well as the Lighter Fare section for healthier options.
Dinner menus replicate the Atlantic Dining Room's (breakfast is only served in the Pacific Dining Room), but don't miss the Pacific's relaxing Sea Day brunch, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., which serves up specialty menu items including starters such as the Flamin' Tomatoes Soup or a fresh fruit platter, a variety of egg dishes, entrees like steak and eggs and mac 'n' cheese with meaty mix-ins, or for something sweeter, the Funnest French Toast (crusted with your choice of breakfast cereal) or the Fat Stack Pancakes (plain or topped with blueberries or chocolate chips). Sides include feel-goods like corned-beef hash and cheesy grits and desserts include caramelized cheesecake or banana cream pie. Chef's favorites at the brunch include the huevos rancheros (chicken quesadilla topped with fried eggs, manchego cheese and other Mexican flavors) and the Hey Pork Chop (a flame-roasted, double-cut pork chop topped with caramelized onion, gorgonzola cream, side of fries and blistered beans in barbecue sauce).
For healthier options, look for the heart icon that indicates selections that are lower in fat, cholesterol and sodium. There's also a bloody mary bar that lets you create your own drink using vodka, rum, gin or tequila and adding garnishes that range from lemon, lime, celery and olives to horseradish, pepperoncinis, Worcestershire sauce and a variety of hot (and hotter!) sauces. Bloodies are available table side or you can walk up to a fully appointed bar. Regular bar prices apply.
Mediterranean Restaurant (Decks 9 and 10): This large buffet restaurant is decorated in quaint and colorful Mediterranean accents like painted tiles, wrought ironwork and lamp post-style lighting. Mealtimes bring favorites like custom omelet stations, pastries, cereal and eggs for breakfast, and salad bars, sandwiches, casserole-type dishes and carving stations for lunch and dinner. During breakfast, there's also a separate Express Breakfast station for a shorter line and quick grabs like scrambled eggs, potatoes, fruit and pastries. And, keep an eye out for the special Chocolate Extravaganza buffet, which is held at least one afternoon in this Lido restaurant, typically from noon to 2:30 p.m.
There are also two specialty stations: Chopsticks (for lunch), an Asian stir-fry station and the Carnival Deli (typically open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.), which offers a menu of 15 hot and cold artisan sandwiches and wraps.
There are self-serve coffee, water and juice stations, and you can also order a drink from the wait staff. During breakfast, look for roving servers with carts of juices and pastries delivered right to your table. If seating is tight in the main area, head upstairs to a second area of extra seating on Deck 10.
Open for breakfast (early continental, regular breakfast and late-risers), lunch and dinner.
BlueIguana Cantina (Deck 9): This casual poolside eatery serves fresh, custom made-to-order burritos with all the fixings for both breakfast and lunch. First choose your tortilla (wheat or jalapeno), then your proteins (Mexican-style scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs, chicken sausage or ham for breakfast burritos; chicken, beef or shrimp for lunch), then your fillings (skillet hash brown potatoes, Monterey Jack cheese, onion, lettuce or tomato for breakfast and refried beans, cilantro lime rice, black beans, tomato, roasted corn, sauteed onion, lettuce or charred green peppers for lunch) and toppings (salsas, sour cream, guacamole) and then head to the elaborate salsa bar for more than a dozen different varieties of this flavorful sauce from sweet to savory to spicy. Arepas and huevos rancheros or also on the breakfast menu and chicken, fish or pork tacos are added for lunch. Open 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. and 12 to 2:30 p.m. on sea days; 7 to 10:30 a.m. and 12 to 3:30 p.m. on port days.
Guy's Burger Joint (Deck 9): Food Network's Guy Fieri brings some of the best burgers to sea at this poolside grill, which is open for lunch and late-afternoon snacking. Choose from a menu of beef burgers plain or with toppers like chili, cheese, onion rings or Guy's famous secret recipe Donkey Sauce. Don't forget a side of hand-cut fries flavored with Guy's signature seasoning and a toppings bar that includes everything from sauteed mushrooms to potato sticks. Veggie burgers are available upon request but even with no burger, the toppings alone can make a fine snack-time sandwich option. Surrounding decor celebrates the chef's California roots and love of cars.
Pizza Pirate (Deck 9): Get your pizza fix any time of the day or night at the poolside Pizza Pirate, which serves a selection of made-to-order personal-sized pizzas including margherita, mushroom, pepperoni, prosciutto and four cheese as well as Caesar salads. Beware of long lines when late-night munchies kick in, but the straight-out-of-the oven pie will be worth the wait. Gluten-free pizza is available upon request.
Swirls (Deck 9): Swing by one of several Lido Deck (what Deck 9 is called on the ship) locales and help yourself to round-the-clock, soft-serve frozen yogurt or ice cream that rotates classic flavors like chocolate, strawberry and vanilla in a cone or cup. Open 24 hours.
Room Service: Complimentary continental breakfast delivery is available from 5 to 10 a.m. (except on debarkation morning) by an order form outside your door before 3 a.m. Selections include fruit, cereal, pastries, yogurt, juices and coffee and tea. Other 24-hour food options are available for a fee.
Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast (Deck 3); $5: Don't miss the fun-for-all-ages Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast, held once per cruise in the Atlantic Dining Room, which is whimsically and Seussically decorated for the Dr. Seuss-inspired event. The signature meal features a creative menu written in rhyme with items like "From There to Here, From Here to There, Funny Belgian Waffles are Everywhere" and "Scrambled Super-Dee Dooper-dee-Booper, Special de luxe a-la Peter T Hooper Omelets." During the breakfast, characters like Cat in the Hat and friends make special appearances for high fives and photo ops. Reservations are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome until the event is full. Seating is at 8:30 a.m.
Chef's Table (Deck 4); $75: If you're a foodie or looking to celebrate a special occasion, you might like this exclusive experience (limited to just 14 passengers) that starts with a private galley tour with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres followed by a multicourse dinner of appetizers, entrees and desserts not found on the regular dining menus with the ship's master executive chef. (Ages 12 and up; reserve early since seating is very limited.) On Carnival Victory, the Chef's Table is held in the Indian Library.
Bonsai Sushi Express (Deck 5); a la carte: Take your sushi selection to go from this food kiosk stationed midship (oddly) at the entrance to the casino. Following the success of the full-service Bonsai Sushi restaurants on other Carnival ships, this pop-up alternative features a sushi chef who prepares and packs up your selection of sushi, sashimi, rolls and more in a convenient takeout box. (Prices range from $1.50 per piece of sushi or sashimi to $5 and $7.50 for rolls like the Bang Bang Bonsai Roll, which is made with salmon, cucumber, spicy tobiko, crab, shrimp and wasabi mustard.) It's typically open late for dinner as well as for lunch on sea days.
Cherry on Top (Deck 5); a la carte: Not really an eatery but when your sweet tooth strikes you might want to check out the bins of bulk candy by the pound including classic throwbacks such as candy buttons and Charleston Chews.
Seafood Shack (Deck 9); a la carte: Seafood lovers should schedule a stop at this laid-back poolside eatery reminiscent of a New England-style seaside locale complete with a display of fish on ice. Go for a bucket of shrimp or clams, lobster roll, crabcake sliders, fish and chips or a fried seafood platter with a side of hand-cut fries. There's also steamed lobster, snow crab and peel-and-eat shrimp by the pound as well as raw oysters purchased individually. You'll get a buzzer that will alert you that your order's up, and then feel free to top off your eats with classic flavors like Old Bay seasoning or malt vinegar.
Coral Sea Cafe (Deck 9); a la carte: It's hard to pass by the smells and sights at this coffee bar and bakery where you can choose among premium coffees, milkshakes and juices. For your sweet tooth, check out the day's variety of cakes, which may include carrot cake, chocolate cake or cheesecake, or go for something daintier like a chocolate cup with strawberries or a cup of ice cream. Hours vary, but it's usually open throughout the day.
Coffee Bar (Deck 9); a la carte: Located in the Mediterranean Lido buffet area is the coffee bar, which serves premium coffee drinks from lattes, cappuccinos and espressos to a selection of flavored and spiked coffees, teas and hot chocolate.
Room Service; a la carte: Room service includes a Daytime Dining menu from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and a Late-Night Dining menu from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Menu options come with an additional price that ranges from $2 for a side of fries to $4 to $6 for wings, quesadilla, pizza, wraps and other sandwiches. Regular bar prices apply to drinks. Available 24 hours.
By day, casual attire goes, so shorts, jeans, capris and tees are just fine. By the pool, of course, it's bathing suits and cover-ups; inside the Lido restaurant, shirts, cover-ups and footwear (including flip-flops) must be worn at all times. If you prefer to stay in your bathing suit, just bring your plate to one of the many tables and chairs outside.
Most evenings are Cruise Casual, which means slacks, khakis, jeans (no cutoffs), dress shorts (long) and collared polo shirts for men and casual dresses, skirts, pants, capris, dress shorts, jeans (no cutoffs), blouses and tops for women. Not permitted in the dining rooms are cutoff jeans, men's sleeveless shirts, gym or basketball shorts, baseball hats, flip-flops or bathing suit attire.
Other nights are Cruise Elegant (once during two- to five-night cruises; twice during six-night or longer cruises) when you can don your elegant attire if you choose. Formal attire for men could include dress slacks and dress shirts (sports coats are suggested but hardly worn); while a suit or tuxedo would be appropriate, we never spotted anyone that formally attired. For women, cocktail dresses, pantsuits, skirts and blouses, or evening gowns are acceptable. If you want to keep it casual for dinner, the ship's buffet is open nightly and has a much more relaxed dress code, so daytime attire is allowed.
For the Chef's Table experience, closed-toe flat shoes that aren't prone to slipping must be worn since the experience involves a tour through the galley. Also note that dress codes pertain to children as well.
The 1,500-seat, three-deck Caribbean Lounge (Decks 3, 4 and 5) is the main show lounge with comfortable seating, many with individual tables. Done up in nautical feels such as the blue wave-like carpet pattern and seashell-esque columns on the surrounding walls, most seats have good views of the stage as long as you don't sit directly behind a pole.
During the day, you'll find hosted games, activities and presentations as well as the once-per-cruise Carnival Towel Animal Theater. Evenings bring a selection of stage shows (one seating, usually 10 p.m.) including the Welcome Aboard Show hosted by the ship's cruise director. Other shows could include Vroom, a musical journey through time with hits from The Beatles, Elvis, Pink Floyd, Queen and others; and Livin' in America, a flashy and energetic tribute to the diverse music of the United States. (For all its music shows, Carnival suggests parental guidance due to costuming.)
Daytime activities onboard are plentiful and include bingo, paper airplane and mini-golf competitions; game shows like the Love & Marriage Show; towel-folding lessons and the Towel Animal Theater (a children's puppet show); dance classes, trivia contests, art auctions, retail sales events and wellness seminars.
Be sure to check the Fun Times printed daily schedule for special events like the Seuss-A-Palooza Parade and Story Time, where a special character parade is followed by a Dr. Seuss book reading; the Groove for St. Jude, where a $10 donation to St. Jude gets you a T-shirt, wristband and participation in a fun and exclusive dance event; and the Build-A-Bear at Sea workshop (prices start at $26 for a bear and $6 to $12 for additional outfits) and parties featuring music, bear-themed snacks and photo ops.
There's something for everyone in the evening and entertainment includes stage shows, live lounge music, sing-alongs and karaoke; numerous comedy shows, including late-night 18 and over shows; special retail sales, liquor tastings, spa events and photo ops; casino tournaments and demonstrations and other social mixers. Pools and hot tubs are open until midnight so you can even catch a nighttime Dive-In movie on the big screen while lounging in the pool. In addition, the South China Sea Club Casino features poker, blackjack, roulette, craps and slot machines as well as scheduled tournaments both day and night. Also, the library, mini-golf and video arcade are all open 24 hours so you can get your game on into the wee hours.
Seven Seas Bar (Deck 3): This popular bar located in the heart of the atrium is a great spot for gathering with friends and watching the surrounding action. Ask about the drink of the day or order from the extensive menu of fruity cocktails, martinis, wine, beer, icy concoctions and smoothies. Grab a drink and a barstool or a nearby table and chair and let the socializing begin, oftentimes accompanied by live music including Caribbean sounds, acoustic jams and solo guitars.
Ionian Room (Deck 4): This large show lounge features nightly live music so you'll find a piano, a dance floor, lots of tables and plush leather chairs and a large, full bar with a painted Mediterranean mural as its backdrop. A Roman column motif is repeated in the barstools and mini tables as well as around the room. Grab your favorite drink from the bar and then just sit back and relax.
Club Arctic Nightclub (Deck 5): This large nightclub boasts a central dance floor, tons of seating including at the bar, tables and chairs and several extra-long banquettes with individual tables. The arctic theme is showcased through a repeating icicle pattern and cool blue and silver colors that are prevalent throughout the room. Dance to your favorite tunes -- from Latin music to DJ'd mixes to '70s and '80s hits -- which play late into the night. Keep an eye out for special events such as Ladies Night and Electric White Night.
Irish Sea Piano Bar (Deck 5): Grab a seat at this fun and lively piano bar for sing-alongs that go well into the night. A gem green palette pays tribute to the bar's namesake sea while its centrally located piano is surrounded by a round bar complete with piano key decor, just in case you forget where you are.
Black & Red Seas Lounge (Deck 5): This swanky lounge is totally done up in -- what else? -- red and black from floor to ceiling. From the carpet and furniture to the bar top and dance floor, this eye-catching intimate space is the spot for fun and lively nightly karaoke (18 and over for the later session) and other music.
Adriatic Lounge (Deck 5): This oversized show lounge with a capacity of more than 400 features an extra-long bar and plenty of comfy seating including round banquettes and tables and chairs. The light-and-bright cream and gold palette also features faux Roman columns and adorning busts of famous people in history that surround the room. A full bar is available to enjoy during scheduled daytime activities or evening karaoke.
At night, the lounge is home to the Punchliner Comedy Club, so a special menu serves drinks and pitchers with humorous names like the Witty Margarita, the Jokester Martini and a Woo Woo shooter. You can even fill out a provided drink order form and hand it to one of the servers who will deliver your drinks so there's no need to miss a laugh.
SkyBox Sports Bar (Deck 5): Looking to catch the football game on a Sunday afternoon? This quintessential sports bars comes complete with heavy wood furnishings, sports memorabilia and numerous surrounding TV screens broadcasting multiple sporting events and games. There's an extensive menu of beers on tap, by the bottle and by the bucket including craft, imported and domestic beers, zero-proof beer and hard cider. Signature cocktails have names like the Grand Slam, The Kickoff and The MVP. Order a Double Play for a double shot of select shots straight up, on the rocks or in your favorite mixer. And don't forget the favorite bar snacks of hot soft pretzels and peanuts in the shell ($1.25 each)
Trident Bar (Deck 5): Located in the South China Sea Club Casino, this casino bar is the place to stop between games and tournaments and to listen to a variety of scheduled live music on the small adjacent stage along the promenade. (Smoking is permitted).
Alchemy Bar (Deck 5): This unique vintage-pharmacy-styled venue -- complete with a framed periodic table of elements on the wall and an apothecary cabinet behind the bar -- serves cocktail creations using select spirits, fresh juices, infused syrups and spices. Watch your mixologist shake and stir your drink right in front of you as they create your custom "elixir" (with or without alcohol). Try a French Kiss (Absolut vanilla vodka, Chambord, Domaine Chandon sparkling wine and a touch of fresh lime), a Quick Fix (Pernod absinthe, Bacardi Rum, Grey Goose vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin, Midori, citrus and a dash of Sprite) an Alchemist's Sidecar (Hennessy Black cognac, Patrón Citrónge, fresh lime juice and simple syrup) or one of the other almost two dozen creative selections.
BlueIguana Tequila Bar (Deck 9): This casual, colorful Mexican-themed poolside bar serves up a wide variety of more than a dozen featured tequilas as well as tequila-inspired cocktails, margaritas, frozen drinks with floaters and Mexican beers and beer buckets. (Try Blue's Corona Extra Michelada, a spicy beer cocktail made with fresh lime juice, Worcestershire, Tabasco and Corona Extra beer in a salt-rimmed glass, with or without tomato juice). Sharing with friends? Order a pitcher of margaritas or spiked lemonade. You can also purchase your drink in a souvenir glass, yard or twister, which are refillable for a reduced price.
RedFrog Rum Bar (Deck 9): This casual poolside bar features a great selection of Caribbean rum-based concoctions by the glass or pitcher; beers on tap and by the bottle and bucket; 10 featured rums and a long list of rum-based cocktails are also on offer, as are mojitos and frozen drinks. You can also order pitchers of margaritas or spiked lemonade or a 101-oz. tube of beer to share. Be sure to try Carnival's signature private-label draft beer, ThirstyFrog Red.
Sirens' Bar (Deck 9): Located aft by Sirens' adults-only pool, this quiet bar comes with sunshine and ocean views and features a standard drink menu, while a visit to the adjacent Pizza Pirate is perfect for a quick snack to accompany your poolside beverage.
Beer Station (Deck 9): Also located by the adults-only Sirens' Pool and Bar is a self-serve P.Y.O.B. (pour your own beer) station that's open 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Swipe your Sail & Sign card, pull the tap handle and pour up to 14 oz. of Thirsty Frog Red, Carnival's private label draft beer.
Serenity Bar (Deck 12): Perhaps the best-kept-secret bar is at the Serenity adult-only retreat where you'll find a selection of signature sangrias by the glass or pitcher, wine and Champagne by the glass or bottle, beer by the bottle or bucket and a list of signature cocktails by the glass or pitcher, including frozen and skinny versions. Enjoy your refreshing beverage in one of the two large hot tubs, in a relaxing chaise lounge chair or even in one of the oversized hammocks as you take in the surrounding ocean views.
Triton's (Deck 9) is the main pool area for sunning, eating, drinking and catching an evening movie at the Carnival Seaside Theater. There are also two hot tubs as well as a little splash pool (King of the Seas Pool) and a hot tub at the bottom of the spiraling Twister water slide. There is no lifeguard on duty, and supervision is required for children at the pool areas. A children's life jacket loaner station is available. There's also a towel stand and several poolside bars and eateries surrounding the main pool. Grab a lounger or a table by the window to be amid all the action, or go up a deck or two to find a quieter spot.
Children who are not toilet trained (and those in diapers or swim diapers) are not allowed in any of the water facilities onboard, including swimming pools, hot tubs and the water slide.
The aft Sirens' Pool is adults only (18 and over), and also features two hot tubs. There are plenty of loungers and tables and chairs should you decide to grab a drink at the accompanying bar or a bite at the adjacent eateries.
In the secluded adults-only Serenity area (21 and over), you'll find two large hot tubs, a bar, hammocks and other plush loungers as well as a super-cool shower area featuring a warm water bucket to dump, plus cold rain, warm hydro jets, warm Caribbean waterfall and hot rain shower heads. Serenity is quite sprawling and spans two decks across the back of the ship, so here's a hint: Avoid the top deck port side area during playtimes at the kids' outdoor play area, which is only one deck below and can be quite loud.
Although hours may vary, pools are generally open from 8 a.m. to midnight, the water slide is generally open 9 a.m. to sunset and hot tubs are generally open 8 a.m. to midnight.
On-deck recreation includes shuffleboard, an 11-hole mini-golf course on Deck 12 right next to the funnel, the Twister water slide (which carries a minimum height limit of 42 inches and a maximum weight limit of 300 pounds) and Ping-Pong.
You can find all types of seating on various decks including comfortable poolside lounge chairs, lots of tables and chairs near the Lido Deck eateries and extra-plush chairs, hammocks and bed-style loungers at Serenity. Looking for another more secluded spot? Head aft on Deck 10 where you'll find more lounge chairs with the bonus of amazing wake views. If you're thinking of hogging a chair, don't. Carnival is strict about reserving deck chairs, and if you're not in your chair after 40 minutes, towels and personal belongings will be removed.
Onboard services and public rooms include the very small but pretty Indian Library, which offers tables and chairs for reading and playing table games amid glass-cased bookshelves. Onboard shops include perfume, jewelry, watches and accessories; alcohol, cigarettes and sundries; and logoed souvenir items. Our bonus find (and perhaps a little random) was finding a small Victoria's Secret section selling a line of its products.
Centrally located on Deck 3 is the hub for the shore excursion desk and guest services (with a separate express line for Diamond and Platinum passengers). There are several ATMs available around the ship. A medical center is available on Deck 0 and includes doctor's hours and 24-hour emergency service.
You'll find an art gallery displaying pieces that are featured in scheduled art auctions; and the Pixels Gallery, the all-digital photo gallery where you can search for your photos at computer stations that let you print, download and share your favorites. A limited selection of electronics and photo accessories and gifts are available for purchase as well. You can even view your photos on the Carnival HUB app right from your phone.
If you need laundry services, you can either opt for valet, wash and fold, and pressing service (same day or next day), which ranges from $2 to $10.50 per article, or wash and fold by the provided laundry bag ($15 per bag) or pressing ($20 for 12 items). For self-service, you can find launderettes and ironing rooms available on most decks ($3.25 per washer load, $3.25 per dryer load, $1.50 per small box of detergent and water softener).
There's a small computer station adjacent to the Coral Sea Cafe as well as shipwide Wi-Fi. Packages include a Social Plan for social websites and apps (pre-cruise price: $6.80 per day, onboard price: $8 per day); the Value Plan for access to social websites, email and select popular apps at a faster speed (pre-cruise price: $10.20 per day, onboard price: $12 per day or $16 for 24 hours) and the Premium Wi-Fi plan for access to all sites at the fastest possible connection onboard as well as Skype calling where coverage allows (pre-cruise price: $14.45 per day, onboard price: $17 per day, $25 for 24 hours).
Before your cruise, download the free Carnival HUB mobile app on Google Play or iTunes and you'll get schedules, menus, ship maps, port information, onboard chatting ($5 per cruise), account information, Pixels digital photo viewing and much more right at your fingertips once you're onboard. The app works with the ship's free Wi-Fi.
Onboard drink packages are also available.
As on all Carnival ships, there's a wealth of family-friendly activities and amenities around every turn. From connecting staterooms that are perfect for families traveling together to Camp Ocean, Circle "C" and Club O2 kids' programming and special events to lots of casual dining options, kids and families are catered to. Children must be at least 6 months of age at the time of embarkation in order to sail and at least 12 months of age at the time of embarkation to sail on long or remote itineraries, where there are more than two consecutive sea days.
Carnival does not carry baby food, formula, diapers or baby supplies onboard. For powdered baby formula, you can bring nursery water or distilled water packed in your carry-on luggage, or you can purchase distilled water either pre-cruise or once onboard. High chairs and booster seats are available in the dining rooms and restaurants, and cribs (including sheets) are available for stateroom use. You can bring a small portable crib as well as a car seat. Single strollers are available for rent ($10 per day or $40 per cruise, subject to availability) and may be used on the ship and in port.
Organized children's programs are available for ages 2 through 17, and each age group's program is designed to entertain kids morning, noon and night. You can preregister online before your cruise, then attend an orientation once onboard. Programs operate on sea days and port days, and you can leave children in the program while you go ashore. Program hours typically run from 10 a.m.–1 p.m., 2–5 p.m. and 7–10 p.m. No one 18 years old and older is permitted to participate in or use any Youth Program facilities.
For later in the night (10 p.m. to 1 a.m.), Night Owls babysitting is available for children 6 months to 11 years old at a cost of $6.75 per hour, per child plus a 15 percent gratuity. There is no discount for additional children. Babysitting takes place in the Camp Ocean facility with a slumber party-type atmosphere, including movies, toys, video games and snacks. In-stateroom babysitting is not offered. If there are no children participating by 11 p.m., Night Owls service will be canceled for the evening. Children are not permitted to sign themselves in/out after 10 p.m.; they must be signed in and out by an authorized guardian over the age of 18. In addition to the regular Night Owls program, on select nights, there are special Owl Jam parties such as Mardi Gras or Beach Bash for $15 per child, per party, plus 15 percent gratuity.
Children do not have to be potty-trained to take part in Camp Ocean or Night Owls. Parents must provide the Youth Staff with diapers and toiletries to be used for their child. However, if children are too big to be changed on the diapering table, they cannot be changed by the Youth Staff. The parents will be contacted to come and change their child. After the child is changed, they may come back into the program.
Carnival Victory also features special kids programming including Dr. Seuss at Sea, which brings the special Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast, Seuss-a-palooza parade and story time, as well as Build-a-Bear Workshop at sea, which lets kids create those cuddly bears onboard as well as participate in parties and events.
Other onboard fun for all ages includes the abundant Virtual Sea Video Arcade with lots of arcade games, claw games, ride-on games, air hockey and more; an 11-hole mini-golf course and the Twister water slide; and towel animal folding classes, family-friendly trivia contests, dance-offs and more.
Carnival's Camp Ocean program is broken down by age group: Penguins (ages 2 to 5), Sting Rays (ages 6 to 8) and Sharks (ages 9 to 11). For safety purposes, all children under 12 are required to wear a wristband at all times indicating their assigned muster station. Located on Deck 11, the one-room Camp Ocean space is rather small compared to kids clubs on today's newer, larger ships, but the space is light and bright and done up in the cool blues of the ocean. There are plenty of toys and games for entertaining, plus, there's a covered play set outside on deck, which keeps kids busy while being in the sea air. Scheduled activities at Camp Ocean include everything from arts and crafts, active games, kids' choice activities, board games, science and discovery, and a different theme night each evening.
Camp Ocean provides supervised "kids-only" dinners every evening (typically around 6 p.m.) except for the first evening. These dinners take place in the Lido buffet and include kid-favorite menu items. Parents are encouraged to pickup their children for all other meals on sea days as lunch is not provided. On port days, Camp Ocean children signed in will be provided lunch in the Lido buffet if their parents are ashore.
Camp Ocean hours may vary, but scheduled activities typically run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. on sea days. On port days, supervised free play begins from port arrival until approximately 2 p.m.; scheduled activities resume at 2 p.m. until 10 p.m. Complimentary cellphones are available to parents/guardians on a case-by-case basis and are for ship use only.
All children up to age 8 have a strict sign-in/sign-out policy and children can only be signed in/out by authorized guardians over 18. For the 9-to-11 age group, parents have the option whether or not they will allow their child to sign themselves in/out. However, after 10 p.m., all ages must be picked up by their parents/legal guardians from Night Owls.
Children under 2 are not allowed to participate in the regular Camp Ocean programs. However, there are specific times during the cruise that this age group is welcome into the facility. On Sea Days, there are limited times when parents have the option of leaving their child in the care of the Youth Staff (fees apply: $6.75 per hour, per child plus a 15 percent gratuity) or they can stay and use the Camp Ocean facility at no charge. This time is designated for the use of "Under 2s" and their parents only. On port days, parents have the option of leaving their child in the care of the Youth Staff (fees apply: $6.75 per hour, per child plus a 15 percent gratuity), however, meal times are not provided for children under 2.
One deck above Camp Ocean on Deck 12 is Circle "C" (ages 12 to14) and Club O2 (ages 15 to 17), the dedicated spots for tweens and teens to gather for socializing, dancing and video games. There are separate lounges for each age group, but both are modern, high-tech spaces that come complete with fun features like flat-screen TVs, video game consoles, foosball, dance floors, a DJ booth and an innovate jukebox, plus lots of comfy oversized lounge seating that is perfect for hanging out. Teens do not need to sign in or out and may come and go as they want. Hours for teen programs vary, but are typically 12 to 6 p.m., 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on sea days and 3 to 6 p.m., 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on port days.
Scheduled teen activities include everything from dance and karaoke competitions, sports and game tournaments, scavenger hunts and a variety of theme parties at night. Other teen-only activities throughout the cruise might include a Teen Pamper Party in the spa, where the menu of ZSpa services is just for teens ages 13 to 17. Treatments include manicures and pedicures, hair styling, facials and massages.
Carnival is known for its family-friendly fun, so Victory definitely sees its share of families as well as those who are kids at heart. Overall the ship draws many young couples, singles and groups of friends, the vast majority from the United States and Canada.
The 14,500-square-foot Spa Carnival located forward on Deck 11 is operated by Steiner and offers a range of treatments from facials and massages to body therapies, medispa cosmetic services, men's shave treatments and teeth whitening. There are nine treatment rooms (including two for couples) as well as locker rooms with a large sauna and steam room, but there's no relaxation area and you have to wait in the salon for your therapist to come get you. There's also acupuncture available by certified acupuncturists to treat a variety of conditions from allergies to joint pain.
If you love the products used during your treatment, the spa offers U.S. shipping for $8 for unlimited items. An 18 percent gratuity will be added to your bill at checkout, which you may adjust at your discretion. You can also take advantage of discounts if you book three signature treatments at 10 percent off the first, 20 percent off the second and 30 percent off the third.
Spa hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Passengers must be at least 18 years of age to receive treatments or use spa facilities, including the sauna and steam rooms. Teens (13–17 years of age) must be accompanied by an adult when they book ZSpa teen treatments and parents or a guardian must complete and sign the spa's consultation form acknowledging their consent before services are rendered. Salon services (hair, nail and facial services) are available to passengers of all ages.
The expansive, forward-facing fitness center brings plenty of ocean views to your workout. Equipment includes LifeFitness and LifeCycle treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes and spinning bikes and weight machines. There's also an area for free weights and yoga balls as well as a glass-enclosed studio for fitness classes and seminars. Grab a schedule and check out complimentary classes such as early morning stretch and Fab Abs as well as specialized classes such as Pathway to Yoga and Tour de Cycle for an added cost ($12 per class; inquire about personal training).
The fitness center is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Passengers must be at least 18 years of age to use the fitness facilities on their own. Passengers 12 to 17 years old may use the facilities if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
In addition, there's an outdoor jogging track on Deck 11, where 11 laps is approximately 1 mile.
Carnival Cruise Line recommends gratuities of $13.99 per person, per day for standard staterooms and $15.99 per person, per day for suite staterooms. Gratuities can either be prepaid and added before sailing or can be automatically added to your Sail & Sign account onboard. Gratuities are not assessed on passengers less than 2 years of age. For cruises that begin in Barbados, all gratuities must prepaid and automatically added during the booking process.
In addition, an automatic 18 percent gratuity will be added to beverage purchases, the cover charge of the Chef's Table and spa treatments (these gratuities cannot be adjusted); room service staff may be tipped as service is rendered.
Country of Registration: Panama
Regular Capacity: 2758
Maximum Capacity: 2754
Number of Crew:1100
Crew Nationality: Multi-national
Officer Nationality: Multi-national
Language(s) Spoken: Multi-language
You'll find a vacation fit for a champion aboard Carnival Victory.
Declare victory against the ordinary as you sit back and take in what this ship has to offer: incredible performances in the two show lounges, quiet time at Serenity Adult-Only Retreat... plus delicious food and drink all up and down the ship. While a magician may keep an audience wondering how they did it, Alchemy Bar lets you get right up close as our cocktail-crafters work their magic with absolutely nothing up their sleeves. And SKYBOX Sports Bar combines the comfort of its high-above-it-all namesake with the sort of view you'd get down low on the 50-yard line, whether you're catching a live game on the big screen or getting into a game yourself, controller in hand.
Don't miss the winning atmosphere of the South China Sea Casino - try your hand at poker, blackjack, roulette, or craps. Little winners will love Virtual Sea Arcade and play-time opportunities at one of three youth-only spaces. And for an open-air experience that brings out the champion in everyone, there's miniature golf, ping pong, a jogging track and more.
When you're cruising Carnival Victory, one thing is for sure: you're winning.
Health and Beauty
No. of Dinner Sittings: 2
No. of Dinner Sittings: Flexible
Special Diet: Available upon request
Dress Code: Daytime: Casual / Evening: Resort wear to formalGratuity Policies
Guests in Standard Staterooms $12.95 per person/per day
Guests in Suites $13.95 per person/per day