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Carnival Victory

Our Ship Review
Carnival Cruise Line
Cruise Line
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

The 13-deck Carnival Victory was one of the largest cruise ships in the world when it debuted in 2000. Now, with a capacity of 2,754 passengers, it seems almost midsize. (To put things in perspective, that's about half the size of the newest mega ships.) Still, Carnival Victory delivers a vast array of activities: multiple dining and drinking options and the usual Carnival lineup of daily games and contests, plus four swimming pools (including a twisting waterslide), a spa and health club, three kids clubs, and an adults-only retreat. There are also poolside movies, a triple-deck show theater, and a 9,000-square-foot casino. And it's all decorated in the over-the-top style Carnival has become known for: If you like glitz and gambling, this could be your ship.

What We Love

New Additions: A dry dock in early 2015 added some of Carnival's popular new bars and restaurants, including the cocktail-focused Alchemy Bar, Skybox Sports Bar (which shows live broadcasts from all the major sports leagues), and Taste Bar, which serves complimentary hors d'oeuvres.

It's a Haven for Kids: Camp Carnival, which serves kids ages 2 to 11, is one of the top kids programs at sea. It’s divided into three age groups, and older kids have separate clubs as well. The 2015 renovation also added Seuss at Sea programs, with parades as well as character breakfasts with the Cat in the Hat, Sam I Am, and Thing 1 and Thing 2. Order the green eggs and ham or the towering stack of pancakes, which alternate between plain and red to look like a certain iconic chapeau.

Best Known For

Design and Décor: This ship has an ocean theme throughout the public areas, starting with the atrium, where mermaids, Neptune, seashells, and seahorses adorn the walls, and it’s all capped by an illuminated glass dome.

Short Cruises to Sunny Places: Carnival Victory moved to its home port at Florida's Port Canaveral in early 2016, and the majority of the cruises are two-, three-, or four-day jaunts to the Bahamas and the western Caribbean.

Who It's Best For

Budget-Minded Cruisers: The price is right if you are looking for an inexpensive way to cruise to beachy islands. While Carnival Victory’s cabins are fine for the price, most Carnival regulars don't plan to spend much time in their staterooms

Families: If you are planning on bringing the kids, the boisterous, active atmosphere on board will keep everyone entertained. And while the little ones are making new friends at the kids club, parents can head to the adults-only area.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Sales Pitches: From the moment you board the ship, crew members will try to sell you extras: photos, videos, cocktails, artworks, shore excursions, even teeth whitening. The constant barrage of offers can feel overwhelming. Just remember that this helps keep the base price low, and you can always say, “No, thanks.”

Kids Take Over the Pool Deck: Don't be fooled by the fact that kids have their own pool on this ship. They rarely stick to it, and you likely won't find peace and quiet anywhere there is water.