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Carnival Victory Review

2013 Best for Shore Excursions
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Carnival Victory
3.5 / 5.0
1527 reviews

Bottom Line




Passenger to Crew


Shore Excursions
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Jodi Ornstein
Cruise Critic Contributor

Carnival Victory Overview

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.

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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.


Included with your cruise fare:

  • Two main dining rooms, the buffet and select other eateries
  • All theater and comedy shows
  • Use of the sports court, mini-golf course, water slides and pools
  • Most daily activities unless noted below
  • Use of the gym, but not most classes

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Daily gratuities of $13.99 per person, per day or $15.99 per person, per day for anyone staying in a suite
  • Most room service deliveries, plus tip
  • All drinks beyond water, tea (including ice tea), coffee and select juices in the buffet; all drinks are subject to an 18 percent automatic gratuity
  • Spa treatments, plus automatic 15 percent gratuity
  • Shore excursions
  • Wi-Fi
  • Activities including, but not limited to arcade games, bingo, Build-A-Bear and casino play
  • Photos

Top Carnival Victory Itineraries

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Fellow Passengers

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.

Carnival Victory Dress Code

Daytime: 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.

Evening: 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. 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.

Not permitted: 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.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Carnival.

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Carnival Victory Ratings

Public Rooms3.04
Fitness Recreation3.53.8
Value For Money5.03.9

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Cruises on Carnival Victory start from null per person.

Is Carnival Victory a good ship to cruise on?

Carnival Victory won 1 award over the years.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2013 Best for Shore Excursions

Carnival Victory Member Reviews

Carnival Victory
Sail Date: Nov 2019
We have avoided Carnival due to some big problems in the distant past. We're letting bygones be bygones. The dis embarkation was NOT Carnival's fault.... Read More
Carnival Victory
Sail Date: Jan 2020
Not using this as a negative mark against the Victory because I'm sure Carnival does this on all of their ships. But just a word of caution.... Read More
Carnival Victory
Sail Date: Jan 2020
Second cruise, comparing NCL Sky to Carnival Victory. I have a review for the Sky for those interested. 1. Service.... Read More
Carnival Victory
Sail Date: Aug 2019
Balconies are all 'no smoking', but it seems that Carnival doesn't (can't?) enforce this. Food: We had 'Your Time' dining. We found the food to be very inconsistent.... Read More

Carnival Cruise Line Fleet

Carnival Ecstasy
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Editor Rating

1118 reviews

Fun and friendly with a laid-back vibe; highlights include waterslides, a singalong piano bar, nightly Punchliner Comedy Club and mini-golf; carries some 2,500.

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Carnival Elation
4.0 / 5.0
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Carnival Fantasy
4.0 / 5.0
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Carnival Fantasy may be the oldest vessel in the Carnival fleet, but it certainly has style, and a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Carnival Fascination
3.5 / 5.0
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The 2,052-passenger Carnival Fascination debuted in 1994 and went through a significant upgrade to public areas, top-deck spaces and cabins in 2010.

Carnival Imagination
4.0 / 5.0
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Fun and friendly with plenty to do from sunup to sundown including high-energy pool deck fun and stage shows, plus waterslides, mini-golf and more.

Carnival Inspiration
4.0 / 5.0
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A smaller ship packed with energetic fun all day long; highlights include nightly comedy, enthusiastic karaoke, waterslides, mini-golf and 10 bars and lounges.

Carnival Paradise
3.5 / 5.0
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Smaller ship with a fun and family-friendly atmosphere: highlights include short warm-weather itineraries, a waterslide and mini-golf; carries about 2,500 people.

Carnival Sensation
3.5 / 5.0
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Fun, friendly vibe with a packed lineup of daily activities, nightly comedy, energetic stage shows, silly pool deck fun, and a multi-slide waterpark.

Carnival Victory
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Fewer attractions than other Carnival ships but only offers short sailings; highlights are the comedy club, four pools and water slide; about 3,000 passengers.

Carnival Spirit
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Family-friendly, 2,100-passenger ship, based full-time in Sydney, has the Green Thunder water slide, great dining, free poolside food, lively entertainment and fun crew.

Carnival Pride

Lively and fun with a dizzying art-through-the-centuries decor, nightly standup comedy, two waterslides, four pools, and lots of bars and lounges; can carry about 2,500.

Carnival Legend
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

More than 2,600 passengers can enjoy the Green Thunder slide, Serenity Retreat for adults, Playlist Production music shows and excellent kids activities.

Carnival Conquest
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Unpretentious vibe with pool-centric fun and water slide, plus Hairy Chest and Mr. and Mrs. Conquest contests; also 11 bars and 9 eateries; carries about 3,500.

Carnival Glory

Lively entertainment and activities include nightly stand-up comedy, high-energy Playlist Production stage shows, twister water slide, and a nonstop schedule of daily activities.

Carnival Miracle

Fun, family-friendly ship focused on Carnival signatures like the high-energy Playlist Production shows, nightly comedy, RedFrog Pub and line dancing deck parties.

Carnival Valor
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Silly poolside games, piano bar sing-alongs and PG- and R-rated stand-up comedy give this smallish mega-ship its fun vibe; also features the RedFrog Pub.

Carnival Liberty
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Fun, friendly vibe focusing on Carnival signatures like the Punchliner Comedy Club, gut-busting Guy's Burger Joint and cocktail-focused Alchemy Bar; holds about 3,500.

Carnival Freedom

Fun, laid-back and friendly; highlights include nightly comedy, high-energy stage shows, twister water slide and the popular RedFrog Pub; holds about 3,500.

Carnival Splendor
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Can hold upward of 4,000 passengers; features indoor/outdoor pool with retractable dome, Twister water slide, mini-golf and just one extra-fee restaurant.

Carnival Dream

Fun, friendly vibe; features Guy Fieri's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, family-friendly and adult stand-up comedy, nightly karaoke, water park and mini-golf.

Carnival Magic
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Holds about 4,000; highlights include water slides, the RedFrog Pub, two-bathroom family cabins that hold up to five, a ropes course and Carnival's signature fun.

Carnival Breeze

Nonstop activities and attractions include top deck water park and ropes course, 4D Thrill Theater and nightly standup comedy; can hold up to 4,700 cruisers.

Carnival Sunshine

Fun and friendly with nightly stand-up comedy and short, energetic stage shows, plus a calorie-packed burger joint from celeb chef Guy Fieri; holds about 3,500.

Carnival Vista

Holds a bit more than 4,000 passengers; offers a waterpark, suspended-in-midair recumbent bike thrill ride, ropes course and the first IMAX cinema at sea.

Carnival Horizon
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Carnival's newest megaship, holding some 4,000 passengers, launches April 2018; highlights include new barbeque/brewery and Teppanyaki restaurants, an IMAX movie theater, waterpark, beer brewery and ropes course.

Carnival Sunrise
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

A completely reimagined ship, Carnival Sunrise is Carnival Triumph transformed with new venues, entertainment options, and a whole new Fun Ship look.

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