Believe it or not with all the travel I do, I had yet to take a cruise. It never appealed to me unless it was the Queen Elizabeth II, which goes from Southampton to NY or a cruise that went to fabulous destinations in Asia. I just haven’t been into cruising.
But this was all about to change when I was booked to set sail on Carnival’s Victory which sailed from Miami to the Bahamas in 3 days. I was filming on board so this was a work trip
So, for someone’s first time, here are my thoughts to sum it all up.
As we boarded early, I did not see how the normal passengers boarded and what the process was like.
First up though was lunch. There were huge lines for main buffet so I looked at a smaller outlet that had cheeseburgers or fried chicken. The ship has a deli, Chinese, buffet, formal dining and seafood restaurant that’s extra.
It’s hard to find a healthy option unless you opt for the seafood.
Buffets were a lot of reheated fried food, salads with mayonnaise, roasted turkey and pork. They were the old style buffets designed to feed 2,500 people.
I must say the formal dining was okay and at $20 for the surf and turf this was a good option. By far this was the best meal I had on board. Well-cooked and miles above the previous options, the meat was done really well with nicely seasoned lobster.
The entire trip is $300 per person so my expectations were not high.
There’s a casino, 2 swimming pools, water slide, shops, theater, comedy club, karaoke bar, night club, plenty of bars and loads of sun decks. There was lots of space for the full boat.
Booze was extra and not too badly priced. Any cocktails they tempt you with only costs $3 extra for a double. That’s how I landed up at the club and Karaoke and THAT was not pretty.
When the ship docks in Nassau you have a choice to stay on board or get off. We were there 18 hours so most passengers seemed to disembark.
I heard stories that Nassau can be a little dodgy so decided not to try and look for trouble. And we were working on the boat with a live satellite feed so I had other things to do.
All in all, I can only relate this experience to say a Best Western on the sea compared to what I imagine are the Ritz Carlton’s of cruises.
It was a terrific value though; not good on the food, cabins are small and I imagine that’s the norm for cruises. This ship was very dated and most of the cabin fabric was plastic. But for most on board this is what they expected from cruising on a short itinerary.
The best part was the crew. Sadly, it did not seem that they were tipped as everything was included and I did not see passengers leaving many tips. For an all-American passenger base that’s rare.
The crew were amazing. Always happy, getting passengers to join in the fun and nothing was too much trouble. Really impressive. They work every day for a period of 3-6 month contracts. Hard work and I am sure they are underpaid. So, they were a stellar team.
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.