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I recently had the good fortune to sail on Carnival's M.S. Victory, Eastern Caribbean itinerary. I am constantly amazed at what a good job Carnival does with every segment of the cruising population. Honeymooners, seniors, singles, and of course families were well represented on the ship. There were many multi-generational family groups as well as several larger groups, and a substantial number of guests in wheelchairs.
The Victory is an odd mix of Carnival's signature glitz and neon coupled with a -successful- effort to move upscale. The décor is typical of designer Joe Farcus's whimsy, an "oceans of the world" theme that overwhelms with greens. At the same time, there are elements that are breathtaking, rich… and largely unnecessary; they just add to the overall sense of care that went into the design.
"I wanted something that evoked the seas of the world," says Joe Farcus, the interior designer for all of Carnival Cruise Lines' ships.
And from the moment you step on board The M.S. Victory, all of the seas of the world are yours, from the Pacific and Atlantic dining rooms to the Caspian Sea Wine Bar, the South China Seas casino and the Adriatic Lounge. "Neptune's Way" serves as an interior promenade, the Irish Sea Bar has karaoke, and the Arctic Disco offers crackled glass walls to replicate that icy feeling. Greens and teals and pale blues are the predominant colors in the public areas, with mermaid décor in the dining rooms, sea-horse sculptures anchoring the stairways, and hand-made glass tile mosaics showing up in unexpected places throughout the ship.
Launched in August of 2000, Victory is the third of the line of Destiny-Class ships (the M.S. Destiny and the M.S. Triumph preceded her), with 13 passenger decks and 1358 staterooms. A full 60% of the accommodations have ocean views and 60% of the ocean view staterooms have balconies. Fully loaded, including guests in uppers and in sofabeds, the passenger capacity is 3470.
These ships were built to maximize space and to give the passenger a full resort experience, for that is what the Victory is: An ocean-going, floating resort. To Carnival, the ships don't provide just "cruises," they are "cruise vacations." The "Fun Ships" of Carnival are just that, with non-stop entertainment for all ages from early morning to the wee hours.
©George Hall 2000
The Victory offers seven basic accommodation types ranging from a large "deluxe suite with balcony" to a small interior room. Twin beds in most cabins can be made into kingsized beds by request. Most cabins have a sofa; some of these can be made into a bed, and many cabins have upper berths that drop from the ceiling. Friends and families booking two balcony cabins can open the door between balconies; there are family accommodations that have interior connecting doors as well. The balcony sides are made of tempered plexiglass, providing a wide-open view with no obstruction.
The furnishings are simple and utilitarian, yet brightly colored and pleasing. Each cabin has a closet section with room for hanging garments, a cupboard with shelves, a chest of drawers, and a nightstand with a shelf. The "wood" elements are made of a faux birdseye maple, the surfaces of a burnished gold composite, and the soffits and moulding of a gold metal. Most have a soft salmon-colored leather sofa and a small adjustable table. (Suite accommodations have a different layout; the furnishings are also more elegant). All have a large remote control color television with a variety of programming.
The bathrooms in most of the cabins are large by cruise ship standards, with a long counter (in a very bright pink) and plenty of shelf space for cosmetics and toiletries. Suites have bathtubs, other cabins have shower only. A powerful hairdryer is furnished as are very small packets of soap, shampoo, and other toiletries.
Exterior cabins without balconies are generous, with nearly full-sized sofas and plenty of space. Balconied cabins lose some of the interior space; the sofa is smaller as well. Aft balconied cabins are smaller still because the balconies are much larger than those along the side, as large as many patios. The side balconies measure approximately four feet deep by nine feet wide with suite balconies being wider. The aft balconies are approximately nine feet by nine feet. All are furnished with a small chaise, a chair and a small table.
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