Veteran cruise executive (of Norwegian Caribbean Line and Premier Cruise Lines) Bruce Nierenberg founded Victory Cruise Lines in 2016. The new line acquired its ship, previously called Saint Laurent and renamed it Victory I. While working with a ferry company in 2015, Nierenberg was among the first United States operators to receive approval to sail to Cuba. Sailings to the Great Lakes began in July 2016, and cruises to Cuba began in October.
How Many Passengers: 202 passengers
Personality: The M/V Victory I is an intimate ship with a modern and spacious design that still honors maritime’s past. Colors are calm and muted, and some spaces are furnished with rich, dark wood while others are light, white, and airy. Crew members are friendly and personable while always maintaining a keen attention to detail.
Fellow Passengers: The line is new, so it is still somewhat early to tell exactly what types of different guests will sail. However, the line will be offering cruises out of Port Canaveral at certain points of the year, which will appeal to central-Florida retirees.
Cabins: Cabins are light and airy, with a modern beach house feel that still maintains a refined elegance. They each include an armoire, chest of drawers, robe and slippers, LCD televisions, and premium bathroom amenities and bedding.
Dining Experience: The main dining rooms offers three meals a day, with a menu full of regionally-inspired dishes. There is also an open-air venue called Cliff Rock Bar & Grille, where guests can select fresh ingredients that are then cooked on 100% pure volcanic rock. Here, breakfast and lunch are buffets, and dinner is normal seating.
Amenities: Guests can indulge in the onboard salon and spa, as well as gather around the grand piano in one of the lounges for an old-fashioned sing-along, relax on the sun deck, enjoy live musicians, and listen to presentations by experts brought onboard that specialize in the areas that the cruise will visit. There is also free wifi up to 10 MB; after that there is a nominal fee.
Best For: Older couples, English-speaking guests, and passengers that want a more intimate cruising experience
Included Alcohol: Wine, beer, and non-premium alcohol
Gratuities: Additional. $15 per person/day is added automatically to the onboard account, but can easily be changed.
Where They Go: The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River, French Canada and New England, and Cuba
Contributor: Sarah Bretz