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Victory I Cruise Review

Itinerary: Great Lakes Grand Discovery - June 2018

Victory I

This was an unknown cruise line, as ship that I know had had many starts and failures with a few other cruise start ups in the past. I did as much homework as i could. Being a 25 year agent I have lots of sources. So I took a chance when they asked to me experience their product.

Flew in Chicago a few days early to visit my webmaster who I have been with for many years, and some family. Most all ships I know depart from Navy Pier. An easy central location on the hop on hop off bus route. Nope…not Victory…they leave from an industrial pier on the south side of Chicago. Apparently Navy Pier has no space for new ships for the next few years. Maybe true, maybe not…didn't know at that point. Taxi through some interesting neighborhoods in the middle of the day. The industrial pier is quite busy, when you arrive, they have an escort that our taxi followed to the ship.

Cabin

Bed in cabinVictory I, Cabin 215, Category AA. Big picture window, nice bedding, comfortable bed. Two chairs and table outside. Great access to the outdoor grill. Fruit plate and refrigerator. I am a big Diet Pepsi gal and it was stocked at all times. We joked there must be some secret message that our room steward always knew when I took one out. For there were always four, and then whatever my husband asked for.

Ship

Knowing the history of the ship I did not have high expectations. That said, I was impressed by it all. Except for a stage in the lounge which was not a stage at all, the rest of the ship was well preserved.

Staff

Linda with the captainLinda with the captain of the Victory I

One high point for this ship is the staff. Mostly Filipino, with a mix of everything else. They do their jobs very well but are allowed to mix and mingle a bit more than most ship lines. You learn about their family. They become personalities not just the arm that puts the food in front of you. We always has a large table and each night the same and new people would join us. Waiter knew I loved french fries. So no matter what I ordered a large plate of french fries would appear in the middle of the table. The waiter paid attention to what everyone ordered for dessert. If things were not ordered, he would bring them for the middle of the table with spoons or folks for everyone to sample. Second/third day they had everyone's drink preference memorized. This friendly, professional attitude is throughout the ship personnel.

Lecturer

We had Howard Shuster, a retired attorney from Toronto. He does most of the Great Lake sailings on the Victory I. Knowledgeable and knows his stuff. The Great Lakes is a life long hobby for Howard. We became really connected and still are in contact. We had a second lecturer who was a fill in for the regular who was ill. Very nice person, but…he not not make the cut…Howard gave formal sessions during the week, and as important he would be on the deck when we passed interesting things on the lake, As well is discussing the varied boats that passed us by. And in depth interesting lectures when we went through locks. He is a welcome addition to the adventure.

Food

Linda with the Chef
Linda and hubby dining with fellow passengers

Breakfast either sit down or buffet outside on the grill. Lunch everyday different, either on the ship, in town. Dinner always meet, fish or veggie. Food always a variety and good size portions. Always a steak or chicken breast if you did not like what was on the menu. Low calorie options, diabetic options etc. Fine wines and liquor is included, one could have what ever they wished with meals. Many had after dinner brandy etc.

appetizersPrior to each dinner would be a cocktail hour. canapes would be passed among us by the staff. There was always a drink of the day. Would you believe, one evening Singapore Slings. everyone was talking about their high school days after a few sips. All wines and liquor available.

high teaThe week has three internationally themed high teas. A British Royal High Tea, a Viennese High Tea and a Maharaja High Tea. Staff in character and costume for each one. If we were in port, I would be mostly off the ship, so did not participate in these. But, I did see the exquisite pastries and little tea sandwiches that were served.

From Chicago, we sailed day after day, they kept saying we were in a lake, but I expected to see the white cliffs of Dover any minute. No lake can be THAT big. Well Lake Michigan is…and then we hit our ports of call.

Ports

Mackinac Island

Long time on my bucket list…tour and lunch included at the Grand Hotel.

View from the porch of the Grand Hotel
View of the Grand Hotel
Dining room at the Grand Hotel
At the Grand Hotel
Grand Hotel sign
At the Grand Hotel

Sault Ste. Marie

The Victory I

Little Current

Little Current Lighthouse
Little Current Lighthouse
Purser desk onboard the Victory I

Detroit

Linda posing in front of the Victory I
The port of Detroit
Dining onboard Victory I in Detroit
Detroit Cityscape

Cleveland

Linda at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame banner
Linda stepping off the Vistory I

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, upclose
Linda's hubby at Niagara Falls
Linda at Niagara Falls

Toronto (disembark)

Summary

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. I had 25 couples sailing on different dates and different itineraries on Victory and everyone came back with glowing reports. The 200 passengers are perfect for the type of ship and itinerary it is. There is no kayaking, or zodiacs on this type of cruise. For those like myself who live on the west coast, this was a thrill a minute with the traffic on the river. Never a dull moment. Feel free to call for questions…I have so many little tips I can suggest that I didn't have room to put here. Call us 888-815-5428.

—Linda Androlia