Carnival Victory Cruise: Nightly shows feature top-notch talents

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY: I didn’t know what to expect when I went to my first night’s show in the Carnival Victory theater. On a previous cruise, the nightly entertainment was more audience participation and that got tiresome after a while. I’m sure it was enjoyable for the many passengers who raised their hands and rushed the stage for a chance to perform or chat or be part of a game show with the entertainers. And I’ll …

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Carnival Victory Cruise: ‘American Table’ dining room offers tasty menu choices

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY – I remember the first time it happened to me. I had enjoyed clam chowder many times, particularly when I lived near Cape Cod and worked at a Massachusetts newspaper. But on a long-ago cruise when I ordered clam chowder, I received a big white bowl with some chopped clams in the bottom. Mighty skimpy. Then the dining room waiter poured a small pitcher of clam chowder over the clams. That’s more like …

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Carnival Victory 8: Key West museum for richest treasure hunter in world

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY – In 1969, Mel Fisher began searching for the Atocha, a Spanish treasure galleon that sank off the coast of the Florida Keys in 1622. Every morning, Fisher would exhort, “Today’s the day.” And 33 years ago, it was. After a 16-year adventure that included financial hardship, tragic loss, and triumph, Fisher and his treasure hunters found the Atocha on July 20, 1985. Estimated at half a billion dollars, the shipwreck made Mel Fisher the richest …

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Carnival Victory Cruise: Hemingway’s cats known for unusual six toes

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY – The words on the sign are very clear: “Please do not sit on furniture.” And yet there he was. Sprawled on his back with his feet propped against the brocaded fabric, he was snoozing away on the antique settee. Or maybe the offender was a she. Whatever, the napping cat doesn’t have to read the signs or pay attention to them. These are the Hemingway cats and they are pretty much allowed …

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Carnival Victory 6: Whimsical sculptures a popular photo stop in Key West

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY – The last time I was in Key West, a gigantic statue of a man and woman twirling to some unseen music was in front of the city’s Customs House Art and History Museum.  It’s no longer there. “They come and they go,” said the museum guide. “We have new ones instead.” Such is life. Now I had to wait my turn to take photos of the new statues when visitors weren’t snapping …

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Carnival Victory Cruise: Key West chickens, roosters protected

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY: He strutted down the street like he was cock of the walk. “He’s beautiful and he knows it,” a woman said, watching me try to take a photo of the confident rooster. I think she was right. Perhaps this preening critter knew that he was a popular sight and that he could come and go as he pleased – protected by the laws of Key West. Where else do chickens have such legal …

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Carnival Victory Cruise 4. – How the Conch Republic got its name

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY – It might have been the shortest naval battle in history. “We declared war on the United States and threw stale Cuban bread at Navy officers,” guide Bob Lutz said. “It lasted for about a minute. Then we surrendered and asked for $1 billion in foreign aid to rebuild. We’re still waiting for that $1 billion.” When the Carnival Victory docked for the day in Key West, many of us climbed aboard a …

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Carnival Victory Cruise 3: Towel critters have their own entertaining show

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY – What happens to those cute little towel animals when cruise ship passengers leave their cabins? The critters party. At least that’s what a new show on the Carnival Victory says occurs once passengers head out of their staterooms and close the door. “It’s adorable,” said cruiser Eileen from Miami exiting the ship’s Caribbean Lounge Theatre with her 5-year-old daughter Robin after a morning show titled “Towel Animal Theater.” For Robin, it was …

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Carnival Victory Cruise 2: Boarding and exploring ship

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY: Leaving the sterile steel-and-concrete cruise terminal to board the Carnival Victory, I saw the woman ahead of me stop and marvel at the huge nine-deck ship atrium. “Oh, it is so gaudy,” she said. “I love it,” responded the woman next to her. I agree. With both of them. The Carnival Victory is definitely decorated to the hilt. Flashing lights. Lavish turquoise and sea green colors everywhere. Statues of mermaids and seahorses. Four …

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Carnival Victory Cruise 1: Heading to Key West on short cruise

Ernest Hemingway loved it so much that he lived here for 11 years with his unusual six-toed cats. It was here that the author wrote some of his best-loved work, including “A Farewell to Arms” and “Death in the Afternoon.” President Harry S. Truman so enjoyed the island’s charms that he spent 175 days of his presidency here in what became known as the Little White House. Now I am going to be visiting this popular place …

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