Carnival Valor Cruise Review by beasfriend: Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean
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Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean
We just returned from our cruise and had a wonderful time. The Valor is a beautiful, well-maintained ship that exceeded our expectations.
Embarkation: We arrived at the pier at 12pm and were on the ship by 1pm. There was a long line, but it kept moving so you never really felt that you were waiting that long.
Room: We had a balcony on Deck 8 - the cabin was larger than ones we had been in previously on NCL or RCCL, and was decorated nicely. The bed was quite comfortable and the room temperature was easy to maintain the way we like it.
Service: Every crew member we came in contact with was friendly and wanting to go that extra mile to make sure you were having a great time. The bar staff around the pool was attentive, but not obnoxious. Staff you came into contact with regularly at the different venues got to know your name and preferences very quickly. Our room steward was for the most part invisible, but if you left a note requesting something, it was More always promptly done. Room service was prompt when called and our daily request for coffee/danish left outside at night was always delivered within our 15 min timeframe.
Food: Not being buffet people, we never ate at Rosie's other than a getting a Reuben (which was excellent).
Food: Since we're not buffet people, the only thing I got at Rosie's was the Rueben, which was very good. The 24 hour pizza was excellent - medium crust baked over cornmeal, just the right amount of sauce, and plenty of cheese and topping - we got some every night on the way back to the room. The food in the dining room was excellent - plenty of selections and always well prepared and served. Our waitstaff was outstanding and we tipped them extra at the end of the cruise. We had requested the 6:15 seating over 6 months ago and were given the 5:45 in the Washington dining room. No matter what they say, getting a dining time changed from 5:45 to 6:15 is impossible. If you're planning on doing a lot of tours, or staying until the last minute in the ports then 5:45 is too early.
Entertainment: Ron Pass at the Lindy Hop piano bar was terrific! Best entertainment we've ever had on a cruise. He has a repertoire of over 300 songs, and since he'll play all requests he receives no night is as same as the previous one. Of the two "production" shows, the 80's show is the best. The theatre is lovely, but I've seen more elaborate shows on other ships. The other nights were comedians (very good - the midnight shows were hilarious), a hypnotist and a magician, neither of whom was very good - the magician was actually poor). The casino is large with plenty of slots - because there was so much else to do in the evening on the ship, I probably spent the least amount of time in the casino than on any other ship I've been on. Oh, they also pay out pretty well too.
Ports: Grand Cayman - have been there before, so we just got off around 11am, shopped a little (good prices on watches), had a drink at Breezes, a great dive bar right at the pier and got back on the ship. Roatan - we took the Tabyana Beach tour. The beach was nice, but there's not much else to do there. If your not taking a tour, don't bother to get off the ship. Belize - took Carnival's Cave Tubing and had a blast. We're in our mid-fifties and it was not too strenuous. Costa Maya - we rented golf carts and drove into Mayahual. Great beach, great little Mexican cafe's and good "junk" shopping - the vendors will really bargain. There's a complex right at the port, but it's crowded and much more expensive.
Debarkation - Not bad. You have to be out of your room by 8:45, so we went to breakfast at 8:30 and then waited on deck 5 for them to call our color. By 9:15 we were off the ship and in the line for immigration. Again, the line kept moving and we were getting our luggage by 9:45. TIP - at this point, get a porter! We gave him $10, he walked us right past a very long line waiting for customs right up to a custom agent and got us a van to the airport - we we're there by 11. Less
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