Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by bluewatersahead
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean
Destination: Western Caribbean
Our group consists of my husband and my self ages 48 & 46, my Mother age 62, and friend of ours ages 39 & 40. This was my 6th Carnival cruise, my husband and Mom's 4th and the first cruise for our friends. We are from North Carolina and live in the foothills there. We do enjoy our mountains, but; enjoy the ocean and all its wonders. This is also my second cruise on the Valor.
We departed out of Charlotte-Douglas International Airport on Saturday 9/02/06 @ 7:02 AM (flying in a day early). It is more relaxing and you don't have to be stressed about flight delays. In addition, we chose a direct flight to Miami, to save time and hassle, as well as minimize the possibility of delays or lost luggage. Which my friends did had the displeasure of going through. American airline finely after a lot of calls got their luggage to them at More 2:45 A.M. on Sunday morning. We stayed at the Holiday Inn/Port of Miami, it is clean and a great place for a nights stay before your cruise. We enjoy this because it is across the street from the Bayside Market. There you have shopping, food, live entertainment, and more shopping all things with in walking distance of the hotel. We meet our CC friends at Bubba Gump's. And we got transportation to the port for $5.00 per person. I set this up for all our Cruise Critic Members staying at this hotel by contacting the Concierge. He set us up to go to the port between @ 10:00 A.M. We arrived in the port area about 10:35 AM. He and the port took care of our luggage. We were never reminded about a tip. (Note: they are not employees of Carnival.) We entered the terminal and went straight through the line. Getting the sail and sign card then through security and then up stairs. We were not there to long when they came through and said they would be letting us board at 11:30. We went to Rosie's for lunch, and after we were done, our room was ready and our luggage had arrived shortly. We were in a balcony cabin, #6481, on the Upper deck. We enjoy being on the back of the ship, as we had no problems with noise from carts, bars or clubs or even loud people. We chose this balcony cabin because it has an extended balcony, twice the size of a standard one. Our cabin steward was terrific! He did everything I ask him in a very timely manner. I saw him each morning as I was going to breakfast and he would always call me by name and say good morning and tell me to have a good day. The room steward actually was there to wish us well on our journey home. Nice touch. Valor: The ship's decor reflects the theme of heroes and heroism. Personally I thought the ship was quite beautiful. The Valor's main lobby, American Atrium, where you first enter the ship, is a visual feast with a flag-themed floor, four column glass elevators and layered staircases, and you can look up 9 decks. Many, but not all, the heroes are Americans - the One Small Step dance club has a theme reflecting the 1969 walk on the moon ('one small step for man, one giant step for mankind'). It is like a disco club. The Winston's cigar bar reflects Winston Churchill. It is has leather chairs and a lot of wood, manly and elegant in my book. I enjoyed have tea there. The two main dining rooms, the Lincoln and Washington, are named after presidents. Scarlett's supper club has a Gone with the Wind theme and server gourmet cuisine. Lindy Hop piano bar is one of my favorite places. It honors Charles Lindbergh and has a replica of his plane over the rotating piano. If you watch you will see the propeller work. Yes it turns! The Eagle show lounge has karaoke. It is also were the Captain has his reception; it is a nice place to dance some. In the Paris Hot Jazz club you will find maniacs with banana skirts and pearls, here you can hear a live band each night. The Caboose is the game room and teen club (H2O). The Ivanhoe show lounge is a multi-tiered show lounge for Vegas shows. The stage looks like a castle and knights lining the walls. The staff was very friendly, with smiles and greetings also. We always felt welcome and pampered during our cruise. Dining: We ate in the Washington Dining Room in the rear of the ship. We chose the early (5:45) dinner seating, which allowed us plenty of time for the early show in the Ivanhoe Theater or other evening activities. At dinner we were assigned seating, at table 302, we had a window on the starboard side of the ship. The dining room is on two levels, and its color scheme is a rather bright pink. I thought the dining room was quite elegant. Service in the dinning was flawless throughout the cruise. Delia our headwaiter was from Romania and her assistant Aries was from the Philippines, they both kept us pampered. Delia was the best server I have ever had on a cruise. If you can ask for them do they were GREAT! We also tipped them extra because of the fabulous service they gave us. (Note: I just wish I could know for sure that they also got the full tip on the sail & sign cad too.) Disembarkation: The disembarkation went will for us. We had a late flight out of Miami so we wanted to stay on the ship as long as possible. We did not go down until the very last call for passengers to leave the ship. One thing I think would help this go better would be having two escalators working to take you down to the lower level. All the activities were great. I had a lot of fun in the dance classes. I will sail on Carnival again and again! However; American airlines lost my entire luggage as well as all of mine Mom's and one bag of my friends. (Note: The ones who had their luggage lost on the way to Miami.) They only had a few bags for all 47 passengers on that flight. The bags did not get on the plane. So I guess you know without me saying a word what I would say about American airlines. As Forest Gump would say Thats all I've got to say about that. Less
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