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Carnival Valor Cruise Review by jenafish: Our Honeymoon Cruise Review - Carnival Valor


jenafish
1 Review
Member Since 2013
14 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 5.5
Dining 5.5
Embarkation 5.5
Enrichment Activities Not Rated
Entertainment 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 5.5
Public Rooms 5.0
Rates Not Rated
Service 5.0
Shore Excursions 5.0
Value for Money 5.5

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Our Honeymoon Cruise Review - Carnival Valor

Sail Date: July 2013
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan

Our Honeymoon Cruise  Carnival Valor – July 7, 2013  San Juan – St. Thomas – Barbados – St. Lucia – St. Kitts – St. Maarten – Puerto Rico

When my husband Ryan and I were discussing where to go for our honeymoon we tossed around plenty of good (and bad) ideas. Should we go to an all-inclusive and sit on the beach for a week? Would it be better to travel Europe or go someplace exotic? All along, my husband (or husband-to-be at the time) really wanted to do a cruise, but I was hesitant. I was uneasy about cruising because although my two previous cruises were fantastic, I experienced motion sickness both times. I did not want to spend my honeymoon sick in our cabin. I was also worried about going on a port-intensive vacation after the stress and craziness of wedding planning! However, I am EXTREMELY glad that in the end, we decided on the Valor.

After a busy wedding weekend (we got married on Friday and went on a wine More tour on Saturday with our family) we had a 6am flight out of JFK airport on Sunday morning. We arrived in San Juan at 10am, on time and without any issues. While Ryan waited for our luggage, I went and scoped out the taxi situation. It ended up being quite easy – the taxis were waiting for patrons – there was no line and since the price was fixed, there was no need for negotiations! We got in the taxi and were at the Port by 10:30am. We checked in and were told that we could embark within an hour. To kill some time we shopped in the duty-free shop. We purchased two bottles of champagne for our trip. (Our room steward put these on ice for us as soon as we got to our cabin!)

After waiting only a short while, we were able to embark and made our way to our cabin. While the room was not ready yet, we did notice that it had been decorated in celebration of our Honeymoon. -(My mother and father-in-law purchased the Honeymoon Decoration package for us – which included a “Just Married” sign, garland and several hanging swirly signs. Definitely a nice touch!!)

We were exhausted and it was overcast and rainy, but we made our way up to the Lido Deck to check out the pools and Rosie’s Restaurant. The buffet had your typical buffet fare – plus a burrito station, a stir fry station, a sandwich bar and (if you venture upstairs) a fish and chips bar. Over the course of the week we sampled food from most of the stations at the buffet. Honestly, although there are things that are decent, I’m not a huge fan of the Lido buffet on any cruise. We tried the stir fry/wok station on a few occasions, and although we had high hopes it was never that good. Everything just tasted burnt! The burrito station was fresh (think Chipotle or Moe’s) but the chicken was not too good. The other issue I had with the Lido buffet was that on a port-intensive trip, it was not open very often. Many days we would get back from port and want to grab something small before dinner and the buffet was already closed. One exception was the Pizza place. The pizza was AMAZING! As a New Yorker, I don’t often find pizza tastes as good as I expect it to taste, but this was really, really good. I loved the Quatro Formaggi (Four Cheese) and my husband’s favorite was the one with prosciutto. Other than the pizza though, I recommend eating in the MDR whenever you get a chance!

When our cabin was ready (around 2pm) Ryan and I spent some time on our balcony. We splurged a little (hey, it’s our honeymoon!!) and got an Aft-facing extended balcony (Cabin 7447). Let me tell you – BEST decision ever! Our cabin was great. The room was spacious and had plenty of storage. (First time cruisers – don’t forget the luggage fits under the bed!) And the balcony….was perfect. It was very large and had two chairs, a small table and a chaise lounge on it. The only issue was that balconies were staggered (so everyone had sun?) and the people above us kept throwing food at the birds and the food sometimes landed on our balcony. Overall though, I have absolutely no complaints. This was an amazing cabin and the balcony was blissful.

Now before I get into the rest of my review, you need to understand that I LOVE activities. I am always excited to get involved, meet new people and win ships on sticks. I love, love, love getting the Carnival Fun Times and checking out all of the stuff I’m going to participate in during the day. Yes, I’ll admit it, I’m a cruise nerd.

But honestly, I think Carnival does an amazing job at planning a myriad of activities for people of all ages. Ryan and I participated in many of the activities onboard, and still did everything we wanted to do in all of the ports. The first day we exploded and took a tour of the ship. I always like to get the lay of the land and I love meeting the Activity Staff. The Activity Staff on this cruise was AWESOME. Kevin, our buddy from Canada was especially great. We spent every evening with him (and the other die-hards, aka Dan and Elizabeth!) in the Bronx Sports Bar. We loved all of the trivia games, participated in the scavenger hunt, played Scattegories and even won 7 (yes 7) 24k plastic Ships on a Stick. The rest of the activity staff was fun too, but we just loved Kevin.

The Valor is a GORGEOUS ship. She has an “American hero” décor and although there are some odd pieces of art, she really is a beautiful ship. The ship was amazingly clean and did not look run down at all. It was extremely well kept. We had no issues with maintenance on our trip. Our Cabin steward was quiet (and somewhat invisible) but the cabin was always clean and neat. Due to the intensive itinerary we didn’t really spend much time in any of the bars or lounges other than trivia every night in the Bronx Bar.

Ryan and I are not big drinkers (although Ryan did have wine each night at dinner) but I LOVED the Raspberry Daquiris. I usually got them without alcohol but they garnished it with pineapple and it was delicious! We did spend about 15 minutes in the Piano bar on our last night and were disappointed that we hadn’t spent more time there. It was an enjoyable experience. The casino was nice – had the typical casino selections and seemed pretty crowded at times. I played the slots for about an hour on one night, but didn’t spend much time there either.

Although we didn’t spend much time in the pool, but did check out the water slide on our last day. It was a fun slide, for both children and adults. The Serenity deck may have been my favorite place on the ship. The Serenity Deck is an adults only area with hammocks, loungers and hot tubs. Although I love sailing Carnival it is sometimes nice to get away from the noise and escape a little. Serenity Deck is the place to do it! Ryan and I also played Giant Chess and checked out the mini-golf. We enjoyed both activities. We also attended a few of the shows in the Punchliner’s Comedy Club. A few of the comedians were good but some of them were terrible. The “club” itself had a fun vibe and really represented a comedy club, but the comedians themselves were hit or miss. The nightly shows in the Ivanhoe Theater were great. The dancers and singers were amazing and the special acts they brought in were very good too.

One negative that I feel I need to mention was the photographers. As it was our honeymoon, Ryan and I had decided we were going to get formal portraits done and buy a few of our favorites. Over the course of the week we must have had at least 15 different photos taken by different photographers at different backdrops. They were all terrible. Most of the photographs were blurry and our favorite (the only one that wasn’t blurry) was taken by the grand staircase. The only problem was that there was a HUGE photo sign in the backdrop of the picture. We were really disappointed and didn’t end up with a single formal picture.

We had dinner every night (and breakfast most mornings) in the Main Dining Room. We had the “My Time” dining, which we loved. Although there was sometimes a line we never had to wait very long for a table. The hostess sometimes gave us a problem when we requested a table for two (more at breakfast than at dinner), but we always got what we requested. A few mornings at breakfast we did sit with other guests and did have good conversation but many times we were rushing to disembark and the meal took much longer when sitting with other guests. We sat at a table for 2 each night at dinner (it WAS our honeymoon!) and had spectacular wait staff every single night. The food was…DELICIOUS. I cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed each and every meal in the dining room. The food was always hot and fresh and the wait staff was great about accommodating any special requests. Ryan had wine with dinner every night and we did have an issue on one night where they lost his bottle of wine. They did find it eventually and removed the charge due to the inconvenience.

We also enjoyed the Tasting Bar (not sure what it was called!) before dinner whenever it was available. Basically, they were offering “tastes” on small plates (or bowls) of the food that is available in the specialty restaurants on the 2.0 ships. The food was exotic, and the flavors were on par. We definitely enjoyed this! There is one specialty restaurant onboard as well. Although we did not have the opportunity to enjoy Scarlett’s Steakhouse on this trip we heard fabulous things about it. We did attend the culinary tour/tasting that they hosted on the Day at Sea and what we did taste was unbelievable. The mac and cheese may have been the best thing I tasted all week. (which is saying a lot!!)

During this cruise we splurged on a very fine dining experience – the Chef’s Table. At $75 per person this is definitely not something we will be doing on every cruise we take, but it was a great way to celebrate a special occasion. My husband and I are both interested in food and cooking and my husband is an adventurous eater. I am a far less adventurous eater so I was a little bit worried, but really had no reason to worry. When we checked in, the host asked if we had any food allergies or “dislikes.” I do not eat seafood of any type, and told him this. I was pleasantly surprised that they arranged a special menu for me so that any seafood courses were replaced with another option. So, as I’m rambling on about eating, you may be thinking to yourself, what IS the chef’s table? The Chef’s Table is a semi-private, fine dining experience offered one night on board. We had 12 people in our group. You meet with the head chef, Chef Alwyn, in the lobby and he takes you on a tour of the kitchen. We were able to be in the kitchen during dinner service! The kitchen staff was so kind and gracious. We had a tour of the cold appetizer area and then were welcomed and served champagne and an appetizer sampler in the kitchen. We had Parmesan Core and Olive, Chorizo and Dates, Focaccia with Mascarpone Cream and Prosciutto Crudo, and Langoustine and Sundried Tomato Jam Fritters. (Instead of the Langoustine Fritter they served me a Duck Fritter.) As you can see the menu was already pretty adventurous. Everything was beautifully plated and although it was a little adventurous for me, I tried everything and was pleasantly surprised. Then we made our way through the kitchen to the main entrée area. I was amazed by the sheer amount of food! We went to the dessert area and they showed us how to make the Chocolate Melting Cake (yum!) The whole time they kept offering us refills of champagne.

After about 30-45 minutes, we made our way into a small private dining room. The chef explained that we were about to embark on a 7 course tasting menu. We each received a personalized copy of the menu and the chef explained each course as it was presented. If you are like me and have never experienced a true fine dining experience, you would be amazed at the service. Our glasses were always kept full (with complimentary red or white wine) and the waiters anticipated our every move. The first course was “Tomatoes Our Way” and consisted of a lot of molecular gastronomy. All of those techniques you see on Chopped or Iron Chef, yup, they used them! Courses two and three were a Tuna Banh Mi (pork was substituted for my tuna) and a Cornish Hen. Both delicious, of course. The fourth course was called “Bavarois” which was a broth/soup made of spinach, peas, turnip and apple juice. It might sound odd, but man it was delicious!! For the fifth course the group had salmon, but they served me chicken (at my request) and the sixth course was an amazing Wagyu with potato pebbles, pumpkin fudge and tomato dust. For dessert we were served Chocolate “88F” which was indescribably delicious as well. Everything was cooked to perfection, and the flavors were impeccable. The wine flowed freely and we had a private “show” by the magician/illusionist that was onboard. You also receive a complimentary photograph of the group signed by the chef. Overall, it was an amazing night and I can’t say enough good things about it. We highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys food!

Now, on to the ports…

We basically chose this cruise for the itinerary. We have both been on several cruises in the past and have sailed to many of the Caribbean islands, but we had never done a Southern Caribbean cruise.

St. Thomas – We have both been to St. Thomas in the past and I LOVED Megan’s Bay when I was there with my family 10 years ago. So we decided that we would just take a taxi to the beach and enjoy a nice relaxing day – which we reallllly needed! When we got off the ship we went to the taxi stand and asked for a taxi to Megan’s Bay. The one person there rudely told us it wasn’t the best beach to go to and that we should go where they were already taking another group of people. We explained that we really wanted to go to Megan’s Bay and finally another couple came over that also wanted to go there. Then another driver came over and told us he would take us and off we went. The taxi cost about $15 and then we had to pay admission to Megan’s Bay. We ended up just putting our towels on the sand and jumping in the crystal clear water. We didn’t really want to shell out MORE money for a beach chair or float. I was disappointed at how dirty and run down the beach area was, but there is nothing in the world that beats that view and the beauty of the water itself. We spent several hours in the water, enjoyed a drink from the beach bar (also overpriced) and took some fun pictures with our underwater camera. It was a nice day, but I think next time we go to St. Thomas we will try another beach.

On Wednesday, we arrived in Barbados – my new favorite island. I was really excited about checking out Barbados, but I didn’t anticipate how much fun we would have on this beautiful island. We got to Barbados and took a taxi to The Boatyard (theboatyard.com) in the very popular Carlisle Bay, for $5 per person. When we arrived we paid the entrance fee ($20 per person) which includes one drink, beach chairs and umbrellas, access to the water toys and rope swing and a shuttle back to the ship. We had gotten there pretty early so the beach was not crowded at all. The sand was pink and the water was clear blue and sparkling. We settled on a lounger (actually more like a bed on the beach) and rested in the shade for a bit. (Ryan had gotten a really bad sunburn in St. Thomas so he needed the shade.) We swam and enjoyed the warm, clear water and played on the water trampoline. There were vendors selling jewelry (I bought an ankle bracelet) and crafts which were a little bit annoying but they did leave when you said you weren’t interested. There were also people trying to get you to go on jet skis and snorkel tours. We had planned on snorkeling with the sea turtles and had heard great things about Neville so when we saw him we negotiated a deal ($20 per person) to go snorkeling. Neville took us and one other couple out on his yellow boat and suited us up with snorkel gear. He found a good spot and let us into the water and dropped lettuce into the water to attract the turtles. It really was an incredible experience. It was ruined a little bit by another larger group that came in. Some of the people started chasing the turtles which made it a little less enjoyable, but overall it was a great experience. We left the turtles and went to two ship wrecks. One was kind of lame and boring, but the other was great. Tons of beautiful fish!

When we got back to the Boatyard, Neville gave us some complimentary rum punch (yum!) and we went to the bar to order lunch. I ordered Coconut Chicken and Fries ($12) and Ryan got Flying Fish and Fries ($10). The Coconut Chicken was crispy, sweet and delicious. I would order it again in a second! Ryan also enjoyed the Flying Fish, a Barbados specialty. We got our complimentary drinks at the bar and at “Happy Hour” got free shots too. We had a perfect day at the beach and will DEFINITLEY go back here again. Highly recommended!

On Thursday, we went to St. Lucia, another island I was really looking forward to visiting. My brother and sister-in-law had been to St. Lucia on a past cruise and had highly recommended the Full Day St. Lucia Tour through Cosol Tours. We are very glad that we took their recommendation because we had an excellent day. Cosol, the owner is available by email and he responds almost immediately. The tour costs $65 per person but it is a full day tour and you don’t pay anything until the tour is over. This is the tour explanation that I had received from Cosol prior to booking.

"We will be leaving at 8:30am, we meet at 8:20am. As soon as you come off the ship you walk into the building right in front of you, where I will be standing with a sign "COSOL TOURS". The tour is 5 to 6 hours. You only pay in cash at the end of the tour. We will be stopping every 10 mins for your "wow" photo moments. Entrance fees to the waterfall, volcano, botanical gardens and water taxi is included in the price.

We will be visiting the banana plantation where you will learn about its growth and taste them, fishing villages (Anse La-Raye and Canaries), also Marigot Bay where the movie Dr. Doolittle was filmed. Then we will be stopping for breakfast where you can sample the local fish cakes, johnny cakes, coconut cakes, and different local fruits from the Island. We will be having a mobile bar with rum punch, local beer, water, soda. All eats and drinks are free. Then we head down to Soufriere where you will have an overlook of the pitons. Then to the only drive-in Volcano in the world where you will be getting an informative guide to show you around, there you can also do the mud bath and feel relaxed and rejuvenated. From the volcano we will be going to the Toraille Waterfall for swimming. Then to the Jalousie Beach between the pitons for swimming and snorkeling, where we will be taking the water taxi where you will enjoy unbelievable views of the coast. Please bring along your snorkeling gears, It is also available for rental.

After the beach we will be stopping for a drink and sample the local spice rum. Then we stop at the Botanical Gardens. On the way back to the north we will be stopping for the best local hot bread and cheese. Our last stop will be 5 mins drive from Castries where you can do all your shopping for local souvenirs to take back home. Bring along your camera and towels. Because of the small changing room at the beach you can wear you swimsuit under you garment to save time. If you have any more queries call me on my cell 1(758) 7196697 or visit my website at cosol-tours.com. Thanking you in advance as I await your confirmation reply.Cancellation policy is 24 hours prior to tour."

This tour was everything Cosol promised and more. We met up with the group as directed and were divided into smaller groups of 8-10 people per van. Our tour guide, Fat Man, was absolutely excellent. We had a nice group of all adults (other groups had kids with them) in their 20s and 30s. They did a good job of keeping people together as well. Two guys that we had met at the Chef’s Table ended up coming with us and signing up day-of and they were put in the same group as us. We got in the 15-passenger vans and started driving to our first destination. The whole time, Fat Man told us about his island. You can tell he was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about St. Lucia and we learned a lot. We stopped at the Banana Plantation and had fresh bananas right off the trees and then stopped twice for scenic stops. St. Lucia is a beautiful island and it was great to be able to see everything.

For breakfast we stopped at this beautiful house on a hill, overlooking much of the island. We were treated to an authentic, delicious meal prepared by Cosol’s wife. We tried many authentic dishes and fruits. The tour also included unlimited drinks, which were in coolers in the back of another van that traveled with the group. The drinks included beer, rum punch, bottled water and soda.

The Pitons are magnificent and I loved getting to see them from a distance and up close as we swam at a beach right between them! At the volcano we were given the option of getting out and taking a mud bath or staying in the van for a tour of the volcano. I ended up going for the mud bath while Ryan stayed in the van to see the volcano. The mud bath was a unique experience, not one that I need to do ever again, but it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. Ryan said the volcano was pretty cool too.

Afterwards, we drove to a pier and boarded a ferry boat. We rode past the Pitons (so cool!) and landed at a small beach. The beach itself was very crowded and it was difficult to get a chair, but the water again was amazing. We swam and enjoyed the view (between the Pitons) and then Fat Man drove us to this tiny village where we picked up fresh bread and cheese from a small bakery (or maybe just someone’s house?) A bunch of us really needed to use the bathroom, and since there wasn’t a public restroom available, we were directed to a woman’s home. This little family was cooking dinner and let us into their modest home to use the bathroom. They were so kind! We made it back to the ship with only about 30 minutes to spare before we needed to board. We did some shopping at the duty-free stores where Ryan purchased bamboo socks at Cariloha and I bought sunglasses at Del Sol! St. Lucia was a gorgeous island that we definitely plan on going back to in the future. Cosol’s Tour is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

On Friday we went to St. Kitts. We had not heard much about St. Kitts and wanted a relaxing day after the long day of touring in St. Lucia, so did not plan much. A friend of ours had recommended Timothy Beach so we just took a cab to the beach. The view was spectacular, the beach was empty and the sand was BLACK! We really enjoyed a few relaxing hours in the water and I spent some time reading in the sun, but overall we choose a beach with not much action, and we wanted to spend some time on the ship, so we only spent a couple of hours here. We took a cab back to the port area, wandered through the shops and avoided the men with the monkeys! I didn’t love St. Kitts as much as I was hoping, but I think it was situational. I know a lot of people really enjoyed their time in St. Kitts so we’re hoping to go back and try something different in the future.

On Saturday, our final day of cruising, we went to St. Maarten. This is another island I have visited (and loved) in the past. This is the day Ryan was most excited for. We had booked an excursion through Carnival (which is VERY rare for us!) to participate in the America’s Cup Regatta. Ryan’s parents and brother had done this excursion on a previous cruise and it was something he was really excited about. It was definitely our most expensive excursion of the week (I think $90 per person?) but overall we had a great time. After we disembarked, we met up with the excursion group on the pier. We boarded a boat which had regular deck chairs bolted to the platform and went across the bay to where the sailboat was moored. Of course it started pouring as we were on the boat so we were delayed a little bit. When we got on board we were give assignments for when we boarded our sailboat. The jobs ranged from difficult to ridiculous. I wanted to enjoy the sail without any worry so I took an easy job as the timekeeper. Ryan wanted to work a little bit so he took a more difficult job. When we boarded the sailboat we sat according to our job and stowed our gear. They provided drinks (beer, water and soda) which were passed out by the “bartender.” The premise of the excursion is that this is a sailboat that has actually competed in the America’s Cup and we are racing another boat. It was fun to learn a little bit about the history of the America’s Cup and sailing in general. We ended up losing the race but the rain cleared our quickly and we enjoyed a beautiful hour or two on a sailboat in St. Maarten, so really there were no losers. I actually enjoyed this excursion a lot more than I expected to. We had a great time. When the race is over, they bring you back (on the deck chair boat) to a pier with a store where you can purchase overpriced America’s Cup merchandise and photos that they took while we were on the boat. The staff was EXCELLENT – friendly and fun. They also were helpful in directing us to other areas of the island when the excursion was over.

We had read about Maho beach and decided to check it out. The guides had told us to take a public “bus” – which was really a van – to the beach instead of a private cab. It was much cheaper, but did take a long time because of frequent stops. However, it was kind of a nice way to see more of the island. Maho Beach itself was pretty gimmicky. I think it was interesting to experience once, but like my mud bath, I don’t think I need to do it ever again. Seeing the planes land was very cool and actually kind of beautiful (in a strange way) but I HATED when the planes took off. I know some people found it cool to hang on the fence and get blown back by the propulsion but even on the beach (and in the water) many yards away, you get pelted by sand and everyone’s belongings which are blown across the beach. We weren’t really hungry, but there was a bar/restaurant that was very crowded. We spent about an hour at the beach and then took the “bus” back to the port area. We wandered the shops for a while, found our friends Dan and Elizabeth on the main public beach and then went back to the ship.

On Sunday we had to disembark the Valor for the final time. We had a leisurely breakfast in the MDR and then wandered back to our cabin. Since we were spending three more days in San Juan we were in no rush to leave. We did take some fun pictures before we disembarked.

We self-disembarked which was actually very easy. It was a little bit difficult getting our luggage through the corridors since the room stewards already had their carts out but overall not a problem. We made it through security without an issue and found a cab. We took a cab to our hotel – The Embassy Suites in Isla Verde. We had gotten an excellent deal on this hotel using points, and did not expect it to be such a beautiful hotel. We were very early for check-in but they stored our luggage for us and gave us wristbands to use the pool. We spent most of the day by the gorgeous pool, had lunch at the Outback Steakhouse (in the hotel) and played in the casino (also in the hotel). Our room was very large and had a decent view. The happy hour was great – free drinks (the rum punch was EXCELLENT) and snacks and the breakfast was also included – and really good. That night we wandered to the beach in Isla Verde (which was about a 15 minute walk) but did not go swimming, since it was not such a nice beach. We ended up getting Outback for dinner as well since we were exhausted.

The next day we rented a car from the Dollar Rent-a-Car inside the Verdanza Hotel lobby. We arranged to pick the car up first thing Monday morning and they were very accommodating. They told us that we could drop the car off at the parking lot at the end of the day instead of paying for parking at our hotel. It was extremely convenient since we could just walk from our hotel. They also told us that they would give us a complimentary ride to the airport the next day. On Monday we picked up our car and drove to the El Yunque Rain Forest. It was a bit of a drive and since Ryan doesn’t know ANY Spanish, it was helpful that I could read the signs. The Rain Forest is not really near the tourist-center of San Juan so it was a nice drive in the country.

We had previously set up a tour with a guide from the Parks Service through a friend of my father and it was an excellent private tour. I am not sure of the options visitors usually have but if you can arrange a tour ahead of time I highly recommend doing so. We met our tour guide basically at the highest point in El Yunque and had an excellent tour. Our tour guide (whose name I cannot remember!) was excellent. She was extremely knowledgeable in both the history of the rain forest and of the plants and foliage in the rain forest. Of course it started to POUR while we were there, but it was still enjoyable. After the tour, we took our time driving back out of the rain forest, enjoying stops along the way. We stopped at one point for lunch and had empanadas and rice and beans, which were pretty good. It was raining very hard at this point and the road seemed kind of dangerous, with water rushing down on either side of us, so we ended our trip to El Yunque a little bit prematurely. However, we really enjoyed our time there.

Next, we drove to the Bacardi Distillery. We got VERY lost along the way so it took a long time to find it. From what I understand the Distillery is very easy to get to from Old San Juan via ferry but we were driving in and it was extremely difficult to find. Once we found it though, we were glad that we did! The tour itself was fun and interesting, but the outdoor bar was really nice. We each got 2 free drinks – you could select any type of Bacardi Rum with any mixer. The bartenders were knowledgeable and made great suggestions of different mixers and rum to try. We had a great time and enjoyed the sunshine.

We had asked the concierge at our hotel about an authentic Puerto Rican restaurant in the area and recommended Los Platos and we are very glad she did. The restaurant was somewhat small but the waitstaff was excellent and the food and drink were outstanding. The waiter recommended we try the Coconut Sangria, (which was FABULOUS) and the fried cheese appetizer (also delicious!). For our entrees, Ryan tried the traditional Mofungo and I had steak with rice and beans. Overall a great meal!

We returned the car without an issue and returned to the hotel for happy hour (more rum punch, yay!) The next day we hung out by the pool and then went to the airport for our flight home. We had an amazing trip and can’t wait to visit all of our favorite places again!! Less


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Cabin review: Carnival Valor Balcony Empress 7447

We absolutely loved this cabin. The location was perfect - it was quiet and out of the way. The cabin itself was spacious and had plenty of storage. The balcony was FANTASTIC. It was large and we had great views of every port.

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