Carnival Valor cruise review May 20-27 Eastern Caribbean We had a terrific cruise! They treated us like royalty. We were a group of 12 family members, my DH and I are in our 40's and DS is 10. Our group also included our married DD and her hubby, as well as my mother, sister and her grown two kids, spouse and grandkids. Ages ranging from 5 to 75. We've all sailed Carnival before and my DH and I have also cruised once on RCCL. We had pre arranged a shuttle through Miami411.com and they sent Tran Floridian Shuttle service. We cannot say enough about Vince and his great service. He picked us up at Ft Lauderdale airport and delivered us to the hotel. He was there exclusively for us so we didn't have to wait to fill the shuttle or make other stops. We would highly recommend them. We arrived on Saturday and stayed at the Holiday Inn Port of Miami. The hotel was great for a pre cruise stay. It was very clean and nicely decorated. The staff was very friendly. They had a good breakfast buffet and our son's was free. It is just across the street from Bayside Marketplace and only 5 minutes from the Port. After we settled into our rooms, we walked across the street to eat at Bubba Gump's. A very fun place and they have a little gift shop too. We walked around the Marketplace and there were lots of shops and bars and cafes. On to bed for the big day ahead! We left for the Valor with Vince of Tran Floridian Shuttle in the pouring rain. We were delivered right to the Valor terminal door and gave our luggage to the ship's porters. Thankfully the bins were under cover so our luggage didn't get soaked. There had been a power outage on the returning ship so they did not disembark as soon as they usually did. This caused us to wait quite awhile in an inside area. Once they allowed us on, it went very quickly. We were eating lunch before one o'clock on the Lido deck. We were able to go to our cabins at 1:30 and they were ready. FOOD: The food on the Lido deck was good. I preferred the Grill, the Oriental, Fish and Chips and the Pizza station over the buffet. The Reuben from the Grill is SO good. My DH and DD ate sushi almost every day. Room service was great. We ordered breakfast several times. There was afternoon tea on sea days - More opportunities to sample special snacks and desserts. We went to 6:15 dinner in the Lincoln Dining room. Murat from Turkey and Ida from Indonesia were our servers and were really good. They, as well as the bar girl Elizabeth took our drink orders the first night and remembered what we wanted at future meals. We thought this was a nice touch. We were well taken care of! The only criticism of the dining room was the steaks were not very tender at any of the meals. I prefer chicken and it was always prepared well. The soups were great. We liked their evening dancing and singing. Hassan was a great Maitre'D.
CABINS:We met our room steward Richard and he was terrific all week. Most of us were in balcony cabins on the Empress deck and our daughter was up on Panorama #1055. She also had a great steward. We love the balcony! There is so much storage space in the cabin!
CAMP CARNIVAL: Our group had 3 kids, ages 5, 10 and 14. None of them were interested in going to Camp Carnival at the beginning. Each of them WANTED to go back after they had been there one time. They had tons of activities. The two older ones were able to check themselves in and out.The staff was very friendly. The build a bear workshop was a hit.
ENTERTAINMENT: We really enjoyed the entertainment. Chris Jefferson was a great cruise director. He was all around the ship and very enjoyable. My niece and friends she had met went to watch Mark in the piano bar most nights. It was funny that my mom was “Grandma” to them all and would get special attention when she joined them. A highlight for her! We watched the Fear Factor and the Hairy Chest contests on Lido deck. They were hilarious.
We liked all of the ports, St. Maarten the best. At Nassau, a local man cracked open a coconut for our son and shared the coconut meat. Priceless! The straw market is big but if you’ve been down a couple of aisles, you‘ve seen it all. St. John- Trunk Bay is beautiful! Maho Beach at St. Maarten is so cool to see the airplanes fly over- The beach is beautiful too! Seemed like a Corona beer commercial. Paradise! A great cruise and a beautiful, clean ship! We're ready to go again! All of Carnival's people were very friendly.