Carnival Valor Cruise Review by Chris Smith: Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean
Destination: Western Caribbean
Carnival did a great job of getting us processed onto the ship. This was our 3rd cruise with them. We were there early as we stayed the night before in Miami at the Holiday Inn Airport. They have complimentary shuttles from the airport and to the port. The rooms are wonderful as they have all been renovated. Our room looked new. My daughter and I volunteered to be a model in the spa for the opening tour. She did the facial and loved it. I did the seaweed wrap and didn't like it. They just wrap you and leave you for over 2 hours. You don't get any of the treatment except that. I wouldn't have done that again. Sailing out of the port of Miami was rough as there were rough seas and the boat was severely rocking for about 6 hours. Heard many people saying they thought they were getting seasick. I was actually getting a little queasy myself and I don't ever suffer from motion sickness. First port was Cayman Island. Shopped a little and snorkeled at Eden Rock. Had a great time and saw a lot More
as soon as we stepped into the water. The dive shop there sells fish food for $4.00 and you get swarmed by the fish. We didn't get any, but a man getting out did and the fish were still there when he got out. Getting into the water and out wasn't any problem as they have steps.Second port was Roatan, Honduras. Hired Bodden tours and had a great time. Went ziplining, played with monkeys, iguanas and an anteater. Saw the island and stopped at a grocery store for sodas and Honduran coffee. Bought 10 pounds to bring home. Great coffee for less than $2.00 a pound.
Third port was Belize. Hired Startours to take us snorkeling over the barrier reef. This was the best snorkeling we have ever done. We were confused when we first got there as we thought they picked us up at where the ship tenders come in, but we walked about a block to the Marine terminal and got the water taxi there. The price included the taxi. We didn't realize that to get to the reef, we had to go on a 45 minute water taxi ride. All the tours do. We saw people from the Carnival tour. They were packed in a boat. Lots of people. We also saw boats of tours that people from the ship booked at the tender port. They too were packed in, but they only had about 30 in the small boats. We knew that the most we would have on our boat was 14, but we were so happy when we got there and found out that it was only the 3 of us in a boat all to ourselves. We went to the coral gardens and had a wonderful time seeing all of the different corals. We then went to play with the stingrays. We were the only boat in the area at the time so we had them all to ourselves. We then went to a deeper area followed by a more shallow area. We had a personal guide the whole time and he dove down and picked up things for us to touch and take pictures of. We were out there for hours and he was going to take us to another area, but we were tired at that point. We plan on booking with them again when we go back. Fourth port was Cozumel instead of Costa Maya because of Hurricane Dean. We just shopped. Couldn't believe how different the port was as we haven't been there since the rebuilding from the hurricane a couple of years ago.
We had a day at sea, 4 ports in a row and another day at sea. Having 4 ports in a row is very tiring, but it was great. When we arrived back in Miami, we were one of the first ships to use the new terminal that opened when we were at sea. It was great. They now call numbers. You go when your number is called. Even if you are doing the self embark, you still have to go by the number. If you have an early flight, they give you number 4. The way it's set-up to get your luggage now is like an airport. Your number is on a carousel that is constantly bringing the luggage around. There are 3 of them. It took us all less that 10 minutes to get our bags. There is now no advantage to doing the self embark. The decor of the ship was nice, not gaudy like many have said. The shows were very nice, especially the friday night 80's show. We had 3 comedians. The first one was great, the second one phat kat was not so good, and the 3rd one was just ok. The 8x10 pictures are now about $22.00 each. One thing I did find out was that the dining room waiters aren't paid a salary. They get $75.00 per month and work 70 hours a week. They get all of their money from tips. The base is from the gratuity charged to your room. They have to split that between several people. Most people on the ship work those long hours except the dancers. The overall cruise was great. Less
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