Carnival Valor Cruise Review by NateDGreat: Valor Vagabonds
Member Since 2008
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As this was our first cruise we decided to let Carnival handle everything. Our flight left the day before the cruise and we arrived for supper that night. We were shuttled to the Hilton Miami Airport by Greyhound. As you would expect it was a very nice hotel. Just before noon we were lined up to board another Greyhound to take us to the ship. We were aboard by 2 and went straight to our dining room to change seatings from late to early. After grabbing some burgers from the grill we went to our first meet and greet with our CC roll call. One of our bags was waiting for us and the other came with plenty of time to get ready for supper.
Our Room - There was way more than enough storage in our room. We could have brought twice the clothes and the closets still would have seemed empty. We didn't even use the drawers and there we plenty of those. The bathroom and shower weren't nearly as small as I thought they would be from reading other reviews. I loved having a balcony as we More watched each sail away from there and it was also a great place to unwind at the end of each day. PORTS OF CALL
Bahamas - We booked a Segway tour through Carnival. I was really looking forward to it and it didn't disappoint. After a few minutes of practicing our riding skills we went to Fort Charlotte on our Segways. After a guided tour of the fort we hopped on our Segways again and went for a ride through the closed botanical gardens. Everyone had a blast. If you want a tour with fewer people this tour only takes 10 people.
St Thomas - We grabbed a cab to Magen's Bay in the morning. It is an amazing beach. Calm clear water and a long sandy beach. Although we didn't stay long I am glad we went. We booked a Snuba excursion through Carnival again. This involved about an hour of snorkeling and 20 minutes of Snuba at Coki Beach. The snorkeling was a lot of fun and we saw a lot of fish. The snuba was cool, but my mask was leaking badly as we went deeper so that kinda took a lot of the fun out of it.
St Martin - Here we decided not to do an excursion and just went to the beach. We went to Dawn beach which was very nice, but we regret not just taking the water taxi to whatever beach it went to as the cab ride was not cheap. Water taxi is $6 each for unlimited rides all day, while the cabs are $6 per person each way, or more. THE SHIP
At sea days were very relaxing for us. We spent a good part of the first and last sea days at the adult only pool at the back of the ship. It was very quiet there and only once did I see a non-adult try to use the pool. Chairs were busy, but not impossible to come by. The main pool area was much more lively with lots of live entertainment and of course the new big screen. Our other at sea day was spent mostly indoors, playing and watching games like Millionaire, Famous Faces and the Not so Newly Wed game.
We went to all but 1 show and they were all highly entertaining and well done. The dancers and singers were great. The magician was hilarious, just don't expect much magic. Chris Jefferson is an awesome cruise director, does his job very well.
The Food - There is definitely no excuse for going hungry on a cruise. I never had food at the buffet that was not the appropriate temperature. I enjoyed the omelettes and Asian grill multiple times and have no complaints about the wait times. Supper in the dining room was always good. Tried a few new things such as escargot that I otherwise wouldn't have. We had a waiter in training who had just been promoted from assistant waiter, so things weren't as smooth as they could have been, but he was trying hard and I appreciate that.
Debarkation was simple, but the wait at customs was annoying. After we got through that line we hopped on a Greyhound again back to the airport. We got off the ship around 10am and our flight was at 2:10pm. I would definitely consider using cruise air again as all our connections worked smoothly and we would be hard pressed to book flights, hotel and transfers for less. Looking forward to the next cruise now. Less
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