Carnival Valor Cruise Review by 1gr8cruise: Valor Vacation
Member Since 2006
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Our family profile....Me (44), DW (42), DS (15)....our neighbors went too..they are late 30's, 2 boys 12 & 14.
We flew to Ft Laud. from Chicago via Jet Blue.....Awesome airlines if you can fly Jet Blue...everything was excellent....you didn't feel like you were being nickle and dimed for everything as with all the other airlines.....LCD screens with 30 channels in every seat. We arrived in Ft. Laud around noon on Saturday, the cruise sailed on Sunday....We rented a car with Alamo for $50 for 1 day....turned it in at Miami airport then had a free shuttle to the docks Sun. Morning....it worked very well and was cheaper than the shuttle from FLL to the docks in Miami. It was nice to have the transportation to go to dinner and do a little sightseeing.....I recommend this if you fly in a day early...
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Golden Glades in North Miami....$125/nt. This is in a very bad area.....we did not have any problems but did not feel very safe......gangs More walking along the streets....I went to a liquor store close by and had to be buzzed in by the owner....steel bars on the doors......not good.....the lobby area of the hotel was clean and nice but the halls and rooms were your typical falling apart 40 year old trying to be renovated Holiday inn........
THE CRUISE!! We arrived at about noon and were on the boat by 1:00pm....everything went very smooth.....lots of people in line but it went very quick...We hadn't made it on to the ship when my 15 year old son lost is sign & sail card already..... he found it in his sock he put it in 5 minutes earlier.....LOL We made it to the ship and my son was amazed (his first cruise) he couldn't believe how big it was...... We toured the top decks, around 2:00 went by the room and dropped off a few things.....We met Rohan our room attendant, very nice...quiet guy....He said he would be done soon.....we told him we would be back in a while....We always saw him in the hallway during our cruise and he always spoke to us....but didn't bother us......very good job!!!
We ate lunch (burgers & such) then went back to our room to change...At 3:00 we had a group meeting with our CC roll call group....I finally got to meet everyone I had been chatting with for months about our upcoming cruise.....what a great group of people......DO THIS....it is fun...
Dinner: We had the early seating in the Lincoln dinging room...We loved it every night...our head waitress was Stanislava (Tanya)she was terrific..it was her first cruise as head waitress.....We tried to take her home with us.....the boys loved her....she would dance with them and bring them a little extra every night for desert..... Food was good every night.....I enjoyed the soups......very good...I am not a picky eater....Its pretty hard to ruin a meal in my book......My son loved the dinners, he only missed 1 (chasing girls)......
I did wear dress shorts a few nights and felt comfortable. I didn't feel anyone was offended by my doing so....(a hot topic on the boards) I wore a nice silk shirt and dress shoes with the shorts.....I saw others do the same.... The 2 formal nights I wore a suit and tie.....
We had fish and chips several times.....very good....soup was good there..I'm not a big buffet eater....I think we had breakfast from buffet on days we were in port...it was OK, nothing great... PORTS: Our first stop was Nassau.....we went to the stores and straw market close to the ship......I could stay on the ship when in Nassau...not impressed at all.... Second stop was St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands)....what a dump....I know why they call it the Detroit of the Caribbean...We went to town and went through the shops....we were approached outside every store for taxi rides....After a few hours of shopping we took a cab to Coki Beach..another dump....$30 one way ride.....through the hood....to a littered beach with old rusty chairs we paid $20 for four...We had our own snorkel gear...we went around the 25 yard area of rock and saw a few fish....it is right next to Coral World..we planned on going in to Coral World but after seeing the entrance to that we skipped it.....took our $30 cab ride back to the docks.....We spent $80 for the Coki Beach trip...what a waste.....do an excursion to somewhere else off the island.... St. Maarten....What a relief...finally a wonderful stop.....It was awesome...clean, nice people, we did not get bothered by anyone..... We took the water taxi to the center of town....The beach there was great, white sand, clean chairs, nice umbrellas.....If we would have known we would have brought our suits and stayed there..you could rent 2 beach chairs, umbrella and a bucket (6) of budweiser for $20...Incredible.. We ended up shopping, the women bought rings...I had 5-6 Heinekens ($1 each) and was able to smoke a cuban cigar..now that's a good day......We at lunch on the beach at the "Blue Bitch Bar"...good food, good music, good times....As soon as we returned home from our cruise I started looking in to trips to St. Maarten.....We will go back!! I felt the cruise was great...everything was good for the most part...We did get up early on Sea Days and get our chairs.....We were up at 7:00am, found 4 chairs by the main pool and big screen....we did stay with them. DW and I went to breakfast then our neighbors went to breakfast...it worked fine for us.....
The ship was always clean....The decor was fine...it is what it is!! You will enjoy your cruise if you are not a picky nag......When we were at O'hare (chicago airport) waiting for our luggage my son asked when we were going on our next cruise!! He loved it....He loved the teen disco..had a lot of fun there......Sends emails to his friends he made..
Here is the only negative about the cruise....The big screen is a joke in my opinion....they spent all this money on it....It had CNN on in the early am......OK fine...Then it goes out for awhile....then a "Johnny Cash" concert......goes out for awhile....band plays live music....Then an Aretha Franklin concert, blank for awhile....then a Pavarotti concert....Movies were Transformers.....Harry Potter........I don't think I ever saw more than 30 people watching a movie at night.... The Bronx sports bar on the ship was baseball themed....Every night I walked in there, they had on European Soccer.....The Masters (golf)was on during my cruise.....Only saw it on Saturday in the sports bar, the place was packed then....You would think Carnival would pick up on that....No ESPN on in our room........Come on Carnival get out the wallet and get a decent satellite hook up with the US, if Jet Blue can do it, you can too!! Less
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