Carnival Valor Cruise Review by kellyjoe0523: Nice spring break, but a little short
Overall Member Rating
Nice spring break, but a little short
Destination: Western Caribbean
This was our first family cruise with Carnival. Previously cruised 3 times with RCL as family - DH cruised with Carnival years ago. This cruise was selected because of the low price during Easter week and the availability of rooms.
Embarkation The cruise left from Miami. Since we live in Florida, we drove to the port and arrived around 11 am. Drive wasn't too bad but the parking at the port of Miami is very poor. Once of the parking lots is closed due to the construction of a new parking deck (sorely needed). Due to the limited number of spots and that two of the ships were slow in letting passengers off, it took an hour to find a parking spot. However, processing through both the security and check-in lines were much faster - about 30 minutes.
Once on board, we ate at the restaurant on the pool deck and toured the ship. Surprisingly, our room was ready before 2 pm and all luggage was delivered before 4 pm.
Dining We had selected the main More seating time - 6pm - and were assigned to the Washington Dinning room. This dinning room is located at the back of the ship with windows everywhere. It provided the perfect view. Our wait staff was fantastic. They always had food delivered early for the kids at the table. Additionally, the waiter would make animals out of the napkins to entertain the kids. Food was excellent.
Casual dining on the pool deck provided a ton of options - hamburgers, freshly made sandwiches, pizza, salad, stir-fry, etc. Don't miss the fish and chips - its located one floor about the main area.
Ports We stopped in Costa Maya, Belize City, Cozumel and Key West. Key West was a substitute for Progresso - winds were too high to get into the port. Due to the late change, the port and ship staff were not ready. We had a great time at all locations. We found it best to plan ahead and if using the ship to book your excursions before the cruise.
Children's program The program was good. Not as many organized activities for the 6-8 age group. DD did have a great time.
Entertainment Good variety. However, some of the selections could have been better for a Spring Break cruise with the large number of kids on board.
Overall we had a great time and would definitely consider using Carnival again. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
The drive from the port to the beach area is about 25 minutes over good roads. The beach area was fantastically clean. Tons of beach chairs and shade area. It has a large covered pavilion area with cleanest bathrooms only seen at top resorts.
Activities included volleyball and kayaking. For an additional fee jet ski and small motor boats were available.
The weather was very hot. Only shopped at this port. Anyone that needs sandals must visit Kinos - great handmade sandals for a low price - $11-$15 per pair.
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