My husband and I just returned from the February 27 Carnival Valor Eastern Caribbean sailing.
We had a wonderful time and had a great cabin with a private balcony. The weather was great. We went on the Yellowbird Party Boat in Nassau, which took us to a private island/beach. In St. Thomas we went to Magen's Bay and Paradise Point. We thought we were going to be taking the tramway up to Paradise Point, but instead we were driven up, which is not quite the same effect. Still, very nice scenery. In St. Maarten we did the Divi Little Bay Beach Experience, where we went to a local hotel and used their beach facilities and had a very nice BBQ lunch. There were beach games and music as well.
The food served on Lido deck was very good and much expanded. The pizza and deli sandwiches are great. The grill food is also decent. At times the lines for the food can be long when everybody is going to or returning from shore tours.
The chocolate extravaganza on Lido deck on the last day is terrific!
The staff on the ship was very friendly. We had a great waiter and busboy in the dining room. In the Washington Dining Room the staff does a show/dance each night that is very fun.
The production shows on this ship were truly impressive.
The calypso band, "Cool Runnings," is very good. The singer and drummer really get into it.
"Flashy," an evening singing entertainer, is also very good.
"Ron" in the piano bar attracts a large crowd as well. He enjoys a few martinis while performing.
There is also a rock band from the Philippines called "Music Society" that is very good. They have been on several prior Carnival ships we've been on.
Our only complaints were: there are not enough juice machines on the Lido deck, or enough working ice cream machines. On sea days, it is still a struggle to get a decent lounge chair that is near both the pool and calypso band. The midnight buffets have been drastically reduced from what they used to be. They are now just an array of fruits, desserts and antipastos, with the pizzeria and grill also being open. There is also no ice cream sundae bar for an hour each afternoon like there used to be (just ice cream and cones). The afternoon "tea time" is very nice to go to.
One other thing that is not handled well on this ship is the debarkation process. On prior ships, we waited until late morning to debark, like we did on the Valor. Unfortunately, the lines were still so long that it took us almost 1.5 hours to get off the ship. We ended up missing our flight back home. They have added a step now where you have to show a customs official your passport before going to claim your baggage in the shed, which slows up the process.
Also, since the ship sails to Nassau before St. Thomas, we had to go through immigrations in St. Thomas to get off the ship. This is also annoying, as we arrived at 9 a.m. and did not get off the ship until 10:30 a.m. We just sat outside and enjoyed the scenery until it was time to get off, but too bad we had to miss that much time.
I could go on and on. I am happy to answer any questions people might have.