Carnival Valor Cruise Review by Ed Smith: Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean
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Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean
Our group of 23, Eddie and the Cruisers, sailed on February 6th to the western Caribbean. Most folks opted for an interior cabin, one had exterior, two had balconies. Everyone liked the accommodations, but the exterior cabin was on deck one so was quite a hike with everyone else on deck 8. The interior cabins are fine, very roomy, great bath set-up compared to older ships. Balconies are a bit larger and have a small balcony.
Embarkation was painless. We arrived from our hotel between 10:30 and 11 am. I didn't notice much difference with the on-line check-in, but everyone in our group did it. Once on board, dumped our carry-ons in the cabin and hit the Lido with everyone else. We had a standing rendezvous point on the Lido far aft, so that made for less searching for folks on board.
Food service was fine. There are multiple buffets on the Lido aft, and also the Asian, deli, burgers and stir fry. One line not heavily promoted was the fish and chips. Good food, but More easy to miss one deck up from the Lido.
Scarletts was enjoyed by four of us. Excellent service and food. Nice background music, very attentive wait staff. The only down side was a member of our group wanted a well done steak and darned if they didn't serve her something other than an old cowboy boot. The lobster and steaks are great.
The shows in the lounge were very good. I missed the hypnotist but was told it was the best show of the week. Drinks were very good and well proportioned. We did have a pleasant surprise by the lack of hawking drink servers.
In Belize we all went on the cave tubing excursion. A great experience. The rest of Belize that was available for us to visit is very 3rd world, and needs some work for large cruise ships. Worst part is the 20-30 minute tender ride from ship to shore.
Isla Roatan was a favorite new stop for our group. Most everyone swam with the dolphins, up close and personal. After that we headed to the far side for a great beach experience.
Grand Cayman has been devastated by last year's storms. That being said, rebuilding is underway. Five ships in port when we were there, a popular spot. We did a bit of shopping and then to sting ray city. This was the second thru fourth visit for members of our group. As always a great experience, not to be missed.
Cozumel Island was getting the worst of Mother Nature on our visit. All boating excursions had been cancelled due to high winds and surf. We hired a van for a tour of the far side of the island and it was great. We ended up at Carlos and Charlies along with many passengers from the three other large ships in port. Fortunately C & C hasn't changed over the years either.
Our day at sea was enjoyable with various activities. Our group does a scavenger hunt, and we were all looking forward to that.
Debarkation was also painless, although more customs lines would be a great help. Overall, a great cruise. We had a mix of newbies and veteran's and all had a good time. My suggestion for improvement would be 3 stops, to enjoy more of the ship. We'll be back! Less
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