Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by Weidman
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean
Destination: Western Caribbean
Our cabin was spacious and the room steward always there. One night I phoned for ice and I swear he must have been standing outside the door in 10 seconds!!!
The food was absolutely fantastic. We had lobster tails, prime rib and many other well prepared entries, our server was always available and gracious.
There were always lounge chairs available and we had 5 people traveling. The pools and hot tubs were great and my teenagers loved the waterslide.
Ship's entertainment was average and what you would expect, the normal bingo etc. and after a while the wining voice of the cruise entertainment More director kind of got to you. We spent time in the casino with no luck however the dealers were always friendly.
The piano bar was a lot of fun and the other bars were equally as enjoyable. Of course the ship's stores were overpriced but if you wait until the last day they do reduce some items. You are much better to barging on shore for t-shirts etc. I felt the art auction was nothing special and I would not bother going again. Most of the art started at $400 and up and really you don't need to buy on impulse as you can get the same prices at home.
Now on to excursions, I booked all of my excursions on line and must say that without exception they were fantastic deals for the money and much better than the cruise lines offers. I highly recommend going to the 7 Mile Beach on your own in Grand Cayman. It is a short taxi ride $4.00 per person and the beach was great. One strong word of advice, there is a tike type bar at the beach and you might be tempted to eat there. Don't bother as it is crowded and the food is well overpriced. There is a Wendys across the street if you want something and it is quick. At the 7 mile beach bar we waited over 45 minuets for our burgers and wasted beach time.
On to ROATAN ISLAND, HONDURAS - I would recommend booking on line with Dian Dixon and you can email her at - email@example.com. Now let me explain why I recommend this company rather than what the cruise excursion offers - PERSONAL SERVICE- Designed around your own interest. We did a great island tour with our own driver and everything we requested we got to see. My kids wanted to go to the Aquinas farm and to see the Monkeys. Well we would have went to a crowded Monkey farm if we took the ships excursion, but our driver took us to a special spot where we were the only people there. We got a private showing of the area which included a guide informing us of the different native plants used for medicinal purposes and then we got to hold and play with the monkeys for over 40 minutes!! It was truly fantastic as the monkeys love us and climbed all over and in and out of our shirts hats etc. Don't miss it as it was something you wont forget. The agent farm was loaded with tame but wild agamas and you could get very close even hold them (watch the claws) and take many photos. Our private guide new the secret shopping areas were we obtained great bargains and he even told us to be sure to dicker with the locals. Photo opportunities were many and the day was worth every penny of the very in-expensive cost. Here is our ISLAND TOUR which included the following sights - through the town were the ship docks up then to view the INTERN. AIRPORT, TO SEE THE TWO SHIPWRECKS, (Photo op)A STOP AT CORAL CAY, TO FANTASY ISLAND ,TO PARROT TREE PLANTATION THEN TO THE VIEW SPECIAL FOR PICTURES AND SHOPPING, THEN TO THE IGUANA FARM, THEY ALSO HAVE MONKEYS AND DIFFERENT TYPES OF BIRDS THERE THEN ON TO CULTURE VILLAGE TO HOLD THE MONKEYS. CONTINUE THE TOUR TO THE WEST END VILLAGE, THERE IS NICE SHOPPING ON THE BEACH. Defiantly book with Diana Dixon and you wont be disappointed - please tell her the Weidman family said hello!!!!
Now to BELIZE - Again a super excursion was obtained on line with Nacho and Cynthia at firstname.lastname@example.org - SERVICE IS THERE SPECIALITY! My recommendations would be Altun Ha mayan ruins. This site is only 31 miles from Belize City. The tour from start (pick up) to return takes approx. 3 1/2 - 4 hours. You will have plenty of time, to go downtown to shop, if you want. For this tour, they charge US$55/person and this includes transportation, entrance fees, guided tour of site, cold water/sodas and a complimentary Belize City Tour. On this tour we had a guide and driver. They were outstanding and very knowledgeable. There were five of us and they started out with a normal mini van. However when they noticed we were a little crowded the went to there home and moved us into a larger van!!! What service! The brought out sodas and water for us and treated us very special. The difference in this tour vs. the ship is the special private service. When we arrived at the ruins there were large tour groups working there way quickly through the ruins. We took our time climbed the ruins and took many photos. We learned much more than what we overheard the ships tour guide explained regarding the ruins and spent at least a good hour more there. When we finally left the Ships tour bus was long gone. Again the service here was unbeatable (Nacho and Cynthia even invited us to come back and spend some time at there house to go fishing!!! Try to top that Carnival!! Please also tell Nacho and Cynthia we said hello. COSTA MAYA, MEXICO was my favorite, we chose to book on line a Beach party which included all you could drink from arrival to departure. If you are looking for the perfect day on a sun drenched beach with aqua marine water where you can have any kind of delicious frozen tropical drinks while basking in the sun, this is the place for you. You can book this for only $30.00 US and what a deal. When we arrived we were greeted and treated like royalty! We were directed to our own beach spot and were provide lounge chairs, table and chairs and anything we wanted to drink. The bar was so much fun and the bartenders were super. The bar seats were rope swings and we even played volleyball. Two of the Guys got massages on the beach ($15.00ea.) while the girls went shopping. This is a fishing village were the deals are great and the merchants really want to barging. The beach here is also one of my favorites. You can book this on line at www.costamayacruiseexcursions.com/CostaMayaBeach.htm or just type in Costa Maya Beach Break. Unbelievable deal here so don't miss it. My kids did the snorkel but I would have to say it was disappointing as they saw very little fish. For the money I would pass on the snorkeling. I truly enjoyed this cruise from start to finish and hope you will definitely take my advice on the private tour operators, I trust you wont be disappointed. Less
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