Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by honeymooners04-30-06
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation- Booked our own flights to Miami and arrived in Miami around 8:30. We knew ahead of time that we would take a taxi to the pier at around 10:00, so we decided to find a quiet place in the airport and have a small bite to eat. This was difficult because the airport was too crowded. But we eventually found a quiet spot, I sat with the luggage and my DH went to get breakfast and brought it back. We then to a taxi to the pier (cost $24.00) and arrived about 10:20ish. Besides the VIPs we were one of the first in line and besides waiting for the previous cruisers to get off the ship we got right on. We were eating lunch at Rosies with drink in hand by 12:00.
Stateroom- We had booked a guaranteed with the TA for a balcony and were upgraded to 8C. Our cabin #8266 on the Verandah deck was great. Not too much noise (just the elevator More but easy to ignore). It was great to have a balcony but we didnt spend too much time out there except the mornings! The cabin was what I expected with lots of storage. The bathroom was nice (I really like the shampoo and body wash)! Our cabin steward, Renatus, kept the room cleaned and ice bucket filled but we didnt see him too often and it took a while to get our room cleaned.
Ship-I loved the ship! I liked the decor and since it was the first cruise I didnt have anything to compare it to. The shops were OK, I would have expected more. We bought T-shirts, hats and other souvenir type items. We stayed away from the jewelry and perfumes (although I would have liked a piece of jewelry.) It took us a while to find our way but once we did it was easy to navigate.
Dining- We originally had late seating but changed it prior to first dinner which worked out great. We had upper Washington and sat with 3 other honeymooners overlooking the stern of the ship. (In our opinion, the best location). Our servers, Rudy and David were excellent and Rudy would talk to us and tell us about working on the ship, which we all kept asking him more questions. The drink attendant was horrible. Our table mates took a long time to get their sodas. I usually stuck with water at dinner and had no problems. It was fun to see each night how long it would take to get a drink. Rosies for breakfast and lunch worked out well. The food was good in my opinion. I really liked the oysters at the Fish-N-Chips upstairs.
Room-service- Ok At our fist port (which we arrived early and we had early excursion tickets) we placed the card on our door the night before and requested it be delivered in a ½ hour time frame. When it didnt arrive 15 min before our tender departure we just left and grabbed a banana from Rosies. After that we gave them a longer timeframe and it worked out OK. But it was just cereal and Danishes so we decided on eating at Rosies for omelets the rest of the time. We went to Scarletts one time, the food was good but we got suckered in to purchasing an $85.00 bottle of wine, which we only wanted the $35.00 wine but were able to drink the other ½ in the dining room the rest of the cruise.
Ports- (We booked all excursions on-line with Carnival.)
Grand Cayman- Tendered in early. We booked the Stingray City and Island tour. Crowed but our tour guide was informative. I liked the Turtle Farm and picked up a baby turtle. Hell was Hell. Not anything to write about. Stingray City was nice. It was crowded but fun to touch the stingrays!
Roatan- We booked a private beach excursion. (Parrot Tree Beach) Only 40 people and our own private beach lagoon. It was beautiful. One of my favorite ports and spots.
Belize- We did the canopy tour and had a great time. It was an hour ½ drive (most on a dirt bumpy road) but worth the drive. We did 5 traverses and 2 rappels. I had never done anything like it before, so it was amazing.
Costa Maya- Hot and muggy. My least favorite. We booked the beach excursion with the free drinks. We stayed 2 hours and left. The pier was way too crowded too but since it was a pier we were able to get on/off the ship as often as you like.
Nightlife drinks, etc. -- The cruise director, Brett, was OK. He reminded me of Waldo from Wheres Waldo. His assistant Jenn was annoying with her British accent. The shows were good. I really like the hypnotist. We didnt do any late night comedians (too tired from the days events) but heard they were good. We visited the piano bar, and wine bar often. Great deal on Martinis of the day at the wine bar (look for it in the Capers). The piano man was good on the piano but not so much in the singing department. We took tons of pictures and bought 2 of them.
Debarkation-We decided to leave our bags the night before and do it the Carnival way- it was a long process but it cant be avoided. It sucked but only because it meant our vacation was over and we were leaving the ship.
Overall, this was the best vacation and we are looking to book another with Carnival. Although at some point we will go on another cruise line and realize the difference in cruise lines but for now I loved Carnival. Less
Cabin review: 8c8266
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