Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by Jspang

Carnival Valor 5
Member Since 2001
133 Forum Posts

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Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean

Sail Date: May 2006
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
Arrival: We arrived a day early in Miami via Ft. Lauderdale Airport from Detroit. Larrys Limo Service picked us up right on time, excellent service and drove us to the Holiday Inn at the Port. The Holiday Inn was perfect for us to spend some time at Bayside. The hotel is average, nothing 4 or 5 star but serves the purpose for a one night stay. My advice here is to get out of your room before 10:00 am when you depart and get your luggage to the lobby area. We made our way to the elevators at 10:15 am and by 11:00 am we made it to the lobby area. Elevators were packed with people all trying to do the same thing. Taxis and shuttles were available outside the hotel for a quick trip to the pier.

Embarkation: This was a very good, well organized procedure by Carnival. They moved people thru this area and the staff was very friendly and helpful. The line for photos was quite long but that is to be expected.

The Ship: This was our first Carnival cruise having been on the More Premier Big Red Boat once, Royal Caribbean three times and Princess once. I would recommend Carnival to anyone. We had a very good experience after being worried from other people saying how this was nothing but a party boat. Well, we enjoy having a good time and on this ship you can do as much as you want or as little as you want. We were treated first class by everyone on the ship.

Our dining staff was very good. Food was average to above average. When they are serving that many meals its amazing they can actually do what they do. We never had a meal that had to be returned. The Dining Staff does a short entertainment show each night which breaks the ice and gets everyone laughing and enjoying the staff. Rosies Buffet was very good too. This is very large and serves many people; staff is always there to clear tables. The food was very good for a buffet. Fish & Chips was good, maybe a little too much breading on the fried fish but a great alternative. The soft serve ice cream machines were a family favorite  wish all cruise lines would do this.

Tip  get a banana from the buffet and build you a banana split anytime you want  but you will really get fat. The common areas of the ship were very nice, well maintained. Someone was always cleaning and polishing. Internet was wireless, I had a laptop in the room and it worked great.

The Rooms: We had two balcony rooms and one inside cabin. The inside cabin was very large and perfect for two people. The balcony rooms were also quite large in comparison to other cruise lines and plenty of storage. We had rooms next to each other and called the pursers desk and asked if our room steward could remove the divider. Not a problem and this was completed within an hour. Really makes a great balcony for all to enjoy. Bathrooms on these ships were very nice; showers had plenty of water pressure. The beds are two twins put together so the bed actually makes into a very large queen or something close to a king size. Beds were very comfortable. Our room steward was very nice; anytime we needed anything she was right there. Room service was very good but we only used it a few times. Here is the negative for our cabin. Carnival knows they have a noise problem on the Valor for Verandah Aft cabin #8426. We tolerated this but it was one week with very little sleep. Above this cabin is either part of the pizza buffet which is open 24 hours plus an automatic door that slides open. We had loud noise all night long  sometimes at 4:00am, loud enough for both of us to sit up in bed. If you have this cabin reserved, please make a switch. We called the pursers desk twice and very politely told them our problem. Nothing was ever done to improve the noise but they did tell us they were working on the problem. They sent us 4 drink tickets and on the last day they gave us $100 cabin credit. It was too bad to have this issue, made the sleeping at night more work than relaxation. We found if we left the TV on all night long it helped with the noise but we could still hear the noise over the TV.

The Shows: The shows were OK, nothing great but we had a good time when we did go. Wish Carnival would alternate early and late seating for show times as our shows always started at 10:30 after our 8:00 dining time. The comedians on the ship were very good. The cruise director was OK, possibly the worst we have ever had on a ship. Never saw him much so that was good.

Ports: Grand Cayman: We did Stingray City with Captain Bryans Buccaneer tour. Stingray City is nothing like it was a few years ago. The key to a good experience here is for your company to have plenty of food for the stingrays. That is what they come to you for  food. This company must have been on a budget because we had about 2 cups of squid which was gone in a couple of minutes then we just stood there and once in a while one would swim by. I would not recommend this company. I asked the crew why they didnt have more food and they didnt give me an answer.

Roatan, Belize & Costa Maya: we only shopped at these ports. We didnt want to do excursions this time. We did hear many good comments on how much everyone enjoyed these areas.

Disembarkation: This again was coordinated very well and once our floor was called we were at our limo service vehicle in a short time. Here is a tip, if you have a flight from 11:00 am  12:30 pm even at Ft. Lauderdale  use the self disembark and you will be at the airport in plenty of time with a private service for transportation. We had an option of taking a 12:15 flight and some responses on this board told us to not take the chance, we could have easily made it.

Overview: Great Trip, Great Ship & Crew. If you have a reservation for the Valor  you will have a great time. Less

Published 05/31/06

Cabin review: 8C8426 Balcony

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