Carnival Valor - Eastern Caribbean: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by murcielago
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Valor - Eastern Caribbean
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Day One: As soon as we entered the ship, we went straight to the grill on Lido deck and had lunch. The burgers and french fries were very good. Our room was not ready until 1:30 pm so we started exploring the ship. I think the ship is decorated nicely and loved the displayed works of art. We were assigned to the Washington dinning room early seating. When I made my reservations I specified that I wanted the late seating, so we went to speak to the Maitre d'. He explained to us that the ship had about 2900 passengers and that more that half had already More requested the late seating and that he was not going to be able to change it because there was no more space available. He placed us on the waiting list and told us that the only day that this seating interfered with a port of call would be at St. Thomas and that on that day, he would allow anyone in the dinning room as long as we were there by 8:30 pm. Although I was not happy with his decision, I was not going to let this bring down my spirit.
Our room stewards name was Suphol and he was quite a gentleman. He was friendly, professional and always willing to go the extra mile. Yes, we tipped him extra on three occasions during the week because he truly deserved it. The lifeboat drill was a breeze.
Welcome Aboard Show: I give cruise director Brett Alans a 10. I think he was funny and the man obviously has a lot of experience in the entertainment business. This night featured in my opinion, one of the best comedians aboard Carnival Cruises. He is Michael Macy. I believe he was the best of the three comedians aboard.
Day Two: We arrived to Nassau. We ate breakfast at Rosies early and got off the ship. I wanted to go to Paradise Island. The taxis are about $4.00 per person. On the pier we were approached by one of the taxi drivers who offered to take us to Paradise Island and to tour the island for $28.00 per person. We accepted it and he took us around the island. I enjoyed the tour; he was very informative and I got to learn a little bit about the people, and customs of the Bahamian people. (Please note that if you want to tour the underwater aquarium at Paradise Island, you will have to pay $29.00 per person extra) I felt I was misled by the Taxi driver when he told me that he was going to take us to Paradise Island for $28.00 per person. He made it sound like the entrance to the aquarium was included in the price. If what you want is to tour Paradise Island, you are better off paying the $4.00 per person and then the tickets to the aquarium and skip the island tour. Remember, your time at this port is limited.
This afternoon we attended the Art Seminar and my wife won the raffle. She won a painting appraised at $500.00 which should be delivered to us in about 8 weeks.
Tonight was the first Formal night. We really enjoyed our dinner. Our waiter was very nice and always ready to suggest, change or modify anything we wanted from the menu. (I never had early seating before so I dont know if all the dancing and the color competitions at the dinning rooms are left for the late seatings, but we never saw or heard any music, singing, conga line or any type of celebrations taking place at our dinning room. I was disappointed at the dull and serious atmosphere, but I was on vacation and I dont let things like this take my joy. I just think Carnival could have done better.)
Tonight we watched the adult rated comedy of Michael Macy. We really enjoyed it. Day Three: Fun Day At Sea. We relaxed by the pool (aft pool) There was plenty space and it was not crowded. This day we just relaxed, had a few drinks and went to bed early.
I had bought Bar Credits as a present for my wife from Carnivals website. They were delivered to us on the first night. Please note that I had a problem with the tickets at the club One Small Step. I ordered two drinks and gave the cocktail waitress two tickets. She still asked me for my Sail and Sign Card. She brought me the drinks and asked me to sign the receipts. Before I signed them I looked at them and noticed that she had charged my Sail Card. I brought it to her attention and she told me that she was going to fix it. She did not do it on purpose but went back to the bar and while trying to fix it, charged me AGAIN for the drinks. I went to the pursers desk and they took care of it and sent me a letter the next day apologizing for the mistake. I noticed that some of the cocktail waiters and bartenders are not familiar with the bar credit coupons. Some of them ask you for your folio number, room number and some ask you to sign the back of the coupons. In my opinion, since you dont get any discounts by using these coupons, I do not recommend getting them. It is just a way to pay in advance for your drinks and it is not worth the aggravation.
Day Four: St Thomas. (Since it was U.S. soil, we bought a calling card for $5.00 and called home from downtown.) A $5.00 calling card will give you about 450 minutes but I doubt you will need them. We booked an excursion to St John. It was $58.00 per person and included transportation, a tour of the island and the option of staying at trunk bay beach a little longer. This was one of the most beautiful beaches that I have ever been to. We choose to stay at the beach a little longer and rented snorkeling equipment for $10.00. It was worth it. The view of the Coral reefs was amazing. They have a trail for you to follow. At the bottom they have signs so you can read as you swim. They inform you of the different type of fish that you are likely to see there. Believe me; YOU WILL see some beautiful fish. Once in a while, only if you are a good swimmer, I recommend swimming down in order to get a closer look at the coral reefs. (Please do not touch them, since you can kill them and they can hurt you as well.) Piece of advice!!! By booking through Carnival we overpaid for this excursion. A ride to St. John costs about $8.00 to $11.00 per person, a land taxi costs another $4.00 per person and then you will also pay $4.00 to go in Trunk Bay Beach. Do the math and you will realize that you could do it for a little less than half the price. When you go to this beautiful beach in an excursion, your beach time is limited because the whole excursion takes about four hours and you have to stay with the group and have a time set to get back. I wish I would have spent more time there. I felt safe at all times and taxis were always available.
Day Five: St. Maarten. This island was incredible. We turned down the excursions being offered and rented a jeep for $70.00 including insurance for the whole day. The rental company gave us a map of the island and directions. At St. Maarten you drive in the right lane so you should not get confused. There is one main road that goes around the whole island so you can not get lost. Please note that they do not have many traffic lights but everyone exercises courtesy on the road. It was amazing. If you are incorporating to the main road, other drivers will slow down and give you a chance to join. The people are very nice but they will honk at you if you dont show the same level of road courtesy. We went to Orient Beach. To the right, you have the clothing optional section, and to the left is the family oriented beach. (Please note that even on the family side, you will often see women topless). We started at the nude side, but my wife did not feel comfortable and we ended up moving to the other side. There we rented a couple of beach chairs, with umbrellas for $10.00. Two drinks were included at this great price. The quality of this beach is amazing. After about two hours, we got back on the car and kept driving around the island. You will see some great scenery. Before heading back to downtown we stopped at Divi Beach and relaxed there for another hour. From there you can see the Cruise Ship across the bay and the water is crystal clear and very refreshing. The best way to get to downtown from the ship is by taking the water taxi. It cost about $5.00 per person for the whole day!!! We had a wonderful day at St Maarten.
Day Six: Fun Day at sea. (Second formal night) After two days of walking, swimming, exploring and having fun, we decided to relax. We headed to the Panorama deck, laid our towels down and relaxed while having some drinks. After a day at the pool, we went to our room and just crashed! We woke up late and missed the show Far From Over L. My wife was not very happy. We went to the Club and had a couple of drinks there while listening to the music and watched people dance. Then we went to the Casino and my wife played the Slot Machines. I tried the Roulette. We are not gamblers so after loosing about $40.00, we stopped playing and went for more drinks at the lobby bar. The guy playing the piano was good and the bar staff was friendly. In overall, we had a nice day. The ship was rocking just a little but it was not a big deal. Last Day: Fun Day At Sea. We got up late. Today was chocolate extravaganza day!!!! I am an addict for chocolate so I was happier that a kid at a candy store. The Carnival legends show was very good. Plan to get to the theater at least 50 minutes prior to show time if you want to find a decent seat. It was the last night aboard so we went back to our room a little early in order to pack.
Supper Club Scarlett: We made reservations for Thursday. This was the best food I had aboard. There is a $30.00 charge per person and it is worth it. For starters we ordered the lobster bisque and it was delicious. For the main course we ordered the Filet mignon and lobster. The steak was soft, juicy and seasoned to perfection. The lobster was just good. For dessert we ordered the one that comes in a trio. (Sorry I cant remember the name but it was GREAT) I recommend you include a visit to Scarlett's in your cruise. The attire is Smart Elegant. (Almost every men was wearing a jacket and the ladies were also nicely dressed) Debarkation: We chose the self assist option. We headed for the lobby at approximately 7:15 am and were out of the ship within just a few minutes. It was a breeze. American citizens go through customs a lot easier. There was however, a line for non US citizens at the document check point at the port. Dinning Room: Very nice, the food was good on most nights, some nights just ok. I did not like the Chateaubriand (I hope Im spelling it right. This meat was dry and tasteless) Rosies Dinner: Very good most days. I really liked the desserts. The Pizza was also very good at the pizza place at the rear of the ship. Fish and Chips, The Asian corner and the Sushi bar were also good and I really enjoyed them.
Overall, I had a great time even though I am considering giving a try at Royal Caribbean for my next cruise, (I have never been on RCCL) I will definitely sail again with Carnival cruise. The Valor was a beautiful ship. I hope you enjoy this review and if there is any questions that you would like to ask. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org Less
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