Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by Starz723
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean
Destination: Western Caribbean
The room was great and the beds very comfortable. Our stateroom was always kept clean. I had my Cruise Critic sign and name on my door so other members could find me.
The shows I did see were good, except for the female lead singer who left a lot to be desired. (I sing for a living, and found it hard to listen to her). My BF & I really enjoyed the hypnotist; he was very entertaining and a lot of laughs.
Ports were great and we had such a great time.
I met the greatest people from my CC roll call. I was also cast as Gloria Estefan in the Legends show.
Great weather all 7 days, except for a quick squall that passed by us while in Roatan. Then More the sun came back out. There were many times when we couldnt believe we were sailing. It was so smooth. My 2 Legend cruises out of NYC were a bit rocky in retrospect.
July 8- Flew in a day early. Stayed at the Holiday Inn, Port of Miami, across from the Bayside Marketplace. Really nice and convenient location. We arrived early and were told we could take a room right away on a lower floor or wait for an upper floor. BF & son wanted to take a nap right away, so we checked in. One glitch, there was sand in one of the beds. I had the front desk manager come up to see for herself. She was not very happy and looked up who was on housekeeping for that room. We got moved to a wheelchair accessible room on the top floor which was very large, much like a suite, great view! That's all they had left otherwise I think they would have put us in a proper suite. I was also given a $20.00 voucher for breakfast in addition to the one I already had been given when I booked the room. So $40 for 3 people. They were very apologetic. I considered writing to Priority club, which I'm a member, but I just let it go. They tried to make us happy nevertheless.
July 9-Embarkation. We arrived at about 11am at the port. My BF left his laptop in the cab. He immediately jumped into another cab hoping the cab driver would get back to the Holiday Inn and pickup another fare from there. He found the cab driver at the Holiday Inn with the Laptop still inside the cab. What a blessing. We needed a foo foo drink after that one.
We had a really nice surprise, we got upgraded to the Empress Deck! What an absolutely fantastic room and location, we were 2 rooms from the door that leads to the hot tub, pool, Lido deck lounge chairs and the buffet. What a SCORE! Thank you very much Carnival!! We were above the spa and the aromatherapy that wafted up to our floor was heavenly. Let me say that when I booked this guarantee room it was a one day sale. I booked the lowest priced balcony room and got a 4 category upgrade. I was initially upgraded to the Lido deck. The second upgrade at check in was a surprise and a nice one at that. The room was great with a bunk bed in the ceiling for my son. It went up in the daytime and came down at night by our steward.
We dropped off our carry-ons and went straight to the Lido Deck for lunch. I then went to check out the ship. I never got used to not being able to go from one end of the ship to the other. Normally by time my cruise is over, I know where everything is. You have to get off at one deck and walk down (or take another elevator) to the deck below. Its confusing. That is the only thing I found annoying about the ship. No biggie. I loved the ship.
I had the first of our 2 meet and greets from our roll call on cruisecritic.com. I met some mighty fine people from the boards and we had a real nice time during sail away. I also met some CC members right up on the Lido deck that were from the Meet & Greet roll call.
July 10 Sea day. Relax, eat, relax, dance, relax, walk around, have fun, eat, drink, relax, have more fun, take pictures, eat. We had our 2nd meet and greet for those who couldnt make it yesterday. We met both times at the Atrium lobby bar. Some of us went on excursions together and saved some money by combining families. This was all communicated prior to the cruise on the roll call board. Formal night tonight. I loved it.
July 11-Grand Cayman. I booked all my excursions with outside vendors thanks to the great reviews and advice on cruiser. I went on Capt Bryans Buccaneer Sting Ray City & 2 snorkel spots tour. I had a great time. The sting rays are such wonderful creatures. The snorkel spots were nice, nothing spectacular but nice nevertheless. Ive been snorkeling for many many years, so Ive seen some of the best there is to see.
July 12- Roatan. I booked Victor Bodden Tours and customized it prior to arrival. Henry was our driver and he did a wonderful job. We went to the Iguana farm, which was amazing. I saw thousands of Iguanas. We stayed there for a long time feeding the Iguanas. Then off to the West End for lunch (Honduran chick stew) and a swim. The area was so beautiful & pristine. No tourists. We toured all around the island, stopping at local stands to buy shells, etc. We gave the children the box cereal from the ship. They were so appreciative. Then off to Tabyana beach for great snorkeling. The reef there is excellent.
July 13-Belize. Cave-tubing.com with Yhonny got cancelled due to high and fast water. He gave us the option to visit a dry cave and the rain forest, so we did. Yhonny was a lot of fun and gave out samples of the famous Cashew wine. All I can say about the rain forest is that its AWESOME, beautiful and mystical. The dry cave was flooded, so we couldnt explore. Belize had several days of rains prior to our arrival. We saw the lowlands flooded as well. While at the rainforest, I met 3 children, who Yhonny said were of Mayan descent. They were lovely children. They sold hand woven baskets, which I meant to buy, but somehow got distracted and had to get back on the bus. We stopped for lunch at Cheers. What a great outdoor Belizean restaurant with delicious food. Only $5 bucks.
July 14-Costa Maya. Chac-Chi Resort. Because of the boards here on CC, I was all ready to spend my day at Chac-Chi resort right next to the pier. What a beautiful, relaxing and magical day it was. It was such a quiet, natural, pristine and uncommercialized resort. Chac-Chi is an environmental jewel made for low impact. The beach was so beautiful and clean. I say there were approximately 15-20 people there. I love to snorkel and Chac-Chi has some wonderful reefs right off shore along with pristine tidal pools. I was in the water for many hours. Many people walking off the pier saw me snorkeling and asked how to get there. Unless, you knew the way, it was a difficult to explain. Just check the ports of call board and the thread: Resort next to the pier. You can cab it there. I walked around a fence and down a path. Directions are on the thread. This was one of my favorite port days. Michelle from the Valor CC roll call met me there too. She loved it as well. Also, other members from CC were there, due to the great reviews posted on the boards. A great day indeed.
Our 2nd formal night and more pictures. I love the beautiful portrait pictures the ships photographers take. Midnight buffet. Just what I needed. I hadnt eaten in 10 minutes.
July 15-Sea Day. Start packing for tomorrows debark. I auditioned earlier in the week for Gloria Estefan and today was rehearsal. Tonight was the Legends show!! What fun we all had and everyone was so talented. It was a full house & SRO. After the show we all posed in the atrium lobby for pictures. What a hoot. We all got a copy of the show on CD and an 8x10 cast picture.
July 16-Miami. We did self debarkation. It was an absolute NIGHTMARE! I had a flight at 1:20pm and was not at all familiar with how long it would take to get off the ship and check in at the airport, so I didnt want to take any chances. I usually cruise out of NYC, my hometown, so I dont have to catch a plane. I figured I would self debark and get to the airport at a safe time. It was horrible, never again. We were jammed on the staircases and landings and it moved very slowly. Then Up and down escalators with all the heavy luggage and walking at a snails pace in that very long corridor. At one point, we didnt move at all and it was very hot. Everyone was complaining! It took 1hr & 45 min. Not fast at all like they said it would be. If you dont have to catch an early plane, let them take your luggage the night before. I will never self debark again if I really dont have to. Live and learn.
I arrived back in NYC and waited for about 1hr & 30 min for the luggage to come down. I had car service waiting for me and they kept calling wondering where I was. Finally the luggage arrives and we put it on a cart and into the car. When I got home I noticed 3 pieces of my luggage was badly damaged. What a mess. If I saw it at the airport I could have reported the damage, but we left in such a hurry. It was only used 2 times. Se la vie.
I cant wait to cruise again!!! I have nothing but raves about my cruise on the Carnival Valor. It gets A+ in my book. My son had a lot fun meeting teens his age on board. My BF & I loved meeting our Cruise Critic roll call members. You were all awesome. My table mates were real nice, 2 women and 3 boys from Miami. I didnt want it to end.
If you have any questions, Id be very happy to answer them. Less
Carnival; never again
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