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Carnival Valor Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,581 Reviews

Best week of my life

Carnival Valor Cruise Review by MotheringInstinct

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2014
  • Destination: the Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony

This was our first cruise but will not be the last! I used many reviews on Cruise Critic to plan our daily activities. We bought the Fast Pass to Fun and I really think that was worth it because our favorite meals all week on the ship were from the fish and chips restaurant on the floor above the main buffet. It is only open for lunch so we only had their ceviche twice but loved it. In St. Thomas we caught a taxi to the Red Hook Ferry Station and went over to Trunk Bay. I had never seen such clear water! In Barbados, we took a taxi to the Mount Gay Rum factory for a tour and drinks. We frequently tour breweries and vineyards so it was interesting to see a distillery. We then caught a taxi to a beach called The Boatyard. The entry price was around $10.00 a person and included a drink each and a ride back the boat. Barbados has free WiFi in the port terminal. In St. Lucia we bought a tour thru Cosol Tours. We spent the whole day seeing lots of the island, sampling the island's foods, and drinking free drinks. Swimming at the base of the Pitonsis indescribable. In St. Kitts, we caught a taxi to the Shipwreck Bar in South Frigate Bay. On the way there, we could see both the Caribbean and Atlantic at the same time. Very relaxing afternoon. On our last day, we finally had a Carnival excursion. We swam with dolphins! This was fully worth the $160 per person!

Our room on the ship was always clean. I paid our room steward to keep ice in the small cooler we brought with us. We had a fridge but I had brought a bottle of wine from home and it didn't fit in fridge once it couldn't lay on its side. I used room service every morning for coffee on the balcony. The food was very good in the main dining room but it took a lot of time every evening. I kind of feel like I was missing out on fun things while sitting there eating. The shows and comedians were awesome.

MotheringInstinct's Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8B 8237

Very clean. Shampoo and body wash were provided but I had to buy conditioner because of the salt water! I brought battery operated tea lights to use as night lights to get to the bathroom during the night. It is very dark out on the ocean! We brought window clings to decorate our door to make it easier to find.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

San Juan

We caught the trolley to El Morro and toured it on our own. We then walked around Old San Juan eating street food and shopping. Make sure and try Mofungo somewhere. It is a national dish made up mainly of mashed plantains.

St. Thomas

I didn't feel we needed to pay Carnival for an excursion. We just caught a taxi to ferry and went to Trunk Bay to swim. I can now say I have been to a beach on National Geographic's list of best beaches on earth.


We toured Mt. Gay Rum factory and the caught a taxi to The Boatyard beach. I know getting there is an excursion but getting our own taxi saved lots of money. The beach offers a Tarzan rope to drop out into the bay. That was so much fun! My only regret was not buying a flying fish sandwich.

This was a great day! Great stops for pictures. One stop included island snacks like coconut, sugarcane, plantains, etc. We are bananas right from the tree, took a boat ride to the Pitons, stood in a beautiful ice cold waterfall, walked around inside an active volcano, and had free drinks all day long for only $75.00 per person.

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St. Kitts (Port Zante)

We took a taxi to The Shipwreck Bar. The hurricane that hit to the south of St. Kitts had caused lots of seaweed to was ashore so the beach was ugly but the hammocks above the beach were comfortable. After a lunch of jerk chicken and a couple glasses of rum punch, we dozed in the hammocks. We were hoping to see wild monkeys but had to leave to get back to the ship before their daily feeding time. I did see a mongoose pop up out of the grass beside my hammock!

Dolphin Encounter

This was worth every penny! We were very tired since this was at the end of the cruise but it was amazing!!! I expected a couple minutes with a dolphin close by me but instead I got to hold one, kiss her nose, ride holding her flippers, and have her push me on a boogie board. The lunch provided was good but watch out for the chickens and roosters. They wanted my husband's sandwich. We fell asleep on the water taxi ride back to St. Maarten. I can't wait to swim with dolphins again!

View All 28 Dolphin Encounter Reviews

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