Carnival Valor- A smoker's paradise!: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by dkkmtampa

Carnival Valor 3
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

Carnival Valor- A smoker's paradise!

Sail Date: April 2009
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
Boarding- Went fairly smoothly. We had about a 40 minute wait.

Ship- Overall impressed with the cleanliness of the ship and cabin. The staff, for the most part, were friendly and accommodating. A big negative however was the smoking. Many of the bar areas (Paris Hot, Lindy Hop, One Small Step Disco, Winston and Sports Bar) along with the casino allowed smoking. Passengers could also smoke on the starboard side of the decks. Many of the areas were not enclosed, so the smell of smoke, or worse, cigars could be smelled throughout many of the non-smoking areas on the ship. The Winston Bar was the worst. The stench was noticeable on the adjacent stairwell. Unfortunately to pass from one end of the ship to the other on deck 4, one would have to pass through this bar or go up a flight and go around.

Ports- Getting off the ship in Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel were very organized and we departed in a timely manner. Key West (our alternative to Progresso) was the contrary. More

Entertainment- The outdoor activities were very good- area to play basketball, volleyball, putt-putt golf, pool slide. I could always find deck chairs available somewhere, but like all cruises, prime spots saved early. The planned activities were a little disappointing due to the lack of variety. Of the ones that were offered, several were held in smoking areas limiting those that can't or chose not to be around the smoke. The indoor exercise area was very nice, but staff a little cool. We went to a few of the morning stretches and ab workouts and the instructor wasn't very enthusiastic, and gave the impression that he would rather be elsewhere. The nighttime entertainment was good, but nothing too spectacular. The Ivanhoe Theater was poorly designed with several obstructed views due to poles and a flat main floor made it difficult for children or short adult to see over the heads in front of them. I would recommend going early if you want good views. For sports fan, there was no ESPN in the rooms. For your sports updates, you had to go into the "for smokers" Sports Bar.

Food- Pretty good with a large variety at Rosie's. Breakfast was about the same every day. We ate in the dining room a few days for lunch. The menu was very limited and I wouldn't recommend it. Go to Rosie's! We had excellent waiters for our evening meal. Prompt service and they kept our water glasses full. The entrees were very good- lobster, prime rib, lamb, shrimp, BBQ ribs. The desserts were just OK.

Returning- Carnival does their best to get you off the ship as quick as possible. Someone even knocked on our door at 7:30 am to remind us to leave soon.

Overall, a very average cruise. You'll get what you pay for, but when you get to spend time with your family, sometimes that's enough. Less

Published 04/16/09

Cabin review:

Shared an inside cabin with 4. Small, but adequate. More closet space than expected. Three of them. 3 drawers and small safe. Occasional smoke smell in hallways. Bed fairly comfortable.

Port and Shore Excursions

We spent a limited amount of time at this port due to an excursion. We went on the cave tubing excursion with My daughters thought this was very fun. Surprisingly, the water was a little cold. Due to cruise ship passengers who arrived late in our group, we were a little rushed. The cruise ship no longer offers this excursion. It's basically walking through a path in the jungle to the start of the tubing, then going down a river through 2 large caves. Our group was small which made it more enjoyable. We stopped to eat lunch after wards at the Amigo's. Expensive, good food.

This port is small, but growing. Destroyed by the hurricane several years ago, new construction is starting to pop up. Shopping is limited just to the port area. We booked our own excursion from We took the Mayan Experience which toured Chacchoben followed by lunch at a Mayan village. It was one of the best we've taken. Only 12 people in our group. My 10 and 12 year old daughters like it, but thought it was a little too educational for them during their spring breaks. My husband and I loved it! The girls did have a great time making tortilla and eating a Mayan meal at the village.

Read 1766 Costa Maya Reviews

Lots of shopping at this port. We chose to have a relaxing afternoon snorkeling. Instead of paying for an excursion, we went to Playa Corona. It's located about 5 miles from port. We took a taxi. Be sure and confirm a price before you leave. Just because the sign at the port states a certain amount, that doesn't always mean that's what you'll pay if the price is not agreed upon prior to leaving. Playa Corona is opened air restaurant which sits directly on the water. There are plenty of tables to sit and keep your things. We stayed about 3 hours. It's quiet and fairly private. There are no sandy beaches here if your looking for one. You walk out on the rocky shore (they have a sand bags path to help get you to the reef) and there is excellent snorkeling. Despite being windy, the water was calm. We had lunch there. The service and food were very good, and we never got hassled to buy anything. Next time we're in Cozumel, we'll plan on going back.

Read 5490 Cozumel Reviews

We couldn't port in Progresso due to high winds, so got to go to Key West instead. Lots of shopping down Duval Street. For those of you with younger children, beware, several of the shops have crude and raunchy items that one can purchase. There are many artist shops with some excellent works. If you've never been to Key West, the Conch Train tour is good. A fun way to learn about Key West. I love the grouper sandwich at Flat Jacks. It's big enough for 2.

Read 1392 Key West Reviews

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