Quick review of our trip: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by AlwaysLate

Carnival Valor 5
Member Since 2005
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Overall Member Rating

Quick review of our trip

Sail Date: April 2009
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
Who we are: family of 4, we are 45+ and our kids are 22 and 17.
Past cruise experience: Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, Alaska, Mediterranean, Hawaii.
Our cabin: ocean view. We like when there is a sense of day or night.
The cabin is very spacious, plenty of space for everything you need. Bring your own hair conditioner if you use it separately from shampoo. We found there is a lot of shelving space in the bathroom, lots of closet space, everything is convenient, very well thought through.
The service was great practically everywhere. We used restaurants only for dinners, so we could have that "special dinner" feeling every day. A lot of people seem to go cruising to celebrate special occasions, b-days, anniversaries, there was even a wedding on board. 
We enjoyed the shows very much. The first time I saw "talent" show that was done on such great professional level!
If you like shows, get seats early, it seemed to fill More quickly. Less

Published 05/18/09

Cabin review: 6C Ocean View

First ship where lowest price ocean view cabin does not have obstructed view!

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Port and Shore Excursions

We booked online with http://www.cave-tubing.com/. Excellent choice!
Warning: Carnival tender organization is very poor. It took us more than an hour to get to shore. By the time we were able to get there, our bus left. The guy from cave-tubing put all 4 of us into his SUV and drove (definitely above any imaginable speed limit) to catch the bus. The bus was standing and waiting for us. THANK YOU, Cave Tubing!
We did ATV jungle tour before cave tubing. If you have not tried it before - don't be scared, they help you anywhere any time. It was a lot of fun! After that we changed into swimsuits and we had to walk some distance to get to the place where the start of our tubing is. Don't forget to bring water shoes!!! You won't be able to walk without them.
Again, if you have waterproof camera, you're a winner here.

We went to Chankanaab park. The taxi ride was $10 for the whole car (no matter how many people) one way. Very well organized taxi service. Entrance fee is $16 pp, a bit pricey, but we thought it was ok. There is a beach, but it is good mostly for snorkeling. Bring your own equipment. You can certainly rent it there too. We booked scuba diving online separately, and it was a mistake. If you just go to this park, there are vendors offering scuba for $40 with personal guide. They also offer swimming with dolphins, so this might be the place to do it. Take time to walk around the park, nicely done!  

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We booked the tour over internet about a month before the trip. The company we booked with Native Way Watersports http://www.nativewaywatersports.com/. The tour was Stingray and Island. We went on the boat to swim with stingrays, then to turtle farm, then visited Rum factory.   
FYI - you don't pay a penny before the trip, but if you don't bring cash to pay and use credit card instead, be prepared to pay extra, I think 5%. They do tell you about this ahead of time, so we knew it.
This was a great experience for us. While people who bought the tours from ships were trying to locate stingrays on their own, our tour guide, I think his name Everton, he brought the stingrays to us (we were scared to touch them in the beginning, but then got used to quickly). There were only 6 people on our tour, while others were full of people!
Don't miss swimming with stingrays, once in a lifetime experience!
It's a good idea to have a waterproof camera with you.

People are very poor on this island. However, they charge astronomical prices for anything. Not worth buying anything, at least, I did not find anything worthy. Quite a few of officially looking drivers were offering rides to the beaches ay the port for $20-25 per person roundtrip. Once we went out of the gates, the prices were drastically lower. We picked a guy who offered $50 for 4 of us to the beach and back. The beach was nice, it had shady area, the water was clean and nice. We tried snorkeling, but it wasn’t the best spot for it. 
I can't find the business card of that driver now, but if I find it, I'll post it here. He was great!

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Member Since 2005
20 Forum Posts
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