Carnival Valor: January 17-24, 2010: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by BstnCruiser

Carnival Valor 5
Member Since 2010
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Overall Member Rating

Carnival Valor: January 17-24, 2010

Sail Date: January 2010
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
The floor plan of the Valor is bad. Other critics sited NOT sitting in the Lincoln Dining room as cruisers will cut through while you are eating to get to the Ivanhoe Theater. The cruise documents say no to get to the Port of Miami before 12noon, people were there as early as 8:00 a.m. Get there early, get on the ship early and check your luggage. I carried my luggage onto the boat and could not get to my cabin for several hours. Upon check-in, you are assigned a dining room. Go to the main dining room, Washington and change your seating if you are assigned the Lincoln Dining room. The food was poor to OK. Each section of 20 people in the dining room had 2 waiters. All 20 people showed up, and only 6-8 people showed up in the next section to me. The total dining disaster happened on the 4th night, when I had only one waiter for our section of 20. Speaking to the maitre d', his response was your "waiter called in sick." I am writing to corporate about the situation. He acted as if I More was crazy! I was very calm and felt it was his job to cover our station with a 2nd waiter. He never showed up after the first night asking if everything was "fine." The food was cold.

In the Rosie's buffet...a great job of everything. They served the same dinner food from the formal dining room. During lunch, one section changed every day with a different culture's food, watch for the chocolate bar on the last day of sailing! They did no advertisement for it, or about it.

Cruise Director BIG TEX! not good. Live entertainment was WORSE!

Cabin 2202 and my room steward said 2204 and 2208 all were the same. According to the ship's floor plan, these were bunk beds only. NOT SO, 2 separate rooms with a bed and sofa bed that were equally comfortable. 2206 had same set up with a 3rd bunk bed in the room...More floor space than an inside cabin. The only negative, you were awaken by the waves hitting the ship! Less

Published 01/31/10

Cabin review: 1A2202 Interior Upper/Lower

Had really 2 rooms, despite the floor plan of bunk beds. Heard the waves crashing against the boat.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Taking the advice of a cruise critic, I made my own reservations with the Their site says they are the "Best and First in cave tubing!" EXACTLY. Their equipment showed their age, along with the 40 plus year old charter bus that took two of them to close the door everything we stopped to pick up another cave guide en-route. This company provided OLD inner tubes with 4 inch metal air stems, ripped life jackets, NO HARD HATS, and miners light that either were too dimmed or didn't work! Other companies offered HARD HATS, halogen lamps and cool inner tubes and guides with flashlights. The trek through the rain forest was neat! with the occasional, "Oh, by the way, don't touch the poisonous tree." My group entered at the furthest most point into the water system. Our main guide left to group, to assist the Carnival's group guides in showing them how to get their people into the water....THIS IS NOT for anyone who is NOT great at moving! The main entrance into the water is sliding on your rear end down numerous rocks splashing into the water, as a guide attempts to catch you! The line of over 100 people was crazy! I decided to just jump in from the cliff.

Once in the water, my group was divided into a 4 person train, 16 person train and 8 person train. Each person locks the person's legs under their arms from behind them, while a guide back strokes in the river. There are points where you needed an additional flashlight, as the guide is trying to point things are in the dark, we needed to flashlight to see. A waterfall was in the system, it would have been nice to have seen it, despite the 4 of us in our train, all pointing our head lamps, we still could not see it. The other cave tubing companies had TERRIFIC head lamps! All in all, the experience was the incredible. Something DISNEY could never do! Pay the extra money for a HARD HAT and head lamp that works!

I took the advice from others and went to Tulum. According to other writers, the only safe way is to use the boat's excursion, as doing it on your own, you will probably miss the boat when it leaves.

The fast boat across to the mainland and buses were fine. The tour guide, Angel, spent the first hour on the bus lecturing us about American stereotypes of Mexican people. That was nearly a deal killer! Once at the site of Tulum, the group was told that they could spend more $ and not walk the 10 minutes to the site. I walked and beat the tram cars. Once inside the Tulum site, Angel spent the next hour with all of us standing around him, drawing in the rocky sand all of his points, from the Mayan counting system to their calendar. All and all, he was very interesting but left very little time walking around the site. You can no longer walk on the ruins!

FYI: Going to Tulum gives you NO time to see the island of Cozumel.

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Out of the four stops, the Cayman Island was the most "westernized" with McDonald's etc...Upon leaving the port, walk about 4 or 5 blocks to your left and a very small one room building will be on your left that rents mopeds and cars. For $80 that included the car, insurance (they would not take my home car insurance) and temp. license, I drove around the entire island. First stop, was HELL. Like the guide books say, nothing there but a post office and tacky t-shirt shop with a nut playing DEVIL shaking hands... WHAT A MINT$ Next stop, the turtle farm and dolphins in Boatwins. Again, like any guide book, the $18-$45 entrance fee to this new facility was not worth it...I left. The Dolphins center wanted $115-$225. NOT WORTH IT, in fact, no one was paying the money as numerous tour buses were present at each stop. Turtles on one side of the road, and Dolphins Center across the street. I then headed back south and over to the North Beach, about an hour car ride. Beautiful beach, worth the ride.

A very beautiful island! Our weather was so windy, the captain radioed ahead and requested that we dock at the "old dock." Upon leaving the ship, there were several kiosks of either time share companies, activities, or just plain taxi companies wanting to take you around the island. Leave that area, go outside of the port area, and you will find several taxi's to use. Negotiate the cost before getting in. I set a $10 price and got it.

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