Overall the cruise was very good. The dining room service (Komang) and room steward (Andre) were exceptional. Embarkation was hampered by fog and the Carnival representatives at Houston Hobby did a good job of keeping order and organizing the shuttle to Galveston. Processing at the Galveston terminal went smoothly. Although the crew had a short turnaround time, our cabin was ready when we arrived.
The dining room menu offered a variety of meat, seafood and vegetarian options. Lobster was served twice and both times a second lobster tail was offered. Cruise Elegant dinners that did not require a coat and tie were appreciated. The appetizers and desserts gave us an opportunity to try foods we were not familiar with. We sat at a table for four in the Washington dining room.
There was one hiccup with early dining. Ordering, being served and eating took nearly 90 minutes. As a result the 7:30 PM shows were started by the time we reached the Ivanhoe Theatre. Shows that featured the Carnival dance and song team were high energy and very enjoyable. Unfortunately we did not get to see the entire productions.
The Panama Canal partial transit was an experience we looked forward to and we’re glad we booked this cruise. Limon, Costa Rica and Cozumel, Mexico provided good tours. In Limon we took the Bus, Boat and Train tour. In Cozumel we took the San Gervasio, Island Tour with lunch. Both tours had well-spoken and knowledgeable guides.
Counting the canal transit as a sea day, there were six sea days. For some people that was too much time at sea without getting off the ship. If this cruise is continued it may be wise to add a stop in Panama.
Valor was underway on Ash Wednesday. A last minute schedule adjustment permitted an Episcopalian Priest to distribute ashes. Over 100 people met in the Eagles Lounge to receive ashes. After the distribution we were waiting for the elevator with the priest and people lined up to receive the blessing. Carnival should be congratulated for this service.
Tying to move 3,000 passengers off the ship and through customs is a challenge. It seems something could be done to reduce the stress and extended time of standing in line.
Thank-you Carnival for the good service and making our 50th wedding anniversary cruise enjoyable.