Enjoyable cruise on Carnival Valor: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by mjac

Carnival Valor 5
Member Since 2011

Overall Member Rating

Enjoyable cruise on Carnival Valor

Sail Date: April 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
We travelled on Carnival Valor to Western Carribean from Apr 25 to May 1. Weather was great, no rain. This was our 2nd cruise, we travelled on Carnival Splendor in Dec 2008. The checkin was much easier/quicker in Miami than our experience in Ft Lauderdale. We did arrive at port early around 10:00 am, which I highly recommend. No lines, we just gave bags to a porter and walked right in up to checkin. We went right to counter, and with my wife in wheelchair we sat in special waiting area and we got on as soon as they started boarding through elevator right there. In general, we found the Valor to be similar in setup to the Splendor, just on a smaller scale. The ship, though older, was well-maintained. I though the crew were very friendly across the board, very helpful. Particularly in dealing with my wife who is in a wheelchair most of the time to get around. The staff was very helpful in helping us get down to floor 0 for picking up tenders to shore, and we even had a staff More member take us to the front of a long line in returning on a tender from Grand Cayman. The other note on rooms, we did not request a special room for wheelchairs. SInce my wife can walk short distancs, regular room worked. Elevators are tough at times to get into w/wheelchair. Often had to go up first in order to go down. The other thing I will note was a crew member giving out French version of the daily activity brochure when we first boarded. There was delay w/English copies, so she actually took the time to go hunt down the English version from another floor, and bring us one back. I was very impressed.

Room - Nice, clean, plenty of storage space. Nice that suitcases can fit under the bed out of the way. TV was small, not a flatscreen. Balcony was nice, our room was facing hallway out to elevators which would not be my first choice next time. But location on Lido deck was very convenient to run back to room from main buffet/sitting areas w/o having to take busy elevators/steps.

Positives about ship - clean, friendly staff, the quality and variety of food was good, Burrito and fish/chips bars are great. lots of activities to do. Karaoke was fun and often, my kids enjoyed alot. Flash, the staff person, was funny and really nice. Gym was open early, which I took advantage of several days while everyone was sleeping still.

Negatives about ship - mostly minor things of note. First, the theater shows in evening were only so-so compared to the Splendor shows. The magic show was not worth it, and only the 80's show they did was worth seeing. We actually skipped the last 2 shows in favor of other activities. When we were on the Splendor, we saw every one and they were all high-caliber. Food-wise, the hours for the fish/chips and burrito bars need to be longer. Don't know why they don't open in evenings. The stir-fry station needed more variety in sauces used (only 3, one of which was curry flavor, and one was super-spicy). We had 6:00 seating which was great to work in activities for kids afterwards. However, even though Carnival knew my wife was handicapped, they gave us a table on a step-up area. Luckily, my wife can get up and walk a little, so we got around that. Serenity area - nice, but needs more of the round covered sitting chairs. Those were "reserved" or used early in AM, could never get one. The big party on Lido deck looked fun, but they ended the line dancing stuff way too early, after about 1/2 hr or so. When staff was leading the dancing, the place was packed with people. Then they suddenly stopped and handed it off to general music/band, and everyone just disappeared after that. Comedy shows were hit/miss. 2 were not good, 2 were very funny, both family and adult version. My suggestion would be listen to family version which is earlier. If you like that, then take time to come back late at night for the adult version. They need to alter their handicap procedure to floor 0 for shore leaves. You have to go down to floor 1 first, and ask staff member to call for elevators to be turned on to bottom floor. But when they do that, all of a sudden anyone on elevators were using it to get to floor 0, and they were always full. They should dedicate one elevator for handicap use only during shore leaves. My kids, 9 and 11, thought they were too old for Camp Carnival. It would be nice if kids in this age group had access to do dancing in the discos, or allow younger kids acces at reasonable time of day that adults would not be there. You had to be 12 or older to be in a dance activity (Circle C).

Overall, great weather, nice ports, ship was fun to be on with friendly staff. I would travel on Carnival again, but we're thinking about bigger ship like the Magic perhaps. Less

Published 05/19/11
Helpful? Thank mjac

Cabin review: 8D9274 Balcony

9274, balcony was nice to have. Plenty of closet space, bathroom was good size for cruise ship. Location is good/bad. Great being on Lido deck for easy access to room, especially for handicap people to avoid having to take elevators. Bad for this room - door opens directly to hallway where elevators are, and people pass by from Lido deck area to get to elevators. If we had door open, felt like everyone could see in our room. Would not be my first choice on this floor, but the accessibility made it worth it for this.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Belize - hot/humid. Dry time of year, tender process a little more complicated. If you did not sign up for Carnival excursion you had to go to Eagle lounge at 8:00 am to get in line for tender number. Smaller tenders. From past reviews, I knew to get there earlier. I was there by 7:45, and already about 12 people there ahead of me. We got #2, which turned out they boarded #1-5 on the first boat. So we got to shore early (I think Belize is 2 hrs ahead of boat time?). I signed up for Cave tubing with Vitaliano Reyes, again cheaper. We jumped right in a van w/free bottled water, no wait and were off. Other cave-tubing excursions were in big busses. Our guides explained everything about city and nature during trip. The main city was in poor condition generally. I wouldn't be walking around at night time. We were first at the cave tubing camp, got geared up and took 45 min hike to starting point. We were so early, we went farther up stream than anyone else, and went through an extra large cave section. After floating downstream we saw the other excursions just getting in. Beautiful views of forest, caves were neat. Camera buffs, I took my kid's point/shoot camera w/me with the cover to protect it. Then I just took it out to take pictures and video, and put it back in. Worked fine, never got wet. After we were done, went to their place to have home made lunch/drinks and then returned to port several hrs ahead of time to shop a little and return to ship for late snack.

Cozumel - Signed up on line with Cozumelwatersports for all-inclusive day at Mr. Sanchos beach resort. Was well worth money. Could order almost anything off menu, any drinks (which is nice after being on a cruise ship!), the beach was nice. We rented waverunner, which kids did for first time. They also had blowup water park that kids liked climbing on. They also had private cabanas and access to their pool w/swimup bar. All-inclusive was separate area from general admission too. 3 waiters on beach just for our area.
Read 5470 Cozumel Reviews

Islands - Grand Cayman was as nice as I remember it about 12 years ago. Clean, nice beaches, nice restaurants. Plenty of shopping and things to see/do. We chose to do shopping and then took taxi to 7 mile beach for a little while. Tender process was easy this time, bigger tenders, close to shore.

Roatan - Nice beach near the port, nice shopping right there (probably a little higher priced though), we went Zip lining here at the highly recommended ClipnZip place right at the port. I reserved online, which is easier/cheaper. Kids really liked it. They were well organized and safe on the platforms, always clipped to something. Did a little shopping afterwards. Got back on ship in plenty of time for late lunch to save money.
Read 2444 Roatan Reviews

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Member Since 2011
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