8th Carnival Cruise and 2nd time on Valor-great cruise!!!: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by lucy2mb

Carnival Valor 5
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8th Carnival Cruise and 2nd time on Valor-great cruise!!!

Sail Date: May 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
I am the cruise planner in our family. I have had a big group go with us the past few cruises but this cruise was our family and two others. We drove down from North Carolina the day before our cruise. It was my husband, son, two daughters and nephew. Our children are in there 20's and love going on cruises. The drive down to Miami was tiring but we didn't mind because we were excited about the cruise. We spent Saturday night at the Homewood Suites Miami Airport at Blue Lagoon. We stayed on the Blue Lagoon side and did not hear any planes. It was a very nice hotel and great for families. I made a mistake getting a one bedroom suite. It was supposed to sleep 7 but not comfortably. Next time, I will book a 2 bedroom suite. They have complimentary breakfast and it was very good. I had read in reviews that it was hard to find a table at breakfast but half the tables were empty. We will stay there again if leaving from Miami.

We arrived at the port between 10:30 and 10:45. More It didn't seem to be too crowded until we had a delay because of a severe thunderstorm and they had to stop people boarding for about 45 minutes. Then the port was crowded with all the people waiting for their zone to be called. Once our zone was called, we went straight to the Lido deck for lunch when we got on the ship. We didn't have any trouble finding a table. We finished our lunch around 1:00 and went to our rooms.

This was our first time having a room on the Panorama deck and we loved it. Being at the front of the ship, we could feel the movement more. We love to feel the ship rock, especially at night. It wasn't like that every day but we wouldn't have mind if it had been.

Our steward was Ryadi from Indonesia. I hope I spelled his name correctly. He and his assistant were very good. Our room always looked nice.

Our family had to get 2 rooms. My husband, son and nephew had one room and my two daughters and I had one close by. There was a crew only area between our rooms. They had a different steward than we did.

We love early dining. We had 2 tables by the window for our group and Romeo was our server. He was very good. I think we got our food quicker than we have on some of our past cruises. We loved the meals in the Lincoln dining room. We have always had very good food in the dining room on every Carnival cruise.

I decided to write down the desserts I liked the best so that I will remember for the next cruise. I waited till the last night for the warm chocolate melting cake because there were so many good desserts on the other nights. We sure do miss the good food!

We ordered room service a few times and it was delicious. We never waited over 15 minutes for it to be delivered.

There are so many different places to eat on the ship. Don't forget about Fish and Chips on the Panorama deck.

I didn't go to all the shows but most of the people who went enjoyed them. I didn't think they were as good as the Dream last year. The singers and dancers were very good though. We missed having brass players in the band in the Ivanhoe theater.

The Valor is a beautfiul ship. The only place I noticed signs of aging was in the bathroom-shower area and it wasn't bad. The ship was always spotless. The crew was constantly cleaning. The crew was always friendly no matter where they were working. Goose was a great cruise director.

My youngest daughter went to the past guest party. They drew her name for the free dinner for two at the Scarlett's steak house. She asked her brother to go with her and they really enjoyed the meal.

We watched one movie on the Lido deck big screen-Tangled. It was a great movie. It was a little cool that night and I wish I had taken a jacket.

I know there are other great things to say about the Valor. I will probably think of something I left out after I finish this review. We all enjoyed the cruise and wish we were back on the ship.

Our youngest daughter will be graduating from college next May and I am already looking for our next cruise to celebrate that. Less

Published 05/30/11

Cabin review: 4J1001 Interior with Picture Window (obstructed views)

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Port and Shore Excursions

This was our 4th time to Belize and our 2nd time booking through Coral Breeze Tours. We booked the snorkeling at Caye Caulker. Because we had 6 going, we got a discount rate. One great thing about this excursion is one of my daughters and I don't snorkel, and they offer a discount if just observing. It was almost half price if we just stayed in the boat and watched the others. Since only 11 people had booked this excursion, they took a smaller boat. It was a bumpy 35 minute boat ride out to Caye Caulker. They took the ones snorkeling to two different locations. One was at the barrier reef and they saw beautiful fish. The 2nd place, they snorkeled with sting rays and nurse sharks. A man from another family said it was much better than sting ray city. My husband said it was the best snorkeling of any excursion he had ever been on. The only negative thing about this was they took people back to Caye Caulker who had purchased the lunch meal with the excursion. We did not because we were waiting to go back and eat on the ship. They had given us chips and salsa and fresh fruit and water on the little boat. We had an hour and a hour to wait before heading back to the port. We walked a little down the streets but there are not many places to go in, so we spent most of the hour and a half sitting on the ground waiting for boat to take us back. The crew from Coral Breeze Tours was very nice! I will definitely book with them again.

We have always loved Cozumel. One daughter and I shopped at the port and the rest of our family went to Playa Mia beach. They took a taxi there and enjoyed a few hours at the beach before shopping. Some how, we always manage to meet up with each other shopping. We spent some time in Los Cincos Sol-one of our favorite stores. We always buy Chiapas coffee there. Make sure you get some vanilla in Cozumel. We got some organic vanilla but wish I had gotten some with caramel added. It has a great taste. Make sure it does not have coumarin and corn syrup added. You need to shop around before you purchase anything. We got the little turtles with the heads that move back and forth for $1.00 each. Some stores were selling them for $2.95. Make sure you take small bills at all the places you go for tips, etc.
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This was our 4th or 5th time in Grand Cayman. Usually, I just walk around shopping. Some of our family wanted to go snorkeling. A taxi driver took them to the area before Cemetery beach. They were able to snorkel free. I can't remember the cost for the taxi ride but it was not expensive. They took their own snorkel equipment with them on the cruise. You can find places with internet connection in Grand Cayman. Some are free and some you have to purchase something to get the password. We went to Dunkin Doughnuts and got connected there after buying a doughnut.

Roatan has always been our favorite port till this year. We usually go to Tabyana Beach and snorkel. It is a beautiful beach. This time, we chose to just walk to Mahogany Bay and save some money. Next time, we will pay and go back to Tabyana Beach. We were docked with the Dream. By the time we got to the beach, there was not any chairs left. It was so hot that day. We walked back to the stores and shopped. After going through the stores, there wasn't anything to do so we walked back to the ship. Two of our children found the internet connection. They purchased a soda and got on the internet to pass the time. If you want to see a pretty beach, I would advise you to go to Tabyana Beach. I liked it better before they started docking at Mahogany Bay.
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Member Since 2006
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