First time with Carnival and pleasantly surprised: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by doberwoman

Carnival Valor 5
Member Since 2009
107 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

First time with Carnival and pleasantly surprised

Sail Date: August 2011
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
My husband and I, our son (24), daughter (22) and our daughter's boyfriend (20) stayed at the Comfort Inn in Hollywood, Fla which gets mixed reviews but we found it to be adequate for a pre cruise stay. It's nice to relax around the pool with inexpensive drinks and a free breakfast the next morning. We booked the POM package and caught the 9:30 shuttle the next morning.

We arrived at the POM around 10:30 and got boarding group 2. Embarkation was smooth and we were on the Lido deck having lunch by noon.

My husband and I booked a premium vista balcony cabin and the kids had inside cabins (age has to have some perks!) The balcony was HUGE and we all enjoyed sitting out there at night watching the stars. Bertel, our cabin steward worked his invisible magic and kept our cabin tidy even though we barely saw him. If we did happen to run into him in the hallway, he knew all of us by name and always asked how our day was going.

Food - We had early dining in the More Lincoln dining room. The food varied from excellent to mediocre, nothing was terrible but some meals were better than others. Pot roast excellent. Mahai Mahai mediocre. Our waiter, Wilfredo was very good and knew our names and preferences by the second night.

We ate at the steakhouse once and although the atmosphere was wonderful, the steaks were not great and the surf and turf portion size was small - 3oz filet mignon and a very small lobster tail. The buffet food was very good with lots of choices and easy to find seating. We usually ate upstairs near the fish and chips restaurant and were sometimes the only ones up there!

Entertainment - If you like karaoke and bingo, you'll be set. The shows were okay but not as professional as we've experienced on other ships. Comedians were definitely R rated and seating filled up fast.

We LOVED the serenity area of the ship. It was quiet, relaxing and free. Other cruise lines charge for this feature.

Disembarkation was well organized and efficient. We had breakfast in the Washington dining room that morning and our group was called around 9am. Once off the ship, we were directed to our bus taking us to the FLL airport.

We all thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and experienced some of the best service we've ever had. Carnival far exceeded our expectations and we would not hesitate to sail with Carnival again. Less

Published 09/09/11

Cabin review: 9C6452 Premium Vista Balcony

Private, enormous balcony. Well worth the money.

Read All Premium Vista Balcony (9C) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Last port was Grand Turk. We did the Carnival catamaran snorkeling tour which was a lot of fun but be advised the rum punch is powerful. It may taste watered down, but trust me it's not. Just ask the lady in the bikini who was pole dancing on the catamaran. We also went to Jack's Shack and had a lot of fun playing with the owner's dog Topher in the water. I would also like to return to this port someday.

Read 1695 Grand Turk Reviews

We couldn't go to HMC because of hurricane damage and docked in Nassau instead. We took a cab to the beach for $4 each and had a relaxing day. Have a dollar bill handy to pay the bridge fare on the way over, its not included in the cab fare. Beware of the umbrella and chair salesmen...$20 for an umbrella and $15 for each chair. We sprung for the umbrella and used it to keep our towels and bags off the sand. Spent the $15 on a ride on the banana boat which is a lot more fun than a chair!

Read 5024 Nassau Reviews

Third port was San Juan where we did the Bacardi rum factory tour which included a city tour. Very Interesting tour and the free samples were great (Thanks Michael for the extra drink tickets!). Just an FYI, you don't actually get to see inside the plant or see the rum being made. It's more of an informational tour and bar-tending lesson. The tour of old San Juan was good and I would love to return to this port to spend more time there.

Read 2952 San Juan Reviews

Second port was St. Thomas. This was our 3rd time here so we opted to take a ferry over to St. John and went snorkeling at Trunk Bay. Absolutely gorgeous but wished we had an hour longer at the beach. Most of your time is spent on the ferry, on the shuttle bus then standing in the hot sun listening to a woman explain "the rules". Having a guide on the bus to explain everything on the way there would have saved a good 20 minutes.

Read 3995 St. Thomas Reviews

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Member Since 2009
107 Forum Posts
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