Western Caribbean September 2011: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by BMP57

Carnival Valor 5
Member Since 2011
896 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Western Caribbean September 2011

Sail Date: September 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
This was our third cruise overall and first-time with Carnival. We sailed on the Carnival Valor from Miami on September 18th, 2011 on a 7-Day Western Caribbean Cruise. We stopped at cruise ports in the Grand Caymans, Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. The weather was perfect and the waters were so calm, you sometimes thought you weren't sailing at all.

Overall we had a great cruise and have limited criticism to report. Although I will say of the 3 cruiselines we have sailed, Carnival would be at the bottom.

We arrived in Miami on 17 September and stayed at the Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel. We had made reservations months earlier and secured a military rate of $104 per night (my wife and I are retired Air Force members). We took a taxi from the Miami airport to the hotel and the cost was $25. The hotel was very nice and centrally located; we spent an evening at Bayside shopping and eating. On the morning of cruise departure; we took a hotel from the hotel to the port and More were there in minutes; the taxi ride was about $7. The embarkation process was flawless and we were on board within 30 minutes of check-in; although we couldn't access our room until 1:30. That wasn't a problem as we used the time to eat lunch on Lido and tour the ship.

We had a balcony on Deck 9, Lido, that was very close to the pool, gym, and food lines. One of our complaints would be that our room was to close to the entertainment area as we could hear all the commotion when sitting on the balcony. Also, we didn't like the fact that the balcony door was not a sliding door; you couldn't leave the door open. Our room was comfortable, although we never met our cabin stewart. We aren't complaining though as our room was always clean and ready for us when we returned from an excursion or outing at the pool.

Although there were very few kids on the cruise, we spent most of our time at the Adult pool; the pool was centrally located to getting food when the urge hit, as well as a nice poolside bar. I will say I thought the pools on the ship were too small for the crowd gathered during the day.

Some other information/highlights:

- We ate our dinners in the Washington Room was great; Natalie our server was outstanding and we never had a bad meal. We thought Carnival offered a wide selection of choices.

- We did enjoy breakfast from the buffet lines, but stuck to ceral and fruit; they were crowded though.

- The Burrito Bar, Sandwich Grill, Fish and Chips, and Pizza bar were a nice touch

- Waiters/Waitresses seemed to be in short supply as we almost always had to go to the bar to get a drink - Scarlett's Steakhouse was outstanding and well worth the $30 charge. The Cheesecake for desert is way too big for one person; my wife and I are glad we shared.

- Entertainment was okay, we did enjoy the Adult Commedians.

- I bought a Coke Card since I am a soda drinker, but will say I don't think was worth the $51 price tag. The Valor didn't offer fountain drinks and everything was poored from a can. The two other cruise lines we sailed on gave a 16 ounce tumbler to use for your soda and I felt like I was getting my monies worth.

- Disembarking went smooth for the most part, but there was a lull between groups 16 and 20 (our departure number). I don't think Carnival did a good enough job in telling people why. Our luggage was waiting for us when we got off the ship, but the customs line was too long and we had a customs agent that seemed to asked 10 questions of each person. Our line moved real slow.

- Overall, we had a great cruise; we will probably said again with Carnival, but not as a first choice. Less

Published 09/29/11
Helpful? Thank BMP57

Cabin review: 8E9283 Balcony

My wife and I enjoy a balcony. We didn't like the fact that you couldn't open your balcony door and keep it open. Construction is simply another door, whereas we like the doors that slide. The balcony seemed a little smaller than on previous cruise ships.

Read All Balcony (8E) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Our first time to Belize. One can clearly tell they are in a third world country, but the people were extremly friendly. We booked a Cave Tubing excursion through Major Tom's. They are priced half the cost of what Carnival charges and you tube at the same location. We paid $50 per person, whereas Carnival was charging about $100 per person. Lunch was also included. Major Tom meets you right outside the exit from the port and their office is a short walk away. We actually had "Minor Tom", the son who was our escort. We were back to the ship with about an hour to spare, so those who wanted to briefly shop had some time.

Second time in Grand Cayman. Very expensive to shop and dine, but good food. We booked Parasailing via Carnival and had a fantastic time. We did notice prices about $40 cheaper than the ship price and centrally located so one wouldn't have to worry about missing the ship. Will surely return for another visit,

First time in Miami; enjoyed our shopping and dinner at Bayside

Read 1825 Miami Reviews

Our first time to Roatan; we spent the afternoon shopping, having a couple of drinks at Fat Tuesday's, and spending about 30 minutes on the beach. It was extremely hot and humid. We decided to return to the ship and lay by the pool. The fact that Carnival has the private beach and can dock right next to the shopping district is a plus.

Read 2443 Roatan Reviews

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