Well just got off the Valor. Getting on was a bit crowded, we had the pre-boarding cards done but either my mistake or the Carnival person put us on the wrong line, took about an hour to finally board...Not too bad. Found our cabins, very nice, and a good size, we had 2 inside cabins on the Empress deck... Went to the buffet lunch and it was a nice assortment. Food was better then i expected, but as reported here the desserts were just so-so..(better for me as i didn't need to eat too many anyway). We had late sitting, we asked for 8:00 pm, but was assigned 8:30 for dinner. We decided that would be o.k. since it was better then early for us. Ship is very clean and in good shape, and they are always cleaning something. Josh the cruise director was very good. He was witty, interesting and kept your attention on matters of importance. In the past i had never really been impressed with the directors but he is doing a very good job. We have 2 sons, ages 13 & 17, we took my younger one to see the camp, there was no presentation just a sign up. Royal Carribean has a presentation and encourages the kids to sign up. This was disappointing, but my son found plenty to do on his own and hanging around with us. My older son did his own thing also, he enjoyed the sun the pool and internet (too expensive), but had a good time. The entertainment was very good as i enjoyed all the shows, if you go and Jim Brick is there you have to see his first show and his R rared show, he was hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our waiter Romeo was super, and we rated him so. He was always there and did a top notch job!! We gave him an extra tip and mentioned him on the comment cards, he has worked for Carnival for 13 years!!!
All in all was a great trip, we had not been on Carnival since 1988 when we didi a 7 day on the Holiday, and we were not impressed, we had gone on Royal Carribean since then about 10 times but this time opted for Carnival because it was a new ship and a lot less expensive then 7 days on Royal Caribbean........We would DEFINITELY sail Carnival again!!!!!!!! Ask any other questions and i will be happy to answer!!!
I will be sailing the Valor on Sept. 25th. I can hardly wiat. We have not been on Carnival for 3 years and I'm looking forward to gettin on one of their ships again. What did you think of the colors on the Valor? Did it seem dark or not? The last 2 Carnival ships we were on seemed to have to much dark colors and it did not give you a festive feeling. (The worse was the Pride). Did you have any difficulty getting from one area of the ship to another? I mean - did most of the elevators go to all floors and were there any area's the elevator didn't go to and you had to reach it only by steps? (I have some physcial limits). Was the Piano Bar as wonderful as everyone has said? How did the disembarkation go?
If you'd like to email me answers, please do so. Just put Valor on the subject line.
Hi, I am sailing in Dec on the Valor and wanted to know what islands you went to. We will be doing the Eastern Itinerary. If you did Eastern, would you mind sharing what was good/bad, things to do, best places to shop, etc.
Will be sailing on the Valor August 28th.
Did you have any problems booking any tours?
In 2001 we were on the Triumph, and one hour after the breifing of the ports of call, we signed up for our choice of tours.
The next day, we were told that some of them had already sold out which kind of messed up our plans. There was three of us and me and my son missed out on a snorkeling tour. My wife went on her tour thinking that we would be on our excursion at the same time. We didn't have a second choice, so we just hung out on the ship till she came back.
Just 12 more days till we sail!
Just did the Eastern trip on the Victory, I think it's the same itenerary. Arrived at San Juan to late to get much site seeing and it was hot. The buses and taxis at the peir wanted $20-$30 per person to tour the city (6 of us). We were working our way to the fort when some of our group got cranky in the heat (I wish I could say it was the kids). We found a taxi driver with a nice mini-van and asked how much to the fort then back to the boat. He had a flat rate of $30 for 1 hour, so he took us to the fort and gave us a great tour of the city and dropped us off at the boat. We had such a good time we gave him $40.
St. Thomas. We did the BOB diving tour. It was lots of fun and included plenty of snorkling time. Avoid combining this with most of the other snorkling excursions, especially the shipwreck bay, most use this same cove. Sign up early, BOB is very limited.
In the afternoon we took the Sky Tram, $18, to Paradise Point and took photos then shopped at the malls along the Peir. Tanzanite looks better than what we can get on the mainland but it has been heat treated to bring out the color. I don't know if that is bad but it turns off some of the Jewerly Purists. Again HOT, but no one cranky this time.
St Maartin. Tried to duplicate our luck in San Juan. No good. The cabs are all price fixed here and the tours run about $25 per person. Ours loaded about 14 people in a minivan and drove around with little comentary. Included a stop at a scenic lookout for photos, 1 hr for shopping on the French side, 1 hr on Orient beach. Carnival sponsered tours may be better. Shopping on the French side is in Euro's and while many places maintained an even exchange rate between $s and Euros, some had as much as $2 to 1 euro.
Nice shopping area on the Duch side near the port. $3 per person for taxis each way, but there is a water taxi for $5 per person, all day. Beutiful island but HOT.
Go online at carnival.com and sign up. You will be able to book your excursions until 4 days before your cruise. Make sure you get a confermation number though. I thought we had an excursion booked but Carnival couldn't find our reservation when it came down to delivering the tickets.
We have a group of 10 going on the Valor in October. Some of us have been to Grand Caymen several times. What excursion did you do. Is it worth the trip to the turtle farm, hell, etc. or should this be a a beach day. We heard you can get a taxi to a free beach at the 7 mile beach and other cruisers on this site said the shore excursion to the hotel beach is not worth it. Several of us have done stingray city and do not want to do it again. Any help would be appreciated, Elaine
In May we sailed on the Valor which stopped in Grand Cayman....we also had been swimming with the stingrays a few times and were in a quandry as to what to do, we booked an inexpensive excursion thru Carnival to the Beach Club which is located on 7 Mile Beach, it was horrible, the Beach Club's property is very small and there were lounge chairs lined up in rows touching each other, very crowded and hard to navigate thru the chaos to get to the water, one drink at the bar was included and it was watered down...next time we'll just take a taxi to a public access area on 7 Mile Beach.
Hey, cruisequeen....the colors on the Valor are bright and cheerful (not to mention patriotic), the painting on the wall as you go up on the glass elevators in the atrium is beautiful. I agree with your comments about the decor on the Pride, I found it to be very dark and gloomy and one of the bars was actually gothic in decor. The aft dining room on the Valor (if that is where you are assigned) was attainable by walking aft on the Promenade Deck and taking the aft elevators down. The food was very good....don't miss the fish & chips on the second floor of Rosie's (attainable by aft elevators also). Also, the chocolate buffet (I think the last full day at sea) in Rosie's (at lunch time), is awesome!!! The piano bar, Lindy's, was great and the disco, One Small Step, was fabulous...one night they played 70's music, the next night 80's music. For all you New Yorkers, you're going to love the Bronx Bar....have a few for me and have a great time!!