This is not really a review, but some thoughts about what was good/not so good on our second Valor Western cruise-first was in Jan./05. We are a family of 4 with 2 kids:15,9.
Embarkation:From the Hyatt(Priceline for $104/night total)arrived with the 'early birds' about 10:15am. Perhaps a bit too early as they were having trouble clearing the ship. On approx. 12:15.
Laundry facilities: because we had spent 6 days previous on vacation before the cruise, we used it for one load as soon as we got on board. Just told the Carnival employee on the 9th Floor guarding the closed doors to the cabins what we were doing. Worked wonderfully!
Cabin: Quad Inside on Panorama Deck. Worked fine, well organized.(Not as much room as the Family Staterooms with window on Spa Deck but was fine.)
Dinner: got 6:15 in Lincoln Table 145, but unfortunately it was on the aisle for that section for the waiters carrying their big trays of food. Lucky they did not drop any on the us(2 chairs in the aisle and then a banquette seat across). Also found it very noisy like a cafeteria, ??due to location. (Do not remember any noisiness last cruise in Washington booth for 4.)
Servers: 2 males. Very nice but not too good and also slow. Items we ordered never came, or a couple of times something came that we did not order that night. We spoke up if it was something significant, but let those unwanted fries that appeared -they were partially eaten. We did not continue to order the kids chocolate milk which we did on the second night- as it never came. I think they had language/written communication & organizational problems.(Our 2 female waitresses last cruise were EXCELLENT!)
Food: very good. Fish&Chips good. Back pool Grill: chicken burgers-Excellent. Kids loved the lemonade & icecream/yoghurt.
Fun things on Ship: Towel animal making class; daughter made a stuffed Puppy($20) at Camp Carnival; Cptn.Party in Paris Hot=good band in there, less busy than Eagles Lounge-but Cptn. does not come in there for the big speeches; Past Guest Party in Ivanhoe=very good. Found they were very generous both places coming around with the drinks! Waterslide is lots of fun. 80's Show in Theatre=good! There is so many choices of things to do!!!
Tender Tickets for Belize and GCayman. Improved but still not organized on Carnival's part.
Belize: Coral Breeze's Shark Ray Alley. Good.
Roatan: driver Ben from Victor Bodden's company. Excellent. Did Jungle Canopy Zipline=FUN!!!! Weather was rainy off&on. Went back to ship early due to rain. Really like that port.
GCayman: Local bus to Turtle Farm(fun esp. for the kids), Hell, 7Mile(Cemetary Beach area). Very nice.
Cozumel: We were lucky we docked. Chankanaab Park where the kids did the Royal Dolphin Swim(they had lots of fun), snorkeled.(Sad what the hurricane did there.) Not enough time to shop though in Coz.
Disembarkation: had to do SelfAssist as we had early flight(booked on points and that is the only one that could get us back to Vancouver the same day.) LATE LATE due to customs problem. Miami airport was a zoo,we were in the wrong lineup(my mistake as I thought since we had 2 Domestic flights before the Intl one we could use Curbside checkin and then the guy serving our Kiosk DISAPPEARED and never returned!!!) at American Airlines; missed flight(well we were there, but due to disorganiztion at airport they said our luggage would not make it.) Ended up LUCKILY getting on a standby from MIA-DFW and running(after MIA did not check our bags all the way to Vancouver)after re-checking our bags with some help from a nice employee at DFW showing us the way- between Terminals!lol we caught our DFW-Vanc. flight. You just need one thing to go wrong and you can miss your flight. It was partly our fault for accepting a 11:35am flight from MIA, but we HAD to get back to Vancouver that night. Miami airport is very badly organized and you would think AAirlines would put more staff on Sundays!!! Will know better for next time!!!
Overall it was a good cruise, but we have no plans for another cruise right now.(Disneyland will be next.) We really liked those 4 ports, but we should not do the EXACT same cruise AGAIN!!
If you have any specific questions, please ask.
NCL Jewel March 14/08(Southern Caribb.)VALOR Jan. 7 /07(Western Caribb. again!)
VALOR Jan/05-our first family cruise was great!