A lot of reviews I'd read before boarding the Valor complained about the smoking being EVERYWHERE. Well, I did not find that to be the case at all. The only smoking I encountered was in the casino where it was expected. Everywhere else appeared to be smoke free. Casino staff among the best I've encountered.
Room: Upper Deck - inside 2345. Next time I'll pay a little more for a room with at least a porthole as no sunlight means no idea on time of day. Otherwise, room was spacious (I sailed alone but with 60+ others) and the room steward was very effecient. No complaints.
Food on Carnival is not top shelf but I can't say it wasn't tasty. Desserts were so-so but dinners at night (we were in Lincoln) were good; enjoyed each of them. I highly recommend splurging on the speciality restaurant; Scarlett's. Well worth the $30 upcharge per person. Prime meats, etc. VERY VERY good. If you like to dance, a small combo and vocalist and a dance floor are part of the experience.
Otherwise, the Lido meet my lunch needs, whether it was the daily buffet or the hamburgers and pizza. No better, no worse than any other cruise and that was OK by me.
No kids so didn't visit Camp Carnival, nor did I pop into every club but they were packed and from what I heard around ship everyone liked them. Never heard one complaint about the activities or clubs.
The ship's staff was very professional, the cruise director had a great sense of humor and eveyone enjoyed his efforts. The only contact I had with him was when I participated in the Saturday night show, Carnival Legends, and he was very cordial and welcoming.
PORTS: Nassau people have their hand out; so just be aware that you'll be hit up time and agan. We ate at Senor Frogs; food good, service horrendous. Lousy waitress. We no more than finished our meal than she brought the tab and announced we needed to pay immediately and leave as she needed the table. The gratuity was added to the tab so we couldn't "voice" our displeasure. I joined some folks for the harbor tour, aquarium and Paradise Island stuff. Fun. There is lots to do and shopping at the Straw Market is recommended.
St Thomas: Great shopping. Did the Helmet dive. If you can, take the side trip to St. John and the tram up to Paradise Point. Both well worth it.
St. Marteen. You'll dock on the Dutch side (Philipsburg); good shopping and eats. Visit The Yoda Man; he conceptualized and built the Star Wars Yodas and has on in his shop. He's an accomplished painter, too. Philipsburg is easy to get around. Be sure to take a taxi to the french side (Marigot). worth the trip as the french side has great eats and shopping to match; Marina Royale is the concentration of the most shops/bistros.
If possible sign up for the Ragatta (America's Cup race); THE best excursion I've ever taken. Exhilirating! Man, did I love it! Wow!
I've sailed now twice on Carnival and would like to take a different line the next time but overall I'd say this trip was an 8.5 out of 10.
Worth my money and time; sad to see it end.
I drove down to Key West for 2 nights after the cruise and that was a great capper to the week.
Hope this helps. Questions anyone?? :-)
Barry...........how were the seas during your cruise. We've had terribly windy weather down here for what seems like forever. Was just wondering, as I'm leaving on Valor May 6th.........the the wind calms down while I'm out there..........I have a tendency to getting seasick.
It was very windy and we had quite a bit of rain.
But - hey - I was on a cruise ship in the caribbean so I didn't mind
I don't have problems with seasickness so I just rocked along.
Hope you don't have more issues than normal.
We did have a good trip even if it was a bit wet at times.
Plus, that part of the caribbean is known for being a little rough
as the ship did rock a bit at times. We were told by staff members
that it wasn't really any more than normal but it was a bit
rough at times.
Takes your meds and have fun!