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Old March 17th, 2008, 10:22 PM
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Default Valor Review March 9-16

This is my review of our group cruise (20 of us) of Carnival Valor Eastern Caribbean March 9-16.

Embarkation ... The embarkation process went very smoothly for all of us. Carnival reps were very organized and helpful! All of us arrived at 11:00 and were on the ship by 11:35. I gave everyone a tour then and we hit the lido buffet for lunch. Unfortunatly the weather was a cool cloudy and breezy 65. Rooms were ready at 1:30.

Apparently the snow storm in Ohio, NY, Pennsylvania, and Michigan kept some people from getting to Miami in time (not many but some). So, here is my support for leaving a day early! We did not have any problem because we all flew in from North Carolina on March 8.

Cabin ... Everyone in our group either had a balcony or oceanview cabin. These rooms are very spacious and nice. Valor still has the same TVs, but they did have new white shower curtains that do not try to attack you in the shower!!! Cabin was clean and well maintained. Speaking of maintainance, our bathroom light blew out between dinner and the show one night. I called the desk and told them about it. After we returned from the show it was fixed. Carnival gets bonus points for fixing a problem quickly!!

Dinner ... Our group was seated at three consecutive tables, which was good, but one table had one waiter and the other two had another waiter. We were hoping to move from table-to-table each night to spend time with other couples, but to respect the waiters we did not mix things up. The head waiter at my table did a good job, but his assistant waiter was a huge hinderance. The assistant waiter was rarely around and when she was around she seemed to be messing something up. This kept our head waiter from spending quality time discussing different options etc. The other tables wait staff had great chemistry and everything worked out very well! All 20 of us were slightly disappointed with the quality of the food. The lobster was cooked very well and might of been one of the better meals. Several beef dishes did not have quality meat or good flavor. I know it is hard to cook for that many people, but this is not my first cruise and the food quality did not match my other cruise experiences (all on Carnival and RC).

Entertainment ... I personally thought the comedians (3 of them) were decent. It was a good mix of different types of comedy, and one of them was heckled pretty hard by a few spring breakers from Indiana Univ. He did a great job of putting them in their place, which was hillarious. The 80's show was pretty good and impressive at times, the other shows need to be reworked especially the welcome aboard show.

Ports ... Nassau is okay. St Thomas is pretty good with good beaches. I went scuba diving for the first time and really liked it. If you are going there I can recommend a dive company (even if you do not have your certificate you can dive). St Maarten was beautiful and somewhat expensive. Orient Beach was a great experience along with the French town of Marigot if you want to adventure up and down the streets and experience some french/island culture.

Other stuff ... Lido deck was nice especially with the video screen. They did a good job of showing different things and playing music. Buffet was pretty good, liked the Asian food etc. Spa, was really nice. The first day I won a free facial and massage and that was very nice. It was my first facial which was actually nice. I do recommend the spa services (I am a guy by the way) but just be honest and upfront if your person is pushing products you are not going to buy.

Disembarkation ... This was a ZOO! We ran about 30 minutes late into Miami, then at 8:50 the sail 'n sign system when leaving the boat crashed for 30 minutes. It got a little crazy getting all 20 off the ship, into the two limos, and to FLL for a noon flight. I know we could of all gotten the lower tag numbers, but this is my first experience with delays at disembarkation. Just too many things went wrong, but a lesson learned. It all worked out and we got our flight.

Conclusion ... We had a great time as a group. Carnival did a good job, but the group and myself will probably do Celebrity or RC for our next cruise. Most everyone else had not been on a cruise before and they want a new experience. For my wife and I, we are willing to see if there is a huge difference between Carnival/RC and a Celebrity experience.

I might write more if I think about something else. If you have any questions for me about anything I will do my best to answer.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 11:58 PM
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We are a group of 27 going on the Valor . It was good to get your feelings about things. If you have any hints or suggestions we'd be glad to have them.
Sue
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Old March 18th, 2008, 11:10 AM
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Sue,

Are you the organizer of the group cruise or are you just going along? I was the organizer and I will be willing to give you any tips/advice.
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Old March 18th, 2008, 05:59 PM
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Hi, who was the Rock and Roll Band in the lounge? Was it Music Society?
Thanks Mary49
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Old March 18th, 2008, 09:05 PM
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We actually never went to the lounge for the rock and roll band, and we didn't keep the capers so I do not know ... sorry
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Old March 18th, 2008, 09:11 PM
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that was a good review. i was definitely weighing my options for my senior trip. there will probably be a good amount of us. but thanks =]
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Old March 18th, 2008, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncstate7991
Sue,

Are you the organizer of the group cruise or are you just going along? I was the organizer and I will be willing to give you any tips/advice.
I'm not the organizer , just one of the group. I copied your review and sent it to my sister in law . For some reason she can not get on Carnival's boards. She is more than happy to recieve any tips and advice.
Thanks , Sue
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Old March 18th, 2008, 09:59 PM
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To Sue and Sue's sister-in-law,

Are all of you flying in together? If so getting a limo is usually the same price or cheaper than getting a lot of taxis and not too hard to organize. I used Jessys Limo and they were great!

No matter what happens try to enjoy your trip and not worry too much about everyone elses experience. If something goes wrong you are the ones that need to stay calm and try to hold everything together. You know more about cruising and what is going on b/c you organized the trip, and you have been getting all of this good information from this board!! When disembarkation went crazy I had people going crazy thinking we were not going to make our flight and many other scenarios. I stayed calm and it really helped others not totally lose it.

After I got on board I went to everyones room and made sure they didn't have any questions and everything with the room was fine. I also then gave everyone a list of everyones room number so they could call people etc.

Before the cruise (everyone lives in the same area) I had an evening gathering at my house. Everyone brought over a dish and we had drinks. After everyone ate I had a question and answer time which really helped calm peoples nerves and answer everyones questions all at one time.

Hopefully this helps and if the people in your group have cruised before it will make things easier!
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Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas 12/4/2009 Bahamas
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Old March 18th, 2008, 10:11 PM
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I can't wait until April 2009
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Old March 19th, 2008, 08:22 AM
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ncstate:

Hello, I am Sue's sister-in-law. I can get on this board, it's one of the other ones that I am having a problem with.

We do have a service that will pick us up on all three trips that we need transportation for.

Yes, we are all flying together the day before our cruise. We are staying in a Hotel in Miami(Amerisuites)

Now that the whole group has been assigned their cabins, the only thing left to arrange is our seating at dinner. We want the early seating and would like to be all together. If this isn't already what we want, then we will go to the dining room as soon as we can and see about it. We have done this before and they are really great about making changes.

We have already had a meeting/get together early last year and we have another one planned for April. Between myself and my sister-in-law, we have copied all of the "tips" and have either emailed them to the rest of the group or made copies to hand out.
Right now we are on the Google site looking for places to shop while we are in Miami. Mostly for pop(soda) and snacks. Sue did fing a Wal-Mart

We had shirts made for us all to wear for the first day on the ship and we have door posters for all of our doors. We are all on the Aft of the Verandah deck. Look for us...we will be very noticeable.

Thank you and please keep the good ideas coming our way.

Darlene(Red)
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Old March 20th, 2008, 03:46 PM
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I had people on three different flights to two different airports coming down to Florida. Having everyone on the same flight will make things much easier for you! Good luck and happy cruising!
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 01:04 PM
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ncstate:
I read your review many times.

We will be on the Valor in May(I think I told you that)

What I want to ask you is....
Is there a topless deck on the Valor or is there miniture golf up there?

Darlene
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 01:25 PM
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There is a topless deck and a mini golf on a different deck! The Valor is a great ship, I am sure you all will love it!

Tim
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDWITCH 13
ncstate:
I read your review many times.

We will be on the Valor in May(I think I told you that)

What I want to ask you is....
Is there a topless deck on the Valor or is there miniture golf up there?

Darlene
Are you planning on going topless , DAR?
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 09:43 PM
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Darlene,

You going topless?!?! The mini golf (aka putt putt) is located aft on deck 11 or 12 at the funnel. The topless deck is more forward, and being a married man I did not venture that way, so I cannot verify if it is still there post dry dock.
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Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas 12/4/2009 Bahamas
Carnival Valor 3/9/2008 Eastern Caribbean
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Old March 23rd, 2008, 08:01 AM
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There is no harm in just looking.
I understand that is mostly men anyway.

Darlene
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