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Old October 20th, 2008, 03:09 PM
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Default Just back from Valor - interesting trip....Roatan problems

Well, just home now from Valor from the Western Caribbean. I won't go into a full review here, but just some of the more interesting details. I'll be happy to answer any questions that I can.

For starters, it was either cloudy or rainy except the last 2 days. Once we left Miami & hit the open ocean, the rocking started. And continued to get worse each day.

I didn't like Grand Cayman, I just wasn't impressed. I saw nicer places in the Southern Caribbean islands & 7 mile beach wasn't impressive. Not sure why people claim its once of the nicest beaches. Shrugs, it was just me. But then again, we were on a beach excursion in a thunderstorm, so it was raining out. But like the tour guide said, 'just go into the water and you won't get wet'. I busted out laughing, a few people looked confused. No sense of humor I guess.

Next stop - Isla Roatan in Honduras. There was a electrical increase in price on the island which caused "roads to be closed and general dissention" according to Carnival. That's the nice version. The actual version according to someone on the crew who has family there was, "road closed, people rioting in the streets & fire bombs being tossed'. So within hours, Carnival in touch with Corporate & the island, decided a sea day instead for the safety of the ship & passengers. Hey, I'm all for it. No big deal to me. Not sure how long this is going to last, so if anyone is going next week, do post what happens with Isla.

Belize - Another interesting situation. Literally right over our heads, that tropical depression formed. Now we already had rocky seas since leaving Miami & this just caused it to get worse. No tossing of glassware & such, but you were stumbling in the halls & kept me up until 3am, twice of which I had to grab the matteras to keep from being tossed from bed. Then again, we were in the front by the first lifeboat. So to be expected.

Now with the ship having to scramble because of Isla Roatan, now they had to deal with Belize literally within 24 hours since the islands were back to back. So they cancelled Belize since it was expected to get hit & decided on Progresso, Mexico instead. But now had to adjust the whole schedule. So instead of going to Cozumel in 2 days, Cozumel was to be the next day and Progresso the following day to give them time to prepare for our ship which apparently never goes there. I felt bad for the folks on the ship that had to handle all the xeroxing & typing the paperwork. Poor Chris the cruise director. He's a good chap.

FYI - Progesso has plans to build another pier to be able to accept more cruise ships. Apparently, they can only accept one at a time right now & the pier is 4 miles long. I'm scratching my head at that.

So it was hectic, but once we left the area, the sun finally came out, so we had 2 days of sunshine. And smooth seas.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 03:14 PM
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Thanks for the info. We are headed to Roatan early next month, so the heads up was appreciated.
You seem to have had a good attitude about the whole thing. Sorry your ports got so messed up. Wishing you a better cruise next time!
Oh, BTW, 7 mile beach used to be gorgeous. It was literally miles of white sandy beaches and beautiful, clear water. Now, it is so built up and over run that I don't even bother going. The last time I did go, the noise and dust from all the construction ruined it for us. But, the old reputation lingers. Hoping my old rep doesn't linger.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 03:19 PM
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I saw that also on the beach, lots of hotels, still lots of destruction from the hurricane & the beach isn't very big. Some of it is also grown over. I could be wrong, I saw only a very small section of the beach, so maybe other parts of the islands are nicer. (?)
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Old October 20th, 2008, 03:21 PM
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I'm not sure about other parts of the island. We did sting rays a couple of years ago and loved it. Otherwise, we just wander around the downtown. Not my favorite place anymore.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 05:36 PM
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Bummer on the weather - we rocked and rolled on our cruise last spring but still had decent days - lots of snorkeling excursions cancelled. If you can figure out how to control the weather you'd have it made, look at everything China tried before the Olympics!

Progresso had two ships in place when we were there in 04. Don't know why that puppy is so long. Must be a losing battle to try to keep anthing closer dredged. Maybe they can build some wings off of the main pier.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 05:56 PM
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Progreso can handle two cruise ships at a time. One on each side of the pier. The pier is so long because the water is very shallow until you get out that point when the shelf starts to drop off.

Most cruiseships have a draft of between 25 to 28 feet. They try to keep it in 35 foot or deeper.

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Old October 20th, 2008, 07:48 PM
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Oh my, what an adventure. It makes the Liberty diversion to the same route as the Valor look like a normal thing. They changed our route less than 24 hours out. We had no sense of problem in Roatan and Belize was perfect. Now, the weather was hot, hotter, and damn hot each day getting progressively warmer until we topped out at the hottest day in Roatan.

Too bad you missed Roatan and Belize, they are wonderful ports!!!!! As for Grand Cayman, I love it there!!!!!!!! Cozumel I can live without...

How is the new pier in Cozumel? Shopping good?...
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Old October 20th, 2008, 11:56 PM
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When I went to Grand Cayman in February and I went to the 7 mile beach and it was very nice. The water was the clearest that I have ever seen and the water was so clear. It was very nice. You might of just went during a bad time of the year.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 04:26 AM
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Hopefully Roatan gets their problems straightened out ! I enjoyed my day there last year.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 12:46 AM
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my coworker's ex and his wife were on this same cruise with you but they still had a great time.

When we cruise in the fall, God and Mother Nature have no control, no one else. We had off and on rain in Cozumel but figured we're going to get wet anyhow and it was plenty warm enough to go in the water. What a great experience - where else can you have angel fish and the yellow and black fish swimming around your feet. A great experience at Mr. Sanchos' Beach. We had wind and cloudy skies on our day at sea until noonish when we came through the clouds. Key West was gorgeous. Destiny was our ship and my girls' group does this same cruise again in May when it will more than likely be gorgeous!!

Carnival kept you safe and that's all that matters.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 12:53 AM
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New pier in Cozumel: Tourist trap. Take a taxi to town to enjoy the shops there and Carlos & Charlie's. HOWEVER, we discovered Mr. Sanchos' Beach and I can't wait to go back in May when it will hopefully be sunny. This beach has anything you want to do - parasailing, a small mexican market of shops, a nice lady selling her wares from a cart, great massages, a small pool, lockers, showers, changing areas, jet skis, etc. etc. but best of all - snorkeling right off the beach. The fish were swimming around our legs and we had our granddaughter with us on her first cruise. What an experience! The restaurant is open air and very reasonable. There are beach chairs and lounge chairs, beach bar service and tables under thatch sun umbrellas. Go and enjoy and forget about the shopping. The stores that are open at the new pier are ok. I liked the market that sells that touristy stuff at the pier. We don't cruise to shop though. There is also a Carlos & Charlie's on your way to Mr. Sanchos but I'd go to Mr. Sanchos instead. Oops forgot, you can rent atv's and go horseback riding from there too. Find them online.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 12:54 AM
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New pier in Cozumel: Tourist trap. Take a taxi to town to enjoy the shops there and Carlos & Charlie's. HOWEVER, we discovered Mr. Sanchos' Beach and I can't wait to go back in May when it will hopefully be sunny. This beach has anything you want to do - parasailing, a small mexican market of shops, a nice lady selling her wares from a cart, great massages, a small pool, lockers, showers, changing areas, jet skis, etc. etc. but best of all - snorkeling right off the beach. The fish were swimming around our legs and we had our granddaughter with us on her first cruise. What an experience! The restaurant is open air and very reasonable. There are beach chairs and lounge chairs, beach bar service and tables under thatch sun umbrellas. Go and enjoy and forget about the shopping. The stores that are open at the new pier are ok. I liked the market that sells that touristy stuff at the pier. We don't cruise to shop though. There is also a Carlos & Charlie's on your way to Mr. Sanchos but I'd go to Mr. Sanchos instead. Oops forgot, you can rent atv's and go horseback riding from there too. Find them online.

The ferry to Playa Del Carmen leaves from the new pier and the last ferry arrives back at the pier at 9pm sharp.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 09:37 AM
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Bummer about the weather.

I hate you missed Roatan. It was actually one of our favorite ports this year. (we were there in May) Not a hint of dissention (sp?).

We grabbed a taxi (Carlos #272) and spent the morning in West End....just walking around. We felt very safe. It is sad to hear they are having these kinds of problems.
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