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Old January 12th, 2009, 03:22 PM
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Default Valor review-Jan 4-11, 2009

First off, I am back. I would rather be at sea as it is cold back home. I didn't get home until after 2:30am and my flight was an HOUR late. It should have taken just aorund 2 hours to fly from Denver to Edmonton, but winds in the wrong direction and bad weather meant it took close to 3 hours. I declared what I bought, er well, close to how much I spent (they won't know how much I paid if receipts weren't issued). I declared $1900 Canadian but spent more like $2200.

I know, you are saying--holy CHEAT $2200....yes, but I did buy a Citizen Eco-drive watch, black coral, and spa products--that itself was $1400. I needed a new watch......Yes, I had to pay customs ($67) and they pawed through my suitcase and messed my nice and orderly packing system. Oh well, if I didn't declare what I spent and they checked me I would have been caught and had everything I bought taken away and I'd be out a whole lot of money and would only have pictures to show how much fun I had...

Review time:

Food: 9.5 (no juice other than ice tea and lemonade after 11am...)
Ship decor: 4 (I am Canadian, so it was too over the top American decor) I booked it for the ports of call.....
Ship amenities/entertainment: 10
Crew/CD/Social staff: 10 The Captain is quite CHATTY!!!!! Very chatty...
Overall experience/Fun: 9 Why--too many kids, 3354 passengers, too many groups hogging space on Lido, show lounge, and anywhere else they could.

These are a few things that were great about it.

The ports--awesome!!!!

Embarkation/Debarkation-quick and easy (got there at 11:15 onboard by 11:45 and I had a Everglades tour, so I was off at 7:30am)

Social staff--damn, that Matt is a cheecky bugger, but damn good looking!!! There was a new social host, Danny (Danielle), from Montreal who just got on board (she was off for 2 months after leaving the ship she was working on in Mexico--the one that does shorter cruises). Danny was a hoot and a riot. She got along well with the French Canadians who were on the ship. There were a LOT of Canadians on the ship--good thing cuz it was COLD in Canada!!!! Chris Jefferson was quite good as a CD.

Food--what else can I say, YUMMY!!!!!

Overall, I would say I had a good time, but there are a few negatives, but they are not really that serious...

Kids
Too damn many kids, and many parents didn't have or try to contol their kids. The dining room table we had had a table for 12, but they had to move the table for four, with the four kids, behind it because of space. Those kids acted up and misbehaved the whole time at dinner each night I went (4 nights) and the parents did not try to get the kids to behave. The assistant maitre'd had to step in on the second night and politely tell the kids to please not run in the open ailse space because the waiters/bus boy needs the space to be clear. They didn't listen. The only time I saw the parents chastise one kid was when he was beating his younger brother up and the father had a word with him...Uhm, hello, SEND THE BUGGERS TO CAMP CARNIVAL FOR DINNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lido deck/lido restaurant
It was impossible to get a deck chair or the blue rocker chairs. Most of the time they were being saved for "others" in their group or in one girls case, to put her feet up on so she can get a nice even tan.....I was kind enough to knock over her drink because she put it too close to where we were standing for the hair chest/ice carving....alas, she had a soda card... The Lido restaurant only serves Orange, apple, orange passion guave, and ice tea for breakfast. After 11 am until 6am the next moring all you have is ice tea (I don't like what americans call ice tea--please give me the pre sweetened drink crystal form of iced tea, not cold tea) and lemondade (yuck--too sour!). They started putting out warm chocolate melting cake at dinner time on the Lido deck, which was nice for the three nights I went down there for Grand Cayman, Roatan, and Belize nights (I was too tired or not very hungry those nights....

Those were my two biggest issues, but it didn't in anyway ruin my trip. I just hunbg out on my own balcony and sunned meself and didn't linger after I ate--started working the calories off ASAP!!!!!

My room steward was really good, but it took a couple of days to get a towel. I've heard comments sabout not having towels in the cabins, but what he said was that there were so many people on deck towels were in short supply. I got the towels in time for my stingray city tour!!!!

I donated money in the casino, I did discover that the penny machines can be better to play than the quarters as I plugged a $20 in and walked out 10 minutes later with $88......

I did the everglades tour after and that was well worth it. I would, however, NOT fly with United again or choose a late flight. I am so exhausted. I tried to sleep in, but my internal alarm clock woke me up at 7:20am and that was it, I couldn't get back to sleep...Needless to say, I was fortunate to get around 4 hours of sleep...tonight I'll crash early....

I had to pay $40 each way for my bags, so none of this charing for one bag only, Unite still rapes us by charging us for BOTH bags!!! My flight home from Miami didn't leave until 6:15 and by the time I got out of the plane I had just over five minutes to get from Gate 33 to Gate 52.....I got there in time, but didn't have time to stop for nothing, no food, water, or bathroom break. All I ate yesterday was breakfast at 6am and two slices of pizza at around 2:30pm....

Well, this cruise is in the bag, so now I have 95 days until I cruise on the Freedom. I'll be booking my Jan 2010 cruise within a month.......

Now the depression starts, but it will be a short term post cruise blues......

Toodles folks, I'm off for a nap!!!!
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Old January 12th, 2009, 03:29 PM
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Im booked on Valor on the 25 on January I CANT WAIT
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Old January 12th, 2009, 07:30 PM
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17 of us are booked 4-26 to 5-3. thanks for the review. I can't wait. hopefully school will still be in session so I don't have to deal with insolent disprectful brats. Some parents need their butts kicked for allowing their children to run rampant.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 08:49 PM
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That is unfortunate those parents could not control their children. Classless! Bob
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Old January 14th, 2009, 08:15 AM
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great review; we are booked for 2/22 and can't wait. sounds like the soda card is the way to go; I love ice tea, just not the stuff they make on cruise ships... well the unruly kids in the dining room will be scared of us .
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Old January 14th, 2009, 10:16 PM
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Great review ! Love your sense of humor . In 2007 I too sailed on the Valor. The decor is way over the top Americania....more like a 4th of July parade> I could understand how someone not from the USA might feel displaced by a ship overously decorated for US travelers.
Chris Jefferson was the CD when I traveled as well. I liked the bloke !
Must be rough to cruise in the warm Caribbean for a week and return to bone chilling cold in winter !
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