Carnival Valor Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

1 cruise (first)


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

A very nice ship

Sail Date: August 27, 2006

Reviewed: 10 years ago

Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Room Type: Oceanview

This was my first cruise, and I was very impressed with the size of the ship. Our stateroom (basic with a window) was very large--same size as most hotel rooms I've been in. There were plenty of seats all over the place if you just wanted a place to hang out, however, most of the evening hangouts allowed smoking, which I didn't like. The pools were tiny (smaller than most hotel pools) and always packed with children. Because they were tiny, they were really only good for cooling off. But because of the kids splashing around, you couldn't really read by the pool. They did have two adult-only whirlpool tubs that were generally available, but the others (that allowed kids) were always packed. My biggest criticism would be Winston's cigar bar, which is huge (seats ~150), but usually had maybe 5 people in it. Because of the cigar smell, the room is unusable for anything else, even though it's one of the nicest rooms on the ship. It runs the full width of the ship, though, so you have to walk through it to get to the other end of the floor. The sports bar, on the other hand, is tiny, and the other big rooms were mostly taken for private parties (apparently there was a large group named Kings and Queens that was on the boat with us and tied up most of the side rooms).

Overall I was impressed, but would have liked to see some non-smoking hangouts, as well as an adults-only pool. Also, because of the size of this ship, there are people *everywhere*. Lunchtime is like eating at a very busy buffet restaurant. Don't expect much peace and quiet outside of your room.

Pros: The room was very large; Ship very nice

Cons: Most gathering places allow smoking; Winston's cigar bar is huge

Food and Dining
I had big expectations here, so I was easy to disappoint. The lunch buffet had limited selection, and while there were other options available, you had to walk all over the ship to get to them (with tray in hand).
The constant reminders of activities over the intercom got annoying, but other than that the events seemed entertaining.
Ship Quality
Huge, spotless ship. Layout was good with the exception of Winston's Cigar Bar.
Cabin / Stateroom
Couldn't have asked for a better stateroom. Our friends that didn't get a window room had a much smaller room, however.
Service and Staff
No real complaints here, but our stateroom steward was a grouch.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
We actually took a ferry to St. John, so I didn't see much of St. Thomas. Trunk Bay in St. John was very nice, but getting there was expensive.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
We rented a car here--they drive on the right side and they're a little more sane on the road than at the other places. The island was a little more developed than the others, and while people spoke less english, they were friendlier. This island was very laid back.
Nassau, Bahamas
We went over to see Atlantis. It was nice, but not worth the $29 admission fee (just to tour and have access to the grounds).

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