7 Night Exotic Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Sail Date: January 16, 2011 Ship: Carnival Valor Cabin Type: Balcony Traveled As: Singles/Friends Reviewed: 6 years ago
A beautiful ship, but quite large. Having been on 3 other cruise ships (all somewhat smaller), I've decided that Bigger is NOT Better, for my comfort. A week was not enough time to become really comfortable with where everything was located. Our rooms & adjoining balconies were fabulous, as was our Room Steward. The Steakhouse dining was to die for. The Lincoln Diningroom, was not.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
Burrito bar was a nice lunch stop. The Steakhouse (for $30 additional) was wonderful. The Lincoln Dininiroom was sub-par, especially if you have Royal Caribbean cruises to compare with. It was most disappointing. Also, there was a very large group of folks traveling together. EVERY night, they arrived well into the dining service time frame and stood visiting w/each other blocking the areas between the tables (therefore, holding up service to other tables), and then were incredibly loud. Yelling to other tables of friends, etc. We did ask the head of the Diningroom to deal with it and I believe he made a small atempt. BELIEVE ME, our group loves to laugh and have a good time, BUT we know how to behave in a diningroom with other travelers. This group should have made other plans to book a separate dining area. They told us they travel this same week every year, I can't believe Carnival hasn't got their number by now!
3 out of 5
Didn't find any of it exceptional ... fun, but not over the top.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
The only staff that weren't over-the-top sharp, was our waiter/asst.waiter. They were friendly and helpful, but I wasn't convinced their English was at a level to anticipate our needs.
3 out of 5
Prefer a bit smaller ship.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Rooms were more then adequate in size and our Room Steward kept them tidied up and well-stocked at all time. Opening up the 3 adjoining balconies was the icing on the cake....lovely breakfasts out there, as well as Happy Hour kick-off!
We arranged our own driver to take us up to the top of the island and then down to the Mayan Princess Resort. We paid $10/each to spend the remainder of the day on their beach. WONDERFUL food/beverage service and the MOST BEAUTIFUL beach/water to play in.
we ventured off the 'tourist shopping' corridor and took a foot loop across the bridge and around their downtown area....a much more eye-opening experience then it would have been otherwise. Then, walked to the Radisson to have a drink by their pool....very low key, don't go if in a hurry!
Pros: Once onboard, EVERYTHING except the quality of food/service in the Lincoln diningroom
Cons: The pre-departure stress when our original departure on the SPLENDOR was cancelled (right before Christmas!) and we had to basically 'punt' to get re-booked for the same date, out of Miami on the VALOR.
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