7 Night Exotic Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Sail Date: September 25, 2011 Ship: Carnival Valor Cabin Type: Oceanview Traveled As: Family (older children) Reviewed: 5 years ago
Very impressive boat. "Goose" was the cruise director and made the experience feel personal, even though we never spoke to him directly. I wish there were more dining areas outside where we could view the sunset/sunrise without looking through glass.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
Many food options to choose from at the lido buffet. We regularly ate at the late seating (8:15pm) at the same assigned table in the Lincoln Dining Room. The staff was friendly, and were very nice about letting us order two appetizers or two (even three!) main course entrees each. You bet we ate to our heart's desire on lobster night. =)
5 out of 5
We watched many live shows after every dinner. The "Far From Over" show featuring 80's music was our favorite-- it was quite a big production!! The "Motown Music" show and the "More than Magic Show" were just OK, and could have been skipped with no regret. The adult (over 18+) comedy punchliner shows were too sexual in nature for our family. We would stick to the eariler Family Friendly shows next time. There was live guitar music in the lobby area, which was enjoyable to listen to.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Really helpful staff. When our top shore excursion was sold out, we were disappointed. But they called an hour later to let us know there space on the excursion just opened up. They gave us no trouble about exchanging for our top-choice (and less expensive) excursion and issuing a refund for the difference.
5 out of 5
Very clean bathrooms. Decor was not too gaudy or over-the-top. Elevators took a while to wait for; oftentimes it was quicker and more efficient to take the stairs.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Very comfortable. Our oceanview room had a large window with a couch for a 3rd person. I get cold easily so I appreciated the bathrobes and being able to adjust the temperature in the room.
We visited the rainforest (El Yunke? I forget how it's spelled). Not as exotic as you would think a rainforest would be. We didn't see many animals other than a few snails and a common household cat (!). The waterfall we visited was right off the road and not as impressive as the ones we saw in photos where people could swim at the bottom of the waterfall.
Don't Miss: The view from the tower at the rainforest
Getting off the boat took long because we had to take a small boat from Carnival Valor to the island of Half Moon Cay. I wish there were a way to speeden the process but I suppose they did the best that they could. We were given stickers and asked to wait in the Ivanhoe Theatre for our turn to be called out to the small ferry boat. We didn't purchase a shore excusion here; we just enjoyed the beach. Bring snorkeling gear because there was some fish to be seen.
Don't Miss: The beach
We visited Coral World, a water aquarium park. We booked our shore excursion through Orbitz website and weren't sure exactly where to meet our group, but we joined the Carnival group headed to the same destination and they took care of us. If not for the confusion of transportation, we would have had another 45 minutes at Coral World.
AWESOME excursion: Gibbs Cay Beach and Sting Rays. This was the highlight of our trip. We were able to touch and kiss the sting ray, and even get a sting ray massage. You could see all the sting ray swimming up to the boat as we came close to the island. We could also see a barracuda. A pleasant surprise with this excursion was being able to snorkel. We saw more sting ray and a small turtle. We could have spent much more time snorkeling. Great excursion
Don't Miss: Sting Rays at Gibbs Cay Beach!!!!
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