Very enjoyable trip
Carnival Valor Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern
Sail Date: February 09, 2014
Ship: Carnival Valor
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 6271
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 2 years ago
Had not been on Carnival since the 1990's but the deal we found on this cruise was amazing! First time travelling out of San Juan and so we added a day in Bayamon to the beginning and few days in San Juan at the end of the trip!
Bayamon was awesome, brand new Hyatt Place, beautiful, great restaurant attached and mall right next door (walking distance).
We did the Faster to the Fun option, smart move! Checked out of our hotel in the morning, took a taxi to the ship, arrived at 11, checked in and were dropping off our stuff in the cabin by noon. This gave us the bulk of the day to explore San Juan while everyone else was boarding. Had a total blast, hit the CVS for some last minute items, great deals on t-shirts, and enjoyed listening to an outdoor concert being held. We also walked down to the square and then back to a little outside cafe where we enjoyed our first drink of the trip! Met some great girls who asked to share our table and bought them coffee. They were using the free wifi and in between times told us about San Juan. Turned out they worked in the dining room on the ship, instant friends! For this trip we stayed in a balcony room, 6271. Room was good size with plenty of storage and we had no problems with anything at all during our trip. Room service was fantastic, started every morning with bagel, pasty, fruit and coffee.
Once on board the ship about 7 pm we found our luggage already in our cabin. Headed to the buffet and were quite surprised by the number of choices available. We found all of the meals that we ate here to be tasty and the service spectacular. We also ate several meals in the dining room and were satisfied. The Lincoln dining room is very pretty and we loved that with the anytime dining we could request to sit alone or with a group. Met quite a few interesting people and on Valentine's Day did a date night dinner! One thing we did learn the hard way, if you order flowers on board you can't take them off the ship. Our ship returned in the wee hours of the am on the 16th. If hubby had known he would've had the flowers delivered the first day so we could of enjoyed them longer than a day and a half!
Our sea days were very enjoyable, nice casino, great shows and tons of activities! We won the duck hunt!
We hit several ports on this trip:
St. Thomas, USVI
We did a bus tour that hit the highlights and then spent the rest of the time wandering around town. We'd been here before and done many of the sights already. Did have a brief medical stop after leaving St. Thomas, detour to St. Martinique where someone was taken off the ship, Shoreline was beautiful and time was made up and didn't interfere with our itinerary at all.
We did the Coast to Coast Panorama. This was an awesome trip that really let us see all of Barbados. We also met our first monkey here! Our tour driver told us so many stories and facts, great time! We also saw a pink sand beach, Once the tour was over we wandered around town, met some more monkeys and found some great food! Monkeys are very curious creatures and loved my POC!
Castries, St, Lucia
We did the Scenes of St. Lucia tour. This was perfect as it hit all of the highlights. We loved the colonial house, truly beautiful inside and the views from the balcony were amazing. This tour also included a rum distillery and Caribelle Batik.
Basseterre, St. Kitts
The tours here sounded very similar to St. Lucia so we ended up walking around on our own and found a local museum that was phenomenal. Spent several hours inside and also in the museum book shop. We did some shopping in this port as well.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Our favorite stop! We did the Dutch & French Island Experience. Truly amazing. Hubby did the walk up to the fort while I sat in one of the many little cafes and played Candy Crush with some cute and adorable kids. Seems the parents don't use daycare, just bring the kids with them to work! Would love to go back for another visit. Tour gave option of being dropped off to shop or back to ship. We chose shop and wandered around for awhile before heading back. Very easy to get back to the ship so glad we chose to stay downtown.
Return to San Juan:
Very easy to disembark, we were booked at a hotel already and once off the ship took no time to find a porter, pick up luggage and get a cab. We were at the Sheraton Convention Center and they allowed us to drop off our luggage and wander until our room was ready, they called my cell to let us know. We spent two days before flying out to head home. We were there for President's Day so all of the forts etc. were free! The shuttle is also free and loops all through the city. Enjoyed every second we were there.
Definitely get a porter! Very confusing and have to do customs and agriculture check, was great having someone who knew exactly where to go and what to do, made things very quick and easy for us!
Oddly, we found the best airfare deal by buying one way tickets and used different airlines for each direction!
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
We loved the coupon book, had a blast in every port picking up our "freebies", would never have thought of going to some of these shops. The port talks were a huge help!