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Carnival Valor Jan. 21 2007
Pre ? Cruise Review
An early morning departure to JFK from Buffalo was uneventful after the evening before. Delta called to let me know they cancelled my flights and then re-scheduled them. Upon departing to FLL from JFK delta was looking for passengers to give up their seats?
Pick me, pick me !!!!! LOL ? They gave us lunch vouchers and a round trip ticket each valid for one year for doing so? But there was one catch the flight to FLL was much later or we could go to West Palm Beach? So we chose PBI and arrived around 4pm and took the Tri- Rail to FLL to pick up our car and luggage. The Tri-Rail was a great experience and without luggage would do it again in a heartbeat, the cost was only $12.50 for the 3 of us?
We picked up our convertible PT Cruiser only to realize the luggage would in no way fit, lol?? back to the airport for a MINI VAN?. We headed to the Best Western Oceanside Hotel for the night. Cute hotel with a wonderful breakfast and a great pool, only downfall was the pool closed at dusk and the poolside bar closed at 9 pm?.
Next morning we went back to the airport to pick up some of the calypso cruisers ( Karyn & Rick and Carrie & Peiro ) and off to Miami, We met up with Chuck and his group for an awesome evening poolside / riverside?.
Saturday we were met with more of the group and some who lucky for us found their way to the hotel despite our efforts to pick them up? Sorry Margie?
Again we enjoyed the day poolside and then most of the Calypso group headed to Paesano?s for some Italian food and bad service via a stretch limo.. Check out the pics in the gallery?
Sunday Morning we enjoyed a fabulous breakfast at a Cuban caf? on Bayfront about 3 miles form the cruise terminal. Then we headed to the port via Rusty?s shuttle service?
My family was on the ship at about 12 noon and despite the weird way of embarking onto the Valor all went very smooth. We met up with everyone on the lido deck and had a great afternoon. While heading to the buffet for lunch I recognized Coconut Willie and his wife, so I stopped and introduced myself.
The muster drill was effortless, and had a wonderful sail-a-way with almost everyone ?
This is about where Chuck?s group went MIA?..lol
Dinner was 8pm in the Washington Dining room were we were serviced by Ida and his assistant Busakorn ( sp) Awesome team? ! Two thumbs up?
Dinner each evening was met with Anticipation from our resident Chef Piero aka.. Mr. critique?
Monday ~ Day at Sea..
Awesome start to the day, waking up to coffee on my balcony and a beautiful sunrise?
Basically spent the day poolside being Karyn?s pool B***H ( although she wouldn?t even let me buy her a drink or rub her feet ) until 2pm when we all gathered for the Calypso Cruiser party in the Lindy Hop piano bar. It was a fantastic gathering of great people with lots of laughter, and many pairs of false teeth?.
This evening was formal night and I must say we had a lot of daper looking men and women at our table?
Tuesday ~ Belize..
This was nearly a life altering trip for me?. LOL.. ? My dear acquaintance Dixie arranged a fabulous group tour to Goff?s Caye.. The tender ride into the pier was great, took about 12 or so minutes We met up with our host and she immediately directed us to a small aluminum row boat?
Ok so it wasn?t exactly aluminum or a row boat but it was pretty darn close..
It barely fit the 8 guests and 2 Captains, but at least it had fuel and life jackets?
We ventured approximately 15 miles out into the ocean to this prestine beautiful paradise of a beach known as Goff?s Caye?
( I have never been so happy to see land, even if it was in the middle of the ocean)
The people were friendly and the beer was cold? I watched while the others snorkled and then waited patiently as my daughter got her hair braided? $ 15.00 very cheap compared to other islands..
We headed back to the pier where we enjoyed a few Belkin beers and nachos?
Wednesday ~ Roatan
Paradise is what first comes to my mind once you leave the pier area. The island is truly beautiful and untouched? Karyn arranged for a fantastic private van and driver named Larry. We started out at Las Palmas? I could have spent the entire day here? It was quiet and very tranquil? Next we were off to the Iguana farm, wasnt really worth the
$ 5.00 per person admission, but we did it and took lots of pictures?
Next stop? Gas Station for BEER? Some liked the light and some liked the dark?
I on the other hand loved the soda crackers we bought?. LoL ? I was getting excited now as we were about to stop and see the Monkey? Couldn?t wait for the kids to see the monkey, and me too? The Monkey?s true love was Karyn, he sat on her lap like she was his new best friend?
Last stop was West End beach, it was a pretty cool, happening place.. The water was crystal clear and despite warnings of sand fleas, none of us were bitten.. ( using OFF obviously helped )
We headed back to the pier area where most bought souvenirs and cigars?
That evening most of us met up in the Bronx bar for a drink or two and then bar hopped for a few more. Visiting the karaoke bar, the piano bar the Paris hop bar?etc
Thursday ~ Grand Cayman?
Thanks to Margie and her thinking cap, we were able to tender off with the Carnival excursions groups even though we were on a privately booked charter to Stingray City.
Our group of 14 met up with a few others and off we went by a beautiful boat to Stingray Sandbar?Those creatures are very beautiful to me from a far? I am not fond of creatures swimming along side of me, so I made my way back to the boat and became the official photographer?But not before planting my butt it a large quantity of squid juice?
Can you say YUK ?
Once everyone petted them and fed them we were off to do some snorkeling, this was by far my daughter?s favourite part of the whole cruise. She snorkels like a pro?
Back on the ship we met up with Karyn and Rick where we shared Karyn?s bucket of beer and took some quality photos of the sunset? Before we cleaned up for yet another formal evening?
Later that nite we met in the Bronx bar again and you?ll never guess who joined us ?
Chuck.. Yup he was MIA for most of the week and he decided to join us for a drink or 3 of goombay smash.. I later heard that drink is a morning drink, like mamossas?lol
I knew it was a sissy drink?LMAO..
We then went looking for a bar that was open and to no avail, we ended up at the aft bar where you could hear a pin drop or at least the cook yell that your pizza was ready?
Somehow with Karyn sitting there with her husband she managed to get a guy to buy her a kiss on the lips, On the girls cruise we couldn?t get a guy to pass the nuts?Let alone buy us a drink?lol
What gives ?
Off to the casino we went to watch Chuck loose his $ 5 bucks or something like that?
Friday ~ Cozumel..
Once we docked in Cozumel we took our time getting off the ship and headed to the downtown area to do a bit of shopping and beer drinking on the streets? It felt so cool to walk with a can of beer in your hand and a paper bag over it?. Lol
We hit a few bars along the way and had a bite to eat at Fat Tueday?s then headed back to the ship for some un-crowded swimming?
Dinnner was spent trying to keep a straight face as I have Margie & Gary?s Anniversary gift at my feet and a cake was being delivered for dessert?.When Margie opened her gift from Karyn I nearly died when she held up her vibrating ring?.
Really cant remember if we got together Friday nite after dinner or not?how sad is that..?
Saturday was our last day at Sea, Rick had arranged the time and place for our yankee swap at the aft pool, what a hoot that was?Totally enjoyed by everyone?
Then we basically spent the day poolside trying to catch some last minute rays before having to do the nasty job of re-packing?
Our last night in the dining room was fabulous once again and would have been better if Rick and Trevor could have joined us?
After dinner we met outside the casino to say our farewells to each other,Less chuck?s group who was still MIA?.
I had a fabulous time and there really wasn?t one moment of regret for joining people I had only met on the internet? My friends and family have spoken very highly of this trip and this wonderful group and look forward to a reunion?
Many thanks to Chuck for eventually sticking with us, and not kicking us totally to the curb. Karyn for seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and for being right from the get go.. To Rick for keeping Karyn grounded and Margie for always forgetting something on the ship and for a lot of laughter, and to Dixie for endangering my life?. LOL..
To CoConut Willie and Sevenhearths it truly was a pleasure to have met you and your families and really wish we could have spent more time together...The time we did spend together was filled with lots of laughts and great memories.