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03/01/2009


deb1220
"Carnival Valor cruise"

TRIP INFO

Sail Date:03/01/2009
Destination:
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RATINGS

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COMPLETE REVIEW

Overall, this was a fantastic cruise with just a few minor glitches. We still had a great time!

We (my husband, son and I) had a 6am flight out of Detroit to Miami – arrived in Miami about 9am. After waiting around a little while there were enough people gathered to fill a bus so we soon left for the Cruise Terminal.

Embarkation: Not bad. We had to wait in a short line to register and then wait for our group number to be called and went right on the ship at about 11:30. Our rooms were not ready until 1:30. We had a nice lunch at Rosie's Restaurant (buffet) and I had a rum punch or two – the drink of the day.

Our stateroom: A little bit bigger than other ships we've been on with plenty of closet and drawer space. We had a Balcony room – category 8D. When our cabin steward finally introduced himself and asked if there's anything else he could do for us we asked him if our sofa/bed could be a sofa by day and a bed by night. He told us that it couldn't because when you have a third person in the room the sofa has to be a bed. Well, after making it a sofa myself and leaving a couple notes our wishes were granted.

Dining and bar service: The service in the dining room and Scarlett's Steak House was superb and the quality of food was always good. We just had a mix-up on our seating priority which took some time and persistence to resolve. The bussing staff in Rosie's (buffet) were very slow and acted like they didn't care if the tables were cleared off or not. We often had to clean off a table ourselves in order to get a seat. Also in the main lounge – if you sat in the balcony for a show you need to get your own beverage if you want one. There were very rarely any servers in the balcony. Scarlett's is a $30/person reservations only restaurant – but very much worth every penny! I highly recommend it!

Sunday evening they had a "Welcome Aboard" show with our Cruise Director – John Heald. Fantastic Cruise Director by the way! The show was absolutely hysterical!

Sunday night and all day Monday the ship was really rockin' and many people were sea sick. I personally like to sleep when it's rocking a little bit. It puts me to sleep.

Monday : "Fun Day at Sea" and the first of two formal nights. We went to two different shows – a Vegas-style show called "Nightclub Express" with the ship's performers and a midnight "adults only" comedy show with Eddie Capone. They were both enjoyable.

Tuesday: Grand Cayman – We had to tender from the opposite side of the island from downtown Georgetown because of high swells on that side of the island. It was a $5/person cab ride each way to town and back. Two ships were turned away and many excursions were cancelled. We just went shopping and went to Margaritaville.

That evening we went to another comedy show with Jim Brick – not bad. As you can tell we do enjoy going to the shows.

Wednesday: Roatan Island - There's only room for one ship at a time at this fairly new port. Not all the shops and restaurants are open yet. We were greeted by some native dancers on the pier that danced the whole time we were there! We just walked around downtown Coxen Hole – a very seedy area. The cab drivers kept hassling us to take a tour. It's not a place you want to walk around by yourself.

Thursday: Belize – We went on the "Altun Ha (Mayan ruins) and Belize City Tour". Very interesting and impressive. My husband and son are very into this kind of thing but I found the tour very informative also.

This was our second formal night which I found unusual to have on a port day. A first for us. We went to another ship performer's production called "Far From Over" – singing and dancing to 80's pop and rock tunes. It was very well produced and performed.

Friday: Cozumel – We docked at a new port about 2 miles from downtown San Miquel – Puerta Maya. $7/cab each way to go downtown (for 1 –6 people). We just did some shopping and went to Margaritaville where "Crazie Bear" was a big hit!

That night my husband and I ate at Scarlett's Steak House. Definitely one of the highlights of the cruise – great food and the service was superb!

Saturday: "Fun Day at Sea". We played a couple games in the lounge – Don't Forget the Lyrics" and "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" None of us won either game. The 10:30 pm show was "Carnival Legends". It was a show of cruise passengers impersonating rock and pop stars like Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Madonna and Elton John. It was OK but I wished we would have gone to bed early instead because this was Daylight Savings night and we lost an hour of sleep.

Debarkation – Very orderly. At first they were slow at calling number groups but soon picked up. We spent about a half-hour in line for customs – not bad - and were quickly able to find our bus to FLL.

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