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W. Caribbean Carnival Valor First Time CruiserAuthor: chichope
Date of Trip: March 2010
We left from Moline Ill and our flight was delayed due to weather and didn't arrive in Miami until 3:30 the next morning. We left on a Friday and didn't cruise until Sunday, thank GOD. Found the taxis in Miami very expensive and had quite an ordeal with a taxi driver. Left us off at a motel that wasn't even where we were staying and insisted that we get out and charged us way more that he had originally stated.
Embarkation went very well, we arrived about 10:30 to 11:00 and went right thru and onto the ship. Was able to get to our cabin about 1:30 as they had stated and it was just as we had anticipated, wonderful. We were on the Panorama deck and just around the corner from the elevators. We did hear them every time they dinged they were on our floor, but people were very quiet and it was nice to be near elevators. Only take what you need as far as luggage and such and your trip will be must easier as we really took much more that we needed because of what we had read online.
We just had to walk across the Lido deck to get to the buffet or Fish and Chips or the other eating places. Fish & Chips was not good at all and we had also paid the extra $30 a piece to go to Scarlett's Steak House and our food wasn't even hot when it got to our table and was NOT tasty at all. What a waste of money and time. Much of the food at the buffet wasn't hot either and it was a rotation of the same foods a few days in between. They have spicy hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers and fries available for a certain number of hours in the day and also a Burrito Bar, Chinese or Asian Bar and Pizza. Ice Cream and Pizza was available 24 hours a day. You also had the choice of going to your dining room seating which we did a couple of times and that food wasn't the warmest either. Ice tea, Lemonade and coffee are free with your meals along with milk, that wasn't very cold. You do not need to bring shampoo or soap as that is provided. A powerstrip is very helpful and the least amount of luggage that you have to be accountable for yourself is also very helpful. The tours that you go on at the different ports are quite expensive. The shows onboard were about average at best. The ship was very clean and room steward was very attentive. The cruise is something I will never forget. I guess we just expected alot more as far as entertainment and food from what we had read online.
Cozumel was one of the best places to buy things. Was also a nice port and things to buy and things to see. It rained as we got ready to start our tour at Isla Roatan and rained and rained and we were unable to complete our tour. We were however credited the amount of our tour onboard the ship. Culture of the people and the information we got from our guide was very interesting. Beware of going in the alleyway behind the shops where you first get on the island, however very interesting people. Stay with someone while back there. People come up to you and want you to buy their wares or give you a massage etc. Very nice place to shop and tour.
Overall we had a good time and really enjoyed the culture and beautiful scenery. We took many pictures and the memories will last a lifetime. The weather was great except for the end of our day in Isla Roatan in which there was a downpour and our tour was cancelled. They were at the end of their rainy season and the average rainfall is 60-80 inches. I would recommend to just get off at the different ports of call and just enjoy what you can without booking any tours as the culture and scenery are to die for. Also much cheaper this way. Make sure that you pay attention to what time you need to be back onboard the ship and adhere to that schedule and don't be late, as the ship WILL sail when it is time to sail whether you are onboard or not.
Just take time and enjoy yourself. You are on vacation.
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