Dream or Valor?

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#1
Ohio
1,139 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Ok so I need some help now deciding on my next cruise. I was all set to do the Dream Eastern cruise to Nassau, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten, but now they have changed the itinerary on me and I can’t decide if I should stick with the

Dream and do the new itinerary (Nassau, San Juan, St. Thomas, Grand Turk)

OR if I should do the Southern Route on the Valor from San Juan- St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Maarten.

All of these ports would be new for me, and I have not been on either ship before. I have been on Freedom which is the same class of ship as Valor, and in looking at the deck plans looks almost identical to me. Is there anything on Valor that is not on Freedom or vice versa?

Also what can’t miss things does Dream have that Valor does not?

The price is basically the same (Valor is cheaper but airfare is more so it’s basically a wash, and not really a consideration.)

It is only my g/f and I going, both in our late 20s. We love gorgeous beaches, so that is definitely a consideration as to which has the best! We spend most of our cruise sunning by the pools & hot tubs, so that’s another key feature.

As for entertainment, the comedians are typically our favorite part, though we did really really enjoy the Beatles show on Freedom (The other main shows not so much at all!) I also really enjoyed the sports bar on Freedom, and we are going during football season so I’m sure I’ll be spending more time there this time than last, when we went during basketball season.

Any helpful insight is much appreciated!!
#2
Ogden, Utah
1,614 Posts
Joined May 2009
I would tell you to do the Southern Route out of San Juan. It is so great there. IN fact I am just in the middle of writing my review from our trip this last Dec. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1768746
These islands are so much fun and much more laid Caribbean style than the Bahamas. Either way enjoy your cruise.
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1/18/2015 Carnival Valor 7 Night Southern Caribbean out of San Juan Puerto Rico http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2173623 My 2015 SanSe Festival, Valor Review
6/1/2013 NCL Pride Of America 7 night Hawaii inter island
12/16/2012 Carnival Victory 7 Night Southern Caribbean out of San Juan Puerto Rico http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1768746 My 2012 Victory Christmas review
3/26/2012 Carnival Ecstacy 5 Night Bahamas out of port Canaveral FL
5/29/2011 Carnival Valor 7 Night Western Caribbean out of Miami Fl http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1430764 My Valor Review

2/07/2010 Carnival Victory 7 Night Southern Caribbean out of San Juan Puerto Rico http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1150670 My 2010 Superbowl Victory review
1/16/2009 Celebrity Galaxy 11 Night Southern Caribbean out of San Juan Puerto Rico
6/01/2008 Carnival Paradise 4 Night Mexico out of Long Beach CA
11/14/1993 Celebrity Horizon 7 night Southern Caribbean out of San Juan Puerto Rico
#3
797 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I would pick Puerto Rico but remember I am Puerto Rican. You could do a week in Puerto Rico and a week on a cruise. If you went to rent a place their for the week you can. I real like St. Thomas and Barbados St. Maarten is nice to. The only problem is air fair is high. If you have Jet Blue check them out I do not remember how many bags they allow on for free I just know they let you bring bags on for free.

Grand Turk is nice.
#4
Atlanta
910 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Did that first choice in spring of '11 on the Liberty. About to sail that second choice (the one out of San Juan) this spring on the Valor. LOVED the one on the Liberty. If money is an issue and you can drive to the port, do the first one. We drove to Miami but we live in the Atlanta area. It was a 10.5 hour drive. Not too bad...cheaper than flying. This time we're going all the way and flying into San Juan. Like the other poster said, it's not cheap. But if you're patient, you can get a decent deal. Right now we have a one way to SJ for $150 a person. Not too bad. Just waiting for the right deal to book our way back. If money isn't an issue, by ALL MEANS do the Southern!!!! Can't WAIT for this trip! And if you're looking for the best beaches like you mentioned, this is it. St. Lucia has been compared to Hawaii and/or Dominican Republic with its beauty. And St. Kittts (great history and beauty too) looks to be amazing as well. I'm really looking forward to these two islands most of all. St. Maarten seems quirky, cool, and beautiful too.
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#5
1,216 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
We have only done 2 Carnival Cruise's (with 1 upcoming cruise on Breeze booked) and they were on Valor then Dream! We were okay with Valor, but love Dream! I would deff reccomend Dream!
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#6
Michigan
54 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by jcool
I would pick Puerto Rico but remember I am Puerto Rican. You could do a week in Puerto Rico and a week on a cruise. If you went to rent a place their for the week you can. I real like St. Thomas and Barbados St. Maarten is nice to. The only problem is air fair is high. If you have Jet Blue check them out I do not remember how many bags they allow on for free I just know they let you bring bags on for free.

Grand Turk is nice.
JCool my husband and I are flying into beautiful Puerto Rico for a 5 day vacation pre-cruise this December. We rented an apartment in Old San Juan, La Puntilla. It is so much less expensive then a hotel but larger and nicer...with an ocean view! Any must see tips you would like to point out would be greatly appreciated. Also great places to taste the local cuisine if you have some favorites you would like to share.
#7
797 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
This is a good place to eat Cafeteria Mallorca 300 San Francisco, San Juan 00933, Puerto Rico 724 4607 I know you know this place. When we rent a car we rent from Charlie car rental. But it is hard to find parking in Old San Juan.
#9
Wasilla, AK
801 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I've cruised on both. I definitely would say Valor. I did enjoy the Dream and it was a nice ship. We're doing the Valor again next year.
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Stephanie
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#10
Minnesota
199 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
I have not been on the Dream but love Valor and the southern Caribbean can't be beat so I would hands down do the Valor.
#11
Atlantic City area, NJ
352 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Originally posted by jwalk03
Ok so I need some help now deciding on my next cruise. I was all set to do the Dream Eastern cruise to Nassau, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten, but now they have changed the itinerary on me and I can’t decide if I should stick with the

Dream and do the new itinerary (Nassau, San Juan, St. Thomas, Grand Turk)

OR if I should do the Southern Route on the Valor from San Juan- St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Maarten.

All of these ports would be new for me, and I have not been on either ship before. I have been on Freedom which is the same class of ship as Valor, and in looking at the deck plans looks almost identical to me. Is there anything on Valor that is not on Freedom or vice versa?

Also what can’t miss things does Dream have that Valor does not?

The price is basically the same (Valor is cheaper but airfare is more so it’s basically a wash, and not really a consideration.)

It is only my g/f and I going, both in our late 20s. We love gorgeous beaches, so that is definitely a consideration as to which has the best! We spend most of our cruise sunning by the pools & hot tubs, so that’s another key feature.

As for entertainment, the comedians are typically our favorite part, though we did really really enjoy the Beatles show on Freedom (The other main shows not so much at all!) I also really enjoyed the sports bar on Freedom, and we are going during football season so I’m sure I’ll be spending more time there this time than last, when we went during basketball season.

Any helpful insight is much appreciated!!
Valor!!!!
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#12
florida
38 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
I did not enjoy the dream because it too big and pools are tiny and public spaces always crowded. The extra wide promenade deck 5 extends out so far that no one has a good view down to the water and the deck 5 parties,hot tubs and cookouts destroy your peace and privacy on your balcony. The only positive for me was the spa which had a huge thallasotheraphy pol and heated tile loungers and aromatherapy and steam or sauna rooms. However the daily rate is expensive.
#13
Yankton, South Dakota
8,250 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Have done both ships. For me I would do the Valor again. Smaller ship. New ports. I know airfare is more expensive but in my eye well worth it.
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NCL Norway-2003 Never got the pleasure. We all know what happened to her.
Carnival Paradise-2003 Loved the non smoking.
Disney Wonder-2004 First balcony. Loved Castaway Cays
Carnival Liberty-2007 First cruise with no children.
Carnival Splendor-2009 Swine Flu Cruise Loved San Fran
Carnival Dream-2010 Great cruise
Carnival Valor- January 2012 6 Days is much to short.
Carnival Splendor Do Over-2012 Much to cold. Met alot of great people.
Carnival Liberty-October 2013 Found 2 great places to return. Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay
Carnival Liberty September 2014 Sisters Cruise. Great do over for the third time.
Princess Coral-September 2015 North Bound Glacier Cruise to Alaska 7 days Chuck & I
#14
Atlanta
910 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
It's funny what I am reading....some have done both ships, and some have done both itineraries (me--well, working on the SJ one in March). What I think is this: It all boils down to which is more important to you....the actual ship or the itinerary. I would say itinerary. You just never know when you will have the opp. to get to those places again. Never take anything for granted.
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#15
Ohio
1,139 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Thank you everyone for your input so far!

I really like the Valor itinerary better, but my last cruise was on the Freedom and really want to experience a "new" ship. Even though Valor is a different ship, it looks almost identical to the Freedom to me.....
O I wish I could decide!! lol

Anyone else have any thoughts?
#16
Upstate New York
2,856 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
I'm in the same "boat" () as you. Trying to decide between the Freedom and the Breeze. Either itinerary is fine with me.....but Freedom is a better price and I can get a bigger balcony or even a wrap-around......but I've been on the Freedom, Liberty, and Valor.....(all the same class) and wonder if I'd like the Breeze. I do hate crowds and long lines in the Lido restaurant. We like to lay out in the sun on sea days, and it doesn't really matter where.....just somewhere (with no smoking).
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#17
Ohio
1,139 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Well I finally decided to go with the Valor! Was going to book soon anyway, but with the reduced deposits this week I had to take advantage and make a decision! Can't wait!!
#18
Virginia
2,055 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
In this case I don't think you can go wrong with either ship, so I'd choose by itinerary, and by far my choice would be the Southern option. It's great to explore ports you haven't been to, and that cruise goes to some great ports. I loved the Valor too, but I'm sure I'd also like the Dream.
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#20
new york
846 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
doing the Valor on 8/4.
second time on this ship, first since the drydock back in 2011.
Love the southern itinerary.
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