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Carnival Valor, 9/25/11: A "pink" review of the Eastern Caribbean.... PICTURES!!!

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Well I’m at it again!

I just stepped off the Carnival Valor at 8:30 this morning after another AWESOME cruise. In fact, this might be my best cruise ever. We’re flying home tomorrow and I’m sitting at my hotel now, tired with nothing to do and recovering from this past week’s craziness, so I thought I’d get started on my review. It will be written entirely in pink in honor of breast cancer awareness month.

 

Traveling were me, Kim, age 31, and my mom, Dorothy, age.... more than 31. (She's not a fan of the internet, so I won't be posting any pictures of her. She found out through some friends that I posted pictures on facebook from our last cruise and wasn't happy about it.) This was her 2nd Carnival cruise and my 6th. I had invited some of my cousins and my aunt to come along, but they all bailed when it was time to put down deposit money. You know how that goes. :rolleyes: Well the original plan was to do a 5 day cruise with them, but since they weren’t coming, I convinced my mom to do a 7 day and she told me to pick the itinerary I wanted. The Victory southern was out because it would be WAY too port intensive for her. The Legend and Liberty were out because they were western itineraries my vacation week, and my last 4 cruises were western. That left the Dream and the Valor for an eastern. The Dream had 3 ports and was considerably more expensive than the Valor’s 4 port itinerary, so the Valor won by default! Our stops included Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, San Juan, and Grand Turk.

 

This was a long cruise and will be a LONG review. I didn't judge the hairy chest contest this time though. LOL (If you don't know what I'm talking about here go read my Inspiration review in my signature and skip to page 3.) Coming up: our very active roll call, my awesome 4J cabin, island tours through my eyes and camera, my nightly fashion show at dinner, and OMG lots of food porn. Fun Times will come later when I can get to my scanner. If you have any questions along the way, don't hesitate to ask.

Here are a few teasers to keep your attention.

That's me here. Hi!

 

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Wanna find out how these got won? Too bad, I'm not telling yet!

 

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Stay tuned.......

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Can't wait for your review. Did you find the person to get your DOD?

Edited by rtfnl

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Can't wait for your review. Did you find the person to get your DOD?

 

LOL Nope! I didn't want to be silly and walk around the lido asking are you the cruise critic guy? :o

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He said that you were sitting a few chairs from you. You probably passed him numerous of times. Hopefully he will post where he was sitting. I see you won a medal and a ship on a stick. Congrats.

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THE DAY BEFORE

 

Don't you just love waking up and seeing this? Such an awesome feeling. :)

 

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We flew into West Palm Beach and got a one way rental car from Alamo to Miami for $41, including tax. As soon as we got in the car, the heavens opened up and sent a monsoon-like rain down on us. It was about an hour drive, even in the pouring rain. We got a few spots of sunshine with no rain. It was very random. Typical south Florida weather I guess. Please God, don't let us have weather like this tomorrow.

 

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I got us a room on priceline for $45 at the Sheraton Airport. We checked into the hotel, dropped off our bags, and headed to Winn Dixie to get some sodas and wine. We also grabbed some dinner from Burger King. Both were about 5 minutes from the hotel. The Sheraton has free internet, but you do have to pay for parking. Self parking was $14 and valet was $16, so we did valet. Mom was sleep by 8:30 pm. She’s an early bird and it had been a long day. I stayed up until 2 am on cruise critic reading reviews, too excited to go to sleep.

 

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Up next: Day 1 of the cruise!

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Well I’m at it again!

I just stepped off the Carnival Valor at 8:30 this morning after another AWESOME cruise. In fact, this might be my best cruise ever. We’re flying home tomorrow and I’m sitting at my hotel now, tired with nothing to do and recovering from this past week’s craziness, so I thought I’d get started on my review. It will be written entirely in pink in honor of breast cancer awareness month.

 

Traveling were me, Kim, age 31, and my mom, Dorothy, age.... more than 31. (She's not a fan of the internet, so I won't be posting any pictures of her. She found out through some friends that I posted pictures on facebook from our last cruise and wasn't happy about it.) This was her 2nd Carnival cruise and my 6th. I had invited some of my cousins and my aunt to come along, but they all bailed when it was time to put down deposit money. You know how that goes. :rolleyes: Well the original plan was to do a 5 day cruise with them, but since they weren’t coming, I convinced my mom to do a 7 day and she told me to pick the itinerary I wanted. The Victory southern was out because it would be WAY too port intensive for her. The Legend and Liberty were out because they were western itineraries my vacation week, and my last 4 cruises were western. That left the Dream and the Valor for an eastern. The Dream had 3 ports and was considerably more expensive than the Valor’s 4 port itinerary, so the Valor won by default! Our stops included Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, San Juan, and Grand Turk.

 

This was a long cruise and will be a LONG review. I didn't judge the hairy chest contest this time though. LOL (If you don't know what I'm talking about here go read my Inspiration review in my signature and skip to page 3.) Coming up: our very active roll call, my awesome 4J cabin, island tours through my eyes and camera, my nightly fashion show at dinner, and OMG lots of food porn. Fun Times will come later when I can get to my scanner. If you have any questions along the way, don't hesitate to ask.

Here are a few teasers to keep your attention.

That's me here. Hi!

 

DSC00301-1-1-1.jpg

 

 

DSC09765-1.jpg

 

DSC09588-1.jpg

 

Wanna find out how these got won? Too bad, I'm not telling yet!

 

DSC00380-1.jpg

 

DSC09912-1.jpg

 

Stay tuned.......

That's funny, your mother sounds like my mother in law. She isn't down with doing alot of walking, and once we put her birthday pictures on facebook, she had a fit.

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I loved your review of the Inspiration and I can't wait to read this one!

 

Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy this one as well.

 

He said that you were sitting a few chairs from you. You probably passed him numerous of times. Hopefully he will post where he was sitting. I see you won a medal and a ship on a stick. Congrats.

 

Probably. There were a lot of CC members on this cruise that weren't on our roll call. I'm sure I walked right by some of them.

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So excited to read your review! I love your reviews!!

 

Thanks a lot! Someone should pay me to do this. ;)

 

That's funny, your mother sounds like my mother in law. She isn't down with doing alot of walking, and once we put her birthday pictures on facebook, she had a fit.

 

LOL She's definitely from an older generation and isn't into the new technology at all. She just got her first cell phone like 6 months ago!

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DAY 1- EMBARKATION

 

My alarm went off at 8 am, and I got out of bed at 8:36. That’s very typical of me. We got dressed, got our stuff together, and were out the door at 9:45. After filling up the gas tank and returning the rental car back to the airport, we were on the free Alamo shuttle headed to the port at 10:30. Last year, the driver didn’t check for an Alamo receipt. This year, he did. We gave the porters our bags and a $6 tip and headed inside the terminal. I stood there looking at my bags, like why in the world did I bring this much stuff? You would be nervous too if you couldn’t get a fly in any of these bags and you KNOW you have the tendency to buy way too much at duty free.

 

The pink bag had our drinks.

 

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A letter was being passed out to all passengers about TS Ophelia and that they were keeping an eye on it. Well so were we all week and we all knew she was headed north, nowhere close to our ports. At least they were keeping us up to date. The security line line was short and they barely glanced at our sodas and wine. We used the self service kiosks to check in. They were very easy to use. You swipe your credit card, passport, and it prints you a receipt to go to another line to get your sail and sign card. You have the option of putting cash on your sail & sign and can do so at the kiosks. I figured my mom wouldn’t be spending any money (she didn’t last cruise with the exception of cash in the casino), so I just put $1 in there so we could go. It didn’t ask for any more than that.

 

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We were given zone 10 boarding cards and boarding had not yet commenced after we were done checking in. While waiting I met Nancy and Donald (carnivaljunkie123) from the roll call. They had zone 1 boarding cards. LUCKY! They were nice enough to sneak us on the ship with them when zone 1 was called. I left my zone 10 card in my seat, put my poker face on, and we went right in with them. I’m such a bad girl. Thanks again for hooking us up y’all! :D

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We were on the ship by noon. I headed to the shore excursion desk first before going up to the lido and met like 10 other people from the roll call. What an awesome group of people, but more on them later. Today’s lido theme was Italian. YUM!

 

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The first of many DOD's. Where's the CC member that offered to buy me a drink? Sorry I never found you.

 

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Yay, I love your reviews. Please keep it coming :):).

 

Sandi

 

Yes indeed Sandi! Enjoy. :)

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im loving ur review! i just read ur last review like 2 weeks ago. seems like u have a lot of fun! =)

 

 

-Jamie

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yeahhh you are doing another review.... i can hardly wait......

 

 

btw...i have to thank you for inspiring me to do dressy dressy on my last cruise...seeing all your heels and nice dresses made me go all out for formal night. I had the 5 inch heels and a very nice red dress.....

 

Thanks for the inspiration.....:)

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I booked us early saver in a 4J cabin. Unfortunately, we got no price drops. These rooms are a well kept secret! I always book inside rooms and my PVP told me about these. The 4J cabins are the highest inside category on the Conquest class ships. They have a window with an obstructed view. Let me say the view is awesome! If you book OV rooms, consider one of these to save money. If you book inside rooms, pay a little extra for the window. It was only about $30 more TOTAL for the room to go from a 4B inside to a 4J. My cabin was 7206. All 4J cabins are handicapped accessible. The ones on the end have 2 beds that cannot be converted into a king.

 

 

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I had an entire drawer full of nothing but makeup and jewelry! :eek:

 

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The bathroom was huge! Lots of room in the shower too.

 

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Great review so far! We are sailing on the Valor for the first time next year and am loving reading up on her. Love your heels! Can't wait to read more!

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I booked us early saver in a 4J cabin. My cabin was 7206. All 4J cabins are handicapped accessible.

 

 

why were you allowed to book a handicapped cabin?

That's a no no

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The best part about this room is the secret deck. No one really knows about them. I don’t think I spotted more than 10 people out there the whole cruise. It’s a great place to go if you want a little quiet time or want to watch sailaway with no crowds. If you just want to find the secret deck to say you’ve seen them, head to deck 6 or 7. Go ALLLLLLL the way forward until you come to a dead end. There will be 2 doors for you to go through. If you go down the hall with even cabin numbers, they’re on your left; the doors along the hall with odd cabin numbers are on the right. It’s very windy out there at night, so make sure you go during the day. It's very pleasant out there around 5-6 pm. SHHHH! Don’t tell everyone our secret. ;)

 

 

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The windows are tinted on the outside. I looked through my window and could barely see anything.

 

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Look at how huge that deck is! They should put a few lounge chairs out there.

 

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The rooms on deck 7 are right under the bridge. Very quiet rooms.

 

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Be sure to wave if you see any officers by the windows, and you will!

 

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DAY 1- EMBARKATION

 

 

The first of many DOD's. Where's the CC member that offered to buy me a drink? Sorry I never found you.

 

IMG_0487-1.jpg

 

Just have to say you are so beautiful!! Great pic :)

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im loving ur review! i just read ur last review like 2 weeks ago. seems like u have a lot of fun! =)

 

 

-Jamie

 

Thanks Jamie! Yes, I know how to have fun and lots of it. :)

 

Great Start!! :p

 

Thanks! Keep reading!

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yeahhh you are doing another review.... i can hardly wait......

 

 

btw...i have to thank you for inspiring me to do dressy dressy on my last cruise...seeing all your heels and nice dresses made me go all out for formal night. I had the 5 inch heels and a very nice red dress.....

 

Thanks for the inspiration.....:)

 

Hey there! Thanks for reading this one too! I'm glad you decided to dress up. I got lots of compliments on my outfits. I don't get out much at home so I love dressing up on vacation. Glad I inspired your cruise wardrobe! :p

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Great review so far! We are sailing on the Valor for the first time next year and am loving reading up on her. Love your heels! Can't wait to read more!

 

Thank you! That was my first time wearing those heels and they were killing my feet! They actually left blisters by the end of the afternoon, but oh well, they looked good. ;)

 

 

Wonderful review so far . . . can't wait to read more!

 

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more.

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why were you allowed to book a handicapped cabin?

That's a no no

 

I didn't know this was a handicapped accessible cabin. When I was on the phone with my PVP booking this cruise, I was also on carnival.com looking at the deck plan and never saw that it was a handicapped cabin and she never told me. Again, she was the one that recommended it. I never asked for it. I didn't find out it was a handicapped cabin until right before the cruise, I think from a recent thread about 4J cabins. I would have had no problem switching to a different cabin if someone needed it.

Edited by gapearl

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Just have to say you are so beautiful!! Great pic :)

 

Thank you so much for the compliment!

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Hey there! Thanks for reading this one too! I'm glad you decided to dress up. I got lots of compliments on my outfits. I don't get out much at home so I love dressing up on vacation. Glad I inspired your cruise wardrobe! :p

 

 

 

Same here! I dont dress up hardly at all, but after seeing ur cute outfits in ur reviews makes me wanna dress up for our next cruise! Oh, and u may have inspired me to get some heels! haha. u have the cutest shoes! =)

 

-Jamie

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Be sure to wave if you see any officers by the windows, and you will!

 

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I was just thinking, If I had that walkway/balcony I'd sneak me some chairs and a table some the Lido deck and put them out there.... I don't know how much the Officers would like that though.

 

Awesome review, keep it coming..

 

Edited by mjohns2

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Same here! I dont dress up hardly at all, but after seeing ur cute outfits in ur reviews makes me wanna dress up for our next cruise! Oh, and u may have inspired me to get some heels! haha. u have the cutest shoes! =)

 

-Jamie

 

Awesome!!! I sort of declared myself one of the best dressed women on this cruise. You're gonna love the dresses from this one. Keep reading.... :p

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Boarding the Valor on a chartered cruise on 10/23 looking forward to your entire review!

 

You're going to have a fabulous time! Which itinerary are you taking, eastern or western?

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I was just thinking, If I had that walkway/balcony I'd sneak me some chairs and a table some the Lido deck and put them out there.... I don't know how much the Officers would like that though.

 

Awesome review, keep it coming..

 

 

It's so tempting to bring some chairs out here! There are a few benches and that's about as good as it's gonna get. I wish I spent more time out there. I'd book that cabin again in a heartbeat. Thanks for reading!

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Our bags arrived while we were waiting for the muster drill. FYI, the laundry room on this floor is across from room 7339 and equipped with washers, dryers, and only 1 iron. I spent 45 minutes in there ironing all of our clothes for the cruise. The muster was quick and painless, 10 minutes at most. The sailaway party had the usual line dances- electric slide, cha cha slide, wobble, and the cupid shuffle. Ally (allycat81) from the roll call came and joined me for some dancing since her new hubby didn’t want to participate.

 

This was the other ship in port. I've never heard of them but in doing my research, I've found it's a German cruise line and is owned by the Carnival Corporation.

 

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The whale tail.

 

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This view never gets old.

 

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Why don't I have a DOD in my hand?

 

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Bye Miami! See ya in a week!

 

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We had a private meet and greet planned with our roll call in the Paris Hot Lounge from 5-6. We paid $12 in advance for an hour of unlimited drinks. This is where I discovered the Miami Vice. That became my signature drink of the cruise! It’s half pina colada, half strawberry daiquiri. When I joined the roll call 6 weeks before sailing, it was a 51 pages and going strong! A big part of our roll call was a group of friends that have cruised together for the last three years. We also had a facebook page for us to chat and get to know each other prior to the cruise. It was nice to finally put a name to a face with everyone I’d been talking to. One member of the roll call, Romy (Latin-QT) and I really hit it off. We’re both in our 30’s, work in the same industry, and she was traveling solo. We instantly became good friends and hung out together most of the cruise.

 

Miami Vice- I lost track of how many of these I drank.

 

 

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A big thank you to Kim and Mike (cruising rays) for putting this together.

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I had an entire drawer full of nothing but makeup and jewelry! :eek:

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Love that WD Reward card. Lol. (Stephen & I both work for Winn Dixie...)

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Dinner wasn’t great tonight. We were seated at a 6 top and only 2 other ladies showed up. They were around my mom’s age and mostly spoke Spanish among themselves, but we did engage in light conversation. Our dinner server never gave his name, never asked for ours, never smiled, never checked on us, had no personality, drink server never came by, I can go on and on about what didn't go right. I ordered the chicken a la greque and the pasta was undercooked but edible. Another 5 minutes in hot water would have done it some justice. I ate about half of it. I couldn’t deal with having a bad dining experience for the next 6 days so I knew I’d be making an effort to switch tables the next night.

 

Here comes the food porn. I took pictures of all of our food for during the week and don't remember what everything is. Maybe some of you all can help identify some of these dishes.

 

Fruit cocktail.

 

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Fried shrimp with some kind of noodles.

 

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Chicken a la greque. The worst I've had in 3 cruises.

 

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The ONLY way to eat the warm chocolate melting cake is with TWO ice creams.

 

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Thank you for the tip on the secret deck! We sail 10/16 and are staying on the Empress deck which is 7. I looked at the layout and I see the two doors you're talking about. I'm going to check it out!!!:D

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After dinner my mom and I headed to the casino. She gave me $5 for a slot machine and after about 3 quarters, I won $64. I was done! :D I heard later in the cruise someone hit the jackpot for $11,000 on a slot machine. :eek: I practically did a hallelujah happy dance when I won that $64, so I would have been doing cartwheels down the promenade if I won something like that. I'm not sure how true that is, but I did hear it from several people.

I caught a little bit of the welcome aboard show. There was lots of audience participation and all of the entertainment staff introduced themselves. The cruise director was Goose and Everson was the assistant cruise director. Ladies, these are some good looking men! :D ;) Great eye candy for a week. Also, I must say I was really impressed with Everson. I loved his energy. He was always out and about, meeting passengers, taking pictures, singing, dancing, leading the deck parties, getting the crowd hype at the disco, etc. Charlotte was in charge of the Punchliner Comedy Club and was another funny lady. I also met Justin, a new addition to the ship’s entertainment staff, and he also had a big personality, always having fun with the passengers. If you’re sailing the Valor any time soon, you won’t have a dull moment with these guys.

 

I stopped by the singles party and nothing seemed to be going on, so I headed to the disco. It was kind of a slow night. I met lots of new friends and mostly chatted with them and didn’t do too much dancing. I went back to the casino but decided not to play after watching everyone else their lose their money. I called it a night kind of early, around 1:30 am. Yes, that’s early for me. LOL

 

My outfit for the night.

 

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Ok, that's it for now. I have a 6 am flight and need to head to sleep soon.

 

Up next: Day 2 and Half Moon Cay!

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