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Valor Photo Review ~ January 1-8 ~ Western: Westin, Chankanaab, Bannister, Maya Key


Aviendah
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Our family of 4 enjoyed our New Year's Western Caribbean cruise on the Valor immensely. Though the weather was cooler and the winds gusty, this cruise was everything we imagined it would be. Our 12 year old twin boys snorkeled in the Caribbean for the first time; a thrilling adventure. We needed a relaxing vacation so we spent our 4 port days at the beach. I will make a few brief comments and let the photos tell the rest of the story.

 

  • The twins ate more ice cream in one week then they had all year.
  • Room service is wonderful on the balcony. They have PB&J!
  • The steakhouse was fantastic.
  • I'm glad we brought a highlighter for the Fun Times.
  • We had several 30 minute waits for Anytime Dining. I believe the holiday impacted our wait times. We would still book Anytime Dining again for the convenience.
  • Our Belkin surge protector was very necessary for charging electronics.
  • I'm happy I brought my DSLR and wide angle lens.
  • Roatan and Maya Key were our favorite port.
  • The hot chocolate machine was wonderful.
  • We had a balcony cabin; number 1112. Ironic that we were on the New Year's cruise for 2011/2012!
  • The food was really good. I'm not sure where all the complaints are coming from. We truly enjoyed our dining experiences.
  • The Valor staff are very friendly and seem to really enjoy their jobs.

 

Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Miami ~ Brickell

 

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The Oceanaire Restaurant ~ Within walking distance; bring your checkbook

 

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Port of Miami

 

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Spa Deck 11

 

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Balcony Cabin 1112 ~ We loved this cabin. DH suffers from motion sickness but with Bonine nightly and gusty winds, he never got sick. We will choose this deck again.

 

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Balcony ~ We enjoyed that our balcony was open even though people on Deck 12 could look down on us. If you didn't want to be seen, you just didn't sit up against the guard rail. We didn't have any issues with this balcony and we loved the openness.

 

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Bon Voyage T-shirts ~ Cookies arrived later in the afternoon

 

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Shower ~ Shampoo and shower gel on the wall

 

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Closets ~ 2 closets with hangers and 1 closet with shelves and a full length mirror

 

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Safe ~ My Kindle is in the red case

 

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Edited by Aviendah
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Your pictures are extraordinary! I LOVED your photo review! Hubby and I are cruising on the Valor following a run on the Destiny next week. So excited! I hope you make money on your photo skills in real life...you're great!

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Thank you for the kind comments about these photos! I'm really a newbie with my DSLR. For this cruise I purchased a super wide angle lens and I was amazed at how much I could get into the picture. I didn't realize how many photos I would post on this review and I have many, many more. I also have the Fun Times and other papers I'll post as well. When we booked the Valor I searched this forum for days looking for detailed photos so I hope my efforts will prove useful for someone else. Thank you for reading!

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Love the photos! What lens did you use?

 

I am a photographer and have been going back and forth about bringing my 5D MKII...I don't want to break it or tote it around, and all my lenses (besides the kit) are for portraits. I am torn. I have a crappy P&S I could use instead or when we are near sand.

 

Decisions decisions....

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The Westin Casuarina Resort ~ 7 Mile Beach

 

Our intentions were to spend some time on the beach and then snorkel at Eden Rock. Due to the strong surf we opted to stay on the beach at the Westin. While they do offer a day pass with a room rental we took our chances and just showed up. The beach wasn't busy due to the high winds so we hid our Carnival towels and adopted some empty chairs that had resort towels sitting on them. We were offered drinks by the wait staff but we turned them down letting them know we were drinking water for the day. It was a beautiful location and not overwhelmed with crowds. I did note that when they farmed us off at the port onto the buses they were taking us all to Sea Grape without really asking where we wanted to go. I talked the bus driver into dropping us off at the Westin to the surprise of the rest of the passengers. If you get on a bus, make sure you know where you are headed! There were so many cruise ship passengers that it was somewhat chaos.

 

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