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Valor Southern Caribbean Review 5/26!!! (sans Angry Birds)


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I felt like I waited forever for this cruise... But the wait was TOTALLY worth it!! What an amazing trip and possibly one of the best cruises ever!

 

A little about us... we usually bring an angry bird but we left the birds home this time and sailed with my parents (First Time Blue Carders!) and our friends, an awesome couple who we met on the Valor in 2010 and had stayed in touch with on Facebook!

 

We first got on board and OF COURSE went to the Lido deck and stuffed our faces...

 

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Food: I got 0 pictures of food porn and I apologize for that.... but the food on this cruise was great! We did the steakhouse one night and it was absolutely wonderful as usual... the MDR was good. We did early seating and our server Jan was great... I even got up and danced with a nearby waiter one night... the dining room was a fun experience for sure this cruise!!!

 

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wash the window..... wash the dog...

 

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OUR ROOM!

 

We booked aft wrap 7440, our friends were in 7434 and my parents were in 7430. I'd read nothing but AMAZING things about the aft wraps and I was soooooo excited!

 

My first impression was that the room was WONDERFUL, and the balcony was huge.

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I also really loved how the bed and furniture were set up in the room...

 

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The first day our room steward opened up the balcony divider between our balcony and 7434 and it was just massive....

 

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The first night... we woke up to chunks down the side of the ship and drops of vomit on our balcony.... someone puked the first night over the corner of the ship and OMG YUCK. We only got a little of it, but deck 8 must have gotten the brunt. Thankfully they were out cleaning the balcony that morning and I doubled it up with lysol wipes.

 

We also ended up spending a lot of time on the side of the balcony in front of 7434 because our balcony always had sun beating down on it, and in May/June it was hot out... if it wasn't for the seabreeze and our friends balcony I probably would not have spent much time outside of our room.

 

Needless to say, I know a lot of people love the aft wraps but I don't think we will book one again... though it was good to experience it.

 

Other then that, our room steward Ning and his crew were AMAZING!!!!! Always a cheerful hello Miss April or Hello Mr. Lawrence, and our room was immaculate...

 

I loved our towel monkey!

 

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Looking forward to reading more!:)

 

Its bedtime... but I will start in on the ports tomorrow. Needless to say we went to Grand Turk, La Romana, Aruba, and Curacao... and ironically, the order in which I was looking forward to the ports of call were NOT the order in which I enjoyed them!

 

More tomorrow!! ;)

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Love the review so far. Don't wait too long to post more as we are sailing on the Valor this Saturday, June 9th! :eek: We have the same itinerary, so, I am anxious to hear your review of the ports and the ship. Have read every Valor review that I can find, but it never hurts to read as many as you can. I enjoy seeing others' pictures and reading their experiences.

 

Since this will be our first time on the Valor and we usually cruise with RCCL, I hope to post a review afterward to give our comparisons and impressions.

 

Thanks for the review. Looking forward to reading about the remainder of your trip.

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Thanks... and I will try to get much of this done before you sail sushigirl!!!

 

and on that note... lets actually talk about the ship!

We've been on the Valor before so we knew what to expect and therefore I didn't take a lot of pictures and I apologize for that. Decorwise it is not my favorite ship... the dining room is vividly coral pink, the lido buffet is like a poorly decorated diner, and there are probably a couple thousand gold eagles around the place. That doesn't really affect my vacation much though, and some positives about the ship is that the piano bar is really nice, it's kept exceptionally clean, and there are lots of activities.

 

Our time on board was not spent lounging on the Lido deck, but instead doing trivia, playing games, and singing songs in the piano bar. The cruise director was a fill in named Matt Mitchem, whom I thought was relatively entertaining.... (he will leave the ship on 6/9 though sushigirl) but the assistant cruise director outshined Matt by a mile... I don't know his real name but we knew him as the great Reverend Dr. E. He was HILARIOUS! We hope to see him on a cruise again one day. We also had a entertainment host named Graham from Australia that used to be a dancer on the ships...he was fantastic and treated us like old friends...seems like by the end of the week we were.

 

 

Us and Graham ( I look horrific in this pic)

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We also had Brad Alexander as our "Piano Man".... he was great! This was the first cruise we've spent a considerable amount of time in the piano bar, and it will not be our last!

 

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After 12 pm the music in the piano bar got a little more fun and the last night of the cruise we put on our bathrobes for a bathrobe party at the piano bar! Very fun!

 

One of those nights I had a little to many of these (we don't drink often)

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Highly recommend the Tiramisu Martini to everyone who can try it.. YUM!

 

As I said earlier we played trivia. Every morning, every evening at 7:45, and every time it was available and we were. We even did the 3 round super trivia (which we swore we would never do again) and won! My husband is a bit of a music recognition genius... and this cruise was VERY heavy with "name that tune" type trivia.

 

So this was about 3/4ths of our bounty:

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I think we should be able to trade them in for a bigger prize like a free cruise!

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Exotic Ports of Call!

 

The reason we booked this ship (again) was the amazing itinerary! I was dying to go to Aruba and see the sunset. Curacao looked really nice, and I knew I loved the water in Grand Turk so it was the perfect cruise for us. The only port I read somewhat bad stuff about was La Romana and at first I had no idea what to do there because of all the negatives... but lets start with Grand Turk...

 

After a day at sea our first stop was Grand Turk from 7-2 which wasn't really a very long time in port. We were going to just book the cruise ships dive through Oasis divers like we did last time but as some of you may have read they had a fatality accident and they were no longer on the excursion list for Carnival, so I had to do some quick research.

 

We decided to go out with Blue Water Divers, and boy we are glad we did! There was only 3 of us on the boat, plus the dive guide and I loved it that way. Mitch and Audrey as the shop were so pleasant and professional, and I believe the guide that took us out was named Jesse... and he was great.... we saw a couple stingrays, a turtle, and lots of amazing sealife on our beautiful long wall dives!

 

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Grand Turk is also great as a relaxation/beach day... you don't have to wander to far from the ship for crystal blue water, a pool, drinks, and fun....We didn't have time for all that this time though.. :) The next day we were in La Romana!!!!

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La Romana, La Romana, La Romana... what to do with you... When we pulled into port the foreward half of the ship overlooked an area with palm trees and a beautiful berm. But we were in the aft, and our balcony overlooked a junkyard and rundown baseball fields. That in itself can be a little bit daunting...

 

I actually have four reviews (mostly without pictures)

 

A large group from our roll call/Facebook page did the Seavis tour independently and many of them said it was one of the highlights of their trip.... +100 for Seavis

 

My parents did what I think a lot of people who hate La Romana do... they went into town and went shopping. They purchased a few things but the really thought it was dumpy and sad.... they felt hounded and they were given a big sob story about feeding 5 children at home and no money. Why would you have you 5 kids if you couldn't feed them??? My moms a mush pot though and bought a necklace from the user of guilt... BIG -1000 for going into town or staying near the ship...

 

Our friends took a $20 each way cab ride to Altos De Chavon... (the Carnival excursion was over 40 a person). They said it was great and talked about people making rugs on looms and showed us pictures of them at the loom and a beautiful rug they bought... they also said that Casa De Campos resort was nearby and was really nice... so much so that they would come back and stay there.............. + 100 for Altos De Chavon and Casa De Campos!

 

Larry and I decided to dive again because we couldn't agree on what to do... so we booked Carnival's dive excursion. The price was really ridiculous for a 2 tank dive at $150 a person... but it ended up being some really really good diving.

 

We met on the pier just down from the ship and took the boat out to Catalina Island a couple hundred feet off shore. We did a wall dive and then went to a spot they called "the Aquarium"... There was a bit of a current but the sealife was actually much more dominant in La Romana than in Grand Turk, and my husband feels that the first dive we did was his best yet. so a BIG +1000 for diving or water activities!

 

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Larry on the dive boat, post dive. On the way back to shore they provided local rum and coke....they walked around with both bottles and basically served up a 50/50 mix. The Dominican dark rum was very good!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

HI April!!! How are you?

 

Loving the review (even tho the naughty angry birds had to stay home!).

 

Very jealous of all your 'trophies' too (I wanna be on your team next time!):D

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OUR ROOM!

 

We booked aft wrap 7440, our friends were in 7434 and my parents were in 7430. I'd read nothing but AMAZING things about the aft wraps and I was soooooo excited!

 

My first impression was that the room was WONDERFUL, and the balcony was huge.

DSC02321.jpg

 

I also really loved how the bed and furniture were set up in the room...

 

PICT0010.jpg

 

The first day our room steward opened up the balcony divider between our balcony and 7434 and it was just massive....

 

PICT0209.jpg

 

The first night... we woke up to chunks down the side of the ship and drops of vomit on our balcony.... someone puked the first night over the corner of the ship and OMG YUCK. We only got a little of it, but deck 8 must have gotten the brunt. Thankfully they were out cleaning the balcony that morning and I doubled it up with lysol wipes.

 

We also ended up spending a lot of time on the side of the balcony in front of 7434 because our balcony always had sun beating down on it, and in May/June it was hot out... if it wasn't for the seabreeze and our friends balcony I probably would not have spent much time outside of our room.

 

Needless to say, I know a lot of people love the aft wraps but I don't think we will book one again... though it was good to experience it.

 

Other then that, our room steward Ning and his crew were AMAZING!!!!! Always a cheerful hello Miss April or Hello Mr. Lawrence, and our room was immaculate...

 

I loved our towel monkey!

 

PICT0242.jpg

 

I have the same exact cabin booked for July 21st...next month. Thanks for the pictures. I only hope we don't get any ... 'puke'

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