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Valor Vacation Review Dec 1-8 (+2 days in Old San Juan) PHOTOS!


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What a great review...it is a small world from another Montana girl...I was Billings..to Red Lodge/Luther to Pdx Oregon after college..it is my second heart home 20 plus years I lived there and now Bozeman area..but not forever until i check out God willing..not the winter fan...but it has gotten better and better being back here and is is beautiful beyond description on good days as you know.

 

You must be enjoying the east coast..have a dear friend there who loves DC area...

 

How cool you went with your mom...it is just so special...the mom and son thing..and so many never get that one on one time in grown up years..you guys are gorgeous..that ship and trip sounds so fantastic and you will never ever ever ref=gret that in your memory bank and heart..congrats...thank you again...sarah

 

Welcome, and thank you!

 

I do enjoy the East Coast for the most part. There are times I really wish I was on the West Coast though :).

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Indeed:cool:- I live in Manassas and work in Chantilly!

 

You must be all too familiar with commuting on I-66/28 then!

 

Great seeing your review pop up again! It was just about a year ago now that we booked the Valor cruise we were on in May. I just have to say that I'm a NOVA too...Manassas Park! Small world! When on our Carnival Glory cruise in 2010 we were right next to a couple from Centreville, VA, during our muster drill.

 

Thanks for the tip about Total Wine in Chantilly because I would love to see if they have Piton beer.

 

I have yet to run into other NOVA-ers on a cruise, but I think theres more than we know.

 

Too bad I can't get another cruise in this year, otherwise I'd say we should have a DC-area M&G on the Pride before its last cruise from B'more.

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Great Review and Pictures.. Makes me want to get on a Ship right now.. You mentioned that you were originally going to go on this trip on your own before you invited you mom along. Have you gone cruising by yourself and if so How is it? I am addicted to cruising... Mind you I have only been on one but have really thought about the going on my own so I can have more cruises under my belt. Luckily I will being going on a cruise now in Feb (Disney Magic) was invited so couldn't turn it down. But for a guy in my age group I know Carnival is the party ship...

 

Thank you.

 

I actually have yet to cruise completely solo. My Victory cruise that's coming up though looks to be a true solo cruise (at this point). I'm looking forward to it. I get to make my own schedule, get around at my own pace, and see/do things without concern that everyone will like it. I love cruising with others, but this should be a fun experience too.

 

I'm not sure what your age group is, but I feel theres something for everyone on just about every ship. Carnival does generally attract younger groups from what I've seen, but they have some quiet areas of the ship too.

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Thank you.

 

I actually have yet to cruise completely solo. My Victory cruise that's coming up though looks to be a true solo cruise (at this point). I'm looking forward to it. I get to make my own schedule, get around at my own pace, and see/do things without concern that everyone will like it. I love cruising with others, but this should be a fun experience too.

 

I'm not sure what your age group is, but I feel theres something for everyone on just about every ship. Carnival does generally attract younger groups from what I've seen, but they have some quiet areas of the ship too.

 

31 is my age. Victory that was actually my first cruise. Had a great time on her. Have been looking to get on her again.

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You must be all too familiar with commuting on I-66/28 then!

 

 

 

I have yet to run into other NOVA-ers on a cruise, but I think theres more than we know.

 

Too bad I can't get another cruise in this year, otherwise I'd say we should have a DC-area M&G on the Pride before its last cruise from B'more.

 

I-66/28...I know you were addressing agc291, but what a nightmare commute. Only going to get worse due to more development on 28 just outside of Manassas in PWC just before the Fairfax County line. At least 1000 units of condos/apts going in and another large townhome development. Even here in Manassas Park all along Manassas Drive construction has started for basically wall to wall townhomes. I hear it's taking an hour to get from our area of 28 to I-66. DH was using VRE on his last job, but was unfortunately laid off this past October. He's hoping to find another position in DC so he can use VRE again and not have to deal with that commute.

 

I'd love to do a cruise on Pride out of Baltimore before the last one and we were actually considering it but it doesn't look like we'll be cruising this year. We were really surprised to run into another couple from our area on the Glory cruise, but as you said, probably more from this area than we think. Also on that cruise we flew to Fort Lauderdale and got the Carnival shuttle to Miami. While waiting for the shuttle, we ran into a couple from Gainesville who were also waiting for and were on the same shuttle, different ship (they went on Valor when Valor was doing the Western Caribbean).

 

Hope you get to cruise again soon!

Edited by pghsteelerfan
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Sean,

I know that I have read several places on the boards that the safe inside the rooms still require a credit card or similar card with a magnetic strip. DO the rooms also require the room key to be in a holder so the lights will turn on (last cruise was on a newer ship and we had to use room key or empty gift card in order to turn on the lights inside the cabin).

 

Thanks

Chris

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Sean,

I know that I have read several places on the boards that the safe inside the rooms still require a credit card or similar card with a magnetic strip. DO the rooms also require the room key to be in a holder so the lights will turn on (last cruise was on a newer ship and we had to use room key or empty gift card in order to turn on the lights inside the cabin).

 

Thanks

Chris

 

Chris,

 

The cabin lights are operated by light switch on the Valor. You will not need a card for them :cool:. Have a nice trip.

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I-66/28...I know you were addressing agc291, but what a nightmare commute. Only going to get worse due to more development on 28 just outside of Manassas in PWC just before the Fairfax County line. At least 1000 units of condos/apts going in and another large townhome development. Even here in Manassas Park all along Manassas Drive construction has started for basically wall to wall townhomes. I hear it's taking an hour to get from our area of 28 to I-66. DH was using VRE on his last job, but was unfortunately laid off this past October. He's hoping to find another position in DC so he can use VRE again and not have to deal with that commute.

 

I'd love to do a cruise on Pride out of Baltimore before the last one and we were actually considering it but it doesn't look like we'll be cruising this year. We were really surprised to run into another couple from our area on the Glory cruise, but as you said, probably more from this area than we think. Also on that cruise we flew to Fort Lauderdale and got the Carnival shuttle to Miami. While waiting for the shuttle, we ran into a couple from Gainesville who were also waiting for and were on the same shuttle, different ship (they went on Valor when Valor was doing the Western Caribbean).

 

Hope you get to cruise again soon!

 

I cruise in 2.5 months. Can't wait for it and the nights in Miami preceding it. I'll do my best to post another photo-heavy review when I get back from that one too.

 

Sorry to hear about your husband losing his job, and that you may not be able to vacation as much this year. Hopefully he'll land a job again soon. There is still some growth which is why they see the need to build these $500,000 "luxury" townhomes around here. They don't seem to realize the infrastructure has a really hard time supporting it.

 

Nice photos! What kind of camera were you using?

 

Thanks!

 

Nikon D90. The lens used this trip was a Nikkor 18-55mm DX VR.

Edited by seannyice81
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Thanks for the great review!! Question, does the OP or anyone else who has done this itinerary recall what gangway were open to disembark at each port? Seems like many times on Carnival there is only one open. Just wondering if it's forward, midship or both?

Thanks!!

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CRUISE DAY 1

 

Felling much better now, we made our way down to the pier to get into the terminal. The terminal opened a little after 10:30 that morning. there was a little bit of a crowd waiting in disorganized "lines" to get in.

 

Once in we proceeded to the FTTF line which was a breeze. After checking in, we waited............ and waited! The coast gaurd was doing an inspection prior to this particular cruise and it pushed boarding back to past 12. Nobody at the terminal made any announcements about it though and the place started getting pretty packed. Seating isn't nearly as plentiful as the Miami terminals. I just really wanted to get on the boat and get situated after the very rough morning.

 

 

Could you tell me a little more about the FTTF boarding please. Wher did you drop your bags off at? Did they make hem with orange tape?

 

Thanks and great review

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DO the rooms also require the room key to be in a holder so the lights will turn on

(last cruise was on a newer ship and we had to use room key or empty gift card

in order to turn on the lights inside the cabin). ===> Are you serious? :eek:

Thankfully, Valor is still old fashioned enough

to make you exert the energy to flip a standard light switch near the door to illuminate your cabin.

It's hard sweaty work, but the effort is worth it! ;)

 

 

Can't imagine the new-fangled and quite-un-necessary alternative you describe above

where you...what? Have to use your cruise card? to get the cabin lights on?

-and leave the card there too? Tell me it ain't so.

 

.

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Thankfully, Valor is still old fashioned enough

to make you exert the energy to flip a standard light switch near the door to illuminate your cabin.

It's hard sweaty work, but the effort is worth it! ;)

 

 

Can't imagine the new-fangled and quite-un-necessary alternative you describe above

where you...what? Have to use your cruise card? to get the cabin lights on?

-and leave the card there too? Tell me it ain't so.

 

.

 

I've seen this in Europe - it's for energy conservation. The lights (and usually a/c) go off when the card is removed.

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Thank you for your great review. I loved the Valor when she sailed out of Miami and would love to do this itinerary on her. Your pictures are amazing even the ones with your phone. Way better camera on your phone than on mine to be sure. I hope to hear about your "true solo" trip that's coming up. Your mom seems like and awesome lady. I couldn't get mine on an ATV, automatic or otherwise. I'm still working on getting her to go on a cruise with me. I don't get her not wanting to. I swore to her I wasn't driving the ship.:D

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Thanks for the great review!! Question, does the OP or anyone else who has done this itinerary recall what gangway were open to disembark at each port? Seems like many times on Carnival there is only one open. Just wondering if it's forward, midship or both?

Thanks!!

 

Thank you.

 

It depends on how the ship is docked, but every time we made port, we were able to get on and off the ship from the forward stairs/elevators. When they first allow passengers off the ship they'll start with one gangway and then add another. The larger the crowd to get off the ship, the faster they add it.

 

Could you tell me a little more about the FTTF boarding please. Wher did you drop your bags off at? Did they make hem with orange tape?

 

Thanks and great review

 

Thank you.

 

When we arrived at the port, there were gentlemen with carts waiting near the gates where cars would enter. They know to look for people coming to embark and will ask you for your luggage. They will add orange FTTF tape to your luggage to designate it. We did tip them. When you enter the terminal and go up the escalators, the FTTF check-in line is on the far end of the the counters, nearing the back of the terminal. We started boarding late due to a coast guard inspection, so they boarded FTTF with platinum and diamond guests. One small disappointment (but no biggie) was the luggage didn't arrive until after we were on the ship for roughly an hour. Our cabins were ready and waiting though.

Edited by seannyice81
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Thank you for your great review. I loved the Valor when she sailed out of Miami and would love to do this itinerary on her. Your pictures are amazing even the ones with your phone. Way better camera on your phone than on mine to be sure. I hope to hear about your "true solo" trip that's coming up. Your mom seems like and awesome lady. I couldn't get mine on an ATV, automatic or otherwise. I'm still working on getting her to go on a cruise with me. I don't get her not wanting to. I swore to her I wasn't driving the ship.:D

 

Thank you.

 

I definitely plan on doing a review with photos for my upcoming trip. My mom is pretty awesome and I had a great time with her. Have your mom read this review about this cruise I took with mine. Perhaps it might change her mind. :)

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We haven't cruised since 2006 (vacationed with friends to Cabo San Lucus twice, and this year, just finished a trip to China that I had won!)

 

So are committed to a cruise winter of 2014 (only time we can travel). I stumbled on your review while researching Carnival.... THOROUGHLY enjoyed your writing! Forgot I was evaluating cruise lines and was totally caught up by your details of the ports!

 

Well done and thank you!!!!

Mishelle

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been looking at reviews (I have to wait until November for my cruise! So long!!!) and really liked your review! The Southern Caribbean is amazing/so different from the rest of the islands in the Caribbean. St. Kitts is probably my 'hands down' favorite island (minus the annoying money grubbing monkey totting men). I'm looking forward to experiencing more of the "Southern" Caribbean this fall!

Edited by Jenna1983
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Beautiful pictures! I'm slightly jealous of this itinerary! You are so sweet for cruising with your mom. My parents sent me (and mom) on a cruise for my college graduation and we are getting ready to go on our 6th one! She is a blast to cruise with!

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We haven't cruised since 2006 (vacationed with friends to Cabo San Lucus twice, and this year, just finished a trip to China that I had won!)

 

So are committed to a cruise winter of 2014 (only time we can travel). I stumbled on your review while researching Carnival.... THOROUGHLY enjoyed your writing! Forgot I was evaluating cruise lines and was totally caught up by your details of the ports!

 

Well done and thank you!!!!

Mishelle

 

Thank you.

 

If/when you go again, have a great cruise :).

 

I've been looking at reviews (I have to wait until November for my cruise! So long!!!) and really liked your review! The Southern Caribbean is amazing/so different from the rest of the islands in the Caribbean. St. Kitts is probably my 'hands down' favorite island (minus the annoying money grubbing monkey totting men). I'm looking forward to experiencing more of the "Southern" Caribbean this fall!

 

Thank you.

 

It looks like we're both on the same cruise this November. Check out the roll call section, there are some cool people from this site going. I'll be doing another review of that one as well. See you on the Splendor :cool:!

Edited by seannyice81
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I really loved your pictures and review! We leave in a few weeks and cannot wait!

 

Thanks. Have a good time!

 

Beautiful pictures! I'm slightly jealous of this itinerary! You are so sweet for cruising with your mom. My parents sent me (and mom) on a cruise for my college graduation and we are getting ready to go on our 6th one! She is a blast to cruise with!

 

That's awesome!

 

Kick the jealousy and (at least) consider doing this itinerary. It's an amazing one!

 

My husband and I are doing this itinerary on May 4 and would love to go to Cruz Bay and Trunk Bay. Did you feel pressed for time at all? Was it tricky to navigate your way there and back?

 

A good friend and his fiance will be celebrating their honeymoon on that same cruise. Small world!

 

If you do it the way we did you will have plenty of time. The most important things are getting off the ship as soon as you arrive in port and keeping track of how long it takes the taxi to get to the ferry and ferry to get to the St. John. Manage your time reasonably and it's no biggie. It wasn't tricky at all. The cabbies and ferry clerks are helpful if need be. Bring a decent amount of cash for the cabs.

Edited by seannyice81
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Thank you.

 

If/when you go again, have a great cruise :).

 

 

 

Thank you.

 

It looks like we're both on the same cruise this November. Check out the roll call section, there are some cool people from this site going. I'll be doing another review of that one as well. See you on the Splendor :cool:!

 

 

I have posted in the roll call but it's overwhelmingly fast/hard to keep up with lol! I'm sure I'll see you on splendor! There's 12 of us but 8 of us are the "young ones." Lol

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