Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Just Off Valor - Review of 9/3/06 Cruise


Recommended Posts

First day back at work after being on the Valor all last week. What an AWESOME trip to the Western Carribean. For the price, this one is a really good deal. I'm going to break this report down into sections...it will be long....but I'll try to double space between the sections.



EMBARKATION: (A+) We got really lucky. Our flight landed at 11:40am and we were at the pier via limo by 12:30. Once we got unloaded and tipped the porter, we went inside and found the lines were very long. There are two seperate lines for the fun pass cards that are filled out...and then there are the VIP lines which are much shorter. Well, as we entered, we asked the Carnival employee which line was for the fun pass. She said both and directed us to the VIP line. We were standing there when another Carnival employee came up and asked if we had VIP priveliges. We said we were told by the lady to go to this line. He went and asked her, and she said yes she told us that....and I told him I didn't think it was fair to ask us to move since she had directed us there. He agreed...so we got the VIP check in....we were on the ship in less than 20 minutes. I can't complain about embarkation but if I'd been in that slow moving line, I might feel differently.


THE SHIP: (A) We boarded and got our little deck map and started to explore. We immediately made our way to our cabin, which was ready for us so we dropped off our carry-on bags and went out to explore. This is a LARGE ship...so it took some time to see it all. We didn't think that the decor was gaudy at all (although the pink color schemes in the dining room aren't the prettiest think in the world). If you can't find something to do on this ship, then you won't find anything on any ship. The ship was very clean....there were no foul smells anywhere (except the cigar bar).


The layout is a bit confusing in terms of getting to the dining room since you have the galley in the middle and have to go up a level to walk all the way to the rear of the ship if you're in the Washington...but this is nothing new in terms of ship design. You just have to remember where you are and if you are confused there are deck plans by each elevator.


We stayed in an interior cabin on the Panorama Deck. VERY quiet and very convenient to the Lido deck pool/bar/Rosies/etc. Our cabin steward was very nice and with a small tip when we met he unlocked our fridge and removed the wet bar contents for our wine we carried on with us. He said he thought "that was a very good idea to bring on wine". We saw him frequently through our cruise and he would bring us wine glasses and anything else we needed. We'd tip him a dollar or two and then left him some extra at the end of the trip.


NOT TO MISS: Paris Hot Lounge...next to the Washington Dining Room (tucked in a corner across from Lindy Hop Piano Bar). We missed it til the last night. They had an AWESOME band (Latino-American's but playing southern rock) and they were GOOD! Music Connection was their name.


The internet cafe is hard to find and you do have to go through Winstons Cigar Bar which I don't understand. They have a meeting room through this little hallway on the other side of Winstons...they should have put the internet there...and the meeting room on the other side of Winstons where the internet is. You'll see what I mean when you get there.


THE FOOD: (A+) No complaints here. Everything we had in the dining room was delicious. Our waiter, Imade, made sure everything was hot and served on time. They were a bit slow on Sunday night, but after that it was great service and good food. The appetizers are a bit small in portion, but they make up for it with the portions on the entree. Our waiter did seem to get a bit agitated one night when I ordered steak instead of anything on the menu, it was more like he couldn't understand why I didn't like anything on the menu. But then he brought me the best filet I've had in forever. Anyway, most nights we were sooo full that we passed dessert.


THE ENTERTAINMENT/AND ENTERTAINMENT STAFF: (B)The Cruise Director is Darcy Kneivel. No relation to Evil Kneivel. I think she's only been doing this a few weeks. She was adequate. She wasn't really annoying or overbearing but just informative. Not intrusive and constantly on the intercom and not making stupid jokes when she was giving talks and stuff. We saw her out in the disco having a good time one night. It seems she does a very good job. We only saw a couple of shows...the Monday night dancers/nightclub show was "ok" and the hypnotist show was sort of funny. We watched part of the Legends show on Saturday night and it was decent but some of those people just couldn't sing. We did go to some of the auditions in the Eagles lounge as well and some were sooooooo funny.


The activities director, Dan, is a real jerk though. He hosted the Survior on the first day out on the deck. On Day 2 at Grand Cayman we had to get a tender ticket...and so we went in and he was there. I asked where to snorkel from the shore at GC and he got really really smart about how he is an expert diver. I asked "Which beach do you reccommend to snorkel from here?" ANd he said in a very smart voice "None of them" and proceeded to give some big technical explanation. Of course I'd printed off my cruise critic stuff and knew what beaches others had said were good. More later. But I thought this guy was a jerk. The bartenders and everyone else were very polite and friendly and would always speak.



Grand Cayman - Tendering wasn't a bad thing at all. Went very smooth. We got into Georgetown and went to SeaGrape beach ($10 for two on a taxi). We snorkeled the reef there, which is about dead as far as the coral goes, but saw quite a few fish and found a beautiful conch shell in the water. It was indeed a beautiful beach. We took the public transportation (bus..actually a van...back for $2.50 each....). Did the shopping...and spent wayyyy too much at Senor Frogs. They list the prices in Cayman then charge you American....wayyyyy too much...but good.


Roatan Island - THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PORT. We did the Tabyana Beach Break. A 30 minute bus ride on a school bus over the mountains to the other side. This is the most beautiful beach I've ever seen. We snorkled out to the reef about 50 yards off shore and once you go through some of it the water drops off to about 150 feet and is clear clear clear to the bottom. All kinds of beautiful fish, unspoiled coral and just amazing. They have a bar there with Honduran beer (but there are some vendors out on the beach selling 3 beers for $5) and also a restaurant there. Highly reccommend this excursion. We stayed all day as the shuttles ran every 30 minutes to the ship.


Belize: We did the Goff's Caye snorkel tour. About a 30 minute boat ride to a small island of probably two or three acres in the middle of the ocean. The water was a bit rough as there was a current...we were in 15-20 feet of water..it was murky but the coral formations were FANTASTIC. The only problem with this excursion is that about 40 people go and they make you snorkel behind a guide holding a life ring. You are contstantly getting kicked, bumped and rubbed up against by other people because of the way the tour works. Definitely wear the snorkel vest as the current is very strong. They do let you off at the island to snorkel there first if you prefer...then everyone goes back to the island for an hour or so. Absolutely gorgeous.


Costa Maya - This is the NEXT CANCUN. They are building all kinds of streets, laying water/sewer and everything else...this place is getting ready to explode into a tourism mecca in ten years. We did the Umvero Beach break and it's a 40 minute ride in a motorcoach...the air conditioning was great on the way out...but coming back it didn't work and with 65 people on a big bus with no windows to open and no a/c working it's like being in a tin can...you talk about HOT. Umvero was very nice....they have a FREE bar...so drink while you can to make up for the expensive drinks on board. They do the dolphin swim there too and you can walk out and watch or pay extra to swim with dolphins. We just snorkeled out and watched from under water...we were within 5 feet of them, seperated by two chain link fences. No coral to see here...but grassy/sand and there are TONS of huge starfish weighing 3 to 5 pounds....they are everywhere.


ALCOHOL: © One word on the ship....EXPENSIVE. A bucket of beer is $19.55 for four beers. Wine is anywhere from $5 to $8 a glass....mixed drinks more. We took our own box of wine along with a liter of Coconut Rum and a liter of Vodka. We just wrapped them in towels and they made it through fine. You do not have to go to all the trouble of pouring them into water bottles and all that stuff. There were plenty of other people who did the same thing. Another tip: If you buy in the ship store, they have GREAT duty free prices....they are now delivering your purchased liquor to your room EARLY on Saturday morning because of the new FAA regs with no liquids...so that you can pack it. So, buy liquor either in Caymans or on the ship and you have your drinks for Saturday all taken care of!!!!!!! We had ours by 9am.


CASINO: (B+) Everyone wins on Sunday and Monday nights...but honestly, I think they tighten the slots up in the middle of the week because no one was winning. We got ahead about $100 by Tuesday but by Friday were down and ended up down about $100. Some people were winning decent at "Let It Ride" and "Three Card Poker" tables. Did see some Roulette winning as well. My advice: If you get ahead on the slots on Sunday/Monday....don't play til Saturday. There seemed to be some payouts on Saturday as well.


DEBARKATION: (A) Not too terrible. We went with the traditional leave your bags out night before routine. There were some long lines in the pier because people had not taken time to fill out their customs cards right...but it moved pretty quickly and we were outside within 35-40 minutes.


OVERALL: (A) I give this entire cruise an A. The only negative things were the one staff member (Dan) and the a/c not working on the bus back from Umvero Beach. Otherwise everything was just great. I wouldn't hesitate to take the Valor again....on the same cruise or the eastern carribean. You can't go wrong on the Western one with the prices they offer.


If anyone has any questions, I'll be glad to answer them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great review. We just got an upgrade to the Panarama deck, and I was a little concered about the motion "way up there". I am thrilled that you said it was quiet up there too! What is on that deck? From the deck plan, it appears there are a lot of chairs and lounge chairs. Is that what it is? Thanks for any info!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites



You will love the Panorama deck as it is a lot smaller. The hallways are SHORT in comparison if you go down to say the Riviera Deck and walk the hallways which just go on and on and on and on.


Less people on Panorama means less noise....our neighbors would get loud on occasion (if you are going to argue with your spouse/companion...or maybe have some "private vacation time away from the kids:rolleyes: then you will be heard if you get too loud! But all in all very quiet.


When you walk out towards the aft of the ship you if you walk out the door on the right side you come right out by the slide...I mean right by the end of the slide...then you can just easily find a lounge chair. A lot of the time we went up to the Spa Deck and found quieter deck space towards the front of the ship....if you walk out the left side you can also easily find chairs. It's easy to get to the Lido buffets and Rosies from there too.


If you go to the front of the ship on the Panorama deck there are doors on either side that you can go out to a deck on the front for some great views. On the port side there's a sign on the door to not go out because there could be winds that make the door slam...we went anyway...we were just very careful and cautious so that the door wouldn't slam or create a vaccum between the two exit doors.


The spa is above you....no noise at night from above.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What cabin are you in? If you get Adrian as your cabin steward you are in good hands....very good hands!


And as for Dan, the activities director, there's always one on every cruise that thinks they're a comedian (cruise director, asst. cruise director, activities director, etc etc etc...I guess he must be the one on the Valor). I just steered clear of him the rest of the trip.


As for ship movement....we did feel just a gentle rocking movement at times...but nothing scary. It's more a pleasant kind of rocking....so much so that I didn't sleep near as well in my bed at home last night because I missed it.....so I wouldn't worry unless maybe there's rough seas, in which case you're gonna rock wherever you are on the ship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really, honestly enjoyed it. It was very thorough, yet didn't get into every single stinkin', minute, unnecessary detail. I really enjoyed the letter grade portions, too. In fact, you're making me rethink our Western route on the Triumph in favor of sailing the Valor again. Would that be too boring? Hmmmm....must ponder. :D


Anyway, thanks. You made me miss being on the darn ship, but thanks. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Same sailing, but I will have a very different review. I don't have time to post my entire review yet, but hopefully sometime later this week I will be able to squeeze it in. Let me say this first, my final review will have a mix of good and bad, but I am just posting my contradictions to the original poster here. I had a good time, but I would rate this ship a "C+" on a scale.


A couple of areas that I disagree.


The Ship - Yikes, this layout is nothing short of horrid. On day five I was still using the ship floorplans by the elevators. Even after reading cruise critic boards, I still had difficulty getting from point A to point B unless it involved going someplace on Deck 5. I am not a smoker, but I also have no problem with smelling it as long as it is not overwhelming. All I can say is that if you are allergic to cigarette smoke or have asthma, pick a different ship. The central problem is with the design of deck 5. The casino is located in the center of the ship and basically separates the shopping areas from the bars. Smoking is allowed on virtually this entire deck and therefore lingers (even in the non-smoking areas) on the single deck that provides the best access to get from forward to aft. Internet cafe can not be accessed except through Winston's Cigar Bar. Who came up with that brilliant idea? I'll address more in my review. I don't know about anyone else that was on this ship, but it always felt crowded to me. I can't explain what exact design flaws are, but I was on the Serenade about two years ago and never remember feeling as crowded as I did on Valor. More later...


Food - I am going to preface this area by saying that I do not feel like I had unrealistic expectations in this area. Hey, I'm happy with a burger at Applebee's or the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday's. I do not frequent five star dining and am happy with any meal that features appetizing ingredients and is properly cooked. On Monday morning, I had a pancake in Rosie's that actually crunched! Dinners were very hit and miss. Stick with the beef and you will be safe. One additional note herethough...the beef that I ordered medium well almost always was served well-done (this included the T-Bone, Prime Rib, Filet Mignon, and the Chateaubriand (sp)). Not a big deal, just a note for future cruisers. I thought the seafood dishes (appetizers and entrees) were pretty bad and consistently overcooked or undercooked. Desserts were pretty boring and not very good either. Dining was probably the single biggest disappointment to me. More later . . .


Entertainment - They had one female singer and one male singer. They were good, but where were the other singers? I don't understand why they have 15 or 20 dancers and 2 singers. Most of the comedians were just okay and one was down right bad. More later . . .


Just a different opinion. I guess that's what makes the world go round. I will certainly not right-off Carnival based on this one experience, but I would hesitate to cruise on Valor (or any ship with the exact layout) again and I would gladly pay a few bucks more to sail Royal Caribbean if I had the chance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great to read tigermaroon2's review. We were on this ship in 2005 and loved it! (same itinerary, but we went to Cozumel, not Costa Maya)


Looks like tigermaroon2 didn't make it to the piano bar (Lindy Hop). Ron Pass is the entertainer there until early December. Do not miss thiis. It is great fun!


I have got to get back on this ship! Maybe in late 07... it's a long way off, but I have a couple of other cruises planned in the meantime! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We made the Piano Bar (Lindy Hop) for a few minutes one night....but we got there pretty late and he was wrapping it up for the evening. What I did hear there was very very good.


I'm not a smoker either, but I didn't really notice a lot of cigarette smoke. The only place I really noticed it was in the Winston's Cigar Bar...and outside on the starboard side (which is where they tell people they can smoke). I didn't notice an overwhelming smell of smoke in the casino....but I really wasn't paying much attention to the way the casino smelled but rather the ching ching ching ching ching of the slots paying out....what a magical sound.


I ordered all my steaks Medium and they came as cooked. My wife had one she ordered medium and it came medium rare...so she and I just swapped.


We loved Rosie's...of course anytime you eat buffet food, you expect things to get stale laying out...so if you expect to get a fresh pancake at 9:30 am when the buffet is closing at 10, it's not likely to happen. I will say the Omlettes at Rosies are among the very best I have ever eaten ANYWHERE. We even skipped the dining room one night and ate dinner at Rosies and it was good.


As for the entertainers, it's been the same on all four sailings I've had with Carnival. There's been one female singer, one male singer and 10-12 dancers. I've never seen more singers on any cruise I've had.....and honestly, the two singers on the Valor are very very very good. The female can sing like ANYONE...and I do mean ANYONE....from Cher to Reba, she can make it sound GOOD. So good in fact I wondered how much of it was a voice track versus her really singing.


Although this was the biggest ship I've been on, I found the layout no more confusing than the Fascination quite honestly. We used the maps a lot too by the elevators....but it's sort of like being at a theme park where you use maps to get around all the time....that's just part of the adventure to me.


I'm sorry you didn't have as good of a time as we did. We thouroughly enjoyed it and would go back in a heartbeat, same ship, same ports. Although, probably next time, we'll cruise a different carnival ship just for the experience of something different and new....but if my PVP called and gave me a great deal, I wouldn't hesitate to go back on the Valor again.


As for feeling crowded, it was a FULL sailing..they had no empty cabins...even a sign at the Purser's Desk was there all week informing people there could be no upgrades because it was full. With nearly 3000 guests and 1100 crew, it is going to be a bit crowded in places. The most crowded area I noticed was Deck 5 where virtually all the bars, clubs, casino, and shops are located, along with the Photo Gallery which is on Deck 4. Perhaps a Conquest level vessel isn't for everyone....but I don't mind crowds...hey, when you go to NASCAR races and there are 180,000 people there....or you go to NFL or College Football and are there with 80,000 people...what's 4000 people on a cruise ship the size of three football fields? We never really felt overcrowded at all..and hardly ever waited in any line for more than three or four minutes (except to get photos made on formal nights).


I spoke to several people on the cruise who had also been on Royal Carribean and the general response, other than one or two, was that for the money, you can't beat Carnival. There was one lady who really liked Royal Carribean, but the other six or seven I asked to compare said they really liked Carnival better. I figure now I'm up to four...only six more to go to get VIP privvy's.....I've never had a bad overall experience yet on Carnival so I'll stay with them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

tigermaroon2, thanks for the thoughtful response to theandersons (nothing negative meant about that to theandersons). I admit to being a little confused by the dramatic differences in the smoking perceptions, and how much it impacts certain folks cruise experience. I've cruised twice.... once on Princess, and the other on Carnival's Paradise - back when it was a smoke-less ship. But I think it'll have to be pretty bad for me to notice enough to care (was it bad enough for the eye's to burn? - Did the clothes stink from just walking through deck 5?).


As for food - that's REALLY subjective - and I'm not worried there. We enjoyed Carnival's dinner selections several years ago - and I've heard that it's only improved since then....


I know one thing - I'm anxious to find out! (2 weeks & counting!) :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only thing I can add, mostly for future Valor (or Conquest class) cruisers is something I had read somewhere which was how to get about the ship easily, it was something like.....


Just remember "9 to 5"

You work, "9 to 5"

and on vacation, "9 to 5" gets you bow to stern

Decks 9 & 5 get you bow to stern

Remember, "9 to 5"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't mean to slam the Andersons either. I hope it didn't come across that way. We just see things differently.


Now, as for the smoking, when we are home my wife and I have our "regular bar" that we frequent where smoking is allowed. We also visit two or three other establishments in our small town on occasion...where smoking is still allowed. When we go home at night, if we go straight to bed, I can smell smoke in her hair and on her body, even though WE DO NOT SMOKE. I'm sure she'd say the same as well.


There were nights on the Valor, that we were so tired we dropped right into bed when we got back into the cabin. I DID NOT smell any smoke in her hair or on her at all. Nor, did any of my clothes smell like smoke.


We've been to our share of oversmoked bars and places where you just couldn't breathe and your eyes burn...but we didn't experience that on the Valor, except the smell of smoke in the Cigar room when we went thru to get on the internet (which is where you have to go thru).


Perhaps we just hung out on different areas of the ship than the other poster, I dunno. But it wasn't anything that I found distracting, obtrusive or annoying

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No slamming was interpreted. I should have given a little background perhaps. I have only cruised one other time in recent years and that was on RCCL's Serenade on the Southern itinerary. DH and I are late twenties and early thirties. We are not big "partiers" and were normally in bed by midnight.

Back to the smoking - I think I said it didn't bother me (except going to the Internet Cafe through Winston's and occasionally in the Casino), but I am pretty tolerant of cigarette smoke. My comments were directed at people who are extremely sensitive of cigarette smoke. It certainly didn't burn my eyes and to be quite honest, I washed my clothes before I came home and never noticed a strong odor. The only lounge I spent time in was the Eagles Lounge (and it is non-smoking). I just know that a lot of people are allergic and sensitive and because of the way the ship is designed it would be very difficult to go from forward to aft on the ship without traveling through some areas that have heavy smoking in them. Once again, while this was not a major deal to me, for some people I know that it would be the difference between a pleasurable cruise and a miserable one and that's why I mentioned it.

I completely agree that food is subjective. I am always very slow to believe anything that people say about food on these boards. When I went on the Serenade, I expected the worst (because of these boards) and was pleasantly surprised. With that being said I still do not think I had unrealistically high expectations for this cruise. BTW, I always ate breakfast at Rosie's and never was there past 7:30 or 8:00am, so the stale comment is really not applicable. I agree that the omlettes were really good. That was probably the only thing from the breakfast that I really enjoyed. I only ate lunch in Rosie's a couple of times and it was OK and never ate dinner in Rosie's. Fish N' Chips was really good. I sat next to two Carnival employees on the last day and they had ordered something from the Oriental station and they both took one bite and pushed the plate aside. I don't know what they had, but I thought that was pretty funny. One other thing I found kind of surprising, there was no pineapple, strawberries, or grapes in the fruit selections. The only fruit they had was cantaloupe, honeydew, oranges and grapefruits. I was looking forward to some fresh pineapple and none was to be found on the buffet. Again, nothing that would make or break a vacation, but just different than what I was expecting.

Let me see if I can explain a little better about the dining room. On my last cruise, I almost always found myself having problems deciding what to order because everything sounded delicious. This time, I just found that many of the appetizers and entrees didn't even sound good. In addition, I didn't have one single entree that was just superb. My husband still talks about the crab cakes on the Serenade. Once again, it wasn't that the appetizers and entrees were bad, it just simply wasn't as good as I was expecting. Sorry, but there were several desserts that were just plain bad. Even with all that being said, I am still impressed that these dining rooms can serve 3,000 people and the quality is as good as it is. One other interesting point . . . I was part of the Roll Call and I don't remember talking to too many people that actually got their requested dining time.

Going back to the entertainment, I did say that the singers were good. RCCL just had several different people singing and it added a bit more variety and more of a "Vegas-style" show. I really expected Carnival to be much better than RCCL in this area and they weren't.

An example of when the "5 to 9" and "9" to "5" thing doesn't work is when you need to go the spa or gym which is all the way forward (I think). There are several other places too, but I'm just using this as an example. If you go to deck five and try to take an elevator and you are in the aft portion of the ship you can not get to the spa deck (Deck 11). Then when you try to go down to deck 4 or 3 if the dining room is closed (which it is during certain parts of the day, you can't get to the other end of the ship without going up or down several decks). It was just frustrating sometimes.

One other point, the art directors are extremely rude. I would highly recommend that you not give these people your business and avoid them.

I absolutely loved these ports and would go back again to any of them. For the money, I think Carnival is still a great deal and I would cruise with them again probably. I would still prefer to go on RCCL if the RCCL ship went to similar ports and was similar in $. I just would not rate this cruise as a “A”.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am glad to read that you had a great time.


I was on the valor on the 8-27 sailing and had a blast..Miss it a bunch..


I also found dan a bit arrogant. One of my CC members said he seems to have "little man symdrome". The ladies will know what i am talking about. But i didn't pay him much attention. I don't associate with those kind of people anyway, lifes too short.


Im plannin my next cruise actually as I sit here..


Glad you had fun and made it home safe.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was also on the Valor 9/3 - 9/10 and I absolutely loved it. I went on the Sensation last year and this ship is far superior! I didn't find the smoke overwhelming and was quite pleased with the food. The ports of call were absolutely amazing - which is why I plan on repeating this cruise next year. At the risk of sounding cliche, there was just so much to do and so little time!!


In Grand Cayman we booked the Snorkel and Stingray excursion through Carnival. The snorkeling wasn't nearly as great as I expected, but I really enjoyed the stingray sandbar! It's amazing to see how these guys who work these boats have their own little "pets" who follow them around like puppies. We hung around this teenage kid who worked on our boat and "his" stingray stayed by his side the whole time and wanted to be held by him. And as long as this kid was around, that stingray would let anyone hold her - though she preferred when guys held her :) It was incredible!


Roatan is gorgeous! We did the canopy tour excursion through Carnival which is an experience I'll never forget! Afterwards you're taken to Tabyana Beach which is so beautiful! I've been to Aruba a few times and have never found a place I love as much - but Roatan and Tabyana Beach in particular are stiff competition! I definitely want to visit this port again before the Hilton's build a hotel and Diddy parks his yacht there. I love how "untouched" it seems...


Belize - This was a pretty crazy day for us. We tendered very early since we had booked the cavetubing excursion. First, we boarded the tour bus and made our way to where the lockers and aqua shoe rentals are. Had I realized we would need aqua shoes, I would have bought them in advance - but unfortunately I had to rent them. Either they don't realize how big American feet can be, or they just didn't have enough - but the shoe sizes only ran as big as a man's 10 which meant the guys in our group how to wear their sneakers (which they weren't pleased about.) We then boarded a rickity school bus and made our way to the cavetubing. On the way, our bus was cruising down the gravel road at probably 55MPH with the door open when our tour guide fell out of the bus!! We were sitting in the back of the bus on that side and watch him tumble down the road and we're pretty sure his foot was run over. Very frightening! He was pretty banged up, but from what we heard he ended up being OK - but everyone was pretty quiet as we hiked through the rainforest to the river. The cavetubing was nice, but very crowded!! We were tube-to-tube as we cruised through the caves but it was very relaxing... Next time I'd love to do some snorkeling at this port because I heard it was incredible!


Can't say much about Costa Maya because unfortunately my boyfriend got really sick so we never made it off the boat. Needless to say he had too much drink the night before ;)


The only complaints I have are minor and wouldn't prevent me from sailing this ship and itinerary again. I was in cabin 8201 which is the very front of the boat, but I was seated in Washington Dining Room which is at the very back. After all I ate, I needed the exercise, but it was still a hike.


I'm not really a morning person, so I prefer to have room service for breakfast while I get ready since I want to be up and out as early as possible. The room service menu is very limited and when I asked I was told I could only order what was on the menu. This meant no hot food for breakfast - only bagels, toast or fruit. I made do but I would've like some french toast delivered.


We had friends in the room next door, so we had the partition opened. It was really nice to have that, except some of the balcony chairs made it very difficult to walk next door. One chair is a normal chair and the other is a reclining chair which sticks out farther. We were constantly tripping and I even ended up with bruises!


While we loved most of our dining staff, the bar waitress was such terrible. When we would ask "how are you tonight" it was always something to the effect of "so-so" or "could be better." It just seemed like she didn't like her job and she was constantly screwing up our orders. By the 3rd night we would just give our orders to the head waiter and he would speak to the bar waitress and make sure the order was correct when she brought it. We're not the complaining type so we didn't make an issue of it - especially since the head waiter was taking care of it - but the maitre d did come around often and I'm sure he would've been receptive had we mentioned it.


But like I said before, these are just minor complaints I had and I absolutely plan on taking this cruise again!!


Some of the high points on the ship were definitely Anthony Acosta's comedy show. We took in the G-rated preview and decided we would have to make it to the R-rated show. We weren't disappointed!!


I was also impressed with the amount of deck chairs. I had read so many reviews where there wasn't enough seating outside, but we had beautiful weather and no problem finding chairs.


Our stateroom attendants were great - just as I heard they would be.


All-in-all I'd highly recommend this cruise!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read somewhere on the boards where it is easy to navigate the ship if you stay on your passenger deck & walk down to the elevator closest to the location you are heading & then go up or down from there. Makes sense to me, what do you valor cruisers think? We are going on oct 15, can't wait. Karen

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Explorers Wanted ~ Sponsored by Quark Expeditions
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
  • Create New...