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Western Carribean Carnival Cruise on the Valor

Western Carribean Carnival Cruise on the Valor

Jan 31st, 2008, 05:35 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 318
Western Carribean Carnival Cruise on the Valor

I am leaving in March with my 2 teen agers and am very worried if the Carnival Cruise line is upscale enough. I went with my 2 kids a few years ago on Royal Carribean and it was great. They were all sold out for this March vacation so I ended up booking Carnival. From the other posts it sounds like Carnival is a bunch of partyers and low end people???? Any thoughts?? Also any great excursions you would recommend in Grand Cayman, Belize, Cozumel or Honduras???
rjbriskin is offline  
Feb 7th, 2008, 10:43 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 227
Looks like everyone is shying away from your question, so I'll chime in.

Upscale is a relative term and, not knowing you, don't know what it means to you. I can tell you that I have cruised on Carnival ships and I find the older ( and invariably less expensive) the ship, the more opportunities it opens up to those with less sophistication. However, income and class aren't always relative...I have met well-to-do people who I considered "low end".

My husband and I (and our 4 children) cruise on Carnival as we're booking 3 rooms and we do a lot of expensive private excursions. For example, we're doing a 7 day cruise on Carnival this summer that is VERY port-intensive (every day is a new port). We've booked diving, day sails, high speed boat trips, ATV excursions, etc., and will have minimal time onboard the ship. With that in mind, I'm perfectly fine with sailing an older ship (1996) as it will serve more as a mode of transportation than anything else - the dream itinerary is what it's all about on this trip. However, were I to book a cruise with days at sea, I would definitely go with a newer Carnival ship. The cruise industry has made leaps and bounds in amenities and activities, and it's very easy to tell the older ships from the newer ones.

As to partying, I'm sure those people are there but I really haven't seen them...they are probably in the bars late at night while I tend to watch the show and then go to my room.

Low-end, Un-classy? Yes, I was surprised the first time I sailed Carnival a few years ago (on a deeply discounted 5 day sail that only cost $249 pp on a ship built in 1990) and saw some people I would definitely saw were "class challenged"...I also met people who were very nice and could have easily become friends.

I find Carnival to be a family-friendly cruiseline with rates that are wallet-friendly...allowing you to actually enjoy excursions at the port you're pulling in to. Again, I'm speaking from the perspective of a family of six, so those $90 or $100+ excursions (and I book almost exclusively with private operators) quickly add up!

On to actual suggestions for excursions:
- Belize: If you dive, Belize is an AMAZING dive destination and gets exceptional reviews (we loved it!). If you're a history buff, there are several Mayan ruins that are accessible for a day trip.

- Grand Cayman: Stingray City is a MUST do. We utilized Native Way Watersports for our tour and my family found this to be an absolute highlight of the cruise.
http://www.nativewaywatersports.com/

- Cozumel: If you're into the Amazing Race, you can try your hand at it for a few hours as part of the "Race Fantastique". You start off near one of the cruise docks following clues to a final destination. Enroute you'll learn a bit of Mayan culture, do a brief bit of snorkeling and get a henna tattoo.
suzski is offline  
Feb 7th, 2008, 03:04 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 460
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with Carnival! It is not a bunch of "partyers & low end people"!!!! Many years ago maybe but not now!
Yes, swim with the sting rays in Caymen. Captain Marvin if you don't want the $$$ of ship's tour. In Belize I highly recomend the Cave Tubing with Reggie! It was fantastic! The ship's tour had about 40 people. We had 9 with Reggie. All at same place, same caves. We are snorklers and can answer places for that. Don't hesitate to email me for further info,. We've been on 50 + crusies since the 1980's so have ben to just about all the ports. Subject Cruising!
bonniejns is offline  
Feb 10th, 2008, 08:53 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2
I know you'll do fine with Carnival. No cruise line can guarantee who will or won't be aboard any ship. We have cruised with both lines you mention, and have had wonderful times with each. As to your questions about excursions, here are our favorites based on the ports you listed:

1. Grand Cayman: Yes, hands-down, you need to do Stingray City at least once.

2. Cozumel: Don't miss Chankanaab Park. You can book an excursion to there, or just grab a taxi for the 5-minute ride there. Great snorkeling, dolphin experience, shopping, dining...this place is very nice and has it all.

3. Roatan, Honduras: Fantasy Island Resort or Gumbalimba Park are great excursion destinations that offer scuba, snorkeling, dining, and other options.

Hope these insights help, and enjoy your cruise!
jrhode13 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2008, 05:17 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
As one who has cruised both, I personally find RCI's ships much nicer, better maintained and less crowded, as well as less smoky. And I prefer their food food and service to Carnival.

I do not consider RCI upscale but for me it is a step up from Carnival. JMHO.

That being said, it is spring break time so I daresay both lines would be similar in demographic for that time of year.

Have fun
kfusto is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 06:43 PM
  #6  
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 318
We just came bsck from our cruise. We did a 7 day on the Carnival Valor. I have to say I would never go on another Carnival cruise again. The service is poor, the ship was not kept all that clean either. The suite was very nice though.
rjbriskin is offline  
Jul 12th, 2008, 03:43 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 815
I've been considering this same cruise with kids and grandkids. Sorry you were unhappy with the Valor, Rjbriskin. Was it the "people"? How were the ports? Which shore excursions did you go on and did you book privately? Did your kids get involved in the youth programs?
Thanks.
NGail is offline  
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