Number of Cruises: First Cruise
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Valor
Sailing Date: September 11th, 2005
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Lines
My best friend and I just returned from the Eastern
Cruise. It was our first and we loved it! Sure, there are things we learned and
will definitely change for the next cruise but here are some pointers and
· We will demand our travel agent books us with a group as it seemed we paid a lot more than most people we met that went in a group. That was our agent’s fault, not Carnival’s.
· The lines getting on the ship in Miami were horrific – we were in line for over 3 hours including the line at the airport to get on the Carnival bus and then to get on the ship. You gotta have patience! But we talked to a lot of people and they didn’t have to wait so long so maybe you’ll get lucky.
· The entire crew was so nice and helpful! These people work their butts off to please and serve you – they deserve every penny of the gratuities that they get plus some!
· There was a lot to do on the ship so if you got bored, it was your own fault.
· Book your excursion off the ship as they are a lot cheaper than going through Carnival! But of course, we didn’t know that!
· Shop where you want to, not where they recommend as Carnival gets a percentage if you shop at those stores. We found things a lot cheaper at other stores!
· The first Bingo game we played was $20 for one game – that’s right - 1 game only- but they did not announce that! Everyone was very upset to pay find out we all paid $20 and there was only one game. Later in the week the next $20 card allowed you to play at least 6-8 games!
· When you get off at Nassau – be sure to take a photo id card as you have to have it going thru security which they told us all we needed was our sail and sign card!
· You can’t use cash or credit cards on the ship – everything goes on your sail and sign card, which can add up very quickly! Be sure to check your bill on the tv screen every now and then so you can see your balance before you have a heart attack at the end of the cruise!
· St. Maarten was our favorite stop – nice Island and great shopping!
· The snorkeling trip we took was expensive (booked on ship) it was called the “Captain Nautica’s Ultimate Snorkeling”. I found the fish at Cozumel to be much more plentiful and prettier than where they took us but it was fun. You might want to check out one of the many other places to snorkel.
· If you aren’t a gambler – you certainly can become one by the end of the 7 days! I had an addicted blast and kept thinking I’d hit that jackpot sooner or later. ;-(
· The dining was great and our waiter “Montri” was the best! He and his buddy, Decho, were a great team and we enjoyed eating in the dining room every night with the great friends we met.
· Overall experience? We will cruise again! Our experience was enjoyable. We would like to have a 4th stop though next time.