Number of Cruises: 6
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Valor
Sailing Date: November 27th, 2005
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Line
7 days Southern Caribbean
This is my first 7 day cruise. I've done several other short (3-4 days) cruises all with Royal Carribean. Compared to Royal Carribean, I would have to say that Carnival's dinning service falls short. However, the rooms for Carnival is much bigger than Royal Carribean and more importantly, the matress in Carnival is thicker.
San Juan, Puerto Rico - The ship arrived at 5pm, which in my opinion, was too late to do anything, but walk around the little shops and maybe have dinner in town. San Juan is not a very safe town; hence, the presence of cops everywhere. I saw an old lady trying to make a little money by selling "Checklits" for 50 cents, which broke my heart. Puerto Rico is a very poor island.
St. Maarten - We took the taxi boat to reach the town to do a little shopping. Liquor is very cheap. The beaches are too crowded and since we do not like cooking in the sun, we did not care too much for the beaches. Overall, I enjoyed St. Maarten. It's a beautiful little island.
St. Thomas - The ship arrived in the morning. We decided not to go too far from the port since we booked for a snorkeling excursion in St. Johns at noon. The shopping areas in St. Thomas are right next to the port. St. Johns is about a 30 minute boat ride from St. Thomas. I enjoyed Trunk Bay beach in St. Johns with its fine white sand and clear blue waters. St. Johns seemed to be secluded and untouched compared to other islands. The only way to get there is by boat.
Negatives: The waiting line to get inside the ship was very slow and disorganized. The tour guide "Brent" for our St. Johns Trunk Bay Beach Snorkeling excursion was rude and sarcastic. The gym equipments such as their treadmills are old and they do not carry enough lighter free weights for females.
Positives: I enjoyed the food. I thought the variety and the taste was adequate. The cabin rooms are bigger compared to other cruise line and the matresses are comfortable. Our cabin steward did an excellent job in cleaning our room 2/day.
Overall, I enjoyed my trip with Carnival and I am planning another trip in 6 months. I suggest booking at least an outside cabin with the waterview. Also, don't forget to take medication for sea sickness.