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Old 03-05-2011, 09:47 AM
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Question First Time cruising.... Eastern Carribean... Valor... May 22-29
Hello All,
I appreciate you taking the time to look at this post.

My husband and I are scheduled to go on our first cruise on the Carnival Valor May 22 through May 29th. We are in our mid 20's and would like some advise on what to expect/do/plan on in this trip. Our itinerary includes; Miami - Half Moon Cay, Bahamas - at sea - St Thomas - San Juan, Puerto Rico - Grand Turk - at sea - Miami. Here are some questions we have.
1. Anyone going on this specific cruise or been on one recently?
2. Should we book our shore excursions through carnival? If so should we book before we embark or wait till sailing?
3. What are some good shore excursions on these ports.
4. Alcohol, I believe I read on here to pack alcohol and beverages in your checked luggage. Is this a good idea or are you risking fines or something?
5. Has anyone ever stayed in stateroom 6201 or similar? It is an interior room with a picture window (obstructed views). What should I expect with this type of room?

Thank you for taking the time to read. Any replies will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:16 AM
Jim C.'s Avatar
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1.
I have been on the Valor.. shes a great ship. But I believe this particular itinerary is fairly new, so no I can't say I have. It sounds like a great one though and I would love to give it a try. St Thomas and San Juan are port I have been to several times. San Juan you can do on your own as everything is right within walking distance (or a very short cab ride if you are not up to walking) Half Moon Cay is Carnivals private island... it is wonderful. I have not been to Grand Turk but I hear good things about it.

2. Should we book our shore excursions through carnival? If so should we book before we embark or wait till sailing?
Well, you probably only need to book a tour in St Thomas. Like I said earlier San Juan is easily done on your own. If you want to do anything outside of Old San Juan area, then you might consider booking a cruise through the ship since this is your first cruise. IF you are experienced travels, then you can book on your our as long as you schedule things so you have an hour of "oops" time before you have to be back on the ship. Note that they want you back aboard about 30 mins before the scheduled sail away time. Booking before you embark is not as mandatory as they make it sound. You can book on board as most of the tours on this itinerary are not the "sell out" before sailing kind. Especially in Late May before prime family cruise time.
3. What are some good shore excursions on these ports.
St Thomas- Trunk Bay is a good beach/snorkel tour. There are a couple of catamaran sails that are nice. Again.. you can find these on line or you can book through the ship. Half moon cay... no tour needed. San Jaun, a lunch or dinner in San Juan is nice. The Spanish fort is right there within walking distance and the rum distilleries are typical.
4. Alcohol, I believe I read on here to pack alcohol and beverages in your checked luggage. Is this a good idea or are you risking fines or something?
You are only allowed to bring wine (I think 2 bottles is the limit) and it needs to be in your carry on luggage! This used to be different but this is currently the rule. You can buy liquor in the ports but they will take it from you when you board the ship and store it until the last night and give it back to you. If you are not flying to the port, you can get good deals on duty free alcohol, but if you are flying, you'll pay more in extra bag fees than you save in buying it duty free.
5. Has anyone ever stayed in stateroom 6201 or similar? It is an interior room with a picture window (obstructed views). What should I expect with this type of room?
That is actually a really good choice. You won't be able to see the water but the price is great for a windowed room. Most interior grade cabins don't have any window and are cave dark at night. You will want to keep your curtains drawn at night as people can walk on the deck in front of your cabin and see in if there is light on in the cabin. These interiors are normally very much desired....

Thank you for taking the time to read. Any replies will be greatly appreciated.

Your Welcome.. feel free to ask anything else that comes to mind.. that is what we do here....
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by C&JShaw View Post
Hello All,
I appreciate you taking the time to look at this post.

4. Alcohol, I believe I read on here to pack alcohol and beverages in your checked luggage. Is this a good idea or are you risking fines or something?

Thank you for taking the time to read. Any replies will be greatly appreciated.
Welcome to CruiseReviews!

I don't think you read here about packing alcohol in the checked luggage. It is against Carnival's Beverage Policy to do so, and we encourage readers to follow the Cruise Line's Policies. We also do not allow posts that say otherwise.

Each person who is 21 years of age or older is allowed to bring on board one bottle (750ml) of wine or champagne. They want it brought on board in the carry on luggage.

It is not a good idea to bring it on board any other way. They will confiscate it if the luggage is unlocked, or call you down the walk of shame to open it.

To read Carnival's Beverage Policy LOOK HERE.

Welcome Aboard,

Dwayne
Carnival Host - Forum Boards Moderator
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 03-07-2011, 12:03 PM
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Hi CandJShaw, welcome to CruiseReviews! You'll love the Valor! We sailed on her last May, but not that itinerary. We did the western Caribbean on her. We booked our excursions through the ship before we left, just booked on-line. You can do independent tours, but I prefer taking the ship's excursions to locations I've not visited before or do not feel comfortable with doing my own thing.

I totally agree with Jim, San Juan is a great walking tour. Old San Juan is alive with history and the Fort and Cathedral are so close, that walking is fine with me. St. Thomas we've been to many times, so usually take the ferry over to St. John and a cab to Trunk Bay. Trunk Bay is one of the top 10 beaches in the world, great snorkel trail about 50 yards from the shore, and all the ammenities you need. St. Thomas should be visited, though, great for shopping. Coki Beach and Magen's Bay are two of the more famous beaches. Sapphire beach is good for snorkeling, but doesn't have all the ammenities.

Half Moon Cay is absolutely my favorite private island, it is amazingly beautiful. Definitely a beach day there. Snorkeling is decent, as well.

Grand Turk was hard hit by the hurricane a couple of years ago. It's a flat island, but very clean and very friendly. We did a snorkel through the ship when we went that was really great, crystal clear water. There's a shopping area where you dock, as well as a very nice beach. I've heard great reviews on the segway tour there.

I know you'll enjoy the Valor, she's an easy ship to navigate. Be sure to try the chocolate melting cake, at least once. Hope you have marvelous weather, calm seas, and a fantastic cruise!
 
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