Day 1 Sunday
My Dad, Mom, and I flew in on Saturday night into Ft. Lauderdale and stayed at the Yankee Trader, which has an oceanview. We returned our rental car in Miami, and took the bus from Alamo to the port. Embarkation was breeze. My mom has Multiple Sclerosis and with her having her wheelchair, we got to use V.I.P. line. So most of the time was spent waiting for the elevator. The ship is gorgeous. The flags are a little duller in color than the pictures I've seen and I really like the eagles on the columns. Our Cabin was on the Riviera deck room 1439. I'm used to sleeping on this deck, because it doesn't rock as much as the upper ones. For lunch, we went up to Rosie's Restaurant on Lido Deck. I had the chocolate raspberry pie, and it was delicious. We waited for the second announcement of the muster drill, before we went up. It wasn't bad. After the muster drill, we went up to the Lido Deck for the sail away and listened to the band Eclypse play.
We were at the 6:15 pm seating in the Lincoln Dining Room at table 110. There were only us 3 at a table for 8 the whole entire cruise. Our waiters were Felix and Maryna. After such horrible service on the Victory last year, it was great to finally have some good service. For dinner I had the fruit, a Caesar salad, the Chicken ala Grecque, and the Apple Mousse cake. The first night our dinner was tad ruined because of the drunk lady at the table across from us who kept yelling and laughing the entire time. There was a couple next to them at a single table that asked to be moved, because of her.
My dad checked his bill after he ordered our shore excursions and found a bill for $5.18 in the Bronx bar that he didn't make. He went to the purser's desk to complain, and the lady told him it would be gone off his bill by the end of the week when they verified the signatures on the receipts.
Welcome Aboard Show was good. The Cruise Director is Brett Alans, the assistant cruise director is Kelly, and the social hosts are Dan, Charlotte, and Alan. They had the dancers and the singers do an act and they had a comedian named Michael Macy, who was the best of the three comedians we saw. After the show we went up to Lido deck for some ice cream for my parents and some hot chocolate for me.
Day 2 Monday
For breakfast every morning I had a muffin and some strawberry yogurt. I figured I'd be eating more for dinner, so I wanted to keep Breakfast a light meal. My mom and dad are a big fan of the omelet bar.
When we docked in Nassau, we went to the straw market and then took a taxi over to the Atlantis. It's better take a regular taxi than a water taxi, because you have to walk a couple of blocks if you take the water taxi, whereas the land taxis drop you off in front of the hotel. The Atlantis was really pretty and neat to see after seeing it a lot on television and in movies. When we got back to the pier we went to Hard Rock Café for some t-shirts and then went back to the straw market, and my dad bought a watch. We went to get back on board, my dad realized he must have knocked his sail and sign card out of his pocket reaching for his sunglasses. So my mom had to verify him with the security guard. My dad had to go to the Purser's Desk and get him to print him a new one.
For lunch, we went up to the Fish and Chips bar and the fish is really good. In the American Lobby, Alan hosted the cornhole contest, which is throwing beanbags through a hole cut out in a ramp.
For formal night, we got our pictures taken with the stairs from Titanic backdrop. For dinner I had the prime rib and the strawberry bisque. The show was the "Nightclub Express." The singers were Penny and Lawrence. Penny was the singer when we went on the Victory last year. Lawrence was the better of the two. The dancers are incredible.
Day 3 Tuesday
It was a first day at sea. In the morning Brett did a Travel Talk for St. Thomas and St. Maarten. For Lunch I had a roast beef on a baguette from the deli and it was good. In the American Lobby, Alan hosted Name that Tune and Dan hosted Battle of the Sexes: Beat the Clock. It was funny, and the Men won. Since there weren't a lot of chairs, people kept standing in front of our booth. It would have been better if it were hosted in the Ivanhoe Lounge. For dinner I had the fruit cocktail, a Caesar salad, the Penne Mariscos, and the Raspberry Vanilla Cake. The Raspberry Vanilla cake has real raspberries in it. Our travel agent Charlie from Rainbow Travel called our room and met us at our table, because we had never met him in person before. The show a couple of comedians. One that was a mime, and juggled. The other was the winner of the Carnival comedy contest, who has cerebral palsy, and was pretty funny at the beginning of his act, but ended rather uneventful.
Day 4 Wednesday
When we docked in St. Thomas, we had to go up to the One Small Step disco for immigration. Then we got off the ship and went to the Havensight Mall for shopping. While we were shopping, it started pouring. We went on the Coral World tour. We had to meet for our tour in the disco at 12:30. It was very interesting seeing the turtles, the sharks, the fish, the stingrays, and the reefs. It was good for people who like to snorkel, but don't like to get wet.
After we got back on board, we went and got some pizza from the lido deck. It's always good. Then when I was taking a nap, I heard some noise that sounded like hammering coming from deck 0. For dinner had the Farfalle with Turkey and Peas, and the warm chocolate melting cake. The chocolate cake is the menu every night, under alternatives, and is one of the best desserts they offer.
The show as supposed to be a singer, but couldn't fly in due to engine trouble and ended up in Bermuda instead. So they grabbed Glenn Miller, the hypnotist from the Elation and he did the show instead. Glenn had people making out with Alien dolls, being Victoria's Secret models, members of the Village People, impersonating Michael Jackson and Britney Spears, and men hiding balloons under their clothing. It was hilarious. My dad liked it so much, he went to both shows. The only bad thing was the Glenn told people if they came and visited his table where he was selling his hypnosis CDs, they would get a 50 dollar bill. Too bad his CDs are $100 a piece.
Day 5 Thursday
I was up all night sick, because the ship was rocking so badly. I had to put on my motion sickness bracelets I usually only wear on the airplane. That's the first time in 4 cruises, I have gotten sick. So I was really tired when we docked in St. Maarten.
We took the St. Maarten Island Tour. It was supposed to leave at 9 am, but we had to wait 15 minutes for two people who never showed, so we left without them. To make up for the tour guide gave 15 extra minutes in Marigot to shop. We also stopped at lookout point. When we took this tour 3 years ago, it also had a stop in Phillipsburg at the beginning, not just at the end.
In the afternoon My Dad went on the Pinel Island Snorkeling Tour. Even though Brett said it was the best snorkeling in St. Maarten, he said he only saw 3 kinds of fish and it wasn't worth the money.
For dinner, I had the rigatoni, a Caesar salad, vegetarian Lasagna, and New York Cheesecake. I like all of them. The show was supposed to be a singer and a comedian, but the comedian couldn't fly in because of weather conditions. So Brett did a card trick and tried to get one of his parrots to talk, but all it said was hi. Yolanda, the singer was very good. She sang songs from Motown like Marvin Gaye, and Gladys Knight. She even got Lawrence, the singer in the two Vegas shows to sing "Ain't No Mountain High." There was a guy in the audience named Bob who kept trying to dance with Yolanda when she was singing in the aisle. He was hysterical.
Day 6 Friday
In the morning they had Trivial Pursuit Trivia, Sea Feud, the Morning Show Live, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? The Sea Feud is family feud, and it was a bit hectic, because they had 15 teams of six, and if they knew the answer, everyone from their team had to jump up and yell out their team name and answer. The Morning Show Live had Q & A with Kelly and Brett was interesting. We learned that the crew has 28-day menu, what the dancers' jobs are beside the shows, and the boat has enough fuel for 2 weeks.
In the afternoon, Brett hosted the Newlywed Game and Deal or No Deal Bingo. The Deal or No Deal Bingo was pretty fun. It ranged from a penny to $1000. The lady got $250, even though the deal she took was $50. I thought that was nice of them. She had a dollar in her case. After that Kelly, the assistant cruise director hosted "The Great Game Show," which is 3 rounds of 3 people answering questions from song clips.
It was also the second formal night. I had the Bing cherry soup, a Caesar salad, the surf and turf, and the caramelized apples on a pastry. The surf and turf is shrimp and filet mignon. I didn't care for the dessert. I wish I had gotten the Grand Marnier Soufflé instead. Our travel agent Charlie from Rainbow Travel bought us all sodas in the dining room, so that was nice of him.
The show was "Far From Over" and it was tribute to 1980's, which included Madonna, Pee-Wee Herman, and the Eurhythmics. I wish that it had some songs from INXS, Duran Duran, or the Go-Gos, but it was still good. I ordered a virgin Raspberry Daiquiri before the show started and when I went to drink it; it tasted weird like cough syrup. That was my first taste of alcohol, and since I am a Mormon, that is a bad thing. LOL. So I had to wait for the waiter to come back so I could exchange it for one with no alcohol. It was on the receipt correctly, but the A was missing in the N/A.
Day 7 Saturday
In the morning they had Entertainment Trivia, Win a Cruise Bingo, and the Debarkation Talk. In Bingo, there were two finalists, so they had to draw a ball from the machine, and who got the highest number won the cruise. Brett gave the person who got the lower number a set of free watches from the gift shop.
In the shops today they had 2 for $30 Carnival Valor t-shirts. I bought a couple and a blue lanyard to put my house keys on. While we were waiting in line, we overheard a man telling the gift shop employee he was mad they didn't have wine for sell in the gift shop. She said if he wanted to buy some, he would have to go to the dining room.
Lunch was the chocolate buffet. They had fondue, different chocolate cakes with fruit, and milkshakes. I got some chocolate cheesecake and it was good.
In the afternoon it started raining. In the Ivanhoe Lounge they had a Saturday Night Fever Dance Class and Dan host the Love, Sex, and Romance quiz.
For dinner I had the mango soup, a Caesar salad, the chicken fettuccini, and the lemon crème brulee. Our waiters Felix and Maryna signed our Valor picture for us. My dad gave Maryna some extra money, because every time we saw her outside of the dining room and in port she would come and say hello to us.
Since "Legends" show didn't start till 10:30 pm., they had a couples dance class, big band music, and coverall bingo to fill up the 8:30 show time. The couples dance class was the cha-cha and they were dancing to the song "Smooth" by Santana. During which my Dad complained to the Purser's Desk again, because the drink charge was still on his bill. They gave him a bill dispute form to fill out.
"Legends" was okay. There were a couple of good singers, but the rest not so much. The legends people had to audition for were Madonna, Britney Spears, Elton John, Elvis, Garth Brooks, Ricky Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Gloria Estefan. They had two girls from the crew dressed as Sonny & Cher and It was really funny seeing Brett, the cruise director dressed up as Dolly Parton.
Day 8 Sunday
Debarkation is the worst part of the cruise. It's bad because you have to get off the ship and go home, and it's bad because you have to start carrying luggage around again. They need 3 lines out each door rather than 1 line that wraps around the entire building. We got off the ship at 9:05 am and then didn't get through with customs till 9:45 am.
In conclusion, I liked this ship and enjoyed this cruise a lot. I thought the dining room service was great and I thought the crew was friendly. I also liked the islands we visited and the entertainment was good.