Just got home from our Eastern Caribbean cruise with Carnival Cruises a couple of days ago. Oh man, what a blast! I think that is the most fun week we’ve ever had! Carnival always knows how to throw a fantastic party and they are our FAVORITE cruise line to travel with.
This was one of our formal nights in their amazing Ivanhoe theater. It’s not often that we get dressed up for a night on the town. The entertainment with Carnival Cruises is always top-notch.
Speaking of entertainment, my husband decided to try his hand at karaoke with a friend. I’m more the singer of our family, but I was too chicken. But he was pretty great and really had a ball.
As always, the food was awesome, plentiful, and presented in the most beautiful ways. That’s always one of the things I LOVE about a cruise. I’m not a huge foodie, but it’s always nice to have a chance to try new foods, and I always love to eat in the dining room at a large table, so we can meet some new friends.
We had a bit of a funny story. At our first dinner, one of the couples was fussing and fighting the whole time. We thought about sticking with that group just for politeness’s sake, but you know what, when I’m on vacation, I get to do what I want, and I didn’t want to listen to grouchy people arguing with each other. So we just asked the maître d’ to switch us to a completely different dining room. We were so glad we did because we met up with a fun couple that we really clicked with!
The Ports with Carnival Cruises
I always like to choose itineraries with a lot of different ports so we can see as much different territory as we can. We started in Miami. This was our first visit to Miami, so we came in a day early to get in there and explore a little bit.
Then, we docked in Puerto Rico. We only had a short time in port, so we opted for a rain forest tour since neither of us had seen a rain forest. It was very cool, but kind of different than we’d expected. I thought it would be teeming with birds and animals, but really it was just like a huge, pretty garden of Eden. The only signs of life we saw the whole time were a couple of hummingbirds, so everybody was taking a zillion pictures of them!
True cruising style – hey, that sun is FIERCE down there! Hats, sunscreen, and light shirts are a must, especially for fair-skinned folks like us. Check out my post on cruising for chubby people, where I share some tips on how to cruise when you’re not quite the ideal, fit body type to do some of the more physical aspects of cruise excursions.
After Puerto Rico, we were off to St. Maarten. We had a cancelled excursion there because of seriously windy weather, so instead we did some snorkeling in the beautiful clear water and explored the town. St. Maarten is one of my favorite islands because it’s fun, laid-back, and simply gorgeous! It’s half Dutch and half French, but we’ve only seen the Dutch side.
Our last port was St. Thomas. They have a gorgeous little aquarium there and we not only visited the aquarium, I also took an opportunity to do something called a Helmet Dive in with the stingrays, the small sharks, and all the gorgeous fish! I didn’t bring my camera that day, so here are some pictures of me in Cozumel doing the same thing.
It is a wonderful option for someone like me who doesn’t swim well and is a little afraid of water. This is always one of my favorite Carnival Cruises excursions.
The Ship – Carnival Cruises Valor
Here’s our Carnival ship the Valor docked in Puerto Rico. Looks great on the outside, but I thought the decor was pretty ucky. Lots of purple neon and clashing color combos. American heroes everywhere, so we had a picture of astronaut John Glenn in our bathroom. Check out the John Travolta-style disco Eagle below.
I even did up my nails all fun for the cruise, but you know what, I discovered something. Salt water can alter nail polish. After one of our snorkeling dives, I noticed that all the white on my nails had turned to more of a vanilla color. It still looked pretty, but it was surprising that even an hour or so in the water could cause such a chemical reaction. Although I have to say, that Caribbean sea water is NASTY! It’s much stronger and more bitter tasting than Pacific ocean water.
Here are some other posts you may enjoy:
25 Fabulous Tips on Packing for a CRUISE
Enjoy a Cruise Without Going Broke or Getting FAT
How to Prevent Seasickness on a Cruise