Updated: Mar 3, 2020
Carnival Valor February 24-29, 2020
Day 1-We arrived late to New Orleans, to find our hotel was overbooked. Luckily, we didn't have to wait too long, about 30 minutes. Others had to wait for up to 2 hours, before there was an available room.
Next, other travelers put the fear of Mardi Gras in us, telling us to leave super early, as there were highway delays for up to 3 hours into town.
Day 2-We returned to the New Orleans Airport for a shuttle transfer with Carnival. Uber would have been less, but we needed a guaranteed ride. Buying with Carnival meant they wouldn't sail without us.
Everything went pretty smoothly, lunch at the buffet, muster drill, tropical drinks to the left at the Red Frog Pub, dinner at the Captain's table (he never showed up) and off to bed for me. The girls stayed up late going to the Comedy Show, Welcome Aboard Party & Single's Mixer.
Our Dining Table, with a Captain who never showed up, but right behind the Maitre d' stand, so we got to know everyone there.
Maria & Val at the Muster Drill
Day 3-Sea Day-Fat Tuesday. We started our morning at the Sea Day Brunch with me having filet mignon and fried eggs (filet is always offered free on Sea Days). Maria, had more of a challenge eating, because she's a vegan.
The cruise ship though was very accommodating, allowing her to preview the menus and select her next meal ahead of time.
There were Mardi Gras masks to make, jewelry seminars to attend, gambling in the casino (I am a big loser) and lots & lots of trivia contests. One of our new friends won the mixology contest, Rob from Milwaukee.
I was excited to learn there were going to be violinists on board, but this is a Carnival and the violin music was all pop, not classical-oh well. Another cruise.
Tea Time was fun and fattening. They offered this every day, but they didn't advertise it, other than being in the program. I'm sure they didn't want 2900 people showing up.
We hit the Punchline Comedy Club every night for the shows. Nancy even knew one of the comedians, Mark Sweeney-great fun. The other comedian was John Mulrooney.
We participated in the Seuss-a-Palooza Parade and then story time-kids at heart.
Tonight was formal night and Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras beads for everyone and the liquor was flowing.
I never made it to one of the Singles Mixers, but others in our group did. Lots of fun.
Day 4-Cozumel-Maria & I got off the ship, but stayed in the port. Deb went to an all-inclusive beach property and Nancy went swimming with the Dolphins.
It was cool on shore, but Hot on the ship. We discovered Deck 12 & 14 the Serenity Deck for adults only, with 2 whirlpools, cabanas & great padded deck chairs and it was quiet.
There were probably 500 well-behaved small children on board, but kids make a lot of noise, especially in the pool area.
We finally were able to get a burger at Guy Ferrari's. The lines had been incredibly long with a 20-30 minute wait. So the day in port is the day not to stand in line.
I personally did not see a lot of production shows, but the others did.
From left, Nancy, Maria, Val & Deb.
Our dining room table was lots of fun. We had a family of 5 and another couple from New Orleans. The couple (the wife), counsels women on sexual education (that's exactly how she put it-she sold sex toys in case you haven't figured it out). She had a very happy husband.
Then there were 4 of us. Our 5th-Mike M got sick and bailed out at the last minute for the cruise.
Day 5-Progresso, Mexico. I started my day with a 5-hour Holy Guacamole Cooking Class. We learned how to make Pico de Gaio, Guacamole & Margaritas. My new friends from Los Angeles got me drunk on double shots of tequila in my margaritas. Brunch & beach was also provided in this private home.
Nancy & Maria spent time in the port & Deb went to the pyramids at Chichen Itza.
We finally made it to the piano bar-great fun with Misso. More comedy that night.
Day 6-Another Sea Day. With a Chocolate Extravaganza. Last minute shopping and it's too cold to go sunning.
We attended more comedy shows, trivia, packed & ate. A couple of us splurged on the Red Carpet Special (hair wash & blow dry with Keratin), because it was on sale.
Dinner was fun as always.
Day 7-Disembarking was the only minus on this cruise. Our deck was called at 8:00am. It then took until 10:00am for us to get off the ship and through Customs. And at the rate we were going, the ship wouldn't be cleared of passengers until noon!
It took us an hour for us to get our Lyft ride. That shouldn't have happened either.
All in All: Would I do this trip again? Yes, definitely! The people from New Orleans and the surrounding areas are warm & friendly. The ship was well kept up. Kevin, our Cruise Director had the loudest voice, but he kept us informed and he really got everyone singing and dancing. The food was excellent. The staff was very accommodating.
The internet was useless for blogging, but for the price-$85 for 6 days, it was fine.
It was a fun cruise-just what I needed.
I hope I have inspired you to travel!