Lisa and I recently spent a week on the M/S Carnival Valor.Â We visited Key West, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Key West was a lot of fun.Â We did a little wandering around and shopping, then took a ride all the way around Key West — 27 miles — on a jet ski!Â I believe it was the first time I have ever hit 50 MPH on the water.Â What a rush.Â We did a good part of the trip at full throttle, with a nice little stop for some “play time” in a place where there are a few miles of water that probably averaged less than 6 feet deep.Â I actually stepped on a few sponges while walking on the ocean floor on the Gulf side.
Grand Cayman…Â well, the beach was really nice.Â We did some bumming around, sunning and swimming at Seven Mile Beach.Â The rest of the place, though, is the most shamelessly overpriced tourist trap we’ve seen so far.Â And avoid Margaritaville completely…Â trust me.
Ocho Rios was its usual charming little place…Â OK, it’s a little dumpy, but friendly and cheerful.Â We got offered weed I don’t know how many times.Â We did some shopping (not for weed) and stocked up on rum cream and cigars from my favorite little Communist paradise.
The real star of this cruise had to be our cabin, though.Â We lucked into a cabin on the aft corner of the starboard side, with an enormous (by cruise ship standards) balcony that wrapped around the rear and side of the ship.Â No searching for deck chairs or fighting 30 MPH winds on the upper decks; we got sun most of the day right outside the cabin.Â You should see our tans.Â 😉
As usual the food, service and facilities were great.Â I have noticed that the buffet food on the Lido deck is not quite as good as it was a few years ago, and there don’t seem to be as many wandering waiters delivering drinks as quickly.Â And we did kind of miss the steel drum band.Â But — it’s not enough to complain about, really.Â It’s like saying it’s gone from a 10 to a 9.5.Â We’ll do it again.