Carnival Valor Western Caribbean Cruise, Fun Day at Sea

Carnival Valor Western Caribbean Cruise, Fun Day at Sea

Our First “Fun Day at Sea” Onboard The Carnival Valor

Day 3 aboard the Carnival Valor was called a “Fun Day at Sea”. And, it truly was.

Because the last two days were so busy, this was the first day that we were able to really relax and settle into our vacation. We slept in that morning and took our time getting started. We weren’t on any schedule and we did exactly what we wanted, when we wanted to do it. 

We woke up to very overcast skies that morning and the clouds looked ominous. We sat out on our balcony for a while and drank hot tea, watching the ship cut through the rough seas as we slowly made our way from Key West to Grand Cayman. 

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View of the storm from our balcony on the Verandah deck.

 

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View of the storm from our balcony on the Verandah deck.

After finally leaving our cabin, we made our way to breakfast. As much as we were enjoying our experience with Carnival, the one thing we both agreed could be better were the lines at the buffet. The lines were often long and moved slowly. But, we were on vacation and had nowhere we needed to be so we got in line and waited our turn at breakfast.

The buffets Carnival offer are extensive and breakfast was no different. They had omelets and fried eggs, French toast, waffles, and pancakes. They had corned beef hash, ham, bacon, and sausage, biscuits & gravy, hash browns, and fried potatoes. Grits, oatmeal, individual boxes of cold cereal, and they even had cheese, deli meat, yogurt, pastries, and fruit for those who wanted something a little lighter. Chances are if you had a craving for it, they had it!

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Carnival Breakfast Buffet

 

Soaking It All In

After breakfast, we decided to head up to the Serenity deck and check out the hot tubs. The Serenity deck is an adult only area that is located at the bow of the ship and, along with two Jacuzzis, features large hammocks and cushioned loungers.

Serenity deck

Picture from mediagallery.usatoday.com

And the view from the hot tubs is spectacular. Unfortunately, we were so caught up in the experience that we didn’t think to take any pictures. But you can be sure when we’re on the Valor again in September, I’ll get plenty to share with you all.

But the weather that day, even with the occasional rain shower, was warm and perfect for relaxing in the tubs and getting to know some of our fellow passengers. We met some very fun and interesting people and the conversation flowed as easily as the Pina Coladas. Before we knew it, we had lounged most of the day away there and, believe me, that wasn’t a bad thing!

Miniature Golf on the Sun Deck of the Carnival Valor

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David kicking my butt at miniature golf on the Sun Deck of the Carnival Valor.

As much as we were enjoying our soak, we decided to say goodbye to our fellow Jacuzzi mates and get in a game of miniature golf before getting ready for dinner.

By the time we got changed and got up to the Sun deck (deck 12), it had clouded over again, and the wind had picked up. We played maybe four holes before it started pouring. We ran down the steps from the miniature golf course to the basketball courts and got trapped there under a small overhang before we could make it down all of the steps to shelter. We stood there laughing for about 5 minutes before we decided the rain wasn’t slowing, and we were just going to have to make a run for it.

When we finally made it back to our cabin, we were soaking wet and freezing in the air conditioning. After losing a “rock, paper, scissors” duel to see who would get the shower first, I took advantage of David’s trusting nature and pretended to need the potty and jumped ahead of him. Yes, it was mean, but it takes me longer to get ready so it was a necessary evil. Plus, I’m a really bad loser!

Scarlett’s Supper Club

I’d read so many great things about Scarlett’s Steakhouse prior to our cruise that we decided to make reservations for our second night onboard. Scarlett’s is a specialty restaurant onboard named for the main character, Scarlett O’Hara, in the novel Gone with the Wind. There is an additional charge of $30 per person to eat at Scarlett’s but the food and atmosphere were so wonderful, frankly, we didn’t give a damn.

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Scarlett’s Supper Club. Picture from Beyondships.com

Writing this blog post I’m realizing I did a really horrible job of documenting this day. I didn’t get any pictures of Scarlett’s either, so I’m borrowing from beyondships.com. Luckily, though, the table to the left in the photo above shows the exact table where we were seated.

Scarlett’s has a wonderful menu, offering a large selection of delicacies. We finally agreed to each get something different and share so we could try several items.

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We started off with Escargot Bourguignonne and Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, followed with the Classic Ceasar for David and the Baby Leaf Spinach and Fresh Mushroom salad for me. The Ceasar was very good, but we agreed the Baby Leaf Spinach with Fresh Mushrooms topped with bleu cheese dressing and warm bacon bits was outstanding. As was the Escargot Bourguignonne.

I will admit this was my first experience with escargot, and I was a bit nervous. David is far more adventurous than I when it comes to seafood and, having had it before, he encouraged me to give it a go. I’m so glad I did! It was wonderful! The texture was a bit chewy and a little gelatinous, much like lightly steamed oysters (which I love), but they didn’t’ taste like oysters. In fact, they didn’t taste like anything I’d ever eaten before. But how can you go wrong with anything swimming in garlic butter?

Our entrees didn’t disappoint either. David ordered the Grilled Lamb Chops with the Yukon Gold Mash with Wasabe Horseradish and the Sauteed Medley of Fresh Mushroom. I had the 9 oz Filet, Baked Potato with Trimmings, and Creamed Spinach with Garlic. Each bite was better than the last! David’s mashed potatoes with the wasabe horseradish was incredible. Wasabe, for me, can be a bit overpowering, but it was done right with just the perfect hint of it in these potatoes.

My steak melted in my mouth and reminded me of the filets I would get at The Vallata when we lived in Alaska. It was flavorful and very tender and chewing was almost unnecessary, as the meat seemed to dissolve in my mouth. It was the perfect dining experience.

After dinner, we sat there for a little while sipping our wine and enjoying the atmosphere. It isn’t often anymore that you can go to a restaurant and enjoy a quiet and relaxing environment. Even in upscale restaurants, people seem to talk too loudly and bring their boisterous children. No one seems to use their “indoor voice” anymore.

But not in Scarlett’s. If the other patrons had children, they left them in Camp Carnival and kept Scarlett’s as a special experience just for the adults. And, as much as we enjoy children, we were thankful to those who did so.

Although neither of us had room left for dessert, we agreed we couldn’t leave Scarlett’s without it. We ordered the Chocolate Sampler and the cheesecake to enjoy later in our room.

On Cloud 9

Heading back to our cabin to put away our dessert, we discussed what show we wanted to see that evening. Each evening our room steward would leave us a Fun Times newsletter that listed the next days activities onboard. It wasn’t until we were back in our cabin and I was reviewing it, that I saw David had penciled in that I had a late reservation at the Carnival Spa for a facial and massage!

I tried talking him into changing the reservation to a couples massage, but he said he didn’t want to and for me to go and enjoy the pampering. So, I did what any smart girl would do and quickly showered, put on my Carnival robe, and headed up to the spa.

There, I was treated to Elemis Absolute Spa Ritual. On the Carnival website it’s described as a “wonderfully relaxing ritual that will delight you from the soles of your feet to the tingling top of your scalp! Combining the Elemis Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Facial for skin vitality with our sublime Elemis Deep Tissue Muscle Massage, this ritual will refresh your spirit and strengthen your vital energies”. 

It was, and it did. 

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Our nightly Fun Times and towel creature.

Needless to say, I didn’t feel up to going back out to see a show after that incredibly relaxing experience and, thankfully, David was feeling the same way. When I returned to our cabin he was ready for bed and relaxing in front of the television. We ended our night sitting on our balcony enjoying our decadent sweets from Scarlett’s.

 

Read the rest of The Carnival Valor Western Caribbean series.

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Comments

4 Responses to “Carnival Valor Western Caribbean Cruise, Fun Day at Sea”

  1. Sandy
    April 9, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I really dnjoyed this Post , i am really hoping to go on my 1st cruise in September to the Norwiegen fjordes . Now i am determined to save enogh money , will have to bake a lot of cupcakes lol:) . And looking at all that food im drooling !!

    • Melissa
      April 9, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      It was a great experience, and its been so fun blogging about it and posting all the pics here. I really hope you get to go on yours, the Norwiegen fjordes would be an incredible cruise!

      We’re going to Puerto Rico for 3 days in Sept then taking a 7 day cruise from there to St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St Kitt, and St. Maartin. We booked it about 9 months in advance, and I’m pretty sure the wait is going to kill me! lol

  2. Nikki Dawson
    April 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I really should not have read that menu… now I’m wanting surf and turf.. pronto LOL

    • Melissa
      April 10, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      That’s what we’re having Saturday. I’m going to make shrimp scampi and David’s gonna throw a couple steaks on the grill.

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