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First time on a cruise ship - updated with review

Posted on 2/21/24 at 2:52 pm
Posted by Dav
Member since Feb 2010
8070 posts
Posted on 2/21/24 at 2:52 pm
My brother is getting married in April and decided on a 5 day cruise for his bachelor party in early March Will be on the Carnival Valor to Cozumel and Progresso. I'm 34 years old and never been on a cruise. Honestly, this wouldn't have been my first (or tenth) choice for a bachelor party as I've always considered these ships to be floating Wal-Mart's. Any recs to make this trip less trashy? Is the food decent at least? I'm also not springing for a drink package. Figure I will do most of my drinking at port with a couple here and there on the actual boat. Bad idea?
This post was edited on 3/11/24 at 12:09 pm
Posted by m57
Flyover Country
Member since May 2017
2063 posts
Posted on 2/21/24 at 2:53 pm to
The only way to make it feel slightly less trashy is to go on a different cruise line.
Posted by TheGeauxt9
Member since May 2021
45 posts
Posted on 2/21/24 at 2:57 pm to
I went with some family back in July for the first time and you are right, for the lesser day trips you'll be on a floating Wal-Mart, but any days longer will out price these types of people. I had a good time as there was plenty to see, eat, and do on the days at Sea and even more as you dock at your locations. Make sure you have some excursions planned to make the trip there more memorable. In the end, it really is what you make of it. Have a good time with your brother and family baw
Posted by Shotgun Willie
Member since Apr 2016
3762 posts
Posted on 2/21/24 at 2:59 pm to
You are on carnival…it’s gonna be trashy. Hope you have the drink package
Posted by geauxpurple
New Orleans
Member since Jul 2014
12220 posts
Posted on 2/21/24 at 3:24 pm to
Your best bet is to treat it like a wild bachelor party and you will fit right in. I would get the drink package because you won’t spend enough time in port, especially at night.
Posted by Epic Cajun
Lafayette, LA
Member since Feb 2013
32280 posts
Posted on 2/21/24 at 4:07 pm to

I'm also not springing for a drink package.

This is a mistake if you want to have a good time.

I can't imagine going on a bachelor party on a shitty Carnival cruise and not getting the drink package

We were gifted a cruise trip back in September. You're going to probably have at least 2 full days at sea, you're going to want the drink package for those days. Also, you're back on the boat for like 6 or 7pm or something like that on port days, so you're probably also going to want to drink at night.

The food was "okay". It definitely wasn't great, but it was edible.

This post was edited on 2/21/24 at 4:11 pm
Posted by bluestem75
Dallas, TX
Member since Oct 2007
3214 posts
Posted on 2/21/24 at 4:12 pm to
You’ll be on one of the older Carnival ships on a short cruise. I wouldn’t make your judgment on cruising based off this one. I cruise with Carnival regularly but rarely go less than 7 nights and on the newer ships.

The Valor will look like an American themed Vegas or Disney resort threw up on the inside. Newer ships are much more modern and classy. Again, don’t make an opinion about cruising based off this ship or itinerary.

The food is really good in the main dining room. Sea day brunch there is fantastic. Guy’s burgers, Blue Iguana, the pizza, and the Seafood Shack are delicious. If the sushi is the same on this ship, it’s tasty, too.

No other cruise line does comedy or deck parties better than Carnival. Definitely check those out.

There are several day club beach resorts in Cozumel like Nachi Cocom, Mr. Sancho’s, Buccanos, and Playa Palancar. Check those out. Taxis to & from the port will be easy to get and cheap.

Good choice on not getting the drink package. I don’t recommend them on Carnival. Check out the Alchemy Bar. You can bring on 1 12 pk of canned soda per person. That’s a great way to save $ on soda. I also bring a large refillable Yeti bottle and refill at the water stations instead of buying bottled water.

Carnival attracts party people; they’re there to have fun, so have fun with them. Don't let other people dictate how good your experience is. Focus on your own experience and it’ll be fine.
Posted by Shotgun Willie
Member since Apr 2016
3762 posts
Posted on 2/21/24 at 7:46 pm to
Nachi Cocum is good
Posted by Rasstuss
Member since Jun 2019
32 posts
Posted on 2/21/24 at 8:15 pm to
Was just on the Valor last week so will try to give a few tips.

I thought the food in the main dining was kinda hit and miss. Don’t be afraid to order 2 entrees because one might not be that great. Same with the sea day brunch but it is worth going to because not a lot going on on sea days. Guy’s burgers and the Mongolian Wok are both good, the Blue Iguana is ok, probably best at breakfast. There is also a BBQ place upstairs at the buffet that is a little hidden that is ok. Save the pizza place and deli for late night snacking because that is all that is available.

We spent a couple of nights hanging out at the red frog pub, really enjoyed the rock band in there. We ended up chatting with them a little bit between sets one night and I think your cruise will be the last they are on before their contract is up. As mentioned one thing Carnival does well is the comedy shows, check them out. There will be 2 comedians doing 2 nights each and then one night they will do a big show back to back in the main theater.

We didn’t do the drink package because it was more of a family thing. Had a few here and there and loaded up at an all inclusive in Costa Maya (see you are going to Progresso instead). For a bachelor party I would probably get it, if you get 5 or more drinks in a day it pays for itself. Just keep in mind if you get it you pay the gratuities upfront on the 15 drinks a day whether you use them or not.
Posted by kciDAtaE
Member since Apr 2017
15642 posts
Posted on 2/21/24 at 9:42 pm to
If you can’t have fun at your brother's bachelor party cruise, you should just give up and buy a bunch of cats.
Posted by Napoleon
Member since Dec 2007
69018 posts
Posted on 2/21/24 at 10:08 pm to
If you can't drink Pepsi bring some cokes. Carnival is a Pepsi ship.
Other than that it's fun I think. Spring for a balcony on the Lido or Spa deck and you'll be away from most trash.
Havana deck if option is nice as well.
Posted by Napoleon
Member since Dec 2007
69018 posts
Posted on 2/21/24 at 10:11 pm to
Also y'all should have booked norwegian. Comes with drink package and is an older crowd.
But I've enjoyed every cruise I've been on.
Royal Caribbean is best for most to do but also more expensive.
I've never done Holland or celebrity they are for old people.
Going to do a Virgin eventually
Posted by Tigertown in ATL
Georgia foothills
Member since Sep 2009
29108 posts
Posted on 2/22/24 at 6:01 am to

I've never done Holland or celebrity they are for old people

I disagree. I’ve done several Celebrity cruises and most people are my age.

Oh wait. I’m old.
Posted by tadman
Member since Jun 2020
3736 posts
Posted on 2/22/24 at 7:51 am to
Here are a few tips:

Buy one of these hats and wear it all week

Make sure you play this song on repeat all week

Ask to steer the boat

Also stand on the tip of the bow and shout "im the king of the world"

Sorry to get a little OT on you but I had to make the jokes. All kidding aside, bring a paperback novel (real book so batteries dont die) and enjoy some time reading a book in the sun. Have plenty of cocktails but stay hydrated. Its the best way to enjoy the ride.
Posted by LSUfan4444
Member since Mar 2004
53702 posts
Posted on 2/22/24 at 8:35 am to

I've always considered these ships to be floating Wal-Mart's. Any recs to make this trip less trashy?

Do your brother and everyone else a favor and just stay home.
Posted by tigerterrace
Mobile, Alabama
Member since Sep 2016
3391 posts
Posted on 2/22/24 at 10:05 am to

Nachi Cocum is good

Is that the name of a whore in Cozumel?
Posted by guzziguy
Lake Forest
Member since Jun 2022
158 posts
Posted on 2/22/24 at 11:36 am to
I can only suggest the late dinner time.
Too many unruly and loud kids at the earlier dinners.
Posted by TeddyPadillac
Member since Dec 2010
25268 posts
Posted on 2/22/24 at 12:57 pm to
You can have a good time on a batchelor party on a cruise. WOn't see any tits most likely though, unless y'all are bringing your own strippers.
I just got back from my first cruise last week. Have Covid/flu now.

If all you drink is beer, then yes get the drink package. THe beers are almost $10 a pop after the mandatory tip.
If you are a liquor drinker, then i'd suggest you sneak on your own liquor.
This is 3 fifths of liquor worth of storage

the liquor drinks were $14, and all they put in it is 1 tiny shot of liquor, measured every time. If i went on a cruise again, especially without kids, then i'd sneak liquor onto the boat and bring a yeti cup to drink out of all day.

The two days you'll spend on the boat are going to get a bit boring, and you're going to want to drink.

As for Cozumel, rent a moped and ride around the island if you want to get away from the crowds near the port.
On the SE side of the island there's a little restaraunt, El Mirador. Best ceviche i've ever had, and the street tacos were fricking awesome. THe east side of the island is beautiful.
Posted by VABuckeye
Naples, FL
Member since Dec 2007
35457 posts
Posted on 2/22/24 at 1:58 pm to
The elevators suck because of the amount of people and there's a lot of rudeness involved. Just walk up and down the stairs and walk off some of all that food.

If I were going to Cozumel I'd rent a jeep and head straight to Rasta's (aka Freedom in Paradise Bar) at the southeast tip of the island. The food is great and the drinks are so much cheaper than at the tourist traps and you have a beautiful beach to hang out on. Don't do the stupid Carlos & Charlie's or Senior Frog's crap.
This post was edited on 2/22/24 at 2:01 pm
Posted by El Segundo Guy
Member since Aug 2014
9528 posts
Posted on 2/22/24 at 2:32 pm to
It will be trashy. More than likely, you'll see a fistfight or two and a whole bunch of drunk try hards.

But you will still have fun if you go into knowing what it is.
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