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Review: Carnival Valor sailing of September 29, 2013 (part seven)

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Carnival Valor sailing of September 29, 2013


continued from part six.

Saturday was our last port of call and was a stop in St. Maarten. Having done the circle island tour on our previous visit to St. Maarten and having pretty much shopped ourselves out at the previous stops, we did not do a whole lot here. One attraction that we did go to was That Yoda Guy. Nick Maley is an international artist that created the character Yoda for the Star Wars series. They have a small museum of mostly movie special effects and how they are done. There is a small charge for admission, but if you buy something over a certain value ($40 if I remember correctly), you can tour the museum for free. We met both Nick and his wife Gloria, both of whom very very pleasant. It is well worth the time to stop and visit.

We did walk along the main shopping street, but mostly to get to The Belgian Chocolate Box. If you are a chocolate lover (and who isn't?), you cannot miss this store. The chocolate here is every bit as good as what I used to bring home from business trips to Brussels, Belgium. If you are there early enough in the day, they will deliver your purchases to your ship for free. They have plenty of variety, and carry milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate as well.

Since it hasn't been discussed in the other parts of this review, it should be noted that the food was very good. The selections have changed over the years of cruising Carnival and are not quite what they used to be. However, it should be noted that cruise prices have remained steady, if not fallen over the last 10 years, so some cuts have to be made somewhere. The entertainment on this cruise was just okay, with the Punchliner comedy shows being by far the best. Another cost cutting measure Carnival has made is to make the final show night the guest talent show.

Arrival into San Juan was right on time and we chose to self-debark rather than put our luggage out the night before. We have had issues with missing luggage on other cruises, and this option gave us the flexibility to leave when we wanted as well as carry our luggage with us. A short cab ride to the airport led to the four hour flight back to Baltimore. As usual, the worst part of any cruise was having to come home and be ready to go back to work again.