feb 2 flew to Miami the day of the cruise. We put six people in a cab with a flat rate of $24 to Port of Miami. When we got in view of the port we offered the driver $10 to stop at a store for wine. (can board with two bottles per cabin) We keep our luggage thru the boarding process so that we can unpack quicker than to have to wait for someone to deliver bags at a later time.
We cruised on the Legend last year and were not happy.This Valor is much better. The lounging around the pool is much larger area, better entertainment (4 comedians), dance reviews more professional, bigger and busier casino, cruise director Felipe keeps things hopping, wait staff in the dining room professional and friendly, food better but not great (step above Denny's), breakfast buffet nice, lunch had a nice deli and Mongolian station very good. Hamburgers and fries are always available as is ice cream.
Grand Turk: at the dock the cruise lines have a large area for shopping,lounging,swimming pools & beach, eating & drinking. Should of stayed here instead of 20 min. walk to Governors Beach where chairs were $10, beer $6, hot dogs $3 but more private.
St. Martin we rented a car and went to a beautiful beach. Another good option would be to take the ferry to town for about $10 each way or do the 25 min. walk. There you will have a decent beach with a boardwalk ( food and drink) and a large shopping area behind that.(10 jewelry shops per block)
St. Kitts the six of us got a taxi at $3ea. each way (same driver came back to get us). None of the beaches are great. We went to Shipwreck beach and bar. Neat place, $10 for two chairs and shade, $3 beers. The island is beautiful, people friendly, would like to go back and stay a week at the Marriott or one of the new condos. Read negative things about the island but did not find them to be true.
St. Thomas got a taxi for $10 ea. each way (same driver came back to get us) and went to Sapphire beach.The beach was beautiful and not overly crowded with$3 beers and reasonably priced food.
Did not do any excursions on this cruise, find most to be over hyped and over priced from the ship ( Get off the ship and arrange your own excursion.
We used Self Assist to disembark the ship (carried our luggage off). We were off the ship by 7:45 and at the airport in Puerto Rico by 8:15
The cruise more than met expectations, Carnival is a relatively inexpensive vacation and you get what you pay for. People look at a glass of water differently, some half full and some half empty!