Background: Two single females myself 29, and my 3rd cruise. My roommate is 41 and this was her first cruise, both of us are from Chicago.
We stayed a the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami which I got from Hotwire for only $100. Awesome hotel, first class service, very close to the port. Only cost about $30 from the airport to the hotel. Only took about 5 minutes plus traffic to get to the port.
We were on the lido deck room 9280. This was my first balcony room and I couldn't have asked for anything better. I don't think I could cruise now without it. The room was an 8D and took this room on advice from out PVP. It was so close to the pools, buffet, and only an elevator ride from everything on deck 5. We had some neighbors that were pretty loud a couple nights but it wasn't to bad. Other than them banging on the doors at 4 in the morning, we couldn't really hear anything. Perfect location, and I def will be on the lido deck again.
What can I say about the staff, wow. Our waiters in the Lincoln Dining room at 8:30 were ioana and bagus. They were great, and I wanted to take them home. Best servers that I've ever had. Our steward and assistant steward did a wonderful job as well. Everyone around the ship was so nice.
We went to Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. In Nassau we just walked around, shopped, and found some great deals. In St. Thomas we took a cab to Meggans Bay (we shared with another couple and it was $8 pp each way). Had a wonderful time and it was so beautiful. We arranged for the cabbie to come pick us up in a couple hours, and he was right on time. Lee you are awesome. He then dropped us off at the pier and we shopped for an hour our so before going aboard. In St. Maarten we took the carnival tour to Divi Little Bay Resort Beach Break. Loved it, so beautiful. The peddlers on the beach were a little annoying, but the water was so beautiful. They did provide 2 free drinks and a buffet.
We went to one of the comedy shows and it was pretty good. Also went to one of the Vegas style shows. Let me tell you I was not impressed. The girl singer was so bad I walked out. Every time she started singing I wanted to scream at her. Terrible. The male singer was good and the dancers were ok. Did the Art Auction, some raffles, laid around the pool, people watched, etc.
The food was ok on the lido deck. Nothing that impressed me in the buffet. I loved the pizza, burgers, and chinese. The dining room food in my opinion was top notch. You have to try the warm melting cake, oh my it was good. Room service was pretty good as well.
Since this was my 2nd trip on the Valor I kinda new what to expect. Not much has changed from last year to this year. I definitely loved my cabin location, no doubt about that. The staff was still great, and the ship just in as good as condition as before. I had so much fun, and I can't wait to cruise again next year.