My husband and 2 sons ages 16 and 19 enjoyed our cruise on the Carnival Valor. We flew to Miami on the day of the cruise and got to the terminal about 11:00. The line moved very quickly and after waiting in the waiting area for about 1/2 hour we were on board the ship and eating lunch by 12:30. We had inside cabins on deck 7 midship and they were great. Extremely clean and good sized. The bathroom was well lit and the shower was always hot with good pressure. Our cabin stewards kept the boy's room neat all week, no small task! This was our first family cruise and we were very impressed. The ship was beautiful and was always being cleaned by someone. The decor was very ornate, Americana on steroids, but not garish. The more you looked around the more you appreciated the thought that went into the small details. After day one we could navigate the ship without problems, there were maps everywhere. We ate breakfast in both the Washington dining room and Rosie's buffet. The buffet had a great variety with omelets or eggs made to order. The dining room breakfasts were relaxing and served open seating. We were surprised to share a table with other couples, but enjoyed their company the 2 days we ate there. We had a 2nd seating in the Lincoln dining room. Our servers, Frank and Gurian were awesome, very friendly and chatty each day. We looked forward to seeing them. The meals were outstanding. We especially enjoyed the beef entrees. I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner and Frank was accommodating about bringing my bottle to the table each evening. We loved the molten chocolate cake.
Ports: we went jetskiing and to the Stingray sandbar on Grand Cayman. I arranged most of our tours online using this board as a guide. We used Island Marketing for this tour. We had a great time although the water was a little rough and it rained a bit. The guys gave us lots of time with the stingrays and let us feed them and hold them. We then went to a beach for a quick, very quick stop. Great individualized attention. I would recommend them. One bad thing was many cab drivers were reluctant to go the the opposite side of the island and we had to wait for some other people to go along with us in a van. Roatan: We booked through Victor Bodden and had Henry as a driver for the day. He was great, we went to South Shore Canopy to zipline first and didn't have to wait. We could leave out things in the cab. The zipline was awesome, thanks to Preston and his team. Very safety conscious and helpful. We all loved it. We then went to West Bay beach for a couple of hours. What a spectacular beach, I'm glad we got to see it before it is developed. We bought vanilla at Victor's wife's store and got to play with the monkeys at his house. We met his brother who unfortunately is a Yankees fan. (We are from Boston!!) Henry was a great guide and it was wonderful to have him ready right at the port when we arrived. We were in the air conditioned van in minutes. We all agreed we loved Roatan. Belize: We took the ships snorkel and beach trip because it avoided tendering and saved a ton of time. The snorkel boat was fun with rum punch for all after snorkeling and about 1 hour on the beach, day was overcast, but fun. Went to Belize city after, but no time for any tours just some shopping in the tourist trap area. Costa Maya: We arranged for the Chachobben ruins tour with Native Choice. They meet outside the tourist area and were a little hard to find. We took a bus to the ruins with a wonderful guide, Iliu (sp). He was very informative and entertaining and even stopped to buy bugspray as some people had forgot theirs. We stopped on the ride up to the ruins and tried pineapple with chili powder, it was delicious. We had tons of time to see the ruins and somehow had missed all of the crowds from the ships. He then had the driver drop us off at the fishing village, beach area and we enjoyed El Faro and lunch and beers on the beach. We taxied back to the ship and had some fun with the folks on the Carnival Legend yelling back and forth as they left.
We don't gamble but the casino was huge and busy. The entertainment on the ship was fun, we liked the comedians and ventriloquist shows. The variety shows were pretty good. We had very active days so were tired most evenings. Great surprise on the last sea day was the chocolate buffet. The chocolate fountains were awesome. We loved walking on deck and seeing the moon over the ocean. I would recommend this trip to anyone.