This was my second Carnival cruise and my girlfriends first. We are both young, 26 and 21, and decided on this trip due to its itinerary. We flew to Miami one day before the cruise and stayed at a very nice bed and breakfast in South Beach. I highly recommend going a day before so your not rushed on the way to the port. We missed out first flight out of LAX and were so pleased that we decided to go a day early it wasn't a big deal. Miami is a great town. Expensive but very fun.
Embarkment. We got to the port at around 2PM and it was quite a crowd of people already. We waited in line which moved quickly and were on the lido deck by 330 eating lunch. We actually got our bags around 6ish which was great cause we had late dinner at 8. Some people didn't get their bags till later and were pretty upset.
Ports. First stop was Cayman islands. It was beautiful. Weather was great and we were up by 7ish to grab the first tender out by 745. We booked with Moby Dicks barrier reef tour and stop to stingray city. Make sure to take your own snorkel gear unless you wanna be the 101st person to chew on a mouthpiece Vert nice tour guides and well worth the money. Make sure to get out quick cause once the squids run out, the stingrays wonder elsewhere. The guides were knowledgeable and enjoy what they do. Next was Roatan Honduras. Gorgeous greenery and amazing views. We booked with Victor Bodden tours and Ben was our guide. Took us everywhere we wanted. Ziplining was first ones there and waited no longer that 2 min. Went shopping, visited victors house and for 2 bucks got to see some baby spidermonkeys and interesting animals. Ate lobster at a local restaurant along with the local beer. Overall great day. Belize was alot of fun. Booked at cavetubing.com and they treated us very well....back up here make sure to wake up early and be ready by 745 or else you will be waiting a little bit for your tender boats. So cavetubing guys work very hard and like to have a great time. Make sure to bring your DEETS or else the mosquitos will love you. For 5 bucks we ate at a local place that had great rice and beans and chicken. I'm Latin and love the authenticity of a local Belize meal. Finally the last stop was Costa Maya. didn't have anything planned and really you don't need to. The port is very commercialized and reminded me of a MTV spring break gone wild with teeny boppers and ma and pop all partying together. We ventured into the city of majahual for 3 bucks and enjoyed having a great lunch at the Cats meow. Coconut shrimp was amazing. BEST drinks during our entire cruise here. Margaritas were made with the definition of wam bam thank you maam in mind. Rented a seadoo at the last min and cruised the ocean for 30. Shopping is my girls deal but we did outstanding here. Matter of fact with the exception of Cayman islands every port was very cheap and if you speak spanish you can bargain even better that your fellow cruisers.
Disembarkment. Our plane flight was at 420pm so since the ship arrives at 8AM we decided to book a tour with Carnival( the only one we did with them) This way you just leave your luggage outside the night before and they take it down for. Plus you get first preference to disembark after the poor schmos lugging their luggage get off but crack early and before the color calling assisted disembarkment begins. We took the art deco tour which toured South Beach. Got to walk and eat at a authentic Cuban place and they dropped us off at the airport. The worst part about the trip was it began to rain at the airport and our flight got delayed by 2 hours.
In Conclusion we had an outstanding time. The Valor is a great ship, and the service was awesome. There were always people cleaning up and working hard to get you another drink or whatever you need. We had a balcony on the 8th level and was always clean. I like the decoration and colors. The shows were amazing and the comedian was our favorite night. Club wasn't always poppin but the piano bar was. Casino wins everytime but fun nonetheless. 2Cent slots are the way to go. Hope this review helps out with your future cruising. I know all the other ones helped me out.