Arrived in Miami a day early, we drove down from Atlanta, and stopped and spent time in Orlando. We stayed in the La Quinta close too the airport, free parking, car was ok when we picked it up there. About $30 for shuttle to port, but we saved money on the parking. We got to the port about 11:30 and on the ship 30 minutes later, eating on the Lido deck. Ship was clean and ready for our cruise, we got into our room about 2:30. Luggage started arriving after that, we had all our luggage by 6pm. We ate at the Lido deck and they have a good deli bar and we lived on the sandwiches from the deli. Hamburger and fries are great, the pizza was not as good as other cruises. The show the first night we had seen on another carnival cruise we took a few months back, singing and dancing show. The other carnival ship was better, talent was not that good on Valor, we went back another night and left the show early.
Nassau Bahamas- first stop, we went on the snorkeling excursion, water rough that day, we were in the water for 15 minutes and back out, had to keep swimming to stay close to our boat, the current was pulling us away from the boat. If you were a good swimmer it was ok, but half the people never stayed in the water, we were gone about 3 hours from the time we left the ship. St Thomas- We took the Sunny Liston tour booked it before we left, through Sunny Liston tours, he was very funny and for the money cannot complain, shopped for 2 hours and he takes you to the top of the mountain, the view was great from the mountain top, and then to the beach for 2 more hours, or you can go back to the ship ,he came and picked the ones up that stayed at the beach, there is no food there but plenty to drink, some people order pizza and had it delivered, I will take this tour again the next trip there and order pizza the next time.
St Maarten- No excursion scheduled we love St Maarten to do our shopping. Several people there offering tours to Orient beach a tour of the Island, six to a taxi for the tour, they first wanted $85 dollars a person and then he dropped it to $45 dollars, we told him no because we wanted to shop and he then said he would give us the tour for $20 dollars a person, we still decided to just shop, but next time I will take it for $20 dollars a person.
Check prices in the States on watches and cameras, and some other things, most of the time they are the same price, but I told them the price I could get it at in the U.S. and they gave me a deal then.
We had three at sea days on the Valor. The music they played was mostly classical seemed more like we were at a funeral than on a cruise. Need some Jimmy Buffet music, country music, and some Rock music. I am 63 and the music made me feel a lot older, I love loud music and love to rock a little. Food was so-so I have had better food on other cruises, but still I found plenty to eat. Deli sandwiches are great ate a lot of them, Ice cream was real good. We went to the main dining room just one night, food was good there, but it takes longer to eat there, plus I still went after that and got me a Deli sandwich. Entertainment was bad each night, comedians were real bad, the dancing and singing shows we left after about thirty minutes each night after the show started. The cruise director never did see him on deck or out here mixing it in with the cruise people like other cruise directors. Maybe I was expecting more since this was one of Carnival's best ships. We had a better time on the Fascination cruise than the Carnival Valor.
The food on the Lido deck needs improving. No separate salad bar, so lots of stuff missing. My wife loves cottage cheese and they never had it.