My wife and I just returned from a July cruise on the Valor.
Getting to the port was no problem since we live in Miami and it took us 20 minutes to get to the port. Getting on board took about an hour since the ship is huge. This was no problem.
Once on board we headed to our cabin(8241).
HINT: Decks 3 and 5 are the main decks that run from one end of the ship to the other. The first thing you should get is a map of the ship (available on deck 3). Keep it with you and you won't get lost.
After we checked out our cabin we headed to Lido deck for lunch.
HINT: If you like NY deli, the deli on board ship is pretty good. The fish and chips at Rosie's is good too. The onion rings are to die for. Outstanding. Next to ice cream machine near pool on Lido deck.
After lunch our luggage arrived and we unpacked. We had plenty of room. YOU REALLY DON'T NEED TO TAKE A LOT OF CLOTHING, YOU'LL BE IN SHORTS, T-SHIRTS AND BATHING SUITS MOST OF THE TIME.
Our dining room was Washington at one end of the ship and the shows were held at the Ivanhoe at the opposite end of the ship. Remember decks 3 & 5. Some of the outstanding meals were the lamb chops and the escargot.
The shows were very good and the cruise director was outstanding.
We have taken many cruise so we didn't take any shore excursions. Besides, you can get a better deal if you talk to the people on the dock on your own.
When you get to St Thomas, go to a place called Coconuts for their coconut shrimp. Very, very good. Coconuts is the oldest pub in St Thomas, great place to relax. Ask anyone on the main street where Coconuts is and they will direct you.
St Thomas and St Maarten are very good for shopping, but you need to do your homework. Know what you want and make sure the item you are buying is current and not a year old. Believe it or not, my wife checked the perfume and we are able to buy the perfume she likes in Miami for less than St Thomas or St Maarten. So check before you buy. The talks about the ports of call stress diamonds and other stones. It is interesting at first, but after the first 10 minutes get out.
Overall, the cruise was very relaxing and the balcony was great in the morning. Room service for breakfast is great on the balcony.
Disembarkation was not difficult, we were off the ship by about 9:30. Getting your luggage is made easy now that it comes out on a carousel airport-style.