We are two couples from Nova Scotia, Canada. DW and I have sailed with Carnival 3 times before, and the other couple were cruise virgins. We ranged in age from 37 to 46.
We departed Halifax, Nova Scotia on Saturday, March 27 heading for Miami, via Toronto. We flew on Air Canada. We used Carnivals Sail Aweigh program again because we find it so convenient.
Once in Miami, we were transported to the Miami Airport Hilton for the night. Nice spot, but the drinks by the pool are a bit expensive...oh well, it's vacation! Went out to the Olive Garden for dinner and stopped by Publix for a couple of last minute items, then back to the hotel.
On Sunday morning, we were up nice and early for breakfast and then off to the ship at noon. The embarkation process went smoothly, and we were actually on the ship dropping off our carry on luggage at 1:10 pm, then off to the Lido Deck for a cocktail or two or three....Anyway...then we were off to the muster drill and back to the balcony for sail away and more drinks.
The ship was large and similar in layout to the other ships we have sailed on. Easy for us to get around, but the other couple was usually heading in the wrong direction. Decorated in typical Carnival flare and maybe a bit more over the top. Very clean and quite impressive. Lots to do if you want, but lots of places to get away as well. We had no problem getting a lounger at any time.
Food on the Ship...
We were very pleased with the food and the service. We ate breakfast and supper in the dining room and had lunch on the Lido deck. Food in the dining room was extremely good as was the service. We tried just about everything on the Lido deck and we especially liked the Deli, Mongolian Grill and Fish and Chips. We did eat in the SUpper Club and I would highly recommend it. It was a beautiful meal in a beautiful dining room. Definitely worth the money. Also, check out the the Sushi Bar on the Promenade Deck. It was quite tasty and no extra cost, so a good opportunity to try it!
Ports of Call...
Grand Cayman was our first stop. Beautiful place with lots of shopping. Did the Best of Grand Cayman tour for about $35 buck a piece and went to Hell, the Turtle Farm and Tortuga Rum Factory store for free samples. Had a great day.
Our second stop was Roatan Island, Honduras. We went to Tabyana Beach for the day and it was awesome.
Next was Belize. Nice little area right at the pier, but we didn't go beyond the fence. Not my favorite stop, plus the tender took about 20 minutes from ship to shore.
Our last stop was Cozumel. We had a blast. Did some shopping and had a couple of local beers. We then made our way to Margaritaville for the afternoon and had a great time. Good food, drink and service.
The service you get on a cruise is second to none. I'm sure every now and then there is a problem. If you have good service, take the time to say thank-you. Also, take some time to get to know the service staff. Ask them about their family and homeland. You can learn alot.
We opted not to self-assist, and we had #10. We were off the ship by 10 am and off to the airport. Everything went smoothly.
In closing, we had a wonderful trip. We would certainly sail on the Valor again and I would highly recommend it. We have already booked our spring trip...A Carnival Cruise on the Liberty...just to be different!