Embarkation was a breeze! We live in Orlando, so we merely drove to Miami and made it in just over 3 hours. We turned our bags over to the porters at 9:22 am. We boarded the ship at 11 am and had lunch on the Lido deck.
We were allowed into our stateroom at 1:30 pm and found it to be most comfortable.
While we did limited shore excursions, we had an awesome time. My only complaints, and they are very minor and would never preclude me from sailing on Carnival or the Valor again are as follows.
1. Our room steward all but refused to refill our ice bucket. He instructed me to call room service if I wanted more ice. I would gladly get my own ice, but they would not allow me to do so.
2. I actually lost weight on this cruise because the food availability was limited. Hard to believe I know, but most of the food stations were only open for 2 1/2 hours a day! Want to try the fish and chips? You better be there between 12:00 and 2:30 or you will miss out. Yes, the pizza is available 24 hours a day and I tried it. It was simply awful. I LOVED the pizza on the Paradise, and I stopped for a slice every chance I got, but on the Valor, it was really bad.
3. Our fellow cruisers. Now I am not a prude by any means, but when a family of 12 is sitting in the main dining room shouting to each other across 2 tables and dropping "F" bombs in every sentence, then decorum has taken a back seat to economics. Every night at dinner we were exposed to something akin to Jed Clampett and his kin engaging in verbal combat to see who could insult the most people at the other table. While the food served was very good, the ambiance left much to be desired.
Overall we had an amazing time and we are ready to go again!
Loud bars and souvenir stands are really all that exist there now.
When they put a McDonald's there, I knew it was time to find somewhere else to go.
I went scuba diving and the diving was incredible.