My family just returned from a nice cruise on the Carnival Valor. We had sailed two years ago on the Carnival Triumph and so we were excited to cruise with Carnival again. The ships were very similar and so it was very easy for us to get acclimated to the Valor. We have cruised with four different cruise lines and have found that they all have pros and cons.
I'll begin with the cons of the Valor:
*Embarkation was a little slow and the line was very long. We were given the wrong information when we entered the terminal and it made us have to wait even longer. I think there needs to be a little more organization in this department. *The entertainment is not very good. I would love to see more actual family friendly shows with modest costumes and appropriate language for children. We went to one of the comedy shows that was rated PG and said to be family friendly. I'm glad we didn't have our children with us because the comedians swore almost every other word and used some very questionable material that wasn't appropriate. I would love for them to bring in more Broadway style shows.
*The main areas of the ships were very smokey! I didn't want to go to the shops or photo gallery because it stunk so bad like smoke. People were lighting up everywhere! It was awful to walk past the casino. I wish they would have passed out gas masks. I think its ridiculous! I think they should have fewer designated rooms that have closed doors for smokers. I know- to each their own, but I think that would be more considerate to nonsmokers. Ok- I've stepped off my soapbox :)
*There were limited babysitting hours for children under 2 and it didn't coincide with Camp Carnival.
The Pros of sailing on the Valor:
*The food! We've been on 5 cruises and we thought the food on the Valor was the best. We looked forward to dinner every night because we always loved what was served. That's pretty good considering half of my family are picky eaters.
*Camp Carnival is awesome! My children looked forward to going everyday. There was a variety of activities and so they loved it!
*We loved the itinerary! Grand Cayman- This was a fabulous port! The 7 mile beach is gorgeous! We had to take a quick tendered ride to the port, but once we were there we took a taxi to Seagrape Beach. It was so beautiful and clean!
Roatan, Honduras- My husband and I took a cab ride around the island and went to visit West Bay Beach. It was such a nice beach. Once we were back at the port, we picked up our children from Camp Carnival and took them and Grandpa and Grandma to the beach on Mahogany Bay. It was nice, but not as beautiful as West Bay.
Belize City, Belize- I will have to say that I was really nervous about this port due to many of the bad reviews I had read. I had researched and finally found the perfect excursion- Manatee Watch, Reef Snorkeling, and Bannister Island Break on www.coralbreezetours.com. My expectations were surpassed. This was by far one of the best shore excursions we have ever been on. The company is Hammerhead Water Sports and they were waiting for us once we arrived at the port. They first took a group to Bannister Island by boat and dropped them off. We then headed by boat out to the reef which was about 5-10 minutes away from the island. There they took 3 of my children and my husband and another couple on a snorkeling tour of the reef. The leader showed them marine life and many exciting things on the reef. It was such a neat experience for my children. We then headed back to Bannister Island for a couple of hours. This is a beautiful beach! It was so clean and nice. Finally, our small group left and we went to the Manatee Reserve. We watched for manatees and dolphins for about 45 minutes. It was so much cheaper going through this company than through the cruise line. I would highly recommend it!
Cozumel, Mexico- We visited Nachi Cocum because it was so highly recommended. I was a little disappointed because the beach wasn't very clean and there were ants everywhere! But the food and snorkeling were fabulous and so we were able to still have a good time.
I would love to cruise this itinerary again because we loved all of the places!
Overall, we had a great time. I will cruise Carnival again because they have great prices, but I am ready to try another cruise line.