We traveled with a group of 14 people. Once we had all gotten on the ship we wanted to go to the purser to arrange it so that all of us could have the same seating and set together at dinner. Now, when we had received our tickets prior to sailing we had selected the late seating as did everyone else in our group. When we had gotten our sign and sail cards it was set for early seating. And that was when my mother in-law and had gone to the pursers desk to change our seating. We got our seating change the next night but was not able to sit at the same table. So 10 people from our group sat at one table and the other four had to sit at another table behind them.
The staff on the ship was not all that impressive. You would walk down the halls or around the ship and they did not smile or greet you. There were a very select few who did greet or smile.
The stops were nice. We had selected to go on the Cave Tubing tour when we got to Belize. That was an amazing experience. You first take the tender to shore and then get on a bus to go to the cave. The guides were great for this tour. First you pick up your tube and then you take a brief walk which lasted about 15-20 minutes, even though the details for this tour from the cruise director said it was about a 30 minute hike, through a rain forest and you get down to the "river" and get in your tube. You go through this amazing cave that is absolutely pitch black but you are given head lamps prior to the tour. The tubing was about 30 minutes and then you get out of the water where you started. There is a photographer from Carnival there to take pictures of you as you are going through the rain forest and going down the river, which you can pick up during the cruise.
Then the next day we stopped Roatan Islands, Honduras. We had done the dolphin encounter here. That was amazing as well. You got to get in the water with a trainer and a dolphin. There were about 6 people to a dolphin. You were able to touch the dolphin and then get your picture taken hugging the dolphin and then the dolphin kissing you. This all lasted about 30 minutes.
Our next stop was in Grand Cayman. We have been there before. We had booked a tour to go to one of the beaches. This tour includes a chair and a drink. An umbrella costs extra. This was not the best idea. The beach was very crowded with other passengers from the Valor and other cruise ships. All passengers were pretty much roped off in an area on the beach so everyone was crowed in like sardines. My husband and I stayed there about an hour but the others stayed for a bit longer. We had walked around the shops and found everything very expensive on the island. Does not really cater to the natives. So we ended back up on the boat to relax.
Then the final day was Cozumel Mexico. This was the best!!! We had walked around the shopping plaza. There were a few restaurants in this area and lots of shopping. We wanted to go to the Hard Rock Cafe. The Hard Rock in Cozumel is the smallest one in the world. We finally made it there after walking for what seemed forever. And that was after the taxi ride to another mall. After lunch we had walked around a bit more and then went back to the ship. A group of us had then got changed and grabbed a bite of dinner and went back out. We went to Carlos and Charlies. This place, if you are in to clubs and bars, is the place to be. Total excitement the entire time and the staff there is very fun and friendly.
Once we had gotten back to the ship from our final port of call there was a party going on on the ship, as always. The weather during our cruise was perfect the entire time. I do not believe the temperature went below 70 degrees the entire time. Which was perfect considering that back home we were getting a snow storm of over two feet of snow in one day.
I have to say that this was a fun time for all. My main complaint is disembarking. They take your luggage the night before and then when you get to port the next day you go to one of the ware houses to pick up your luggage. I had gotten mine and one side of my suit case was completely damaged. The hole side was caved in and you could not get the bar out from the top of the luggage to pull it along, and this is a very big suit case. And the lock holes on the zippers were broken off and there were large gashes on the edges so it looks like it was just kicked around. Carnival does not have the best luggage handlers. There were instances where you would see the luggage handlers kicking luggage across areas and a luggage cart had fallen over so they picked it up and started throwing luggage around. So if you have any fragile items you are best to carry then with you.