Hi! We just returned from our 1st cruise... a 7 day Exotic West Caribbean cruise. Ports of call from Miami were Grand Cayman, Isla Roatan, Belize and Costa Maya. Contrary to all the wonderful suggestions about what to take, we didn't need half of what we took. The Valor is quite new with lots of shelving space, hooks and hangars, bathrobes, etc... we were very spoiled...so we hear. But if anyone has any questions regarding the Valor or the ports, I'd be happy to help to the best of my limited ability. And thanks for all the advice and suggestions on this "discussion board". It was very helpful to us!
welcome home Sherry. Guess what you are NOT a first time cruiser anymore! Your now are an experienced cruiser. First lesson learned..pack then repack and leave half the stuff at home. Also did you try and kill yourself trying to do everything? That was our first time mistake. Then we realized they have 3,000 passengers and to spread them out have lots of things to do so they are not all at one spot. What was the best thing about your trip?
1998 Holiday CATALINA-MEXICO
2000 Viking Serenade CATALINA- MEXICO
2002 Fantasy BAHAMAS
2004 Esctasy CATALINA-MEXIC0
2005 NCL SAN FRANCISCO
2006 Paradise CATALINA-MEXICO
2007 Pride MEXICAN RIVIERA
2008 Paradise CATALINA-MEXICO
2008 Destiny SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN
2009 Liberty EASTERN CARIBBEAN
2010 Paradise CATALINA-MEXICO
2011 Paradise CATALINA-MEXICO
2012 Crown Princess EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
Hi BDoll, Thanks for that. YES!! I AM now experienced! Hubby and I are very laid back, take it easy people. We went to every beach we could, rented a golf cart and drove the coastline going 25mph (only in Mexico ) strolled around shopping, sightseeing and scoping out each place for our next island vacation. I had been worried about "spring break" college students since my job revolves around a university. But, I was pleasantly surprised at the great mix of people on board. The best thing??? I'd have to say our cabin because it was so wonderful... our bed.. pillows... it was heavenly to get back to our cabin and flop down on pure cushion and comfort and be slightly rocked to sleep after a day in the sun! So tell me, what is your favorite port? I need to decide on our next cruise sometime in the future. Thanks again!
So, what did you decide to do in Isle Roatan? Just curious as to whether or not you went to West Bay Beach as I had highly recommended. And, did you do your excursions thru Carnival, or on your own?
Well.....now that you are an experienced cruiser, I bet you are mentally planning your next one, huh??
Glad you had a great time, I knew you would on the Valor....loved that ship!!
At Isla Roatan, we debarked at the dock and hailed a little shuttle bus which had been sitting all around waiting to cart people where ever they desired. We paid $10 per person to be driven to a beach.
I'm sorry, Joan... I do not remember the beach name, hubby just inquired at the dock and we were on our way! But I can tell you, it was absolutely beautiful and serene and very clean and quite private. It was about 15-20 minutes from the ship. There was a grill/bar there to get drinks and lunch. We didn't go through Carnival. We did a Cayman Beach excursion through Carnival and was very disappointed at where we ended up. It was jam packed with people, lounge chair to lounge chair, barely room to walk in between. We were miserable. So we did our own thing at each port after that.
Belize was wonderful for shopping, however I would like to see more of the tropical areas next time, maybe the zoo, the monkeys etc... people seemed to have had a great time as we were watching the video of them in our cabin the next day. My favorite spot was Costa Maya. We got off and went behind the shopping area and there were these adorable little golf carts to rent. They gave us a map and sent us on our way to explore the area as well as the little village of Costa Maya. We found a beautiful little private beach to relax on. It was great!
I loved the Valor, however, Joan, since you have been on many cruises, let me ask you... after experiencing the Valor as my first cruise how disappointed will I be in any ship that's older? Others on this site have mentioned no shelving, outlets etc... the Valor is well equipped for convenience! I'm worried about how another older ship will compare. Can you help with that?
Mandi, I hope this helped. Perhaps if you have any specific questions, I could fill you in, but I'm not sure what you'd like to know.
Glad to hear you had such a wonderful time on the Valor, and it sounds as though the ports were just as enjoyable.
I seem to book a newer ship every year we go. We started out with the Victory, then the Valor, and are doing the Liberty in a couple of weeks. We had sailed 2 older ships with Royal Caribbean, and I can't say it was the size of the ship that was disappointing to me...I am just happier with Carnival. The smaller ships seem to have more customer friendly service from what I have read on these boards on CC. This last cruise that we booked we were undecided between the Elation & Liberty....I let my daughter choose, and the main reason we booked the Liberty is the itinerary.
As I had mentioned before in prior posts, I choose my cruises based mainly on the itinerary....avoiding Jamaica at all costs!! Just my personal opinion, but I am sure I am not the only one who avoids that port I can't say that I have intentionally booked only newer ships, they just end up having the itineraries we want on the dates we want to cruise.
Not sure if this info helps, but when you have some free time, just start reading reviews posted on this site of different ships. I know Dave Beers just had a thread going while he was on his cruise a few weeks back, and he just raved about the customer service out of Mobile, Alabama.....sorry, but can't remember the ship name. (holiday??)