March 6, 2005
My wife and I sailed on the Valor and except for the normal things that aren't perfect on any vacation we had a great time.
We arrived at the terminal at 3 PM and the ship was due to leave at 4. We entered the building and never saw another guest until we boarded the ship. It was a fantastic way to start the trip---not a line in sight. Sure we missed some of the early feedings but any experienced cruiser knows there's plenty more to come.
The ship was in great shape and the staff did all that was expected. Our servers in the dining room were more than personable and served us with a smile and lots of great conversation. Everyone should take the time to try and get to know these people and learn about their cultures. Everytime we go cruise we try and come home with a lot more understanding about other cultures. Believe me, it's a lot more valuable than any piece of jewelry you'll ever buy.
We thought the entertainment was great---it all depends on what you like. The neat thing is you don't have to stay and watch a show or activity if you don't like it. Just keep moving till you're comfortable and then settle in and have some fun.
We normally pick a trip based on the ports and we weren't disappointed here. The cave tubing in Belize was wonderful and we snorkeled in Cozumel and Isla Roatan. We couldn't land in the Caymans as the sea was too rough but safety should always come first. A day at sea in the Caribbean is always better than a day shoveling snow back home in the north country fo New York State.
Getting off the ship was a breeze as we always book some type of excursion and are in the early groups to get off and head out to explore some new place. This time we took the Art Deco tour in Miami and really learned a lot.
We cruised with spring breakers, families with children, retired couples, young, old, loud, quiet,---all types on board. If we wanted to be around them we were--if not we just moved around till we found a group or activity that made us comfortable and we joined in. It's a really BIG ship with lots of room.
The Valor was a great time and worth the money. Most people can find something wrong with ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Our advice is to go and have reasonable expectations and remember that no one is on board that ship [staff or guest] with the sole intent of ruining YOUR vacation. Everyone needs to be able to tell the difference between an inconvenience, a problem, and a crisis. Bon voyage.