November 2015 - Carnival Valor to Caribbean - Eastern
Booked the week of Thanksgiving due to timing and not because we didn't want to spend the day with relatives. Drove to the port the night before and stayed at the Comfort Inn where we had booked the cruise package... one night in the hotel and parking for the length of the cruise.
Getting to the port and getting on the ship was very easy. We didn't pack any fancy clothes so we only had a couple of suitcases to deal with. After you've done 15+ cruises you learn to pack light.
Cruise itself was great. Food on the Lido deck was typical fare. Plenty of variety so you didn't have to eat the same everyday. Dining room service was spot on and almost as elegant as in years past. Saw several empty tables, which may have been due to the anytime dining option in the second dining room becoming more and more popular.
Did only one shore excursion on Gran Turk, the Helicopter trip. You can read more in my comments below about it.
Getting off was easy and fast, however we ended up waiting 45 minutes for our shuttle back to the Comfort Inn... not enough resources to handle 4 ships in port at one time.
All in all it was a great cruise. Too bad we have to wait almost another year before going again.