March 2015 - Carnival Valor to Caribbean - Eastern
This was our second time on the Valor, but our first time sailing out of Port Canaveral. We flew into Orlando and used goportcanaveral.com for shuttle and hotel arrangements. I may have been able to save some money doing it separately, but this was one stop shopping and it was easy.
Boarding was one of the easiest of our 9 cruises. We're seasoned Carnival cruisers so we knew to have all the paperwork done before hand. We were in line for about 5 minutes (we arrived at the port around 11) and another 5 minutes later we had our sail and sign cards. They started boarding about 30 minutes after that.
Our stateroom was in interior interior on the 6th deck, Upper. I say interior interior because on this deck there's a center hallway that has some rooms. These are not your typical narrow rooms, but rather square affording a feel of a bigger room.
Most lunches were either pizza or burgers/dogs or burritos. Love the burritos, but it's a matter of timing - wait too late and you're in a line. It's been 3 years since our last Carnival cruise and they've changed the pizza formula. I was a huge fan of the previous recipe, but the new one isn't bad.
The ports, Grand Turk, San Juan, St Thomas, and St Maarten, were all great. There is literally nothing at Grand Turk, so we walked off the ship, turned left, and found a free chair on the free beach right behind Margaritaville. Waiters were there if you were thirsty or hungry. San Juan was a walking tour with a Mojito and Mofongo. Not my favorite tour, but mostly because the mojito was small and I'm not a fan of mofongo. St Thomas we booked an excursion with Sunny Liston. He showed us a great time and dropped us off at Magen's Bay. In St Maarten, we toured with Benard's. The tour was good, but the van lacked a working air conditioner, so we melted.
All in all a great cruise. I think for my wife and I, 8 days is long enough. We actually just re-booked on the Valor for a Western Caribbean cruise in August.