Carnival Valor – 4-11 July 2010

Exotic Western Caribbean Cruise - Miami Round Trip

notes from The Hershmans


We flew AirTran out of Akron/Canton airport.  We liked the Hyatt Summerfield Suites Miami Airport.  The hotel was very clean, no Florida bugs!  We did have to wait for the hotel shuttle at the airport, but the hotel shuttle did take us to a local Cuban restaurant after we checked in.  The hotel shuttle doesn’t take you to the pier.  There is a shuttle for a charge, around $10-$15, to the pier.  You sign up ahead of time at the front desk when you check in.

We went fast through the cruise port security and the Carnival kiosks for check-in.  The first checkpoint is your swipe card photo taken.  Our cabin was ready after lunch, and then the bags were there.

FABULOUS entertainment!  Very polished and professional.  We did the “behind the scenes” tour.

The service was kind but wasn’t over the top service I had on Carnival before.  “Nice but not personable” is how I would describe it.  We didn’t even know who cleaned our cabin.  We liked the Maitre d’ from Turkey.  But our waiters didn’t participate in the dining room show.  Many just stayed on the stairs.  We couldn’t see.  The food was good though.

I don’t think my husband and daughter are cruise people—there was too much to do and they felt they had to do it.  My husband won a Mixology competition.  He came up with a red, white and blue drink—for Carnival colors and for the 4th of July—The Caribbean Patriot!

The Lago Mar hotel in Ft. Lauderdale was awesome.  350 palm trees!  Would highly recommend.  Very clean and nice.  Got room service, and the food was fabulous.  There were great hammocks and a winding pool.  The wait staff was impeccable. 

Roatan – did a catamaran tour (Jolly Rogers Tour) with snorkeling and lunch.  They had everything—great lunch!  Energetic, excellent staff.

Cozumel – did the high-speed ferry to Tulum for the Mayan ruins.  The boat was fine.  It wasn’t rough.  As soon as we got over there, there was a huge storm.  We were up really high—lightening!  Everybody scattered.  We lost our tour guide and never found him again!

Belize – pier area was boring.  We didn’t do a shore excursion there.

Grand Cayman – took a taxi (a big van) to the beach.  The one we went to was great—the third stop.  One raft rental was USD 5.00 and 5.00 for a mask.  Don’t go to the furthest beach (4th stop)—total rip off.