Oh, My Goodness where to start
Our flight out of Pittsburgh was at 6:50. The Group desk did a wonderful job in Pittsburgh. We didn't have to go through the line at all. We were taken seperately as a group and went on our merry way to the gate. We all had on our Gold and Black shirts. Arrived in Atlanta with a 30 minute connection. We all had to run like crazy, because our gate was in
C and we got off on D...Almost missed the connecting flight. There were 24 of us in Gold shirts, so we did draw attention to ourselves.
We made it!!!!!
Arrived in Miami with the van (Ace Tours) waiting for us, after we picked up luggage. Only one bag was lost, but was delivered to our Motel by Airtran.. Not mine.
Hyatt in Miami Airport West..was nice. No ice to be found in any ice machine though. Gas station had some...so we were there a lot.
Huge flat screen TV in every room. Very clean and the continental breakfast was so much more than just coffee and donuts. Full breakfast of eggs, sausage, pancakes and waffles. All the other good stuff also. Danish, bagels, muffins, yougurt and juice.
Picked up on time the next morning and arrived with time to spare in the Port. We had on those gold shirts again,( clean ones)so we were all grouped together and boarded together fast. We heard, "Gold shirts, hurry, hurry!" I would advise any group to have the same color shirt on...it was a big help. Especially finding the others in our group in the airport and on the ship the first day.
We went straight to our cabins to drop off carry on luggage,because our cabins were not quite ready yet, and then headed for the LIDO
Need I say more
FOOD AND DRINKS
When we got back to our Cabin, I found the Room Steward and tipped him. We received wonderful service. Ice bucket never empty, he removed everything from the fridge for our (pop)soda. We had our Rum that we brought in our checked right on the shelf. It was never touched and was there for the whole cruise.
Some of us headed to the Purser's Desk to change our Sail and Sign cards because of booking with non-past cruisers. Some of the staff there were great and some were not too sure how to do it. Some had to go back a few times to re-activate the cards, because they just weren't correct.
The cruise was so fantastic. The Valor is so beautiful and clean. Most of us had the AFT cabins on the Verandah deck 8, the ones with the extended balconies. The rest were very close to us in the inside cabins. I have to say...we did spend a lot of time on those balconies, room service for morning coffee...we had a group drinks in hand most of the time also.
The tips and ideas I received and copied from this Board were so helpful. I would also advise anyone to search for the threads on tips or what to take with you, some are a must
The only thing I forgot were binocculars, a good idea if on a balcony. There were dolphins and I would have been able to see them better if I had remembered them.
The Formal nights were just that
I don't remember seeing anyone not dressed up. So nice to see such good looking well dressed people in the dining room. So many went to deck 5 for picture taking. That is a very good reason to dress up!
Casino..I won $104.00 and stopped. I needed that money for jewelry and drinks
The shows were so exceptional
Please try to make them if you can. So professional.
I went down the slide a few times, sat in the hot tubs until my hands and feet were wrinkled...great. The sunburn wasn't so great...that's what I get.
Grand Caymen.....Stingray city...defanitly
Honduras.....Half Moon Bay Beach with "RALPH" a tour guide. Quiet and not many there while we were there. All alone most of the time. Lounge chairs and clean sand.
The Vendors were bothersome on our return. Kids everywhere selling $1.00 braceletts. Poor Area....so sad. Slipped a few $1.00 to kids.
Belize....Shopping for me ..others did Myan Ruins, said it was great! Zip line and tubbing by others, who said that too was wonderful!
Cozumel....Mr. Schanco beach...so nice, clean, lounge chairs and the drinks are so good. There were 6 of us and the cab was $35.00 total.
Myan Ruins tour from the ship was taken by some of our group (not me) They LOVED IT
Sad to leave the last day...found our Waiters and tipped them extra. The were so good.
Early luggage tags #2, we put them out the night before and left the ship (dragging my feet and clingling to anything I could grasp) My mother would have gave me such a smack! Went to Customs, we were in line for about 15 minutes and then went to get our luggage. No problem there, because we put colorful tassles on them and found them as soon as they exited the carrousel. This took about 45 minutes from the ship to our van (Ace Tours).
The trip home was not too bad. We did see that our flight was 15 minutes late so that made our connecting flight a challenge. We had 17 minutes to do the opposite from our flight down. Fortunately, that one was an hour delayed. For us it was good, for others, not so. The great part for us was...Some of our Pittsburgh Steelers were on this flight. They were not so happy with the delay. No one noticed them but us, of course. I grabbed my door poster,(Steelers Logo in a porthole) and ran to get autographs. HAPPY, HAPPY, JOY, JOY. For me....
Arrived in Pittsburgh, after leaving 80 degree weather to temps. in the low 50's. I had on shorts and a tank top....not too bright on my part. My daughter was waiting so I didn't get too cold.
I know there are things I am missing...We did purchase the $100.00 certificates while on the Valor and we have 5 years to use them. I would love to go as soon as possible. It looks like it will be 2010 for us. I am getting a group together as we speak....