Sure Valor is a relatively new ship. There are plenty of activities for your 8 year-old as well as Mom & Dad. Our first cruise was on Glory, a sister ship, and we had a great time.
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Carnival: Glory 2004, Destiny 2008, Splendor 2009, Freedom 2011, Valor 2012, Dream 2013
Celebrity: Summit 2011
Princess: Ruby 2010, 2014, Caribbean 2013, Coral 2014, Regal 2014
Star Clippers: Royal Clipper 2015
That would be a great first cruise. With 4 ports you only have a couple of sea days so you don’t have to worry so much about “being stuck on a ship” that some new cruisers fear. You shouldn’t get board seeing a different country every day! The itinerary includes several of the most popular ports and very fairly priced.
We took this same trip last December and had a great time.
In Isla Roatan your 8-year old would have a blast on the Pirates, Birds, and Monkeys tour. It’s a little cheesy for adults, especially the pirate part, but the interaction with the Birds, Monkeys, and lizards of the island is a lot of fun. Your guild will offer to take your picture at several points, including one with large birds on your shoulders. It ends at a nice private beach with an outdoor food area serving some very tasty local dishes. The food isn’t included in the tour but you are allowed to enjoy the beach as long as you want. Buses back to the ship leave about every 30 minutes to 1 hour depending when groups of people ready to return build up to a bus load.
In Grand Cayman, Stingray City is a “must do” experience. The water is shallow enough that you feel safe all the time and the stingrays have been around so many humans that they are like big puppies. A tour that stops at “Hell” and the Turtle Farm adds to the experience. But be aware that sea turtles are an endangered species in the U.S. so don’t buy anything made out of turtle shell to bring back home. I usually recommend that first time cruisers only book excursions from the ship until they are familiar with being in foreign countries but this is one of the few places that the private excursions felt really safe and there is plenty of time to get back to the ship.
Cozumel has so many things to do that picking one is a matter of choosing what you personally want to do the most. It is a good spot for swimming with dolphins though. Just be aware they will take video and pictures then depending on how many you find yourself needing, they may cost more than the tour price. Make sure to do a swim rather than an encounter. It’s worth the price. Tulum is a great tour but is too far away and eats up the whole day getting there and back. It’s worth it, but not for your first time in Cozumel. Besides, there are ports on the mainland closer with less travel time. After your first visit you’ll probably plan to come back to Cozumel on later cruises.
Belize City is not the best place for a tourist to hang out, so take one of the tours that goes to one of the islands or into the jungle.
Looks like you shopped around and picked one of the best choices for a first cruise. So far I haven’t seen a Carnival ship that I haven’t enjoyed so I believe you will have a great time on the Valor. Have Fun!
GREAT choice in my opinion! Like the others above have stated, it's a relatively new ship, with lots and lots of activities, and a super good itinerary for you to enjoy if you choose to. Have a super cruise!
have not sailed the Valor, but have sailed a couple of her sister ships,and you will enjoy this class ship....easy to get around, great entertainment, Camp Carnival and oh ya....yummy food.....you will all be smiling all week!
Trip, with her book & tea!
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We just did our first cruise on the valor a couple of weeks ago. We considered it an awsome first experience! There was never a loss of things to do...and to eat for that matter...very good food! Just a couple of notes: There are three pools (not including the kiddie pool at camp carnival). Two pools are midship, and one is aft. We always hung out at the pool in the aft (back of the ship), as it was adults only and therefor much more quiet and relaxed. Of course, the pools midship are awsome too, especially the water slide. Also, the ship can be a bit complicated to navigate at first. The problem is that on some decks, there is no straight path from bow to stern. If you find yourself on a deck where your path is blocked by a dining room, you will have to go up (or down) a couple of decks. My advice is know where you want to go and how to get there before you go. Remember that there are three elevator locations (and stairs), forward, midship, and aft. Pick the one cloest to where you want to go (i.e. for the washington dining room, which is aft, take the elevator or stairs further aft..and so on). Finally, if you love shows or music as well as the night life, this is the ship as there is plenty. It all happens in the evenings! However, if you are like my wife and I, and want a peacful evening, you could either spend it on your balcony, or take a stroll on decks 9-14, or even watch a movie up on lido. We found that most people were below at the shows, and the normally active lido deck was peacful and relaxing in the evening.
It was our first cruise, and I think our best vacation ever. I think you all will enjoy it. Have fun!
We sailed on the Valor last year....and had a blast.
But then... I have never met a cruise ship I didn't like!!!
COMPLETES THE FLEET
If it is Carnival and it floats....we have sailed it!
Hubby ... DIAMOND (every ship except the Carnivale)
Me ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale)
20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND