First off this is my first review for Cruise critic, thou this has been my 5th cruise all of which have been with Carnival. I have sailed on the Victory, Miracle, Freedom and now the Valor. This year we sailed with friends we have sailed with before. No kids just adults this cruise. We drove from Canada to Miami and parked our veh at a park and fly/cruise hotel in Miami and took a shuttle bus to the Miami Port. This was our 2nd time departing from Miami and we found the process greatly improved from our first experience. We arrived at the port at around 1030 am and were on the ship within an hour.The whole process was very smooth and orderly. We did lunch on the Lido deck and were able to get into our rooms by 1:30 pm. The Cabin was what we have learned to expect from Carnival, very clean and bright. Our steward Carlos was very helpful and kept our room spotless.
Dining- we ate all of our dinners and breakfasts in the formal dining room. We had a table for 6 which was the number in our party. We had the early seating at 6.pm. The food entrees included items that included prime rib, lobster tails, steak and many other dishes that I have never had before but found to be very tasty and pleasant to the pallet. The food was served hot by Adam and his helpers. All in all there were no complaints from our table.
Entertainment- We took in a lot of the shows and the comedy acts. The welcome aboard show we have seen on other carnival ships to me seemed to have been scaled down from when we first saw it. The 80's review show (far from over) however was terrific and from the standing ovation at the end was a big hit. It rivals anything I have seen at Las Vegas. It is a must see on the cruise. The Marcus Anthony show, More than Magic with Rand Woodbury, Gravity defying comedy of Dana Tison were very good as well as and very entertaining. We are not into Karaoke so we did not see the Legions concert thou I am sure it is a big hit with many on the ship.
In addition to the above there was entertainment throughout the ship in the many bars as well as many of the common areas of the ship.
Ship- we found our cabin to be warmer than usual and heard others on board with similar complaints. Smoking we found to be more restricted than last year and the cabana room (Winston room) is now non smoking. Cigar aficionados need not despair the Paris Hot lounge is for you. Carnival has made a smart move here that should please all.
At the end of our cruise we wondered how crazy it was going to be with everyone trying to get off at the same time. We were pleasantly surprised. We went for breakfast as usual and after breakfast moved out of our room with our handheld luggage and went to the lido deck. There we waited for our deck number to be called. When it was called it was quick and easy off of the ship with no long lines or waits. We picked off our luggage off of a turnstile just like you would see at an airport and off we were and through customs within seconds.
In closing we had a very enjoyable cruise and will go with Carnival again. Our ship was alive at night. Other cruisers who have sailed on other cruise lines report the ship they were on seemed to be deserted after 9 pm. This was certainly not the case on the Valor. The only complaint I have is Carnival could do a lot more to promote their movies on the big outdoor screen. Having some decent popcorn aka movie theatre style would go a long way to enhancing the experience. I'm sure the cost involved would be more than offset by the extra alcohol they could sell.