Embarking in Miami is a mess. We have heard that other lines do not have the problems that Carnival has. Our taxi driver was not pleased when we asked him to take us to Carnival. He said it was disliked by all the taxi drivers. The lines were very inefficiently handled. Take the embarking, multiply by 2 and you have the debarking.
We sailed on the Carnival Valor during spring break. This was our third Carnival cruise. We had wonderful times on Pride and Glory. This was a good cruise, but not our best cruise. It was our mistake to go during spring break, but we have done it before and had a great time. We chose the Valor because it was new and we thought it would have the best of what Carnival had to offer. The food in the formal dining room was not good, but the food on the Lido deck was better most of the time. It was not as good as our previous ships. We stuck with the formal dining room for the evening meal because we like to dress up for dinner. Our waiters were good.
The ship was somewhat of a disappointment. It was not particularly clean (it is only a few months old) and many things were broken (center window was still held together with duct tape, knobs on lamps were broken, carpets were stained). Our room size was great, but we spent every night stuffing paper and cardboard into cracks because the room creaked and rattled constantly. Our room steward kept removing the paper until we explained why we were putting it everywhere. We were at the back of the ship, which I have previously preferred, but this is a very noisy, shaky vessel.
The excursions were a mess, because there were too many ships in every port and our ship was consistently late to each destination.
We will cruise again (April 07), but we will probably try another cruise line after this last trip. We may try Carnival sometime later if we hear that it has become more efficient. Carnival seems to have grown to fast and is having difficulty with quality issues.