I have not sailed on Carnival since 1989 (I was 32 then) so I was worried that I would be too "old" for Carnival. We chose it only because our son who is 16 was coming. We all couldn't have been more pleased.
We flew down a day before sailing and met up with another couple that was cruising with us. We parked their car at a lot in Miami and took a shuttle to the port. We were checked in and on board in about an hour. The longest part was waiting to get out picture made.
After we got on board we went to the Lido deck for lunch. Lunch was good, not great, but what do you expect from a feeding trough?
Our cabins were ready at 1:30 and our luggage arrived in plenty of time to dress for dinner. We ate in the Washington dining room every night. Our wait staff was superb. They were very attentive and our food was excellent and arrived hot every night. The slowest part was getting drinks from the bar for dinner. We ordered extra starters and main courses and desserts each night to share.
We did not meet our cabin steward until several days into the cruise. But, our cabin was cleaned at least twice daily. We blew a fuse with our power strip and knocked out the TV and wall plug. We left a note for the steward before we left for dinner and it was fixed when we returned.
We did not go to many shows. We did go to the show that had the talking couch. The singing and dancing was very good. (I teach music theatre at a university, so I'm a good judge).
I played blackjack every night and ended up over $600 in the black! I hate the smoking, but that is to be expected in casinos everywhere.
The staff and crew of the Valor were always friendly and helpful. My wife enjoyed talking to Tess at the Coffee Bar every morning. She paid for better coffee than what was served on the Lido Deck.
We ate breakfast on the Lido deck the first few days and then in the dining room after that. The food is much better in the dining room.
We never had a problem getting deck chairs. We always went up to deck 11 where the walking/running track is. We got our same spot every time. We liked it there because it was quiet and away from the main pool area.
Our son participated in Club O2. He had a great time. This was his first cruise so he didn't know what to expect. He met several other kids his age. We basically only saw him at dinner.
We did not do any ship sponsored shore excursions. At Grand Turk we stayed on the beach area by the port. In La Romana, we took a taxi to Dreams Resort and stayed there all day and drank and drank. In Curacao we walked around town and shopped. In Aruba we rented a car and drove around the island and saw place we remember from our honeymoon years ago.
We loved the Valor. Everything was clean and fresh looking. My only suggestion would be to have a piano bar that was had windows and soft piano music playing. The only piano "bar" was a room that had no bar. Don't understand that one.
I would sail on the Valor again. We are looking at the Eastern Caribbean cruise it takes. But first we are going on the 15 day Hawaiian cruise!