I'd been on two other Carnival Cruises that were 5 days. This was a 7 day cruise out of Miami which stopped in Half Moon Cay, Puerto Rico, Grand Turk and St. Thomas. This ship is definitely fun to say the very least. The faces of U.S. American Presidents encircle the lobby of this massive ship. The lobby was considerably smaller than the lobby's of the older ships in which I've traveled in the past, with lower ceilings but the overall size of the ship made up for it. The embarkation was impressively fast considering how many people were trying to board the ship. As soon as we got on, we were able to have a drink in hand right away. Luggage was waiting by the door very shortly after the ship set sail. I had a very opulent oceanview cabin with oodles of natural light. It had a couch and a coffee table and a large vanity area. The safety briefing was a tad lengthy, but that was definitely due to how many people were trying to find the right place to go in case of an Emergency. It was hard to get back into party mode after that.
As far as the clientele, it was nice to ship out of Miami because you have a nice mixture of people of different races and from different parts of the US. Our family is biracial and we appreciate diversity.
I would have to say the best part of the ship was definitely the Serenity adults-only deck. On the Carnival Valor this deck has two stories! It has two hot tubs, which were wonderful to enjoy under a full moon and a clear sky. The deck is away from all the music and activities and has more than enough of the soft lounge chairs for maybe 100 people to enjoy.
We ate in the dining hall each night, in which there were wonderful selections to choose from for each course. The entertainment from the staff in the dining hall was exceptional. In the Lincoln dining hall they broke out into dance, which I had also not seen on the other ships I've sailed. The food was positively excellent and yes you can order however much of everything you want.I was fortunate to get it on film. The buffet lines were extremely long and there were hamburgers, hotdogs and fries available every single day at the buffet on the lido deck. (ew) I was a little disheartened that there weren't more choices for vegetarians. Rosie's Diner was very nice- lots of seating all empty probably because of lack of choices back there but the pizza was quite delicious.
I took part in an event called Carnival Legends where I was given all week to prepare "Like a Virgin" by Madonna where I performed at the end of the cruise with smokin hot backup dancers. This cruise definitely had the best entertainment, not only with the Vegas-style dancers but a magician, a quick-witted British cruise director who looks like Robbie Williams, and a Motown-esque entertainer with smooth moves and a golden voice. The comedians were a tad raunchy which for me is fine, but in the presence of my 89 year old grandmother- quite embarrassing. My mother stayed in the coveted Captain's suite on the very front-end of the ship. This suite had a remote-controlled window shade that revealed a view of the entire front view of the ship. The balcony was a deck that was large enough to hold 20 occupants, from that room we could see inside of everybody's balcony room. I'm sure they did not appreciate it.
On the downside I have very bad migranes and it took a long time for room service to deliver ice to the captains suite. I hadn't had room service otherwise on this ship.