My wife and I sailed on the Valor in late March. We arrived at the port early, around 11:15 and when we checked in, it took us about 45 minutes to complete the process before we were on the boat. This was a nice surprise! However, as soon as arrive on the top deck, there were a number of bar staff trying to sell you drinks. I bet we were approached by at least six different staff members twice in the two hours we were on the top deck waiting to get into our room.
Once we got to our room, we did not meet our steward until the second day of the cruise. This seemed a bit unusual for us since on other cruises, we had the steward meet us or follow us into our room as soon as we arrived. Then they never provided us with fresh ice the first couple of nights and when we asked for it, it was like we were asking them to do something major that was not part of their duties.
Most of the meals were fine but, we felt that the dinner meals in the Washington dining room was below par. The quality and the service was not top notch. We have had better on other cruises.
The shows were great! Do not miss them. However, on the last night, they had a talent show for the guest to participate in. While one of the male guest was doing his performance, a male staff member who was a judge for the show was making inappropriate gestures and was trying to pick him up right on stage. THIS WAS NOT PART OF THE SHOW!! I don't care if the guy likes men but he doesn't have to do his thing on stage for others to observe. I am sure the wife of the guest was not happy. I found this very offensive especially for those families with kids observing. This really ticked me off and when I wrote Carnival about this, I never received a response from them.
As for the shore excursions, be careful. My wife and I selected two tours while on St. Martin. One tour was butterfly tour and highlight of the city. Our second tour was a island tour. However, the first tour ended up being a butterfly and island tour. We didn't go on the second tour and got a refund. But if I had not asked the bus driver, we would have taken the same tour twice. So be careful when ordering tours. You might be ordering two different tours describing different sight that end up showing you the same sights.
One other tour issue. On the Eastern Caribbean, you will first go to Nassau from Miami and then to St. Thomas. When you arrive in St. Thomas, you will have to go through U.S. Customs before you get off the ship. The crew goes through great lengths to organize the process by stating which decks will clear customs in order to get everyone off. However, our deck was one of the first to depart but when we arrived, it was like the show ship was already in line. It moves fast but beware. No one followed the instructions provided by the crew.
Finally, I realize that this was a new ship with new crew but after three months, you would think the crew had their duties down pat and working well as a team. However, they need a lot of work before they are a top notch crew. Plus, they made a big deal about how beautiful the ship was. Though it was nice, I have seen much better. For my wife and I, this was our second and last Carnival trip. I think I will head back to Princess.