This was our first cruise. We took our under 2 year old son and my parents. At first our cabin steward was not around. We had to ask for a bathrobe as one was missing. We asked to have our two twin beds made into a queen. All the steward did was push them together, leaving the twin sheet sets (blanket and all) on the beds. Stupid. I pointed out his error and it was fixed. He had been doing this for over 10 years, that should have been my first clue that he was not very good. The good ones get promoted.
The Valor was a month old when we cruised on it. The sofa had some stains on it already and one of the lamp shades was broken. The beds were better than I expected. Better than most upscale hotels. A balcony is a must have, we enjoyed watching the sunset and pulling into and out of port.
The food was good. We ate dinner every night in the dining room. The buffet dinner on the upper deck had a theme each day, but overall nothing to rave about. Definitely eat in the dining room. For lunch we would eat at the fish and chips bar, the sandwich bar or at the grill. I never made it to the chinese stand. Late night snacks were always pizza. It was good pizza. We ordered late night room service almost every night so our little guy could snack on some fruit and cheese.
There was always something to do. We were never bored, if anything it was hard to decide what to do. BTW, if you play bingo, buy more than one card, they always win over the single cards.
The only big disappointment was the under 2 program for kids. They had awful hours and we could never get a straight answer out of anyone regarding when we could come. We were initially told we could come whenever as long as we stayed with our son. Then we were told only between the hours of 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. (No, that is not a typo). Whose kids are up that late? I finally had to have the program manager call me. I still wasn't happy with the hours, but they did let us borrow some toys to take back to the room. That was all we needed.
We are currently looking into booking our second Carnival cruise. The price is nice, the ships are nice, the food is good and they have a nice program for kids OVER age 2.