This was our second time on a very large Carnival ship. We had sailed previously on the "Glory" and had a terrific time. When our travel agent recommended this ship, we thought it would be the same fun time. I can't put my finger on what disappointed us, but it just was not the same.
The embarkation went smoothly and we were on the ship in a very short time. (We had arrived in Miami at around 11:45 and were on the ship by 12:30).
Our stateroom was ready and we put our garment bags in the closets and went to Rosie's for lunch. The cabin is quite large and has plenty of space and room for clothes. The bathroom is ample as well with a nice amenity of useful items such as toothpaste, hair gel, dental floss, tums, etc.
The food on the ship overall was just okay. It was a bit tastier than "Empress of the Seas" which we were on in July. The service at Rosie's started out well with our trays and food plates being picked up without asking for service. By the middle and end of the cruise, the staff would stand around talking to each other without noticing us in anyway. We were in the Washington Dining Room. If you are seated on the lower part and toward the back of the ship, be prepared for a resounding hum and shaking as you dine. The engines are underneath this area and we found it quite annoying to sit there and especially since I am prone to sea sickness, we had to change our table. The room is very large and filled with large tables of 12 and 14 at each table. We preferred a table for two and so we found a nice quiet spot on the second level with a great waiter named Francisco from Guatemala and his assistant named Daivia from Romania. They were terrific.
Overall the ports we visited were fine except for the two where tenders are used to transport guests to land. If you didn't book a cruise through Carnival, be prepared to wait and wait and wait. We met a couple who had booked a tour through a company on land and missed their tour because the tenders only allowed the excursions through Carnival first....
There are some very accommodating people working on the ship. I didn't appreciate however being woken up at 1:45 A.M. the first night of the cruise to be told that we were slowing down to pick up a raft signaling the ship for help. We were asleep...did I really need to know this bit of information? I was disappointed in that on the Glory, the maitre D' entertained us every night with a song he sang just like Frank Sinatra. His staff also entertained and danced on the small serving tables too. It was a joy to be in the dining room and the food on that ship was exceptional. We had one night on the Valor of entertaining and the maitre D' made announcements which were very hard to understand since he had a strong accent and the microphone system needed some help.
All and all, it was just an okay cruise. I think we will stick to Celebrity and Princess and RCI from now now...