Let me start by saying I'm not much of a review guy but felt I had to on this for some reason. I have two kids 6 and 3 and thought it would be great to take them on this cheap $1400 6 day short notice cruise. I have cruised 3 times 2 on RCC and 1 on Disney when the kids were a little young but had a great time. I thought the Valor was GREAT on almost everything. Service and customer care were great our waiters were up there with the best. We just had a great time and everything went so smoothly on and off. The new disembarkation was fabulous we woke up at 6:45 a.m. and were off by 7:20 a.m. this includes carrying your own luggage off the boat for those of you that don't already know. My only complaint is the layout of the boat and the food. This was my first Carnival so I'm not sure if it was just this boat, but it felt a little cramped unlike RCC were its real open with like a strip mall approach on the promenade level it seemed a little snug at times. I have a complaint in general about the food because it hasn't been that good on all but the first cruise we were on which was the RCC Voyager of the Seas in 2000. We took Explorer of the Seas in 2004 and it was terrible service and food. Also the hero theme was a little weird, almost seemed like a haunted house at times, just a tad over done on some things. I'm also a big Texas Hold'em fan and play quite a bit so I was excited about them having it on board. Forget that, they have one table and a long list that want to play, you would have to wait around the whole cruise just to play in one sitting.
Overall I will definitely cruise with Carnival again and would recommend it especially for the price we paid. (4 people $1400)The kids programs were great from what we saw, we didn't use it but took a tour and talked to them.
P.S. The ports were all great no problems on or off.
Hope this helps