We just returned from the Carnival Valor on Oct. 22. there were 12 in our group. Me, my husband & 17 year old daughter were in our balcony cabin on the upper deck aft. We flew in on the 14th & stayed at the fortune house hotel in the business district. The condo hotel was nice but didn't have the amenities that regular hotels have. There were restaurants & a grocery store within walking distance, but never found a liquor store. We tried to leave for the port at 10:30 but we had to wait for 2 taxi vans ($20 for each van plus tip) as there were so many of us & a whole lot of other people wanting to go to the port. We got there about 11:30, it took us about an hour to get through all the steps. Get there early as the lines just keep getting longer in the afternoon. We went to the lido deck & ate lunch at the deli. The cabin was adequate. There was enough space for the 3 of us & enough storage for all of us to put our things & put suitcases under the bed. They More
say Carnivals cabins are bigger than other lines but it seemed about the same size as explorer of the seas & star princess. The bed & pillows were very nice, slept very well. Plenty of shelves in the bathroom. I didn't think the ship was gaudy like I have heard others say, although I don't think they thought through the design of the main pool area. The hot tubs blocked the view when they were playing pool & deck games which there wasn't too much of on this ship. We didn't have too much trouble navigating the ship, just walk on your cabin deck till you get to the area you want then go up or down from there. I didn't notice to much of a smoke problem & I hate smoke. we liked the lido deck aft pool area the best, it was quieter & always chairs available. All in all I was a little disappointed in this cruise. There just wasn't the same quality of amenities of other cruise lines. It was louder & the people more boisterous. Just a whole different type of people. They did excel in night time entertainment though, there was something for everyone with the exception of my daughter, hardly any teens on board so wasn't a whole lot going on in the teen area. Ron Pass in the piano bar was very good. The band in the Paris hot lounge was very good also. The shows in the Ivanhoe theatre were pretty good, although not as good as the other ships we have been on. There were plenty of areas to sit & relax all over the ship. The food on this ship just wasn't as good as the other ones we have been on. You're not going to starve though, didn't eat to much of the buffet, ate at the deli, liked the tuna, turkey & grilled reuben. The 24 hour pizza place was pretty good. 24 hour soft serve icecream & frozen yogurt was good. My husband loved the grill, hamburgers especially, they had grilled onions & mushrooms you could add yourself & the fries were good. Bar service was very speedy most of the time & the drinks were good. No complaints about room service, the breakfast arrived just when you wanted it when you put the card out the night before & didn't take long when you called for it. Only ordered breakfast though. Ate in the Washington dining room late sitting. We had 2 tables right next to each other for 6 each. The food wasn't up to par with the other cruise lines, there wasn't that oh my god this is good like on princess & celebrity, the desserts were ok but nothing to write home about. I didn't go hungry but didn't gain any weight either. Getting off the ship was a nightmare. DONT DO SELF ASSIST WHEN YOU GET OFF THE SHIP UNLESS YOU TRAVEL VERY LIGHT & CAN CARRY ALL YOUR THINGS DOWN LOTS OF STAIRS & ESCALATORS. It seemed like everybody was doing it on this ship. We did it that way as we had an early flight, in hindsight we would have had plenty of time if we had put our luggage out the night before. We were at the airport by 9:45 & our flight wasn't until 11:50. Oh well live & learn. We had a good time just wasn't as nice as the other ships we have been on. When we cruise again it won't be on Carnival, so far Princess is my favorite. If there are any other questions, you can email me. Karen Less
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