Carnival Valor attempts to be everything to everybody and seems to have succeeded in that endeavor. I saw 20-something "party animals" and seniors who enjoy classical piano co-existing. It's a big ship in which everyone can vacation in their own way. This was my 7'th cruise overall, third on Carnival, and first on a post Panamax ship over 100,000 gross tons. The Valor carries around 3000 passengers and over 1000 crew , which means a solo traveler such as myself can get lost in a crowd from time to time, so perhaps a single's group cruise should be a consideration for someone who is prone to the lonely in a crowd feeling. I found the dEcor to be both tasteful and dazzling at the same time. The massive size does have its advantages in that motion sickness didn't seem to effect anyone that I spoke with. The Valor was without a doubt the smoothest ride of my 7 cruises. The only serious issue I had was choppy passenger flow. I dined in the aft Washington Dining room which is on decks 3 and 4, but cannot be accessed from deck 3 at all due to the galley obstacle. Deck 4 isn't much easier to navigate.. The upper forward dining room is actually used as a egress way .
Embarkation and debarkation was orderly, efficient, and with a minimum of queuing. Tendering at certain ports required a timely queue. The food was standard cruise fare in that it delivers what we expect. We expect lobster, escargot, baked Alaska, and fillet minion on a cruise and they present it on schedule. To a non-connoisseur such as myself, the food was wonderful . The seafood and warm chocolate melted cake were my favorites. Rosie's Restaurant on the Lido deck offered an abundant supply of food at every hour I visited. There are 6 hot-tubs and 2 wading pools that I was able to discover. While they were generally crowed, I was always able to find a niche and some meaningful conversation with potential friends. The best hot tub is hidden in the spa . The super slide is a must . Wow..what fun it is ! The production shows had plenty of sizzle and energy. One was a cabaret/music venue theme, paying tribute to everything from the Cotton Club, Grand Ole Opry, to Copacabana. The second show was an 80's recollection . Except for the female dancers showing a bit too much derriere, I'm a big fan of Carnival's shows. Also there were about 3 comedians, a ventriloquist, a hypnotist, and the passenger show. No time for boredom! They don't call them the "fun ships" for nothing. As for shore excursions, I'll post those under each message boards for locations visited.