Background We are a middle aged couple with 2 sons ages 8 and 16. This was our third cruise ( all have been on Carnival), and we went with an open mind, and the intent to have a good time.
We live in South Florida, so drove to the Port of Miami and were on line about 12:30. This was our third Carnival cruise out of this port, so we expected some wait time. Even though the lines were outside of the terminal, they moved steadily, and we were on the ship in a little over an hour.
Cabin Our Cabin was on the Verandah Deck Forward. It was our first balcony, and we really liked the cabin and its location. Our cabin steward was excellent.
Service Thought it was excellent. The staff kept a pleasant demeanor throughout the whole cruise. I am sure it is tiring to meet such varied demands day after day.
Public Areas Read in other reviews that the Valor was gaudy. Candidly thought the decor was fine, and less More
ostentatious than the other ships we had been on ( Fascination, Imagination ) Really liked the Eagle's Lounge. The Ivanhoe theater where most of the shows were , was also fine, although members in our party did not like the set up.
We really enjoyed the Lido deck. The ship was full capacity, however the lines for the buffet always moved, and we were also able to secure tables or chairs outside. The pool area was nicely laid out, and we all had fun on the slide.
Really felt the effects of the smoking areas as you went through the ship, but that is what it is.
Food We enjoyed the food immensely. There was quite a variety to choose from, and most breakfast and lunches were taken at the Lido Deck, which in addition to the buffet, offers an oriental food station, 24 hour pizza, deli, and fish/ chips areas. They also offer a selection of sandwiches, salads and breakfast for room service, which we also had and enjoyed. Others commented they would have preferred hot entrees, we didn't think the menu fell short without this.
We had the 6:15 seating at the Lincoln dining room. The wait staff was wonderful, and we enjoyed the food and accompanying entertainment each night.
We also had dinner at Scarlett's the supper club, which was superb and well worth the money.
One note about food, everything wasn't perfect, but then it is a matter of taste. The variety alone allowed you to find something that you would enjoy, and we had no complaints. My children loved the Pizza station
Children's Activities My 8 year old LOVED Camp Carnival . The counselors were great, and there were enough activities to keep them occupied.
My 16 year old met other teens and spent almost all of his time at the game room, which he really liked.
We went to Nassau on our own, and did tours on St.Thomas, and St. Martin recommended by other Cruise Critic Members. We enjoyed all the ports.
We enjoyed the main shows in the Ivanhoe theater immensely, which were the Night Club Express and Far From Over. The costumes and sets were superb.
We did not see every show, but did see a Comedian/Juggler Steve Athearn, who we had seen on another ship. He was ok, but belabored one of his acts. We also saw, the comedians Percy Crews, and Jim Brick ; thought they were great.
Disembarkation Great improvement since last year ! Went very smoothly and much less stressful.
Loved the Valor ! Am hoping to sail her other itinerary next year. Have never had any issues with Carnival. We are average folks, just looking to enjoy ourselves, and didn't have any down time to find anything to criticize. We had a great time, and realize this ship or Carnival, may not be for everyone, but they are for us ! Less