After an 11 year break from cruising, I was thrilled to come back. The Carnival Valor was definitely the best ship of the three I have been on (Celebration and Ecstasy were my other ships).
The Ship: The ship was large, but still afforded plenty of chances for quiet places to enjoy each other. It should be noted that it was far easier to find the Lincoln Dining Room instead of the Washington, so those in Washington have my sympathies. Sail-and-sign accounts, buying excursions, and seeing menus were easier than ever before thanks to the interactive TV option. The Lido deck was super crowded due to so many people on the ship. The ship was mostly smooth during sailing, but vibrations could be felt, especially in the Eagles Lounge.
Getting on and off: Embarkation and debarkation were insanely smooth compared to my previous experiences; we were on and off the ship in under an hour thanks to FunPass and self-assist.
Food: Scarletts far suprassed everything else and was well worth the price. Room service was spotty at times; especially when ordering breakfast. Table assignments in the dining rooms were very well done; it seems they were matched by age. Our servers were fantastic. I do kinda miss the midnight buffet though; the 24-hr pizza didn't always cut it.
Ports: Overall, the ports were fantastic, but 4 straight port days with only 8 hours in each port led to a lot of tired folks by Cozumel.
Passports: Yes, you CAN get your passports stamped at ALL of the ports on this cruise. In Cayman, Roatan, and Belize, just ask one of the security guards to point you in the right direction. In Cozumel, the taxi drivers will take you to the immigration office (a few blocks from the shops downtown) to get a stamp. With a little legwork and a willingness to spare 15 minutes, your passport will carry memories!
Cabin: Spend the extra for a balcony room. It definitely provides a nice little place to eat breakfast in the morning and a place to watch things go by without fighting the crowds.