My husband and I just returned from our Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Valor. This is our second time cruising on the Valor and we have enjoyed it both times. We left Miami on a very rainy, stormy Sunday. Needless to say the boat was a bit rocky for the first night at sea but after that it was smooth sailing for the rest of the week.
Overall the ship has not changed much in the 5 years since we last cruised on the Carnival Valor. Carnival has done an excellent job keeping the ship looking in tip top shape. The staff on board were wonderful and we especially enjoyed our headwaiter Gusti, whom we affectionately called "G". We also had a great room steward, Louis. He always snuck in and out of our room every morning and night and made the best towel animals. We splurged on a balcony and it was worth every penny.
The ports were great...we stopped in Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk. We only did shore excursions in St. Thomas and San Juan. At Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk we just enjoyed the beaches right off the boat.
In St. Thomas we booked the St. John's Trunk Bay excursion. I think we both agreed that St. John was beautiful. The excursion started with a 45 minute boat ride to St. John's. This seemed a little long and we wished we could have gotten there sooner. Once we arrived on St. John we had about a 10 minute cab ride to Trunk Bay. Once there you were given the option to snorkel or just enjoy the beach. You were only at the beach for about 1.5 hours before you had to return to the boat for another 45 minute ride between the islands. We felt that this excursion should have been longer than just 4.5 hours as we didn't feel that we had enough time to really enjoy the island.
In San Juan we booked the Rainforest excursion. This excursion was great except it took some time to actually get to the rainforest. Once there the landscape and waterfall are beautiful. Make sure you bring a raincoat and plan for sporadic showers at any given moment. At the end of this excursion we returned to the port area and walked a long the streets of Old San Juan. It is such a beautiful city. We also ate at a local restaurant called Cafe Puerto Rico and would encourage all to try it, yummy!
The food was delicious on board and we enjoyed Carnival's new menu. We had a very picky eater cruising with us and she found options each night that she liked. The entertainment was also pretty good. They had the normal things like the hairy chest contest and the marriage show (which was hilarious!). We very much enjoyed the Punchliner Comedy club and they had 4 different comedians on board throughout the week. We went almost everynight. We are not much on the broadway shows but we were told that they were also pretty good.
Overall, we had an excellent week at sea and would encourage anyone to cruise on the Carnival Valor.