Carnival Valor Review

Editor Rating: 4.0
Call our partner agents at 866-501-2339 to book your cruise.
Compare Best Deals
Carnival Cruise Line
Find and compare prices from 9 sites
Editor Rating
4.0
Cruiser Rating
Why Choose Carnival Valor?
  • Great choice for first-time cruisers
  • Port-heavy Caribbean itinerary
  • Bell laughs at the comedy club

Carnival Valor Overview

Carnival Valor delivers classic Carnival cruising: a lively crowd that enjoys the multiple bars, big buffets, dance club, deck parties and casino. And in true Carnival fashion, the 2,974-passenger vessel's decor is themed, though Valor's focus on American heroes is more restrained than it is on other Carnival ships of a similar era. Heads of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and other patriots adorn the atrium's sculptural frieze, faux gilded eagles perch on pedestals near the elevator banks, and the hallway art often suggests heroic or historic moments.

Launched in 2004, Valor has been upgraded to offer new programs and facilities. Enhancements include an outdoor LED screen for watching movies and rock concerts, and now passengers have the choice of dining at the same table at the same time each night or on a flexible schedule. During a February 2011 dry dock, Valor added Serenity, a two-level, adults-only sun deck, as well as two additional types of suites. The ship has the Punchliner Comedy Club Presented by George Lopez, which rolled out as part of Carnival's Fun Ship 2.0 program, the $500 million fleetwide upgrades begun in October 2011. (Limited deck space means that Valor lacks other Fun Ship 2.0 enhancements, such as new specialty restaurants and bars.)

Overall, Valor delivers a good cruise, representative of the Carnival line. Two musical production shows and the comedy club provide the main entertainment. Parents will find exceptional Camp Carnival programs for kids aged 2 to 11 and teen programs for those 12 to 17. Kids and adults can putt through nine holes of mini-golf, challenge their friends at shuffleboard and slip down Valor's twisting waterslide. Foodies can bite into a great steak at Scarlett's Steakhouse and enjoy drinks at Valor's many bars and lounges.

The service on Valor is consistently excellent. Cabin stewards are attentive and friendly, the dining room waiters are obviously hardworking, and everyone we pass in the hall smiles and waves.

Although Valor doesn't offer all of Carnival's newest attractions, cruisers will experience the defining essentials, often at a price below the fares on the newest ships. Decent prices, combined with the Caribbean itinerary, make Valor an excellent choice for first-time cruisers, of which there were many on our most recent sailing.

Carnival Valor Fellow Passengers

Carnival ships draw a lively crowd that skews on the younger side of age 55. On our August voyage, the majority of passengers were honeymooners, couples, families with kids and groups of friends in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Grandparents and older couples sail, too. The biggest cruising nationality is Americans. When the ship departs from San Juan, many passengers are native Puerto Ricans. Caribbean islanders come aboard in Barbados, as do some cruisers from Great Britain since Virgin Air flies nonstop from London to Barbados.

Carnival Valor Dress Code

The casual atmosphere extends to dress. T-shirts and flip-flops predominate during the day. Although blue jeans, collarless shirts and sandals (for men) are technically not allowed in the dining rooms at dinner, passengers wearing these items were not asked to change. Like all seven-night Carnival sailings, Valor hosts two formal nights (termed "cruise elegant"). Most passengers interpret this dress code as cocktail attire -- short dresses for women and suits or sports jackets for men -- though we did see a smattering of men in tuxedos and scores of women in long gowns.

Carnival Valor Gratuity

Carnival suggests $12 per person, per day, in tips, which go to the cabin service team, the dining room waiter and busboy, and what Carnival labels the "alternative services team," galley, entertainment and other hotel staff. Tots younger than 2 years old don't pay gratuities. Carnival automatically posts the tips to your shipboard account, but you can give more or less by contacting the guest services desk. Bar bills include a 15 percent gratuity. Room service personnel expect and appreciate a tip upon delivery of your food. Note: On sailings departing September 1, 2016, or later, gratuities will increase to $12.95 per person, per day ($13.95 for those in suites).

Next:  Carnival Valor Cabins
By Candyce H. Stapen, Cruise Critic contributor

Sponsored links

Carnival Valor Editor Ratings

  • Category
    Member
    Editor
  • Dining
    4.1
    4.0
  • Public Rooms
    4.3
    4.0
  • Cabins
    4.3
    4.0
  • Entertainment
    3.9
    4.0
  • Spa & Fitness
    4.0
    4.0
  • Family & Children
    3.6
    4.0
  • Shore Excursions
    4.0
    3.0
  • Enrichment
    3.6
    2.0
  • Service
    4.3
    5.0
  • Value-for-Money
    4.3
    5.0

Ship Facts

Ship Stats
Crew:  1,180
Launched:  2004
Decks:  13
Tonnage:  110,000
Passengers:  2,984
Registry:  Panama
CDC Score:  98
Cruise Deals

1,199 Carnival Valor Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

Start your review of Carnival Valor
Click to rate
my two cents
Member Since 2016
1 review
1 forum post
0 helpful votes
This was my wife and my 10th cruise. 8 on RCCL and 2 on Carnival. We also had our 2 sons with us, ages 4 and 8. Overall, it was "good", but we will be reconsidering going on another Carnival cruise in the future IF we can find ... Read more
Seminole88
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed three weeks ago
I sailed the Sunshine back in October, 2015 and was more than impressed with the ship, the service, everything about my cruise was fantastic. My husband and I decided to take my 16 yr old on his first cruise and booked it out of Pt ... Read more
tpfamily
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
2 helpful votes
Sailed three weeks ago
The entertainment was limited. Nothing started for the adults until 9. The comedy club was not open for 2 nights in a row, so they were really crowded.....The piano bar is not worth even trying. It was the same style music throughout the ... Read more

1,147 Professional Carnival Valor Photos

We spent almost a full week on board the Carnival Valor with multiple photographers and took 1,147 pictures of the ship.  When you visit our new photo galleries you can be assured that what you see is what you get!

Carnival Cruise Line Fleet

Close X
See Deals on Carnival Valor up to 82% off