63 Orlando (Port Canaveral) Carnival Valor Cruise Reviews

I’ve been a huge Carnival fan for decades. I’ve been on more cruises than I can count beginning in the late 70’s as a teenager. I have Platinum status in the VIFP program and have sailed on just about every ship Carnival has ... Read More
I’ve been a huge Carnival fan for decades. I’ve been on more cruises than I can count beginning in the late 70’s as a teenager. I have Platinum status in the VIFP program and have sailed on just about every ship Carnival has offered out of Port Canaveral on the short Bahamas cruises. I have always found Carnival to be a bargain compared to the other lines sailing out of this port, and this cruise was no exception. This cruise on the Carnival Valor was the least positive experience I have ever had sailing. Giving my long-standing affection for Carnival, this is a difficult review to write. Embarkation was an extremely lengthy process (despite being “Priority”) and was totally lacking in organization. This was explained as a computer glitch that required all disembarking passengers from the previous cruise to be manually cleared (i.e., sign and sale cards had to be checked against physical paper passenger manifests). Our cards could not be printed in the terminal and we had to be escorted aboard with a port supervisor. The cards were issued at the customer service desk aboard the ship, which took some additional time. Ultimately, boarding ran late and we departed well after we were scheduled to leave. Okay, I can attribute all of this to a computer issue and move on. Unfortunately, the issues just kept coming. While I understand, and appreciate, the importance of the mandatory boat drill, this too lacked any organization. I believed the computer system issues may have slowed the identification of some passengers. I learned at the boat drill that the barcode on my card didn’t work. Having another card issued with another visit to customer service didn’t change anything. While fine for opening the door to the cabin and making charges, the card didn’t identify me and I had to be manually cleared whenever leaving or returning to the ship for the duration. Our “upgraded” stateroom was on Deck 1. Our cabin attendant was surprised that a Platinum cruiser was on his deck. The room was clean and well attended for the duration. It was showing signs of wear, but the A/C worked and we never experienced the sewage smell experienced by other passengers accommodated below decks. Our cabin attendant, as has generally been our experience, was excellent. I tipped Floyd up front and never wanted for anything. The first night we dined in the main dining room. Despite other reviews, we found the food to be fine. While it’s clear that Carnival is cutting corners, we had no issue with the quality of food, promptness of service, or staff friendliness. This was the only night we ate in the dining room. Nassau is Nassau, and we’ve been many times, so didn’t really have any expectations. We did walk to an area known as The Fish Fry, and had the best cracked conch I have ever eaten served in massive quantities at Oh Andros. The restaurant was recommended by a gentleman at the port. It was wonderful. I ate so much that I changed my steakhouse reservation to the following night, and we nibbled at the lido, which was fine. The selections were good. I love the Mongolian BBQ. Getting back on the ship took over an hour in line at the gangway. Again, I suspect it was a computer issue as I still had to be manually cleared. I believe that the ship’s staff waited far too long to open another gangway, let passengers use crew gangways, etc. The gangway staff seemed put out and indifferent. The Carnival Valor is a 14 year old ship that appears to have had no refurbishment and is showing her age. While generally clean, things just looked worn. I’ve noticed this on other ships out of Canaveral (like the Sensation right out of Katrina FEMA service), but it seemed more prevalent on this cruise. We generally see this as older boats rotate into the short cruise market, but it has never been so obvious. I think Carnival needs to pay more attention to upkeep. Our final night we ate in the steakhouse. As always, it was wonderful and the culinary highlight of the cruise. The fee has risen to $35 per person, but I still believe that to be a bargain for what you get. I also learned that if you have the Cheer’s package, you can have drinks up to $25 a piece if or until you reach your daily limit. I was enjoying Grey Goose VX and my wife took advantage of some premium wines. Disembarkation was equally as disorganized as the boarding process. The elevator doors opened and we were pressed in to a mass of humanity. We were again held up at the gangplank as my card still didn’t work. Getting through the new terminal was equally tedious. I realize this is a newly rebuilt facility, but the lack of organization for immigration and customs was extreme. The customs agent we spoke with said that it’s the most cumbersome terminal in the port. It’s a shame as the new parking garage is wonderful. Hopefully they will eventually get things worked out. As my final word, I had fun on this cruise and struck up acquaintances with many nice passengers. There were many aboard who were low-rent and rowdy. It was a cheap cruise, and you get what you get. Nothing new there. I would definitely consider cruising with Carnival again, but absolutely not on this ship. My hope is that this was a one-off event, but based on other reviews think this is just a problematic boat. Our cruise last spring on the Carnival Magic was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We did this cruise because it was a brief getaway. With Carnival, I love the value it is while I don't feel like much is sacrificed. I know that there are more expensive cruise lines and cruises, but for the every day person, this ... Read More
We did this cruise because it was a brief getaway. With Carnival, I love the value it is while I don't feel like much is sacrificed. I know that there are more expensive cruise lines and cruises, but for the every day person, this is what I would choose. We did the Beauty and Charm of Nassau. This was a great excursion for the person who wants to hit all of the highlights of Nassau. We even went into Atlantis on Paradise Island. This was something I had not previously done before and I enjoyed the views. It was nice to stop at the distillery and experience their rum and how it is made! I would say, if you like their choices you need to buy it there as it is not available anywhere else. The highlight of this cruise for me was the Chef's Table! The overall experience was incredible and there was so much food! I would definitely recommend trying this, no matter how long you are cruising. It is worth the extra cost! I will caution you though, dinner took 3 hours. I will cruise Carnival again, although my next two cruises are on Princess and Norwegian. I have always enjoyed what Carnival has to offer on their ships and their value! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Carnival Valor, 12/01/16 This was my first cruise on the Valor, although I have been on her sister ships Liberty and Glory before. A friend of mine was offered a very good deal for this weekend cruise through the Carnival Players Club. ... Read More
Carnival Valor, 12/01/16 This was my first cruise on the Valor, although I have been on her sister ships Liberty and Glory before. A friend of mine was offered a very good deal for this weekend cruise through the Carnival Players Club. He needed a roommate, so I tagged along for the chance to see a new ship. Embarkation: We had to make a few unscheduled stops on the way to Port Canaveral, so I missed our unofficial Cruise Critic gathering (sorry again folks!). But embarking at the terminal was very easy. I have not been to the old terminal #5 at PC for a few years, and they’ve improved it quite a bit since then. It now has a parking garage and entry into the terminal is on the second floor, which helps a lot with flow. The new priority room is very nice, a far cry from the old side office once used there. We were on the ship after only a few minutes. Our Cabin: We had cabin 9232, which is an interior room on the Lido Deck. The location is very nice, as it is just a short walk out to the main pool area. The cabin itself was in good shape and everything worked properly. Our steward did a great job throughout the cruise. The Ship: It’s hard to believe that the Conquest ships are now considered medium sized by today’s standards. But considering she’s half the size of the biggest in the world, I suppose that’s accurate. The Valor still looks great, inside and out after 12 years of service. She has had several upgrades, including Guy’s Burgers, Blue Iguana Cantina and the Red Frog Bars. I really liked having the two new bars by the main pool, they make getting a drink much easier as it spreads the crowd out. I spent a lot of time hanging out at the Red Frog bar on the Promenade Deck. It’s a very nice bar and they have the delicious Thirsty Frog beer on tap. The nightclub is also nice on the Valor, it’s fairly large and in old Carnival style, is themed around the moon landing. Food and Service: We only ate in the main dining room once on the first evening. We had very good service from the wait staff, and the food was excellent! Our other meals were usually in the lido buffet, Guy’s Burgers or the pizzeria. I thought the food offerings on the ship were great, and there are plenty of options. Activities and Nightlife: As this was a three night cruise, they had plenty of stuff going on around the ship. There was a great live band that played on the promenade each night, and the comedians in the club were pretty funny. They also had solo artists playing in the atrium and Red Frog Bar each evening, all were very good. I was impressed by how much live talent they had onboard. The nightclub was packed each night and the DJ did a good job keeping things going with a variety of pop, dance and Latin music. They also had a live Latin band down in Winston’s Bar on Atlantic deck that I enjoyed listening to on the last evening. Complaints: Very few. Actually just one. The Cruise Director was on the PA system way too much. I don’t think an hour passed by that he wasn’t squawking about all the activities and money spending opportunities going on around the ship. Between the Fun Times daily paper and new Carnival Hub app (highly recommended BTW, I wish Royal had the same) it really isn’t hard to know what’s going on. So the constant yammering is just an annoyance. Debarkation: Debarking the ship was very easy. We were off and to the car in about twenty minutes. All in all it was a fun little cruise. Definitely a great appetizer for Oasis next weekend! A pictorial version of this review is posted on the Cruise Critic forums: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2429979 Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Cabin nice, smaller than other ships, but location close to Spa was perfect for us. Quiet at night. Dinner quality was inconsistant with some downright poor food. Disappointed that there was no menu of what would be served at the Chef ... Read More
Cabin nice, smaller than other ships, but location close to Spa was perfect for us. Quiet at night. Dinner quality was inconsistant with some downright poor food. Disappointed that there was no menu of what would be served at the Chef Table...so didn't sign up for that. Guy's Hamburger Place was delicious. Spa was great, as usual with typical services and pricing. Sign up for the 10-20-30 deal if you use the spa alot...worth it. Love the sauna with windows to the ocean...so relaxing. If you do use the spa, sign up right when you get on board, best choice of service times. Sign up for Value Pricing times if you don't plan to get off the ship. Fun Shop for jewelry and watches had good selections at very reasonable pricing. Embarcation very easy and quick, debarcation was a little chaotic as the staff had different instructions than what the information in the cabin, but overall, still easy to carry off. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The cruise was a celebration of multiple anniversaries and a graduation; there was a total of 14 in our group. We are experienced cruisers, many of us are gold level VIFP. We were quite ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The cruise was a celebration of multiple anniversaries and a graduation; there was a total of 14 in our group. We are experienced cruisers, many of us are gold level VIFP. We were quite disappointed in the steakhouse experience as well as the food in the main dining room. We usually eat in the dining room for breakfast as well as dinner; not this time. The lido food was much better. There was nothing special about the steakhouse experience and in hindsight, we should have spent the money on something else. My husband and I will be on the Carnival Dream in April 2017 with a different group of people and we hope that we have a much better experience. The upgrades were nice and we especially enjoyed the Alchemy Bar and Guys Burgers. We stayed in an extended aft cabin for the first and last time. There is not much privacy on the balcony and if it rains, there is no cover. Our bed was not at all comfortable and I have never gotten a bad bed on a Carnival ship. I was disappointed in the cleanliness of the ship as well as the frequent malfunctions of equipment. Oftentimes in the restrooms there was little to no soap for handwashing and many times the coffee dispensers, ice cream machines etc on the lido deck were not functioning. Commodes were out of service. Not at all the Carnival quality we have come to know and love. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have cruised a number of times either with Norweign and Royal Carribean. The last 4 with Royal. I got a great deal money wise for a 5 night cruise with Carnival aboard the Valor. After numberless cuises we have decided that the ship is ... Read More
We have cruised a number of times either with Norweign and Royal Carribean. The last 4 with Royal. I got a great deal money wise for a 5 night cruise with Carnival aboard the Valor. After numberless cuises we have decided that the ship is our destination as that it is a floating resort and the ports are a plus. We did not take this cruise for its ports but to see for ourselves what a Carnival Fun Ship is all about. We enjoyed the Carnival cruise and it had its pluses. The staff was hardworking and curtious. The cabin was always taken care of by our steward. There was always something going on for any age group. The food choices could not compare to Royal. The buffet was lacking and the dining room food was not hot. The other major complaint I have was the smoking at the bar near and around the casino. The ventilation system was horrible. People were holding their clothes over their noses when walking bye. The entertainment was good but lacking. Royal had far better main featured shows but less activities going on. There was some running around the hallways but but unbearable. The balcony was an adequate size. Would I cruise Carnival again or suggest them to a friend? For a low price vacation with not huge expectation I would. I will be cruising with Royal in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My boyfriend treated me to this cruise for my birthday. We drove from Ohio to Florida right after Hurricane Matthew. Orlando is beautiful but the traffic was awful. We saw a lot of storm damage on our way but not in the city.This was my ... Read More
My boyfriend treated me to this cruise for my birthday. We drove from Ohio to Florida right after Hurricane Matthew. Orlando is beautiful but the traffic was awful. We saw a lot of storm damage on our way but not in the city.This was my first cruise, and it fully lived up to my expectations. We had an interior cabin and contrary to some reviews I read we had no complaints or issues. The cabin was clean and in excellent condition, and tidied up twice a day. We only met our steward once, but he did a great job as far as we were concerned. I feel like the ship decor had a personality disorder. The many venues had so many different themes it was like every idea some decorator had was thrown together any which way. On the other hand the ship was clean and the staff were always cleaning and maintaining the public areas. Overall it was a fine ship with no complaints from us. The food options were plentiful and we rarely waited more than a couple of minutes in lines for anything. Scarlett's steakhouse was so amazing the first night we went back a second time. I have never had such wonderful food on land, for so little $. The service in the dining room was haphazard, but the food was always good and the menu changed every night. Have breakfast in the buffet, the food is the same as the dining room, it's much faster, and the view is much nicer. We also loved the breakfast at the Blue Iguana burrito bar. Guy's burgers were great, but there's so much variety we didn't get there as often as we thought we would. We avoided the crowded Lido deck and spent our time in the Serenity or Prometheus adult areas. I would have liked the water slide better if the pool it lands in was fresh rather than salt water. The salt water burned when it got up my nose or in my eyes.But hello,boat on the ocean, salt water makes more sense. I think we tried out every hot tub on Valor = ) We watched a movie one night from the hot tub, that was great fun.The shows were good, maybe not amazing, but always enjoyable. I think we saw them all. We didn't get many drinks from the bars, but what we had were good, and we only waited for service on the Lido deck, at the other bars we got served right away. It may seem odd but our favorite place to just relax was the deck on 3, outside the main lobby. It was the best view of the water and was almost always empty or nearly so. Hurricane Matthew changed our excursion plans but we did get to Half Moon Cay. Just like every other review you will read, let me say it was the highlight of our cruise. Nassau was interesting but unless you're an avid shopper or enjoy the bar scene there doesn't seem to be much to do. After Half Moon the beach had a hard time impressing me but it was still quite nice. We went to a local fish place for dinner and the food was wonderful. In closing I'd like to say to anyone who goes on a cruise: please be nice to the staff, they're busting their butts to help you enjoy your vacation. If there was one thing that spoiled my overall impression of my first cruise it was the way some of the other guests behaved towards the staff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Embarkation We chose this cruise because it was as a good fit for our plan to get to platinum VIFP level. We were not particularly thrilled by the itinerary but we enjoy Half Moon Cay. We drove down to Titusville, Florida the day before ... Read More
Embarkation We chose this cruise because it was as a good fit for our plan to get to platinum VIFP level. We were not particularly thrilled by the itinerary but we enjoy Half Moon Cay. We drove down to Titusville, Florida the day before the cruise and spent the night at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Titusville. It was a wonderful hotel in a great location with free breakfast and a great staff. They also participate in the discount voucher parking program for the Port Canaveral cruise port. Basically, select hotels in the area offer a 40% off port parking voucher when you stay there pre-cruise. The details of the program were prominently displayed on the check-in counter at the hotel. The clerk gave us a voucher when we checked in and we were all set. There is not much in Titusville but we could walk to the Cracker Barrel restaurant right in front of the hotel. It was an easy drive to the places we needed to go to do some last minute cruise prep like shopping, the bank, and the nail salon. The hotel is also close to I-95 which made the 30 minute drive to the port very easy. When we arrived at the port, it was a little confusing trying to follow the signs, which were seriously lacking, but we eventually made it to the right area. There is a line for drop-off and then you circle around to get in the parking lanes adjacent to the drop-off lane. We got in one of the lanes that accepted cash because the hotel clerk said those lanes are the ones with an attendant that can apply the voucher. Embarkation was quick and easy with no long lines at around 1:30 pm. Ship The updates on the Valor are very well done. I was impressed. If you are the patriotic type, you will love the décor on this ship. From the abstract flag motif on the tables and floors to the eagle statues throughout the ship and the stunning eagle light fixture hanging in front of the dining room, everything tied together very well. They managed to add the 2.0 upgrades without making the ship feel more crowded. The Red Frog Rum bar and Blue Iguana Cantina bar are well placed on the Lido deck so the already small pool area doesn’t feel even more crowded. I will say that on certain days, these two bars were so crowded on the Lido that you couldn’t even see the bartenders. When it was like that, we found a server walking around the deck or ordered from one of the bars on the lower decks on the ship. We sailed on the Valor before her upgrades. She is now on the list of ships that we will definitely sail on again because the upgrades are so well thought out and well done. Food We spent most of our time eating at Guys, the deli, and the Pizza Pirate on this cruise. The Lido buffet was good for breakfast but the selections for lunch and dinner were almost the same just about every day. They also couldn’t seem to offer a protein that was not breaded, cooked in some kind of sauce, or smothered with vegetables and/or cheese. One guest was so agitated one night that he couldn’t find any protein that did not have any cheese on it, he complained to the cook and asked for something else. Apparently, he has a dairy allergy but still wanted a protein option other than the prime rib at the carving station. I felt his pain. Every night we ate in the buffet, my plate looked the same – a spoon of plain white rice, a salad on the side, and whatever meat was at the carving station. I honestly could not tell what the other protein options were without reading the signs because they were covered in so much other stuff. We did not care for the American Table menu options so only ate dinner in the dining room on our night in Nassau. We also ate in the dining room for the sea day brunch on the first sea day. The dining room was unusually crowded that day and service was slow for brunch. The huevos rancheros I ordered was very good. My husband enjoyed his omelet and pancakes. Despite the food taking forever to arrive, our servers were very attentive. In the dining room on our night in Nassau, service was slow and the wait staff wasn’t particularly attentive. But, we have come to expect that with My Time Dining. I had the short ribs and my husband ordered the Chicken Milanese. The food was well prepared but a little under-seasoned. I am not sure when they started serving all the sides in separate dishes. I just dumped mine on the plate since I like to mix my food together when I eat. I ordered the buttered popcorn pot de crème for dessert and was pleasantly surprised. It was excellent. Activities The Fun Times have been shortened to the size of a tri-fold brochure. Most days, there was nothing of interest. On this particular class ship, we’ve learned to plan a trip to the pool at off peak times – port days and evenings. We enjoyed the pool on embarkation day after the muster drill. With the wind and choppy seas though, swimming in the pool was like swimming in the ocean. The pool water was moving like the ship. It was also quite windy so it felt really cold really quickly. We enjoyed movies on the top deck just about every night despite the wind. It was so windy one night, they actually turned the close caption on for the movie. On the night of the first sea day, we enjoyed 70s trivia and caught the end of the production show, Nightclub Express. We also visited the library for the first time ever on a cruise and played Monopoly for about two hours. There were two comedians on the ship. We went to see Mike Speenburg again even though we have seen him on the Fascination. He recycled some jokes and wasn’t particularly funny but it’s something to do. They have several really good bands on board. We enjoyed the Latin band in the atrium. The band that played in the casino was also very good but we were not about to subject ourselves to second-hand smoke to listen to them play. We enjoyed them from a distance. On our evening in Half Moon Cay, we went to karaoke in the Eagles Lounge after watching the dive-in movie. We are not mini golfers but did play a few rounds and hung around on the basketball court as well. Ports Our original itinerary was Half Moon Cay, Nassau and Freeport. Because of Hurricane Matthew, Freeport was cancelled and replaced with a sea day after an overnight in Nassau. We went to the beach in Half Moon Cay. Our son spotted a water play structure from the tender boat so that is where we set up for the 3 hours we were there. It was cloudy when we got there and it did rain eventually. It only lasted for a few minutes and we enjoyed cooler, slightly cloudy weather for the rest of the day. We have not been to Half Moon Cay since the Glory in 2014. It appears they’ve build a structure for people to navigate through to get back on the ship. The lines were ridiculously long. Two tender boats for almost 3,000 people. Granted, everyone did not get off the ship but most people did. It took more than 30 minutes for us to get on the tender boat. When we finally got back on board, I was glad we were on deck 2 and an easy walk up the stairs. No more wasted time waiting for the overcrowded elevators. We ate pizza and Guys for lunch and went back to our cabin to relax. Our plan for Nassau was to stay on the ship. Having to spend the night there did not change that. We woke up at our leisure and took our time eating breakfast. We stayed on the top deck for a few hours to watch the Carnival Pride and Elation dock and watch the Norwegian Sky crew do their practice drills. While my husband and son stayed in the cabin, I got off the ship to find some wifi since I had a school assignment to complete. I found some free wifi on Charlotte Street outside the Starbucks and Hard Rock Café. It is suspect because it asks you to log in with your Google, Facebook, or email account. Ummm, no. It says it’s provided by the Ministry of Tourism. Then why is it so invasive? I asked a lady in the Starbucks how the wifi works and she says to just access the log in page a few times and ignore their prompts to log in with your personal information and it will eventually let you in. It worked. Unfortunately, it was ridiculously slow. It drained my fully charged phone battery in the hour it took me to access the wifi, watch a 2 minute video, write a 3 paragraph feedback summary, and submit it. That morning, the cruise director delivered a safety notice over the intercom because of an “increase in crime against tourists”. So, I figured it would be best not to take my laptop off the ship. I am not sure that would have been any faster any way. I got off the ship because I thought the video would stream faster on wifi versus the satellite internet on the ship. It wasn't. Service Service on the ship was mostly great. Our steward, Iwayan, was sweet, friendly, and attentive. There seems to be a lack of workers on the Lido deck though. The Pizza Pirate is run with one worker. I remember when there were 2 or 3 people working in the pizza area. I remember when the pizza was ready when you walked up. The lines were ridiculously long most of the time. The table-side drink service that we have received on some previous cruises was also non-existent. We ate dinner in the buffet on the last night. There was one lone person bussing the tables on our side. This meant most of the tables took a while to be cleared so people could sit down. Fewer drink servers were walking around the Lido deck, which meant you had to walk up to the often crowded bar to order a drink. There were exactly 2 servers in the crowded comedy club. We didn’t even bother ordering a drink. While everyone on the ship was friendly, the lack of workers also has an impact on service. The bartenders at the Red Frog and Blue Iguana were handing out popcorn for the movie. This meant long lines for movies and drinks. Disembarkation Disembarkation was surprisingly smooth. After packing up the rest of our belongings, we went up to the buffet to eat breakfast and were actually able to get a seat. We were off the ship and on the road by 10 am. Overall, this was another average cruise. Carnival just doesn’t seem to be putting as effort into the passenger experience as they used to. We’ve cruised enough where we find ways to entertain ourselves without relying on the ship’s staff. We also are now more focused on the real purpose of our vacations which is to relax, recharge, and spend time with each other, not to see and do everything. The Valor is a perfectly fine ship and the staff did a wonderful job despite the minimal staffing. I try to review the ships on their own merits and not based on the corporate decisions that they are forced to follow. Each cruise we take where these cutbacks are apparent just solidifies our belief that we will need to take a break from cruising Carnival until they come to their senses and put the focus back on the passenger experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I just returned from a 8 day cruise with Carnival valor. I payed to visit St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico and Grand Turks. I only got to see three of the four I payed for, and was only reimbursed $15.00. Granted the trip turned out to ... Read More
I just returned from a 8 day cruise with Carnival valor. I payed to visit St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico and Grand Turks. I only got to see three of the four I payed for, and was only reimbursed $15.00. Granted the trip turned out to be during Hurricane Matthew, but it seemed as if other Carnival Cruises still saw Grand Turks. After arriving at Grand Turks, and seeing other ships at port, the captain(who speaks horrible English) announced that due to weather conditions we could not be able to port at Grand Turks and would have a sea day. Then turns out not even 30 minutes after we left the Island, Anther Carnival shipped arrived at Grand Turks and posted to Facebook. When another guest on the ship confronted the captain and questioned him why is was that we didn't dock, he gave no response. The food was horrible. Along with it having no seasoning or taste, it was the same menu everyday for breakfast and lunch. I have cruised before but with Royal Caribbean, this is the first time I broke out on my skin due to the water and even developed Dandruff. I am in my mid-twenties and it seemed as if there was nothing offered for my age group activity-wise on the ship. They offered activities for seniors and for people with children. Overall this experience has turned me off of Carnival, possibly for good. The cruise Director Cassie I thought was great, and the Fun Squad. Along with a dancer named Joshua, he was awesome. I am just very disappointed with my experience and will definitely be taking my business elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our 14th cruise with Carnival and our 1st time on Valor. Although the ship is a little old itself the updates were definitely an added plus! Guy's Burgers is fantastic! the ports we visited were beautiful and we highly ... Read More
This was our 14th cruise with Carnival and our 1st time on Valor. Although the ship is a little old itself the updates were definitely an added plus! Guy's Burgers is fantastic! the ports we visited were beautiful and we highly recommend "Bernard's Tours" in St. Maarteen. Our guide was David Taylor and he did a remarkable job.So much info on the island, free drinks which included diet sodas and water. Will definitely use again and again. He also hooked us up for St. Kitts as well. Vernon Taylor was our guide there, had to ask for him by name. He is a part time tour guide and full time K-9 officer. We enjoyed our time with him even more so. we experienced star fruit and pomegranates fresh from the tree! Saw many areas where the regular tour groups don't get to see. He spent a lot of time with us and now we have a new friend, in St Kitts. Puerto Rico was our 3rd stop and since we had been before and our time was short we chose to shop local for a couple of hours. Grand Turk was next, but the wind was too strong for Captain to port, so we spent day at sea. We were sadden not to get there, but we knew the safety of ship and those on board was more important. Service was great as usual, Feland in Lincoln dinning room was best we have had yet. He was very high in demand. We had anytime dinning and on one night, his tables were an hour and a half. Acer was another good waiter and the manager in photo center was very helpful and a delight to talk with. Sorry I do not remember her name. We ate at the Scarlet Steak House, we had made reservations early in the week. My wife won dinner for two on the night we went to see what excursions were being offered. So we got an extra blessing! She had lobster and Filet Mignon, I had 14oz. Ribeye...can you say YUMMY!? Only had a couple of problems, one was room noise, we were in 1367 oceanview. we were offered another room but opted to stay since we were next door to couple we were traveling with. We turned up our sound machine a little louder in the room and drowned the noise away. A couple nights later, the noise disappeared. We think it was just shifting of weight in ship from cargo. Carnival kept checking on us to make sure we were ok. We got letter from them and phone calls trying to correct the problem. Entertainment was wonderful, great juggler/comedian, funny comedians, magicians, dancers and singers. Fluffy was part of fun team, a delight to meet. I think she will make a great cruise director! There was a hint of raw sewage in the air sometimes. Not sure exactly where it was coming from. Even smelled it while playing Putt Putt. No problems with embarkation or debarkation. We were the Hurricane Matthew group! Only 8 hours late, but Carnival kept us fed and entertained the whole time. We were just glad to see Port was still there! Can't wait to sail again. Would like to try other lines, but don't want to give up our perks from being Platinum. Definitely worth the money and the drive for us from S.C. I would like to see Carnival add more types of excursions and get a little more realistic in their pricing. Can get same thing or more for less money if you shop around a little. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We met such good people from our steward to Fluffy the MC at the comedy club. This was our second cruise and the food was good loved the ports St.Kitts was lovely but Grand Turk was a favorite . The serenity pool was down on an at sea day ... Read More
We met such good people from our steward to Fluffy the MC at the comedy club. This was our second cruise and the food was good loved the ports St.Kitts was lovely but Grand Turk was a favorite . The serenity pool was down on an at sea day but they soon had it up and running .. I would have loved to turn around and get back on ...would go again in a heart beat. Oh and the couple spa massage was wonderful ...It was a treat for my birthday. I missed a night of the towel animal due to over doing the sun ...so my cabin steward made up for it on our last day it was a great surprise . Cabin 6-437 balcony was always clean and he had are ice bucket full . My advice is to bring a little fan if your like my husband an I we like it cooler Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I don't like that I rated this cruise Average. I have never done this before. I always say it's not the cruise, it's the person and their willingness to let the small stuff go and have a good time. We did have a good time ... Read More
I don't like that I rated this cruise Average. I have never done this before. I always say it's not the cruise, it's the person and their willingness to let the small stuff go and have a good time. We did have a good time and will probably sail Carnival again BUT... We are not new to cruising. I have been on 12 cruises and my husband has been on 9. Most of our cruises have been on Carnival but we have been on Princess, NCL and Royal Caribbean. Good: Check in was a total breeze. Probably the fastest ever. In total, it took about 10-15 from check in to boarding the ship. We arrived at around 10:45am. Possibly right place, right time? We tried Anytime Dining for the first time. It worked out really well because we were sailing with some friends but will probably go back to assigned dining. Just a personal preference. The service was always very good. Carnival does a great job there. Our cabin steward, Jonathan was wonderful. Jim Gaffigan was AWESOME!! He is pretty much the reason why we booked this cruise. The illusionist was also good. We didn't make it to any other shows but heard they were decent. Not so Good but not Terrible: Things have definitely changed since we last sailed with Carnival in 2014. Although the food was quite good, the quality wasn't the same. Also the ship seemed to be in need of an update. Our cabin (balcony 8241) was worn especially the bathroom. The sink had many cracks. The floor felt as if was going to cave in and it had lots of cracks. The toilet just kept running and running. We called about it and they fixed it but it came right back. The carpet and curtains in the cabin were also worn. We also noticed that the lamps beside the bed were dented and rusty. We were disappointed that the Welcome Back party is now reserved for Platinum and Diamond passengers. We got drink tickets that could only be used on the last night after 5:00pm. We forgot about these as we got them on the first day. I feel like Carnival does this on purpose so people forget. The biggest disappointment was the cabana we booked in Half Moon Cay. We booked it 2 years ago and loved it. We were lucky enough to get the same one (Cabana 10). It was filthy dirty when we got there. The fridge had half eaten, rotten food in it from the previous cruise. With the booking, you get a fruit platter, chips & salsa, non alcoholic drinks of your choice and a veggie platter. There were ants crawling under the plastic wrap of the fruit plate. Gag and gross! Carnival did give us a partial refund but it was still a disappointment. We can certainly overlook certain things and we pretty much did. It's vacation after all! Overall, a good cruise. We will sail with Carnival again but we will probably shop around with other lines first. Happy Cruising!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our family has been cruising with a growing group of friends for four years now. While we have been to these ports multiple times, it is the group of friends that make it great! That being said, the Valor is beautiful and clean and the ... Read More
Our family has been cruising with a growing group of friends for four years now. While we have been to these ports multiple times, it is the group of friends that make it great! That being said, the Valor is beautiful and clean and the service was excellent. I'm sure it's difficult serving a rowdy group of 24 for dinner every night! The food was great also. We were diverted from two ports due to weather. Reason for my rating was we we went to Nassau as one alternate. It is not a nice port. Rumour has it other ships made it to the ports we were scheduled for. I guess better safe than sorry. We enjoy Carnival because they are the only line that aggressively discounts 3rd and 4th passenger (kids) in the room. Entertainment on board was well....entertaining! I'm not much for the shows, but these were quite good. Biggest surprise was Mongolian Wok. It is still there after the ship upgrades! Enjoyed hanging out at the Redfrog pub. It was roomy and quiet! Get the beer sampler, it is a good deal! Loved how the ship was decorated. American presidents, space accomplishments, red white and blue. Take the time to really study this ship, it's beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our first Carnival cruise, and it was lovely! We decided to risk it and sail in August (hurricane season), which definetly played an impact on our ports. We weren't able to get to St. Kitts or Grand Turks - which were the two ... Read More
This was our first Carnival cruise, and it was lovely! We decided to risk it and sail in August (hurricane season), which definetly played an impact on our ports. We weren't able to get to St. Kitts or Grand Turks - which were the two islands I most wanted to see :( But instead, the Captain took us to St. Thomas was just beauitful and the weather was perfect! And Nassau which has gone completely downhill since the last time I visited with my family. All in all, the vacation was great, 8 days of pure relaxations, cocktails, gambling, swimming in the caribbean water! Only complaints are: the casino gets filled with smoke at night and is tough to stay in there for the non-smokers. Our crowd on the ship was weird, we are young and don't have children yet and felt like there wasn't many people our age on the boat or even out at the bars past 10pm. That was a bummer :( Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Pre-cruise stay at Country Inns and Suites, near the port. Free shuttle to and from cruise ship. Good continental breakfast. Free parking for duration of cruise. It's now our Go To Place. Paul Cuesta, Alexia, Vi and the rest of the ... Read More
Pre-cruise stay at Country Inns and Suites, near the port. Free shuttle to and from cruise ship. Good continental breakfast. Free parking for duration of cruise. It's now our Go To Place. Paul Cuesta, Alexia, Vi and the rest of the crew at the Country Inns and suites will really take good care of you. Have cruised Valor before and she's just our size, not too large, not too small. Our Dining staff was the absolute best we've ever enjoyed on a cruise. Room steward was hit or miss. Shows and on board entertainment showing their ages and need revamping. Shout out to the musical group Music on Boardwalk, as they attracted a huge loyal following. Special Shout out to our "Toron(silent t)o" entertainer, the hostess with the mostest, Fluffy, who really kept us in the loop, was always sparkly afire, and just a hoot to be with. Why she's not a CD yet, we'll never know. Note to John Heald...Fluffy is ready to be the next Carnival CD, and you should do so before we lose her to another line. I would imagine her easily attracting the CD level opportunity with other cruise lines.As devoted Carnival fans, we want to keep her in the family. Embarkation/debarkation was a snap. Cabin was 8250, for four of us..2 pull downs, 2 twins. Washington Dining room was great, service OUTSTANDING with Diana, Kumang, and Sukahnya (found out today that Sukahnya has transferred to Carnival Freedom - lucky people) Cabin steward Rony was friendly enough, but was apparently overwhelmed during the week. We got 3 towel animals for our cabin..the hanging monkey stayed there for 3 days alone. Fish and Chips, Mongolian Q, and Deli sammich station always over the top with service and fare. Pizza preparer gave poor service (DD is GF and requested a GF Pizza), was given a crappy response...spoke with hotel manager) St Martin was great, we booked Bernard's with a large group of us (2 buses) and our driver, Mailman, was a great host. Even went out of his way to show our DD a store in Marigot for some much needed lingerie she forgot to pack. Gave me a chance to chat with him for a while. If you go to SM, book Bernard's and demand the Mailman, you'll never regret it. Great tour of the island, with lunch stop at Maho to eat and watch planes...beach stop at Orient. Best excursion we've ever had. St Kitts was a depressing port stop for us. Would have much preferred a day and a half at Grand Turk. San Juan was surprisingly disappointing as all the shops downtown offered the same touristy crap made in China. We were part of a large group that had its beginnings here. We ended up with over 150 in the group and enjoyed a great time together. Want to thank CC for sponsoring a M&G for us. Regrettably, it happened on our next to last day aboard ship, so scheduling it on the first sea day would have been the optimal thing to do. Got to mention this as it really bugs me. I'm all for safety aboard ship. We take the drill seriously and expect others to do so regardless of position. We had a small fire/rapid oxidation/combustion event on the incinerator. The Alpha team alarm went out and the crew responded. The Captain, however, announced in his broken English said that it was a drill, followed by the CD who translated his Italian English into Irish English. Finally, after several passengers filmed the incinerator stack and crew response, the Captain then came on and admitted to our having a 'small fire' that was contained. I only want the facts, not some fairy tale and the Captain should be raked over the coals (pun not intended) for not being truthful. One can only cry Wolf so many times before no one reacts. Serenity area was great, and the crew was on top of ensuring only 21 and over were there. Casino Luck was friendly to us this time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Went with grandchildren...but the service was terrible Our room steward and dining waiters were very good...but the food was only so so! Nothing exceptional! The lido self serve cafeteria was awful! Like cattle! The Guy Fieri ... Read More
Went with grandchildren...but the service was terrible Our room steward and dining waiters were very good...but the food was only so so! Nothing exceptional! The lido self serve cafeteria was awful! Like cattle! The Guy Fieri burgers were awful...he needs to check out this for his name sake...very greasy! We had 3 incidences...2 medical and 1 mechanical which was unfortunate....we diverted to an island to off load a patient...but we turned the ship around to off load a patient in San Juan...which didn't make sense! The cruise director wasn't overly involved with passengers...couldn't hear announcements at all and had no direction. With all the passengers there were, it was very difficult to find a place to sit by the pool area...some saved lounges sat empty for up to 3+ hours...no one cared! The brochure said they remove belongings after 45 minutes of non use....NEVER saw anyone's stuff being moved! Also the Casino was VERY smoky! They seemed more involved pushing drinks and taking pictures at every opportunity! You can certainly count us out on future Carnival cruises! Not a pleasant experience! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Carnival Valor Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.5 4.0
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 5.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.3

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