5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This was my families first cruise together and I wanted to make it special. I had cruised on NCL before but was in an inside suite. After having that interior experience, I opted for a balcony cabin. I also chose 6th floor and in center ... Read More
This was my families first cruise together and I wanted to make it special. I had cruised on NCL before but was in an inside suite. After having that interior experience, I opted for a balcony cabin. I also chose 6th floor and in center field to help lessen the motion(if possible). Everything was done very well from embarkation to the food, staff, and excursions. My son is 7 and he was in heaven. The food options are never ending from the lido buffet to all the side stuff. My wife wasn't a fan of the sushi. I loved the midnight pizza runs after a healthy dose of casino time. We ate at the Lincoln and the Washington as well. My only regret was I only booked a 5 day. Well, 2 regrets. We also didn't utilize the kid zone much so we never got out to dance or see the comedy shows. This was more by family proxy though, Logan wanted to hang with dad. The room was as expected, not shoulder to shoulder but smaller than a Super 8. This is why I chose the balcony, plus you can do and see things others can't. Again, private balcony with incredible views. Could go on and on but we had a very memorable time on your ship and would recommend you to anyone. RW Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
We took the "7 Day Exotic Southern Caribbean" Cruise from San Juan, Puerto Rico visiting 5 ports, Sunday to Sunday. We had cabin 7326, which I choose because it was relatively close to the stair/lift well, but one removed so that ... Read More
We took the "7 Day Exotic Southern Caribbean" Cruise from San Juan, Puerto Rico visiting 5 ports, Sunday to Sunday. We had cabin 7326, which I choose because it was relatively close to the stair/lift well, but one removed so that we wouldn't hear people waiting for a lift. This worked fine, and the only noise we head was from people talking in the corridor after a big night out. The room class was "OS", a suite. It still felt cramped to me, and as we had the twin bed configuration. The wardrobes to one side of the bed wouldn't open fully thanks to the beds. Talking storage space, and there was plenty of it. The bathroom had a spa bath, which whilst narrow and not very long, was actually quite good. There were three of us in the room, and mostly that wasn't a problem. There was only two bathrobes and two of most types of glassware - but not an issue. This was my first Carnival cruise. Check-in was painless, and we were able to check in our bags early and go for a walk around Old San Juan. Once we returned, we had priority boarding and went straight onto the ship. Cruise Ships are not known for understatements when it comes to interior decorations, and the Carnival Valor was no exception. I thought it was just a difference of Australian vs American sensibilities, but when it was discussed over a communal brunch table one morning it appears that all shared the same opinion: insofar as interior decorations go, the Carnival Valor is tacky in the extreme. The colours of the American flag were everywhere, and there are gold plated eagles by the bucketload. The main atrium lobby has bas-relief head busts presumably of famous people in American history, all illuminated in red, blue and white light. Safe to say, no gay guys were consulted in this fit-out. Absolutely tasteless. I am happy to report that the staterooms were understated by comparison. The food was a mixture of ordinary, good and very good. The buffet was ordinary as all get-out. The specialist serving stations (Mongolian wok, Burrito Bar and the deli) were good. And the dinner service in the Washington Room was very good with a fine selection of dishes nightly. The lobster and prawns was a stand-out for mine. We were very lucky to have a couple of good waiting staff at the Washington Room, notably Sam and Budhi. I can't fault the a la carte dinners, but the buffets (for all meals) need a gee-up. We didn't try the spa as the prices were extortionate, but the gym was very well fitted out. I got shamed into going to the gym one morning, and it brought back fond memories! There is a Serenity Deck for over 21s only, which was an excellent spot for sipping wine in the spa pool. We pre-booked a number of shore excursions through Carnival: BOSS Underwater Adventure - this tour is not worth the price, and should be avoided until the price comes down. The Harrison's Cave Eco-Adventure - sensational... do not miss this opportunity if you have even a modicum of fitness. St. Kitts by Rail & Sail - a beautiful catamaran, a double-decker railway carriage, and unlimited rum punches and Pina Coladas. What's not to like? One word of caution: check your account at regular intervals. When we got our bill on the final day, we found that we had been charged twice for the wine package that we ordered. We went down to the guest services desk, and it took fully half an hour before the lady agreed to remove the charge, and even then it wasn't resolved. At least she removed it with a promise to call first if they were going to dispute our version of events. We all enjoyed our cruise experience. Carnival is a good value priced cruise line, and lived up to our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
My family and I were very pleased with our cruise on the Carnival Valor. I was continuously amazed by the amount of great customer service we received by ship crew members. It made a positive impact on my overall experience when I would ... Read More
My family and I were very pleased with our cruise on the Carnival Valor. I was continuously amazed by the amount of great customer service we received by ship crew members. It made a positive impact on my overall experience when I would hear good morning/evening, or just a hello with a smile from so many of them. There are a few members that I must personally acknowledge: Our cabin steward, Michael, was very pleasant and always had our room in top notch, crisp shape for at least 3 times during each day, not to mention in the evening, when we would return from dinner, there would be a different small animal made from and shaped out of towels awaiting us on one of our beds.. Very cool.. Thanks again for everything, Michael! For dinner, we were well taken care of by Nadia, Violy and Jefferson. They made our dining experience delightful and fun. Thanks guys! Valentina was the bartender at Genie's Lounge, and I felt welcomed to just sit, have a cocktail and chat with her. My husband and I made a few friends on the first night of the cruise at her bar, and we had a blast when we were there. She made some great drinks, no to mention some really neat pouring techniques. If you are ever on the Carnival Valor, go and visit her. If you like martinis, get the martini sampling special and watch her awesome mastery of mixology at its best! I will never forget Cruise Director, Felipe, for the high level of energy and excitement in his voice when he made announcements on the intercom about scheduled events on the cruise. My family and I crossed paths with him one night on our way to dinner, and we talked for a couple of minutes. What a warm and friendly guy. Before leaving, he asked my mother for her cabin number, and he surprised her by delivering a dozen chocolate strawberries to the room. How awesome is that? =) Carnival offers an upgrade, called "Faster to the Fun" that offers perks to the cruise. We purchased this upgrade for 49.99, and we were allowed to embark without having to wait in any lines, which was really nice. Another part of the upgrade was the ability to disembark and be the first group to leave. Disembarking early was the perk we were mostly interested in, because we wanted to catch an early flight home. Unfortunately, disembarking was stressful for us. The disembarking station was chaotic, and we were not sure where to go. We were told by a Carnival team member to take the elevator to level 0, which we tried to do but were not successful. Instead we had to get off on level 1 and wait in a very crowded spot with no assigned area for passengers that purchased the upgrade. There was only one Carnival employee on level one, but in order to talk to him, we had to walk through the congested area. Sadly, the employee did not know anything about the "Faster to the Fun" option and said he could not permit anyone to enter level 0. We were confused and frustrated. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
We cruised for the first time on the Carnival Dream in December 2010 and really enjoyed everything from the ship to the food to the entertainment but not so much the ports. Armed with more knowledge, we decided to book our second cruise, ... Read More
We cruised for the first time on the Carnival Dream in December 2010 and really enjoyed everything from the ship to the food to the entertainment but not so much the ports. Armed with more knowledge, we decided to book our second cruise, again on Carnival, and we just got back. I've got a lot to say! We sailed on the Carnival Valor to the western Caribbean (Grand Caymen, Islad Roatan, Belize and Cozumel) September 4-11. What a difference a port and a ship make! We will likely not leave from Miami again: the hotels are a lot pricier and the port authorities are a lot less nice. The embarkation process seemed a bit messier as well and not as organized or personal as it was out of Orlando. The process took about an hour and we found ourselves on board. The first thing we did was sign up for the "Behind the Fun" tour - which they can't sell in port but they add you to the list - get there early as the tour is small. If you have never done this before, it's worth the $95 pp. It's a behind the scenes tour of the ship on the last day. More on it later. Our first impression of the ship is that it was older, the colors were really gimmicky and there was a lot more noticeable wear and tear on the ship (furniture, etc.). We did make our way up to Lido for our lunch - lines were long, as expected but to our great surprise, the aft pool area was ADULTS ONLY. This was a great respite for us during the cruise and gave us an opportunity to meet people, have a few drinks, etc. However, whereas on the Dream there was yummy Indian food as well as a deli in the aft dining space, on this cruise only one of the sides was open and all you could get was pizza. Highly sad that there wasn't really an opportunity to experience other ethnic food. Our stateroom, 6209, was decent. No complaints there. My wife did buy a door decorating thing for our anniversary MONTHS in advance and all I got was a note to say "sorry, we can't do it." It would have been nice for them to have contacted her to be able to surprise me in the same way, you know? Some other information about our experience on the Valor: -Dinners in the Lincoln Room were mediocre at best. Every time, my fish was overcooked. We did find great wait staff though: Wilbur and Alfredo, as well as Koko, our beverage service staffer who kept out colas filled throughout dining time. -Food overall was NOTHING like on the Dream. Buffets, again, were mediocre. -Scarlett's Steakhouse though was 100% better on the Valor than on the Dream. Worth the additional $30 pp. -The Serenity Deck - we had an issue with a staff person who, instead of telling us the deck was closed, sprayed us with water. So we didn't return. -The Spa - I have to downgrade here. We spent over $400 in services and we were pitched at the end after every one. After dropping this kind of money on something that was supposed to be relaxing, I tensed right back up. It is a shame but we won't visit the Spa ever again on Carnival. -Comedy Club was fun, as always. -Goose reminded me of a frat boy and we hardly saw him the entire time we were onboard. He was better than Butch though and not as [frequently] annoying with the announcements. Didn't seem to really be "in it" though. -Lido dance party was a ball - but soooo hot :) Makes for some good exercise! -Many ship excursions are PACKED with people. Get used to sitting so close you can smell what your neighbor had for lunch! -Ship medics need to get some bedside manners The Behind the Fun Tour was great - delve into what life is like as a member of the staff. See how they do the laundry, prepare your meals, take all those "crew only" staircases, go to the engine control room and up on deck with the Captain. Treats, pictures, a "fun bag" with goodies and champagne in the steakhouse all come with the pricetag! Totally worth it! Ask all the questions you want too. Tara was great. Overall, and mostly because she chose some great excursions, we had a blast. But I think we have to stay with the Dream class of ships. Magic and Breeze due in US in 2012 and 2013! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
We cruise frequently and have cruised on Carnival, Celebrity, Costa, American, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. Family cruise from ages 17 - 81 years old. Boarding was fairly easy - took a little longer than usual but it was well ... Read More
We cruise frequently and have cruised on Carnival, Celebrity, Costa, American, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. Family cruise from ages 17 - 81 years old. Boarding was fairly easy - took a little longer than usual but it was well organized and we were on board in less than 40 minutes. When dropping off luggage it is wise to tip well. We tipped $20 for 6 pieces of luggage and it was well received. The guys at the port who are not cruise line employees can be a little rough so it's a cheap insurance policy. We had a nice room approximately 220 sq. feet outside oceanview room. Very very clean, well appointed with spacious bathroom, tv, 110 electrical outlets. Firm but comfortable beds with coach, two lamps, in room refrig, big closets, etc. Family was in 5 different rooms on 2 different floors. Almost no difference in rooms so paying more for a higher level room is not worth it. Elevators are everywhere and move quickly so level is not too important. Room Steward Eddie was excellent, friendly, and efficient. He moved in and out of our room checking frequently but did not feel intrusive. Great Service!Dining Room - Lincoln lower level - one of our party booked late and received seating in a different dining room. We made a request to the Maitre D who quickly moved her seating and arranged for all of our party to eat together. Our wait staff was I Gusti and Wikki. Excellent job, friendly very kind service. The met all of our needs even when we did not like something or wanted double lobster etc. Always smiling and very pleasant. Wine/Liquor Steward was guy name Youghnut (rim with Donut) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2009
Let me preface this review by saying I am in the hotel/restaurant and tourism business. I help run a 4 star resort in Colorado. I have been on 4 other cruises (RCCL, NCL and Carnival before) The ship itself was gorgeous. It was very ... Read More
Let me preface this review by saying I am in the hotel/restaurant and tourism business. I help run a 4 star resort in Colorado. I have been on 4 other cruises (RCCL, NCL and Carnival before) The ship itself was gorgeous. It was very fun and decorated beatifully. This ship had the best pool layout of all the ships I have been on. I loved having the movie/tv outside and the theater style areas with the lounge chairs. This is the only cruise where I did not have to worry about finding a chair as there are several places to lay out. The food was great. I thought is was much better than NCL and RCCl. There were plenty of dining options. Do not miss the burrito bar or the deli or the 24 hour pizza. For foodies you MUST check out Scarletts! additional $30.00 for lobster bisque, spinach salad, 24oz porterhouse and amazing desserts was a steal! If there is a must on the cruise this is it. The staff was amazing and the wine sommolier was the best. For our room I actuall upgraded us to a balacony. This was the first time I have ever had one and was great. I do not think I could go back to a window view ever again. The staff was great (but please read further) The bar staff at the pool and at the shows rocked. Look for Melvin on the pool deck he was AMAZING and the most helpfull. The spa was one of the best I have ever been to and I am a spa snob. It was nicely done and very relaxing. The other great points of the ship are: Pricing was not bad for drinks or extras like spa or cappacino or sundaes from the Java Shop Do not miss the martini tasting on the first day and on wednesday Rosies diner was a lot of fun and offered great variety The shows were vary entertaining That was the posistive now the negative With the downfall of the economy Carnival along with the other cruise lines have had to lower rates (one of the reasons I took this cruise) However this is drawing in people for lack of better words should not be traveling. They have no common sense of what service is and how to interact with the staff. I encountered several people that were just plain rude to the staff and were in the wrong and have no idea how to act in an upscale social setting. In this respect it has an effect on the staff as you could tell they were tired. Some things I encountered on our voyage was: Cabin - was not up to my expectations. Pubic hairs in drawers, stains on curtains,moldy shower curtain,stains on towels, life jackets and robes not in the correct place and the glass window that I paid extra for on the balcony was filthy. All of this on embarktation. Fine dining - the head server was nice but you could tell he was tired. To make things worse we had some of those people who have never traveled before and were just plain rude and stupid towards our service staff. From this we recieved chipped wine glasses and water glasses as well as dirty menus. I did talk with our room steward and waiter about the above and they said sorry. On day three when I noticed the gratuities were posted I went to guest services and told them of my troubles and had them removed so I can tip on my own. That night the floor manager came to my cabin to apologize and see how everything was. The next day the same was done by the dining room manager. I was not looking for anyhting in return but I am in the industry and thought they needed to know as it did effect how I felt about our room and what I paid for. Overall the trip was great except for the above and the weather. The boat was amazing and that is what I care about most. Was not thrilled about the ports. Costa Maya and Belize suck. Grand Cayman is the best but were not there for long. On a personal note, with all these new mega ships coming out I do not know if I will continue to go on those large ones like the current one the Carnival Valor. at times if felt like hearding cattle to buffets and getting out of the boat to the ports. I was actuall in a slingy (shoulder surgey 3 weeks prior)and that did not stop anyone from pushing or shoving. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2009
Embarkation in Miami was a breeze. Smooth process. Our cabin was ready; the crew was welcoming and friendly. It took us a while to acclimate to the layout of the ship, as you cannot go from one end to the other to get to the Washington ... Read More
Embarkation in Miami was a breeze. Smooth process. Our cabin was ready; the crew was welcoming and friendly. It took us a while to acclimate to the layout of the ship, as you cannot go from one end to the other to get to the Washington Dining Room without going up and down. Just a minor inconvenience. We decided to use the stairs throughout the cruise, rather than waiting for the slow elevators (plus the additional exercise helped burn off the dinners!) We ate in the dining room all nights except one. On that night we took advantage of the food offered at Rosie's, on the Lido Deck. The Asian Bar was wonderful - wish we had discovered it the first day. We did not spend a lot of time on the Lido deck, due to the number of families with children (spring break). Instead, when on the ship, we went up to Deck 11 to walk the track, and then to lounge in the sun, away from the noise of busy Deck 5. Although there were many children and teens on board, we were able to find lots of places to get away from the activity. We prefer a quiet environment where we can enjoy a book, sipping a drink. Speaking of drinks, they were quite pricey, but the ones made at the bar in the casino were quite good. Not so for the ones made at the bars out on the decks. They could have used a bit more liquor in them. We requested early dining, but got the late one. The food was very good, especially the broiled Maine lobster tails. Of course the desserts were special, especially the chocolate melting cake! We did hope for more Indian menu items, since the chef was Indian. Only the first night was there an entree of Indian vegetarian food - it was good, though. I want to commend the captain for making the brave decision to forego the stop in Progreso, due to high winds. Instead, we had a day at sea. Apparently some guests complained, and an alternate stop in Key West was arranged. I would have been okay with another day at sea, but apparently many others did not feel the same way. Kudos to the crew! My only real complaint is the handling of the debarkation process at the port of Key West. It took a long time, with guests crowded in the stairways. It was by far the worst stop of the trip. All in all, we would cruise again with Carnival (it was our second)but would likely not go during spring break week. Read Less
Carnival Valor Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.5 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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