1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
If little things bug you, there isn't a cruise out there for you. Otherwise, this one is an excellent choice! I hear people refer to the Valor as an old ship. While it isn't new, it isn't old. It doesn't have as much as the newer ships, ... Read More
If little things bug you, there isn't a cruise out there for you. Otherwise, this one is an excellent choice! I hear people refer to the Valor as an old ship. While it isn't new, it isn't old. It doesn't have as much as the newer ships, but it still has the 2.0 items. I also hear people say it is a small ship. Again, not true. While it isn't the biggest, it's not the smallest either. For a couple looking to unwind and relax, it was perfect. Even without the FTTF, we were on board in about 15 minutes. That may have been a fluke, but we were happy with it! I was concerned about the location of our state room (7400) being so close to the elevator, but we only heard other guest in the hallway once in a while during waking hours. It was real nice being close to most of what we wanted to do, so we liked the location. Our cabin steward (Pen) was very nice and took care of all our needs. We really liked almost all the food we had for lunch and dinner. We really didn't like the taste of breakfast, with the Omelet Station being our favorite. Unfortunately there was usually a slow moving line for it and the Mongolian Wok (which was also really good). We didn't do the brunch, as we are early risers. Our waiter in the MDR was Arvin and he was really good and kept our glasses full. Food came out in good time, was always a good temperature, and we were done with desert within an hour. If you want a specific waiter, request them in advance! We saw two ladies get upset because the waiter they wanted wasn't available. We miss Carnival having a magic show in the main theater, and we only went to the Love and Marriage Show which was funny, and the Hasbro Game show, which was boring for us. We enjoyed the dive in movies that didn't get rained out. One of the comedians was really good, the other okay. They should have the adult comedy show in the main theater, as the lounge isn't big enough. The lady in the piano bar spent too much time talking, but she could also play the violin, so it was cool. We only went shopping in the ports for personal reasons. Cozumel is always great. Progreso at the beach was VERY bad with vendors, and we were a little concerned about our safety. They were as bad as the mosquitoes in Texas! If we go back, we will do an excursion or stay on the ship. For debarkation, I recommend going to the lido deck and waiting. Last cruise, we got stuck in the casino with the smoke. Anyway, it took forever for them to call our deck, but once they did, we were off the ship and at our car in maybe 45 minutes, which is a record for Galveston. Over all, we still prefer Carnival over RCCL. The crowed is so much nicer, and the workers are also nicer! This was a much needed trip for us, and it was nice to relax and take it easy. We would love to do this one again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We had an issue with the cleanliness of both rooms. The balcony had vomit from the previous guest. We had underwear from a previous guest left in the bathroom. My sister brought her own personal towels & hung them on the rack. Per ... Read More
We had an issue with the cleanliness of both rooms. The balcony had vomit from the previous guest. We had underwear from a previous guest left in the bathroom. My sister brought her own personal towels & hung them on the rack. Per their rules if they are left on the rack they won’t take them. Well they took her personal towels and the Manager did not mention replacing them. The Bartenders at the Red Frog Bar on the Lido deck were rude and the drinks they made tasted horrible. I even observed them making fun of guest. The waitstaff in the Lincoln Dining Room were so slow and forgetful that we stopped eating breakfast their. This wasn’t my 1st cruise but it was some of my family members 1st cruise. We had 3 cabins and were celebrating 3 Birthdays. I will never cruise on the Valor again and I’m skeptical about another Carnival Cruise at this point. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first cruise and we absolutely loved every second of it! From the second we boarded, every staff member was welcoming and had excellent, courteous customer service !! Our housekeeping staff was wonderful! Each day we came back ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we absolutely loved every second of it! From the second we boarded, every staff member was welcoming and had excellent, courteous customer service !! Our housekeeping staff was wonderful! Each day we came back to our cabin, we were greeted by a cute towel animal creation by one of our deck’s housekeeping staff, Kumang. We were then spoiled for dinner by our awesome waiting staff trio- (Washington Upper- Table 564) Nayleen, Walter, and unfortunately I cannot find the name of our third waiter Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
My father in law paid for my husband and I to go on a cruise since we have not had a vacation in about 4 years, since our honeymoon. We left our 3 kids at home and we were ready to party and have a good time! We got on the ship early, as ... Read More
My father in law paid for my husband and I to go on a cruise since we have not had a vacation in about 4 years, since our honeymoon. We left our 3 kids at home and we were ready to party and have a good time! We got on the ship early, as in the time it told us to board the ship since we had the faster to the fun card. When we were checking in they told us that our room would not be ready for about another hour or so to just hang out and have some drinks. We finished boarding the boat and the lady that greeted us told us exactly where to go and was very helpful. She told us that our room was ready and to go ahead and go up. We got the the 6th floor and all of the doors were shut to the rooms. We had to call customer service to open the doors to where the rooms were. We went exploring and ended up at the pool. We had the drink pass cards so we knew that they wouldn't be in effect until the next day. We DIDN'T put a card on file for our room instead we put cash and were told that once you run out of money that your room card will decline and you can add more money to it. NOT TRUE!!! Our card did decline and we never put any more money on it because we had the drink passes and we were just gambling with our cash. At the end of the cruise we had a statement sent to our room saying that we owed $56.03. Not a big deal but I was very upset because we were told that our card would decline and we would just have to reload our card when that happens. We were never told that it can go negative. Once I paid the $56.03 and went on my way I noticed that 2 days later that they charged me $46.03 and then they charged me the day before $56.03. I called the company and what happens is that they put a hold on the account to make sure the funds are there. In this case they did the hold the day after they charged me the full amount. It doesn't make any sense how they operate. Now lets talk about the service....yes it was a full ship but they knew that before hand. We had to wait 30+ min every time we wanted a drink. When we gambled in the casino you are suppose to get free drinks while you gamble and you are never asked if you would like something to drink. You have to complain to the pit boss to even get any service. When you go to the casino bar it takes forever to get a drink. They continuously tell you to hang on. One night I stood at the bar to get my father in law a can of Coke and a glass of ice. I was there for at least 20min then they called last call, then when I finally asked if they were ever going to help me they told me that I should have come before last call. I was there way before that. Then when I told them that I just needed a can of Coke and a glass of ice they told me no that I should have ordered before last call. I can honestly say that I will never cruise with Carnival again. My first time on a cruise was awful. So not what I expected. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Background Information We are a mid-40's couple who like to cruise once per year. This was our 10th cruise together. We were slacking on booking a cruise for the year; so, we saw this one was a great price for a quick getaway. We ... Read More
Background Information We are a mid-40's couple who like to cruise once per year. This was our 10th cruise together. We were slacking on booking a cruise for the year; so, we saw this one was a great price for a quick getaway. We weren't looking for anything special, not really focusing on ports of call, just want to relax on our balcony and watch the water for a few days. Travel To Port of Embarkation Sailing out of Galveston is great for Texans. It was about a 3-hour drive from Austin (with a stop for BBQ lunch and a pit stop at least one Buc-ees on the way). If you do head along 290 to Galveston, check out Truth BBQ for lunch; they were excellent! Hotel Info and Embarkation City (Galveston) Like all cruises, we like to arrive a day early *just in case*. We stayed at the Hilton Galveston Island Resort the night before the cruise. It's great because it includes *free* parking for the cruise! We grabbed dinner at the famous Gaido's seafood restaurant that night. It was quite good, and we recommend it. Galveston looks like a fun little town to check out; so next time we will probably spend an extra day or two checking out the town before the cruise. Embarkation We had a 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM embarkation time. We arrived right at noon. We had no problems with lines or waiting. All staff were very friendly. Stateroom We got a suite on the port side of the Empress Deck (Level 7), room 7282. This was our first cruise with a full (not mini) suite. The price difference between a mini-suite and a full suite wasn't much at the time (forgot what it was, sorry :( ). Wow! It may be tough to go back to a mini-suite after this! Plus, you get some nice perks with a suite (priority embarkation/debarkation, ports of call, among other things). The stateroom was clean overall. The bathroom smelled horrible, and we concluded it came from the toilet. We had the stateroom attendant do a "deep clean" on the toilet, which helped a little, but still left the bathroom with a faint dry urine odor. Balcony - We had 2 chairs, a recliner, and a small "table". It was plenty large for the two of us. And the view was unobstructed. Electricity - There are several outlets in the room. If those aren't enough, I recommend you bring international plug adaptors with you. This will double the number of available outlets for all your electronics. There’re 2 USB charging ports in each of the lamps next to the bed. TV / Player - TV was probably a 32". Below it, there’s a VCR and DVD players, because...you know...it's still the 90's. Internet - If you have an internet package, do not plan on using it in your stateroom, unless you don't mind standing by door. You get no signal in your faraday cage :). Noise - Could hear all activities in the atrium area, not too bad though. So, if you are a light sleeper and go to bed early, you might want to take that into consideration. Smells - On very rare instances, we could smell cigarettes. Not sure where it came from, but it was a fleeting odor, and not frequent or strong enough to be any concern or bother. Ship Info The Valor was recently renovated in 2016, with a definite American patriotic theme. Presidents faces on the walls, American flag mosaic and tiles, and gold bald eagles scattered throughout the ship. The ship was very clean, and no strange odors to speak of. Dining Breakfast - We skipped breakfast every day. However, the Java Cafe on Deck 5 had much better coffee than the stuff at the buffet; so, we are okay paying $2.25 for a large drip coffee every morning. Brunch/Lunch (sea days) - We did the sit-down brunch on sea days. I don't recall everything we had, but we had no complaints. The cereal crusted French toast was fun, but I recommend you do Frosted Flakes instead of Fruit Loops. Scarlets Steakhouse - We did the steakhouse on the first night for our anniversary. From our previous Carnival cruises, we had low expectations. We were blown away! Not only did Carnival step up their game, but we agree that this is one of the better steakhouses we've been to a cruise. My wife got the surf and turf, and I got the cowboy steak. Both were cooked perfectly, PRIME cuts. All the sides were excellent, along with the desserts. They also had a decent wine selection. We loved the dinner so much, we signed up for another dinner there on the last sea day. On the last sea day, my wife got the dover sole, and I got the rack of lamb. She wasn't impressed with the sole, but the lamb was excellent. Yeah, Carnival just raised their price from $35 to $38 per person, but it is still worth it. CrabShack - Don't do it. They do not know how to properly crack crab. They sliced the legs clean through, which makes it impossible to get the meat out of the smaller parts. Total waste. Guy's Burger Joint - Amazingly good, especially considering that it is FREE! The burgers were juicy, and there are plenty of options for dressing your burger. The fries were prefect, crispy and not soggy, just the right amount of seasoning. Do yourself a favor and only eat half the bun to make room for more fries! Pizza Pirate - Normally cruise ship pizza is a thin floppy piece of bland tasting cardboard. NOT THIS! The crust has a nice crunch. Pro tip: get a slice of pepperoni and a slice of 4-cheese, and stack one upside-down on top of the other, and you got a tasty pizza sandwich! Dr Seuss breakfast - It's only $5 per person; so why not? Wife got the steak and eggs. Holy cow, it was a nice cut and cooked perfectly! I got the green eggs and ham, which was green-colored scrambled eggs on a slice of ham on an English muffin...like an eggs Benedict without hollandaise and the eggs were scrambled; it was alright. I also got the Belgian waffle, which was terrible cloying sweet pieces of rubber. Drinking Alchemy Bar - All of the drinks on their menu are sweet. However, they make great cocktails off-menu. I had Hendrick's martinis and my wife had "dry" Cosmo's, and both were very well made. No wine bar :(. There was no bar with a special selection of wines by the glass, which was disappointing. Activities Our main activity was relaxing on the balcony. We didn't participate in any ship activities this cruise. Gym, Fitness Center, Spa Sauna - I made sure that I got at least 30 minutes of dry sauna time each day, and sometimes twice a day. The sauna would get up to a piping 80 C (175 F). However, it does not turn on until 8 AM, and takes a good hour to hit peak temp. The sauna is huge, and has a large window to distract you from the heat. It was very enjoyable. Steam room - I did not spend any time in the steam room, but it is worth noting that they did not pump in any eucalyptus fragrance, if that's your thing. Gym was reasonable size, and equipment looked sound. However, I did no lifting or cardio this cruise. Service We and others observed that cruise lines are throttling back their service, especially with staterooms. And this cruise was no different. For example, you now have to specifically request stateroom service twice a day, otherwise they will only come once per day. Overall, the service staff are well trained and very friendly, which we find on all our cruises. Entertainment We only saw one comedian, Thea, during the PG show, and she was hilarious! We wish we stayed up long enough to hear her explicit night show. We didn't check out any other entertainment while on the ship. Internet We each purchased the "Premium" Internet package ($75 if purchased day before embarkation, $88 day of). It worked great when we first got on board, but as soon as everyone else signed up for packages and started using it, the all the bandwidth was clogged up, rendering it useless for the remainder of the cruise. We could occasionally get an update to email or Facebook, but that's about it. No way you could manage a Skype call or anything. Don't bother with it until the ship updates their internet bandwidth. Port & Shore Excursions We weren't really looking for shore excursions on this trip. We proactively found restaurants to grab lunch at each port; so, we could get off the ship, get lunch, and get back on. Cozumel - We docked west of town. It was a $8 taxi ride each way (there are tons of taxis to take you around). We ate at La Choza for lunch. This place is known for where the ships' crews like to eat. We highly recommend it. Excellent margaritas! The water was "gringo friendly", too. Progreso - Home of the world's longest port. You get on a complimentary shuttle into town from the port. We ate at a newer "high end" restaurant called Crabster (est. 2016). Service was a little slow, but the food was excellent. Also the water was "gringo friendly". Disembarkation Having a suite, we had priority disembarkation. We chose to carry our own luggage. It was fast and seamless. No complaints here. Summary Overall, we got exactly what we were looking for. A quick cheap getaway where we could just relax on our balcony. And that's what we got! Getting the suite was a nice step up, and we'll be tempted to do it again if the price is right. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Highly recommended by friends. We were well taken care of by our state room caretaker, I. Made. He gave exceptional care to the needs of our suite and was very informative with information and directions. Claudia Chavarria, staff member on ... Read More
Highly recommended by friends. We were well taken care of by our state room caretaker, I. Made. He gave exceptional care to the needs of our suite and was very informative with information and directions. Claudia Chavarria, staff member on the Lido deck, was kind, informative and very alert to be as helpful as she could be in directing us to the different delicates that the ship has to offer. On her time off, she went off ship and took the time to look for some prune juice for me and saw me the next morning to tell me she thought about me. Now that's customer service beyond the call of duty. Randy ( from the Philippines ) assigned to the Lido deck pool area, was kind and very informative about some excursions and the entertainment on the ship. Even the nursing staff was very sensitive and caring to my wife after she had fell when it started raining waiting in line on the lido deck getting breakfast. Overall, exceptional and highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Overall our experience was a positive one. The ship shows signs of wear, but it was always clean and looked after thanks to the awesome staff. The food overall was poor, and was the biggest disappointment. Buffet on the Lido deck for all 3 ... Read More
Overall our experience was a positive one. The ship shows signs of wear, but it was always clean and looked after thanks to the awesome staff. The food overall was poor, and was the biggest disappointment. Buffet on the Lido deck for all 3 meals was below average. Even dinner in the dining room was very poor. Extremely bland and just not great tasting. Our was, and other members of the waitstaff, were great though and very polite. Guys Burgers is by far the best place to grab food on the ship. Our cabin was about what you’d expect and was always clean thanks to our steward. TJ, our cruise director, was awesome and very enthusiastic. The shows were entertaining and enjoyable. I especially enjoyed just relaxing on the lido deck and looking out at the ocean. Will definitely cruise again, but will look into booking with Royal Caribbean or something a little more upscale than Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Took this cruise as a quick getaway after a long journey through my wife's cancer treatments. We are experienced cruisers.....over 25 and counting......but have never experienced a room with noise like this ! We were in room 6276 which ... Read More
Took this cruise as a quick getaway after a long journey through my wife's cancer treatments. We are experienced cruisers.....over 25 and counting......but have never experienced a room with noise like this ! We were in room 6276 which happens to be right above the speakers in the Red Frog Pub. As you can guess.....LOUD.....THUMPING music?? until midnight....every night! Carnival should tell guests about the room they are booking or consider lowering the class of room like they do for obstructed view balconies. Guess I will look a little closer at deck plans next time or just stick with not staying above or below common areas. All other aspects of the trip were fine. Our room steward, Paul, was great...room always cleaned while we were out. Dining was an issue the first night due to where our party was placed but was solved the next night. Service in the dining room was OK but was very slow most of the time.......dinner should not last 2+ hours. BTW...Carnival did comp us a night in the steakhouse for the noisy room. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This is our third cruise in 10 years. Each time has been a downgrade from the time before. It seems the price has gone up including gratuity on everything, but the experience is not worth the 3k we spent for 4 days. I was expecting to ... Read More
This is our third cruise in 10 years. Each time has been a downgrade from the time before. It seems the price has gone up including gratuity on everything, but the experience is not worth the 3k we spent for 4 days. I was expecting to have mediocre food, I was expecting cheesy out dated entertainment, I knew there were going to be a ton of women dripping wet with their bikinis on in the dining room even when the sign says you need to have clothes on, I was even expecting to hear the same music as we heard on our first trip 10 years ago. My expectations were on point there. What I wasnt expecting was it be a free for all, do whatever you want any where ever you feel. Yes, it's a vacation and you're supposed to let loose but I think carnival needs to step up security and lay down some obvious rules. I can't tell you how many people had their own radios blaring- as if there's not music piping in every speaker already. Yes, even on the "serenity" deck I couldn't get away from someone's Cardi B on loop on their phone. Everytime I stepped on our balcony I could smell someone smoking pot, and several times on the smoking decks. The gym, casino and pub had kids running around in it. The nice dining area- I'm not talking lido buffet- had half dressed people walking around like they own the place. I even saw a guy walking around with a bottle of Chivas bouncing up and down drinking it from the bottle like he was on the street. I do believe in having a good time and getting a little wild on the lido, or perhaps the casino or dance club, but you gotta know how to tone it down some. It was really embarrassing. One more thing that had nothing to do with the guests. The lido pool area is more or less where the party happens so they are mainly full of adults. I couldn't let my kids swim in those pools because everyone was plastered. I'm cool with that, but there wasnt a place designated for kids to swim yet, I believe there was a hot tub on the serenity deck, and the pool in the back is adult only also. Perhaps the pool next to the slide should be kids only, just to allow them one spot to swim with out getting drinks splashed on on their heads. On a positive note, our room steward was awesome as usual, the staff in the fun shops and camp ocean were friendly, the cruise director and his lady assistants were peppy and entertaining. My favorite part of the trip was our time in Cozumel, but we weren't anywhere near a single cruiser the entire time. We went off on our own and did our own thing. I think the next time we're getting a craving for Mexico, we're are just going to fly there. I'm sure it will save us a few grand and we won't be around the ghettoness. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Overall this is still a booze cruise, but it is a decent vacation. Our baby loved being on the boat! She got to try a lot of new foods at dinner, that I would not normally make (pumpkin soup, strawberry bisque, etc.). We stayed in a suite ... Read More
Overall this is still a booze cruise, but it is a decent vacation. Our baby loved being on the boat! She got to try a lot of new foods at dinner, that I would not normally make (pumpkin soup, strawberry bisque, etc.). We stayed in a suite since we had a baby, and needed a tub. Pros: Excellent service. Our steward Ida was amazing! She always made sure we had fresh towels. We were traveling with our 9 month old, and the crib was set up when we arrived. The carnival crew were some of the friendliest we have met (this being our 3rd carnival cruise). There were lots of entertainment options, including a huge comedy club and several lounges/bars. Dr. Seuss story time was great! Camp Ocean was good to let our baby play with toys. Cons: Loud drunks in the hallway at night, lots of loud obnoxious people at the buffet and pools, the Mega Deck party, dinner wasn't that great (frozen shrimp), boat is showing its age (rust around the faucets, etc.). Camp Carnival was not open when they told us they would be. We received a card with the times for Under 2, but one of the times we went - the doors were closed. I will definitely sail with Carnival again, but not on this boat. Read Less
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 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.3

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