3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was chosen as our family New Years Cruise for 2018. There were 14 of us- 3 under 5 years and the rest adults. After reading some not very flattering reviews of Carnival ships, we had extremely low expectations and were pleasantly ... Read More
This was chosen as our family New Years Cruise for 2018. There were 14 of us- 3 under 5 years and the rest adults. After reading some not very flattering reviews of Carnival ships, we had extremely low expectations and were pleasantly surprised! There were some weak spots but all in all the staff was extremely friendly and helpful and the food was okay to good most days. The cabin stewards could do a more thorough job of cleaning and replacing dirty towels and glasses. The night time entertainment was fun but not too fancy- mainly dancing and trivia. The shore excursions we chose were both lots of fun and very well executed. The two excursions we took were the Champagne Catamaran, snorkeling and diving adventure. and the Mayan Ruins, Lazy River, and Underground Cave Adventure. On the catamaran trip, the guides took us to a spot where there was lots of colorful stuff to observe at fairly shallow depths. After 45 minutes to an hour of that, you get back on the catamaran and its Happy Hour! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The hubby and I decided on this cruise because we were looking for relaxation and I wanted a Christmas themed cruise. This was our second cruise and the first through Carnival. The Christmas decorations were beautiful and the holiday show ... Read More
The hubby and I decided on this cruise because we were looking for relaxation and I wanted a Christmas themed cruise. This was our second cruise and the first through Carnival. The Christmas decorations were beautiful and the holiday show was entertaining. We went to a few comedy shows as well as the regular shows. TJ the cruise director was hilarious! We ate in the dining room every night but one. The food was very good. We had anytime dining, but towards the end we were requesting Barbara’s section since she was so helpful and gave fantastic recommendations. We had breakfast on the Lido deck every morning. I am a fan of the omelette station. We only ate lunch twice, once at Guy’s Burgers and the Blue Iguana, again everything was good. A must not miss if you are a foodie is the Chef’s Table. The meal includes 7 courses as well as a galley tour. The food was amazing. The weather was cold everyday but one, so we didn’t really get a chance to hang out on the deck. We didn’t book any excursions through the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Embarkation was fast and efficient, debarkation was a bit tedious but after all it’s the end of your vacation. Buffet on Lido deck has 3 omelet stations for breakfast and for lunch offers Pizza, Burgers, BBQ and the buffet standards, all ... Read More
Embarkation was fast and efficient, debarkation was a bit tedious but after all it’s the end of your vacation. Buffet on Lido deck has 3 omelet stations for breakfast and for lunch offers Pizza, Burgers, BBQ and the buffet standards, all excellent! Below in the dining room food was very good, service was only pretty good as waiter William seemed to disappear for long periods of time. Luckily Headwaiter Reff and assistant Aditya were there to pull his butt out of the fire. As usual, room steward was Very Good. Thank you Aung! As a whole, service was excellent and extremely friendly, very attentive. Best policy is to treat these people with genuine respect and a smile, They will pay you back with excellent service x10. My only complaint with Carnival is no indoor smoking area to enjoy a cigar, smoke them only occasionally. How difficult could it be, Carnival? Will cruise Carnival again, for sure. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The price was right to take my son and his family to experience their first. The embarkation was great and smooth, especially when i need two wheelchair assist. But thet disembarkation was terrible, they left us in the Ivahoe Theater, ... Read More
The price was right to take my son and his family to experience their first. The embarkation was great and smooth, especially when i need two wheelchair assist. But thet disembarkation was terrible, they left us in the Ivahoe Theater, until almost all the passenger were gone waiting for the staff member to push the wheelchair. Ive been cruising for 13 years and it never happened before. The dinning was fantastic, Food, and service was great. The ship overall was fine. The cabin was very comfortable even with 4 passenger. Service was excellent thru out the ship. The only complain i have is when eating in the buffet on Deck 9, we never had a staff member ask us if we needed coffee, or water or to pick up the dirty dishes. I was very surprise. Royal Caribbean even looks for a table for you and are always very attentive. I'm going on another cruise on the carnival Dream and i hope the buffet will be handle better. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This was a birthday cruise for a friend. It was the 1st cruise for the majority of the people in our party. We missed our schedule appt time for embarkation, but we made it on the ship within 20 mins of arriving to the port. All of the ... Read More
This was a birthday cruise for a friend. It was the 1st cruise for the majority of the people in our party. We missed our schedule appt time for embarkation, but we made it on the ship within 20 mins of arriving to the port. All of the stewards and crew were really nice. The highlight of the cruise for me was the Deli. You have to try all of the sandwiches. My least favorite part of the cruise was the show. I try to make all shows, but was only able to catch one of the two offered on this one. The one that I caught was entertaining, but the singing was a little lacking. The other members in my party caught the 2nd show and loved that one. I hate that I missed it. We choose to do Mr. Sanchos for our excursion. It is an all inclusive beach club. I would recommend doing this if you are interested in all you can eat food, drinks, and relaxing on the beach. They do offer other activities like ATV, kayaking, snorkeling, horse back riding, etc there as well. So far this is the biggest ship I have been on with Carnival. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
• Background information My wife and I have been cruising for almost thirty years and have been on over fifty cruises including eight on Carnival. • Ship information The Carnival Valor is a fourteen year old Conquest class ... Read More
• Background information My wife and I have been cruising for almost thirty years and have been on over fifty cruises including eight on Carnival. • Ship information The Carnival Valor is a fourteen year old Conquest class ship rated at 110,000 GT with 3,400 passengers on our sailing. • Service The service on the ship was above average especially in the main dining room. Our waiter, Iputu was most attentive. Our room steward, Melvin was also quite good. Both learned our names on day one and remembered them throughout the cruise. • Port & shore excursions We took a cab to the Money Bar and enjoyed sun and ocean during the morning then returned to a very uncrowded pool on-board during the afternoon. • Travel to embarkation port We, like most of our fellow Valor passengers, live within a short drive of the port of Galveston. The drive from Houston was very easy and we arrived a bit early for our 11:30 check-in time. • Cabin We stayed in an over-sized ocean view cabin on deck two aft. It was almost as large the suite we stayed in on the Conquest some time ago and was only a fraction of the price. • Dining The main dining room food is very good and continues to be much than Royal Caribbean. We utilized “Your Time Dining” and ate in the area of our waiter, Iputu three of the four nights. We ate in the Scarlet’s steak house one night and it was excellent. We had the “Art at the Table” dessert and it was the best dessert experience we’ve had on any ship. It was even better that the dessert in the Wonderland restaurant on Royal Caribbean. We also ate in the main dining room for the brunch on sea days. We ate the steak and eggs and it was the best breakfast we’ve had on any cruise. The steak was small but outstanding. • Entertainment The house band that performed in the Red Frog pub and also was part of the second production show was amazing! They were the best we have seen on any ship. • Embarkation/Disembarkation The embarkation process was the smoothest we’ve encountered on any cruise. We arrived a bit before our 11:30 time so we had to line up behind a few early arrivers but everybody was directed straight to a check in clerk with no wait at all. We also went straight to security with no line, then on to the embarkation area for a five minute wait until our boarding number was called. We weren’t as happy with disembarkation. We had to wait until almost 10 to walk off with our roll aboards. This is one thing Royal Caribbean does better. • Summary We paid so little that we had low expectations for this cruise yet several aspects were the best of any of the fifty plus times we’ve sailed. In addition to the items I’ve already mentioned we really liked the eight minute muster drill and the nice thick pool towels provided in the cabins. The prices for beverages are much better than other cruise lines. We also liked the later departure time in Cozumel. We were the last ship to leave and we were able to enjoy the sunset for sail away. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I took this cruise with over 20 members of a service organization that I belong to. I'm not a huge cruise fan - I would not have booked it for myself, but I knew that I would have a good time with my group. I've taken a couple of ... Read More
I took this cruise with over 20 members of a service organization that I belong to. I'm not a huge cruise fan - I would not have booked it for myself, but I knew that I would have a good time with my group. I've taken a couple of Carnival cruises before and one through NCL, and if I ever do another one, it will be with a truly premier line. But, this cruise did exceed my expectations. I've been to Galveston many times, so I did not do any sightseeing before or after the cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. No complaints with either process. The ship itself was pretty nice, as was the cabin. My cabin had a balcony with 2 chairs and a side table, so it was nice to be able to see the water. The curtain was heavy enough to block out light, so that was good for sleeping. The only thing that was a bit of a pain was the lack of plugs in the room. There was one outlet with 2 plugs on the vanity (one plug is 220, but it also works as a regular plug-fyi). There is another plug in the bathroom on the light fixture, but it only works while the light is on. The only real complaint I had was due to the location of my cabin - it was on the floor directly over the major entertainment areas, and a band played directly below us most nights. It was very loud! I had ear plugs, which helped, but I will know if I ever cruise again to check this out before I pick my room. The food was overall better than what I expected. I mainly ate in the dining room, because I'm not a buffet fan. Portions in the dining room are not large, but you get 3 courses. It was always plenty of food for me, but I'm not a big eater - you can always order more if you want it. I would recommend not ordering any of the fish fillet options except the salmon - they all looked dry and overcooked. Also, in addition to the early or late seating for the dining room, you can choose open seating option. Our group chose this, which allowed us to eat when the time was convenient for us. There are a few times when the buffets are the only option. The pizza was pretty good, and the burger place was delicious! I also liked the taco bar. I never ate at the other buffet lines. There are lots of activities to keep you busy. Carnival has something going all hours of the day - trivia games, various bands, casino (very smoky), shows, etc. The cruise director, TJ, was lots of fun. The activities for the day are printed and sent to your room, but I recommend using Carnival's HUB app. It lists all of the activities, dining options, shore excursions, and a ship map. For a $5 fee, you can also use the chat feature. It is a great tool to keep up with your party if you don't have international service on your cell phone. I had really good service throughout the cruise. Almost everyone was very friendly and helpful. I booked my excursions through a separate party (Shore Trips). I did not even know this was possible, but it is! If you use these, they are usually less crowded than through the cruise line. They were great! We did a dune buggy tour in Cozumel, and I highly recommend it! Overall, I was pleased with this cruise. Carnival is good for people who are flexible, don't mind crowds, like a lot of options for activities and it's good for kids. It was a good option for our large group, because it allowed people to pick and choose what they wanted to do throughout the day. If you want something quiet and top notch, I would choose a different cruise line. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This cruise was celebrating our 36th Wedding Anniversary. And, we were not disappointed. We chose cabin 1103 by the Spa. Which was an excellent choice. The balcony and room were perfect for two people. And, best of all, we had an ... Read More
This cruise was celebrating our 36th Wedding Anniversary. And, we were not disappointed. We chose cabin 1103 by the Spa. Which was an excellent choice. The balcony and room were perfect for two people. And, best of all, we had an absolutely WONDERFUL steward. His name is "Made". Pronounced Ma-Dee. He is from Bali. From the moment we entered our room we felt pampered. Not only that, bu Made went the extra mile and cleaned our room twice a day. Each time he would make wonderful animals with towels that were just beautiful and enchanting. Made went the extra mile to ensure our anniversary cruise was the best it could be. He went above and beyond to ensure we had ice, fresh linens, information on happenings on the ship, Water, sodas, and our Anniversary decorations. Made took pride in his work, and it showed. My wife and I became friends with Made, and hope one day to visit him in his home country, Bali. Carnival Valor, if you read this review, you should give Made a promotion and a raise. He's earned it in my book. The food in the steak house was absolutely AWESOME. If you go, you owe it to yourself to eat there at least once. You'll be glad you did. Make reservations ahead of the cruise, because spots fill fast. The food in the regular dining was also good. Our dining room was the Washington. Our waiter/server was Ricky. Ricky was fantastic! We never wanted for anything, or had to ask for anything. It was like Ricky could read our minds, and was just THERE instantly to take care of our needs. If you get Ricky for a waiter you will have one of the best waiters there, and consider yourself privileged. He's awesome. Be careful of the art auction. They'll pass out so called bid vouchers for raffle prizes, and they allude to the bid vouchers being good toward a bid on art. Be careful. Read the fine print. We won a voucher for 100.00, and thought it was good for bidding on any of the art they were auctioning. Well, it wasn't. It was only good for specific art that was to be framed and shipped. So, when I bid on some art it cost me more than anticipated because of not being able to use the voucher. This seemed deceptive to me. And, quite frankly it pissed me off. And, it was one reason I did NOT go back to buy anymore art. I don't like being deceived. The gambling was fun. We one 225.00 on a penny slot machine. And, we one 80.00 playing bingo. So we had a fun time gambling. The shows were FANTASTIC. We watched some of the adult comedy shows, and couldn't stop laughing. Those guys are hilarious. The singers and dancers were awesome as well. The country show was great, but the most spectacular show was the American Rock and Roll show. Holy smokes! The performers were AWESOME! Our cruise director TJ was pretty great too. It seemed as though he was everywhere, all the time. And, that was a good feeling to know our cruise director took an active part in making sure we were entertained. TJ was funny, energetic, and a great entertainer. We loved him! If I had to nit pic on things there are only two things in the room that were annoying, and one thing on the ship that was annoying. For the room, the small fridge didn't work. That was ok though as Made kept us in ice the whole trip. Also, the tv didn't have many channels to chose from. So, not much to do in the room. Well, maybe a little, lol. And, on the ship, it got very annoying having the folks in the fun shops constantly trying to sell us stuff. We mostly just wanted to look, but were constantly interrupted with sales pitches. That was annoying, and did in fact run me out of some shops. I won't spend money where I'm pressured. Oh yea, speaking of pressured, the art sales crew sent us THREE invitations to the final art auction. We didn't go for two reasons. First their deceptive raffling of bid vouchers that you couldn't use, and second because of high pressure sales. Frankly, they angered me with that. And had we not been as nice as we are, they would have gotten a piece of my mind. Please advise them to stop with the high pressure sales and deceptive bid vouchers that you can't use. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
To begin with, we cruise on a budget. So value is our number one priority. Since we are able drive to Galveston, we cruise on Carnival. This was our first cruise on Valor and we loved it. We had sailed on Freedom (with cruise director ... Read More
To begin with, we cruise on a budget. So value is our number one priority. Since we are able drive to Galveston, we cruise on Carnival. This was our first cruise on Valor and we loved it. We had sailed on Freedom (with cruise director Malcolm "Woo-hoo" Burn) last year at Thanksgiving and we found that the Valor was laid out exactly the same. 3696 other passengers shared our cruise, but I think we stood in a line for a total of 12 minutes the entire cruise. Boarding was a breeze, whisking through drop-off, luggage to the stevedores, security, boarding pass check and walking onto the ship with barely a stop for that Welcome Aboard photo (we took the towel animal photo this year). On board, we found the food, entertainment, activities and all-around fun to be plentiful with friendly staff in all areas. Our request for a dining change was handled quickly and politely. Our cabin steward was a ninja. Towel animals showed up like magic as well as our requested robes and extra hangers. One thing we missed last year that we were determined to do was the steakhouse chef's cooking demonstration. They hold it in the steakhouse at noon on the first sea day. We got there about 11:20 and loitered until they started seating folks at about 11:45. It was SO GREAT! The chef was friendly and funny and gave us recipes and scrumptious samples of cappuccino mushroom soup, spinach salad, roast chicken with potatoes and mac and cheese, and tiramisu. And did I mention that there is NO additional cost for this? Just show up on time! Other free wonders we found were the games to play in the Red Frog Pub and the Iliad library, performances by great musicians all over the ship (our favorite is Alan the Australian guitarist). The last night of the cruise, they did the America Rocks ('80s music) show in the Ivanhoe Theater, which was our favorite. We also very much enjoyed shows hosted by cruise director TJ (who was just named one of Carnival's best CDs), especially his Love & Marriage and Q & Awesome shows. The dining room menu was wonderful with incredible Indian food (different each night) for our vegetarian and Baked Alaska for everyone the last night of the cruise. Another food experience not to be missed is the Chocolate Extravaganza from 12-2:30 on the Lido deck the last sea day. Our excursion at Cozumel was the Mayan Ball Game with lunch and Mexican folkloric dancing at the Kun Che Mayan Historical Park. It was really terrific for a group with diverse interests. The cooking demonstrations (tortillas, tamales and chocolate), the ball game itself, the Mayan blessing, the tequila tasting and the dancing were all fascinating and the buffet lunch was lovely. At Progreso, we went to the Mayan ruins at Dzibilchaltun, where we swam in a cenote and saw the museum and the ruins of Mayan pyramids and a Spanish chapel. Then we had an incredible buffet lunch at Rancho Tierra Bonita with terrific singing and dancing, a Charro demonstration with expert horsemanship and roping and complimentary beverage service. Highly recommended. Our teenager had a great time in Club O2. She will age out by the next time we cruise and she's actually disappointed! She still keeps in touch with friends she's made over the last two cruises in the teen club. We stayed away from the bars, the casino and the shops. This kept us on budget (we did spend a little on photos) and out of the way of crowds. It's not the only way to cruise, but it works for us. Carnival is an unbeatable value for our family. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I boarded the Carnival Valor for a week long cruise to Mexico. The staff are absolutely amazing! You are treated like you are the most important person on the planet. The buffet selection gets a little repetitive as the week goes on but ... Read More
I boarded the Carnival Valor for a week long cruise to Mexico. The staff are absolutely amazing! You are treated like you are the most important person on the planet. The buffet selection gets a little repetitive as the week goes on but the food is great! The formal dining room serves exquisite meals. Often things that are bold and fancy that you have never eaten in your lifetime. You will soon feel like you've known your waiter for years because they are the friendliest most personable people you will ever meet. As the days go on the staff will greet you by name even if you've never met them. The shows are impressively entertaining and the atmosphere on the entire ship is the cleanest I've ever experienced. I never once encountered a single employee that wasn't amazing! To be honest, I could probably write a short story on how pleasant my experience was. DEFINITELY recommend! 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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