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The ship was nice even though it had not been upgraded recently. Pretty much looked like all the other Carnival ships I've been on. I heard a lot of comments from others that echoed what I was feeling; that the ship/crew just weren't performing at 100%. The first few nights (anytime dinning) dinner took forever. It didn't seem like an issue with the servers so may there were issues in the kitchen. The latter half of the cruise they seemed to have worked out the issues. There were 2 optional formal nights on our cruise. They were on Sunday (2nd night) and Friday (2nd to last night). I saw very few tuxedos. Probably about half worry suits/sport coats and dresses. The others were just in the normal cruise casual attire. It does look like Carnival has loosened up the dinning room dress code, at least for men. The "no shorts" policy seems to have been replaced by "no swimsuits or athletic shorts". The food was pretty much the same as what I've seen over the last 3-5 years. It was nothing to write home about but decent. We ate most dinners in the dining room and the rest of the meals at the buffets. They had the normal hamburgers and hot dogs out by the pool and a variety of different foods each day in the buffets inside. The ship also had a Fish & Chips buffet upstairs along with a Deli and Burrito station one of which doubled as an omelet station during breakfast. You also had pizza and ice cream 24/7 in the very back of the ship. The 2 teens (17) I was with meet lots of other kids in the O2 club. I pretty much saw them for dinner. The rest of the time they were hanging out with their new fiends. Make sure to have your kids go the first day; don't let them put it off. It's much easier when everyone is new and just meeting for the first time. If they wait for a day or two everyone will have found a group. We did the Faster to the Fun option. They sell a limited number so purchase it when you book the cruise or you probably won’t be able to get it. You pay about $50 per cabin for this but you get onboard early and your room is ready as soon as you get on. Others have to wait until 2 or 3 PM before they can go to their cabins. Which means you have to haul your carry-on luggage (or Cokes) until your room is available. Not much fun trying to get something to eat while pulling a suit case behind you. It also allowed us to choose to be one of the first groups to get off the ship. We picked up our luggage and were through customs by 8:30. This is very nice if you have a long drive or an early flight to catch. The entertainment seems a little weak on this cruise. I think there were at least 2 nights where there were no comedy shows. I only went to two of the main shows and they were okay but nothing spectacular. The biggest surprise to me was that a couple brought their dog. I know some are going to disagree with me on this but a cruise ship is no place for your pet. This dog was very well behaved and I never once heard it bark. Can you imagine if this catches on and you hear dogs barking in the cabins next to you while the owners are out at the bar until 3AM. Besides I don't want to have to start requesting a no pet room. They ever brought the dog into the dining room with them. I felt bad for it when I say it trying to find shade under the lounge chairs when they were on the beach. Carnival what are you thinking!

Pets on board, are you kidding me?

Carnival Valor Cruise Review by KSilerJr

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2015
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Aft-View Extended Balcony
The ship was nice even though it had not been upgraded recently. Pretty much looked like all the other Carnival ships I've been on.

I heard a lot of comments from others that echoed what I was feeling; that the ship/crew just weren't performing at 100%. The first few nights (anytime dinning) dinner took forever. It didn't seem like an issue with the servers so may there were issues in the kitchen. The latter half of the cruise they seemed to have worked out the issues.

There were 2 optional formal nights on our cruise. They were on Sunday (2nd night) and Friday (2nd to last night). I saw very few tuxedos. Probably about half worry suits/sport coats and dresses. The others were just in the normal cruise casual attire. It does look like Carnival has loosened up the dinning room dress code, at least for men. The "no shorts" policy seems to have been replaced by "no swimsuits or athletic shorts".

The food was pretty much the same as what I've seen over the last 3-5 years. It was nothing to write home about but decent. We ate most dinners in the dining room and the rest of the meals at the buffets. They had the normal hamburgers and hot dogs out by the pool and a variety of different foods each day in the buffets inside.

The ship also had a Fish & Chips buffet upstairs along with a Deli and Burrito station one of which doubled as an omelet station during breakfast. You also had pizza and ice cream 24/7 in the very back of the ship.

The 2 teens (17) I was with meet lots of other kids in the O2 club. I pretty much saw them for dinner. The rest of the time they were hanging out with their new fiends. Make sure to have your kids go the first day; don't let them put it off. It's much easier when everyone is new and just meeting for the first time. If they wait for a day or two everyone will have found a group.

We did the Faster to the Fun option. They sell a limited number so purchase it when you book the cruise or you probably won’t be able to get it. You pay about $50 per cabin for this but you get onboard early and your room is ready as soon as you get on. Others have to wait until 2 or 3 PM before they can go to their cabins. Which means you have to haul your carry-on luggage (or Cokes) until your room is available. Not much fun trying to get something to eat while pulling a suit case behind you.

It also allowed us to choose to be one of the first groups to get off the ship. We picked up our luggage and were through customs by 8:30. This is very nice if you have a long drive or an early flight to catch.

The entertainment seems a little weak on this cruise. I think there were at least 2 nights where there were no comedy shows. I only went to two of the main shows and they were okay but nothing spectacular.

The biggest surprise to me was that a couple brought their dog. I know some are going to disagree with me on this but a cruise ship is no place for your pet. This dog was very well behaved and I never once heard it bark. Can you imagine if this catches on and you hear dogs barking in the cabins next to you while the owners are out at the bar until 3AM. Besides I don't want to have to start requesting a no pet room. They ever brought the dog into the dining room with them. I felt bad for it when I say it trying to find shade under the lounge chairs when they were on the beach. Carnival what are you thinking!
KSilerJr’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Ages 16+
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Cabin Review

Aft-View Extended Balcony
Cabin 8N 8452
This aft cabin is the same size as the regular balcony cabins in the same layout. The balcony contained 2 lounge chairs, 2 standard chairs and a small table. This pretty much filled up the balcony. It was about 8' deep but the sloping glass wall cut it to about 6' when standing at the railing. There was no smoking on any balconies which was great; you didn't have to smell your neighbor’s cigarettes. This cabins balcony can open up to the cabin to the left as you face the front of the ship.

If I get an AFT cabin again I think I'd opt for the 7th floor. There was noise from the deck above as they moved chairs and tables. Wasn't a huge deal but you wouldn't have it one floor down.

There was more vibration and rocking than I expected, especially being on the highest floor. If the ship is moving expect a constant rumbling. It's not loud and it's more of a vibration than anything else.

The location was great, unless you wanted to go to the spa, serenity deck or gym which are all the way at the other end of the ship. But it was very conveinent (1 level up) to the buffets, drink stations, pools and bars. Otherwise go down to 5 for the comedy club, bars and other common areas.
We had three people in the cabin so the couch was converted into a bed. I was a little worried about this but actually the back and arms are removed and it is pretty much just like the other two beds.

You can certainly get sun on the balcony you just have to time it right. When heading south from Port Canaveral the balcony was comfortable and shaded in the morning hours. By the afternoon the sun is hitting it and even though there was a strong breeze up top there was no breeze on the balcony. It got very hot very fast. One the way back to Canaveral the opposite was true.

Marty was our cabin steward for the week and he and his team were great. He always had ice in our cabin for us, always greeted us by name and was very attentive and friendly. We couldn't have asked for a better team to take care of us.
Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Jeep Tour
    The tour was provided by ABC Tours. We paid about $100 a piece for the 3.5 hour tour. They put about 6-7 people per open air jeeps. The jeep sat four on each side and 1 up front.
    The ride can be very bumpy so hold on tight. There were times we were glad we had our seat belts fastened because even with them we were leaving our seats. Overall the tour as good, I enjoyed seeing the sites and the ostriches.
    What really upset me about this tour was a comments the main tour guy (I think his name was Rocky) made. When we got to the church that was part of the tour he started telling us about the religions of the people on the island and that about 75% were Catholic. All of this is appropriate and interesting information.
    Where I think he went over the line is asking how many of our group were believers and then went on to tell us how he was not ashamed to admit he was a believer and that he got on his knees every morning to thank God for another day on this earth. Again a little over the top for me and from the blank stare from some others in the group I think they agreed. We weren't paying for a sermon; we were paying for a tour.
    But the part that I could not believe is when he said that the non-believers would be going to Hell and the devil would take care of them. I have no problem with a person having their own opinion. I have mine but to tell me, and possibly others, who have just paid $100 a piece that they are going to HELL is totally out of line.
    If I wanted a Christian tour I would have booked one. If you want to preach this nonsense discloses it in the description of the tour “For Christian’s Only”. That way we know to stay away. I guess the bottom line is if you’re a Christian and share Rocky’s opinions take the tour you will probably in joy it. Otherwise find a tour company that respects all its paying guests, one that can keep his religious beliefs where they belong, at home and at church.
    View All 49 Jeep Tour Reviews
  • BonaireBoatRentals.net
    In Bonaire we decided to go out on our own and rent a boat. We reserved it before leaving for the cruise from bonairboatrentals.net. It was $130 for a half day rental plus the fuel (about $30 more). The three of us caught a cab from the cruise terminal to the Harbour Village Marina. It was less than 10 minutes away and cost us $10 total. We paid an extra $5 to stop at a grocery store to pick up a few snacks and drinks. (Boat comes with a cooler and Ice).
    After a short briefing (no previous boating experience required) we were off. We drove over to the Carnival Valor and took some pictures with the ship in the background. We went over to an island where we had hoped to lay on the sandy beaches but we didn't want to risk damaging the boat on the coral so we just drove around and tied up to one of the public buoys.
    When we got back Merel was there waiting for us. We pulled up to a dock where he hoped on and then he parked the boat for us. After refueling and checking the boat for damage we settled up and we were ready to head back to the ship.
    Since Merel and his girlfriend were heading that way for lunch they offered to drop us back at the ship. On the way they pointed out the best place to buy some alcohol and then dropped us at the pier where we did a little shopping before head back to the Valor.
    All in all it was a great adventure. Highly recommend it and cheaper than a lot of the other things you could do on the island.
    View All 13,169 BonaireBoatRentals.net Reviews
  • Grand Turk
    We went to the margaretville just off the dock. we were the first ship to arrive but a second carnival ship pulled in right after us. so by 9:30 you could not find a chair or table by the pool or on the beach.
    I grabbed a small bar table and 3 chairs and hung out there why the 2 high school seniors wandered around having a great time. they were 18 so they were able to drink. they had a lot of fun trying the different drinks and hanging with the friends they had made on the ship.
    The biggest disappointment was the wi-fi. when cruising you do not have access to the internet so when you get to ports the first thing the kids want to do is get online. they want to see what’s going on back home or other spring break getaways, send photos on snap chat, check email etc. i don't think i ever got connected and i was sitting right at the bar. i hear there was no service by the pool or the beach. most complained that when they did get connected it was so slow they couldn't use it. please fix your wi-fi. you know you are going to have thousands of cruise passangers expecting it.
    Prices were about what you'd expect. drinks were about $8-10. you could buy the first one in a souvenir cup and get different refills for about $10. be aware there is an automatic 10% consumption tax and a 15% gratuity added automatically to your bill.
    View All 2,111 Grand Turk Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Grand Turk Cruise Port Review
  • Faster to the Fun
    We did the Faster to the Fun option. They sell a limited number so purchase it when you book the cruise or you probably won’t be able to get it. You pay about $50 per cabin for this but you get onboard early (~11AM) and your room is ready as soon as you get on. Others have to wait until 2 or 3 PM before they can go to their cabins. Which means you have to haul your carry-on luggage (or Cokes) until your room is available. Not much fun trying to get something to eat while pulling a suit case behind you.
    It also allowed us to choose to be one of the first groups to get off the ship. We picked up our luggage and were through customs by 8:30. This is very nice if you have a long drive or an early flight to catch.
    View All 13,169 Faster to the Fun Reviews