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Carnival Valor Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,581 Reviews

Great Week Onboard the Carnival Valor

Carnival Valor Cruise Review by Rulers Mom

16 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Apr 2016
  • Destination: the Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: undefined

We booked a beautiful Aft Corner cabin that had a lot of balcony. We had 6 chairs, 2 tables, and one lounger. It was like having three balconies. The room was a nice size but not a lot of drawer space. Two normal size drawers, one skinny drawer, and one half drawer because the other half had the hair drier installed in it. I bring clothes on the skinny hangers and it's a good thing because I hung everything that could hang. There two closets for hanging, one closet with shelves.

There really was no place to put our luggage except to tuck them into the corners but still in view.. There is only one electric outlet on the desk that we rotated charging our electronics on - it would have been nice to have a splitter or power strip.

Muster - Arrived early to muster G and they took us inside, in a comfortable bar to with chairs and tables, as well as bar stools. It was nice! It filled up inside they started lining them up outside. It seemed to be an especially long muster so it was nice to be inside. There is a sewer odor out where the muster was held so it was really good to be inside.

We did not meet our attendant the first day, which was fine - our room was perfect except that our safe wouldn't lock. So I had to carry both of our wallets and wear my jewelry everywhere. Twice we we called and held, only to get cut off after 15 minutes or so. So twice we walked down to guest services. That was faster than calling - but then we had to go back to the room to meet the security person. They didn't tell us that the first time, we just expected it to be fixed when we got back. The second time we went back to the room and met security. It turned out we were swiping with the magnet down when you should swipe magnet up. Oops.

The young lady at the Java Cafe was awesome! She remembered that I prefer Latte for my husband when he stopped by on day two to get us coffee. Coffee would have been fine, but her remembering my preference on day two, when I wasn't even there, was really an example of her outstanding training and dedication to professionalism.

We ate breakfast in the dining room every morning and it was outstanding. It is the way to go if you are up early enough. Ships have the best corned beef hash - always made fresh onboard. The grits were hit or miss, thick and cheesy through-out one day, baked with cheese one top one day (YUM), watery with a little cheese once. The hardship :) !!

For the buffet, there are omelet stations everywhere at breakfast - two by the pool, three inside Rosie's. One of them is on the side of the galley, opposite of the deli station.

Speaking of the deli station, they slice fresh meat right there. Great sandwiches, seemed to be one of the healthiest options for lunch. You can go add a salad or whatever side you want around the corner at the buffet. The turkey and the salmon were both excellent. We didn't try the other options, but they looked great, too. Piece of advice: Give him your whole order up front. Once he hears your sandwich he makes it. There is no list of toppings offered so you get what they think it should have. Unless you say "No Mayo" up front, you're getting mayo.

In the Dominican we did the Double Reef Snorkle and Catamaran. It was a BLAST. The port is new, so are all of the busses they take the excursion guests on. We were driven to a beautiful, quaint little town and walked through a market, I really wish we had time to shop there for 15 minutes. That town would be a great destination via taxi next time we are in Amber Cove. There was a beach with lots of lounge chairs.

The reefs were lovely, with lots of beautiful Caribbean fish. There was a school of yellow tail snappers of every size, blue angel fish, spotted and striped fish of every color and size. The staff dove down and found a beautiful tiny star fish under a rock and brought it up to show the children. They kept it under water to not hurt it

After the two swims the we were fed a nice lunch on the catamaran, while we sailed back to the ship. It was catered by a local restaurant they drove us by and it looked lovely. Not too many vegan options for my husband, and mayo on the Cole slaw and tuna noodle salad, but we were able to snack on the rice salad and sliced cucumbers in vinegar. they turned up the music and started dancing with the guests - it was so much fun!

Now, I don't suffer from allergies at home, but the pollen there was different so my eyes watered and I was sniffly. Unfortunately my sunscreen got into my eyes while we were still in line at the port and they burned and ran for whole trip, about an hour. When we got onto the boat was able to gett a wet paper towel to wipe the sunscreen out of them. A facial towelette would have come in so handy, but I only had Clorox wipes with me. From now on, I'm carrying gentle wipes of some type.

In St Thomas we did the zip line through the cruise. It was fun, felt very safe but still a little scary, enough to get the adrenaline going.

In San Juan we did the ATV tour at the Hacienda. The tour guide we had was outstanding. I had left my drivers license on the ship and was forced to go back to get it, only licensed drivers allowed which I did not know they would insist on seeing our license. They should have sent a list of required documents with the tickets, but they didn't. I had to pay $30 for a taxi to get there after the tour, who sent together on a bus.

Grand Turk was horribly hot by the time we got off, about noonish - we had no plans but thought we'd grab a lounge chair. Nope, we walked around Margaritaville, around the pool, down to the beach and back to the ship. Jumped into the hot tub and enjoyed the view.

We spent a lot of time in the hot tubs in the Serenity area, what a view regardless if we were in port or at sea. Great bar service, cocktails delivered while we simmered. Very nice.

We booked a number of spa treatments, I've never seen such an attentive spa manager. He was everwhere, at every spa event and manning the desk almost every time we checked in or left.

The Valor was due to go into dry dock after one more cruise after ours. I didn't feel like the inventories in the shops were low, which I had anticipated. I sure would like to see her after the dry dock - she was a beautiful ship. Not easy to navigate but that would be boring anyway.

Overall the food has improved leaps and bounds. I hope this is indicative of Carnival throughout the fleet. We'll definitely consider them in the future. We had a great time!

Rulers Mom's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Amber Cove (Puerto Plata)

Tip Top Catamaran two reef snorkel. Beautiful!!! Fun, danced the whole way back with my husband and the crew. My only concern is that we paid $40 for a video of the trip, they gave us a memory stick with some videos that were not about our trip, and our trips videos don't play. I emailed them as soon as we got home hoping they would email me the links. I got an email back a week later saying they would look into it. I sure would love to have the video, it was a great day. Sadly, it looks like I paid for a few snap shots without us in them, and worthless "videos". My sister, who was along for the excursion, also couldn't get them to open on her tablet or laptop.

ATV Adventure

Overall, a lot of fun. I had not brought my license so I had to run back to the ship and leave my family behind on the tour bus. I took a taxi, I had no address but the guide wrote down her cell phone and guided him there.

The taxi driver told me someone had died there on a zip line last fall. So I understand why they want "licensed drivers" but it should have been part of the communication prior to the excursion. Maybe printed on the ticket, or a little note attached. We booked a lot of stuff, and something that simple that could exclude you from such an expensive excursion should have been highlighted.

Plus I wouldn't have known about the death. I looked it up, sad but true. Demanding my drivers license was hardly a protection for me. Seems they just wanted to protect themselves there, regardless of the inconvenience or expense to me and my family.

View All 16 ATV Adventure Reviews
Grand Turk

Low rating just for this trip. This was our third trip to Grand Turk, loved it every time but this trip. Once before we grabbed chairs and an umbrella by the beach, once we rode horses. I wouldn't do that again, it's so hot and the horses seem to be retirees - well cared for and clean, but not right for carrying fat Americans.

This time there wasn't enough chairs, it was brutally hot, we went right back on board. Enjoyed having the Serenity to ourselves. We stopped by the bar, ordered 2 Savignion Blancs and asked them send 2 more in 15 minutes. Perfect!

Port Canaveral (Orlando)

Boarding was great! We parked off property by the Raddison for half the price, the dropped us off and drove us back after. Very convenient and saved about half price.

St. Thomas

Ziplined thru the cruiseline. It was beautiful, St Thomas always is.

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Rulers Mom
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