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We chose this cruise for the opportunity to take our 7 and 8 YO granddaughters on their first cruise over Mardi Gras break (Louisiana residents). We had no issues with the Valor vs. Liberty swap, both were new to my wife and me although we'd previously sailed the Conquest so were comfortable with the class. Our cabin, 7397, on the Empress deck was quiet with respect to neighbors, above, below and both sides, but we did have a very annoying rattle outside the door described elsewhere. Embarkation and debarkation were very smooth, Faster to the Fun is a must for us and makes everything more enjoyable. We parked offsite on the Lighthouse lot and their operation was very smooth. The porters are well worth the tip for debarkation. We booked our excursions outside of Carnival and in Cozumel we went to Chankanaab park and swam, with dolphins. Very enjoyable and saw a sea lion show and petted the manatees also. The food was ok there with inside dining to beat the heat and avoid the flys. The cost of buying photos is excessive to say the least. Even with the price of the taxi roundtrip the excursion was a bargain over Carnival rates and there was no concern about missing the vessel. The excursion was booked through dtraveler.com and the booking was very smooth. In Progresso, we also booked on-line through ShoreExcursioner.com. We booked the private all-inclusive beach party at Slicer. They only accepted a deposit with the balance to be paid in cash at their terminal. They use AutoProgresso as their local serice provider and the bus at the head of the pier (poorly marked and confusing) takes you to their terminal in town where you are on your own to find the desk to pay your balance. The terminal is crowded with pushy vendors, poorly marked and hectic to say the least. We finally found our desk, paid the balance of the excursion fee and waited nearly an hour for the bus to the beach. Good bus and driver and tour guide were very friendly for the brief ride. Thank you Gabriel and Mario. The beach was more shell than sand and limited shade so we spent the day at the pool near the food, and drinks. The food was good and the drinks were low alcohol content. I found out as we were leaving, the practice is to order the drink and a shot on the side to pour into the drink! Ample restrooms, clean pool and quite enjoyable. My wife and I have been on 6 cruises with Carnival in the past 13 years and have noticed the changes. The food quality is noticeably down from the earlier cruises, but if you leave hungry it's still your fault. No stek and lobster nights on this cruise, you pay extra for it if you want it. The menu options weren't as varied as we expected but there were some treats. And I miss having orange juice with the morning Lido buffet, they've subsituted orance drink instead... We were originally seated in the back of the Lincoln dining room, and they put us in a four person table in the aft next to the serving area with no view of the room or outside. We requested and were reseated in the Washington dining room in the center of the lower room with two other delightful couples. The Maitre d', Joseph, made us feel very welcome and took a personal interest in the granddaughters and their enjoyment of the meals and showtime of the wait staff. Our headwaiter, Gerson, his staff, and our "private" dancer, Novi, made every meal in the Washington a pleasure. The entertainment on the vessel was not up to par. On the first day at sea and the last day, they had the song and dance shows which were quite good, and on one day they had a hypnotist with a brief single set. It was scheduled such that the early diners would have to leave early to catch it and the late diners would miss their meal if they went to it. It just seemed like pay-for bingo was substituting for the entertainment on the ship. That or the movies on the lido. The girls did enjoy Camp Carnival for the limited time there. The staff was very polite and friendly to the girls. My wife and I had a couple's bamboo massage. Molly and Esmee, worked us over very well and we felt sooo good for the rest of the cruise. All in all, we had a great time, the girls enjoyed the experience and I have no doubt we'll be back on carnival again.

Valor - Mardi Gras Cruise

Carnival Valor Cruise Review by tad54

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this cruise for the opportunity to take our 7 and 8 YO granddaughters on their first cruise over Mardi Gras break (Louisiana residents). We had no issues with the Valor vs. Liberty swap, both were new to my wife and me although we'd previously sailed the Conquest so were comfortable with the class. Our cabin, 7397, on the Empress deck was quiet with respect to neighbors, above, below and both sides, but we did have a very annoying rattle outside the door described elsewhere.

Embarkation and debarkation were very smooth, Faster to the Fun is a must for us and makes everything more enjoyable. We parked offsite on the Lighthouse lot and their operation was very smooth. The porters are well worth the tip for debarkation.

We booked our excursions outside of Carnival and in Cozumel we went to Chankanaab park and swam, with dolphins. Very enjoyable and saw a sea lion show and petted the manatees also. The food was ok there with inside dining to beat the heat and avoid the flys. The cost of buying photos is excessive to say the least. Even with the price of the taxi roundtrip the excursion was a bargain over Carnival rates and there was no concern about missing the vessel. The excursion was booked through dtraveler.com and the booking was very smooth.

In Progresso, we also booked on-line through ShoreExcursioner.com. We booked the private all-inclusive beach party at Slicer. They only accepted a deposit with the balance to be paid in cash at their terminal. They use AutoProgresso as their local serice provider and the bus at the head of the pier (poorly marked and confusing) takes you to their terminal in town where you are on your own to find the desk to pay your balance. The terminal is crowded with pushy vendors, poorly marked and hectic to say the least. We finally found our desk, paid the balance of the excursion fee and waited nearly an hour for the bus to the beach. Good bus and driver and tour guide were very friendly for the brief ride. Thank you Gabriel and Mario. The beach was more shell than sand and limited shade so we spent the day at the pool near the food, and drinks. The food was good and the drinks were low alcohol content. I found out as we were leaving, the practice is to order the drink and a shot on the side to pour into the drink! Ample restrooms, clean pool and quite enjoyable.

My wife and I have been on 6 cruises with Carnival in the past 13 years and have noticed the changes. The food quality is noticeably down from the earlier cruises, but if you leave hungry it's still your fault. No stek and lobster nights on this cruise, you pay extra for it if you want it. The menu options weren't as varied as we expected but there were some treats. And I miss having orange juice with the morning Lido buffet, they've subsituted orance drink instead...

We were originally seated in the back of the Lincoln dining room, and they put us in a four person table in the aft next to the serving area with no view of the room or outside. We requested and were reseated in the Washington dining room in the center of the lower room with two other delightful couples. The Maitre d', Joseph, made us feel very welcome and took a personal interest in the granddaughters and their enjoyment of the meals and showtime of the wait staff. Our headwaiter, Gerson, his staff, and our "private" dancer, Novi, made every meal in the Washington a pleasure.

The entertainment on the vessel was not up to par. On the first day at sea and the last day, they had the song and dance shows which were quite good, and on one day they had a hypnotist with a brief single set. It was scheduled such that the early diners would have to leave early to catch it and the late diners would miss their meal if they went to it. It just seemed like pay-for bingo was substituting for the entertainment on the ship. That or the movies on the lido.

The girls did enjoy Camp Carnival for the limited time there. The staff was very polite and friendly to the girls.

My wife and I had a couple's bamboo massage. Molly and Esmee, worked us over very well and we felt sooo good for the rest of the cruise.

All in all, we had a great time, the girls enjoyed the experience and I have no doubt we'll be back on carnival again.
tad54’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8C 7397
The cabin was typical balcony with a couch bed and a fold down upper bunk for the two grandchildren. It would have been nice to have children's bathrobes but that's not a big issue. The room did have an annoying rattle outside the door that actually woke us one night. Maintenance and housekeeping were notified and the fix was to jam a piece of folded paper to stop the vibration. It worked for a while but came back whenever maintenance and housekeeping weren't there to hear it. When I investigated, I found several pieces of paper wedged in various spots up there outside the door. It's obviously a problem in need of a permanent fix.
Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews