We chose this cruise because it had activities for children, and all the families could attend without flying. We wanted to celebrate our 50th anniversary with our children and their children. We have been on over 15 cruises, mainly Princess and Royal Caribbean. This was our first and last Carnival as there is no comparison.
We ate one breakfast in the buffet the first day as well as lunch the day of departure. We classified it as casino buffet in Louisiana. From that point on, we ate in the formal dining rooms. Our early seating in the Washington dining. They started us in the Lincoln upper dining, without windows. We requested the lower floor which has windows. Be sure to ask where you are assigned to eat if you select traditional dining. The upper dinning has windows, but they look out to the life boats, so Carnival chose to block even light from these windows. Also, the upper Lincoln is the people path to the back of the ship on forth floor, which is bypassed by using the 5th floor.
Formal dining on the Carnival Valor is without table cloths and only a knife and fork. Table cloths were provided on formal night only. Even Denny's provides a spoon in the place setting. When more bread was needed, the new tray was placed into the old without removing the napkin. (Guess waitstaff never trained to remove empty) Also one small butter pat for four people. Kept requesting more, but you would think Carnival would recognize the size was insufficient. Of course the old was container was not removed when the new arrived. The food quality was poor. Normally delivered luke warm.