Length: 952 ft
Conquest-class; 22 bars & lounges, Farcus theme of "Heroes & Heroism" features chrome and mirrors. Large health club, sports deck.Best For People Who Want
Exciting and ritzy nightlife; more than the average number of singles on board, better than average cuisine for a bargain to mid-priced vessel; a large casino; spacious cabins, some for three and four passengers, many with balconies; excellent fitness and spa facilities; and an abundant children's programs.Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer
An elegant, quiet and relaxing cruise; private areas away from the public, especially children.Onboard Experience
Carnival Valor is Carnival Cruises third ship within the Conquest-class of vessels which also include Carnival Glory, Carnival Liberty, and Carnival Conquest. They are all big sisters to Carnival's Destiny class. Valor weighs in at over 110,000 tons. The extra footage added to this vessel (compared to the 101-ton Destiny class) is given over to expanded children's facilities, comprising a separate children's pool, a mini-movie theatre, and an indoor playground. Additional alternative dining spots include Scarlett's, serving gourmet cuisine, and the best U.S.D.A. prime beef. There are 22 bars and lounges throughout the 13 passenger decks.
Other amenities include an Internet café, four swimming pools, and a 15,000-square-foot health club. The ship has no lack of entertainment of all varieties, featuring the Lindy Hop sing-along piano bar and One Small Step disco, along with gorgeous production shows and side-splitting comics.Decor
Carnival's ship designer, the renowned Joe Farcus, in keeping with the name chose "Heroes and Heroism," as the theme for Valor. Along those lines, Joe chooses to play to his audience by using the American flag as inspiration for the main atrium. There are stark marble stars & stripes embedded in the floor and gilded eagle sculpturettes throughout the ship. Rather than brass and glass, most of the ship is molded with chrome & mirrors, which tends to send you confusing visual signals as you navigate the ship.Public Rooms
Valor's layout includes a skeleton which is ideal to her sisters, starting with the imposing nine-deck American Atrium rising above the American Lobby. In the center is a small stage for non-imposing background music; behind the musicians glass elevators rise to the top deck. The "Promenade" on Deck 5 includes the Jeanne's Wine Bar, the kid's area called The Caboose, The Shogun Club Casino, The Lindy Hop sing-along piano bar, The Paris Hot for combo music and the One Small Step adult disco. The ship's secondary showroom at the stern, is the Eagle's Lounge, where entertainment varies between a live 4-piece band playing Beatles tunes and late-night "blue" comedy.
On the opposite end of Valor is the three-deck high Ivanhoe Theater; aim for the lower balcony seats, a little off-center, for the best view. Hidden on Deck 4 is Winston's Cigar Bar, a cigar bar which features jazz music and dancing before dinner. For sports fanatics, there is a Sports Bar with satellite ESPN on seven large-screen televisions, in addition to video poker machines built into the bar.
Other diversions include the small Iliad Library open for several hours each day and various boutiques selling a wide range of duty-free jewelry, perfume, and alcohol along with the usual cruise items.Cuisine
Valor offers attractive breakfast and lunch buffets ,including an excellent salad bar and made-to-order dishes. For those with a sophisticated palate, the new menus feature chateaubriand, rack of lamb, and lobster, along with chocolate desserts. On the other end of the scale, delicious pizza and Caesar salad are available 24 hours a day. Delightful specialties can be found near the Prometheus Lido including the Sur Mer seafood station and an Asian food station that regularly rotates its dishes. There's a complimentary sushi bar on the Promenade Deck in the evenings, and vegetarian and low-salt items on every menu and at all stations.Restaurants
Carnival's Total Choice Dining provides for four seating times for a table in the main dining rooms at 5:45 or 6:15 p.m. and 8 or 8:30 p.m.. Of the two main dining rooms, the Washington, located aft, is framed by three walls of windows so it boasts better views. The Lincoln is located mid-ships with windows only on two sides. The best tables are on the balcony, the middle lower section being a bit noisy. The friendly atmosphere is encouraged by the tables seating between four and six people, although there are quite a few tables for only two diners.
The sunny and spacious Rosie's restaurant, which features amazing views of the sea, offers breakfast and lunch buffets. Alternatively, you can enjoy a meal served alfresco poolside in the Prometheus Lido area just behind Rosie's. For those who prefer to dine when the mood strikes them, this poolside Lido restaurants offer buffet dinner between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. without reservations. Breakfast is also available in the Washington dining room. For those looking for a quick snack, the hamburger and hot dog stand, located in the Prometheus Lido near the stern pool, serves food throughout the afternoon. There are self-serve frozen yogurt and ice cream machines, and multiple lemonade, coffee, and iced tea stations. The Valor's pizzeria has a great variety of pizza types on offer in addition to Caesar salad, both served 24 hours a day. There is also a deli for lighter lunch choices. The room service menu features sandwiches, desserts and breakfast fare.
The Java Café on the Promenade Deck serves delectable sweets and a range of coffees. The Togo Sushi Bar, adjacent to the Java Café is open evenings only and serves sushi. Note that the name is Togo (one word), not Sushi to go.
For a cover charge of $30, guests can sample fine wines and dine on the excellent menu choices at Scarlett's. There is a small combo playing behind a tiny dance floor, which proves to be ample for those couples obviously celebrating a special date together.Service
The staff on Valor is prompt, well-organized, and prone to showing off, as when balancing trays on their heads while serving dessert. The maitre'd makes a point of learning the names of all couples celebrating an anniversary.Tipping
All Carnival cruises have a $10.00 per person per day (excluding children under two years of age) gratuity comprising $5.50 for the Dining Room service, $3.60 for the stateroom steward, and $.90 for the alternative dining rooms. This charge can be either automatically added to the Sail & Sign card or it can be prepaid (prepayment is mandatory on the Cruises-to-Nowhere). The purser's desk can decrease or increase this amount throughout the cruise. Tip room service, the maitre d', casino, spa, or other staff as you deem fit. The bar and beverage tabs all include a 15 percent gratuity to the bill.Entertainment
The main theater, the Ivanhoe Theater, presents outstanding production shows featuring beautiful costumes and Vegas-quality light shows, but even the smaller venues have great acts and music, particularly the sing-along Lindy Hop piano bar. There is a Caribbean band on the pool deck. More interactive activities include numerous bingo games, ballroom dancing, karaoke, and "game show mania".Cabins
While the décor in the cabins is somewhat reserved, they are some of the largest available on any cruise ship, and many are fitted with lovely private balconies. The suites and ocean view staterooms come with complimentary bathrobes and a mini bar. The cabins located on the outside are 220 sq. feet and include a coffee table and plush leather sofa. The inside cabins are 195 sq. feet in area and are great for families or large groups of singles due to their pull-down berths that provide extra sleeping space. Families might prefer the 230 sq. feet cabins located next to the children's center. All the large bathrooms include a shower (the suites are the only cabins with tubs), basket of toiletries, and hair dryer. The cabins come standard with a color TV that includes ESPN, CNN, and movies. There is plentiful storage space, with three closets and a several drawers. for those of special needs are available.Fitness/Spa
The gym's 15,000 sq. feet is full of treadmills, stationary bikes, stairmasters, rowing and hydraulic weight machines, and of course free weights. The strategically placed equipment allows you to enjoy the lovely panoramic views offered by the floor-to-ceiling windows. For runners, a lap on the jogging deck, which surrounds the smokestack, is equivalent to 1/11 of a mile.Attire
Casual wear is standard during the day. For the two formal nights, men can rent a tuxedo, though most men opt for dark suits. The ship has men's and women's accessories available to rent for these formal nights. No jeans in the dining room ever, no shorts after dark.
We left from Miami, to Cozumel, Jamaica and Cayman. Getting on board was easy no issues at all. I talked with some folks who had 'priority boarding' passes. I asked the fee, she said $40 or $50 for it. Not sure if we were just lucky or they simply wasted their money, but we were able to board within 10 minutes of them.
The crew was nice, I really haven't known any crew that was rude or demanding. However, if your primary language is English, get ready for a lot of blank looks from the crew at times. Many are foreign, in fact I only saw or spoke with as many as 3 the entire trip that you could bet their language of native dialect was English. Not a big deal, but that's the industry I suppose. Just more or less a heads up. The ship, Valor was nice. A couple of things I noticed getting on Sunday afternoon. Deck 5 is the Casino, among other things. On the deck 6 (where our room was) the stairwell going down to five, you immediately smelled smoke, real bad too - asif active gaming was currently in progress. Again no big deal, but ventilation was real bad.
I will post some good things, but let's get down to brass tacks here; you want to know what isn't good first. Here they are: The pool(s) is/are tiny. There is a water slide, pretty nice I'd say. Keeping in mind that the near top deck for the open pool (deck 9 LIDO) - the pool itself might fit 15 before you are bumping elbows. We too brought kids, and the sardine fest of kids in that pool was crazy. There was an equally sized pool towards the back for adults only I think, but geesh, what if I wanted to chill out by the pool with my kids without getting nearly jumped on by others. Don't mean to be Debby Downer here, again just voicing my opinion in hopes this helps you gain a visual or at least set expectations accordingly.
Two hot tubs on the main deck, pretty nice. I think there were others towards the front as well. There are some others in the adults only areas, I'm sure they were nice, but we stuck with our kiddos, so I really can't tell you much about those.
I know it's vacation or holiday, but for the love of God, does the music have to be so loud for 8 hours during the day on Deck 9? THUMPING OVER & OVER, etc... I like loud music, trust in that, but the selection was very slim, and was really directed towards the youth genre and other similar Jamaican type. That is fine, but a little more variety would certainly have been welcomed. Someone please tell me why there is a DJ on deck 9, using a laptop, as if he's actually controlling the music selection, wow. Gimme a break.
Food and dining was nice. I really like the formal (2 nights) dinning, very fun, as did the kids. I will say that on other cruise lines, I know the servers put on a 'singing/dancing show' in the middle of dinner. They cute and all good. The problem is that they were every night. It's like having a endless supply of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups; they are great but best in moderation.
O yeah, the 'Camp Carnival' (kid watching for babies up to young teens) was really nice. Good security, friendly folks. The shows: Comedy, dancing, magic, trivia, etc were pretty nice. Then again, the folks you may see or the shows will skew somewhat. O yeah, during football season (not soccer), they put a game up on the big screen on deck 9, pretty nice.
Overall, good stuff, nice break from work, kids had a great time. Put it this way, if my wife & I go on another cruise or take friends (but without kids) we will not book with Carnival. Hope these run on sentences didn't waste your time. Have fun all!
This is the worst I have ever done. I've cruised Carnival twice before and decided to give it another chance to see if things had improved a bit, of course I was wrong by a long shot.
Embarcation was one of the most unorganized and to think that they have been doing this for so many decades over and over. Long lines and rude people were just unprofessional.
Ports of call were ok with the exception of Montego Bay, Jamaica. Not too many people were happy with this port, a complete ripoff.
Food was very, very poor. From selection of entries to just tasting right, It was all a dissapointment for me. There were food selections on the menu that were not the items that you would get.
The cabins seemed to be very acomodating and large enough, we had an ocean view on the second deck and was very comfortable with the exception of the bed mattres which should have been change on the previous overhaul.
And lastly was the layout of this ship was horrific. I know this is kind of late to remedy,so I belive Carnival need to go andsend spies to were they build Royal Caribbean ships to learn how its done.
All in all it was a bad cruise experience which I will never have to go thru again. Therefore I must say good-by to Carnival Cruise Lines and pay a little more for a better experience.
This was my families 9th carnival cruise 16th overall with other lines. This was an 8 day.stopping at ST Thomas, Antigua,Tortola,Nassau. We had 2 balcony cabins on deck 8, one deck below lido which was great to run up and get some food. There was some noise at night from things being dragged on deck but not bad. We opened the panel on the balcony between the 2 cabins so we had a big balcony. We had late seating and the first night it took forever(1 hr to get apps) to get our food. It got better as the cruise went along. We had 4 different comedians and they where pretty good. It is nice to go to the family show before dinner and then the R rated later. The shows where alright too. There was plenty to do on the out to sea days. Getting on and off the ship did not take any time at all.
On the Islands we just get taxis and go to the beach. St Thomas-Sapphire beach $10.per person each way, Antigua-Dickenson beach $3.0pp Tortola- Brewers bay $8.00pp each way. Brewers was the calmest waterand best for snorkeling.All of these beaches where safe and had food and bathrooms. You can only get a raft in ST. Thomas. Nassau we took the Water taxi to the Atlantis. you CANNOT see the aquarium any longer without paying $35. you can only go through the shops and the casino for free.Overall the weather was great, not to hot and the water was wonderful everywhere. Of course we would cruise again. One problem we had was, We purchased liquor in the shop on board and when it was delivered to our cabin on the last night we did not open it.(we should have) when we got home we opened the boxes and they where not what we bought, and once you leave the ship you can not send it back so we are trying to get a refund from the store because the shops on board are not run by Carnival. It will take 8 weeks to get refund.