Number of Cruises: 9
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Valor
Sailing Date: April, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Valor Cruise Review
Rather than waste time talking about
embarkation experiences or the size of the beds, I’ll stick to what matters,
food, fun, and service. We have traveled in the Caribbean extensively. This was
our 9th, 7-day cruise. Valor is a clone of Victory and Triumph, both of which we
have been on. Carnival has become much better over the last few years and is now
on par with Royal Caribbean. The differences aren’t worth mentioning. They use
the same ports and the same tour companies by-in-large. However, avoid June
through August unless you enjoy hundreds of screaming, running kids everywhere.
This ship is big, clean and has lots of variety in both entertainment and dining choices. Service is outstanding, especially if you are patient and respectful to the staff. The food has become very Americanized on these ships. Not nearly as much uniqueness as 10 years ago. Menus are nearly identical on most of their ships. No problem with this, just an observation. Very good quality and as much as you want, but you have to ask ! There is no such thing on these ships as a dinner portion being too small. If you want a 2nd, 3rd or even 4th lobster tail or steak, just ask! One of our table mates had a filet and shrimp every night, even though it wasn’t always offered on the menu. Be demanding, they don’t mind.
Carnival does well with entertainment. Great musicians, good shows, don’t miss any of them. They have also added R/X rated entertainment at midnight for those so disposed. Like all comedians, some good, some not so good. But regardless of your opinion on this, the added variety is usually fun in contrast to the same old jugglers and magicians on some cruise lines.
Carnival seems to be evolving and adapting to customer surveys and input a little better than RCCL. The very popular “topless sunning deck” is usually full with no problems that I have ever heard of. In fact we observed several couples sunning nude on the top deck on days in port when the ship is pretty much deserted. We were told there was “unofficially” no problem with this as long as nobody complained.
Getting the most out of any cruise or resort has a lot to do with you. Mix, mingle, talk to people and staff and you will have more fun. Carnival is doing an outstanding job in light of the increased competition, increased expenses and changing expectations of the public. You can find better food, and amenities on other lines but the prices are generally $1000 to $1500 more. Valor is well worth the money for what you get. Enjoy.