Carnival Valor - we skipped Progresso
The ship itself has a beautiful theme and is well decorated. Many people were walking around taking pictures of the decor. It really is that pretty and amazing.
This was my first 5-day that turned into a 4-day due to "adverse weather conditions". (I am so glad we had insurance.) Some of the crew, you could tell, was tired from all of the upheaval on previous cruises being changed and having to wear a smiling face even though they didn't get their days off, as planned. Guest services was very helpful in trying to get a cruise specific social media group I was one of the admins for into a room. They graciously gave us prizes to give away at our meeting. The CD, Frankie the Tank, is genuine and was helpful before and during the cruise answering questions and pointing me in the right direction.
We had Faster to the Fun and our room was ready when we boarded right behind all of the priority people. According to Martin, our steward, he had our room ready the night before since the ship docked late the previous evening and the previous guests left then. So, we were able to go straight to our cabin. It had decorations up and pre-ordered items waiting.
In the MDR, we were seated with new friends and our waiter was kind but maybe not on his game like I am used to from other ships. Of course, the food was as expected.
I didn't expect to not have as many shows/entertainment. However, what we were provided was great and in some ways better than on the bigger ships we have grown accustomed to cruising.
It just wasn't a 7-day cruise and there is a slight difference in how crew interact with guests and how the ship is run. Overall though, we had great service in our room, at dinner and in the Alchemy Bar (that was a first for me as well and it's FUN!). Valor is a nice ship to go on a second cruise on but I probably wouldn't do my first cruise with Carnival on Valor because it's not as spectacular. The Magic and the Breeze have damaged us, I suppose.