7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Sail Date: February 08, 2009 Ship: Carnival Valor Cabin Type: Balcony Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 9 years ago
This was our first cruise, taken to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We were on the Carnival Valor to Nassau Bahamas, St. Thomas (U.S.V.I) and St. Martin/Maarten. Our trip was fantastic and provided memories as one would like for such an occasion. The Valor itself is a beautiful ship, 11,000 tons of fun, and is well kept. Allow extra time when returning from shore excursions. There are only one or two single file lines to board the vessel, and with some 3500 people that can (and did) mean long, hot, uncomfortable lines to get on board. The cruise line does not control excursions, they only market them, so any problems you might have with excursions are not handled by the cruise line. Mixed drinks are not consistent between bars in flavor or price and have little (if any) spirits in them. One can drink liberally (but expensively) without any fear of inebriation! Overall, our Carnival Valor trip was excellent and a delight. Our room was first rate and of outstanding value. We will definitely book another cruise with again, but wont wait another 20 years to do so!
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
The main dining room staff were what one would find in any quality restaurant. They were most professional, attentive and helpful. And, considering that there were folks dressed in finery as well as casual attire, they made everyone feel equally important and valued. We found, however, that much of the same menu was available from the buffets, so one could mix or match menu items and portions more freely there. We were more focused on casual relaxation, so once we discovered Rosies on the Lido deck, we mainly ate there. Other places we liked were Rosies deli, the Fish and Chips bar, and an occasional calzone from the 24 hour pizza bar. Food on the Valor was excellent, fresh and of sufficient variety to meet anyones needs. Again, we liked Rosies buffet the best.
3 out of 5
Entertainment was acceptable. Some of the activities led by the cruise director and his assistants were a bit cheesy and we tended to avoid them. Perhaps they were targeting young college age folk. While not much older than that, we were not out for a Spring Break experience, however. We did like the two comedians, the juggler and the magician quite a bit. However, each comedian also had a late night show which as sold as very adult in content. Were not prudes, but dont understand why folks assume that humor has to be crude to be good. In fact, one of the comedians spent most of his show telling us how great his material was and how much he was holding back from saying what he really wanted to say until the late night show because of the kiddies. By contrast, the juggler and magician we saw were absolutely clean and exceptionally entertaining. On board entertainers were fine and what one would expect from a community theater troupe.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Everyone on staff was pleasant and accommodating. Our room steward was top quality, always keeping our room fresh and tidy, adjusting to our schedule, and always cheery. We loved the towel animal creations we found on the bed each evening. Our only gripes with the staff were that very few actually knew much about the ship itself, and many spoke with accents from their native countries that made them a bit hard to understand. The Valor has ceramic busts all over the atrium, and famous person pictures on many of the walls. No one on the ship could identify who these famous people were. While pursers and others staff tried to be as helpful as they could, many simply did not know the answers to questions about the ship, schedule or operations. The most helpful staff were our room steward and the table bus-persons at Rosies Restaurant (buffet).
5 out of 5
The Valor is a very nice ship, with vibrant colors and much to see and explore. The Atrium is beautiful, and the glass enclosed elevators from it offer a spectacular view. There is no waterworks area on board, but the twisty waterslide looked to be a blast. Swimming pools on the Lido deck were small, yet big enough to allow one to swim very short laps. The top deck has sports areas (basketball, putt putt, jogging track), and the spa includes a very nice gym with forward looking views.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
We were fortunate to have been able to get a balcony stateroom. This is definitely the way to go if one can afford it! On the port side, we got to see fantastic sunrises going out and enjoy private sunbathing coming back. The view from our balcony was stunning and romantic. While small, the balcony does have two chairs, one of which lounges back, a small table and affords just enough room to make two adults cozy and comfortable. Except for when the folks in the stateroom next to us were smoking cigars on the balcony, we thoroughly enjoyed our private balcony. We wouldnt recommend a balcony on the spa deck because the sun deck above it looks right into those balconys affording little privacy. We were on the Panorama deck (10th), which has to be the nicest deck on board
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