Carnival Valor Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Purser

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

No Fun Ship 2.0 upgrade yet, but still a good ship and a great cruise

Sail Date: March 27, 2015

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Inside

This was our second time on the Valor, but our first time sailing out of Port Canaveral.  We flew into Orlando and used for shuttle and hotel arrangements.  I may have been able to save some money doing it separately, but this was one stop shopping and it was easy.

Boarding was one of the easiest of our 9 cruises.  We're seasoned Carnival cruisers so we knew to have all the paperwork done before hand.  We were in line for about 5 minutes (we arrived at the port around 11) and another 5 minutes later we had our sail and sign cards.  They started boarding about 30 minutes after that.

Our stateroom was in interior interior on the 6th deck, Upper.  I say interior interior because on this deck there's a center hallway that has some rooms.  These are not your typical narrow rooms, but rather square affording a feel of a bigger room.

Most lunches were either pizza or burgers/dogs or burritos.  Love the burritos, but it's a matter of timing - wait too late and you're in a line.  It's been 3 years since our last Carnival cruise and they've changed the pizza formula.  I was a huge fan of the previous recipe, but the new one isn't bad.

The ports, Grand Turk, San Juan, St Thomas, and St Maarten, were all great.  There is literally nothing at Grand Turk, so we walked off the ship, turned left, and found a free chair on the free beach right behind Margaritaville.  Waiters were there if you were thirsty or hungry.  San Juan was a walking tour with a Mojito and Mofongo.  Not my favorite tour, but mostly because the mojito was small and I'm not a fan of mofongo.  St Thomas we booked an excursion with Sunny Liston.  He showed us a great time and dropped us off at Magen's Bay.  In St Maarten, we toured with Benard's.  The tour was good, but the van lacked a working air conditioner, so we melted.

All in all a great cruise.  I think for my wife and I, 8 days is long enough.  We actually just re-booked on the Valor for a Western Caribbean cruise in August.

Ship Quality
The ship is in good, not great shape. I didn't see anything that would upset me or keep me from getting back on the ship.
Food and Dining
In our opinion, the food on Carnival isn't as good as it once was. The apps and entrees in the main dining room continue to shine, but the Lido deck food court is kind of hit or miss.
Service and Staff
I've never run into poor service on Carnival. I'm even Facebook friends with some of our wait staff we've met over the years.
We only caught one show, 'Showtime' and it was good. We saw 3 comedians, 2 family friendly and 1 adult. They were good too.
Children's Programs N/A
Onboard Activities
We're sit by the pool and read people, then get in the pool and hot tub. What more does a man need?
Destinations and Excursions
It's the Eastern Caribbean - after a while, to me, all the islands start to look the same. However, these ports were a good mix of education, surf and sun, and shopping. Something for everyone.
Port Canaveral, Florida
Easy embarkation
Grand Turk Island
Free pool and free beach. 'Nuff said?
San Juan, Puerto Rico
It's a city. There are some historical parts and I would encourage you to visit.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Great shopping destination but with some of the world's best beaches easily accessible.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Stay on the Dutch side. The French side isn't as friendly.


The hot tubs in the Serenity area were warmer/hotter than the Adults only hot tubs at the rear of the ship. All the drink machines were fully functional as were all the ice cream/frozen yogurt machines.

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