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

Carnival Valor Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Experience: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 2

Overall Rating:

4 out of 5
Carnival Valor

8 Night Exotic Eastern Caribbean (Port Canaveral Roundtrip)

Sail Date: March 27, 2015

Ship: Carnival Valor

Cabin Type: Inside

Cabin Number: 6289

Traveled As: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review Summary

This was our second time on the Valor, but our first time sailing out of Port Canaveral.  We flew into Orlando and used goportcanaveral.com 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 Experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
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.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
We're sit by the pool and read people, then get in the pool and hot tub. What more does a man need?

Entertainment

3 out of 5
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

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
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.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
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.

Ship Tip

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.

Ports Of Call

Port Canaveral, Florida

5 out of 5
Easy embarkation

Grand Turk Island

5 out of 5
Free pool and free beach. 'Nuff said?

San Juan, Puerto Rico

3 out of 5
It's a city. There are some historical parts and I would encourage you to visit.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

3 out of 5
Great shopping destination but with some of the world's best beaches easily accessible.

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

3 out of 5
Stay on the Dutch side. The French side isn't as friendly.
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