Carnival Valor Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Purser

1 cruise (first)


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

Valor okay for rookie cruisers, YMMV.

Sail Date: July 18, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Large Group

Room Type: Oceanview

Carnival Valor is a safe choice for most first time cruisers. I put detailed information in each subsection below. Most of the problems I encountered with the cruise were not with Carnival, but with other contractors and service providers.

Embarkation at Port Canaveral is a mess. The safety briefing is not much better.

Be careful on alcohol purchases in port. If you buy a miniature bottle for yourself or the room, that's not a problem. However, if you buy a fifth or larger, expect to hand it over and not see it again until you disembark.

A couple should expect to spend $300-500 on board for a week cruise (tips, drinks, Internet, on board shopping).

Cruise Photos

Food and Dining
Stick to your assigned restaurant and time for best value. Room service is sad. If you must get something, the deli or pizza are your best choices.
Service and Staff
Somphop, our head waiter for our group, was quite amusing. McDonald, our room steward, was almost psychic.
Entertainment The comics are best enjoyed after three drinks. If you're lucky, you will get a good trio in the American Bar on third deck. Avoid the piano bar.
Children's Programs
Tweens may not find quite the right venue.
Onboard Activities Here's an idea ... make some friends.
Destinations and Excursions
Best to negotiate your own.
Ship Quality
Okay although I could see the hull rusting. Glad it's going to dry dock in spring 2016.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Mostly Port Canaveral's fault. They're not ready to handle the numbers that pass through each day.
Cabin / Stateroom
Oceanview is okay for first time cruisers. Make sure you get midship cabin for less movement. Veteran cruisers may prefer a balcony cabin.
Port Canaveral, Florida
Embarkation is a cluster, especially when it's hot. Port employees will gladly let you know how much of an inconvenience you are. Wait outside to pass liquids screening point in hot weather; the only option is a pop bottle machine at the door to the screening point. You may not break line to use the machine, nor may you carry the bottle through screening. Chug it, quick!
Nassau, Bahamas
Avoid the touts. Go to the British Colonial Hilton.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Unless you're shopping, stay on board.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Make like "where's Waldo" and find the free trolley. El Morro fort is excellent.
Grand Turk Island
Grand Turk Cruise Center has plenty of beach chairs for free ... no need to pay for separate beach excursion here. Skip Margaritaville; service is beyond slow.


Book through an agent for best value, not the cruise line.

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