Carnival Valor Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Purser

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

5 out of 5

Thanksgiving Getaway

Sail Date: November 21, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

Booked the week of Thanksgiving due to timing and not because we didn't want to spend the day with relatives. Drove to the port the night before and stayed at the Comfort Inn where we had booked the cruise package... one night in the hotel and parking for the length of the cruise.

Getting to the port and getting on the ship was very easy. We didn't pack any fancy clothes so we only had a couple of suitcases to deal with. After you've done 15+ cruises you learn to pack light.

Cruise itself was great. Food on the Lido deck was typical fare. Plenty of variety so you didn't have to eat the same everyday. Dining room service was spot on and almost as elegant as in years past. Saw several empty tables, which may have been due to the anytime dining option in the second dining room becoming more and more popular.

Did only one shore excursion on Gran Turk, the Helicopter trip. You can read more in my comments below about it.

Getting off was easy and fast, however we ended up waiting 45 minutes for our shuttle back to the Comfort Inn... not enough resources to handle 4 ships in port at one time.

All in all it was a great cruise. Too bad we have to wait almost another year before going again. 

Cabin / Stateroom
We like to be able to see outside and so we always book a balcony room. Room Stewart was always in a good mood and right there whenever anything needed to be done.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Carnival and Port Canaveral has the people moving business down to a science and we were on and off with little effort. Not sure what the problem was with the down escalators... they were only letting a couple of people on at a time which backed up the exit line.
Ship Quality
The American color scheme was nice. Some of the hero's depicted were not very well known. A lot of eagles...
Destinations and Excursions
We go on a cruise to get away... destinations are limited so we don't really have any comment.
Onboard Activities
Dated and repetitive for anyone who has cruised repeatedly.
Comics were good, but they had them on board two at a time. Most of the live music appealed to us. The one band played a variety of classic rock and they were great. Seen them on other ships and always enjoyed listening to them. Main shows are getting lame and predictable after 15+ cruises.
Service and Staff
Food and Dining
Port Canaveral, Florida
Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. Hotel shuttle through Comfort Inn was a bit overwhelmed with 4 ships in port... not enough resources which meant a 45 minute wait at the port for a shuttle to take us back to our car. Will park at the port next time and avoid that hassle.
Nassau, Bahamas
Dirty... Grungy, took an over priced horse and buggy ride tour of the city. Was not worth the money. Straw market near port has local venders. Some selling hand made items, others selling cheap souvenirs.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Nicest port of call. There is a mall right at the port with all the typical stores represented. Taxi ride uptown gets you to the regular shopping area.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Walked to Old San Juan and looked through the shops... When they say old they mean old. Nothing to really write home about.
Grand Turk Island
Did only one shore excursion, the helicopter ride in Grand Turk. The ride itself was okay... the only seat that is really conducive to taking pictures with a DSLR camera was the front seat next to the pilot. I got put in the back where the three of us were shoulder to shoulder, which left little room to maneuver my camera to take any decent pictures. I wasn't really concerned because they video the entire ride inside and out and give you the opportunity to purchase a copy for $25. Got back and while I was standing at the cashier counter waiting to tell someone that I wanted to purchase the video one of the employees was in the corner of the room formatting the jump drive. Needless to say my trip video was history... I ended up purchasing a previous trip's video (the other employee had the smarts to copy the video to the hard drive prior to formatting the jump drive.) Got home and looked at the video... pure junk. Lots of fuzzy pictures of the ocean waves. No shots of the ship or other points of interest around the island and no sound. Useless for my purpose. Rest of the island is typical shopping with everything being right off the dock. Only real restaurant is Margaretville with it's expansive pool and surf wave attraction. Food was on the expensive side, but you got plenty of it and it was good. Service was a little slow, due to there being two ships in port the day we arrived.


My understanding is the Valor is going to have a complete makeover in Mar 2016 so the ship may emerge with a new name like the Destiny - Sunshine did. If you looked hard enough you could find signs of wear, but this being our first time on the Valor the décor was all new to us and looked good.

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