A Cruise Is What YOU Make It!
Carnival Valor Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Sail Date: February 13, 2016
Cabin Type: Inside
Cabin Number: 2303
Traveled As: Family (young children)
Reviewed: 1 year ago
I had a GREAT time on the Carnival Valor. I am a grandmother of a 12 month old and mother of a 12 year old. My daughter and her husband are professionals, as are my husband and I. Carnival is for the hippies, the bikers, the tattooed, the LGBTQ, artist, writers, poets and free thinkers. The people who hear steel drums and dance like nobody is watching. The people who TRULY leave their troubles on the shore. Carnival is for the family reunions, the girls night out, the college breakers and for grandmothers who refuse to be defined by the years they have lived but by the years they feel in their heart. If you are not among this tribe then move on to another review, if you are, keep reading!
The Carnival Valor is an old ship. I knew that when I booked her. So I intended to enjoy the Americana theme. I found it to be very whimsical. The Valor does take a moment to get used to as it cuts off in the middle so you have to know what floors to get off on, you'll figure this out by the second day. I LOVED the promenade, with all it's energy, the two floors offered easy access to the Casino and the Boulevard. The Casino was smoky, and loud just as a casino should be!
Carnival offers a talent show that guest can audition for! So if you are a musician, dancer, or love to sing this is a great opportunity for you to show off! Talent shows are not my thing and I'd like to see improvement of better quality performances. I think I'll try to book one of their Carnival Live performers for the quality I'm looking for. Classy Cassie the cruise director was FUN and kept things moving. Dj Ransom was great as reported by my adult daughter and her hubby.
The service we received was awesome. My advice to cruisers, you get what you put out. If you are sour then the crew will be sour too. If you are warm and welcoming then you will receive the same. We had a wonderful Steward, named Santiago who anticipated our needs. Our server in the Washington dining room was Juan and he treated us like royalty. We traveled with a baby(more on that later) and Juan was wonderful with her.
Our port at Dominican Republic was cancelled because of a tropical storm. Weather cannot be controlled and I was happy that our captain made the right decision for our safety. We were refunded our port fee's and were given two extra hours in Puerto Rico. Those extra hours on PR were needed and enjoyed! We caught sunny weather for the remainder of the ports. I don't do excursions because I like exploring on my own.
Our cabin was 2303. I was a bit under the galley. I only heard noise three times. It seemed like they were moving something. The noise was not enough for me to complain at all. Hubby and I had our beds pushed together and I kept falling in the middle! LOL, so next time we will have them separated. The cabin was just the size I expected, with a pull down bed for our tween.
The dining was awesome. I can't image why anyone would complain about the food. There are SO MANY choices. Everyday I set out to try something different. Mongolian Wok, Italian, Fish and Chips, Make your own salads, deserts. I mean there are still things I didn't get to try because it was SO much! We also dined at the Steakhouse. Trust me that the extra is worth it!
As I mentioned before we traveled with a tween and a baby. You may hear a lot of negative feedback about traveling with an baby. Ignore it and listen to me. The crew LOVES babies. They go above and beyond to make you and your little one happy. What I am about to share with you is a combination of the opinion of the adults on the trip:
1. Yes, you pay for baby. This is not a hardship for us. We got a discount because she was the third person in a room.
2. Our baby eats pureed table food and that made the world of difference.
3. Baby had their own luggage. One youth bag full of what they needed. My daughter packed PLENTY of pampers and formula. Also, laundry service is an option as well as doing your own.
4. We set expectations before we set sail. We knew as grandparents that we wanted to help the new mom and dad enjoy the cruise so we agreed on baby being with us for two nights of a seven day. Not to mention a few hours during the day. Yes, traveling with family is the ticket, but the 10pm - 1am childcare makes sense for parents traveling alone who want some nightlife.
5. We didn't want Baby in the pool so we enjoyed our beach time. My daughter also took showers with Baby so having no bathtub was no big deal.
6. The most important thing we all agreed on was that mom and dad have to be in sync. if dad does nothing at home then he will do nothing on vacation. My son in law is a VERY hands on dad EVERYDAY and that made it wonderful vacation for them both.
My tween had a life of his own. LOL I think he had fun too!
Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it. We had a GREAT family vacation, we intend to book the Valor again.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
It will take a day to get used to the Valor.