much to be desired

Carnival Valor Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 34

Overall rating:

3.8 out of 5
Verified Review
Carnival Valor

4 Night Western Caribbean (New Orleans Roundtrip)

Sail date: March 05, 2020

Ship: Carnival Valor

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 7301

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Money. Pit. Again, be prepared for them to hit you with a hefty bill even if you take preventive measures (looking at you, Cheers package) beforehand. Overall good trip, we had some choppy waters, or maybe just a small enough ship that it didn’t cut through as well as others I’ve been on, but I was suffering from still feeling like I was on it until 2 days after. Do the excursions. They’re worth it!


2 out of 5
Struggled to find parking. The cruise terminal lot was full, so they sent us to overflow which we had to pay the same amount for even thought it was uncovered and seemed less secure. Two of us got lucky and were somehow swept through the priority line, but my husband and the other person we were traveling with had to wait for over an hour in the line to get on board.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Food was okay- nothing extravagant, but we were never gagging over meals or anything. Best places were the burger and pizza joints for sure. One thing we were not expecting is how they were going to nickel-and-dime us the entire time. When you book a cruise you assume you’re paying for just about everything, but then you get on board and they try to charge you extra for sushi, fresh seafood, etc. You’re also charged tax on top of your drink package (that we paid over $500 for) until you reach international waters.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
We got in the hot tub in the serenity lounge for about an hour one day. We didn’t go into another pool because they were small and crowded. This wasn’t a huge deal because the weather was chilly enough that we felt comfortable sitting out on the deck without needing to cool off too often, but it would’ve been nice to be able to do so. Gym was nice. The biggest problem I had was that I could never seem to find any activities they had going on in there. The morning yoga session was always listen in the Fun Times for the day, but surely that’s not all they had going on in there? Even stopping by the gym, I was unsuccessful finding this information. This was probably the only place onboard that I felt like staffing was inadequate. (Also if you’re like me and feel the effects of the ship movement, getting moving is very helpful, BUT the gym is at the front most post of the ship and you could REALLY feel it rocking up there). Nice sauna, nice locker room, good amount and variety of equipment in fitness center.


4 out of 5
We attended two comedy shows and the Love & Marriage gameshow and overall we enjoyed ourselves very much!

Children's Programs

No children.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Our waiter at dinner was phenomenal. He often brought us extra dishes whether we asked for them or not! I didn’t see our room steward but once (also, tips for these people is another thing they don’t tell you in advance that they charge you for) but our room was always nicely cleaned. Waitstaff by the pools were not lacking- we had someone coming by every few minutes for drink orders, and everyone else we had the pleasure of meeting was friendly and helpful.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Easy to navigate once we got the hang of it. I was bothered by the smell of cigarette smoke coming from the casino because it seemed to permeate the air in all the surrounding areas, but what can you do? Everything was as clean as it could probably be (only thing I did not enjoy were using the pool deck bathrooms, hello general damp, BUT they constantly had cleaning staff in and out of those).

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Small of course, but to be expected. Comfortable bed. Only thing lacking was more than one electrical outlet?? My husband had to unplug the TV in order to have access to another outlet so we could charge our phones/cameras/other devices.

Ship tip

Be prepared to spend a lot more money than you budgeted for initially.

Ports of call

New Orleans, Louisiana

3 out of 5
New Orleans is....New Orleans. We’ve been before and didn’t hang around longer than stopping by Cafe Du Monde on the way out for beignets. Music & food is great, streets are disgusting. You win some and you lose some.

Cozumel, Mexico

4 out of 5
Would be 5 stars if getting off the ship wasn’t such a nightmare. We booked an excursion for 8:30 am and weren’t able to get off the boat for almost an entire hour after that. We came into port late which I know is out of the control of everyone, HOWEVER the amount of people sitting and waiting in the stairways to get off was insane. They needed to do a staggered release or something in order to avoid this (and clear the stale air). We did the Jeep/beach/snorkeling/tequila tasting excursion. This was easily the best part of our entire cruise experience.


5 out of 5
Again, we were told everyone would be off the ship by 8:30 am, and we weren’t off for almost an hour after that. We were prepared and ready to go at 7:30 because we were told they’d begin disembarking at 8, but we ended up sitting around for a LOT longer than expected.
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