1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
I took this cruise with over 20 members of a service organization that I belong to. I'm not a huge cruise fan - I would not have booked it for myself, but I knew that I would have a good time with my group. I've taken a couple of Carnival ... Read More
I took this cruise with over 20 members of a service organization that I belong to. I'm not a huge cruise fan - I would not have booked it for myself, but I knew that I would have a good time with my group. I've taken a couple of Carnival cruises before and one through NCL, and if I ever do another one, it will be with a truly premier line. But, this cruise did exceed my expectations. I've been to Galveston many times, so I did not do any sightseeing before or after the cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. No complaints with either process. The ship itself was pretty nice, as was the cabin. My cabin had a balcony with 2 chairs and a side table, so it was nice to be able to see the water. The curtain was heavy enough to block out light, so that was good for sleeping. The only thing that was a bit of a pain was the lack of plugs in the room. There was one outlet with 2 plugs on the vanity (one plug is 220, but it also works as a regular plug-fyi). There is another plug in the bathroom on the light fixture, but it only works while the light is on. The only real complaint I had was due to the location of my cabin - it was on the floor directly over the major entertainment areas, and a band played directly below us most nights. It was very loud! I had ear plugs, which helped, but I will know if I ever cruise again to check this out before I pick my room. The food was overall better than what I expected. I mainly ate in the dining room, because I'm not a buffet fan. Portions in the dining room are not large, but you get 3 courses. It was always plenty of food for me, but I'm not a big eater - you can always order more if you want it. I would recommend not ordering any of the fish fillet options except the salmon - they all looked dry and overcooked. Also, in addition to the early or late seating for the dining room, you can choose open seating option. Our group chose this, which allowed us to eat when the time was convenient for us. There are a few times when the buffets are the only option. The pizza was pretty good, and the burger place was delicious! I also liked the taco bar. I never ate at the other buffet lines. There are lots of activities to keep you busy. Carnival has something going all hours of the day - trivia games, various bands, casino (very smoky), shows, etc. The cruise director, TJ, was lots of fun. The activities for the day are printed and sent to your room, but I recommend using Carnival's HUB app. It lists all of the activities, dining options, shore excursions, and a ship map. For a $5 fee, you can also use the chat feature. It is a great tool to keep up with your party if you don't have international service on your cell phone. I had really good service throughout the cruise. Almost everyone was very friendly and helpful. I booked my excursions through a separate party (Shore Trips). I did not even know this was possible, but it is! If you use these, they are usually less crowded than through the cruise line. They were great! We did a dune buggy tour in Cozumel, and I highly recommend it! Overall, I was pleased with this cruise. Carnival is good for people who are flexible, don't mind crowds, like a lot of options for activities and it's good for kids. It was a good option for our large group, because it allowed people to pick and choose what they wanted to do throughout the day. If you want something quiet and top notch, I would choose a different cruise line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This cruise was celebrating our 36th Wedding Anniversary. And, we were not disappointed. We chose cabin 1103 by the Spa. Which was an excellent choice. The balcony and room were perfect for two people. And, best of all, we had an ... Read More
This cruise was celebrating our 36th Wedding Anniversary. And, we were not disappointed. We chose cabin 1103 by the Spa. Which was an excellent choice. The balcony and room were perfect for two people. And, best of all, we had an absolutely WONDERFUL steward. His name is "Made". Pronounced Ma-Dee. He is from Bali. From the moment we entered our room we felt pampered. Not only that, bu Made went the extra mile and cleaned our room twice a day. Each time he would make wonderful animals with towels that were just beautiful and enchanting. Made went the extra mile to ensure our anniversary cruise was the best it could be. He went above and beyond to ensure we had ice, fresh linens, information on happenings on the ship, Water, sodas, and our Anniversary decorations. Made took pride in his work, and it showed. My wife and I became friends with Made, and hope one day to visit him in his home country, Bali. Carnival Valor, if you read this review, you should give Made a promotion and a raise. He's earned it in my book. The food in the steak house was absolutely AWESOME. If you go, you owe it to yourself to eat there at least once. You'll be glad you did. Make reservations ahead of the cruise, because spots fill fast. The food in the regular dining was also good. Our dining room was the Washington. Our waiter/server was Ricky. Ricky was fantastic! We never wanted for anything, or had to ask for anything. It was like Ricky could read our minds, and was just THERE instantly to take care of our needs. If you get Ricky for a waiter you will have one of the best waiters there, and consider yourself privileged. He's awesome. Be careful of the art auction. They'll pass out so called bid vouchers for raffle prizes, and they allude to the bid vouchers being good toward a bid on art. Be careful. Read the fine print. We won a voucher for 100.00, and thought it was good for bidding on any of the art they were auctioning. Well, it wasn't. It was only good for specific art that was to be framed and shipped. So, when I bid on some art it cost me more than anticipated because of not being able to use the voucher. This seemed deceptive to me. And, quite frankly it pissed me off. And, it was one reason I did NOT go back to buy anymore art. I don't like being deceived. The gambling was fun. We one 225.00 on a penny slot machine. And, we one 80.00 playing bingo. So we had a fun time gambling. The shows were FANTASTIC. We watched some of the adult comedy shows, and couldn't stop laughing. Those guys are hilarious. The singers and dancers were awesome as well. The country show was great, but the most spectacular show was the American Rock and Roll show. Holy smokes! The performers were AWESOME! Our cruise director TJ was pretty great too. It seemed as though he was everywhere, all the time. And, that was a good feeling to know our cruise director took an active part in making sure we were entertained. TJ was funny, energetic, and a great entertainer. We loved him! If I had to nit pic on things there are only two things in the room that were annoying, and one thing on the ship that was annoying. For the room, the small fridge didn't work. That was ok though as Made kept us in ice the whole trip. Also, the tv didn't have many channels to chose from. So, not much to do in the room. Well, maybe a little, lol. And, on the ship, it got very annoying having the folks in the fun shops constantly trying to sell us stuff. We mostly just wanted to look, but were constantly interrupted with sales pitches. That was annoying, and did in fact run me out of some shops. I won't spend money where I'm pressured. Oh yea, speaking of pressured, the art sales crew sent us THREE invitations to the final art auction. We didn't go for two reasons. First their deceptive raffling of bid vouchers that you couldn't use, and second because of high pressure sales. Frankly, they angered me with that. And had we not been as nice as we are, they would have gotten a piece of my mind. Please advise them to stop with the high pressure sales and deceptive bid vouchers that you can't use. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
To begin with, we cruise on a budget. So value is our number one priority. Since we are able drive to Galveston, we cruise on Carnival. This was our first cruise on Valor and we loved it. We had sailed on Freedom (with cruise director ... Read More
To begin with, we cruise on a budget. So value is our number one priority. Since we are able drive to Galveston, we cruise on Carnival. This was our first cruise on Valor and we loved it. We had sailed on Freedom (with cruise director Malcolm "Woo-hoo" Burn) last year at Thanksgiving and we found that the Valor was laid out exactly the same. 3696 other passengers shared our cruise, but I think we stood in a line for a total of 12 minutes the entire cruise. Boarding was a breeze, whisking through drop-off, luggage to the stevedores, security, boarding pass check and walking onto the ship with barely a stop for that Welcome Aboard photo (we took the towel animal photo this year). On board, we found the food, entertainment, activities and all-around fun to be plentiful with friendly staff in all areas. Our request for a dining change was handled quickly and politely. Our cabin steward was a ninja. Towel animals showed up like magic as well as our requested robes and extra hangers. One thing we missed last year that we were determined to do was the steakhouse chef's cooking demonstration. They hold it in the steakhouse at noon on the first sea day. We got there about 11:20 and loitered until they started seating folks at about 11:45. It was SO GREAT! The chef was friendly and funny and gave us recipes and scrumptious samples of cappuccino mushroom soup, spinach salad, roast chicken with potatoes and mac and cheese, and tiramisu. And did I mention that there is NO additional cost for this? Just show up on time! Other free wonders we found were the games to play in the Red Frog Pub and the Iliad library, performances by great musicians all over the ship (our favorite is Alan the Australian guitarist). The last night of the cruise, they did the America Rocks ('80s music) show in the Ivanhoe Theater, which was our favorite. We also very much enjoyed shows hosted by cruise director TJ (who was just named one of Carnival's best CDs), especially his Love & Marriage and Q & Awesome shows. The dining room menu was wonderful with incredible Indian food (different each night) for our vegetarian and Baked Alaska for everyone the last night of the cruise. Another food experience not to be missed is the Chocolate Extravaganza from 12-2:30 on the Lido deck the last sea day. Our excursion at Cozumel was the Mayan Ball Game with lunch and Mexican folkloric dancing at the Kun Che Mayan Historical Park. It was really terrific for a group with diverse interests. The cooking demonstrations (tortillas, tamales and chocolate), the ball game itself, the Mayan blessing, the tequila tasting and the dancing were all fascinating and the buffet lunch was lovely. At Progreso, we went to the Mayan ruins at Dzibilchaltun, where we swam in a cenote and saw the museum and the ruins of Mayan pyramids and a Spanish chapel. Then we had an incredible buffet lunch at Rancho Tierra Bonita with terrific singing and dancing, a Charro demonstration with expert horsemanship and roping and complimentary beverage service. Highly recommended. Our teenager had a great time in Club O2. She will age out by the next time we cruise and she's actually disappointed! She still keeps in touch with friends she's made over the last two cruises in the teen club. We stayed away from the bars, the casino and the shops. This kept us on budget (we did spend a little on photos) and out of the way of crowds. It's not the only way to cruise, but it works for us. Carnival is an unbeatable value for our family. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We went on this cruise to take enjoy some couple time but also have our kids close to us. I was lied to about camp ocean who did NOt want to take care of my kids. The girls that take care of ur kids are rude, don’t want to change ... Read More
We went on this cruise to take enjoy some couple time but also have our kids close to us. I was lied to about camp ocean who did NOt want to take care of my kids. The girls that take care of ur kids are rude, don’t want to change diapers, and do not want ur kids there. And policy says they group kids according to age group but they only go by policy when it’s convenient for them cuz my toddlers were with the older kids. They don’t feed ur kids. Or give them drinks. Their hours are also inconvenient to be able to enjoy being on the cruise. My 2 year old was also mistreated who I complained to the director, his words were “they are mistreating my kids because I’m not getting along w their staff.” The food was horrible, worse than prison food. My room had 2 rows of eyelashes stuck to the desk so that tells me my room was not even cleaned. They nickel and dime u to death. And they don’t care about returning happy customers, only want to make a quick buck off of you. I will never in my life take a cruise w them again! I even called wanting a refund on my 2 toddlers cruise tickets, which they refused but offered a $50 onboardint credit! No thanks! Never again! I couldn’t wait to get home, I’ve never been so happy to see ugly Galveston Island in my life! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
we wanted to visit Chichen Itza boarding was fast in the terminal at 10:30 to waiting area with coffee, juice and cookies 11:30 on ship new deal is sail and sign is waiting in your room and you use your passport and paper boarding ... Read More
we wanted to visit Chichen Itza boarding was fast in the terminal at 10:30 to waiting area with coffee, juice and cookies 11:30 on ship new deal is sail and sign is waiting in your room and you use your passport and paper boarding pass to get on the ship, the paper bp until you go to room and pid ck up sail and sign card. room steward and room service was awesome. tv in room only had CNN, no FOX or CBS so we did not watch that hardly. the food was good, some excellent like the decadent chocolate, some not so , like the hash browns that looked like they came from McDonalds. we did your time dining....awesome, never had to wait didn't eat any Fieri burgers as i am trying to lose weight, his fries looked awesome though we had good weather and spent our boarding day in the hot tub til 1 p.m. as we brought swim suits in our small back packs. we purchased water bottle package for room good idea. we purchased 2 4 pack of Michelob Ultra, good idea as they are screw cap and aluminum. we brought 2 bottles of chardonnay barefoot and a wine opener we had 12 ultra strong magnetic hooks we put in various places on the cabin walls hung a write on wipe off at the cabin mailbox for messages (magnetic) we hung a hawaiian flip flop on a hook on the door to make it easy to find coming home late. the cruise director TJ from Texas was the best we have had in 25 cruises. tour to Chichen Itza great. 2 half hr bus ride on 8 lane dividedhighway 110KPH with 2 hrs at ruins, plenty of time. lots of vendors at ruins but not pushy like in Jamaica. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I loved the layout of the Valor. It was easy to learn quickly. The food was very good, we ate our breakfast and dinner in the Washington Dining Room. Guy's Joint was really good and my favorite lunch spot of those tried. I tried the ... Read More
I loved the layout of the Valor. It was easy to learn quickly. The food was very good, we ate our breakfast and dinner in the Washington Dining Room. Guy's Joint was really good and my favorite lunch spot of those tried. I tried the BBQ joint, it was okay but not out of this world. Rosie's had plenty of selection, I had lunch at the Italian buffet and the deli once each. My cabin was on Deck 7, Empress, Midship. I was in cabin 7379. It was very comfortable and I had no issues with feeling like I was moving. The only issue I had was that this cabin is adjacent to the crew elevators used for staff to service rooms and deliver room service. I did hear the elevators numerous times very early in the morning. Everyone was very friendly and the ship was in most areas very clean. I did have one experience where someone had gotten sick in the one of the public restrooms and it had not been cleaned up. My favorite Playlist Production was America Rocks! The story line of the Country Roads was just too cheesy for me. Our Cozumel excursion was to the Dolphinaris. It was very educational and I really enjoyed touching and playing with the dolphin. Our handler was very knowledgeable and everyone enjoyed his presentation. The photos were extremely expensive but you can negotiate, don't just pay the list price. The food included was not that great, I was disappointed. I did not take an excursion at Progreso, just went to the shops on the pier to buy a few gifts.Our head waiter at the Washington Dining Room was amazing. This cruise was a family celebration of my Mother's birthday and my daugther's 15th wedding anniversary. Omar treated my Mom like royalty and he made every meal a special event for the whole family. The only truly disappointing experience was with the Dream Studio. The photographer was wonderful as was her work. We booked an appointment on Formal Night for the whole family to document our celebrations and the fact we had four generations together on the cruise. It turned out the price was astronomical! They wanted over $3,000 for the photos and a disc and all other packages were similarly out of our price range. Sadly we left with no pictures. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Entertainment was poor like a high school musical. Food was awful and repeated at every buffet. Even dining room food was poor. I’m not picky but having to pay the up charge for good food like steak and lobster is the way Carnival ... Read More
Entertainment was poor like a high school musical. Food was awful and repeated at every buffet. Even dining room food was poor. I’m not picky but having to pay the up charge for good food like steak and lobster is the way Carnival screws us now. The comedy club was the best entertainment. The areas to chill on sea days were plentiful. We took advantage of the adult hot tubs and they were great. I think we will stick with Royal Caribbean next cruise. They at least offer more for the higher price. You really do get what you pay for. Carnival is cheap. Hubby did get food poisoning and we met other guests that did too. Excursion was nonrufundable even though he was sick. Don’t eat the BBQ!! The crescents at breakfast were superb! I know I’m all over the place with this review but it wants so many dang words I have to keep typing! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
First cruise for Mom and My sister. Fairly easy to get around. Food was good. Good service for Mom in a wheelchair. No bad weather. The bed was quite comfy. Pillows were a little hard. Smokers smoking on balcony unfortunately. Never much ... Read More
First cruise for Mom and My sister. Fairly easy to get around. Food was good. Good service for Mom in a wheelchair. No bad weather. The bed was quite comfy. Pillows were a little hard. Smokers smoking on balcony unfortunately. Never much to do during the day. Shows were ok. Enjoyed the rock n roll show the best. No announcement for hairy chest contest. My son said they did it Thursday. Saw 1 hot tub broken. Pools very small. They gave us a free wheelchair for Mom, that was very nice. She fell getting onboard and they checked her out and seemed very caring and respectful. We got 3 free bottles of water. Drinks were tasty like refreshing fruit. Desserts in mdr were yummy. My sister w asnt impressed with the shows at night, but I liked the Rock show. My son 14, had a great time in pool, hot tub and slide. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Cons: Disastrous disembarkment Slow service at sandwich and coffee bars Buffet room personnel struggled with English Smoky casino Spa certificates expired before last day at sea Over cooked fish in dining room Dated ... Read More
Cons: Disastrous disembarkment Slow service at sandwich and coffee bars Buffet room personnel struggled with English Smoky casino Spa certificates expired before last day at sea Over cooked fish in dining room Dated cabins in need of refurbish Constant coercion to upgrade/upcharge Erroneous charges on Sail card that were not corrected Did I say disastrous disembarkment? Pros: Pizza bar Rock show Medical personnel Fresh fruit Omelet station Clean room Cabin steward Members in our party purchased the drink package and it did not start until day two of the cruise. That was one of a number of issues that seemed stingy and cut rate. Needless to say, I will not be taking another Carnival cruise. However, the cruise arranged excursion to passion island was very nice. Other than the seaweed, which is an act of nature and out of the control of the cruise line, the beach was perfect. Pick this sailing at your own risk. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
The value of the cruise is why my family choice the Valor it was in our budget. The activites everyday was great there was always something to do. The free food such a awesome luxury for all. However the staff as a whole except the head ... Read More
The value of the cruise is why my family choice the Valor it was in our budget. The activites everyday was great there was always something to do. The free food such a awesome luxury for all. However the staff as a whole except the head cabin housekeeper can't remember his name. The staff was very hateful snobby they acted like we owed them something when our money is just as green as theirs when asking for help and when having questions staff treated us like children and like we should have already known the answers. Effy jewelry staff was nice the first few days but when we went back in the last day of the cruise they seemed moody and irritated which could of meant maybe they were overworked and tired. The jewelry is gorgeous but way to expensive for the middle class working adult. Upon preparing to leave the cruise the staff was hateful one staff member even addressed my father with " Did you pay attention to the announcement u should have" that was uncalled for what a jerk. There is enough mean and hateful people in this world we don't need to go on vacation and experience the same issue. I will not recommend this cruise Carnival Valor to anyone. My family will chose a different Carnival Cruise Ship next time. However the overall cruise experience was very relaxing, entertaining, all different types of people to mingle with and meet new friends and create bonds that will last a lifetime. The cruise was clean decor was amazing everything was really great just those few negatives my family will always consider carnival but just a different one next time we will not give up on having a great time with carnival cruise Read Less
Carnival Valor Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.5 4.0
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 5.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.3

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