Back To Line

Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Valor

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Valor Review

In 2004, the third of the Conquest-class ships, Carnival Valor launched with interiors designed as a tribute to valiant acts and heroic people. Colorful, yet for Carnival quite subtle, the flow of design and function work well and are not overwhelming. The ship is scheduled for refurbishment in 2014 when it will receive Carnival’s "Fun Ship 2.0" upgrades with new casual dining options and bars. From her home port in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Carnival Valoroffers weeklong sailings to the Southern Caribbean.

Taking Fun Ships to new lengths and widths, Conquest-class ships are among the largest in the Carnival fleet. They're basically larger and more feature-filled versions of earlier Destiny-class vessels. More space translates into additional decks, an upscale steak house, and even more bars and lounges; however, well-proportioned public areas belie the ships' massive size. You'll hardly notice that there's slightly less space per passenger after you take a thrilling trip down the spiral waterslide.

Public rooms flow forward and aft from stunning central atriums. Just off each ship's main boulevard is an array of specialty bars, dance lounges, discos, piano bars, and show lounges, plus seating areas along the indoor promenades. The promenade can get crowded between dinner seatings and show-lounge performances, but with so many different places to spend time, you're sure to find one with plenty of room and an atmosphere to suit your taste.

The world's largest cruise line originated the Fun Ship concept in 1972 with the relaunch of an aging ocean liner, which got stuck on a sandbar during its maiden voyage. In true entrepreneurial spirit, founder Ted Arison shrugged off an inauspicious beginning to introduce superliners a decade later. Sporting red-white-and-blue flared funnels, which are easily recognized from afar, new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern. If you find something you like on one vessel, you're likely to find something similar on another.

Each vessel features themed public rooms, ranging from ancient Egypt to futuristic motifs, although many of those elements are being replaced with a more tropical decor as older ships are upgraded. Carnival is also introducing features either branded by the line itself, such as the poolside Blue Iguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina and the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, or in partnership with well known brands, such as EA SPORTS to create EA SPORTS Bars at sea and Guy’s Burger Joint, in partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri. Implementation of the new features is scheduled for completion in 2015.

What You Should Know


  • The lounge chairs on the deck above the aft Lido pool are almost always quiet
  • Steak houses on these ships are some of the best restaurants—and dining bargains—at sea
  • The ships have been retrofitted with Carnival’s Seaside Theatres—the jumbo-size poolside LED screens


  • Cabins and balconies on deck 8 from mid-ship to aft are beneath the Lido and suffer from pool-deck noise overhead
  • Seating at the casino bar can be noisy with sound from the slot machines dueling with nearby musicians
  • Likewise, sound from the Seaside Theatre can be annoyingly loud
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 1,160
  • Entered Service 2004
  • Gross Tons 110,000
  • Length 952 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,487
  • Passenger Capacity 2,974 (3,700 max)
  • Width 116 feet
  • New

Mar 2, 2017

Cozumel and Progesso

Our first cruise on the Valor. The ship is beautiful. Our Jr Suite had wood flooring and carpet. Bath had tub/shower and double sinks. Normally our cabin steward greets us. Didn't see our steward until the second day of cruise. Made first reservation at Scarlett's steak house and all was well. Except for the stringy fillet. Also cheesecake could have been out of Costco. OUr table was a table for two. A very small table for two. Second reservation

didn't happen. We were told they were booked. Next night got a 9 pm reservation. We waited at the desk. The chef left the kitchen and found the hostess. The chef greeted us. Sat down and I had no spoon or napkin or bread plate. There was no salt and pepper on the table and we were never offered fresh ground pepper or any seasoning. I spent enough in the casino that I received a free drink card while in the casino. Great. However I could not find a cocktail server at the dice table. Walked to the casino bar and was refused a free drink. I had to be IN the casino. I think I earned that $800 cocktail. Good on buffet comparable to school food. Thank goodness for Guys Burgers. I have been loyal to Carnival. They must be rich because they are running me over to Royal Caribbean Room service was better than the buffet and dining room. 24 hour pizza quality isn't what it once was. Steak house was unprepared and meat didn't meet my expectations or previous experience at other Carnival steakhouses. The buffet is so far below expectations in variety. Quality of food on buffet is poor. Brown lettuce no spoons by soup salad choices are unheard of to me. Please explain and might try the items. Guys saved the day. The milkshakes at the Java Coffee Shop were nice. I do not drink alcohol. PLEASE do something about the iced tea. It's as dark and strong as cough syrup. Room was great. We sleep late. We had to explain that when we finally met our room steward. After that no problems. Are there King size beds or 2 twins pushed together? Ours had a hump in the middle and leaned on one side as if someone had worn that side of the mattress down. What activities? If you don't drink or dance or like art not much to do. I love the casino. It was my entertainment. We've done all in Cozumel. But that's okay for us. We just love this town. We just walk and eat and shop. Please drop Progresso off your itinerary. Just ride around the Gulf of Mexico or spend two days in Cozumel. This is a wasted day and not much to do. If you like taking a long bus ride to excursions this is your spot. Not my idea of fun. Just a 5 day cruise to get away. During debarkation we were told we were at the wrong holding area. I was so glad to get off that ship. Not a fun cruise. The casino a night of watching karoka in the Red Frog Pub and watching St Vincent on the movie channel over and over again fell short.

Read More
  • New

Jan 25, 2017


Overall my first cruise ever was better than i expected it to be! I expected to get sea sick (I didn't). The first day was lost due to fog. So we lost one day at port. However, staff was amazing. I got really sick (gallbladder) right before we got on and ended up with fever. Our room attendant was professional but very attentive and caring! Fransiscus, Hendri and ___________ (can't recall the other name :( ) in the Washington

dining room was THE BEST! They were entertaining, helpful and made a HUGE deal out of this being our honeymoon - sooooo sweeet! Throughout the ship, the food was fresh and the staff preparing it pleasant! Beautiful cabin! Next time we're going to pay a little extra for a balcony though because it get stuffy! The activities were great! I didn't really feel like participating because I just wanted down time! But everyone had such a good time! MR SANCHOS in Cozumel!!!! Oh My Gosh!!! Fresh fish (whole), Mr. Sanchos special (I'm totally going to make this myself) and the shrimp! OMG the shrimp! And the pina coladas!!!! This was our honeymoon. We had a great time despite the rough start (fog and illness). We're booking another one same time next year when I get paid next week - i'm not even going to wait!

Read More
  • New

Jan 10, 2017


Overall - nice. Being with family was the best. We dont usually have that much time together, especially not for 7 days! The children really enjoyed it and it was fun watching their reactions. The Gulf was really choppy, so we were all sick at one time or another. Not the cruise's fault, I know. The food was very good in the dining room, and our servers/waiters were the best. Hats off to HENDRI, MADI, and FRANCISCUS aka COO-COO for treating

us like their own family. The granddaughters loved them. They entertained them every night with animals made with napkins. Hugs to those three! Guy's Burger joint was good too. The pizza was OK but crust tough. Kids liked it though. The long lines for food on the Lido deck, not so good. Made me wonder if they overbooked their ability to serve, or understaffed, or if they are cutting costs and just did not make their food options available long enough during the day to accommodate everyone. Although there were about 4 24-hour soft serve stations, it seemed that whichever one I came to first was out of service, or no cones, or no spoons, etc. I'm guessing maybe 50% of the time they were functional. Maybe they have a limit that they can put in their machines per day, so they don't run out, but that was a little annoying, because that's one of our favorite things. No complaints at all about the way the stateroom was maintained. Our room steward, NOMER, was the best. He has been with Carnival for 12 years! He fascinated the granddaughters with his towel animals with great talent. The room, however, was not insulated very well for sound. We could hear lots of noise from the hall (kids running up and down yelling), from the next door rooms, (TV), and from the 5th floor "music". This cruise was geared towards people who like LOUD music. Sensory overload. In my opinion not family friendly. My biggest complaint is having to walk past the smoke-filled 5th floor casinos on the way to the dining room. The distance was longer than you could hold your breath. And didn't appreciate my grandchildren having to breathe that. Not many activities for kids, if you want them to stay with you. Even the shows that were not rated 18+ were not really kid appropriate. But the magic show was great. They did like the last night movie "Pets" and watching outside with blankets and popcorn. They also liked miniature golf. One other thing ---I asked if there were any worship services on Sunday. Or a place to conduct such. Or group. No. Nothing. I guess I was naive. My family liked the Dolphin encounter, which was good. Probably a once in a lifetime thing. If you want to do the cultural, native people thing, like go into the city and experience life on the street, shopping, etc. you are on your own to get a taxi and be responsible for getting yourself back to the ship on time. We were fortunate in Belize to get a good driver/guide - JULIO. But there are myriads of other drivers who are pretty persistent with their sales pitches. The required safety drill was a chaotic disaster waiting to happen. If you were on time for the drill, you were rewarded with having to stand shoulder to shoulder 4 people deep for about 45 minutes with little interaction and large gaps of time between bits of information, so you didn't know when you were going to be finished. That was torture. The disembarkation process was likewise. They had an option for people to carry their own luggage off to get off early. But unfortunately people with this option were called at the same time as those who chose the checked baggage option. The result, although they kept saying "we've done this many times, and have it down to a science", was that when your (luggage-less) group was called, you are in this mob of people AND luggage. Could have been dangerous. When our elevator stopped on the lobby deck, we couldn't even get out because of the crowd. Too many groups were called at once. Their processes need more work! Maybe all cruises are this way, but I don't recall having these problems on my one other cruise with Holland America.

Read More
  • New

Aug 30, 2015


The hospitality, kindness, and hard work of the cruise staff were all appreciated. Unfortunately, someone dropped the ball in the activities department. Excellent dinners. Phenomenal staff. The lines for lunch buffets were ridiculous (especially for Mongolian Wok, Butritos, Pizza). Cabin was perfectly cleaned and in good shape. The walls were very thin. We were woken up by our loud mouth neighbors every morning between

7-7:15. The stateroom doors slam very loudly, as well. Poorly organized activities. Not enough to do. Geared toward for older people. We had many moments of boredom. Im not joking. If you dont do casinos, art shows, or bingo-you're in trouble. They had the same lounge singing duo in the main area of the ship every evening for hours. No rotations. Just torture. My daughter loved camp carnival. She was there ALL of the time, by choice. The teens had their own club. Pool tables, dance music, etc. What about the rest of us?! We have to wait until midnight. Sorry parents, no late fun for you... Our activities included :waiting for meal times, walking through the smoky casino, looking at the horrible schefule 50 times a day, and walking around. They dont openly advertise it- but Roatan has an adorable and FREE beach thats gorgeous. Right off the ship. Book something for Belize or stay on the boat. Scary. I heard a couple ( 16 time cruisers) say it was the worst they've been on. And they were seniors. We are so easy going and never complain, but every single family we encountered had the SAME complaints. We all became fans of the Big Bang theory

Read More
  • New

Mar 29, 2015

Group Getaway

Nice cruise for the value. So much to see and do with all the stops the ship makes. And if you like jewelry, there are plenty. If I had a $1 for every jewelry store I saw at the islands, I'd be a rich lady! The food was good and a nice variety. The dining room food was OK and nice to have it served to you. Pizza is available all the time and late night there is a burger/hot dog bar. There was one night a mexican buffet was served besides

the burger/hot dogs. Breakfast had a variety of dishes, including an omelet bar. You won't leave hungry on this ship! Had a balcony room on the Lido deck (9270) which was small, but Ok. It was so nice to go out on the balcony each morning and take pictures of the port and sit out while others were getting ready. And for being on the Lido deck where a lot of the action was going it, it was pretty quiet where we were. The activies (casino, comedy club, shows, bingo) were all good. There was something to do for everyone. Be sure to book excursions from Carnival because they are guaranteed. For instance, if any equipment of the excursion you are going on, Carnival will not leave until you get back to the ship. This is a "piece of mind" feeling knowing that if you book an excursion through them that you won't get left behind if you don't make the ship. We did the Sea Turtle snorkeling excursion in Barbados and had a blast! The guys on the catamaran were nice and friendly. They also provided information on the places along the shores and what famous people lived there. Almost missed the ship due to plane delays and trying to find our luggage. Leave a day early to check out San Juan and know you're going to get on the ship in time. And a few things to note: The San Juan port closes at 9pm so you need to be on the ship before then. And the time it took from the airport to get to the port is about 20 mins. Also, take advantage of the Cheers program if you are going to drink 6 or more drinks a day. The drinks are at least $6 or more a drink and the Cheers program is $50/day so it pays for itself! Since this was a first time cruise, I thought it was very nice, fun and had a great time. Would recommend this to anyone who is thinking about going on a cruise. There is so much to see and do. And with all the jewelry stores we were to, a lot of them offered you a drink while you look around. St. Maarten was my favorite of all the islands, St. Thomas was my second best.

Read More

Cruise Forums

Have a cruising question? Ask our Fodorite community.

Cruise News

Read our latest news about cruises.


Shop our travel guides on European, Caribbean, and Alaskan cruises.

Back To Top