1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Carnival Valor
Embarkation was very smooth. Even though I got to port two hours before my check in time, I was allowed to go in the "early" line, which was very quick, and I was on board much earlier than expected. I waited for a while in the Ivanhoe theater, and then headed up to deck 11 around 12:45 to see how things were progressing. The Spa staff called me over, offered me a comfy seat, and checked on my corridor periodically so that I could just relax. My room was ready before 1. I spent way too much time obsessing over the Fun Times and scheduling myself for activities. In hindsight, I should have just gone with the flow, and not stressed over what I might be missing. I attended a slot pull in the casino (we came out ahead!), a trivia session, a shopping presentation, and watched Bohemian Rhapsody in VERY chilly, windy conditions as a dive-in movie. Be warned that watching any movie in less than ideal weather is going to be torture - I wore a hoodie and wrapped myself in a towel and a blanket, and even then I almost didn't make it to the end. I had four spa/gym sessions. The spa ladies are very friendly, but will try to push overpriced products on you - "Of these four products, which one do you feel would be most beneficial to you?" is their line. My gym training session was grueling, but I managed to go the whole hour without collapsing. The personalized workout printed list wasn't at the front desk that evening as promised, but after a couple of reminders (my cabin was steps away!) it was put under my door two days later. I spent a lot of time in the casino. One machine in particular always allowed me to make a profit, as long as I cashed out while I was ahead, and didn't play again until the next day. I only played minimum bets, and ended the cruise about $40 up. Make sure you cash out your balance at the casino desk on the last night of the cruise, as Guest Services can't access your casino funds. My cabin was great as a solo traveler. It would probably be okay with two, but three or four would be cramped. The balcony was tiny, and tweaked my fear of heights a little. To sit in a chair, I had to hold onto it, and shuffle around carefully. The sliding patio door to the balcony had a damaged latch mechanism and was held closed by a temporary hook, which didn't help my feelings of safety! I ordered breakfast in my room every day, but it was only sunny enough to eat on the balcony one day. I also ordered cake through room service a few times as an evening treat. I most ate at the Lido Buffet. I at in the MDR twice, once on my own, and once with two other families. I discovered you can order as much as you want - the fireman across the table ordered two cesar salads, and two entrees. I bought a bottle of wine the first night, which I kept in my cabin fridge (keep the cabinet door open to help with the cooling) and mixed with my breakfast orange juice. I also had the crab cake sliders from the seafood shack, which were okay, but not worth the added expense. I took shore excursions in Cozumel (snorkeling) and Progreso (all-inclusive beach resort), but I didn't book them through Carnival. Cozumel is best for shopping, but Progreso has some good stores at the port with bargains. I bought two Mexican blankets for $10. Disembarkation was great. We docked 2 hours early, and they started disembarking at 7:30 instead of 8:30. My deck was called first, and as I was carrying all my luggage off, I ended up being the 6th person off the ship. Customs was very smooth, and I was in my car and on the road at 8:15. If I cruise again, I will probably go with a line less geared to families, and more towards solo/older people. Deck 11 was very quiet, but the hot tubs, especially on the Serenity deck, were always filled with loud, 20-something partiers. I would also go later in the year, as we had rain on 5 days out of 6 in mid-January, which cut into deck time.

Great value for money

Carnival Valor Cruise Review by Khyri

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Embarkation was very smooth. Even though I got to port two hours before my check in time, I was allowed to go in the "early" line, which was very quick, and I was on board much earlier than expected. I waited for a while in the Ivanhoe theater, and then headed up to deck 11 around 12:45 to see how things were progressing. The Spa staff called me over, offered me a comfy seat, and checked on my corridor periodically so that I could just relax. My room was ready before 1.

I spent way too much time obsessing over the Fun Times and scheduling myself for activities. In hindsight, I should have just gone with the flow, and not stressed over what I might be missing. I attended a slot pull in the casino (we came out ahead!), a trivia session, a shopping presentation, and watched Bohemian Rhapsody in VERY chilly, windy conditions as a dive-in movie. Be warned that watching any movie in less than ideal weather is going to be torture - I wore a hoodie and wrapped myself in a towel and a blanket, and even then I almost didn't make it to the end.

I had four spa/gym sessions. The spa ladies are very friendly, but will try to push overpriced products on you - "Of these four products, which one do you feel would be most beneficial to you?" is their line. My gym training session was grueling, but I managed to go the whole hour without collapsing. The personalized workout printed list wasn't at the front desk that evening as promised, but after a couple of reminders (my cabin was steps away!) it was put under my door two days later.

I spent a lot of time in the casino. One machine in particular always allowed me to make a profit, as long as I cashed out while I was ahead, and didn't play again until the next day. I only played minimum bets, and ended the cruise about $40 up. Make sure you cash out your balance at the casino desk on the last night of the cruise, as Guest Services can't access your casino funds.

My cabin was great as a solo traveler. It would probably be okay with two, but three or four would be cramped. The balcony was tiny, and tweaked my fear of heights a little. To sit in a chair, I had to hold onto it, and shuffle around carefully. The sliding patio door to the balcony had a damaged latch mechanism and was held closed by a temporary hook, which didn't help my feelings of safety! I ordered breakfast in my room every day, but it was only sunny enough to eat on the balcony one day. I also ordered cake through room service a few times as an evening treat.

I most ate at the Lido Buffet. I at in the MDR twice, once on my own, and once with two other families. I discovered you can order as much as you want - the fireman across the table ordered two cesar salads, and two entrees. I bought a bottle of wine the first night, which I kept in my cabin fridge (keep the cabinet door open to help with the cooling) and mixed with my breakfast orange juice. I also had the crab cake sliders from the seafood shack, which were okay, but not worth the added expense.

I took shore excursions in Cozumel (snorkeling) and Progreso (all-inclusive beach resort), but I didn't book them through Carnival. Cozumel is best for shopping, but Progreso has some good stores at the port with bargains. I bought two Mexican blankets for $10.

Disembarkation was great. We docked 2 hours early, and they started disembarking at 7:30 instead of 8:30. My deck was called first, and as I was carrying all my luggage off, I ended up being the 6th person off the ship. Customs was very smooth, and I was in my car and on the road at 8:15.

If I cruise again, I will probably go with a line less geared to families, and more towards solo/older people. Deck 11 was very quiet, but the hot tubs, especially on the Serenity deck, were always filled with loud, 20-something partiers. I would also go later in the year, as we had rain on 5 days out of 6 in mid-January, which cut into deck time.
Khyri’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Carnival Valor price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8F 1108
My spa deck balcony cabin was great as a solo traveler. It would probably be okay with two, but three or four would be cramped. The balcony was tiny, and tweaked my fear of heights a little. To sit in a chair, I had to hold onto it, and shuffle around carefully. The sliding patio door to the balcony had a damaged latch mechanism and was held closed by a temporary hook, which didn't help my feelings of safety! Imade greeted me on day 1, and gave me his card. I asked for morning room service only, and a complimentary robe. I had to remind him about the robe the next day, and when it finally arrived, the material was very stiff and scratchy. The bathroom was adequate, though if I was sharing with another person, it might be tight on storage space.
Spa Deck Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Snorkeling
    I snorkeled at Sunset Beach, a 25 minute walked from the port. It was my first time, and I was given a personal guide who towed me with a buoy, and gave excellent commentary on what we were seeing. I brought my own full face mask, but they also supply equipment too. A locker was provided for my valuables for $2. After about 45 minutes, I told my guide I was tired, and we headed back to shore. I was given lunch as soon as we returned, and two free beers. It was an excellent introduction to snorkeling, although the amount of fish was minimal.
    View All 417 Snorkeling Reviews
  • Beach
    After two bus rides, with a long wait between them in a dubious empty lot, we were dropped off at Tecnotel Resort. The beach was nice, even though it was mostly crushed seashells and seaweed. The weather wasn't the best, but when the sun came out, it was relaxing. The two swimming pools are well kept, and I would advise going to the quieter one at the back of the property. The waiters brought food and drinks to us both at the beach and pool, and we could always go and fetch more food if we needed to. The chicken fajitas and cheese quesadillas were the best items on the limited menu.
    View All 42 Beach Reviews