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Carnival Valor Review

2019 Best for Shore Excursions
2018 Best for Shore Excursions
2016 Best for Value
View More

Find a Carnival Valor Cruise from £194

Carnival Valor
4.0 / 5.0
1581 reviews

Pros
Cons
Bottom Line
Excellent value and fun, comfortable atmosphere for all ages

About

Passengers
2,984

Crew
1,180

Passenger to Crew
2.53:1

Launched
2004

Shore Excursions
110
Sails To
Western Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Deals
Gina Kramer
Cruise Critic Contributor

Carnival Valor Overview

If you're looking for a fun, affordable cruise with fewer sea days and floating resort-like amenities, Carnival Valor might be your perfect match.

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The 2,980-passenger ship stands out among its fleetmates with port-intensive itineraries (one sea day versus two on a five-night sailing, for example), and, like its fleetmates, embraces the "no shoes, no shirt, no problems" mantra with multiple pools, Tiki-style bars, a three-deck-high water slide and handful of complimentary dining options.

Many of its bars and restaurants were added during a May 2016 refurb -- part of Carnival's $500 million Fun Ship 2.0 investment. The line's much-loved Guy's Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina are now open for lunch, while the BlueIguana Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, RedFrog Pub and Alchemy Bar serve even more flowing drinks from morning to night. Those who've sailed on the ship before also will notice the new Cherry on Top candy shop and changes to the kids' club.

One of Carnival Valor's most appealing attributes is that it doesn't seem to draw one particular type of traveler over another. Friends can let loose, families can bond and couples can play without the ship ever feeling like a spring break party or playground. All ages and backgrounds come together at the main pool, outdoor movie nights and various deck games like Ping-Pong and cornhole (beanbag toss).

The service is also some of the friendliest and most attentive we've experienced on a mainstream cruise ship. Every crew member -- from the cabin stewards and guest services receptionists to the bartenders and waiters -- embodied the line's "Fun Ship" culture and made sure everyone was satisfied and having a good time.

Another reason we fell in love with this ship? Its decor pays tribute to American history in a fun, creative way.

Unlike some of the line's older ships that flaunt trippy colors and sculptures, Carnival Valor doesn't come across as ostentatious. Floors and cocktail tables are American flag print, and the trim is decked out with tiny Liberty Bells. Passing through the atrium, hallways and lounges almost feels like a scavenger hunt. See how many U.S. presidents, landmarks and major events you can identify in the artwork -- keep your eyes peeled for the Apollo 11 moonwalk!

It's also worth noting, the new Carnival Hub app is an extremely fun (and useful) addition to Valor. While cruisers still receive the nightly Fun Times newsletter in their staterooms, the app offers so much more. It has all the obvious info like weather forecasts, deck plans and an updated version of what’s on where and when. But you can also manage your account on the app, book shore excursions and even interact with the ship’s performers. Top tip: not many people realize it, but the Hub even has a pizza delivery service. Just click the button and that thin crust Hawaiian you've been craving will be delivered to you (for a fee) to wherever you are on the ship, night or day, in a pizza box -- now that’s what we call service!


Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • Two main dining rooms, the buffet and select other eateries
  • All theater and comedy shows
  • Use of the sports court and water slide
  • Most daily activities unless noted below
  • Use of the gym, but not most classes

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Gratuities of $13.99 per person, per day or $15.99 per person, per day for those staying in suites
  • Most room service deliveries, plus tip
  • All drinks beyond water, tea (including ice tea), coffee and select juices in the buffet, plus an automatic 18 percent tip
  • Spa treatments, plus automatic 15 percent gratuity
  • Shore excursions
  • Wi-Fi
  • Activities including, but not limited to arcade games, bingo and Build-A-Bear
  • Photos

Top Carnival Valor Itineraries

Carnival Valor
5 day western caribbean itiner

New Orleans, Costa Maya, Cozumel, New Orleans

View All Carnival Valor Itineraries (5)

Fellow Passengers

Carnival Valor attracts a lively mix of families as well as couples and groups of friends, most of whom are in their 20s, 30s and 40s. The majority of passengers hails from North America, though you might notice other nationalities depending on the itinerary. The demographic also fluctuates depending on when you sail. For example, cruises during the holidays will likely see more families, while spring break months like March and April tend to draw a rowdier crowd.


Carnival Valor Dress Code

Daytime: "Cruise Casual" is how Carnival describes its dress code. During the day, T-shirts, shorts, bathing suit cover-ups and flip-flops prevail.

Evening: At night, the dress code translates to T-shirts with khaki pants or shorts for men and billowy blouses with shorts or casual sundresses for women. Both men and women can wear jeans, as long as they're not cutoff. Carnival also hosts "Cruise Elegant" nights, once during a short cruise and twice on longer sailings. This is an opportunity for passengers to get dolled up to their liking. Dress slacks, dress shirts and sport coats (optional) are suitable for men. The line suggests cocktail dresses, pantsuits, elegant skirts and blouses for women. Quite a few passengers on our sailing went all-out with tuxedos and evening gowns, plus some that looked like prom dresses.

Not permitted: Bathing suits are not allowed in any of the dining rooms -- even if you're simply passing through the buffet. Gym shorts, flip-flops and men's sleeveless shirts are prohibited in all dining venues except the buffet at night.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Carnival.


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Carnival Valor Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins4.04.2
Dining4.04
Entertainment4.03.8
Public Rooms4.04.2
Fitness Recreation4.03.9
Family4.04
Enrichment2.03.5
Service5.04.2
Value For Money5.04.1

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More about Carnival Valor

Where does Carnival Valor sail from?

Carnival Valor departs from New Orleans and Barcelona

Where does Carnival Valor sail to?

How much does it cost to go on Carnival Valor?

Cruises on Carnival Valor start from £194 per person.

Is Carnival Valor a good ship to cruise on?

Carnival Valor won 10 awards over the years, including Best for Shore Excursions in 2019.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2019 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2018 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2016 Best for Value
  • 2016 Best for Families
  • 2015 Best Overall
  • 2015 Best for Embarkation
  • 2015 Best for Service
  • 2015 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2015 Best for Value
  • 2013 Best for Families
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Carnival Valor Member Reviews

Carnival Valor
JDOUGLEJ
Sail Date: Dec 2019
The Carnival Valor was the ninth ship and cruise for my wife and I (4th Carnival). We have never had a crew as friendly and helpful as the crew on the Valor.... Read More
Carnival Valor
draggonsgate
Sail Date: Jan 2020
I wish Carnival would understand how hard these folks work and instead of adding cabins to take care of, cut back a bit. Food. OK, here, the Valor outshined (outshown?)... Read More
Carnival Valor
ccand7
Sail Date: Feb 2020
Lucca and Kiara, along with the band, remains the best entertainment I have ever seen on a Carnival ship.... Read More
Carnival Valor
Mbyr
Sail Date: Sep 2019
My most recent sailing, on the Carnival Valor, was much the same as on the Triumph. The Valor must be their worst ship at the moment.... Read More

Carnival Cruise Line Fleet

Carnival Ecstasy
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

1118 reviews

Fun and friendly with a laid-back vibe; highlights include waterslides, a singalong piano bar, nightly Punchliner Comedy Club and mini-golf; carries some 2,500.

Carnival Ecstasy Cruises to the Bahamas View All Carnival Ecstasy Cruises
Carnival Elation
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Elation is the seventh of Carnival's eight Fantasy-class vessels (debuting in 1998), and went through a significant upgrade in 2009.

Carnival Fantasy
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Carnival Fantasy may be the oldest vessel in the Carnival fleet, but it certainly has style, and a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Carnival Fascination
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The 2,052-passenger Carnival Fascination debuted in 1994 and went through a significant upgrade to public areas, top-deck spaces and cabins in 2010.

Carnival Imagination
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Fun and friendly with plenty to do from sunup to sundown including high-energy pool deck fun and stage shows, plus waterslides, mini-golf and more.

Carnival Inspiration
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

A smaller ship packed with energetic fun all day long; highlights include nightly comedy, enthusiastic karaoke, waterslides, mini-golf and 10 bars and lounges.

Carnival Paradise
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Smaller ship with a fun and family-friendly atmosphere: highlights include short warm-weather itineraries, a waterslide and mini-golf; carries about 2,500 people.

Carnival Sensation
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun, friendly vibe with a packed lineup of daily activities, nightly comedy, energetic stage shows, silly pool deck fun, and a multi-slide waterpark.

Carnival Victory
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Fewer attractions than other Carnival ships but only offers short sailings; highlights are the comedy club, four pools and water slide; about 3,000 passengers.

Carnival Spirit
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


One of Australians' favourite cruise ships -- like a true Aussie, it's laid-back, fun and friendly -- from crew, to passengers and the atmosphere.

Carnival Pride
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Lively and fun with a dizzying art-through-the-centuries decor, nightly standup comedy, two waterslides, four pools, and lots of bars and lounges; can carry about 2,500.

Carnival Legend
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun and friendly with lots of pool-centric fun, a multi-slide waterpark, nightly comedy, and 16 lounges and bars; spends much of year in Australia.

Carnival Conquest
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Unpretentious vibe with pool-centric fun and water slide, plus Hairy Chest and Mr. and Mrs. Conquest contests; also 11 bars and 9 eateries; carries about 3,500.

Carnival Glory
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Lively entertainment and activities include nightly stand-up comedy, high-energy Playlist Production stage shows, twister water slide, and a nonstop schedule of daily activities.

Carnival Miracle
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun, family-friendly ship focused on Carnival signatures like the high-energy Playlist Production shows, nightly comedy, RedFrog Pub and line dancing deck parties.

Carnival Valor
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Silly poolside games, piano bar sing-alongs and PG- and R-rated stand-up comedy give this smallish mega-ship its fun vibe; also features the RedFrog Pub.

Carnival Liberty
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun, friendly vibe focusing on Carnival signatures like the Punchliner Comedy Club, gut-busting Guy's Burger Joint and cocktail-focused Alchemy Bar; holds about 3,500.

Carnival Freedom
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun, laid-back and friendly; highlights include nightly comedy, high-energy stage shows, twister water slide and the popular RedFrog Pub; holds about 3,500.

Carnival Splendor
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Can hold upward of 4,000 passengers; features indoor/outdoor pool with retractable dome, Twister water slide, mini-golf and just one extra-fee restaurant.

Carnival Dream
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun, friendly vibe; features Guy Fieri's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, family-friendly and adult stand-up comedy, nightly karaoke, water park and mini-golf.

Carnival Magic
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Holds about 4,000; highlights include water slides, the RedFrog Pub, two-bathroom family cabins that hold up to five, a ropes course and Carnival's signature fun.

Carnival Breeze
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Nonstop activities and attractions include top deck water park and ropes course, 4D Thrill Theater and nightly standup comedy; can hold up to 4,700 cruisers.

Carnival Sunshine
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun and friendly with nightly stand-up comedy and short, energetic stage shows, plus a calorie-packed burger joint from celeb chef Guy Fieri; holds about 3,500.

Carnival Vista
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Holds a bit more than 4,000 passengers; offers a waterpark, suspended-in-midair recumbent bike thrill ride, ropes course and the first IMAX cinema at sea.

Carnival Horizon
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Carnival's newest megaship, holding some 4,000 passengers, launches April 2018; highlights include new barbeque/brewery and Teppanyaki restaurants, an IMAX movie theater, waterpark, beer brewery and ropes course.

Carnival Sunrise
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


A completely reimagined ship, Carnival Sunrise is Carnival Triumph transformed with new venues, entertainment options, and a whole new Fun Ship look.

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