Carnival Reviews - Cruise Ship reviews by Cruisemates Readers
Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Valor
by CandySpy
Eastern Caribbean
December 4, 2005

This was our 2nd cruise (both were Carnival) and let me tell you cruising is addicting! We went on the Valor because it was the Rusty Wallace cruise. We did the Rusty cruise last year also. I haven't seen any reviews about the Rusty cruise so if anyone has any questions please feel free to contact me.

Embarkation (Port of Miami):
It wasn't too bad, although we did have to wait a long time because there was a Customs problem (we were near the front of the line so we got to wait inside the terminal). People just need to remember it's not Carnival's fault that the ship can't let you on, it's the Government controlling that, and I'd rather be safe than sorry. Remember the cruise is what you make of it, if you're miserable, the trip will be bad.

Ok, now to start, the ship is amazing. It's huge. Now a lot of people seemed to have a hard time finding their way, but it was pretty simple if you just remember to go to the 5th floor (the 3rd floor does not go through the middle therefore you have to walk up to go back down- yes it can be confusing!). The décor is "fun" and it definitely lightens your mood. Our room happened to be ready when we got on the ship so we were able to put our things in the room. We had a basic inside cabin on the Riviera Deck, mid-ship. We had gotten the same room on our first cruise and didn't really feel any motion so we thought best to stick with it.

Since this was the Rusty cruise during our days at sea pretty much each day was planned with activities such as Rusty autographing racing items (or whatever item you choose), taking pictures with you (which you have to buy if you want them $20), and a question and answer session with him in the theater. The only bad thing about this was this year we didn't get our Rusty Itinerary until the next day and we missed a cocktail party where he was socializing with everyone, so that was a bit disappointing.

Our first stop was the Bahamas. We had a beautiful day but we didn't know what to do because we were limited with time. So we just took a cab to Atlantis walked around, took pictures and then headed back to the ship.

Second stop was St. Thomas. We didn't take any tours here; we took a cab to downtown and just kind of wondered around. Where the cabs drop you off there are tents set up with people selling stuff like "Prada" and "Coach" bags. The area was ok, I'm sure if we toured the island it would have been nicer, but we didn't, so there's not much to say about St. Thomas.

Last stop- St. Maarten. What a beautiful island! When you get off the ship there is a taxi stand that has tours that are 1/2 the price that the ship offers. We toured the whole island.

The Food:
The food was great. It's nice to just go and eat whenever you feel like. Unfortunately we missed the big midnight buffet because we didn't know when it was, but we did go to one at midnight; there were so many different things to choose from! We didn't go to Scarlet's, we just ate dinner in the main dining room every night. It was very good and if you don't like something you can order something else. For lunch I highly recommend the Deli‚?¶the pastrami was delicious!! If you go to the grill for lunch you can get grilled chicken on a bun (it just has to be requested).

We did self disembark. It wasn't too bad carrying our own bags but we had to go through 2 or 3 lines then go to a Customs table. Getting off the ship was a longer process then getting on! Not only did we have to go downstairs then upstairs then downstairs again, but we weren't the only ship in the terminal, the Carnival Victory had just docked too!

Sorry for such a long review but it was/is a big ship! If you have any questions please feel free to email me at