Carnival Valor is one of Carnival Cruise Line’s several Conquest-class cruise ships. Floated out in 2004 (when she was christened by well-known famous face Katie Couric), the Heroes and Heroics-themed ship currently sails from Galveston, but will be moving to New Orleans in May of this year.
Carnival uses the ship for some of its four-, five-, seven- and eight-night cruises throughout the Caribbean and to the Bahamas. The 952-foot ship can hold just under 1,200 crew members and just over 3,750 guests (though normal guest capacity is just under 3,000).
The Carnival Valor is well suited to traveling families, from multigenerational families to couples with young children and even young couples without children. The ship is outfitted with plenty of fun to be had regardless of your age.
It also offers a nice range of “beginner’s” cruising itineraries that are just a few days in length and more budget-friendly, so if you’ve never been on a cruise before, you can give it a try and see if it’s a good mode of travel for your preferences and needs.
If you’ve booked an upcoming Carnival Valor cruise or if you’re considering taking a Carnival Valor cruise in the future, these are some of the best reasons to choose a Carnival Valor cruise over all others!
1. All the Classic Carnival Fun
As one of Carnival’s Conquest-class ships, the Carnival Valor is also known as a “Fun Ship.” What does that mean? Well, if you’ve heard all about Carnival’s great class-wide brands from some of your cruising friends, and you’re dying to give them a try for yourself, this is the place to do it.
A Carnival Valor cruise has all of the brand’s best eateries and outlets that Carnival is known for across many of its ships — RedFrog Rum Bar, Alchemy Bar, Guy’s Burger Joint and more — it’s all here, so you can try them for yourself!
2. Adult-Friendly Options
Yes, we mentioned that a Carnival Valor cruise is great for families and multigenerational travelers, but that doesn’t mean that adults-only travelers can’t have fun on this ship as well.
Adults traveling without kids, or adults that just want to get away from the kids for a while, can enjoy adults-only areas. Deck 12 is a two-level, adults-only paradise. Called the Serenity Lounge, it has its own hammocks, daybeds, pools, hot tubs and bar (with DJ performances!).
3. Unique Decor
This ship is known among the Carnival Conquest class for its unique decor and theming. The theme is Heroes and Heroism, but we’re not talking about superheroes here. The theme is more Americana than anything.
The main atrium boasts a huge American flag, the stars and stripes grace the floor, you can find eagle sculptures throughout the ship and you can spot famous Americans like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington throughout.
4. Superb Main Dining
There are two main dining rooms that are aptly named the Washington and the Lincoln. You can choose from four different seating times, 5:45, 6:15, 8 and 8:30 p.m., so there’s always a time to eat no matter if you’re an early bird or a late grazer. The Washington offers great views; if you eat in the Lincoln, try to grab a more private table on the balcony.
Related: Free Carnival Cruise Dining Options
5. Dining Any Time of Day
If you can’t make one of the seating times at the main dining room, or for when you want to eat the rest of the day, you have plenty of options aboard a Carnival Valor cruise. There’s Rosie’s, which gives you breakfast and lunch buffets alongside ocean views.
The Prometheus Lido area offers buffet dinners between 6 and 9 p.m., but also food throughout the day like snacks, hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream. A pizzeria is open 24 hours a day. A sushi joint is open in the evenings, and a coffee stand serves your favorite (caffeinated) brews in the morning.
6. Entertainment for Everyone
Just as there’s fun for everyone aboard a Carnival Valor cruise, there’s also entertainment for everyone. The main theater on the Carnival Valor is the Ivanhoe Theater, with a great quality level when it comes to the technical effects.
There are also many smaller entertainment venues that have good shows, concerts and more, like the Lindy Hop piano bar (which encourages guests to sing along!), karaoke bar and more.
7. A Great Place to Stay
Of course, your actual living quarters for the cruise really matters. The cabins aboard the Carnival Valor are very large in comparison to some other cruise ships. Many include their own balconies, so you can have some beautiful outdoor privacy with unbeatable ocean views.
Suites and ocean-view staterooms have extra amenities, like a mini bar. Exterior cabins are larger than the interior cabins and have a separate seating area. Interior cabins have pull-down beds that make it easier to fit more people in one cabin. There are also slightly larger cabins perfect for families that come with tubs (the only ones on the ship).
8. Stay Fit and Trim
You don’t have to let your fitness and diet goals fall by the wayside just because you’re at sea. The Carnival Valor is outfitted with a 15,000-square-foot gym, that has all the fitness equipment you need, including treadmills, stationary bikes, rowing machines, weight machines and stair climbers.
You can get a great ocean view, too, from nearly all of the equipment, as it faces the floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s also a jogging deck up top; one lap is 1/11 of a mile.
9. Splash Around
Want to go for a dip? If you imagine a cruise swimming experience as everyone crowding into one top deck pool, think again. The Carnival Valor has four swimming pools, which includes the main pool, multiple hot tubs and a water slide that’s more than 200 feet long.
There are pool events as well, so you can have fun in the water even after dark, with movie showings the whole family can enjoy.
10. Kid-Friendly Fun
Speaking of the family, while the parents are enjoying all the great amenities on a Carnival Valor cruise, there are some additional amenities that appeal mostly to the kids. There’s a 4,200-square-foot children’s playroom is outfitted with arts and crafts supplies, video games and toys.
The children’s sections are split into separate areas for kids, pre-teens and teens. Obviously pre-teens and teens get activities that are more suitable for their tastes. Think video games, air hockey tables, laser tag, a dance floor and a soda “bar.”
11. Relax and Rejuvenate
While the kids are having a great time, parents can escape to the Carnival Valor spa, for some relaxation and rejuvenation. The 21,000-square-foot spa has 17 treatment rooms serving up everything from massages to facials to more complex medi-spa treatments (they recently introduced acupuncture!).
There’s also a thermal suite and thalassotherapy pool, so you can stick around and continue relaxing even after your treatment is over.
12. Comedic Relief
If comedy is your thing, then we’ve got a show for you. One of the many entertainment venues you can experience on a Carnival Valor cruise is the Punchliner Comedy Club. This haven for standup comedians is a great place to introduce your kids to one of the most classic forms of comedy, with kid-friendly shows occurring during the day. After dark, the club evolves into an R-rated comedy club to suit cruisers with more adult tastes.
13. Fun with Dr. Seuss
If one of your little ones can’t get enough of Dr. Seuss, a Carnival Valor cruise is a perfect pick for your family. A lot of the children’s activities are Dr. Seuss-themed and this includes a Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast, Seuss-a-palooza Story Time and a Dr. Seuss parade.
14. Retail Therapy
Get in a little retail therapy if you need it while at sea. A Carnival Valor cruise is outfitted with a range of shopping options, whether you want to purchase some duty-free luxury items (like designer clothing or fragrances), liquors and wines you might not be able to find at home or just something as simple as candy or Carnival Cruise Line-themed merchandise.
15. Throw Back a Few Drinks
Just like there are plenty of different options for dining aboard a Carnival Valor cruise, there are also lots of places to get a drink while you’re on the ship.
There’s, of course, the classics, RedFrog Rum Bar and the BlueIguana Tequila Bar, along with other mixology and cocktail bars, like the pharmacy-themed Alchemy. Whether you like rum, tequila, margaritas or anything in between, you can find it on Carnival Valor.
16. Take a Gamble
The adults can try their luck with Carnival Valor’s multiple gambling options. Play a game of poker with a live dealer or try your hand with an electronic table. Other games include roulette, slots and casino tournaments.
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17. Get in Touch with Your Artsy Side
There are plenty of different opportunities for you to get in touch with your artsy side on your cruise. From galleries to art auctions, seminars to even art games that pit your art knowledge against your fellow cruisers’, there’s something nearly every day to enjoy if art is your thing.
18. Kids Get Creative
Kids can get creative during their free time! In addition to the general arts and crafts supplies that’s available in the kids sections of the ships, there’s also special programming available.
Make it with Michaels is led by Michaels experts and takes kids through onboard arts sessions. If your kid wants to make a cuddly friend to take home, the Build-A-Bear Workshop at Sea is the perfect opportunity.
19. Babysitting Services
Busy parents and grandparents who want to go to a late-night show or out to dinner and drinks without the kiddos can do so with ease, thanks to Carnival’s babysitting services.
The Night Owls program is an additional fee, but the service is available until the very early morning hours, meaning you can stay out as late as you want, all while knowing that your kid is having a great time, with great babysitters that are certified to care for children of all ages.
20. Read a Good Book
Did you accidentally leave your favorite book behind? If so, no worries. You can go check out the on-ship library, which is open for a few hours each day, and find a good book in the Americana-themed environment (we wouldn’t be surprised to see this room in the White House, with its flags, patriotic paintings and heavy wooden furniture).
21. Stay In for a Little Quiet Time
If you’re looking to relax for a bit and avoid the crowds that sometime overtake the Carnival Valor ship, you can easily enjoy your own luxurious retreat away from it all — in your stateroom. Order some 24-hour room service, including cocktails, kick back and enjoy your high-speed WiFi, television service and views of the ocean. It doesn’t get any better than this!
Ready to Go?
Are these enough reasons for you to have an absolutely awesome time on a Carnival Valor cruise? There’s so much fun to be had, no matter what you’re into, no matter who you are or your travel type.
Couples, young families and multigenerational families alike can enjoy a good mix of togetherness and alone time, all with the great amenities Carnival Cruise Lines offers across its range of ships. So, ready to go? What are you waiting for? Start planning your Carnival Valor cruise today!