One of Carnival Cruise Line’s Conquest-class ships, Carnival Valor was launched nearly 20 years ago. However, this ship still provides lots to love even today, from updated amenities and venues to new cruise itineraries.
So what can you expect when you’re aboard this (relatively) small ship? While you shouldn’t expect the all-inclusive resort-like feel that you might get on some of Carnival’s new, larger ships, you can still enjoy tons of activities and plenty of complimentary drinks and dining. It all adds up to a perfectly enjoyable way to spend a few days on the high seas.
Here’s what you need to know.
As mentioned, Carnival Valor, along with its fellow Conquest-class sister ships, isn’t overly large. That said, it still provides lots of room for a few thousand people. You won’t be crowded, but you also won’t be overwhelmed with ship space, either. Here’s how Carnival Valor measures in:
Gross Tonnage: 110,000
Length: 952 feet
Passenger decks: 13
Passenger capacity: 2,980 people
Maximum passenger capacity: 3,806
Staterooms: 1,490 rooms
Crew: 1,180 members
Carnival Valor was built in the early 2000s by Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani shipyard in Italy. The ship’s inaugural cruise took place in late 2004, following a Dec. 17 christening by Katie Couric, who was, at that time, a co-host on NBC’s “Today” show. The ship cost $500 million to build.
Since its launch, Carnival Valor has received various refurbishments, starting in 2008, when Carnival converted a few of the staterooms, added the Circle C Lounge for preteens and added the Carnival Seaside Theater and mini golf course.
In 2011, another dry dock added extra suites and staterooms, as well as the Serenity adults-only area. These refurbishments took place over a 14-day period, before the ship was launched again in Miami.
The largest and most substantial refurbishment, however, occurred in 2016 in the Bahamas. At this point, Carnival brought Carnival Valor into the FUN 2.0 era, with the additions of many of the venues that are now synonymous with the Carnival brand. This dry dock added:
RedFrog Rum Bar
BlueIguana Tequila Bar
Skybox Sports Bar
Guy’s Burger Joint
Cherry on Top
It also relocated the ship’s internet café, made some changes to the ship’s buffet and provided cosmetic enhancements. Most recently, though, Carnival made some minor changes in 2021, in South France, when the hull design was updated and the hull repainted accordingly.
The staterooms aboard Carnival Valor can be broken down into a few different categories. Exclusive of suites, staterooms include 521 balcony cabins, 340 ocean view cabins, and 575 interior rooms. All staterooms, regardless of type, offer the following amenities:
110 AC power outlet
Individual climate control
Carnival Home Signature Bedding
Non-stocked mini bar
However, all of these staterooms, despite the shared amenities, do have some significant differences. Interior staterooms, for example, can be further broken down into various other types of interior staterooms, including interior staterooms with portholes and picture windows.
These staterooms offer undesirable windows that can’t quite be called “ocean-view,” but that at least still do ensure your stateroom doesn’t feel so terribly boxy or claustrophobic. If you want the price of an interior stateroom, but a little more natural light, go with one of these options.
Across interior staterooms, though, you can expect a Carnival aesthetic that reflects the age of the ship with lots of orange colors. The same is true for the ocean view staterooms, though you do get more floor space and extra sitting space with the ocean view rooms.
As you book your ocean view room, be sure to note whether or not the view is “obstructed.” (Otherwise, you could arrive in your stateroom on the first day of your cruise only to be sorely disappointed.)
For the best ocean views possible, book the scenic ocean view option, which not only offers wall-to-wall views via a giant window that stretches all along one wall of the cabin, but also an updated aesthetic and more attractive color palette.
Balcony staterooms are split between premium, premium vista, aft-view extended and classic balcony staterooms. These options are very similar, but you can, in general, expect large windows, glass doors and mostly unobstructed views from your furnished balcony.
When it comes to suites, you’ll have a range of options here, too. Carnival Valor features the following 42 Ocean and Junior suites, 10 Grand suites, and 2 Captain’s suites. Suites come with extra amenities that you won’t get when staying elsewhere on the ship, such as…
Priority check-in and boarding
In-room water bottles
Junior suites are on the smaller side, but still an upgrade from a balcony suite. Expect extra living space, a standard-sized balcony and a whirlpool.
Ocean suites are a bit more upgraded, with extra space both inside and outside, plus an updated décor scheme, whirlpool tub and walk-in closet. The Grand suite is even larger, with extra amenities and features, including a dressing area and vanity.
Worth Reading: Incredible Cruise Ships With Family Suites
Lastly, the crème de la crème is the Captain’s Suite. With only two of these special suites on-board the ship, if you can snag one, you’ll be among the ship’s elite. The Captain’s Suite offers lots of indoor and outdoor living space; a separate living room and bedroom, for added privacy; two full bathrooms; and more.
If you’ve cruised on a similarly older Carnival ship that’s been updated to the Fun 2.0 format, then you’ll know what to expect from Carnival Valor’s free dining options. You can expect to enjoy dining at…
Guy’s Burger Joint, for burgers and similar casual bites
BlueIguana Cantina, where you can find Mexican-style eats
Lido Marketplace, the ship’s classic cruise buffet
Pizza Pirate, which offers thin-crust pizza until late at night
Lincoln and Washington, the two main restaurants, with slightly differing hours
Swirls, for soft-serve and frozen yogurt
Sweet Spot, for more sweet treats (of the non-frozen variety)
While these options will certainly give you enough to enjoy over a short cruise, you may find yourself craving more options if you’re on a longer itinerary.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that not all of these restaurants are open all the time. If you find you’re hungry during one of the select hours where it’s harder to grab a complimentary bite, you may want to spring for some of the extra, for-a-fee dining options.
Luckily, when it is time to spring for one of those extra, for-a-fee dining options, you have some tempting options to choose from. The specialty restaurants aboard Carnival Valor include…
The Steakhouse, which offers a menu of all the steakhouse classics
The Seafood Shack, for seafood favorites in a “shack”-like atmosphere
The Coffee Bar, for specialty coffees and pastries
RedFrog Pub, for Caribbean bites and beers
Beyond these restaurants, other dining services and experiences are also offered on a Carnival Valor cruise. These include pizza delivery that’s available 24 hours a day; the Cat in the Hat-themed green eggs and ham breakfast for families; 24-hour room service; and The Chef’s Table, an exclusive, limited-seating meal with the ship’s chefs.
There’s a bar around just about every corner aboard Carnival Valor. Your glass will never be empty here. Whether you prefer a relaxed, quiet spot to sip a cocktail, a space to enjoy a beer with your friends or a lively club atmosphere, you can find exactly the watering hole to fit your preferences. Here are some of your options:
Alchemy Bar, for mixed drinks and cocktails
RedFrog Pub, for beers and cocktails with a Caribbean twist
BlueIguana Tequila Bar, for — what else? — tequila-based drinks
RedFrog Rum Bar, for all your rum needs
The Piano Bar, for singing along to favorite tunes
SkyBox Sports Bar, for beers and other beverages while you watch the big game
The Casino Bar, for drinks while you test your luck
There are also other spots where you can get a drink during a Carnival Valor cruise that aren’t technically bars. Think via poolside service or at the above-mentioned restaurants. Additionally, you can purchase drink-related experiences, too, such as wine tastings and martini tastings.
Ready to see what awaits you and your family on a Carnival Valor cruise? Book your trip today!
Just as is the case on any Carnival cruise, a cruise aboard Carnival Valor is packed with things to do and enjoy, regardless of whether it’s a sea or port day. You’ll find plenty of fun on this ship. Here’s how we recommend you spend your time.
Adults traveling without kids, or adults that just want to get away from the kids for a while, can enjoy adults-only areas on this ship. Deck 12 in particular is a two-level, adults-only paradise. Called the Serenity Lounge, it has its own hammocks, daybeds, pools, hot tubs and a bar (with DJ performances!).
The main theater on Carnival Valor offers musical-style performances and larger, tech-savvy shows. However, there are also many smaller entertainment venues that have good shows, concerts and more, too — like the Lindy Hop piano bar (which encourages guests to sing along!), the karaoke bar and more.
You don’t have to let your fitness and diet goals fall by the wayside just because you’re at sea. 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 equals 1/11 of a mile.
Want to go for a dip? If you imagine a cruise swimming experience as everyone crowding into one top deck pool, think again. 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.
Adults 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 (like acupuncture!).
There’s also a thermal suite and thalassotherapy pool, so you can stick around and continue relaxing even after your treatment is over.
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.
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.
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.
While a lot of the above ways to have fun and activities to enjoy aboard a Carnival Valor cruise extend to the kiddos as well, there are also specific amenities just for the kids.
Camp Ocean is dedicated to the youngest cruisers in your family. Children ages 2 to 11 are split up into groups and then enjoy a range of activities, all day long, both fun and educational.
Circle C is dedicated just to preteens, ages 12 to 14, so they get a space that’s uniquely their own. Then, there’s Club 02, which is for the older teens, ages 15 to 17, with fewer structured, led activities, but still plenty of fun to enjoy alongside their peers.
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