December 15-17, 2004
by Linda Coffman
New Carnival 'Fun Ship'
A dazzling addition to
Carnival's "Fun Ship" fleet in the 110,000 ton
Conquest-class, Carnival Valor salutes valiant acts, heroic people,
and unabashedly waves the U.S. flag.
In something of a departure from
tradition, Carnival Valor set sail on her inaugural voyage on December
15, 2004, and, after returning to her homeport in Miami, was officially named
by godmother, Katie Couric during a gala evening ceremony. Ms. Couric is not only the co-host of NBC's
"Today" show, she is also a hero to those battling colon
cancer. In appreciation of her humanitarian service, Carnival Cruise
Lines made a
donation to the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance, which
Ms. Couric helped launch in March 2000 along with Lily Tartikoff and
the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
Approachable and gracious,
Carnival Valor has the ideal valiant godmother in the person of Ms.
Step on board with
prepare to be wowed! Designer Joe Farcus honors past and present
heroes in public areas that are both bold and daring, yet always respectful.
Colorful, yet subtle, the flow of design and function work well and
are not overwhelming. It was impossible to notice every detail in just
two days, however, we tried and were very impressed.
Carnival Valor's array of traditional and alternative
dining choices should tempt even finicky eaters.
a variety of casual dining choices, head to Lido Deck and Rosie's
Restaurant. In addition to the usual buffet items, there are Oriental
dishes, a Pizza bar, outdoor Grille areas serving up
fresh burgers and grilled favorites, the Deli for just-made
sandwiches, and a second level offering Fish & Chips
(including Bouillabaisse to die for and calamari with Maui onion
fritters). Satisfy your sweet tooth with
ice cream from several serving stations near one of the swimming pools. Try Togo
Promenade Deck for, what else?... Sushi before dinner. Also on Promenade Deck, Java
specialty coffees and sinful pastry treats for a nominal charge.
Start with appetizers,
soups, and salads in the formal Washington or Lincoln
Restaurant —all very tasty—but save room for your choice of entree and dessert.
Don't be in a rush to leave or
you'll miss the inventive and talented wait staff performing musical
numbers just as
energetically as they served dinner.
Scarlett's is Carnival
Valor's New York-style supper club with a southern twist—Gone With
the Wind décor and a live combo and dance floor for between course
For the $25 per person cover charge, it's one of the best
dining bargains—at sea. Not only is the food outstanding (escargot, Russian caviar,
lobster bisque, Alaskan king crab claws, grilled lamp chops, lobster,
and several cuts of beef from 9 to 24 ounces), but the presentation is
sophisticated and the atmosphere sublime. Don't miss this dining
experience—I wanted to try everything on the menu.
Carnival Valor offers the flexibility of dining
whenever you are hungry—around the clock. For parents who want to share a romantic dinner for two,
Camp Carnival program and group evening babysitting solves the problem of child care.
Room service never closes and, while the choices are somewhat limited, dining on one's private balcony is always a treat.
Stateroom with Balcony
With so many categories,
how do you choose? In reality, there are only five cabin configurations,
but every passenger is assured of standard accommodations that are, on average, 50% larger
than those on most cruise ships. On Carnival Valor, they range from
standard Interior and Oceanview staterooms to
Oceanview staterooms with private balconies and Suites and Penthouse Suites with large private balconies. More than 60%
of all staterooms are outside and, of those, 60% have balconies.
feature light wood cabinetry, pastel decor, mirrored accents, small refrigerator,
personal safe for valuables, a sitting area with sofa, chair and table, and a
hairdryer in a vanity/desk drawer. Beds are dressed with soft and
comfy duvets and upgraded pillows and linens. Bathroom amenities include shampoo and
bath gel in shower mounted dispensers and an array of sample toiletries. The shower
itself is roomy and has a
pull-out clothesline for drying bathing suits or hand laundry. A real
convenience is the two-sided (regular and magnifying) bathroom
shaving/make up mirror. Closet
and drawer/shelf storage, as well as bathroom shelves, are more than
adequate for even an aggressive over-packer. My one 'problem'
observation—the closets aren't quite long enough for long
evening dresses to hang freely. Shelves below the hanging areas,
while ideal for storing shoes, cause dresses to 'pool' at the bottom.
families, the sitting area sofa converts to an additional sleeping
area at night and passengers with physical challenges haven't been overlooked—staterooms have been
designed with their special needs in consideration.
Continued --> Carnival
Valor (Part 2)
More --> Carnival
Valor Photo Tour