arelyea

arelyea
Third Mate

Joined: 09/18/2014
2
Cruises
2
Reviews
9
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About arelyea



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arelyea's Past Cruises

Carnival Valor

November 2014 - Carnival Valor to Caribbean - Southern

Not What Was Expected

This cruise was booked because of the itinerary of the ship after it leaves St.Juan. It only has one sea day, all the others being in different island ports. While it sounds great, our experience was very different. The Valor is in significant need of overhaul and updating. Moreover, the overwhelming attitude of the crew was one of "Good enough". Even the service in the upcharge steakhouse was below par and the manager could not have cared less. My wife and I are Platinum level frequent cruisers of Carnival, and we've never encountered this before.

Part of our cruise enjoyment also comes from meeting and interacting with fellow guests. When a large percentage (the Purser estimated 70-80%) are speaking in Spanish, this too reduced our enjoyment.

The shows are old and need to be updated as well (although, thankfully they still use live musicians rather than DJs and recorded music).

I do not believe that our experience was an uncommon one for this cruise as several of the staff members we spoke to recognized the issues all too clearly.

I will not take this cruise again, and strongly suggest that travelers who are considering it look carefully at the issues I've identified.

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Carnival Ecstasy

September 2014 - Carnival Ecstasy to Caribbean - Western

Good Value - Old Ship

A four night cruise is more of a get away than a vacation. With that in mind, Ecstasy delivered a very nice experience. Most noticeable improvement from prior cruises was the evening shows which have apparently been completely redone with much improved sets and music. The music is recorded rather than live, a concession I'll make because of the short cruise. BUT, Carnival is tending to replace much of their live music with DJ's and other recorded music. That is a serious loss to cruising on Carnival. The food experience was completely adequate, perhaps better than expected for a short cruise. The most noticeable aspect, however, is how old the ship looks and feels. In our cabin, an electrical connector fell out of the ceiling during this cruise - not something I like to think about given the possible consequences of electrical fires on cruise ships. It's my understanding that the ship is now going into a two week dry dock for maintenance and refurbishment. It needs it for sure, but a complete overhaul shouldn't be far away as this ship does not have the Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades.

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arelyea's Tips

Basseterre, St. Kitts - Be careful, lots of offers of taxi tours and some will take you for more than a ride
Philipsburg, St. Maarten - Love this island. Beaches are spectacular. For a thrill go to Mahu beach and have jumbo jets landing 5o feet over your head!
Carnival Valor Carnival Valor - Embarkation and disembarkation in San Juan is a nightmare. Expect hours in line getting on and off the ship, even for VIP guests. Serenity is a good escape on this ship assuming the recorded music isn't too loud from the pool area.
Key West, Florida - Ship docked at 9 AM and departed at 1 PM. NOTHING opens in key West before noon.
Carnival Ecstasy Carnival Ecstasy - Carry a map with you. This ship is sectioned strangely and the comment "you can't get there from here" often applies.

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received a helpful vote on their Carnival Valor cruise review - Not What Was Expected

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Ecstasy cruise review - Good Value - Old Ship

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Valor cruise review - Not What Was Expected

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Valor cruise review - Not What Was Expected

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Valor cruise review - Not What Was Expected

shared a quick tip for Carnival Valor"Embarkation and disembarkation in San Juan is a nightmare. Expect hours in line getting on and off the ship, even for VIP guests. Serenity is a good escape on this ship assuming the recorded music isn't too loud from the pool area. "

reviewed their Caribbean - Southern cruise on Carnival Valor and gave it 2 stars!

added Nov 30, 2014 cruise on Carnival Valor to their profile.

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Ecstasy cruise review - Good Value - Old Ship

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Ecstasy cruise review - Good Value - Old Ship