Great ship, badly managed
Carnival Valor Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western
Ship: Carnival Valor
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 9 years ago
A lesson learned for first time cruisers; bring a watch (do not rely on your cell phone/pda, etc.), bring an extension cord (there is only one plug-in in the entire room), and explore the CORNERS of EVERY deck on the ship, you will appreciate this later in the cruise!
Embarkation was easy, quick, and simple; we were on the pier a little early, and on the ship in about one hour. We could not find a deck hand for assistance in retrieving deck chairs, they were stowed with tie-downs. When I released the tie-downs, I was surrounded (by crew), chastised, and eventually taken care of.
Day 1 (at sea) for 3000 guests (with 1800 deck chairs) was difficult at best. Searching the CORNERS of EVERY deck of the ship proved invaluable, as we knew of deck areas that others didnt.
Day 2 (Costa Maya) was a complete waste of a portand the only one we stayed until 6p at. The entire 4.5 acres surrounding the pier was cruise-line owned, and everything beyond the gates was DEAD. We missed the Mayan ruin excursion because my cell phone reflected an improper time (hence the need for a watchcell phones change time zones). Trying to consult ships time was nearly impossible, as every clock on the ship was different (and Im not talking about 2p, 3p, 4pits more like 232p, 418p, 727a, etc). A hurricane took Costa May off the map years ago, and it looks like it will stay that wayexcept for the heavily decorated, commercialized, and institutionalized area nearest the cruise ships.
Day 3 (Belize) was a delight. We were actually encouraged to go beyond the gates, and the horse/carriage ride we found was very educational. The outside vendors were usually 1/10 the cost of the inside vendors at the end of the pier.
Day 4 (Cozumel) was swamped with violence from unruly/drunk teenagers (no wonder they love us in other countries), but the swim with the dolphins excursion is something we will remember forever.
Day 5 (Grand Cayman) was quite upsetting. We arrived nearly 2 hours late, with no explanation. Most early excursions were cancelled (snorkeling, etc)I dont know if they even got their money back. Swimming with the Stingrays was quite probably the most awesome thing that I have ever done in my life. Leaving on-time was virtually unacceptable to us, considering the next day was at sea.
If Carnival wants to run their ships at reduced speeds to save fuel, I congratulate them. If that speed reduction results in shorter port times, then they need to reduce the amount of port calls. Oh wait, I forgot, the less time we spend in portthe more time we are onboard
Day 6 (at sea) we were sunburned, exhausted, and in pain. I had to get our meals from the buffet back to our room. Room service aboard this ship consisted of (raw) roast beef sandwiches, dry cereal w/milk, and crackers.
Day 7 (debarkation) I actually watched them throw SEVERAL pieces of luggage from the staterooms to the PIER70 feet below! There is a reason Southwest Airlines will not partner with Carnival on baggage handling.