Carnival Valor Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Experience
4-6 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
2

4 out of 5

Fantastic week in the Caribbean!

Sail Date: June 20, 2010

Reviewed: 6 years ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Inside

Carnival seems to be all about fun; from start to finish, everyone seemed to make it their goal to make sure everyone had a great time. Big Tex was a great cruise director - friendly, full of information, and professional without being afraid to crack a joke or two. The pools are salt water, straight from the Caribbean, but it really wasn't that bad; you just take a freshwater shower or a dip in one of the fresh water hot tubs afterwards and you're fine. The casino was great, but it was really smoky, and even if they designate a table as non-smoking, the table right next to you might still be smoking; I had a cigarette in my face the entire time I was at a non-smoking table because I was in the end seat and a guy at an adjacent table in the seat closest to ours was smoking the whole time. Also, they had one $5 blackjack table and three $10 tables; all of the $10 tables were literally empty (except one or two people), while the $5 table was overflowing and had a waiting line. Rather than opening up another $5 table or turning one of the $10 tables into a $5 table, they just kept everything as it was, which seemed kind of strange. Other than those small points, everything else notable is covered in other parts of this review. Overall, we had a great time and would almost definitely do it again if the opportunity came up.

Pros: Amazing food, wide variety of activities, and great, friendly staff

Cons: Rooms weren't very clean when we arrived; casino was smoky, even at non-smoking tables; indoor spaces were kept way too cold; elevators too few, too small, and too slow; internet was ridiculously expensive, slow, and unreliable (but that's true on about any ship)

Recommends Carnival Valor? Yes!

Cabin / Stateroom
My room wasn't very clean at all when I arrived; previous guests' trash (including a few of those plastic price tag holders and on old Cheeto) decorated the floor and the chair. It was also strange that there was only one power outlet in the entire room (not counting the 220 V international one or the "shavers only" one in the bathroom). Luckily I brought an extension cord, or else I would've been hurting. No alarm clock in the room, either, so either bring one from home or plan to use your phone as a clock.
Ship Quality
The ship as a whole was great - very clean, not too overcrowded, lines not too long, etc.
Food and Dining
The food was absolutely awesome, but the buffets would often close at inconvenient times. If it's the middle of the night and you want something to eat, good luck - about the only thing open is the pizzeria in the back of the ship on the lido deck. But the food in the main dining rooms was delicious - everything from the shrimp cocktails to the grilled chicken tenders marinated in Thai spices to the steaks and lobsters.
Service and Staff
Everyone I met was nice and friendly. I especially liked the (rather beautiful) bar waitress we had in the Washington dining room. (:
Entertainment
There was always something to do on the ship, no matter what you were into, whether it was a show, a trivia contest, bingo, etc. The one thing I noticed, though, was that when they do anything with music, they always seem to completely neglect modern rock music. At the shows, they like swing/dance/jazz music, and over their speakers, they like to play mostly generic pop. Where's the GOOD stuff? Even some semi-mainstream modern rock like Three Days Grace or Breaking Benjamin would be nice to hear, instead of that generic pop playlist. (I wouldn't mind hearing some Coheed thrown in, too, or maybe some heavier metal, but that's just me. :D)
Cozumel, Mexico
Coxen Hole, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

Don't Miss: We went on the dolphin encounter excursion and got to swim with dolphins, pet them, hug them, etc.; it was really amazing!
George Town, Grand Cayman

Don't Miss: I really loved seeing the turtle farm, so I'd highly recommend that!


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