Not What Was Expected

Carnival Valor Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern


Contributor Level: Third Mate
Experience: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 21

Overall Rating:

2.0 out of 5
Verified Review
7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan Roundtrip)
Sail Date: November 30, 2014
Cabin Type: Inside
Cabin Number: 2357
Traveled As: Singles/Friends
Reviewed: 2 years ago

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.

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Main dining room was excellent except for the 1st day "open seating" chaos. Lido and buffets good but unremarkable. Steakhouse experience problematic (at least on this occasion)

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5

Entertainment

1 out of 5
Old shows, old staging

Service and Staff

1 out of 5
Barely acceptable with exceptions of our dining room wait staff and one bartender in the Steakhouse.

Ship Quality

1 out of 5
Old and badily in need of refurbishment

Ship Tip

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.

3 out of 5
Ok as a destination, terrible as an embarkation port.
5 out of 5
Best shopping in the islands
3 out of 5
Try swimming with the turtles
3 out of 5
1 out of 5
Be careful, lots of offers of taxi tours and some will take you for more than a ride
5 out of 5
Love this island. Beaches are spectacular. For a thrill go to Mahu beach and have jumbo jets landing 5o feet over your head!
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