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.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
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.