Carnival Valor Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Contributor Level: Third Mate

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

2 out of 5

Not What Was Expected

Sail Date: November 30, 2014

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Room Type: Inside

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.

Ship Quality
Old and badily in need of refurbishment
Food and Dining
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)
Service and Staff
Barely acceptable with exceptions of our dining room wait staff and one bartender in the Steakhouse.
Old shows, old staging
Onboard Activities
Destinations and Excursions
Varies island by island. St. Thomas and St. Maarten very good. For the others make sure you're on an excusion if you wnat to depart the ship. Embarkation port of San Juan is interesting.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Ok as a destination, terrible as an embarkation port.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Best shopping in the islands
Bridgetown, Barbados
Try swimming with the turtles
Castries, St. Lucia
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!


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.

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