Great Itinerary, Below Average to Poor Experiences aboard ship

Carnival Valor Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern


Contributor Level: Purser
Experience: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 4

Overall Rating:

3.0 out of 5
Verified Review
7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan Roundtrip)
Sail Date: November 16, 2014
Ship: Carnival Valor
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 8350
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 2 years ago

Only ate in one of the main dining rooms twice and had to send food back and the other time, the food was only average.  Dining rooms were not used very much for breakfast or lunch.  Buffet was rather redundant and the pizza was probably the worst I have ever had.  The waiter/servers in casino and on lido deck were friendly but it was obvious that they were instructed to push the drinks and I had to say no very frequently.  We considered getting their alcohol package at $50 per person per day but decided that we would probably not drink that much.  We saw a internal video on day two which advertised the price at $35 per person per day (it ran repeatedly that morning and was viewed by both parties in the room)  We decided that was a pretty good deal and attempted to purchase the package only to be told repeatedly that we were mistaken.  We went to the main customer service desk and after we insisted, because by then we felt as if they were telling us we were lying, the csr contacted the beverage operation manager, Sylvia Anderson, who promised to investigate and get back to us within 24 hours.  Never did we hear from Ms. Anderson or anyone else.  Debarkation was a nightmare that pretty much illustrated that Carnival has a great distance to go in the logistics department.  They were sending people down throughout a 45 minute period during which there was absolutely no movement as we stood like crowded animals with our luggage in elevator bays and stairwells.  The entertainment was mediocre at best and there was much more noise at night from above and from the hallway than on my previous 4 cruises on other lines so sleeping was not nearly as restful as we experienced elsewhere.  Still, we enjoyed the ports of call and excursions.  Overall, Carnival will not be a first or second choice for a future cruise, regardless of the itinerary and/or cost.

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Nothing special whatsoever

Onboard Activities

Casino and the Lido decks were where we spent most of our time aboard ship. Most of the other activities were rather tired and not very interesting.

Entertainment

3 out of 5
The entertainment was only average to below average. The only show we really enjoyed was the juggler. Some we wanted to leave during the show, but respectfully did not.

Children's Programs

NA

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Nelson was a great cabin steward, but the beach towel that was waiting when we arrived had to be replaced as it had not been cleaned and it was obvious that it had not.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Ship was a little worn but main objection was nighttime noise from hallway and above deck.

Cabin / Stateroom

Not very quiet and restful. There was a storage room across the hall that was accessed frequently for paintings, etc, and we were directly under the lido deck/buffet. Seemed to be lots of table movements which made noise in the cabin. Bathroom was comfortable and spacious. The layout of the cabin was efficient and the beds were comfortable.

Ship Tip

We did enjoy a behind the scenes tour of the ship which was reasonably priced and provided quite a lot of interesting info. There was a good deal of climbing and at times, that was a bit challenging.

San Juan, Puerto Rico Did not visit port

Strongly encourage cruisers go early or stay afterward to enjoy Old San Juan and an excursion to El Yunque is a must.
3 out of 5
Just did a little shopping

Bridgetown, Barbados Did not visit port

We took the Harrison Cave tour which was just o.k. I guess such a cave system is unique in the islands but have been so several equally nice or better caves in the states.
5 out of 5
We did the all day, top 10, which was really fantastic. I was impressed with the stop at the artist school/shop and the shopping stops along the way. The scenery was so very outstanding, expecially the pitons and the volcano.

Basseterre, St. Kitts Did not visit port

NA

Philipsburg, St. Maarten Did not visit port

Did the tour which takes in both sides of the island and included shopping stops and a nice partyboat trip across the large lagoon. There was entertainment and an open bar with a nice tropical punch.
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