Carnival Valor Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Contributor Level: Purser

2-3 cruises


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

Good value, unfriendly service

Sail Date: December 21, 2014

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Suite

We upgraded to a Grand Suite because we prefer to pay more for more room and a nice balcony.  The room was plenty big enough, the size of a standard hotel room.  There was TONS of storage space for clothes and everything else, we didn't even come close to filling it all.  There is a dorm-size fridge that comes stocked with mini-bar items (NOT included - you would still get charged if you used it) but it isn't one of those that automatically charges you if you touch it, so the stuff  can all be removed and put in a closet if you want to use the fridge for your own things.  There are two sinks in the bathroom and another in the dressing area.  Our steward was very accommodating, filling our ice bucket twice daily and getting us more any time we asked within moments.  All-in-all, we found the room to be great.

Unfortunately, most of the rest of the staff was very unfriendly.  The "customer service" desk was always terribly backed up and the staff was rude and never smiled.  The bartenders and people who worked the buffets and other food kiosks behaved as though it was a chore to serve you.  The wait staff in the dining rooms were much more friendly, but don't bother trying to order from the "steakhouse menu" at the regular dining room unless you are willing to wait 30 minutes longer than the rest of your table to get your food.

We did go to the spa on sea-day and the staff was very professional and we both enjoyed our treatments.  Unfortunately, as is customary at these types of spas, they practically ruined the treatment by giving us each a high-pressure sales pitch to book more treatments and buy the EXTREMELY over-priced products they used during the treatments.

I do highly recommend buying bottles of liquor to be delivered to your room prior to the cruise.  They are VERY pricey compared to buying them in a regular liquor store, but it is still far cheaper than buying your drinks one-at-a-time.  You can always bring home what you don't drink.

Ship Quality
Carnival is the "economy" cruise line.
Food and Dining
Dining room - great. Everything else - bad.
Service and Staff
Stewards and dining room - great. Everyone else - bad.
The comedic juggler literally had us falling out of our seats laughing.
Children's Programs
Our teenager spend more time in the teen club than with us.
Onboard Activities
A lot of activities conflicted with dinner.
Destinations and Excursions
Barbados - go to the Boatyard - beautiful and fun beach. St. Maarten - DO NOT go on the dolphin swim in Anguilla.
Cabin / Stateroom
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Tour the forts, $5 gets you into both.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Beach diving at Coki was a super-easy dive, except that an unusual current kept us from getting to the "good part" of the dive.
Bridgetown, Barbados
Go the Boatyard for day!!!
Castries, St. Lucia
Weather was bad so we didn't venture out past the shopping area right off the ship, but that was nice.
Basseterre, St. Kitts
Do the Clay Villa tour!!
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
The Dolphin swim excursion was terrible. 30 minutes in the water with the dolphins was very fun, but the other six hours they had you captive was NOT.

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