Wont do that one again.

Carnival Valor Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 4

Overall rating:

2.5 out of 5
Verified Review
Carnival Valor

5 Night Western Caribbean (New Orleans Roundtrip)

Sail date: February 29, 2020

Ship: Carnival Valor

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 1063

Traveled as: Large Group

Reviewed: 6 months ago

Review summary

Overall, service failure. It seems like the staff is overworked with too many days without a day off. Not going to cruise again with Carnival.

Embarkation

3 out of 5
Getting on the ship was as expected. We were very early and didn't have move trouble there, (yet)

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

1 out of 5
Buffets were so-so, but I hated the long lines. Coffee was out in 3 machines at once and the 4th machine had no milk or sugar station available. Sit down dinning food was so-so but the accompanying attention to detail failed horribly. Server was super friendly and attentive but could't get the job done. For instance, the spaghetti entry was fine, but they didn't bring the parmesan cheese until after we were done eating it, although it was immediately requested. Rolls brought out without butter for a long time, although requested. Drinks at the table took one hour at one instance, even though we had alerted the matre'D after 30 minutes. Matre'd came back to check on us after 15 minutes which was 45 minutes after we had ordered our drinks and the drinks had still not arrived. He arrived at the 12 hour hour mark with server and drinks and he offered to have the round on him but when we asked him to reduce the price of our drink package (cheers) by the cost of the round, he could not. He therefore could not do anything about the service fall down expect apologize repeatedly. One night at dinner, the melting cake desert was over done so we let him know and replaced it with equally overdone melting cake desert. We tried the replacement in front of him and let him know but we gave up on it. always a line for the drinks. Many of the servers were not friendly, they appeared to be overworked and resentful. We paid over 600.00 for the cheers package for my wife and I and found it very frustrating to have to give our cards in advance of receiving the drinks which held you hostage and prevented you from walking away if you were tired of waiting and then had to sign for each individual drink. In alot of cases, could not bring my wife a drink because she needed to be present at every order which seemed ridiculous. I would have thought they could have just used a scanner to scan the card or whatever but they had to give you a slip with the opportunity to tip again even though the drink package includes 20% already. Each drink was like having to close out a restaurant check, twice. Would never have purchased the drink package, its not worth it unless you drink 10 drinks per day. When you consider 2 days were off the ship, hard to maintain a 20 drink per day average for 2 people. There is no service benefit to the drink package, its the same process, per drink, whether you have the drink package or not. If you find and give additional tip to a good pool side server, he will return often and this was good, but the only good part about drinks. Last awful experience is they will not seat you unless your whole party is present. This is stupid because it still takes them 20 minutes minimum before they take your order. My wife was shunned one morning because she was wearing a cover up over a bathing suit they deemed inappropriate. She had to go change which was fine, but they wouldnt let us sit without her which was just stupid. It wasnt about the message the hostess delivered, but it was the way she delivered it. My wife is 45 years old and not showing any skin but they deemed her cover up unacceptable. The hostess pointed up to sign which was fine, but it also said no flip flops and everyone on the line were were wearing flip flops and that was fine. I wouldnt have cared so much if we could have been seated and ordered drinks while we waited for her change but they made us stand in the corner (5 of us) while she changed her cover up. No place to even sit while we waited.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
shows were fine and the cruise director was lively and fun (he is like the only american you will meet on the staff) Shuffleboard was stupid, there was no finished surface for shuffleboard, the disks were not able to make it to the other side no matter how hard you try. They should just replace shuffleboard with bean bags. One bean bag game for 3,000 people, you can imagine how that goes. Hot tubs were overpacked and seemed gross. Either very young kids, or people in there 20's. We counted 18 people one time and it looked like the hot tub could handle 6 comfortably. Would be afraid to get in there for sure.

Entertainment

2 out of 5
Best performers were the electric violinists. Piano bar also kinda fun. Casino smelled horrible. Cant even walk by it because of the cigarette smell. The area outside the casino is where the photographers are, good luck with that if you dont smoke.

Children's Programs

no children with us.

Service and Staff

1 out of 5
Horrible service failure here. Super nice friendly Steward from Indonesia, but he just didn't know what he was doing, or was woefully undertrained or overworked or both. First day, we started with less than 1/2 roll of toilet paper with no replacement. We ran out and had to turn to tissues. We alerted him and he apologized. Later on that day, fresh new roll, with no back up roll. Had to tell him again, please bring back up roll. Last thing I want to think about or ask for is toilet paper. We had requested Robes, they never arrived, ever. After the room was cleaned up, empty coffee cups, drinks from the night before, plates with brown fruit, all left untouched. Our friends had the same experience and we had to leave the empties outside in the hall to be removed, pretty gross and trashy. Our friends were on the other side of the ship and had a different steward with the same horrible service. Very far from the white glove service I received on prior cruises. I can recall room stewards being like butlers, even tidying up your clothing! That is a thing of the past. They basically make your bed now, nothing more. Our Steward took our beach towels and did not replace them, had to call for them to be replaced. We luckily had lamps that had built in USB chargers so my wife and I could charge our phone and watches. However both other couples we traveled with did not have these lamps, they only had one outlet between each couple which they had to share among themselves. Not sure what is going on there but we lucked out. If you are booked on the valor, I would bring a power strip or usb charger of some kind so you can charge your devices as this ship is not modernized in all rooms!

Ship Quality

1 out of 5
Sat by the pool and stared at empty coffee cups and drinks glasses as multiple waiters repeatedly walked by them. It became a joke to watch how many servers would just walk by the empties. We were there for hours on the sea day and empties remained for hours on end. What else would you expect from slaves that are made to work 6 months straight without a day off. Resentment could not detected in many of the servers. I think I got a dirty look when I placed a zero in the tip column of each drink bill, even though the drink package already tips them 20% I would end up giving an extra dollar per drink, just to not get a dirty look and try and get better service, but it was really just throwing extra money away because getting someone to take the empties was a hassle, on all areas of the ship.

Cabin / Stateroom

2 out of 5
Cabin was comfortable and basically clean, if I kept it clean. Only thing they did was the bed and the towels in the bathroom.

Ship tip

Definitely bring sea bands or some other kind of motion sickness aid. This ship basically rocks 24-7. I did not bring anything because I have been on cruises in the past and you cant feel the ship. Something was wrong with this ship, lots of motion constantly. Even in the river. The Stabilizers were not apparently working. Luckily my travel friends had some extra sea bands which helped alot. This is an old ship. Too old.

Ports of call

New Orleans, Louisiana

4 out of 5
we spent a few days here, prior to the cruise

Cozumel, Mexico

5 out of 5
We did Mr. Sanchos beach experience. An all inclusive that was awesome. Would have like to hire the staff there to work the ship!

Progreso (Merida), Mexico

4 out of 5
Took a long excursion that was 4 hours in a van. Not ideal and wouldnt do it again but it was fine. 7 hour excursion to the ruins were 4 hours driving.

Disembarkation

1 out of 5
They lie to you and tell you the bags come out in some kind of order. They all come out together, they just want to heard you out. We were anxious to get off the ship so left at the first call out even though they were no were near our bag number, bags were all out.
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