Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by umbarger
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean
Destination: Western Caribbean
This was my 4th Carnival Cruise. I have also cruised on 3 NCL and 2 Princess. This ship was exactly one year old when we cruised her.
We arrived at the pier at around 11:30am. We made our way to the Valor and waited in the wheelchair area since my mom is disabled. We had to wait there for around 30 minutes. A Carnival rep came and checked us in right there which was a nice surprise. We waited another 15 minutes until a Valor steward came to push my mom to our cabin. Then it took another 15 minutes to get to our cabin. We were in an outside handicapped cabin at the very front of the ship with a partially obstructed view. There was a deck in front of our window so that was the obstructed view. Please note; the handicapped cabins on Carnival are not any larger than regular cabins. I didn't like all the handicapped cabins being at the front of the ship. Our dining room and most of the food is at the back of the ship and it More made it difficult for mom. There was no going for a quick ice cream as the Valor is one very long ship.
The cabin was very nice with plenty of closet space. Our beds had the nice new comforters everyone is talking about. My comforter had a stain on it from the previous users that I wasnt to thrilled about but it was only a small stain. The pillows were wonderful and we each got two. The beds were a little hard in my opinion but we slept fine. I did kill two bugs in the cabin. One spider and one fly sort of insect.
The ship was beautiful and all employees were very friendly. I really dont know how these people stay so cheerful and friendly week after week. These employees answer the same questions over and over but they answer in a cheerful voice and with a smile on their faces. Remarkable!
Our room stewards name was Alfred from Honduras and he was nice. I never met our room steward until the end of day 3 in the hallway. Usually they come and introduce themselves on the first day but I guess Alfred did things differently. I wanted our fridge unlocked so we could use it for our water and soda. I left a note in our cabin before dinner asking our room steward to unlock the fridge and telling him we would not be using the mini bar. Like magic, after dinner we returned to have the fridge unlocked. The fridge was still stocked with the mini bar but we had enough room for our things as well. More about the mini bar later. The next day we didn't have a room service menu. Again I left a note before dinner and again we returned to find the menu on our bed beside our towel creature. We were supposed to have new beach towels everyday in our cabin but we didnt. He would take our dirty ones but never gave us new ones. So we would just ask him for them. Another time I called housekeeping for them and Alfred arrived at our cabin door about 2 minutes later giving them to us. One morning we didnt get our room made at all. Not a big deal to us as the beds would be turned down that night anyway.
The food on this ship was wonderful. I have read the reviews that say they thought the food was horrible and I cant believe they were on the same ship! I ate at most of the different food stations. I ate at the buffet, the Deli, the Grill, room service and the excellent Chinese place. Everything was great! We didnt eat at the buffet often because mom cant carry her own tray. Those times I would have to get her plate for her. I never made it to the fish and chip place but heard people rave about it. The best food was in the dining room. Cold food was served cold and hot food was served hot and delicious. Our waiters were Kamuran from India and Som from Nepal. They were both terrific. All the dining room staff took such good care of my mom. They would always tease her if she had a parking permit for the dining room and Kamuran and Som always gave her help to and from the table. The dining room had the regular songs and dances and was great fun. I didn't care for the fancy deserts but my mom sure did. She would eat her own and usually mine too. I swear I must have gained five pounds on this cruise but that might have been from the 3 ice cream cones I had daily. In my opinion the food is much better than NCL or Princess.
We enjoyed all of the shows. The production shows were awesome. Man, can those people dance and on a moving ship yet! The comedians were all good. They had two adult midnight comedians. One was good the other was so dirty I left. The juggler is not to be missed. He was great and so funny. They had two shows with singers but they didnt impress me. However, in their defense, they sang R&B and Im not an R&B fan. The new CD on the Valor is Rebecca. Cant remember her last name. She is from Canada. Even being a fellow Canadian I have to say she stunk! I have been on many cruises and she has to be the worst CD I have ever encountered. No jokes, just blah and boring. She was more interested in socializing with her assistants than doing anything with the passengers. One of her cruise assistants.......I think his name was Crazy Dan was better than she was. He had a good sense of humor.
All the ports of call were great. We were supposed to go to Cozumel but it was changed to Costa Maya. Belize and Costa Maya were our favorites. In Belize we did an excursion to the Lamanai Mayan ruins. It included lunch, an hour boat ride and a small hike thru a rain forest. We saw Howler monkeys and toucans. In Costa Maya we went to a beach resort (Mayan Palms) for the day. The weather didn't cooperate that day but we still had fun. If was so fun getting out of town. Took at taxi 7 miles to the resort on an unpaved, ungraveled so-called road with lots of potholes and lots of huge puddles. The taxi driver spoke very little English and we spoke very little Spanish. It was so fun; we laughed and talked with him all the way to and from the resort. The resort spoiled us, as we were the only guests they had and served us a wonderful authentic Mexican lunch. Took a tour in Roatan that was poor and snorkeled at Half moon Bay. In Grand Cayman we did the Jeep tour and I drove on the wrong side of the road! Stressful but fun. We ported in Costa Maya and Roatan. In GC and Belize we tendered.
One thing that really bugged me was the people who were late getting back to the ship. When we were told to be back on board at 4:30pm so we can leave at 5:00pm; of course, five minutes to five people are still strolling down the dock to the ship. We had to wait on and almost left a lady in Roatan. Everyone was supposed to be on board at 5:30pm and she walked up to the ship at 5 minutes after 6:00pm. We left two people in GC as they missed the last tender. They rejoined the cruise in Belize. Sorry, but I have no sympathy for these types of people. I find this behavior to be inconsiderate to fellow cruisers. Carnival tells us over and over what time the last tender is or when we have to be back on board. Of course this is not a Carnival problem. I have experienced it on all cruise lines.
We went to the Carnival Repeaters party and it was awesome. Lots of free drinks and delicious appetizers. I think I had 5 whiskey sours. I lost count of what my mom had. ;-) It was a fun time.
I was disappointed that Carnival no longer gives a free cruise by picking a cruise critique form. I used to love that........not that I ever won. Now you have to buy raffle tickets to win a free cruise.
I don't know how 7 days go by so quickly! Before we knew it our cruise was over. My last day was a little chaotic. We went to breakfast in the dining room and enjoyed Eggs Benedict made just the way they should be. We went to the lobby to wait as my mom is disabled. We had to wait until most people were off the ship so mom had a long wait but I was busy. I realized that morning I didn't get a bill under my door like they said I would. So, I was made to wait in the long line at the pursers desk. I was in no hurry, as I had no place to go anyway. I got a bill no problem and looked at it before I left the purser and realized there was an almost $50.00 charge for things used from the mini bar. I told the purser my mom and I didn't touch anything in the mini bar we just used it as a fridge. The purser couldn't refund it but filled out a form and said it would be looked into. He was very nice and apologized. I asked the purser if I should go talk to my room steward. He said it would help. So, I tried to make my way to up to deck 10. I tried to do this as 3000 people were trying to get off the ship. I felt like a salmon trying to go upstream. Took me a long time but I finally made it and talked to Alfred. Alfred knew we didn't use anything out of the mini bar and said he didn't know how the charge got on there because he thought he was the only one who could do that. Alfred said he would make sure the charge was refunded. I haven't got my credit card bill yet so I don't know if that is the case but I have all my paperwork so surely it shouldn't be a problem. I just find it a little fishy that I don't get my bill under my door and then when I go ask for it there is an over charge on it. A little too coincidental I think. I finally made my way back to the lobby where my mom was waiting. After more waiting we got a steward to help us off the ship. They had a customs officer just for handicapped people so it wasn't bad at all.
I believe we could have nit picked and found fault with just about everything but we are not that type of people. We are thrilled just to have our beds made someone else to cook for us and at the same time being taken to wonderful ports of call. We had a wonderful vacation. Carnival..........is where I belong. ;-) Less
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