Carnival Valor Cruise Review by smg1929: A Lot to Be Desired
Overall Member Rating
A Lot to Be Desired
Destination: Southern Caribbean
The best part of the cruise, other than the ports, was embarkation. While most passengers had embarked in San Juan, which likely resulted in a swarm of people, we decided to board in Barbados. This was a great choice (passengers can do 7 days from Barbados to Barbados, instead of San Juan to San Juan), as we were in the boat within minutes of arriving at the port.
Food: Obviously, a major part of the cruise experience is dining. Unfortunately, the food was generally very poor. Some things to keep away from- cheesecake (most desserts were not good) was unrecognizable, fish, steak. Also, the management of the dining room is terrible. there were often very long lines to get in to talk to the hostess and then another wait to be seated. We ended up skipping some meals in the dining room, as a result, and found the buffet to be somewhat better. However, breakfast in the buffet was exactly the same thing every day. We also were a bit dismayed when we went to the buffet for lunch one More day just a few minutes before it closed and the staff was already shutting down despite people still walking through the door.
Entertainment: Average at best with limited options. I've never been on a cruise where I actually found myself without something to do. Not only were the options limited, but most things closed by 11 or 12. It's not that we are complete night owls, but no live music late night? One highlight was the comedy club. Quality acts there.
Service: not bad, but not great. It seemed that everyone on the boat was indifferent. Not rude, but not overly friendly or smiling.
Cabin: average with some aging furniture.
Ship in general: showing age
Ports: One of the positive features of this cruise was the many ports we visited. St. Kitts was spectacular (head to Friar's Bay for a day at the beach. beautiful facility on one of the best beaches we have ever visited), nice snorkeling in St. Thomas, shopping and liveliness in St. Maarten. St. Lucia had a nice beach but we were overrun by beach vendors. Old San Juan looked pretty from a distance but could be cleaner, but we did have a terrific meal in a local family-run place and a super coffee in a café)
Overall: 2 stars...I'll be heading back to Royal Caribbean (terrific!) Less
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