What I'm about to post I've learned has become indicative of Carnival after reading other cruisers' posts. Unfortunately, I learned it too late. Do not waste your money on this cruise line like our family did. This vacation was so bad that if I could turn back time, I would had stayed home and worked 70 hours a week rather than waste my time and money on what was a nightmare of a "vacation".
I was not surprised to learn about the captain who abandoned the ship on one of their other cruise lines. That is generally the attitude of the staff on the entire ship of the Valor as well as their customer service at corporate headquarters.
Do not expect to be treated with any decency from their customer service. If you did not ready every page of their website like they expect you to, then you're out of luck.
1. Pool and deck area
a. Our son couldn't go in pools/whirlpools because he had a swim diaper on. We were kicked out of the pool numerous times. The staff said it was on FAQ section of site however we cannot find it. This would have been a major deciding factor in taking a cruise had we known this ahead of time. Why do they still charge the same price if we cannot fully use ship?
b. Hot tubs were cold and closed early. They closed the adult section at 10-11 p.m. at night. This was especially frustrating since there was a lack of other activities planned on the boat.
c. Closed main pool down during some of the main events on the pool deck.
d. 90% of the time just played a constant real of other ships on the big screen TV. Why not put something on there that other people would enjoy watching?
2. Music everywhere was so loud that you couldn't hear the person next to you.
a. Worst facial I ever received.
b. Table was extremely uncomfortable and room was loud.
c. Gretchen spent more time mixing her lotions and cleaning things in the sink than she spent on actually giving me a facial.
d. Massaged my feet. Not sure why when she was supposed to work on my face.
e. My mother-in-law and her mother also didn't care for their facials.
4. Damaged luggage
a. Several new luggage pieces were damaged
a. Beds were hard even after they put additional duvet cover.
b. Room was hot and never fixed.
i. Someone came in to take the temperature and that was it. Didn't do anything else.
ii. You could tell a difference in the temperature as soon as you got to our part of the hallway.
c. Refrigerator never was cold.
6. Food and service
a. Buffets always had the same food day after day.
b. Service at dinner was horrendous
i. Couldn't get bread or water. Couldn't get drinks refilled.
ii. Server did not do anything besides take our order and serve dinner. Never checked back with us to see if there was anything else we needed or ask how our food was.
7. Staff overall just had a "don't care" attitude.
8. Shore excursion
a. Father-in-law paid for a shore excursion. However they never printed the tickets and put them on his bed like they did for the rest of the group. He had to go to the customer service deck 5 times and fight with them to get the tickets.
9. Housekeeping left door open to adjoining room and didn't say anything about it during the check-out process.
a. Our 2 year old got out and went down the hallway. We thought our son was just playing in between the rooms like he had done all week. Thank God my sister-in-law found him going down the hall way. He knew where the elevators were and how to work them. Who knows what could have happened had she not found him.
Every issue we had was met with a "don't care, can't do anything about it, or too bad" attitude. Our experience with Carnival is not what we have experienced in the past. Every year we take a family Christmas cruise. Several of them have been with Carnival and we always had a great time. However, of the 21 members in our group, no one had a pleasurable time. We all felt as though we wasted thousands of dollars. We all tried on multiple occasions to work with Carnival to rectify the experience we had to no avail. We will never cruise with Carnival again and do not recommend them any longer.