Carnival Valor - Eastern Caribbean: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by Cru100

Carnival Valor 1

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Carnival Valor - Eastern Caribbean

Sail Date: June 2006
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
The moment we stepped on board we were shocked by the poor design and feel of this ship. You cant get to both ends without changing floors on some levels, and the layout is terrible. What makes it worse, however, is the dEcor. You cant imagine  I promise  its awful. Tacky would be the best description  top to bottom. It really LOOKS like a low-budget ship inside, and therefore feels that way. There isnt the open feel of other cruise lines - hard to believe its such a new ship!

Lounge chairs around the pools were packed so tightly together that there was no way to get in them but to sit on the end and slide up the chair. Are you kidding me?! And there were so many packed into each row that it was impossible to separate them enough to make leg room to get in! Forget it if you think about taking a chair or two out of the rows to make more room  theres no where to take them.

Once settled into lounge chairs, service was hit or miss. Sometimes they came, More sometimes they didnt. They were sorely understaffed on the ship, and admitted it. Plates of food and drinks/trash were often left for long periods of time. Most of the staff were friendly, just not enough of them!

Also  beware of the extremely slippery flooring in the pool and food areas. We saw a number of people go down during the week  young and old. They are obviously having problems  they have placed those ridiculous Slippery When Wet bright yellow cones EVERYWHERE throughout - so you are bypassing cones or mops at all times. With all their ships, they dont know what flooring is needed for safety in wet areas?

The cabins are typical size, with very comfortable bedding and pillows. The cabin stewards did a nice job, although we only saw them a couple of times all week.

The gym is very small with low ceilings and you have to literally BEND OVER to see out the windows. About 5 of us in our group went to take a step class one morning and we were crammed into a little area where the steps were way too close for safety and you couldnt really do step. Then another morning a friend was approached while on the treadmill and asked to take a step class with 3 other people because if she didnt, they wouldnt have the class. Class would be cancelled without a minimum of 4 people! She was kind enough to do it, but they should have class if its offered - no matter how many show up. Period.

In the middle of the gym sits a hot tub/Jacuzzi with cool water, and not enough water at that. It was sucking air, but we couldnt find anyone to talk to about it. The rock wall beside it looks like something out of an amusement park - plastic look with tacky green foliage sticking out. The spa feels the same. One woman in our party complained that during her massage there was running/jumping on the level above her. A cabinet in the room shook and all the noise ruined her massage. Again, poor design.

Entertainment/shows were mediocre, although there were a couple of good bands in the lounges.

And finally, the food. The worst Ive ever had, and everyone else felt the same. Breakfast and lunch were just OK, but very long lines. On the second morning, we tried the dining room thinking it would be better quality, but it was actually worse - so we went back to the buffet. There were a few lunch items that were decent  hamburgers/fries/pizza, but dinner was flat out bad. You know, you get dressed up every night  even formal on two of the nights  only to get lousy food. Our head waiter and assistant couldnt have been nicer  they were great. We all really enjoyed them, and they did a great job. But if the food is bad, what can they do about it??

The one exception and special treat was dinner at Scarletts  an upscale restaurant serving delicious food with exceptional presentation. It is a relaxing dinner with many courses, and service was wonderful  all for an up charge of $30.00 per person. How can there be one restaurant on ship that is great, and the rest of the food such poor quality??

Anyway, five moms took our five 18-year-old girls on this cruise to celebrate their high school graduation. Carnival promises to be the fun ship with lots to do. Honestly, there was very little activity for them. Two girls were JUST shy of their 18th birthdays  one by just several days of the cruise  and the others all 18. They were kicked out of the disco every night, not allowed to stay to just dance. That was so upsetting to them, and the only other option was the video arcade. Come on - this is the FUN ship??

Bottom line: No one in our group would ever do Carnival again  guaranteed. I love cruises, and realize things happen and not everything is good all the time, but this was a low-budget cruise all the way around. Less

Published 06/30/06

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