The Valor- nice week despite the lousy food and poor service: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by tlrtraveler

Carnival Valor 2
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

The Valor- nice week despite the lousy food and poor service

Sail Date: March 2009
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
Carnival has downgraded their dining room food and service substantially from years past. The food was uninteresting and not the best quality. We skipped some of the dining room dinners and just had the nasty junk food from the various other buffet restaurants on the ship because the dining room food was really not much better. We did go to the 'pay extra' restaurant one night, which was awesome in terms of both quality and service, but it's ridiculous to have to pay over the cruise cost to get what Carnival used to serve in the regular dining rooms. The service in the dining room was rushed and clipped, at best. The food highlight of the trip was the soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt available 24 hours!

I think our steward could only speak the following two phrases in English: 'Good Morning, Good Morning' and 'Hello, Hello'. This made it very difficult to communicate. We rarely saw him anyway as he was probably so overworked it left no time for developing any More sort of relationship with us again, I remember better communication and more social interaction with our stewards on previous Carnival cruises. We noticed that many of the service workers throughout the ship had very limited English speaking skills.

The children's program also did not match our past experiences. There were many unsupervised activities and things that cost extra money. Our daughter chose to spend most of her time with us, as she was mostly not interested in the activities offered. She did, however, meet some friends who she played with, and she did go to the late night party (cost extra) which she enjoyed.

Despite these shortcomings, we had a nice family vacation on the ship. We enjoyed deck & pool time on the 'days at sea', and went on shore at each port.

I'm not sure, however, if we will sail with Carnival again due to the downgrade in quality we experienced. Less

Published 04/23/09

Cabin review:

Cabin was fine - as expected.

Port and Shore Excursions

The biggest problem with this port is the amount of transportation time required to actually see or do anything in Belize. The tender to the port took about 30 minutes once you got on the tender boats, but then most of the excursions were another 45-60 minutes from the dock by bus, van or taxi. The city and area around the docks is very poor and dirty, and we are not entirely sure about how safe the area is. We took a horse and buggy city tour which was actually quite enjoyable. Our guide was friendly and interesting. We chose to do this because we just did not want to waste 3 hours or more on transportation for an hour or two of activity.

We took a taxi to Chakanaab state park (about 15 minutes). This park is beautiful! We spent the day relaxing on the beach and snorkeling. The water is much cooler here than in Grand Cayman and Roatan. There were a lot of fish that swam very close to the snorkelers, but the fish were not very colorful. There were also religious statues placed in various spots underwater for snorkelers. Our 9 year old thought they were creepy. We highly recommend this park - we've been there 3 times and would go again. Then we did a bit of shopping at the dock. The areas we saw were clean, safe and beautiful.
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We took a taxi (about 15 minutes) to 7 mile beach and had a very nice afternoon. The island and beach are beautiful. We have our own snorkeling gear, and we snorkeled from the beach (snorkeling equipment is available to rent on the beach too). The snorkeling was great - extremely warm water and lots of fish. The coral was not very impressive compared to Roatan, but we really enjoyed it. This was our 9 year old daughter's first time snorkeling and she fell in love with it!

Our family of three (mom, dad and 9 yr. old daughter) went on the Carnival Valor Cruise during the week of March 29 - April 5. One of the highlights of our vacation was the Upachaya Snorkeling Shore excursion on the Island of Roatan. We booked the trip online prior to our trip at, and highly recommend the excursion.

Barbara and Duane, who hosted the trip, are an American couple who moved to Roatan from Washington state a few years ago. Barbara met us at the dock and walked us a short distance to a contracted driver who drove us to Upachaya in an air conditioned van. Barbara & Duane met us there, fitted us with snorkeling gear, and we boarded a very comfortable pontoon boat. It was just our family, Barbara & Duane and their assistant (a local boy).

We traveled a bit through the Mangroves and on the way out to our snorkel sights saw several giant, bright red star fish from the boat. We went snorkeling in two locations. The first was over a sunken ship wreck which was covered over in amazing coral. There were not very many fish at this location, but the coral was great and the water was so warm and calm. The second location was over the reef where there was a 70 foot drop off into the ocean. That 70 foot drop was completely covered in every imaginable type of coral and there were many different species of fish. This was a spectacular location. The reef was in very good shape not damaged by weather or people, and it went on forever. There were 2 people with Kayaks at the first location, and no one but us at the second location.

We had a light lunch of homemade salads, fresh fruit and chips on the boat while we learned about Roatan, the Mangroves and the reef. We were offered cold beverages including water, soda, rum punch and beer. It was very relaxing and enjoyable! A perfect day in the Caribbean. We returned to their private dock and had the opportunity to support the local community by purchasing some handcrafted jewelry (cash), and said our goodbyes as we boarded the van for our ride back to the cruise ship dock.

We highly recommend this trip! It cost a total of $150 (plus tips - cash) for our family of three for a private snorkeling adventure! What a bargain! Barbara & Duane were great hosts and very accommodating. This private excursion is a very nice alternative to the crowded, more expensive, cruise sponsored tours.

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