Something is just a little off.: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by DaniGus

Carnival Valor 2
Member Since 2005
35 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Something is just a little off.

Sail Date: May 2009
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami

I don't know. I don't think I would take the Valor again.  But the Magicians Shows were AMAZING!
The cruise I was on had a Magician's Convention on it.  So we had over 180 professional magicians doing special classes and shows during the week.
Ok here just a few of my reasons for feeling this way:

1. Arriving: It states you can bring non alcoholic drinks on board. So as we normally do we stopped and got 2 cases of bottles water. Cost $8.00.
We have done this numerous times in the past with no problems. They just load them like luggage More and bring them to our rooms. This time they refused to load them. Said if we want it we have to carry it on. My 81 year old father, my 76 year old mother, my husband with a pacemaker / defibulator and I, well I am just pudgy...
Well this was not a good start to this trip. My husband and I took our small roller suitcases back from the porters (after chasing them down in the confusion of the docks) and rolled it all in. When I complained about this I was told, imagine if we did this for everyone! What??? Don't you already bring in everyone's luggage with no limit on # of pieces??? What they meant was... They want us to pay $3.00 to $4.00 a bottle on board instead of bringing our own. So they are going out of their way to make it difficult for you. Petty but enough of this makes customers mad.

2. While the people you deal with that are expecting tips are generally friendly and very helpful (I will impart a story about a comment made later) I found that some of the staff that does not receive tips was a little less helpful. I couple of other people I spoke with were getting the same feeling. When this happens it is usually because of bad management. If management doesn't have happy employees it is generally reflecting by the customer service.
Examples: A. When I was asking a question regarding our room I was sent to numerous people and felt like I was being lied to and given the run around. It was obvious they didn't want to talk to me and instead of just giving me a direct answer were just passing the buck. I would prefer a direct answer that makes sense. They just ran me around until I got tired and quit asking. NOT good customer service.
B. I had an issue in the casino. When I tried to speak to one of the managers about it,
their response was to go immediately to:
1. I was wrong.
2. And they were not going to give me anything in the way of a refund. Well, I didn't want a refund. I was trying to explain their computer system was not functioning correctly as between two 1 cent machines; I had received 4750 credits for $40. 750 credits TOO MUCH! (after it originally gave me 950 and then took back 200 credits??? )
I was giving the steps of what I had done so they could check if they could recreate it and troubleshoot the issue with their computer systems. Whether the system was shortchanging/overpaying was not the issue. Something was wrong with the numbers. Since I do network security for a living, I wanted them to know. The stupid person I was dealing with was not even listening to what I was saying, just telling me I must not have been watching, That I was not understanding how the slots worked ect. Just really pissing me off!
3. The last meal we had was breakfast before we got off the ship. My mother ate some bacon that was obviously undercooked and VERY greasy. (Greasy eggs and bacon had been an issue all week) I refused to eat mine. Well, it did not sit well with her stomach and she ended up loosing it at the airport. Because of this they would not let us on the plane. Afterward she was fine and they let us go on the next plane but because of this we did not get home until very late Sunday. I ended up going to work with about 3-4 hours sleep the next day.
The evening meals were excellent and our server was great! We made sure to tip him well.

Which brings me to a comment made by another waiter. During breakfast one of the other guests asked the waiter how many countries did the different waiters come from and if any were from America. They responded "138 and none from America. They would not work for the amount of money we make and they are to lazy."
Needless to say they were VERY offended. I just thought it was stupid of them to actually say something like that.  It shows an interesting mentalilty. Working 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week for room/ board and $74 a month is quite a deal for Carnival.   But for many people that is a great opportunity.
Other than that the shows were cute, but obviously not the quality of the Magicians shows. These extra shows were not advertised on the ship. You had to go out of your way to make sure you knew when they were happening, but they were well worth it!
Jeff McBride gave an unbelievable performance. This would have cost $100 at his show at Caesars Palace in Vegas. The theater was not even ½ full. Shameful! They should have taken advantage of the unique opportunity to bring this to their customers. Again bad management.
That is my issue with the Valor. Something is just not the same as it was on other Carnival ships. We have been on the Destiny, EXCELLENT!!! The Liberty, again EXCELLENT!!! And on multiple other cruises. This was my parent's 16th cruise celebrating their 58th Wedding Anniversary, but something was just off.
This tainted the whole cruise for me.  It wasn't just because of the change in our itinerary, this can happen, no problems. 
Again, I do not fault the employees especially our room steward and our wait staff, but you could tell they were not the normally happy, helpful staff that is on some of the other ships. My only explanation is there must be an issue with some of the management and it shows.


Published 05/20/09

Cabin review: 4a

Even though our cabin was at the bottom of the ship in the very back,  I loved it.  I always prefer an inside as I sleep like I am in a cacoon.  Plus others were complaining about all the noise in the hallways and all the people partying.  We had none of that as we were on a dead end.  We did hear the engines but to me it was just great white noise. 

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