Carnival Valor = Carnival Disappointment: Carnival Valor Cruise Review by Sunshine*2009

Carnival Valor 3
Member Since 2009

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Carnival Valor = Carnival Disappointment

Sail Date: December 2009
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
We were so excited to have gotten such a good deal on this cruise. The 4 hour drive to Miami on Sunday and 4 hours to return home on the following Sunday did not outweigh the savings we would incur by taking the Carnival Valor...or so we thought. Our trip began with trying to decipher the signs to find the port terminals in Miami. After making several loops and backtracking, we figured out where the appropriate parking lots were. Whomever designed the Miami port must have been out to lunch. Unfortunately, each parking lot we tried was full. As we continued making loops and trying the next nearest parking lot, we finally ended up in a lot across the highway. We had to take a shuttle bus to get to the terminal for Carnival Valor. After talking to some folks who parked at the Miami port, it sounded like no matter how early we had gotten there, we would have been forced to park in a lot far enough away from the ship that we would have to take a shuttle to get to the ship. We also More encountered some Port employees who were less than stellar in both knowledge of the Port and assistance/willingness to help.

Once we got to the terminal for the Valor, the check-in process was surprisingly easy and painless. The decor of the ship was significantly nicer than the Glory, which is the ship we had taken cruises on the past 3 times. However, the Valor did show some signs of wear and tear, especially in Rosie's Restaurant. The cloth covered booths at the tables were stained and the lime green vinyl chairs not wiped off very frequently. The attentiveness and number of the staff in the dining room was inconsistent in terms of cleaning the tables--we are thinking that perhaps staff was decreased for financial reasons since down-sizing seems to be the trend during our struggling economy. The food, as we have found in the past on Carnival cruises, was predictably mediocre and basically the same theme as what we had experienced on the Glory. The gift shop "specials" were also very predictable, especially the high prices that were supposed to be such bargains. For those who enjoy food quantity over quality--these cruises must be nirvanah. For those who prefer quality and flavor...not so much. The activities and entertainment were pretty much a mirror image of what we had on the Glory for the past 3 cruises (drink contests, hairy chest contest, etc), including the songs the servers sang to us in the formal dining rooms for "entertainment".

Our departure was the real nightmare of the trip. Not only has Carnival not yet figured out an orderly way of getting folks off the ship, the wait in the line at Customs was unbelievably long. To give you an idea, we docked at about 6 am in Miami. My husband and I didn't get to our car until about noon. We have been spoiled by leaving from Port Canaveral. Not only is it about an hour from our home, but the port is much more organized and easier to travel to and from. Customs there is a breeze. In conclusion, if we never see the port in Miami or the Valor again, we won't lose any sleep. We have decided we should try out the more "stuffy" and more structured cruise lines, although it will impact our wallets more significantly. Even though we largely go on cruises for the boat ride, the process of getting to and traveling from the port, coupled with the ambience and environment on the ship have taken their toll. We're going to give Royal Caribbean and some other more expensive lines a shot. Who knows, maybe we'll go back to Carnival but at least we can say we've tried something else. Less

Published 12/22/09

Cabin review: 8E Balcony

Our balcony cabin on Deck 10 was pretty much what we expected...except that the toilet did not flush properly throughout the voyage. The door to the balcony also did not close properly so there was a whistling sound during the really windy nights on board that we had to remedy by using some folded up paper and jamming it into the door frame. On our last day when we were readying to leave the ship, the entire bathroom flooded from the toilet. Thankfully we were on our way out. The cabin steward did a very poor job in tidying up the room and several times did not leave us enough towels. He forgot to empty the trash cans at least twice. He left dirty glasses on the counter twice. He never refreshed our beach towels even though the protocall was to refresh them before the stop at each port of call. On the next to the last day of the cruise when we were in Cozumel, there were workers outside on the balcony pushing the chairs around and opening up the adjoining doors and hosing the floor. We never received any prior notification that they would be working out there. Although our curtains were wide open, we were thankfully not doing anything "private" at the time but we were pretty startled when they came barreling through. One night our neighbors decided to watch TV--loudly. Be aware that the walls on these ships are not very thick.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Wow! What a great job on this port after the devastation from a hurricane a few years ago. We were shocked at how nice it is compared to what we had seen right after the hurricane and the year after that when the re-build started. Lots of hard work and dedication in getting this port back up to snuff. Don't forget to buy your souvenirs and trinkets DOWNTOWN and not at the port for the best deals.

Read 5466 Cozumel Reviews

What a joke! Stay away from this port if you possibly can! If you live out of town, check out cruise specials from the port in Fort Lauderdale and Port Canaveral first! You won't be sorry!

Read 1821 Miami Reviews

We didn't want to put any more money in Carnival's pocket and wanted to contribute to the local folks. So, we found a taxi driver who took us to the local shopping areas where we knew our money would not be going to Carnival. For those who are not familiar with the ports, note that Carnival owns many if not all of the stores there when you shop for your souvenirs and trinkets. Why not buy a t-shirt or that is actually made in the country you are visiting and put the money in the locals' pockets? Look at the tags on the items you are buying. Do you really want an item that is made in China with only a decal ironed on it that has the country's name on it? By the way, if you take the taxi at this port, the cost is about $40. If you hike a little outside the gate of the port confines, the cost of the taxi is $10. A little walking will result in a lot of savings for you! Do your research and ask questions. Don't be afraid to bargain with anyone!

Read 2443 Roatan Reviews

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