Carnival Valor Review

4.0 / 5.0
1,531 reviews

They have really went downhill

Review for the Western Caribbean Cruise on Carnival Valor
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sunshinecruisin
2-5 Cruises • Age 40s

Rating by category

Cabin
Value for Money
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Sail Date: Jan 2023

This was my third Carnival cruise. We purchased faster to the fun; there was no priority boarding, our room was not ready at 12:30 when we got there, I called guest services three times for room issues with no answer, no priority line for excursion debarkation or embarkation, the f2f guest services line took longer than the regular line, no priority seating for dining, but there was priority disembarking the final day, which we had to ask crew members for instructions since nobody told us. So that was a total waste of money. The boat itself was dated and did not feel well maintained; dirty windows, spills in elevators that would be there all day, sticky tables at all hours, sicky floors on deck around the bars, etc. Serenity was closed all but debarkation day. My spa tour consisted of pointing to where the locker room was and handing me a list of services. For activities; you could listen to music, play bingo, gamble, watch a stage show (same shows they've had for ten years), go to the comedy club, pool side movies, or sit through the sales infomercials masquerading as trivia and group line dancing. The fun squad was great on stage, but off stage acted annoyed if you stopped them to ask questions. The crew in general rarely smiled or offered help and had an "I wish I were elsewhere" demeanor. You have to check into dining using the app which says 10 min wait, but we didn't wait less than 30 and a lot of people waiting had the same complaint. Dining also took over two hours because they would have twenty to thirty minutes between each item they brought. The food was smaller portions than I remember, luke warm and bland. We dined twice then switched to the other food venues because it was so bad. The buffet was the same bland, luke warm food as dining. We spoke with several other passengers during the course of the cruise and most were having a similar experience and not happy about it. We made our fun own playing games, meeting people, and entertaining ourselves. The excursions were lovely; definitely read current reviews before booking. I have pics and videos if anyone wants proof. They are on my phone and I'm writing this from my computer. Guest services told me to email about my issues when I got home, which I did, and I received a response email thanking me for reaching out and letting me know they would respond within 30 to 45 days.

Cabin Review

Our room had dust and hair on various surfaces; nightstands, tv nook and vanity. The window was crusty and rusty with some sort of red/brown liquid smears around the inner surfaces. Other than the vanity, those spaces were not cleaned the entirety of the cruise. The vanity was cleaned the third day, I know because that's when the coffee smear disappeared. The bed was rock hard, we asked if there were cushions available, they brought us an extra comforter so at least they tried. Our faucet water would intermittently run brown. We had been using the bottled water in the room to brush our teeth and asked for it to be comped which they weren't happy about. They sent someone to look at it, she ran the water for three seconds and said "well, its not doing it now, so it must be fixed", then chastised me for going to guest services rather than tracking down my steward. I apologized, I didn't know how to find the steward and explained the water issue was intermittent and she just needed to watch for a second, she flipped it on and off a couple times and again said, "I don't see anything". She asked if we needed anything else, since she wasn't listening, I said no, and she left.

Port Reviews

Cozumel

We did the all-inclusive Passion Island excursion. We were able to disembark and walk across the pier to easily find out tour via signposts. Our guide put bracelets on us and pointed us to a bar to wait for about 25 min. We then took a short walk to board a catamaran. The guide introduced the crew, pointed out the bathrooms and gave us a little information about Cozumel and Passion Island then tuned on some music. It took almost an hour to get to the island. Once there, it's about two blocks worth of walking through loose sand to get to the beach area. The guides point out all the amenities, go over the rules and return info, then turn you loose to have fun. The beach is a nice white sand, the employees keep it clean. A word of caution; about 2 to 3 feet into the water is a semi steep rocky drop off of a foot or two. There were plenty of chairs and tables. The all-inclusive beach bar was a joke; a guy in a tiki hut with a cooler of one kind of beer and two sports water coolers prefilled with watered down, flat soda tasting, rum punch and margaritas. The bar by the food was slightly better as he was adding a shot to whatever was in the cooler when he poured. The cash bar was fantastic; all the fun cold drinks ranging from $8 to $12. The buffet did not look like the pictures. It was half unused, but the food I got was hot and tasted alright. I didn't go up to the shops, but my mate did and said they were a little pushy, but not bad. Expect to say no a few times. We did not have a waiter approach us the entire time, though there were some wondering around. About 30 min before time to leave they announced a balloon toss game but that was it for activities. They yell out when it's time to leave and do a head count. You walk back through the sand, board the catamaran for another 50 ish minute ride back to the port. We had enough time to poke into a couple shops at the pier but that was it. We wanted a relaxing day on the beach and that's what we got. We enjoyed our time there immensely.

Progreso

We did the Mayapan ruins, tubing, cave snorkel excursion. We were led off the boat and to our bus. The guide gives you some info on the area and history of the Mayan people then its silent for the next hour. Some of their info was accurate, some not so much. The ride takes about an hour and 20 minutes to get to the ruins. They give you some more info, walk you around a bit, then turn you lose for half an hour. We were able to explore and climb and had a wonderful time. Then it's back in the bus for another 20 ish minutes to get to the Hacienda. They again give you a little history, shuffle you through changing and getting life jackets and into the first cenote for about 10 min, which was warm even in January and lovely. Then you float down a beautiful man-made canal, maybe 5 minutes, that connects to the other cenote, no tubes just life jackets, and have about 15 min to explore here. Then everyone is out of the water and walks the path back up to the changing area. Once changed you eat. The food and drinks were delicious even though the food was cold. Then you have about a half hour to wander or swim in the pool outside the restaurant. You cannot go back into the cenotes. We were told we could look at the hacienda, I didn't find out until afterwards that we could have gone inside parts of it. That was a little disappointing but oh well. Then it was back onto the bus for the return ride, about another mostly silent hour and 20 min. They drive you around the outskirts of the city in the residential areas there and back so not much to see on the ride. There is not anything at the port itself, you would need to walk or get transport into town to see or do anything. We loved the sites and experience, definitely recommend it.

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