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Trip Report Ist time cruiser on Carnival Liberty Bahamas

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Back from our cruise and had pretty good first time experience. Some things I loved and others I could do without. I am sure experience varies between cruise lines. The Carnival Liberty is about what I expected it to be, in pretty good shape and fairly well laid out. We Really enjoyed our cruise director ''Donkey", he was a lot of fun (anything he is involved with will be entertaining, so keep an eye out if you are cruising on Liberty). Enjoyed getting to know people, and had good dinner experiences and waiters. Enjoyed the shows and felt there were ample entertainment choices. Having entertainment in the evenings was probably my favorite part of the cruise. The Worlds show and The Rock Through the Ages ( I think that is what they are called) are worth your time.

Some of the things that weren't my favorite were the casino on board and having to walk through all of that smoke every night on the way to dinner, and the endless photographers hounding you and taking up space with their booths everywhere. Sometimes I enjoyed the party atmosphere, and other times I wished there was a better place to escape it. The serenity deck is nice but we had a fair amount of wind and so that was not the optimal place to get away to.

The first day we headed straight to Guys Burgers, then got settled into some chairs by the pool. We moved to the jacuzzis on the front of the ship as the ship left which was nice and relaxed and watched the sunset as we headed out to sea. On the fun day at Sea we slept in a little got breakfast at the buffet and found some chairs on the side deck with great sun. We were parked there most of the day and it was lovely. Had the Blue Iguana Cantina for lunch and headed to get ready for evening dinner and shows etc around 4:30. We had 6pm dining in the Silver Room and went there every night. Had fun one of the nights Salsa dancing. Also enjoyed the name that song sing alongs in the main atrium area ( wouldn't normally do this but was so much fun) popped into the comedy club and the karaoke as well other nights.

We kind of did our own thing for shore excursions. We just grabbed a taxi at each port and explored on our own, which is how we prefer it. We were able to see and do quite a bit this way and optimize our time better, while spending a whole lot less than with the shore excursions. On Nassau we had a fantastic taxi driver named Ferguson. We asked for him to show us the real Nassau and he drove us through many neighborhoods some very poverty stricken, interesting and eye opening. He was friendly and talked about his grandkids and the some problems they are up against on the Island as well as the history. He also took us to the Queens staircase, the Fort and to the Cloisters. We really enjoyed our time with him and getting to see things we probably never would have with a tour, for only $50. We had him drop us at the Atlantis where we had lunch, went to the aquarium and also enjoyed the lovely beach at Paradise Island. (there is public access, just ask) When we were done we took the Ferry back to the port ( $8 ) then walked around the Straw Market and downtown Nassau before heading back to the ship.

On Freeport we also hired a taxi, shared with a few other people from the ship and headed to the beach. Freeport is still really hurting from Hurricane Matthew and the damage is very apparent. Many places have had to close down and just haven't recovered. They are really struggling. That being said we very much enjoyed our time on the Island. The taxi took us to Pirates Cove (Taino Beach I think) where for a small fee, Maybe $10 you spend the day there and there are kayaks and paddle boards included in the price. There are also jet skis and boat rides for an additional cost. The beach was gorgeous, powder white sand and ice blue green water, just what you would picture when you think of the Bahamas. There is also a bar and a few tiny restaurants there as well as people selling drinks in coconuts etc. We arranged on our taxi ride in to pay a little extra for them to pick us up in the afternoon and take us to the markets at Lucayan area, then take us back to the ship afterwards. I think we paid $20 total. The area around the Grand Lucayan is more developed and has some shops and restaurants, but is struggling from the Hurricane. We walked around, got a snack and bought some souvenirs, then headed over to the Grand Lucayan to check out the resort and beach there. What is still open is very nice and I believe you can pay a fee to come spend the day there as well. The taxi (its more of a group van really) picked us up at the market around 3:30 and we headed back to the ship.

Would I cruise again? Yes. I might try another line next time. But we did enjoy Carnival. I have to say if I were to book another tropical vacay tomorrow I would choose one destination at an all inclusive over cruising. But, like I said am still open to having more cruising experiences.

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