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Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Liberty

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Carnival Liberty Review

Insider Take

Overview

Conquest-class; Some Funship 2.0 upgrades; Guy Fieri Burgers, EA SportsBar, RedFrog Pub and RumRunners Tequila Bar.

Decor

Legendary Joe Farcus is Carnival's designer, and Liberty continues his pattern of creating distinctive individual themes for each ship. In Liberty's case, the theme is Artisans, covering all variations of the artistic designs and handcrafted workmanship of times gone by. Though no one would call Liberty's decor reserved, it's a more muted version of previous Farcus designs. About the only neon glitz one will find on this ship is in the signs identifying the lounges and bars.

Beginning in the Grand Villa Garden at the bottom of the Atrium, ornate artisan ironwork is used throughout the ship's passageways, decorating walls, railings, pillars and wall frames. This gives these areas a clearly European flare, and does a nice job of tying varying design elements together.

Public Rooms

There's a noticeable "wow factor" for persons boarding the ship on the lowest level of the atrium; their first view is of the Grand Villa Garden, which feels very much like a European courtyard. The hardwood laminate flooring gives the area an unexpected richness for a Carnival ship. The glass elevators running up and down on one side of the atrium add a modern touch, and a ride in them at some time during your cruise is a must for the views.

The center of the ship's life is Deck 4, surrounding the Atrium; and Deck 5, the Promenade Deck. Promenade Deck is the only deck that runs from bow to stern inside the ship, other than the passenger cabin decks - 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8.

Deck 5/Promenade Deck could be considered the entertainment center of the ship. From Gloves Sports Bar, just off of the atrium, traveling aft through Promenade deck brings you to the enormous Casino, the Casino Bar, Club 02 (the teens-only disco), Without Batteries (the ship's video arcade), the Jardin Café (for purchasing specialty coffees and incredible desserts), Origami Sushi Bar (where sushi is available free in the evenings), the Wine Bar, the Piano Man Bar (where sing-alongs create a packed house most nights), the Stage Lounge (for Karaoke), and the ship's large alternate showroom, the traditionally decorated Victoria Lounge.

The ship's shops, selling logo wear, jewelry and sundries, are on Promenade Deck as well, around the Atrium.

Forward on Promenade Deck is the most visually stunning room on the ship, the Venetian Palace showroom. With a Venetian theme established by an enormous central chandelier (created from Italy's famed Murano glass), Venetian masks decorating the ceiling, and two-deck-high Jesters book ending the stage, the decor of the main showroom sets the stage for the quality entertainment to follow.

The Venetian Palace is three decks high (lowest level on Deck 3), and it does have many support beams that can cut off the view of the stage; also, the main floor is not pitched enough, so at times the views can be obscured by those sitting in front of you. Aside from production shows and headline acts, this room is used for most of the ship's evening passenger participation games, as well as daily/nightly bingo games.

On Deck 4 is the Antiquarian Library, nicely decorated but small, with a limited selection of books. And unfortunately the locked bookcases are only opened and accessible from one to two hours per day. I don't know why Carnival doesn't just leave the library open so guests can access books any time they like.

The Cabinet Lounge is also on Deck 4, just forward of the aft Golden Olympic Dining Room. Cabinet Lounge is the ship's cigar bar, which features live jazz in the evenings. Since it is adjacent to a dining room, I am surprised to see this lounge used as a cigar bar. I often heard passengers complaining about the strong odors in this lounge as they passed through en route to the dining room. This is particularly problematic because the access points to this aft dining room are limited.

The only public room really over-the-top in decor is the Hot and Cold Disco. With huge inverted hands (appearing to hold up the ceiling) and smaller versions as bar stools, I never figured out what this was all about. But it's most certainly a bold environment.

Restaurants

There are two main dining rooms on the Liberty, and they use traditional assigned seating, but with four dining times available, rather than the usual two.

The Golden Olympian Dining Room is mid-ship on Decks 3 and 4, with entries from two doorways on each of the two levels, one forward and one aft. This dining room serves the 6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. dining times.

The “Golden” is the smaller of the two dining rooms. Seating areas are cramped and passageways between tables narrow. Even bussing stations for the service staff seemed too far apart and too cramped, which made their jobs more difficult.

The Silver Olympian Dining Room, at the stern on Decks 3 and 4, serves the 5:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. dining times, and is also used for open-seating breakfast and lunch. This room is larger and much airier. The dining room is surrounded by windows on three sides, which enhances its design, and contributes to making it preferable to the Golden Dining Room.

A more upscale dining experience is available at the ship's alternate restaurant ($30 per person surcharge), Harry's Supper Club. Named after famed jeweler Harry Winston, Harry's also offers a musical duo and a dance floor to entertain diners. The decor and furnishings in Harry's are of higher quality than the other dining areas. And the Versace plates and fine silver flatware contribute to a more upscale tone. The core of the menu includes varying cuts of steak, though lobster and fish are also offered.

For more of a fast food experience, there's the buffet at Emile's on Lido Deck. It's open for breakfast and lunch, as well as for casual dinner between 6-9 p.m. Expect a wide variety of choices within this very large area. In the back (aft section) are two buffet lines serving a traditional buffet lunch, with items changing daily, and a carving station for different types of meats. Breakfasts in this section are pretty traditional buffet service.

Forward of that are two buffet lines called “Taste of Nations,” with lunches offering a menu that varies by national cuisine each day. There are also two buffet lines serving stir-fry dishes. Passengers choose raw ingredients - meats, fish, seafood, vegetables etc.- as they proceed through the line until they reach the cooking station, where the chefs cook the chosen ingredients.

By the farthest-aft swimming pool, just outside Emile's, there's a starboard side grille serving up hamburgers, hot dogs, and (though not advertised) steak sandwiches. There are also heated chafing dishes for hot condiments - fried onions, sauteed mushrooms, even chili. On the port side in this location is the 24-hour pizzeria, which also serves Caesar salad. I used to think Carnival had the best pizza on the high seas, but I wasn't that pleased after tasting what must be a new recipe for the pizzas. They seem to be using a much chewier dough now.

There are two more grilling stations near the central swimming pools for the fast-food hamburger/hot dog experience.

Inside Emile's, on each side as you move between the Grand Buffet and Taste of Nations, are small service windows. On the starboard side the menu offers Asian cuisine - a combination of Chinese food and Asian fair. Opposite, on the port side, the same window offers deli sandwiches, both cold and hot, served on a choice of breads. I enjoyed most of my lunches from these two serving windows.

Another choice that people often miss is located one deck above Emile's. Here they serve fish and chips and a variety of seafood during lunch.

For breakfasts, all the inside lines serve similar food, though there are a number of made-to-order egg and omelette stations - enough that we never saw extended lines at any.

During the morning, one of the grill areas near the central pool also offered breakfast items and made-to-order eggs and omelettes. Breakfast at this station was available quite a bit later, after the other buffet lines were closed.

Service

Service on the Liberty was generally friendly and efficient, though unpolished. Even in Harry's Supper Club with its surcharge, the wait staff, though dressed more formally, seemed to lack the training you'd expect in such a venue.

Other than the maitre d' in the dining rooms and a dining room hostess, we didn't see any headwaiters. At times this shortage was somewhat problematic. Several times when service dragged somewhat, the presence of a headwaiter would have certainly helped the situation. It's unrealistic to believe two people can oversee the smooth operation of dining rooms that serve 600 to 800 guests for each seating.

That said, we were not displeased with our level of dining room service. There were just a couple of occasions where the assistance of a headwaiter would have smoothed the process.

Tipping

Carnival automatically charges $10 per passenger per day to your onboard “Sail & Sign” account to cover all service staff, except for the dining room maitre d', whom you may tip at your discretion. Guest can adjust this amount with a visit to the Purser's Desk. A gratuity of 15 percent is automatically added to all drink purchases, and to the cost of the soda cards.

Entertainment

Carnival excels in entertainment, with lavish production shows (three during an eight- day cruise), glitzy costumes, and costly lighting effects. Headline acts featuring comedians, magicians, ventriloquists, jugglers or song stylists will vary with their schedules. There are generally two late-night “Adult Comedy” shows as well, beginning at midnight.

Aside from the daily show room entertainment, watch your daily schedule onboard (The Carnival Capers) for all variety of entertainment - including the poolside games, trivia contests, passenger participation games, Karaoke, bingo, art auctions, sports challenges, etc. (You can even get a temporary henna tattoo by the pool, if you consider that entertaining.)

Carnival also does a great job of making it fun for everyone at the deck parties, held a couple of times per cruise, which always include a band, the cruise staff, dancing, and of course food.

Cabins

Carnival offers the largest standard cabins in the industry, and this holds true on the Liberty. The interior decoration of the cabins aren't like staying at the Ritz, but the relaxing color tones and blonde wood finishing on desks and closet doors are certainly of acceptable and decent quality. Combined with a comfortable leather sofa (with a storage drawer underneath), this all makes for very adequate accommodations.

Aside from extra space, the thing that makes Liberty's cabins exceptional is the new beds - twins that can be pushed together to form a king-sized bed. And what comfortable beds they are! Combine the comfort of the beds, with the high-quality bedding and luxurious duvets, and sleep becomes a dream. The beds frames are high enough that our luggage slid easily underneath for storage, with little effort.

The in-cabin television carried all the major U.S. networks, as well movie channels, CNN, Discovery Channel, and several offering children's programming. Pay-per-view movies are also available. You can also access a menu of guest services on your TV, including checking your account, reviewing dining room menus in advance, and ordering shore excursions.

The cabins have more than adequate storage space; a hair dryer inside the desk drawer; a mini bar; and a personal safe inside a cupboard. The bathrooms, though stark, are large with a good-sized shower and nice quality towels. Anchored to the wall inside the shower are shampoo and body wash dispensers. On the counter is a complimentary basket of sampler-size toiletry items. Several glass shelves on either side of the sink will store all your personal items.

The standard balcony cabins have a very narrow balcony, with two chairs (one of which reclines) and a small cocktail table.

The only drawback to these cabins is the use of a standard swinging door, rather than sliding doors, to access the balcony. The opening door takes up space on the already-small balcony, and the sound of balcony doors slamming shut can form its own symphony at times.

The Category 11 mini-suites and Category 12 suites on the Liberty offer considerably more space (though still in a single room), plus a bathtub in the bathrooms rather than the standard shower. Their furnishings are slightly more upscale than standard cabins.

Fitness/Spa

The gym, at 15,000 sq. ft., is full of treadmills, stationary bikes, Stairmasters, rowing and hydraulic weight machines, and of course free weights. The strategically placed equipment allows you to enjoy the panoramic views offered by the floor-to-ceiling windows. For runners, a lap on the jogging deck, which surrounds the smokestack, is equivalent to 1/11 of a mile.

Attire

On six- to eight-day cruises there will be two nights when formal attire is suggested. All other nights are designated casual. Though there were tuxedos in evidence, suits and sports jackets seemed more the norm.

What we found somewhat disconcerting was that even on designated formal nights, passengers in pretty much any form of dress were allowed in the dining rooms. Admittedly, this was the exception, not the norm. But I don't understand why a maitre d' wouldn't stop people from entering the dining room in torn jeans and baseball caps on formal nights, and suggest they go the casual alternative on Lido Deck for dinner.

Best For People Who Want

A large ship experience with vibrant nightlife and an energetic atmosphere; poolside games during the day and lavish production shows in the evenings; some of the largest cabins in the industry; large and well equipped gym and spa facilities; extensive children's facilities and Club 02 for teens.

Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer

A reserved, elegant, and uncrowded cruise experience in intimate surroundings, and white-glove service levels.

Onboard Experience

The public areas of Liberty are rarely quiet, but the atmosphere is conducive to fun. The pool area is the hub of activity, dominated by a 270 sq ft. LCD TV, dubbed the SeaSide Theatre, above on Deck 10; it's used for entertainment, from poolside Trivia in the mornings to concerts and movies in the evening, and for major sporting events.

For those interested in a quieter daytime option, there's an aft pool with a retractable dome deployed during inclement weather.

Onboard musical options can satisfy all tastes, from the concerts on the Big Screen to the Piano Man Piano Bar, Karaoke, Disco with DJs, and Live Dance Music in Victoria‘s Lounge; there's also easy listening or classical music on the ground floor of the nine-deck-high atrium, in the Grand Villa Garden.

The ship has an Internet Cafe (hidden in a corner of the aft Cabinet Bar on Deck 4) where you can send e-mail and access the Internet. The Liberty has WiFi service available from bow to stern, including individual passenger cabins. You can log in using your own laptops, or rent from the ship for $20 per day, plus the cost of the time you spend online.

With 22 bars and lounges, there's no difficulty getting your favorite beverages, but we didn't find the bar service overbearing or overly aggressive. Soda cards (for unlimited soft drinks) are available for children and adults.

And everyone enjoys the self-serve soft ice cream and frozen yogurt available near the two main pool areas.

A hit among kids and adults alike is the enormous water slide on Deck 11. It offers a fun ride through “the chutes” when you start that high above the sea.

Smoking areas are quite limited on the Liberty. Smoking is not allowed in the showrooms, the dining rooms, the ship's atrium, or even by the bar or along the Promenade Deck passageway. Smoking is allowed in guest cabins, and on guest balconies, and on the starboard side of outside public decks.

Cuisine

Carnival's cuisine has improved dramatically in the past decade. Some time ago, the cuisine on Carnival ships could have been rated equal to a budget cruise line. Today's offerings have enough quality and taste to allow it to compete easily with any of the other mass market lines.

We were positively impressed by the wide variety offered on the nightly dining room menus, which also feature a lengthy list of always-available selections. Portions were plentiful, and other than a lack of artistic presentation and repetitive use of accompaniments to entrees, we finished all our dining room meals most satisfied.

Desserts in the dining room were the highlight of each evening; taste and presentation were equal to any ship we've experienced. The highlight of the dessert menus is the warm chocolate melting cake, which was on the always-available menu each evening.

Food in the buffet on Lido Deck was also above average. My expectations at a buffet are naturally lower than in a restaurant or dining room. But the diverse variety at Liberty's buffets was enough to satisfy for most meals. Various buffet lines offered different types of food; two lines referred to as the Grand Buffet were similar to a typical buffet, with choices changing daily, and ending at a carving station. Two lines featured a "Taste of Nations" selection, representing a different ethnic cuisine each day; and there were two lines doing stir-frying (where passengers chose the raw ingredients and cooks prepared them on the spot).

There ship also has also typical grill areas where hamburgers, hot dogs, and even grilled steak sandwiches are made, and of course Carnival's 24-hour pizzeria, which also offers Caesar salads.




Ship Overview

Launched in 2005 as the fourth vessel in the Conquest-class, Carnival Liberty was the first ship in Carnival's fleet to receive the cruise line's latest "Fun Ship 2.0" upgrade in 2011. Her interiors reflect some of the original theme—a sparkling tribute to artists and craftsmen—but also features new dining options and poolside bars. Carnival Liberty alternates weekly sailings to the Eastern and Western Caribbean from her departure home port in Miami.

Taking Fun Ships to new lengths and widths, Conquest-class ships are among the largest in the Carnival fleet. They're basically larger and more feature-filled versions of earlier Destiny-class vessels. More space translates into additional decks, an upscale steak house, and even more bars and lounges; however, well-proportioned public areas belie the ships' massive size. You'll hardly notice that there's slightly less space per passenger after you take a thrilling trip down the spiral waterslide.

Public rooms flow forward and aft from stunning central atriums. Just off each ship's main boulevard is an array of specialty bars, dance lounges, discos, piano bars, and show lounges, plus seating areas along the indoor promenades. The promenade can get crowded between dinner seatings and show-lounge performances, but with so many different places to spend time, you're sure to find one with plenty of room and an atmosphere to suit your taste.

The world's largest cruise line—and one of the most widely recognized—originated its "Fun Ship" concept in 1972 and has been launching party-packed superliners with signature red funnels ever since. The line's ever-growing fleet features entertainment and activities designed for passengers of all ages, from game shows and lip sync competitions to twisting waterslides and mini golf. These ships are a reliable choice for families as well as young singles and couples who want a vacation that won’t break the bank.

Nearly all onboard dining options are included in the fare, as are comedy and production shows, children’s programs, and use of state-of-the-art fitness centers. With some of the most comfortable accommodations at sea, large new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern, while older vessels are updated with popular features, such as the poolside BlueIguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina, the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, and Guy’s Burger Joint, created with Food Network star Guy Fieri.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • The lounge chairs on the deck above the aft Lido pool are almost always quiet
  • Steak houses on these ships are some of the best restaurants—and dining bargains—at sea
  • The ships have been retrofitted with Carnival’s Seaside Theatres—the jumbo-size poolside LED screens

Cons

  • Cabins and balconies on deck 8 from mid-ship to aft are beneath the Lido and suffer from pool-deck noise overhead
  • Seating at the casino bar can be noisy with sound from the slot machines dueling with nearby musicians
  • Likewise, sound from the Seaside Theatre can be annoyingly loud
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 1,160
  • Entered Service 2005
  • Gross Tons 110,000
  • Length 952 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,487
  • Passenger Capacity 2,974 (3,700 max)
  • Width 116 feet
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Feb 23, 2017

Review of Carnival Liberty

Melodie Shepherd Age: 51 Occupation:Nurse Number of Cruises: 2 Cruise Line: Carnival Ship: Carnival Liberty Sailing Date: 2016-06-28 Itinerary: Caribean We had unexplained itinerary changes prior to departure. Did not get to port in cozumel which is main reason for trip and we were told they were aware of the issue (ship thrusters ) prior to departure. . The only port we got to go to - Progresso is not worth going to, murky, dirty beaches. Long

lines, Mediocre food at best Average cabin Horrible , you can only sit through so many trivia and bingo games... very few pool activities , tiny, tiny pool , small water slide only open half the time Well since we had to cancel ours , due to carnival not going to port - No advice except don't book with carnival

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  • New

Nov 21, 2016

Crowded party ship

First cruise and based on the experience, maybe the last. It was crowded and the food was quantity over quality. Plenty of partiers but not much fun. Best entertainment was a casino band.

  • New

Jun 28, 2016

Caribean

We had unexplained itinerary changes prior to departure. Did not get to port in cozumel which is main reason for trip and we were told they were aware of the issue (ship thrusters ) prior to departure. . The only port we got to go to - Progresso is not worth going to, murky, dirty beaches. Long lines, Mediocre food at best Average cabin Horrible , you can only sit through so many trivia and bingo games... very few pool activities

, tiny, tiny pool , small water slide only open half the time Well since we had to cancel ours , due to carnival not going to port - No advice except don't book with carnival

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By Paco_CR

  • New

Dec 17, 2015

Eastern Caribbean

This was the first time my wife and I had taken a cruise. We booked our cruise over the phone with a cruise specialist from Carnival who helped us make our cabin selection. It was our 30th anniversary during the cruise, which made this a very special event for us. All in all the cruise met or exceeded most of our expectations. Other than the muster drill and being stacked in like sardines for 30 minutes, it was a fun and exciting romantic adventure

for us. The food was average in the Lido Buffet. However the burgers from Guy Fieri's Burger Bar were very good. The burritos from the burrito bar were tasty also. Dinner in one of the main dinning rooms was spotty at best. Formal nights the service was a bit slower but nothing to get angry or upset about. We did choose one night in the steakhouse, which was worth the upcharge, as it was our anniversary night meal. Pizza was was hit or miss as were the deli sandwiches. Room service for breakfast was nice but the food was warm at best. The room met our expectations. Clean and roomy enough for two. We had a balcony room on the Panorama Deck (level 10). We were on the starboard side of the ship and were able to see Old San Juan the whole time we were sailing out of port. Our cabin attendants kept the room top notch the whole time and provided towel sculptures every afternoon after making up the room. Our son paid for a "Happy Anniversary" decor online for us as a gift, this was put up the afternoon of our anniversary. There were plenty of activities to take part in throughout the entire cruise. We watched a Rock-n-Roll show one night, went to the comedy club a couple of other nights, gambled in the casino several times. We even spent some time one evening watching a Filipino hard rock cover band in one of the small lounges. Most of the passengers were friendly and only a very very very small percentage were ever rude or rowdy. The Thursday night Spanish Trivia, Gender Challenge, Bingo and Marriage Game in the main theater were the highlight of the trip. Even though our Spanish was limited we did well for that contest. I played on the men's team for the Gender Challenge and assisted with a couple of tough answers to help with the win. We did not do well on Bingo but we were selected as the middle couple in the Marriage Game. That was the most fun we have ever had as a couple! Don't miss the very inexpensive cab ride to The Boatyard in Barbados.Only $10 to get there per couple by shared taxi. $20 pp entrance fee, gets you a free drink, chairs and umbrella on beach. Food was good, drinks were strong and sassy, beach was clean, water clear and calm. Free ride back to cruise ship included. The best $50 per couple investment for a great beach party!Beautiful ship, great staff, disappointing cruise. Expensive but worth it was the Dolphin Discovery Swim in Tortola from the St. Thomas port call. It was $150pp but included fast ferry to Tortola, expedited entry through BVI customs and immigration. Quick ride to Dolphin Discovery. Spent 30 minutes in water with 3 other couples and had a blast! Pictures available for purchase on CD were a bit pricey but worth it. Purchased lunch there for about $12. We also received a free marine biology class on dolphins that are kept there while waiting for ride back to ferry. Easy out through BVI customs and immigration. Quick and slightly choppy ride back to St. Thomas. Nice long and tedious wait to get through US Customs and Immigration - nearly 1 hour for the whole group was the only downside. This was the first cruise for both my wife and I, so we have no other similar experiences to compare other than land only trips to San Juan. We are a married couple in our early 50's from Texas. We arrived in San Juan early morning on Saturday and was granted an early check in a no extra charge at The Condado Lagoon Villas at The Caribe Hilton, which was just a short 5 minute ride to the cruise terminal in Old San Juan. this is very nice place to stay for a night or a week, which we have done several times. Day One - Sunday - Embarkation in San Juan We arrived at the cruise terminal at 12 noon and as expected the line to embarkation was already about 150 people long. The union porters took our luggage and tagged them with a colorful ribbon indicating "Faster to Fun" or F2F. A Carnival agent spotted our Cruise Critic hats we were wearing and asked if we were F2F (this was not the only time our CC gear garnered preferential treatment). We happily responded with a yes and were whisked to a much sorter line off to go left. This was one a couple if instances were F2F was worth the $50 fee. We proceeded through all the checkpoints quickly, received our Sail and Sign Cards and entered the ship within 15 minutes of arrival. Our cabin was ready to go as soon as we boarded, another F2F perk. The cabin door and interior were decorated with Happy Anniversary decor, which was pre-paid by our eldest son. The cabin, 1043, had a very nice balcony and great view starboard from deck 10, Panorama Deck. Our luggage had not yet arrived, so we decided to ho grab some food. We stopped off at Guy's Burger Joint and were very impressed by our meal. All staff interactions were met with great smiles an a willingness to exceed expectations. after lunch we tried to explore as much if the shop as possible, before making a late afternoon run to the CVS just a few blocks west of the terminal for few sundry goods and a case of bottled water. Upon our return our checked baggage had been delivered to our cabin door. We put away our garments and necessities and relaxed a bit in the cabin. Dinner was open seating on this first night and again our expectations were exceeded by the staff in the Silver Olympic dining room. Afterwards we decided to explore some more and found ourselves chilling at the Serenity deck right before being called for the mandatory muster drill. This was actually the only low point if the cruise. Even though it was mandatory to attend, the high humidity and temperature, even at 9:30 in the evening, combined with thousands of bodies in a tight space, made it very uncomfortable for many of us for well over 25 minutes. Due to our center location for muster we were unable to gain a decent rail view up topside, so we decided to do a more subdued send off from our balcony. We had a great view of the ship backing up and turning to port and watching Old San Juan fade away over the next 15-20 minutes. On a scale from 1-10, I would rate the first day as an 8 due to the "sardines in a can" feeling during muster. Day Two - Monday - St. Thomas We had pre-scheduled the Dolphin Discovery excursion to Tortola an had an 8 am call in the Venetian Showroom. We hit the Lido buffet at 7 am and found the varied selection for food quite satisfying an plentiful. Coffee was a bit strong but with some real cream and natural sugar, it was doable. We then headed to the Venetian and our group of about 24 followed our guide off the ship and straight to our ferry ride. We made the slightly choppy ride to Road a Town in about 45 minutes. A quick trip through custom/immigration for the BVI and then we loaded into a large limo van and headed to the Discovery location. After a brief discussion on expectations we were split into groups of about 8 people. Our expectation again were exceeded as we spent nearly an hour in the water with our dolphin, Gracia. We touched, held , rode on her belly and we were pushed from behind. I even was asked to give her some if her fish rewards. Afterwards we were able to purchase snacks and drinks while choosing if we wanted photos of the excursions, which were a bit pricey, but such a great keepsake on CD, thumb drive a 3 prints. We even received a conservation session which included the lineage of all the dolphins at this location. We then headed back to Charlotte Amalie where there were some computer snafus that delayed entry through US immigration and customs by about 30 minutes. Then back to the ship for some sun in the Serenity area. Dinner was at Diamond's Steakhouse, as it was our 30th Anniversary day. We enjoyed a nice and relaxed 3 course meal with excellent service. The food was top notch and the cheesecake was completely decadent. We then booked a couples massage at the spa for the next evening. We knocked off early at about 10 pm as the previous 3 days of non-stop action in San Juan and the Liberty had us drained. Day Three - Tuesday - Day at Sea We slept in a little and had breakfast on Lido deck. Omelette were very well prepared your way, coffee still very strong. We then proceeded to the Venetian for a very informative session on the various ports and excursions available. Felipe, the cruise director, discussed each port and the top 5 excursions for each. There was an excursion for each port of call given away via raffle after Felipe discussed the individual ports. We did some more exploration and found ourselves on the Serenity deck once more. Lunch was deli sandwiches made to order on the Lido deck. We rested some more on our balcony and then headed to our assigned dinner in the Silver Olympic dinning room. Tonight was elegant night and while most passengers were dressed appropriately, quite a few were not, which was a bit disappointing. We met our assigned waitstaff of Carlos, Abdul and Samuel. They never missed a beat, taking orders, filling glasses, pulling plates and changing flatware as needed. They took the time to ask about us and where we were from. We felt very welcomed by these gentlemen. They even sang Happy Anniversary to us! The food was great and we even made conversation with fellow diners nearby. We decided to eat light due to our scheduled couples massage later in the evening. Just before we left the dining room we were entertained by the entire waitstaff dancing all over the room. After dinner we strolled the Promenade deck and took in the casino for a few rounds of slots before heading to the cabin to change into gym clothes. The couples massage was just the right touch to end the day, I took the bamboo massage while my wife had the hot stone massage. When we booked the day before the staff at the spa knew it was our anniversary and offered an extra 25 minutes for both of us at no extra charge! After the pampering received at the spa we called it a night again at about 10 pm. Day Four - Wednesday - Barbados We awoke early and hit breakfast at 7 am on the Lido deck. We did not book an excursion and decided to grab a cab and head over to The Boatyard. It was a wise choice as we were able to split a cab with 2 other couples and only pay $5 each for the short 10 minute trip. Entry into the Boatyard was $15 each, which included a chair,an umbrella and return cab ride back to the ship. The water was very calm, clear and inviting. Food and drinks were available for purchase and there were clear restrooms on site. This was a very good bargain. We stayed about 4 hours and headed back for a late lunch on the ship. We decided to try Guy's again and were just as thrilled this time as we were on day one. We roamed around again and visited the Rum Bar for some Caribbean Coladas that hit the spot! Dinner again at our assigned table and with our 3 great servers. More merriment at the end with dancing and signing all around! We made the late showing of the Rock and Roll Show in the Venetian, which was well presented by some very talented singers and dancers. Afterwards we headed to the comedy club to Azeem for the last performance if he night. He was freaking hilarious. Initially he followed his routine but not even 5 minutes into into if he was interacting with several guests and next thing we know us he was improvising god last 20 minutes with some extremely funny adult humor on the fly! After that we hit the casino for a while and then hit the hay. Day Five - Thursday - St Lucia The night before we booked an excursion through the TV in the room and picked a beach trip to the northern side of the island. Our tour guide LeeAnn, a native Lucian, met us in the Venetian and escorted us to our tour bus. She was very informative during our drive to the northern tip where we stopped to take pictures of some great breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. We then headed to Pigeon Island National Park Beach, where we spent over 3 hours on a small secluded beach. Lounge chairs were included. We found a shady spot and enjoyed our time talking with fellow passengers in the very calm and clear water and on the beach. We then headed back to the ship and readied up for dinner. Again, we received excellent service as well more signing and dancing, afterwards we caught the tail end if Spanish language trivia in the Venetian, followed by name the TV theme song trivia. we stayed for the Gender Game, pitting a group of 15 men against 15 women answering opposite gender specific questions. I joined the men on stage for this fun event. After that we stayed to play some bingo and then waited for the Marriage game to start. Initially a couple with the least amount of married time was selected with only 3 days under their belts. Next came the couple with the most years, which happened to be their 50th anniversary. The final slot was contested by about 9 couple ranging in married time from 20-30 years. We decided to try for that slot. There was an initial "kiss off" that pared it down to us and another couple. The final "kiss off", Felipe the Cruise Director, challenged us to make it passionate. Well I just grabbed my wife and started kissing and spinning her around like ice skaters. We were selected based on our "high energy"! The game proper was similar to "The Newlywed Game" in that the husbands were led offstage and the wives answered 10 questions. Then while backstage the men were asked the same question. This led to some very funny and "R" rates responses. In the end all couple received a Carnival ship trophy, but the 50 year married couple also received some very nice jewelry for her, compliments of Felipe. We hit the sack again after all the festivities. One thing I noticed was that at all times there were staff members cleaning in all areas all of the time. Not once during the whole cruise did we see anything that could even be considered as dirty. They even painted the sides of the ship in every port where the tugs scuffed the white paint of Liberty. Most impressed by this attention to detail. Day Six - Friday - St. Kitts Breakfast in Lido again with omelettes. Very consistent with good food quality. We did a spur of the moment excursion to Cockleshell Beach in the southern part of the island . After a 30 minute twisty and up and Finn ride with outstanding views, we arrived at the beach. We received a welcome fruit punch drink and had access to chairs, umbrellas right on the water. We had a great view of Nevis about 3-4 miles way. The clear, warm and calm waters were just perfect. Our driver picked us up on time after a 3 hour stay. We caught late lunch again at both Lido buffet and Guy's. It was during lunch that several passengers recognized us from the marriage show as it was replayed on the ships channel all day long. We asked at guest services if a DVD was available of that event but was informed they stopped that program a while back due to very low interest. We hit the casino a bit before dinner. It was the second elegant night of the cruise. This time more passengers were better dressed for dinner that the previous elegant evening. More signing and dancing ensued and again another tasty meal. We spent some time walking around later as well as hit the casino again before going to sleep. Day Seven - Saturday - St. Maarten Breakfast as usual and a jaunt down to the cab stand for a cab ride to Maho beach. $8 each and we were grouped with 2 other couples. We were dropped off at the Sunset Bar and Grill. We laid $20 for 2 loungers and an umbrella. We watched the planes fly 50 feet overhead while landing at Princess Julianna Airport. We stayed from about 10 am until another 1:30 pm. Beach was quite rocky and inclined dramatically into the moderate surf. By the time we left the were about 600-700 people in the area, compared to about 50 when we first arrived. Lunch again on the ship at Guys and the spent the afternoon on the aft pool area which is adults only. Last night of dinner with the finest waitstaff afloat. They even got me get up and dance Gundham Style with them. Afterwards we said our goodbyes to the staff and fellow diners. Throughout the day debarkation instructions were on ships TV. We had F2F and need edit as we had an 11am flight out in the morning. We hit the sack about 10pm. Day Eight - Sunday - San Juan The ship arrived at about 6am to the dock. We hit the Lido buffet about that time and headed back to our room to take all our luggage to our assigned F2F area in the Olympic Gold dining area. At about 6:50 we were herded to Zero deck and we're off the ship and through customs by 7:30. Made it to the airport by 8am! All in all I would give this cruise 9.0 out of 10.0. Our cabin was kept tidy by our cabin steward and he provided some very cute towel animals and such. He kept ice in our ice bucket every evening and we never once had to call for service on the room. I used the Landry services to press my shirts, slacks and jacket and a nominal charge. I was not disappointed with this service also. Actually other than a couple of rude and obnoxious passengers and the muster drill, everything else exceeded our expectations beyond belief. We will cruise on Carnival again, as we decided this morning to come back in two years with our adult sons. Until then Bon Voyage to all who sail on Liberty"

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By Tina_CR

  • New

Sep 16, 2015

Caribbean

This was my first cruise. It was ok because of the travel group I was with. The travel group regularly books trips throughout the year with Carnival. Every day the group had their own fun activities planned (line dancing, dominoes, card games ect) and every night there was a theme party. This was the best part of the trip. Had I not been with the group I am positive I would not have had as much fun. The group already has their 2016 Carnival cruise

planned and I would love to share their company again but I cannot see spending money with Carnival. Real Low Budget Experience. After the third day, I was tired of the same menu. The food was warm when I picked it up. By the time I sat down, it was cold. On one occasion during breakfast, I had to get another serving of food because the eggs were cold as well as the pancakes. During the formal dining nights, the service took forever and once again the food was barely warm. At some point I decided to skip formal dining. Late one night, I decided to get a snack. The only thing available was pizza which was paper thin and unappetizing. Not to mention having to stand on line for 25 minutes. As for fish, there were only two options. Barely warm fillet from the buffet or heavily battered greasy fried Talapia. I had no choice but to purchase dinner when visiting the ports or eating wraps which I eventually got tired of like the rest of the food. The alcoholic drinks were watered down and over priced. The stateroom was clean but there was rust on the balcony which indicated the ship was in need of a serious make over. The onboard activities were boring and anything worth doing was crowded. For the type of money spent, Carnival provided a low budget experience. When purchasing duty free liquor on the ship, I was informed that Carnival changed the policy and no longer delivered purchases to the room the night before departure. Instead you had to stand on a line on the morning of departure to retrieve your liquor. I was on line one mile long from 6:30 am until 8:30 am. The whole procedure was chaotic. People who purchased liquor on Carnival were able to go to the front of the line whereas those who did not purchase liquor on Carnival had to wait. Need I say the amount of tension surfacing from those on the line. It was as if Carnival was punishing patrons for purchasing alcohol outside of the ship. The entire system was disorganized. Over all, I made the best of it but I would think twice before going on another Carnival Cruise.

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