This is our sixth cruise and we really enjoy our time on them. I planned this cruise back in November and have been following the Cruise Critic reviews for the ship ever since then. We finally went on the Liberty on March 31 and were excited for our adventure. We are outgoing, happy people - unfortunately, we were ultimately disappointed.
Our Cruise Director was Jaime was ok, but she didn't measure up in our opinion to the others we've had with Carnival -- Big Tex and Karl with a K. The main shows were dull since taking out the variety with the exception that the ventriloquist was great. The comedy shows were very funny and we enjoyed them but in my mind, they took some fun out of the main show by separating them. Karaoke was a dud and we normally love that. They separated the adults from the kids and the kids could only go early in the night. We went to some of the adult karaoke and no one was singing. They wouldn't let my daughter sing because she wasn't 18 even though no one was singing. We used to spend big bucks on cocktails while waiting to hear our daughter sing every night after the shows. That was very disappointing for us.
The food was ok, but I miss the old menus. The lobster and prime rib were the highlights of the cruise. All the fish recipes that we tried were not good and there were lots of items that seemed to cut back in cost like macaroni and cheese, lasagna, and fried chicken. There were no more cocktail shrimp (except lobster night), escargot, duck, or other higher end items. The fried shrimp that they used in many recipes were especially terrible. While we were looking forward to Guys Burgers and Blue Iguana Cantina, I didn't think that they were so great. Yes, there were lots of sauces and add-ons, but they didn't measure up to the expectation.
Sorry. I'm not a whiner (but maybe a winer!) Let me continue.
The upbeat part was that the service of the dining room staff and stateroom stewards was exceptional. They always addressed us by name and went out of their way to be sure we were happy. The pool barkeepers were not as nice though, but it was a Spring Break cruise and I'm sure they were overwhelmed. Nevertheless, a smile and "I'll be right with you" would have been nice. They never smiled!
I might was well continue with my ports in this review. Again, we've been to better with the exception of St. Thomas. We went snorkeling off the beach of Sapphire Beach in St. Thomas and as always, it was great. What a wonderful beach! The snorkeling is good there and we saw parrotfish, angelfish, sea urchins (lots of them), and coral formations. It was paradise.
Half Moon Cay was not as nice for us since we don't like to just sit on the beach. We snorkeled there and in my opinion, it was a waste of money. There were some fish along the rocks to the far left of the beach, but they were few and far between with no coral. We did see two huge barracuda. I'm sure if we had ventured beyond the beach area, we may have found more off-shore snorkeling options, but we couldn't find anywhere to rent transportation away from the beach like a bike or dune buggy. The free buffet here was not of our liking -- there was jerk chicken, but could not find a breast, only legs and thighs. The sides were not appealing and while it took us awhile to find it, there is a drink station there. Otherwise you have to buy the overpriced water. I know, wah, wah, wah.
We've been to San Juan before and just walked around the Old Town. We went to San Cristobal fort and there were lots of iguanas in the grassy areas. That was really cool. I also got two Coach purses from street vendors for about $60 for both. They were very nice and well made.
Grand Turk was the biggest disappointment for me as I was so excited to go there and see the reef drop-off. We went on the Ultimate Snorkeling Adventure from Carnival. However, the snorkeling was about 20 or so feet deep at the drop off. Although they fed the fish to bring them up, it was a different perspective. Diving would have been much better, but we haven't got to that yet. They did stop at a shallower location and we saw two nurse sharks, but there wasn't much coral there and it wasn't very good. There is a port store shopping area and beach at the ship which was nothing special. We went to Jack's Shack and ate, but it wasn't that great -- no conch and the local fish was tilapia. Outside of the port, there is nothing there, absolutely nothing. Some people went downtown, but they weren't impressed. Maybe we didn't visit the port with the right plans, but I had done my research and thought I was on track.
The last sea day, we were ready to go home. I hate to be a bummer and we love cruising, but this wasn't our best trip. I really tried to plan it out and wanted our family to have fun!