In what has been a very strange summer, we left 100 degree temps in Minnesota and spent 7 days on the Carnival Liberty in the cooler Caribbean. Temps ran 80-90 all week, and while the humidity was always high, being from Minnesota, we were all used to humid weather.
I didn't know what to expect from cruising, or from Carnival, this being our first cruise. Let me first say that the service was beyond belief. Everyone smiled, was friendly and helpful, and cleaning staff we'd barely seen always greeted us, often by name. The wait staff in the dining area was amazing, and we'll miss Jayadi, Gusti and Kristian very much.
Carnival is about fun, Fun, FUN!!! and if that's your game, you'll find plenty to do. My wife and I are more low-key, though, and I was worried we'd be swarmed by the fun-seekers. Quite the contrary. There are places to find quiet, not least was our balcony. We paid just a little extra to get one of the few double-wide balconies, and I recommend it highly. We wound up losing a couch in the cabin, due to the layout, but in exchange, we had our our deck chair on the balcony, as well as two chairs and a table. A great place to sip wine and watch the ocean.
The decor of the ship matches the fun, Fun, FUN!!! attitude, and at first it struck us as a bit over the top. But it's kinda like Vegas- after a few days, you expect to see garish decor. The rooms, thankfully, are simple and appropriate.
The food was outstanding, highlighted by the Steakhouse dinner. We were given a free bottle of wine as we booked the steakhouse the first night. All of the steaks were cooked perfectly, even my order for "blue" (below rare), which was tender and warm throughout.
Announcements were often missed, as our the only speakers that worked in our room were in the bathroom, and those only used for the muster drill. We would have to scurry to open the hall door sometimes to catch important information: for instance, when our stop at Roatan was cancelled due to high winds.
Other than the winds at Roatan, we lucked out on the weather. A few cloudbursts, but nothing that interrupted any of our shore excursions. The ports (Costa Maya in Cozumel, Belize City, Grand Caymans) were virtually indistinguishable, sadly. They all seemed to sell the same "mayan" bags (made in China), Tortugas rum cakes (#1 souvenir for Cozumel, Belize AND Grand Cayman), and Diamond International shop of over-priced bling. If you're going to do some shopping, get away from the ports and go find something local. We never had enough time, regrettably.
Carnival did, as they try, exceed our expectations in nearly every regard, and we will definitely cruise with them again. We may look at other cruise lines just for comparison, but we were thrilled with the value we had for our vacation.