This is my 4th cruise with Carnival so things are pretty standard across the fleet. We boarded the Liberty on 12-29-2012 for our 1st New Year's Cruise. We normally cruise at Christmas, but due to school holidays we were able to go for New Year.
Embarkation....... Smooth, fast moving, no problems, on board about noon.
1st issue .... wait listed for late dinner, given anytime dining. We personally do not care for this as we like to have the same waiter and table guests each evening. Went to guest services as soon as we boarded and was told I would need to speak to the Maitre D and that he would be available from 1-3. We then were told we could have lunch on the Lido deck as our cabin would not be ready until 1:30. Off to lunch we went. I actually loved the new Cantina area and the burrito was great. My husband went through the buffet line and had a variety that all appeared good.
We made our way to our cabin just before 1:30 and no luggage as of yet (which is to be expected). We settled in and relaxed waiting for the safety drill. After the safety drill we set sail and my husband, son and I went up to deck 11 to watch as we made our way into the ocean.
Dinner that evening for us was the buffet and then hubby and son went to relax and I went to the casino.
Sea Day #1 - We always order room service in the A.M. every day to get our coffee to start off our day. Room service always seemed to be early even though you tell them what time you would like to have your coffee. Always pleasant and smiling, we did enjoy our coffee every morning early or not. We venture up to breakfast after we have our coffee and the first day was not what we expected.....3 omelette stations, 2 of which have 2 chefs with 3 burners and 1 with 2 chefs with 3 burners. We love our omelettes but unfortunately the ship had an electrical issue the 1st morning and each chef could only make 1 omelet at a time.....so you can imagine what the lines were like. It was corrected in a timely manner and we got to enjoy our omelette's. Other buffet food is so so to bad (powdered scramble eggs - NASTY), this morning had pancakes, that could have been nuked, based on our son only eating the middle that was soft, sausage ok, potatoes ok and ham good but salty. Rest of the day...mom casino, dad and son in and out of cabin just relaxing.
Normally a cruise has 2 "formal nights". Liberty actually added a 3rd for New Years eve. Bad idea, when you do not let passengers know and your only prepared for 2:( Ok, so we get dressed for the 1st elegant night, got our dining changed to late as requested, but not with a group, only the 3 of us. Enter dining room, seated by our waiter Feder**o. Expecting the traditional Lobster/prime rib venue for formal night...NOT, menu changed and the only way you knew was if you checked the TV menu for dinner that night. Very fast to take order, but then disappears. We are served bread, offered bar service and then, here comes starters....Anxiously waiting, I dive in and COLD (no this is supposed to be a hot appetizer)call the waiter over and tell him this is cold, he looks me in the eye and says "Sorry ma'am that is the way it comes off the line" I a like EXCUSE ME? No this is not the way it comes off the line, you did not get it to table fast enough. Dinner same, lukewarm at best and same attitude about oh well.
Port day in Cozumel (oops SURPRISE 2nd elegant night when you come back) mind you we are in Cozumel until 6pm. and it is also New Year's eve. So here we go, lobster, prime rib, etc tonight. Again "Chico" takes order fast and appetizers are flying to the table...I may be misinformed, but aren't mozzarella sticks supposed to be hot and gooey? NOT again, stone cold, hard as a rock and when I ask waiter "Fred**co" I am told "sorry ma'am that is the way it comes off the line" Are you serious! I get up and walk out leaving hubby and son in dismay. I am off to the buffet, just to get something to eat and have had it with the dining room!!
New Year's Eve party was good! Lot's of people, lots of security and very well done!
Belize is next day..... why after New Year's eve? I stayed on board as we had been here before, hubby and son ventured out for a few hours. Glad I did not go, tender each way was quite a long ride.... about 15 minutes each way.
Next to day's we opt for dinner at the buffet since most of the food is the same as dining room and a lot warmer (note: warm NOT hot). Roatan goes smooth, we dock, we have tour scheduled (NOT ON CARNIVAL)great company Victor Bodden Tours. You will not be disappointed! Saw the entire island including a visit to Banarama for 1.5 hours for a mere $25.00 PP tour is called "Fun-n-Sun".
Our final port is Grand Cayman.....MY favorite Port!!!(Been there about 4 times) another fiasco!! Anchor at 10am, 5 other ships in port with us, we are still waiting to get off at 11;45 for a 12:20 tour (not Carnival). so again, to bad, so sad ma'am...I finally take charge of my group (hubby and son) and say we are going down to the tender. We make our way off about noon (so much for shopping for a few hours 1st. Short tender to port, I have to wonder why the Carnival Magic was allowed to use their life boats as tenders and Liberty not....Oh but wait, you have to pay port charges to do so....Passengers pay port charges why not cruise lines other than Holland America (which Carnival owns). We are told the delay was due to a medical emergency so tenders were stopped?????? Not 5 other ships in port were going ashore no problem. Ok Carnival, now that I have to catch the last tender at 5:15 pm to sail at 6, why was the Crew allowed to stay onshore until later than we were when you cut into our time? OK back on board and here is the 3rd ELEGANT night (that no one knew about until you are out to sea). We pass, now all of a sudden, we are getting calls from the Maitre D t see if we are coming to dinner and being assured it would be to our liking....No Thank You! Now they have figured out we have ordered coffee every morning from room service, now we are getting calls to see if that is ok. (A little late, the last sea day to call and see if we got our room service....really?????)
Last sea day, the dining room looked very appealing and my birthday was debarkation day, so we opted to try 1 last try. Much to my surprise....new waiter, very pleasant, starters and entrees arrive hot and cooked to order!. I have to wonder why I have to wait until day 6 of a 7 day cruise to get what I asked for from day 1 and have paid for 3 times? Past guest (which my family is, or 1st time cruiser) should not have to deal with the lack of service that Carnival is beginning to provide. The only Rave I have for the staff on this ship is OUR ROOM STEWARD -JOAQUIN aka JOE. Nicest man and most accommodating to each and every request. If the rest of the staff on the Liberty learned to follow suit, perhaps she could be 1 heck of a ship with 1 hell of a crew:))