Embarkation was smooth even with the computers down when we arrived. Our balcony room was wonderful and having the kids in an inside across the hall was convenient. Requested a down comforter to be placed under the bottom sheet so the twins pushed together were more comfortable-very nice. Brought a case of bottled water for excursion days (just checked them curbside) and kept them cool in the cleared out fridge in the room. Weather could not have been more perfect.
The big screen TV was crisp and clear and I really enjoyed the drive-in movie effect parked on a lounge chair at night watching Shrek and also a Beyonce concert that was shown during a beautiful Caribbean sunset.
The Lido band was reggae and very good, we bought the 4-CD collection for our back yard bbq's this summer for $20. Always found a chair on deck, especially if we waited until after noon when many people abandoned chairs to go get lunch.
Our dining room waitstaff Regino and Maung kept us entertained and steered us towards the best entrees for the night. My husband ordered multiple orders of favorite dishes no problem. The kids often ordered hamburgers, pizza or hot dogs in the dining room after the first couple of days, once again no problem. We were told by Carnival in advance that there would only be one formal night, on Monday night, and then found out once on board and sans extra formal gear, that there was a second optional formal night on Thursday.
Teen daughter made friends on day one and we had to book time with her the rest of the cruise. Nine year old had two bad experiences at Camp Carnival and refused to go back-one Carnival staff grabbed Playstation controllers from his hand and other children who were playing and stated "time's up" out of the blue and another time there was a paper art contest and another child told my child he was making a piece of #@#^&& junk. Too much like bullying to me, both staff and the other child. He had a blast in the arcade, on the slide and in the pools.
Did an independent semi-sub/snorkel tour in Bahamas, rented a right wheel Civic in Grand Cayman and toured the north side of the island (found the beach with the huge starfish!) and went to the exclusive Chac-Chi beach to the right of the peer in Costa Maya (see my review for Chac-Chi on Costa Maya thread for a great (adventurous bordering on illegal) beach day.
Tried the self-disembarkation for the first time with ten pieces of luggage and three carry ons for five people as we wanted to hit the road back to St. Louis to beat traffic, and then we ended up not getting called off the ship until close to 8:30. We woke at 5:30 to prepare for a possible 6:30 call. No breakfast or coffee as we were too afraid Deck 6 (the last deck to be called) would be called and we would not be together for customs. Next time I'm getting room service for disembarkation.
Shows were fun. Midnight Comedy show was too short-25 minutes. Captain was charming-aren't they all. Our Silver Dining Room Maitre d' was very accommodating helping us to change tables to sit with our neighbors. Many staff especially in the Lido deck restaurant did not appear happy and some casino staff were downright rude, especially when son lost coins in broken arcade machines and refunds were requested.
All in all I would recommend this cruise itinerary and ship but will never book another cruise under seven days as we really missed that extra day we've had in the past. The Liberty also offers an 8 day alternating itinerary and sails for Europe in three weeks.
I sure do miss that ship-what a wonderful vacation!