I took my family on the Carnival Liberty on March 16 - 23. Overall, the cruise was good. Let me just start from the beginning.
The embarkation Process was really long. If you sail on Carnival, please be sure to sign up for the First to the Fun (FTTF). It will be completely worth it. It's an additional fee, but only one person needs to sign up per state room, and everyone in the room gets to get on board sooner. Otherwise, please prepare to wait for a while. If you have young children, this can be the longest wait ever (trust me....I took seven kids). Once on board, things got better. They did a sail away party, and there was not much more waiting afterwards.
One of the things I loved about the ship was much of the staff. Every place I went onboard, they were all very pleasant, helpful, and just friendly. It didn't seem as if it was forced at all. It seemed that it was very sincere. I felt the people enjoyed their jobs. The cruise director was Karl with a K, and he was the most energetic cruise director I've ever met. I saw him everywhere, and he is genuinely a nice guy. Each time he saw me, he checked in to see how I was enjoying myself. That was huge for me.
The dining room staff was second to none. I thought we had the best team, but so did many others on board lol. They were patient with my family (who all of a sudden became very picky on this cruise). Not once did I feel that my family was burdening the staff. They were very warm, friendly, and patient. It doesn't get any better than that for me. My only problem with the dining room was the person who comes around selling the shots. He really got on my nerves. If I say no, that's my final answer. I would encourage everyone not to do the shots anyways because they are $8 each. Not worth it at all.
The ship had great food each night that pleasantly surprised me. There was so much food, that we finally got tired of eating (which was huge for my family. They LOVE food...lol). My kids became picky because they wanted to try some of everything. I don't think I've ever seen so many plates at one table before. The wait staff was so patient, and I had to do something extra for them.
Now for the not so good. I was hoping that there would be plenty of things for the kiddos to do. Carnival is generally known for being the fun ships. For the kiddos, it wasn't so much fun. The activities for kids did not seem age appropriate. How many children 12 and older want to play Apples to Apples? There were some activities for the kids to enjoy, but they just weren't plentiful. I felt really badly that there wasn't much for the kids.
There was plenty for adults to enjoy. They had night clubs, bars (Alchemy was the favorite), and parties. If you connect with other cruisers on the message boards, it makes for a much more exicting cruise experience. If I hadn't met some people from Cruise Critic, I would have been bored out of my mind.
The shows on board were not at all what I expected. The only show I enjoyed was the Love and Marriage game. Karl was an excellent host, and I love how he engaged the contestants and the audience. Other than that, the shows were just not good.
Leaving the ship was very easy. Would I cruise with Carnival again? I would if I went with a group of people or met people from the message boards. Other than that, I'm not sure if I would. It wasn't just bad, but I didn't get that feeling of wanting to stay like I have with other cruise lines.