Lovely time, but room for improvement.: Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by BrendaD
Overall Member Rating
Lovely time, but room for improvement.
Destination: Western Caribbean
We flew into Fort Lauderdale arriving at 10:30 a.m. cruise day (I know - risky, but husband had to work and we didn't have choice). We used SAS Transportation and were transported to the Port of Miami in a very courteous and efficient manner. Carnival's boarding process was a breeze and took us all of 15 minutes before we were on board and exploring the Liberty. Now I'm not necessarily a "seasoned" cruiser with only 6 cruises under my belt, but I'm not a Newbie either so here goes my review.
My first take on Liberty - the decor is nothing to write home about (or maybe it is, but not in a good way). It's loud and kind of tacky and just not my cup of tea. My 18 YO nephew pointed out that this was a "Carnival" ship and therefore the "Circus" decor I alluded to made sense. I had to agree. That being said, the crew works incredibly hard to keep the ship clean around More the clock and they do a wonderful job of it. The layout of the ship is very confusing since there are a couple of decks that don't have through access so you end up having to go up a deck and across to then come down and arrive at the deck you're looking for. It made for some frustrating moments when running late for shows.
The cabin was a little shabby in areas, but that really wasn't a big deal since we didn't spend a whole lot of time in it. The bathroom in the cabin while clean, still had an underlying sewer smell to it throughout the entire cruise. The AC was spotty as well. At times it would get very humid inside the cabin, but it worked well enough to allow for comfortable enough sleeping at night (without covers that is). We mentioned it to the cabin steward who said others had complained also and that it was being "worked on". Interestingly, there were other parts of the ship such as the Victoria Lounge (where the Comedy shows are held) that were downright freezing!
Food was okay. We had anytime dining and ate in the dining room 3 times. This was due more to the itinerary and excursions we had booked for each of the ports than anything else. Quality of food was just okay. Waitstaff in the main dining room was outstanding the first 2 visits (AJ, Karyadana, & Ronaldo - you rock!). We had different waitstaff for the 3rd visit and they were not very friendly, the food was cold, and it made for very quick eating on our end.
Entertainment was very good all around. The cruise director, Karl with a K, the comedians, the juggler (I believe his act was titled "Evolution"), and the Carnival shows in general were all very entertaining and we had no complaints.
Liberty was the only ship in port on all port days except for Mahogany Bay:
Let me first say that Carnival needs to do something to improve it's tendering process. The entire process is tedious, time-consuming, and frustrating to say the least. We waited a good 45 minutes to board a tender for Belize (on a Carnival excursion) and a 90 minutes to board a tender for a 10 minute ride to Grand Cayman. The process really shortens the amount of time you have to spend in port.
Cozumel was lovely. We did an all-inclusive beach day at Mr. Sancho's and we thoroughly relaxed and enjoyed the beach, food, drinks, and the overall ambience.
Belize - We did the Altun Ha/River Wallace Tour through Carnival. I hated paying the inflated prices, but wanted to ensure we wouldn't miss the ship given the projected time/duration of the excursion. We had a wonderful time climbing the Mayan ruins, and then seeing the wildlife on the river. We saw crocs, dolphins, monkeys, manatees, iguanas, a tiger heron, and even a Tapir swimming across the river in front of our boat. The tour guide's excitement was contagious.
Mahogany Bay - We didn't book an excursion at this port so it was basically a quick "get off, get back on the ship" stop for us. I'd definitely book something if we were to visit again.
Grand Cayman - What a lovely island. We did some sightseeing using the island's public transportation system ($2.50pp - can't go wrong) after which we ended up at Seven Mile Beach to relax and swim in the beautiful water.
We had fun shopping at all 4 ports for the usual vacation souvenirs and took the time to chat with the locals every chance we got.
While we had a really nice time, I wasn't entirely thrilled with my experience on the Fun Ship so I don't think we'll be going on Carnival again in the near future, but we'll definitely continue to cruise. Less
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