Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by aprilfoolforcruise: Great Cruise for our Family
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Great Cruise for our Family
Traveling with Family...My husband and I, our four girls 18,16,13,6, and my parents in their 60's both in great health.
Flew into Fort Lauderdale, stayed there two nights in the Dania Beach area at the Hyatt Cruise port (liked it the best) and at Hilton Homewood suites (liked this also, but it seemed a little beat up on walls and things.. like almost realy nice, but rough around the edges. Plenty shopping and restaurants around the area. Enjoyed Dania Beach on the day in Fort Lauderdale. Costs about 12.00 per car, but we loved the beach. We stayed in Fort Lauderdale because the hotels were cheaper. We rented a car from Dollar the second and third (one rental day total) days to get to Mimai. We returned the car to Miami airport where there is a shuttle to the cruise terminal. Arrived about 1:30 PM at cruise terminal and were on the boat in about 20 min. Fast, easy
I would call myself a seasoned cruiser as the this is my 13th cruise. I was unwilling to try a Carnival More Cruise before now because their business was driven mainly to young party crowds. They have turned a corner to appeal to families...not that there wasn't plenty of ways to drink and party on board, but there was room for family fun.
The layout of the ship has its ups and downs. I liked it for the most part although on the public space decks it is difficult to get from one side of the ship to the next and the shopping area was often crowded. It was crowded near the Golden dining room entrance due to photographers on level three. These areas were clean and had a nice feel to them. I was really grateful I did not have to walk throught the casino. It had a walkway to the side. The variety of rooms was nice and gave the ship a comfy feel. The libray was a little small and was almost literally never open to check out books. It was open for use, but do not depend on getting books to read. There were a variety of games that we played as a family. The internet cafe is tucked in an odd corner behind a lounge. I only used it once to check in our flight. The decor was tasteful and not gawdy as I kind of expected.
Please read about my cabin on the cabin reviews room 2121 category 6B
Food was good. I loved the dining room and Kadek Buddi was our favorit on table 201 for any time dining deck 3. He was so great with my 6 year old and made oragami frogs, robots, airplanes etc. We find a great waiter on any time dining and stick with them. The main dishes are smaller, but that worked great since there are courses before this. My prime rib, lobster, and shrimp were good. The shrimp aren't large, but cooked just right. The food was good for the most part... a few dishes not amazing, but always could find something we liked. My 6 yearold had the fruit, pizza, and french fries every night pretty much and they cut up her pizza for her. loved it!The chocolate melting cake is divine and is available every night. Most other deserts were not impressive except the tirimisu, but that is true on any ship. The soups were amazaing particularly the mushroom soup. My kids tried frog legs, and escargot. Seemed to like it. Emilee buffet is good..you can always find something, not amazing... but I loved Guy's burger joint and got the ringer 3 times. The fries are amazing. I enjoyed the fish and chips on the second level of emilee's. They had a lot of weird raw and cold dishes also that looked a little more then I could handle. I ate at the Blue cantina for breakfast 4 different mornings with a breakfast burrito. Yummy. I never tried the mongolian grill the line was too long and I never had a made to order omelet also because of the line. We ate breakfast in the dining room a few mornings. Mostly same fare as Emilee's but in a relaxed atmosphere. didn't try Diamonds. The pizza was quite good. I liked it thin and expecially liked the mushroom pizza. taster bar was somewhat hidden and I didn't find it until the last night and was too full to try. The pastry bar for a few on a lower floor I didn't try. Didn't try room service. Felt the hours were odd for eating sometimes and when the venues were open for eating... particularly emilee's.. like a snack mid afternoon besides pizza or burger. Hot chocolate in the dining room was excellent.
Pools too small and a bit cold although my kids used them nearly ever day. Waterslide was slow not amazing. The pool areas too small and too crowded.
Kids club was great. My 6 year old loved it, but I was not impressed with the "family hours" that included buying things to do with your kids. It took away from prime time in the kids club for play time. Lots of activities during regular hours and my 6 year old loved it. She came with us to each port except in San Juan. She was able to stay in the kids club without a fee during the port time which usually costs on other ships. So that was very appreciated. We did not use any late night or babysitting services.
Comedy club excellent and loved the family friendly shows. Did not attend adult shows. Enjoyed by all in our group. All four of the comedians. Loved the cruise director Karl with a K. The main shows were good, but they didn't have one every night which my kids missed. They really missed having a magician.
All staff always tried to learn our names and call us by our names particularly the dining staff. Our room steward Benedicto was excellent. Kind, fun, towel animals, clean room, seemed to anticipate needs.
Disembarkation was simple and fast. We were grateful not to get disembarkation info 2 days into our cruise. It was the second to last night so we weren't thinking about getting off the ship all week. We carried off our luggage. Off and out in 20 mins. Best embarakation and disembarakation we ever experienced.
I would cruise Carnival again, but still always read carefully about the ship as there is big diversity amongst Carnival ships. There was more drinking I noticed then other ships, but it didn't annoy except when they took their beer bottles in the pool. Didn't use the adult area. Used the golf on a very windy and it is very windy, but amusing to golf in the wind. Didn't use basketball area always in use. Ship was very clean.
I reviewed all the ports in depth in the seperate spaces provided and hope they show up on the main review. This is my first review. Less
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Cabin review: 6B2121
Bathroom a little larger then most. Annoying curtain, but the shower didn't seem quite as small. Liked the shelving in the bathroom. Plenty of room for luggage and all we brought. Me and my husband in one room (we kept my 6 year old luggage in our room) and our four kids all girls ages 6 to 18 in a room next door. We did not have connecting rooms. The beds were fairly comfortable, but there was a sheet and comforter and it was a little hot with comforter, but cool without it. Pillows not amazing, but usable. Would have like the temperature to go a little lower for sleepying, but it was not a big deal. Quiet except sometimes coming into or leaving a port. Room bigger then industry average and I noticed. Small fridge. Loved in the room of four that there was a couch that turned into a bed and then a pull down over the couch leaving more room around and above the other two beds. Its a clever design and much more roomy for four in a room. Window nice size. Felt very little movement in cabin. Decor was tasteful and appealing.
Port and Shore Excursions
Family of 6 and my parents (60's). Walk right off the boat and on to the beach. We did not do any ship shore excursions. There is a restricted cruise port area which felt very safe and clean. There are two large pools in a closed port area. We did not use them...one is good for kids...there other bellies up to a bar...and if you were a drinker it seemed ideal. We snorkeled and swam in the cruise port area basically in the shadow of the ship. There is a huge drop off near a deep part of the swimming area where the ship is docked. Its my second time to this port and it was fun. It is a little silty close to shore, but farther off a little deeper we snorkeled and saw a lot of fish. My last trip here we did the same, but also paid a driver that we found just outside the shopping area to go inland a ways. I don't beleive it was anymore then 20 or 30 for three of us We walked a beach and through a ratty part of town. The beach was amzaing. Tip...it is less crowded to the right of the port entrance of the dock. The swimming area is smaller and has some rocky areas, but everyone seems to go left. There are always fish near rocks. I didn't notice the right side until after my second trip. My mom and I walked a ways down on the left and out of the cruiseport area where there were boats and jset skis and water skiers. You can just hire someone right there to do all those activities. We did not do any ship shore exursions. Bathrooms close and available in the cruise port area.
Everyone in our group really enjoyed this port. kids age 18 to 6.
Family of 6 with my parents (60,s). This is a great and relaxing stop. No hassles or worries about finding a beach. It felt safe and the water was beautiful. The sand was amazing. This is my second time to Half Moon Cay and I forgot how wonderful the sand is for building sandcastles and walking along the beach. We did a little snorkeling and there were some fish. I'm sure we might have seen more if we had gone to a reef on an excursion, but we were satisfied. We brought our own snorkel gear. We have never rented a cabana or any gear there although it might have been fun to sea kayak. We did not do any paid exursions.
Very safe and fun for swimming. Bathroom readily available.
I rate this port a four only in the respect that you have to tender into the port and the barbaque on Island is just soso. Although we all found something to eat. Its tough to cook for so many in limited cooking facilities and the food can get cold easily in the trays. Make sure to get tender tickets early. If you get up first thing and go to the theater there is no waiting for a tender. It takes a long time to load and unload the boat. It's a short ride, but I love to be able to just walk on and off the boat.
Everyone in our group liked this port the best. Kids 18 to 6
Family of six plus my parents (60's). We left our 6 year old in the kids club on the ship. This is my second time to Puerto Rico. I enjoy the port, but generally it is hot. The two forts to view are within walking distance and they are fun to walk through. Bring water. I understand Cafe Puerto Rico is the place to eat, but we had 4 kids with us so really they aren't going to enjoy authentic food. They beaches I understand are quite a distance and require a cab ride. We opted out of that. My husband and I have both seen the forts before so we got off the boat, found an hour tour around the city on a tour bus for 10.00 each and we were satisfied with viewing the city and hearing its background. We did not do any ship excursions. Trying to stay in a budget with our family. There is a free trolley...green. We did not take that either time being here...but other reviews I saw did reccomend them if you didn't want to walk to the forts. We browsed a few shops.
Family of 6 plus my parents (60's). We really enjoyed this port particularly because I got a good tip from someone who came here before. I've been here prior and took a ship excursion to St. John. Beware of very aggressive taxi drivers when you get off the ship. To get to downtown St. Thomas it is 4 dollars each way per person and there is supposed to be better shopping there. I have never been. To the beaches it is 10.00 each way per person although I talked them down to 8.00 and gave a tip at the end. The driver takes you there and pick you up and the taxi drivers don't have you pay until the return trip so you know they will come back and get you. We took a taxi to Secret Harbor which is secluded and about a 20 min drive. It has bathroom and a restaurant although we didn't eat there. Uncle Albert was our driver and I would actually look for him when you get into port. They are all basically from the same company, but he was different, informative and friendly. He was the only cab driver to mention secret harbor and it was the one beach I wanted to go to and I wanted a cab driver that knew it. Many of the cab drivers were very aggressive and pushy. Look like you know what you want to do and they won't be so pushy. There is Meagan's beach and a few others that people say they like, but read others reveiws about this port to learn more. Meagan's beach costs to go in. We snorkeled at Secret Harbor, had our own gear. Plenty of fish.. Maybe could have used water shoes, but did just fine. Clear beautiful water... great sand. Uncle Albert came back as promised. His taxi was an open area truck with a roof and comfortable seats.
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