My husband and I sailed on Carnival Liberty to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was our fourth cruise on Carnival, and certainly will not be the last! There is not one negative thing I could say about our experience.
We flew into Miami on Saturday morning (risky, I know) and used Carnival transfer service. We were greeted with friendly smiles and transported in a timely manner to the ship. Once there, it was barely a wink before we boarded the ship. Porters took our bags, we checked in, picked up our Sign and Sail cards (which we call Swipe and Spend) and we were off to the races.
Once on board, we were once again greeted with smiles and "How can we help you?" from staff. We purchased our wine package and confirmed our reservations for Diamonds steak house for our actual anniversary. Then it was off to Lido for lunch and a beverage.
We were shocked to find our cabin ready by the time we finished our lunch. We walked around the ship to learn the path to different places of interest, and by the time we were finished, our bags had arrived. Once unpacked, the vacation could really begin!
The ship is beautiful, and spotless. You cannot go anywhere without seeing someone cleaning. Our room was exactly as we expected (we really only sleep in there) and our location was convenient to stairs and elevator.
Muster drill went off without a hitch and the Sailaway party was fun. The sky was beautiful.
We enjoyed the Sea Day Brunch both times it was offered. It was unique and delicious. We ate breakfast in the dining room or Lido on the other days. For lunch we alternated at Guy's Burgers (to die for!), Deli, pizza (awesome!) or Lido. Buffet is buffet, but everything was tasty. We ate dinner each night in the Silver Olympian Dining room, except for the night we ate at Diamonds. Each night our servers Sawitree and Sheldon were pleasant and helpful, and the food was amazing.
Diamonds Steak House was a wonderful experience. We decided to eat there on our anniversary in order to dine alone. We were not disappointed. The service was exceptional, the food was excellent. The desserts are crazy; my husband ordered cheesecake not knowing it was a 14 oz serving! They also had a nice wine list, with both expensive and affordable wines (we went for affordable).
We spent most days by the main pool near the movie screen. There are plenty of loungers all around. We like to sit on upper deck under the screen, where it is shady. It's a quick walk down the steps to the pool, Guy's, Lido buffet or ice cream.
As for entertainment, the shows were great. The one you absolutely cannot miss is the Sammy Davis Jr./Frank Sinatra tribute by Christopher Alan Graves. It was probably the best show I've ever seen on a cruise ship. We didn't go to the comedy club after the first night; definitely not our cup of tea.
We really enjoyed the piano bar with Jonathan; he draws a great crowd and is so versatile. We also enjoyed the nightclub but really couldn't stay long in there as smoking is allowed in there (yuck!). DJ Spike is amazing though. You'll hear him in the club and throughout the ship. Music and Magic played in the lobby bar area most evenings, where we could enjoy a glass of wine and a dance or two before our late dinner. They are amazing. This is our second cruise with them; they were on Victory out of San Juan on our last cruise in February of 2012. Aaron and Tom are guitar players who play around the ship at various times, and there is a good Latin band as well.
I often read about drunks being loud in the hallways, or kids running around. I have to say we have never experienced either of these things on our cruises, and this trip was no exception. There were children on the ship, but they didn't bother anyone.
The cruise director Josh "Big Sexy" is personable and approachable. We saw him often and had a great time with him. His staff are all young, pleasant and energetic as well.
I have to say there is plenty to do on the ship. We don't do much during the day (game shows, bingo, etc.). We prefer to relax by the pool, read our book and people-watch. We love the night life, but never go to the casino. Shows, piano bar and dancing are where we spend the nights (sometimes until 3 am!) We enjoy dressing for dinner, formal on the "elegant nights", but you fit in any way you are dressed.
Disembarkation was simple enough. We waited until the last group as we had a late afternoon flight. We put our bags out the last night and only had a carry on to worry about. We ate breakfast at Lido and sat on the deck reading, dreading the last call. Customs was not too bad, then Carnival transfers got us back to Fr. Lauderdale airport. That place was a madhouse! Be prepared to be patient if you have to go there. And the food choices there are minimal.
All in all, we had a beautiful vacation and can't wait to start planning for our next Carnival cruise.