Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by KittyMeowit: Eastern Caribbean - Sun and Sand!
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Eastern Caribbean - Sun and Sand!
Embarkation: I had done a back to back cruise (this was my second) so a little after everyone else left the cruise ship the folks doing back to back gathered in the lobby and a Carnival employee escorted us off, through customs and back on. They also gave me a new ship card. My husband arrived that morning and took the Carnival transfer from Ft Lauderdale airport. He was at port early so had to wait a short time for his zone to be called so he could board the ship. Overall a pretty smooth process.
Ship: One of the most beautifully decorated ships we have been on. Common areas were in good shape and it was pretty easy to navigate.
Service: In a word - fantastic. Everyone seemed happy and greeted you when you walked by. Dinio was our cabin steward and took great care of us. Service in the main dining room was also great. Cookie, Iputu and Raizhal were very kind and made our stay fun.
Food: Very good for the most part. Main dining room food was good although I More am not crazy about their new menu style. It feels like there aren't as many options and the layout is confusing. Guy's Burger Joint is a really great addition as is the Blue Iguana Cafe. You have to try the Chilius Maximus burger! We did not eat at the buffet but did order room service on a few of the mornings. It was delivered promptly and I was pleased to see that they offered salmon and bagels as one of the options. The fish and chips was also a nice option. The pizza was pretty poor as it has been on every ship I've been on.
Entertainment: This was the worst part of the cruise. You could tell that Carnival really cut their entertainment budget. With the exception of one night the entertainment in the main theater was either performed by the Canival singers and dancers (which we never care to watch) or by the cruise director with audience participation. For example, the Marriage Game used to be an additional entertainment option in a lounge. Now it's the main entertainment in the theater. We did enjoy the comedy stunt show. The cruise director, Brittany, was very hard to listen to. I'm sure she is a very nice person but every time she talks it is in this huge, fake, Moviefone voice. As a fellow cruiser described it "it seemed that she was on a children's TV show" because it was so over the top. The comedians that they had in the Victoria Lounge on most evenings were really good but you must arrive early. The adults only shows were always completely packed. Maybe because there wasn't much else to do?
Fitness: The sport deck was far too windy to run on so I headed to the gym. The good news was that there were plenty of machines open. The bad news is that they were probably open because it is incredibly hot and stuffy in the gym. I was sweating and uncomfortable before even working out!
Shore Excursions: I booked all of our excursions independently and was pleased with our results.
Debarkation: Possibly the fastest and smoothest we have seen. Less
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Cabin review: 1203
There were a few days that we could hear some loud banging noises. Maybe the waves hitting the side of the ship? Bring earplugs and you will be fine. Other than that it was a clean and comfortable cabin. Enjoy that you can view your portfolio as well as the dinner menu from your stateroom television.
Port and Shore Excursions
When we got off the ship there were many tour company stands in port. We chose to do the hop on hop off bus tour for $19 a person. They asked for your ship card and charged it to your onboard account.
There were a couple of stops in town for shopping (the second stop looked like it was the better shopping designation), the old lighthouse and the old salt flats. We were really amused by the donkeys and horses that roamed freely around the island. Finally they dropped us off at Governor's Beach. Wow…this was one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever seen and there was lots of good snorkeling right off the beach. Since we came with the hop on hop off bus we didn't get charged for chairs or admission.
After we got our fill of the beach and snorkeling we got a ride down the road to the Jack Shack. The owner (Jack) introduced himself and we ordered some rum punches as well as the cracked conch and the jerk chicken. Everything was really delicious - but you have to enjoy spicy food like we do!
Wish we could have spent more time here.
Just a day in paradise. This is Carnival's private island so there aren't a ton of things to do here. But that is fine by us. Catch one of the early tenders so you can have your choice of free beach chair and enjoy the turquoise waters and white sand. Carnival's employees cook barbecue out on the island so you don't even have to pay for food.
We got into port early so nothing was open yet, including the forts. For $10 you can catch an inland tour taxi where the guide gives you a little bit of history and then drops you off in town which is walking distance to the San Cristobal Fort (the larger of the forts in San Juan).
We did tour the fort, which is $3 admission per person and it was pretty neat. When you climb up top there are great views of San Juan.
After the fort we did some shopping in town. There were local vendors selling their crafts in the town square and stopped in a cafe for a latte.
Be prepared for lots of walking on uneven surfaces in San Jaun.
There are many shops right at the port and we were fortunate enough to be the only ship in port which is rare. We caught a shared ride taxi to Magen's Bay for $8 per person each way.
It is a $4 per person admission to the beach and if you would like to rent a chair is is $10 for each and you get $5 back when you return the chair. There are more expensive lounger options if you want them. There are trees that you can sit under if you want shade as well as bathroom facilities and showers.
The beach was absolutely beautiful however there was really no fish to be seen while snorkeling, at least not by where we were dropped off.
There were food and drink options available. The rum punch was good.