This was my first time ever on a cruise ship, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Our cruise lasted 8 nights and included stops in Aruba, Curacao and Grand Turk, with 3 days at sea. At first I was a little worried about the idea of 3 at sea days, but this ship has so much to do that we never were bored.
Food: Be prepared to gain 10 pounds while on the ship. The boat has several dining options for breakfast, lunch and dinner and we never got tired of the burrito stand or Guy Feiri's Burger Joint. I recommend requesting anytime dining for dinner in the main dining rooms. We did this and were able to avoid the mass of people heading to dinner at set times. The food in the dining room was good on most nights and you can order as many appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts as you like, so you're able to try different items. The service in the main dining areas was a bit slow, so expect to spend upwards of an hour at dinner. (But what else do you have to do, right?) Each night there was a "specialty" item on the menu that most people haven't tried. This allowed us to try shark and rabbit, which were both interesting. A few nights we had dinner on the Lido deck, which offers a vast variety of food, including a Mongolian Wok station, buffet-style Caribbean food, Pizza, Fish and Chips (on deck 10), burritos/tacos, and my personal favorite, Guy Feiri's Burger Joint. Nom nom nom. The first night we went to Diamonds Steakhouse which boasts items such as USDA Prime beef, escargot and lobster tail on their swanky menu. Although the service was phenomenal and the free bottle of wine we got for signing up was a plus, I didn't feel like the food quality was that much better than the food in the main dining rooms to justify the price. One more plus - room service is free, and you can request a menu to be brought to your room. This comes in handy for 1:00 am grilled cheese cravings. Just remember to tip when you order room service.
Entertainment: The Carnival Liberty has several entertainment options to appeal to just about anyone on the ship. Here are a few favorites:
Piano Man Bar - Number one favorite, by far. We frequented the bar every night and got to know the other passengers who kept coming back to hear Barry play and sing. Barry is an incredibly talented pianist who can play and sing everything from Bob Segar to Cee Lo Green. His sing-along style and bubbly personality ensured everyone in his bar had a great time.
Lobby Performers: We really enjoyed listening to Bilateral, the duo group who plays Latin music in the Lobby most nights. Great group. Also, Thomas plays acoustic guitar in the Lobby and on the Lido deck. This kid is phenomenal. He even came into the Piano bar and sang a duet with Barry on his off night. I don't anticipate he'll be singing on a cruise ship for much longer. He was a favorite for sure.
Games: The group games were fun for the most part. Brittany, (the cruise director), led the Gender Showdown one night which was really funny to watch. I felt like Bingo was a rip off, though. The person leading it was very sarcastic and condescending and it cost us $40 for about 15 minutes of play. We avoided other games led by this same person. We later learned she would not be returning on any more Carnival Cruises.
Comedy: Comedians on the ship were top-notch. It was like something you'd see on Comedy Central. I really enjoyed all of the comedy shows. Warning though: They are very, very raunchy and racy. Don't go if you're easily offended and definitely don't bring kids to the adult shows!
Shows in the Venetian Palace: We only saw one show, but it was good. The dancers were pretty good and the female singer was very talented.
Amusement: Make sure you go down the slide at least once! :) The mini-golf course is small but fun too, and there is a basketball court and volleyball court in the same area. You can buy a pack of cards at the casino for $1.00 to play group games.
Exercise: There is a big gym on the 11th floor of the ship. I did a yoga class for $14 one morning. The instructor was a fitness instructor, (not a yoga instructor), and didn't know the names for the poses. I thought it was decent but would have preferred a certified yoga instructor since the class was not free like the other classes.
Overall Decor: This ship is very oddly decorated. There is a combination of antique, flowery decor and ultra modern lights and fixtures. I'm not sure what the inspiration was in the decor of the main areas, but my guess is they wanted it to resemble a Vegas theme.
Bars: Our favorite bar was Alchemy. We loved the bartenders there and they knew us by name and drink on day 2. Red's and Blue Iguana are the two bars on the Lido deck. The Casino bar closes after all of the others, so if it's late and you still need a drink, try that bar. Two of us in our group did the Cheers program, and two of us didn't. I recommend this! They'll cut you off after you hit 15 drinks in one day, but you can still order drinks from room service or have someone else buy you drinks. Another option - when you hit 14 drinks, start buying your drinks and save #15 for your last one.
We did the Ultimate Snorkeling at Grand Turk and it was AMAZING!!! The staff on the boat was phenomenal. They fed the fish so there would be a good variety of them for us to see. The coral reefs and the thousand foot drop off after the reef was beautiful! I LOVED everything about this excursion! We were even able to pet a shark. This is a MUST-DO activity...you will not be disappointed!