Carnival Liberty - Western Caribbean: Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by LakeErieLive
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Liberty - Western Caribbean
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Sailed from Ft. Lauderdale on a 6 day cruise.
We drove to the port...arrived at about 1:30pm. There were a bunch of cars and the line-up was slow as we passed through the security gates. There were at least 7 ships leaving on this Sunday. The check in was reasonably slow, but considering they were processing 3200 passengers, I guess it was not all that bad. Some have wondered about carrying beverages aboard the ship. We openly carried two 12 packs of canned soft drinks and two bottles of wine aboard with no questions asked. Getting off the ship was the easiest we ever exited. You were permitted to carry off your own luggage between 7-8:00am. Being on deck 1, we were called first and a little after 7:00 we got the call to go. We got off pronto, and walked across to get our car out of the garage. We actually were heading north on I-95 at 7:45am.
The Liberty is a beautiful ship. Still in there as More Carnival's newest ship, and it still appears clean and fit. The decoration is hard to describe, but bold might do. Some may like, and some may dislike the decorating scheme. It seems to have multiple themes.
Things we liked: We had an inside cabin on deck number one, way in the back of the ship. The room was spacious enough, and the bathroom bigger than others we have experienced. The storage space for clothes was very good, and our luggage fit nicely under the bed. Our steward was adequate, not the kind that people go ga-ga over. He never actually introduced himself to our traveling companions, but his service was fine. When we asked him to clear out the refrigerator, he just put the bottles and cans on one of the shelves. The refrigerator was hardly cold enough to keep the cans cold. I was glad I did not bring beer aboard as it would not have chilled them at all. The steward said there was no adjustment on the little fridge. The Hair dryer was fine and in the top drawer of the dresser. There was some vibration when the ship was moving at full speed, and the whole thing really shook when the side thruster were used to get in and out of port. A sure wake up call. Being in the back of the ship was fine to get to the silver olympian dining hall up on deck 3, and to take up to the lido deck for the buffet and the back pool, pizza place, and the lido deck grill, and ice cream machine.
We liked the theater, it was spacious, and has nice seating. There are pillars, but get there early enough and you can avoid them. There is really not a bad seat in the house. The entertainment was good. The singers Jason and Kendall were very good entertainers, and the Liberty Dancers were super. The two shows they did were both superb. We wished we had another night of them. The comedians they had were ok, did not stay up for the midnite adult comedy shows. We almost did not got to the passenger talent show, but it was actually super. One was better than the next, and only one was a little shaky. It was a very entertaining show. The Casino is large, and has all the games. It is very efficient in taking your money.
The food exceeded our expectations. We were concerned that Carnival may not be up to what we were used to, but the dining room food was very good. The service was outstanding. Our waiters were efficient and busy. We hardly had any waiting time. We sat down, and menus were presented, orders taken. The food arrived in good timing and never did we have to wait. We had 5:45 seating, and usually arrived closer to 6:00. We usually were moving out a little after 7:00. The dining staff does a lot of singing and dancing to entertain. Some might think it cheesy, but it was a fun touch--Oh yea! they are the fun ships aren't they? Do not miss the Chocolate Melting Cake. It is everything people say about it. I had to discipline myself from ordering it everynite. The buffet was a buffet. I read recent posting saying it was terrible, but it is a buffet. Really the only criticism I would have is that the buffet has long lines. We prefer the buffets with stations so you can just go up and get a salad, or add more vegetables, or another entree. These buffet lines are more set up to start at the beginning and go down the line. If you are going to complain about the food quality, go to the dining room for all your meals. No real food complaints, just so inconvenient to get food, and add to what you have.
The pizza guy is busy all the time. One after another and the pizza is good. Same for the french fries and hamburger at the grill.
The gym is really super for the few of us that used it. They have a lot of machines, free weights, and bikes etc. There are nice locker room facilities, with a sauna and a steam room. There is also a whirlpool in the spa/gym area.
The ship's layout takes a while to get used to. It is hard to figure how to get from the front of the ship to the back or the other way around. The little maps they give you are not all that clear. The one feature that we missed the most was the ability to walk outside from one end to the other below the top two decks. We are daily walkers and this ship does not have a wrap-around deck The walking/jogging deck is way up on the sports deck and it is quite short and out in the sun. It is only sane to walk up there way early or way late when the sun is not beating down on you.
The Casino is right on the main drag, and the smoke seeps out and is somewhat annoying as you walk down the main front to back walkway. The professional photographers set up every 15 feet were a bit annoying also, but they were busy so I guess some people liked them. We thought the shopping was a bit limited. Only two real "stores" and they were somewhat cramped. The shop staff was friendly, informative, and congenial. The pools seem small for as big a ship as it is. The big screen is fine, but not many people are up watching movies as it is windy and a little chilly at night. The on screen concerts all seemed to be shown when we were at dinner.
The weather in Freeport was not the best... we thought it not suitable for beaches, kayaking. It was cloudy and a little rainy but not torrential. We just walked off the ship and hung out at the little straw market at the dock...It was actually a fun time. The shops were all more or less the same, but the little setting entertaining. An amazing guy did the limbo for tips . The limbo guy got under a space that was no more than a foot high. There is also a nice little outdoor bar to sit and enjoy your favorite beverage.
After steaming out of Freeport with a heavy overcast, people wondered if the weather was going to ever clear up. We awoke Tuesday morning to beautiful clear skies and warm air. The decks quickly filled up. They had lounge chairs everywhere and skin was soon baking all over the ship.....It was a great day aboard the "beautiful Carnival Liberty". I read someone complain about the deck chairs being all crowded, but we really had no trouble.
Wednesday we awoke to the port of Grand Cayman. The place was crowded with seven ships in the harbor at anchor. With the huge Liberty, and the massive Freedom of the Seas, a whole lot of people were ashore on the Island. In addition there was the Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Imagination, the Vision of the Seas, the Radiance of the Seas, and the Costa Magica. That is seven huge ships. We had been to Grand Cayman in 1997 and the changes to the place were amazing...There are now a mess of stores in the main downtown area, and up and down the shore. We had a 1:30 tour and had a nice little lunch at the Paradise Inn along the waterfront. What a beautiful setting for a little turtle soup and fine beverages. The tour was disappointing and against my better judgement. (I wanted to do the Catamaran trip to Sting Ray City). We signed up for the Island tour on the ship. It was quite disappointing but most reviews of it on this website said it would be. The stop at the Tortuga Rum Factory was no more than a commercial selling event of the same products we had sampled on the ship the night before. Hell is hell--worthy of maybe a drive-by, a slow drive-by; but the little store is little and run down. The turtle farm was the prize in the tour. I would suggest others to just take a taxi to the turtle farm. The turtle farm is much bigger than I assumed housing far more turtles than I assumed. They are even expanding it at the present time. The tour guide we had was from New York for crying out loud. He used the word "actually" about every fourth word in his narrative and a fair amount of the things he told us were inaccurate. The trip was also slowed by the massive traffic gridlock in the downtown area. If you go to Grand Cayman and there are seven ships in port, get out of town and find something else to do.
Our Costa Maya day was very enjoyable.....We did the ship tour to Chocobean. It was actually a very good tour. I have read about all the David and Ivan tours, but my travel companions were just more comfortable with the ship's tour so we went that route. We had a very good tour guide...her name Ismarelda...and she gave us an informative tour. The site is very interesting. The differences to our tours to Chichen Itza and Tulum were interesting as they are really quite different places. To see the "hills" of uncovered ruins was interesting. I would have no trouble recommending the ship's tours. The number of people in our group was never oppressive. The dock area is quite interesting. We spent just about the right amount of time there. The shops there seem divided into two types. The outer semi-circle seem like regular shops that people can go in and browse around, select their items, pay and leave. With minimal harassment. The inner ring of shops are cluttered and the shop owners are all over you, not giving you time to browse when they are trying to close the deal. They are trying to close the deal before the deal is even imagined by the buyer. There is also street type entertainment with dancers etc. giving it all a festival feeling. There were two ships in port, and the amount of folks about right. The worst thing about Costa Maya was the way they had us exit the ship. We had a 10:30 tour so we needed to get off the ship in the first group. They had no groups. There was no orderly way off, just a big mess of people trying to get off all at one time. It was actually a dangerous situation with the stairwells crowded and people jammed together. It is something they should address.
We awoke Friday morning to lousy weather and rough seas. The ship was bouncing around pretty good and it rained most of the day. So, people just found things to do on the ship's inside areas (like eat), and toughed it out. It was pretty chilly outside when it was not raining. Getting off the ship Saturday morning it was 45 degrees in Fort Lauderdale. Less
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