Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by Axel44: Great Cruise on Liberty
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Great Cruise on Liberty
I took this cruise with my 3 daughters 19,11,9 as we go on a Dad-Daughter vacation every year. we have been on 3 other 3 day cruises to the Bahamas on the Sensation so, this would be our longest cruise by far. The Carnival Liberty rated well and the Ports of Call were very interesting (Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten). Since we only live 40 minutes from Port Canaveral, we were at the Radisson parking lot quickly but ran into some delay as it didn't look like they were prepared for all of the people showing up when they did. But, they got it squared away and we breezed through the boarding quickly. Upon boarding, we were surprised by the decorations on this ship. The twisted glass lights and the color changing chandeliers were instant hits. Admiring this ship's design and art would continue throughout the cruise.
We eventually settled into our interior cabin for 4 and the luggage arrived quickly. I know what you might be thinking, 1 small interior room with 3 More girls, this guy is crazy. But, hey, it worked very well and we actually had plenty of room. Yay Carnival. We met our room steward Alvin who would be a constant source of smiles for us the whole time and is an excellent ambassador for Carnival. Our room was always clean and stocked. We spent the rest of the day exploring the ship and eventually ate at the Lido buffet. We found the food at the buffet to be much faster and of equal or better quality than the main dining room fare. The buffet even had coq-au-vin one night which was surprisingly very good. The main dining room was very slow with the service and I found the food to be uninspired and bland. 1 hr. 40 minutes for 5 simple courses is ridiculous. So, we only ate there on the first formal night. Breakfast in the Lido buffet was consistent and had healthy options for all of us. We met Cory, the cruise director, on the first night and took the first of many "selfies" with him. His request to all of the passengers.
The next day was a sea day and we spent most of it at the pool or doing one of the many activities. grand Turk was as expected, pretty much a cruise line island with one main attraction "Margaritaville. We made our way to the beach and swam most of the time. A local fellow came by with some quenepas which we bought and scarfed down. Then San Juan. We walked through old San Juan shopping and ended the day with a horse and carriage ride. Since my oldest and I speak spanish, the tour was easy to understand. For lunch, we ate at a little restaurant near the old church which was fabulous even though we had to walk through a tourist shop to get to it. Then on to St. Thomas. I've never seen so many jewelry shops in one place in all my life. That is hazardous territory for a dad with 3 daughters. But, we made it through. We found a little Belgian chocolate shop also, yum. Then, we went on the tram ride to the top of the mountain which provided stunning views of the harbor and water. We took a few great pictures from there. That ran about $60 for 4 of us. Oh, we found on St. Thomas and St. Maarten that a cab ride to anywhere on either island was $8 per person, so, each time we moved around it was $40. we contemplated not going to Magens Bay but decided to go. Best decision of the whole trip. Again $40 and one very fun trip in the bus over the mountains and we were at Magens. Absolutely stunning. I lived in Hawaii for a while and Magens rivals any beach there. It was a little crowded but even that didn't take away from the beauty. After the cruise we all agreed that Magens Bay was the highlight of the whole trip. Back to the ship, $40, and we left St. Thomas. I definitely will go there again. On to St. Maarten. We left the ship which, by the way, was parked next to the humongous RC Allure. Wow, what a ship. Then, we took the water taxi into Phillipsburg. More shopping and walking aroung. the Dutch side of St. Maarten isn't very Dutch as the only thing we saw was a couple of dinky Dutch navy inflatable boats. So, we took a cab ride to the French side to Marigot ($40). Now, the French side is very French and we ate at Sarafinas bakery which was great. Best croissant I've had in a long long time. I speak French and was happy o get a little practice in while we were there. Maybe my rusty French isn't as good as I thought it was. LoL. Then we took a cab ($40) to Maho beach to watch the airplanes. That was very cool but also very, very crowded. Then back to the ship ($40). St. Maarten was nice and if I ever go back I'll definitely stay on the French side. The last two days were sea days which were composed of mucho pool time and games and other activities around the ship. Each night, after the kids were asleep, I went to the casino for 1-2 hours to unwind. The casino staff was very sociable and the pit bosses were great hosts. The only thing that bugged me there were the chairs for the slot machines. They had no backs and were very uncomfortable. I bet they would double their slot machine play if they changed the chairs out. All in all the Carnival Liberty is a beautifully appointed ship with a friendly and helpful staff. We had a great time and would sail on it again any time. Less
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