Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by littlelibra16: Good Trip but some improvements could be made
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Good Trip but some improvements could be made
Just got back from an 8 night cruise on the Liberty with my husband. Had a very fun and relaxing time overall. There were things we outright LOVED about the boat/cruise, and there were things we would have liked to know prior to getting on-board.
General Ship Info: We liked the ship overall. The decor was pretty and the ship was clean. It's an older ship that doesn't have the bells and whistles of newer ships, but it was a good old-school kind of cruise. Two things we note in particular:
1. The ship is on the small side, and the layout is odd. There are floors that you cannot walk through either due to placement of a dining room or a galley, and the promenade (the main passage way through the ship) becomes very narrow when the photographers are out (which is always). And my husband and I still have no clue where the bathrooms are located (they are not always placed in the most logical spots).
2. The ship shows its wear and tear in parts. The rooms are a bit More beat up, and the balcony was showing signs of rust and wear. The balconies, except in the extended balcony rooms, are quite narrow, and somewhat uncomfortable to sit and relax on.
- Bingo on the boat was very disappointing compared to all other cruises that we have taken (including on Carnival). Each Bingo session only consisted of two games, with the second game using the same bingo sheet as the first (and the cards were not the pop tabs, they required daubers, so how well you did on the first game directly impacted how you did on the second). The games were generally held at night right before a show, felt rushed, and felt as if the entire activity was an afterthought. We really wished that there were more morning and late afternoon Bingo, like we have had on other trips.
- There was a ton of trivia, which we enjoyed, but we found some of the more popular trivia topics (Star Wars, Harry Potter, 80’s Trivia) were at times where too many other things were scheduled and/or smack in the middle of the day. On past cruises, some of the most popular trivia, as well as some of the games, like the Newlywed Show (which is now a main show itself) were held in the evening an hour or so before the main shows. That meant that more people could attend, and it also enhanced the quantity and quality of night activities offered.
- The Fun crew on our ship seemed tired, and not as enthusiastic as we have encountered in the past.
- We didn’t see Freddy once. â¹
- We only attended a couple of the Main Shows. They were good. The band is great, and the shows are very old school. The best show, however, was the Towel Animal Theater. It was geared towards children, and held at 11 am on the last sea day, but it was really cute and well done.
- We saw three of the four comedians on the ship. Two were fantastic. One less so. The room got crowded, but we were able to find seats for each of the shows without lining up before hand.
- A Recommendation to Carnival (if they read this): Update the Legends Show. The show still uses the same artists, even though many have lost their popularity and recognition among the new generation (e.g., Gloria Estefan, Britney Spears, Cher). Maybe add some more current artists to the mix (e.g., Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, Miley Cyrus). If possible, allow the Guest-Singers a choice of songs by the artist so that they aren’t locked into tired performances (does anyone really like ‘Crocodile Rock’ more than EVERY other Elton John song?)
- CASINO. The Casino had a good variety of games and slots, and the staff was very friendly (the hostess was talking to us by name on the second day), but it was FAR too smoky. Even the smoke free sections were filled with smoke. The casino also tended to get very very crowded at night. Unless you were willing to wait until late when the crowds dissipated, you may have a hard time getting a seat at a reasonably priced table. Also, the Casino bar was always uber crowded, and seemed understaffed. Very hard to get someone’s attention to snag a drink.
- THE ALCHEMY BAR. This was, by far, the BEST spot on the ship. The bartenders, Anna and Tetyana, made the effort from the beginning not only to wow you with their drink creations, but to create a festive and welcoming environment. Let this be known - I live in NYC and I do not like "trendy." I also do not love to sit at a bar for hours without another activity to keep me busy. But at the Alchemy Bar (which on first glance looks like every trendy spot I ever try to avoid), my husband and I were never bored and were always engaged with the bartenders and other guests on a totally non-pretentious level. We hung out for hours at a time and were there at least a little bit every night. We also made friends that we hung out with throughout the ship. Do not miss it. And if you have some time, take the martini class on one of the last two days of the cruise. You won't be disappointed.
--Three Words: GUY'S BURGER BAR. Amazing burgers. Must eat. Preferably several times. So good.
--The Diamond's Steakhouse. Totally worth the upcharge. Great food. Location is a bit odd with the windows facing the deck and sun chairs, but if you eat there late enough, you shouldn't have too much foot traffic walking by.
--Main Dining Room. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the American Table Menu. Prior to going on the cruise, I read several scathing reviews of the selection and the food, and was prepared for the worst, only to find that there were plenty of options each night, and the food was quite good. Neither my husband nor I had a bad meal in the main dining room the entire cruise. In fact, the barbeque spare ribs were possibly the best ribs I have EVER eaten...the meat literally fell off the bone. So yum!
-- In Grand Turk we did the Gibbs Cay Beach Snorkel and Ray experience. We left late because we were waiting for stragglers, and as a result the entire excursion felt rush and disorganized. It definitely was not the relaxing snorkeling/beach/ray excursion that was billed in the description.
-- In San Juan we took a walking tour (Behind the Walls), and had an amazing tour guide, Clem. She was an 84-year-old woman who loved her country, and loved to tell us about it and show us the highlights. Great excursion.
-- We went off on our own in St. Thomas, and chose to stay on the boat in St. Maarten.
- We were talked into upgrading to an Ocean Suite a few days before embarkation. The room was quite a nice size. The furnishings were definitely older, and were showing their wear and tear, but it served its purpose. The room included a “sitting room” which was great, and didn’t have us fighting over the bathroom mirror. Plenty of closet space.
-Our steward was nice enough, when we crossed paths, but he never went out of his way to introduce himself, or to ask us if there was anything that we needed. We had heard that the service in the Suites was exceptional, but we found it to be just ok.
-Even though our room was around the corner from the Atrium, we did not find the area noisy at all.
-The HUGE plus of upgrading to the suite was that we got priority embarkation and debarkation. Both were a breeze. We were whisked onto the boat with only having to wait for five or so minutes. And getting off the boat was so fast that we wound up moving up our flight home by four hours.
-The main pool area was loud (the DJ was always blasting music), and packed with kids and college students. We avoided it and went to the adults only Serenity Deck. The Serenity Deck could have been bigger, and included a pool (there was an adults only pool on the other end of the ship, but it was not convenient to the Serenity area), but we found the Serenity section to be relaxing and comfortable. And the hot tubs were great (but could get crowded depending on when you went, because there were only two).
-The treatments were very good (but, as expected, expensive), but Carnival should spend some money to upgrade the Spa experience. On other cruise lines, there are parts of the Spa that have pools, hot tubs, hot stone chairs to relax on, etc. The Liberty spa only had the treatment rooms, and a sauna/steam room.
Overall we had a really nice time, and would totally sail Carnival again, but probably on a slightly newer boat with a better general layout. Less
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Cabin review: Carnival Liberty Suite Empress 7274
- We were talked into upgrading to an Ocean Suite a few days before embarkation. The room was quite a nice size. The furnishings were definitely older, and were showing their wear and tear, but it served its purpose. The room included a “sitting room” which was great, and didn’t have us fighting over the bathroom mirror. Plenty of closet space.-The balcony was showing signs of rust and wear. The balconies, except in the extended balcony rooms, are quite narrow, and somewhat uncomfortable to sit and relax on.-Even though our room was around the corner from the Atrium, we did not find the area noisy at all.
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