Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by cruisetoheaven: A Fast Trip to the South
Overall Member Rating
A Fast Trip to the South
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
I will never do a southern carribbean cruise again unless we start farther south. Going from Cape Canavaral to Aruba in 8 days the ship has to go faster so it is rougher and windier. Not condusive to sitting in the Serentity Spa - which closed many times due to high wind conditions. I don't like sitting at the pool with 800 children so basically when the Serenitiy Spa are pools closed the others were very full.
Overall we did not like the ship as well as last years ship ( Carnival Freedom ). This one seems older, harder to get around in and yet it is layed out the same. I did not like the gym as there were too many unsupervised younger kids barreling around. I have never seen this on another ship ( and we have been on many). There was one group of kids who consistently RAN around the ship, knocking into people etc. Staff would yell at them but no one seemd to be able to catch them and return them to their parents. Not cool.I went to a yoga class - not well done at all. No More warm up excercies - had us doing stuff at the beginning you normally would do after you warm up those muscle groups. Some of our party did like the running machines but said there was always alonf line up to use them.
We enjoyed the majority of the staff everywhere - our cabin people were great, the bar staff, the dining staff were amazing. The coffee bar guy was really good (although he could have used some help - he was run off his feet). We found that with a lot of the staff on this boat - always run off their feet trying to do all the work. THe front desk many times only had one person working, The poor girl working the late shift one night had to deal with a floor fulkl of people with no air conditioning ( including our room ). THey took all night to fix it but it worked and things were good. SOme of the people were very rude so I must commend her however boos to the cruise ship line for not giving her help or training her better to deal with it all. SO unfair. People had her in tears. Lines ups at the counter, 6 phone lines ringing and she did it all. Good for her. ANd she never once got mad at a client. .
Our dining staff had issues as well - the kitchen screwed up our orders several times, my husband is celiac ( he ordered his meal 1 day ahead each day and they still screwed it up ), so his menu was very limited on this trip. Last year they went out of their way to make his meals, make special desserts he could have. This year they sent plates to him with gluten on it - very unprofessional. Our waiter staff did their best to fix it all - they were very good. Our menus were wonderful - not Royal Carribbean style but good. Great variety, always came at the right temperature for the food being served, our sommelier knew her wines and made good suggestions, our Matre d" was awesome. Some nights were boring but good food, other nghts were great and we could not try it all. Very disappointed with the shark appetizer - it was a ball coated and deep fried so you never really tasted shark. The shrimp and lobster were good but much smaller than the Carribbean ships food. We never ate at any of the a la carte as the dining room was more than sufficient. We did wine tasting at the al la carte and noticed that the main window was open to the lounge area and people walking by - not very private. The Lido deck was always too crowed and you need to line up for food. We went a couple of times for lunch but tended to eat whatever was in the shorter lineups. One of us went to Mongolian Grill and it took her 1/2 an hour.
The Adult only areas are crowded and if you do not get there early you cannot find a seat - not much shade provided for most of it . So sun screen was a must up there, and then 1/2 the time it closed due to wind. The back adult pool was not as crowded but the pizza area was there so it was ful of kids - not very quiet. The mini golf is under the steam stack of the boat so it is very very noisy and very windy.
The main stage shows were very old. Seen that done that. Please change them. Same old music, same old dance steps - how do you do ballet to 50's hop music? Who is the director? We went to 2 shows, stopped in at a couple others and never went back. The towel puppet show on the last day was awesome and better and funnier than the main shows. My husband and I did not like the comedy shows - tooooo crude but our kids ( ages 21 - 30) did so that's how that goes. None of us like the piano bar. It was great the first nite but after that the piano player seemed drunk toward the end of the night, wound not play requests unless he wanted to, had little kids who could not sing up singing with him, most nights his bar was not full and most people popped in and immedaitly popped out. The Cuban bar band downstairs was great - always full and great dance music. The girl and guy singing in the lobby were fantastic - played a bit from every generation and normally packed them in and had people on the balconies listening in and singing along. The guitar player on the other hand cleared them out.
Overall as we are a pretty easy going bunch we enjoyed our cruise. The food was great, the service was great, the stops were good ( Aruba was ok, Curacao was great and Grand Turk was great ). Esay to get on and off ship, excursions were easy and well done ( we never had trouble getting around other than we wanted a smaller personal trip for the 11 of us in Aruba and they had us on heavily loaded buses which was ok but not ideal). They have limited smaller vehicles in Aruba so if you want to go with just your group book it ahead. Our guide in Grand Turk was great. In Curacao we walked - its a good hike from the boat to the main shopping/eating area so either walk or get a taxi. Of the three Curacao is the shopping/Eating lunch, nice little bar area. Grand Turk had great beaches and good paddle boarding, snorkeling, scuba, fishing. Aruba we just toured so don't know about the fishing. Water activities were many.
I guess mostly we were disappointed with the lack of really good entertainment in every venue, especially the main show room, the lack of trivia, etc activities that were scheduled during meal times, There would be 7 activities at one time and nothing at another time - very poorly arranged. Most of the trivias were at 6 when we were at supper. The karaoke turned into Geriaoke as somehow on this cruise it was all older people singing really old songs. Was not fun this year. Part of that due to the high volume of families with small children. More ppol time and less bar time activities for them I guess. Not many younger people- mostly families or older people. Every cruise is different so we made do. Were not at work so its a good day .Overall we had a great cruise but the majority of us will never go on this ship again. Even last year on the Freedom we find Carnival ships compared to Roayl CArribbean ones we have been on to be very crowded in the Promenade and in the DIning Rooms.
One more thing the photographers you trip over them in the promenade every night. I must say on this particular cruise the phots were not up to par. Last year on the Carnival Freedom they were awesome. This year we were hard put to find one that was really good. Our faces were shiny and those with glasses had reflections. They lost our phots and had to redo them the night before we left. Not very professional although they wer eall very nice and polite. There are 400 people on the ship and the aisle gets to be 2-3 people wide in the promenade. ANd you have to cross it to get to your dining room. A struggle for people with disabilities or wheel chairs. I watched some of them and it was difficult and slow going. Add to that the running children and you can see why we had problems this year. We had had good luck with Carnival last year on the Freedom but this cruise was not really all there. Not sure why. We discussed moving back to Royall Carribbean but perhaps we will try Carvnivals bigger ship next time and see how that goes. On the ROyal Carribbean Freedom there were 900 kids and we never saw them. So we will try the Breeze next time maybe. Less
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Room was great. CLean, was kept clean. Staff was AWESOME. Very friendly, very helpful, really enjoyed tham all from the steward to the cleaners and even the hallway cleaners.
Port and Shore Excursions
Unless you are into water activities there is not much to see. They have a golf course but its fairly pricey and you need to book ahead. A lot of the tourist souveniers are made in Indonesia and China. Not somewhere I would go back too. Was very disappointed - its a big rock. No vegetation to speak of but the beaches are very nice.
Loved Curacao. A long walk to the main shopping area through high end stores. Once to the main area downtown was better. Great little bar/cafes although hard to find a really good air conditioned one. More European style here as their economy is much better than Aruba. Much more clean looking ( Aruba was clean just looks older in places ). Not much fresh local fruit on these two islands though as they don't have much soil. Did not go to the beaches as they are not close to the ship. Had the best marguarita in a little café. She supplied toasted bread of some kind for no charge. Lovely people. Sorry cannot remember name. Would go back here but not go back to Aruba.
We booked on the ship - very reasonable price. Easy to get to the kiosk to get going at 830. Nice guide - very informative - gave us a history of the island as we went along. There were 7 of us. Got to the beach - had a great place to lock up our stuff while we were on the water. Was very safety conscious. Kept track of all his clients. Was good at what he did ( snorkeling - paddleboarding ) He also is an accomplished diver so this was pretty basic for him. Bathrooms are in the little shack, as well as a rinse off hose when you get back and a place to change if you so desire. Everyone there was very friendly. We paddle boarded down a bit, had a beach break, paddle boarded back to where we came from but stayed out in the ocean a bit and tied the board to a tie down. Went snorkeling on the third biggest reef in the world, saw a baby stingray lots of fish coral reef . We were allowed to wander about a bit so you never ran into anyone or had your face smacked by anyone, He kept track of us all. Never let anyone gewt out too far. He was very patient and a good instructor. THen we paddled back and my daughter and I got to paddle a bit more as we waited for the others to get back. They were great. We had time to go back to the beach by the cruise ship and have lunch and swim till the boat left at 3.
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