We went on the Carnival Liberty out of Port Canaveral on August 9th. It was a great trip. We started by staying at Days Inn, located near I-95 for their park, stay and sail deal. They were very good -- nice pool, great made to order breakfast, and the shuttle service was perfect (both taking us and picking us up). We were out for 8 nights, and had 4 sea days, which we enjoyed a lot. Our port of calls were Aruba, Caracao and Grand Turk. In Aruba we took a $15 pp bus tour of the island. The tour guide did a reasonable job, but I think he slanted a little of the information given. We drove though some neighborhoods, went to the rock formations, visited the California Lighthouse, the aloe factory, and were taken to the Eagle Beach for 2 hours before being returned to the ship. The next day we went to Curacao. We walked around the town and bought a few souvenirs. The floating bridge is pretty interesting; another ship was in port, and we saw the floating bridge moved to allow it to go back to sea. I didn't see any sandy beaches near the port. Our next port was Grand Turk. We stayed near the ship (we have a 3 year old who needs an afternoon nap!). The beach was beautiful. My daughter and husband snorkeled and saw fish, especially near the outer part of the roped-off swimming area. There were few locals and accompanying straw market type souvenirs here , so if you want those, get them in Curacao! I had read that you needed water shoes due to sharp coral, but we didn't find it to be a problem. Horses were available on the beach, as well as hair braiding, massages, rum punch, etc. The beaches are owned by the cruise company, and chairs are complimentary.
The shows were all professional and well done. The food was great. The dining room for breakfast was especially nice with offerings such as steak (filet mignon!) and eggs, eggs Benedict, etc. We spent a lot of time at the pool and water slide. Dinners were wonderful, with great food. We took our 3 year old to Camp Carnival on all sea days for a couple hours -- she had a great time and always hated to leave. We loved the freedom and knowing she was having fun with other little people.
We opted for the "roll off" at departure for the first time. It went smoothly, and we got the shuttle back to the hotel and were in our vehicle headed north on I-95 by 9:05am.
The ship's staff was great. All were VERY pleasant. I was a little worried about that with prepaid gratuities, but that wasn't the case. We enjoyed our vacation and are anxious to do it again soon!