Hi, Just off the Carnival Liberty Yesterday. All in all had a good time, however Don't think I will be doing Carnival again for a LONG time. This was my 21'st cruise, and went with a group of friends, all of us younger in our 20's
Embarkation - Embarkation was very smooth, that was because we got there at 10am. We checked in, and went to a room to sit in. People who were not there by 11, had to wait outside until about 1130, and then stand in line for another hour, for those who got there after 2pm, the line was about 30 minutes for security and 30 minutes for check in I guess. It paid to get there early! We were on the ship at 1130.
The Ship - The ship was nice, clean and new looking - no complaints at all! I will comment on the Movies under the Stars however that they have. It is the most under-used thing on the ship. During the day they just have a screen saver playing with some light background music. THey could have used it to show concerts or kids movies during the day like princess does. In the evening other cruise lines with the Movies under the Stars make a big production out of it, Free pop-corn etc. Carnival actually charges for the pop corn! The concerts were nice though having late dinner actually paid off. We would sit in the Hot tub and watch the concerts. The concerts shown were Tom Jones, Tina Turner, CHer, Andrew Lloyd weber, the beach boys, and a few others. Movies included Cars, Indiana Jones, Mission Impossible 3, and a few others. The hot tubs were nice and big, never overcrowded and were continuously on. Hours 8-10p for the midship and 8a-midnight for the aft ones.
Entertainment - PATHETIC. In 8 days there were 4 (YES FOUR) Stage shows. Of which 2 were the normal production shows, 1 comedian, and 1 singer. There was also 1 midnight comedian. The other 4 nights broke down to 2 Karaoke contests in place of main shows, as well as the welcome aboard show which was just 8 contestants playing a pass the spoon game, and also a game show night. Other lines I have been on and even past Carnival Cruises have had a show each night, and usually carnival has a MINIMUM of 3 midnight comedians/week I will say, however that the game shows, and activities put on by the cruise staff was really good. Todd Wittmar was the cruise director and he was AWESOME! The pool deck party was the best I have seen. They started out in different lounges having a pub crawl and ended up on the main deck, where it was packed with people!
Staff - For the most part the staff was friendly, (Especially the tipped positions). Some of them in the buffet area were not friendly at all and didn't know what a smile was. I am used to RCCL and NCL where they walked around with juices/lemonade in the buffet area to refill, but not to be found on this Ship.
Food - the Dining room was good, but the buffet was a joke. The hot food section of the buffet has about 7 choices, thats it. It is like a snack bar compared to the other cruise lines choices. They also had a sandwich bar/deli open 11-11, a 24 hour pizzeria, and a burger/hot dog grill.
Ports, Not going to dwell on them too much, as it has been done on several other reviews and on port pages. We went to San Juan, St. Thomas, Antigua, and Tortola.
Debarkation - chose the self assist (Carried off our own bags) was off the ship by 8am. Painless.
In Closing, We had a great time, but the service, entertainment and dining wasn't what we had experienced on Princess, NCL, and RCCL. This ship is 110,000 tons and holds the same amount of people as the 138,000Ton Voyager (RCCL) Class ship. You can really feel how much more cramped the ship is. If you are not upstairs by 730, forget getting a lawn chair (Chair hogs). We got a great deal on the ship, and thats why we chose that cruise. I feel we got what we paid for, however, and that is why the cruise was so cheap. Next time we will go on NCL, Princess, or most likely RCCL.