I had booked a suite at the Holiday Inn in Ft Lauderdale so that my husband, 2 sons (11 and 9), my Mother who I haven't seen in 2 years, and I could spend some quality time together. When we all arrived via different flights from different parts of the country, I called the hotel to have the shuttle van pick us up. When I gave her my last name, she said "Oh, you booked 2 rooms." I told her no, that I booked one suite for all of us to stay in. She then said, "Well, don't worry, we'll figure it out when you get here. Go out the doors to the right and the shuttle is already waiting on someone else there." Needless to say without going into great boring detail, when we arrived, I was told that all the suites were full because they had allowed other parties to "stay over" even though I had booked AND PAID FOR my room back in September. Because I had the prepaid reservation, I was stuck. They couldn't refund my money or even charge me less like the Manager John (who was the only extremely helpful and apologetic person that worked there) tried to do because of the rate type. So basically after a rocky start to my vacation, they gave us one mini suite and a regular room at the price I already paid. I am still not completely satisfied with the outcome. I find it totally unacceptable that they can take your money and make their own decisions on how to spend your money for you and not even have the courtesy to call you or anything! What a scam! If I could've got my money back, I would've stayed somewhere else although the rooms and pool were very nice; call ahead frequently to make sure your room is still available!!!!!!
This was our 3rd cruise, all on Carnival (Conquest, Valor, and now, Liberty). We booked adjoining rooms and had them open up our balconies to make one long one. Definitely the way to go! Our room showed a little wear, such as the table that had peeling varnish on it, not really that big of a deal. The beds weren't as comfortable as I remembered on the Valor, but still of good quality. Our room Steward was great. Can't remember his name, but he was really on top of things. He knew when we were gone to make up and turn down our beds. Hardly ever saw him. Perfect!!! I was ready to strangle our neighbors, though. They felt that it was OK to let their small child start screaming her lungs out around 6 AM every morning, Then, they would invite their loud and obnoxious friends out on their balcony shortly thereafter. Needless to say, some people are just plain rude and don't consider that not everyone likes to wake up at the crack of dawn - ESPECIALLY ON VACATION! I hope they are reading this. You know who you are!
Our waiter Ray and his assistants Miko and Triza were all excellent. By the 2nd night, Triza already had our drinks waiting for us and Ray knew how we wanted our steaks cooked. Of course, the food was great - including the chocolate melting cake!!
Steve the cruise director was funny as was the guy doing the slot tournament. Didn't have luck at the tournament, but on the first night, my Mom and I won a few hundred bucks on the dollar slots. Not much after that until Bingo on the last night, when I won $1000.00! Whoo hoo! That was a big surprise!
As far as shore excursions, we did everything on our own.
Nassau - took the water taxi over to Atlantis, played the slots, came out a little ahead. Really a beautiful place.
Grand Cayman - Be aware that you must line up early to get a tender #. If you don't have a Carnival excursion booked, you wait! I think this is wrong. They only let people booked through them have priority boarding. This definitely needs to be changed to ALL people with excursions booked no matter where they are through. I think I could've swam to shore faster than the amount of time it takes everyone to get on and get off. Went to the Turtle Farm. That was fun. We each got to hold a turtle. It's a lot smaller than I thought it would be but it was nice. I hate going to those places where you seem to walk forever and can't wait to leave. This is good for those that can't tolerate a lot of standing/walking.
Ocho Rios - Didn't get off the ship. Nothing interested me there so we stayed on the ship and enjoyed a nice peaceful day.
All in all it was our favorite cruise. The kids enjoyed Camp Carnival especially the late night party until 3:30 AM! Entertainment was also good. The decorations and art work , stunning. We will definitely go on another Carnival Cruise hopefully in the near future.