My wife and I sailed on the Carnival Liberty in February, 2008. This was our second Carnival cruise. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale the day before the cruise to avoid any airline or luggage issues. (Highly recommended.) Unless you can stay close to the airport/port a cab will cost you approx. $30.00 for a 15 minute ride so budget accordingly.
Embarkation went well the next morning. By 11:30 AM there were long lines but things moved along fairly quickly. I filled out all the necessary paperwork on-line prior to traveling. Having a pre-printed Fun Pass and your passport really simplifies the whole process.
The Liberty is a gorgeous, large ship. The interior staterooms are roomy and comfortable. (The TV's in the cabins could use an upgrade but we were not there to watch TV so it was not a big deal.) From what I could see the ocean view rooms and those with a balcony were equally as nice.
The onboard entertainment was fantastic and there was always plenty of places to go and things to do. The entire crew was amazing. The cabin stewards and their staff move about like ghosts doing a great job.
itinerary was one of the best. Water was a little rough the first two days. (Use the motion sickness tablets available by the ships infirmary. They worked better than the ones I brought and they are free.) San Juan was nice. We arrived at 5:00 PM so it got dark pretty quick. We felt the shore excursion was a waste and wished we had just stayed on board. St. Thomas is the shopping mecca of the Caribbean. Bring plenty of cash or plastic. Antigua has the best beaches in the world. Take the time to just relax there. Tortola was very interesting. Not much in the way of beaches but the views from the hills are spectacular. Nassau, Bahamas was nice, not alot to do. Got a massage when we got back on board. It felt great. Take advantage of port day specials at the spa.
Debarkation went smooth. We carried our own bags off. You get off the ship faster that way. I had our passports and Custom's "Duty Claim Form" filled out and ready. I think bringing back alcohol and/or cigarettes is more trouble than it's worth.
My only complaints concern the food on board and the open air Lido deck.
The quality of the food in both the Dining Room and Buffet was okay, but nothing special. Service in the Dining Room is great but I heard a lot of complaints about the food. The ability to get what you wanted, when you wanted and where you wanted was also lacking. Certain venues were only open at certain times at different locations. It was difficult to keep track.
The Lido deck was always crowded. Getting a lounge chair was almost impossible. Many passengers would go out early in the morning and place their towel on a chair. Most were taken by 9:00 AM. This is a peeve of mine when cruising but we finally had to resort to doing it one day so we could relax in the sun. The drink waiters were also scarce. The few on duty seemed to wait on the larger tables. Couples seemed to have to go to the bar if they wanted something.
All in all a good time. Carnival is still a good value for the money.