Carnival Liberty May 24, 2008-May 31, 2008
This was our first time on the Liberty, fifth cruise with Carnival and our 17th cruise overall.
Our day started very early because we had booked a 6:10 a.m. flight out of Charlotte getting into Miami around 8:00. When we first booked this cruise the departure time showed 4:00 p.m. Once we made final payment and got our e-docs, we discovered the sail time was 7:00 p.m.! Everyone on our roll call was a bit upset by this, but we made the best of it. The ship was chartered the week before us and as I found out when we boarded, (they started boarding at 11:30) the ship set sail at 7:00 for the charter and the time was never changed back! I wasn't too happy about this since we'd rented a car for the day, ate lunch at Wendy's and took a nap in the car by the beach! All completely unnecessary.
The Ship: Okay, with that behind us, the ship is really beautiful. The dEcor is Venetian and very Italian throughout. The Venetian Palace has jokers on either side of the stage holding the curtain, Victorian doll faces around the chandelier in the center, and the tables are in the shapes of masks. The Paparazzi Bar is really cute with camera lenses around the bar and photos of stars all over the walls, the bar, and the floor. Each bar has a distinct theme and we didn't hit all of them, but they are all very nice.
Food: We had late seating in the Silver Olympian Dining Room and the best wait staff ever!!!!! Yes, I'm telling the truth. We had Abadi from Indonesia and Alfredo from The Philippines, and they learned our names and preferences the first night and remembered them from then on even when we all changed seats. I ordered iced tea the first night and I had it every night after without asking. Our table was always on dessert when the tables around us were just getting their entrees. These guys are great!
The food was very good in my opinion, but I've never had a problem with Carnival's food. I had fish most every night except for lobster and prime rib night and I had both that night. I had the Chateaubriand one night and it was very good, too. I stuck with ice cream and the cheeses for dessert except for the last night and I had the souffle, which is always very good. My husband had the chocolate melting cake a couple of nights, but didn't get it again...too melting, not "cakey" enough for him.
We only ate at the buffet on Lido a couple of times, but there was a good variety of food. We got the fish and chips a couple of times and that was very good. It's upstairs from the buffet and not very crowded; I don't think many people realize it's there. We also ate from the Mexican station and the deli station and those were both good. We got something from the Stir Fry station and the Chocolate Extravaganza. There is also a sushi bar along the hallway to the dining room. And of course there is the usual pizza and hot dogs and burgers out by the pool and the ice cream and frozen yogurt machines. If you can't find something you like on this ship, you've got a problem - there is something for everyone!
Our Cabin Steward: We had an inside cabin on this trip and it made for some very good sleeping! The bed made into a king size bed and the mattress was okay, but I did miss the egg crate mattress. The comforter is nice and thick, but too warm for our liking and our air conditioner was never cold enough for us. We took a small fan and left it for our cabin steward when we disembarked. Our luggage fit comfortably under the bed.
Our Cabin Steward was Doeroto from Indonesia. He wasn't very friendly or talkative, but he was quick with the room. Once we were only gone about 15 minutes and when we returned, the cabin was all cleaned up. I think we must have slept too late one morning because the phone woke me up. It was someone asking if we had a problem with the shower. I swear it was Doeroto wanting us out! We tipped him as well as Abadi and Alfredo extra because they all did such a great job.
The Ports: Cozumel was our first stop. Since we were the only ship in each port, no place was very crowded. Here we went to Nachi Cocum for the day. It's $49 a person and that includes your chair on the beach under a thatched umbrella, all the drinks you could possibly drink and one appetizer, one entrEe, and one dessert. I had the chicken fajitas and Mike had some kind of shrimp. I loved mine and he liked his. We both had a cheese cake for dessert. You have your own waiter who runs back and forth from the bar for you.
They have a nice swimming pool there and everyone ended up there for most of the day. It was very nice meeting everyone from the ship. I think there may have been around 30 people there who were all from the ship. It was fun getting to know everyone. I got a massage, which was nice because it was on the beach and the massage along with the cool breeze, and sounds from the waves hitting the beach, made it very relaxing! I would definitely go to Nachi Cocum again.
Our second port was Grand Cayman and since we've been there four or five times and have always snorkeled with the stingrays, we decided to walk around the town. While sitting on a bench resting, a couple of our dinner mates talked us into a tour. We drove down the main drag, past new hotels and condos, the governor's residence, a 100-year old home that has withstood all the hurricanes including Ivan, and then made our way into Hell. We got out at Hell and looked at the rock, saw a devil, and looked around the gift shop. Of course I mailed a couple of post cards from Hell to people who still haven't gotten them, but it was a neat thing to do. After that stop, we stopped at a store for free samples of rum cake and rum. Loved the rum cake, couldn't drink the rum! From there, we stopped at Seven Mile Beach for a while and then back to the ship. Our guide, Everton, said that the beach is now 5.5 miles after Ivan.
Last stop was Ocho Rios....not much to say here. We've climbed Duns River Falls before so this time we just walked around the Island Village and walked into Margaritaville and back out...didn't even get a drink. Went back to the ship, had lunch and took a nap. We had decided that this would be one of those relaxing vacations since we've been to these ports before. There would be no rushing to get to an excursion and that is exactly what we did - RELAXED!
The Shows: The first production show was Wonderful World. The costumes were very beautiful and the main singers were very good. The dancers were pretty good in my opinion, but I heard others talking about them not being good. The next production show was Rock Down Broadway. It was pretty good and the costumes again were great.
The comedian, Happy Cole was very good. We've seen him before on another ship and he is really funny. We missed his adult show, however. Jerome Dabney sang with the dancer in a show called Singin' with the Big Band. He was very good, singing songs from the Big Band era. Then there was the hypnotist, Asad Mecci. He was pretty good. He had people come up on stage and then began dismissing those who weren't really hypnotized. He had them thinking they were cold, hot, and other things. He had a guy dancing with him thinking he was a hot chick, but with very bad breath - very funny! We did catch his adult show and it was quite funny and very much for adults!
We missed the banjo player, Peter Mezoian, and some other act. I talked to someone who thought the banjo player was good, but there was too much of it. My husband talked to someone who didn't like it at all. Both said that people started leaving the lounge. Maybe Carnival should drop this act.
The Welcome Aboard Party and Past Guest Party: These were the usual get together and drink parties. We did better at the Welcome Aboard Party. With it in one of the larger lounges, we were able to get plenty of drinks and hors d'oeuvres. For the Past Guest Reception, we ended up in the middle of the long row of seats in the Venetian Palace. The drinks and hors d'oeuvres would make it almost to us from each end, but never quite made it to the middle of the row. So make sure you sit on the end of the row for plenty of drinks and hors d'oeuvres.
Roll Call Meet and Greet: After we got on board and walked around for a while, we met up with some members of our roll call. We met about three couples who were on Cruise Critic's roll call and two couples who had been on Carnival's website's roll call. Deb and I had both been on that roll call and Deb had invited them to our meet and greet. It was fun to finally meet the people you'd been "taking" to for several months. We met some others from our roll call at Nachi Cocum who didn't make it to this meet.
Miscellaneous Stuff: Be sure to check your folio account often. We learned this from another Carnival cruise when a couple of the bars had charged us for drinks we didn't get. On this one, Mike had gotten a drink at the casino bar and went back for another before dinner. After dinner I checked our account and noticed that between his two $3 drinks there was a charge for an $8 drink. I took my receipts down to the Purser's desk and asked to see the signature on the receipt. She printed off my account and highlighted the charge in question. I signed it and she said she would send it to accounting and if they couldn't find a receipt that matched my signature for that amount it would be removed. Well it was removed within an hour of my going to the desk. Make sure you check this often. I'm sure if we were big drinkers we would not have caught it. This is just another way for the bartender or waiter to get a little more tip.
The Capers have been updated...they have made a tear off section called Today at a Glance. It has all the events listed on a small section so you don't have to carry around the whole Capers.
All in all the cruise was wonderful and the ship is beautiful and I would definitely cruise this ship again.