First of all let me say that I had been reading Cruise Critic for the past 8-12 months, and couldn't wait to cruise so that we could post. We are now official and can no longer be classified as "First Time Cruisers"…yeah!!! Alright, let's get started.
FLIGHT/AIRLINE/AIRPORT: We flew American out of LaGuardia into Miami and was greeted by Carnival staff and directed to our transfer bus all with relative ease. I was nervous because I didn't want to miss the ship, but my husband was cool as a cucumber and we were on time. I guess I'm the hyper one!
THE LIBERTY: She is one huge mama! I had been living my life vicariously through Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel and I knew cruise ships were huge, but it is not until you see it up close. She is beautiful on the inside although I had expected her to be more glitzy and shiny. Her décor was more laid back with the whole art theme which literally does "elicit some head scratching" (as the original review shared).
EMBARKATION: Actually, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be given the size of the vessel and the amount of people boarding. We got off the bus and were given tags according to our deck and we then proceeded inside the terminal to finish the process. Although the lines were long, they moved pretty quickly. We showed our Fun Pass and passports and passed through the first checkpoint—then, up the escalators to the Sail n' Sign counters. For the purposes of peace, my husband and I decided to have our own separate Sail n' Sign cards. We loaded up with cash and proceeded up another escalator to get on the ship and have our photo taken for the database. So, overall embarkation wasn't too bad.
LUGGAGE: It took a while for our luggage to get to our rooms. I expected that given the amount of pieces (they say anywhere around 7,000-8,000) would be a lot to sort through and deliver. My husband thought it took too long.
SERVICE: In one word Superb!!!! Our cabin steward, Antonius, was at the ready with whatever we needed and our cabin was kept clean and replenished all the time. I thought my husband would use up all the ship's soap supply.
MOTION SICKNESS: Now, my husband and I were never where we were supposed to be. For starters, we missed the sail away upstairs on the Lido because we were in our statesroom putting away our stuff. So, I happen to look over to my left shoulder and out the balcony door I could see we were moving and that is when I got a little woozy and wobbly for about 20 minutes. Who knew?
DINING: On the Liberty, there are two dining rooms; the Golden Olympian and the Silver Olympian. We were assigned to the former and had a late seating (8:15 pm). The service was impeccable and some of the offerings took some getting used to. I really wasn't impressed, and we only ate in the dining room three times. The food on the Lido Deck was more to my liking. From the breakfast food (my husband almost shut down the place—it was enough food for even him and it was his favorite), to the Mongolian dishes, the shrimp quesadilla, the fresh salads etc. were absolutely wonderful. Let's not even discuss the chocolate extravaganza!
ONBOARD ACTIVITIES: Steve Knisley, our cruise Director was off the charts!!!! There is all sorts of stuff to participate in—Battle of Sexes (Family Feud Style), the Marriage Game, Bingo, Shout about Movie Trivia, Music Trivia, TV Trivia. Just fun to the tenth power!!! I auditioned for the Carnival Legends Show and was Aretha Franklin in the final performance. I HAD A STONE BLAST!
DEBARKATION: Although I understand that going through Customs is necessary, it is just too long of a process. We self assisted off the ship and thought we would move a little faster, but when we go down to the Customs area, it was just horrendous. My husband was getting a little tight, so I sung the Fun Ship Freddy song, "A tooty ta, a tooty ta, a tooty ta ta!!!!!"
Unfortunately, we did have to call security on the next to the last night because our neighbors thought it was okay to let they children rollerskate on the walls. But, no other complaints. We will definitely cruise Carnival again, but with more money and less luggage!!!!