Let me start by saying this was my 10th cruise, 8th on Carnival, 2nd on Liberty. Since I have the luxury of living in Fort Lauderdale, my daughter drove us to the port. Embarkation went better than expected as the lines were short.
CABIN: We were a group of ten and booked five interior cabins on the Panorama Deck. The cabins are quite large and have plenty of storage space. Our cabin steward, Zhana from Estonia, was as pleasant as could be. She was always smiling. Our cabin was always neat and clean and we thoroughly enjoyed our towel animals nightly. Zhana is anticipating a trip home to see her family in a couple weeks and when she talked about going home, the room lit up!
DINING: We had late seating in the Silver Olympian Dining Room. We were on the second floor at the back of the ship. This spot is a little rough when the ship is moving fast, but it was tolerable. Our wait team, Andres from the Philippines, and Wijaya from Bali, were the best!!! These guys learned our names and our preferences the first night and took very good care of us for the whole week. Andres' nightly recommendations were exceptional and I don't think one of us had a bad meal. Of course, I love the warm chocolate melting cake!! At this time I would also like to mention Koko, our bar server. The kids had soda cards and often times it is hard to get a drink in the dining room. However, Koko brought two rounds of sodas for them each and every night (without asking!!). Wijaya ended the evenings with brain teasers for the boys to figure out. These guys seemed to take a special interest in us!
ENTERTAINMENT: Since I was on this ship last year, some of the shows were repeats for me. I still enjoyed them! I had read some not so pleasant things about Steve Knisley, the Cruise Director, but I must say that I thought he was very entertaining and was full of energy. His humor is second to none. The Ventriloquist, Gerry Goodspeed, was excellent! My absolutely favorite show of the cruise was Singin' With the Big Band starring Christopher Allen Graves. This show was FANTASTIC!!!
PORTS OF CALL AND EXCURSIONS: In Cozumel we rented a car and toured the island stopping at different beaches and going to Mayan Ruins at San Gervasio. The ruins are very interesting and each uncovered building has a sign stating what it is. My son went on the Tulum excursion and really had a great time. His pictures are phenomenal!
In Grand Cayman we went by taxi to the Black Pearl Skate Park as my son is a skateboarder. Taxi to Black Pearl $20.00, admission to Skate Park $10.00, taxi back to ship $24.00, the joy on my son's face for having visited Black Pearl--PRICELESS!!!
In Ocho Rios, I had prebooked a tour with Peat Taylor. Mr. Taylor's two sons greeted us at the pier and escorted us to their air-conditioned bus where we enjoyed a little "Liquid Sunshine" (how they referred to the rain). Since it was raining we ventured through Fern Gully which was absolutely beautiful! We stopped at several locations to take photos. We also stopped at a village schoolhouse (this might have been the highlight of my trip) and then on to Dunn's River Falls. After Dunn's River Falls, we decided to return to the ship for lunch. Let me say that Peat Taylor is a great tour guide and has been doing this for years. He treated all of us as family and I would not hesitate to tour with him again.
CONCLUSION: This was a great vacation and a great value for the money. All ten of us had a wonderful time and look forward to our next cruise on Carnival!