This was a fantastic cruise and the first of our B2B, we went on a 5 day cruise following this one. My fiance and I are avid cruisers, this was her 7th Carnival and 9th overall and my 5th Carnival and overall cruise. We booked an Ocean View room hoping that being inbetween Spring Break and Summer Vacations for school bound people that we might slip into a balcony cabin, no such luck, but it didn't matter as our cabin was very nice.
First off we made several new friends on the Roll Call prior to our cruise and by doing so it made the trip that much more enjoyable. Several of us arrived in Miami on Friday at various times during the day and were staying at several different hotels. We stayed at the Runway Inn near the airport and although not a 5 star hotel for one night it was sufficient and the price was right. We met up with many of our new friends at the Bayside Market Place for Dinner at Bubba Gumps and it was a great way to get to know more about each other and see who if anyone used an old photo, no one did in our group. We arrived at the port at aprox. 10:30am and the boarding process couldn't have been easier as the facility was very large and nice with lots of helpful agents to get you through the process. We boarded our new home at a little after 11am and headed up to the Lido deck of coarse where lunch was being served. After a good meal we started to venture around the ship taking lots of pics of a truly beautiful ship. Most of the decorations are in the typical Carnival style with bright colors and sometimes unique designs but we like the Carnival decor. The Liberty was one of 4 ships ready to leave port at 4pm, we were the second one to leave the City of Miami behind us as we traveled out to Sea. The muster drill was handled very orderly and rather than letting everyone race to the stairways all at the same time the cruise director Steve dismissed one side of the ship at a time so as to be more orderly and safer for all.
Steve was very informative in his announcements on a regular basis as well as when we approached each port of call so that everyones debarkation at the ports was smooth and safe. The staff on the ship were very friendly, always saying hello and asking you if you are having a good time. Our steward never learned our names but we did know who he was and did an OK job of cleaning the room everyday. The food on the Lido deck was good and usually hot and the staff very attentive to cleaning tables when people were done. The Fish and Chips above Emilies was also very good. We had the late seating dinner in the Silver dining room, unfortunately on the first night we were seated at a table with people who could not speak english and we couldn't speak spanish so it was a little uncomfortable, the waiters had a very difficult time understanding the people as well but tried very hard. We went to the Maitre de after the meal and we were switched to another table that we shared with two of our new friends. We also special ordered Creme brulee for the rest of the cruise from the Maitre de and did receive it each and every night, yum! Our new waitress and her assistant were very nice and did a wonderful job, the food was very good and service was prompt.
The ports of call on this cruise were San Juan, PR., St. Thomas, USVI, and St. Maarten. We have been to the first two ports before and chose to just walk around in San Juan since we arrived in the late afternoon, we went to the Sheraton casino which we did much better than we did on the ship. In St. Thomas we again had already been here before so didn't do much except take the sky lift to Paradise Point, it is an amazing view with a few shops and a restaurant on top. We took several pics from Paradise Point before returning down to the shopping area buying a magnet and post card. In St. Maarten we took the French / Dutch Island tour and to say the least we were very disappointed. We did learn a lot about the different trees on the island but nothing about the history. Also if you are on the right side of the bus you will not get any good pics unless you stand up and lean over the people on the left side of the bus. Our tour description did not mention any shopping yet we had two shopping stops, it also said that it went by a specific beach and the closest we got to that beach was about a mile away as the driver said "over there is", again very disappointed with this tour.
It was later that night after St. Maarten that many on this cruise would like to forget, fortunately we were not among them but some of our friends were. The Noro virus struck the ship, supposedly picked up from St. Maarten, with several hundred passengers and crew getting very sick and being quarantined to there cabins for 24 hours or more. Carnival took extreme measures to ensure the safety of the rest of the ship by serving all food on the Lido deck for the remainder of the cruise rather than letting passengers serve themselves as well as increasing the amount of cleaning and sanitizing done on the ship. I applaud Carnival and the crew of the Liberty for what they did and I think that they should always serve the food on the Lido deck as this will help prevent future viruses.
All in all this was a fantastic cruise and I would highly recommend getting involved on your Roll Call and making new friends, it really ads to the enjoyment of the cruise.