Relaxing on the Liberty
May 30, 2009 - June 6, 2009
This was our 19th cruise overall and 7th with Carnival.
Our journey started early on May 30th as we boarded the plane to Fort Lauderdale. After we got our luggage and our shuttle to Miami, we stopped to pick up the Atlanta Girls from our roll call and we were on our way. We were on board the ship by 11:45.
Once on board, we did drop off our carry-ons in our cabin even though they were saying we couldn't go to our cabins until 1:30. It wasn't ready, but the assistant steward let us leave our bags. It was really strange seeing everyone carrying around their bags and pillows...we have never had to do this on any cruise, even our last Liberty one. The cabins have always been ready no matter how early we've boarded. We found out why later...
We headed to the buffet and grabbed some lunch and then checked out our dining room table. It was a table for two, but in a row of tables for two. We weren't sure how we would like that and had asked the maitre d' to move us to the "Your Time Dining". At dinner that night we met the people on either side of us and liked them and the service was good, so we decided to keep the table. We had late seating and really like that, too, so we asked the maitre d' to remove our request for the Your Time Dining.
Day Two: Sea Day
Sunday was our first sea day. We spent the day laying around on deck catching some rays. At 1:00 it was time for our Roll Call Meet and Greet. We had a great roll call on Cruise Critic and thanks to Denise, we had a very nice meet and greet. She had organized with Carnival for us to meet in the Stage Lounge for an hour. We all paid $11.22 and we had all the drinks we could drink for that hour. It was great meeting everyone; we had around 60 or so at this meet. We had four bartenders who stayed very busy for this hour!
After the roll call meet, we went back to our cabin and napped until dinner. It was the first elegant night and we had prime rib and lobster tail for dinner. I did order both and they were excellent...cooked perfectly. In fact, all the food I ordered the entire week was perfect and tasted so good!
Day Three: Ocho Rios, Jamaica
We had been to Ocho Rios before and climbed Duns River Falls and taken a tour, spent time at Margaritaville and shopped, so we decided to spend the day at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort. For $50 a person, you can spend the day there lounging around their many pools, eating and drinking all you want. We really enjoyed our day there. You do have to get a taxi there and back, but it was worth the cost of the taxis to spend the day there. It's a really beautiful place and the pools were very clean and quite large. It has a large buffet that was quite good as well. We recommend this and will probably spend the day there again when back in Ocho Rios.
Day Four: Grand Cayman
We have been to Grand Cayman several times before as well and have snorkeled with Nativeway Water Sports, taken the tours, walked around and visited Hell, so we did not get off the ship this day. It was quite nice actually, because we were practically the only ones on the ship. This gave me the opportunity to walk around and take pictures of areas without people. I was able to walk up on stage in the Venetian Palace and get a nice shot of the lounge from that angle.
Day Five: Sea Day
A great day for sleeping in! We did get up in time for breakfast in the dining room, which we did every day. We enjoy eating breakfast in the dining room for the hot food and good service.
We spent the day just lounging around taking it easy. We had decided when we booked this itinerary that we would make it a relaxation cruise since we'd been to these ports before and didn't want to rush off to an excursion every morning. That is exactly what we did - relax! We slept in and napped in the afternoon.
Day Six: Isla Roatan, Honduras
The original itinerary listed Cozumel, but it was replaced with Isla Roatan because of the swine flu outbreak. We had been here before, but it had been several years ago. The dock area has changed quite a bit and wasn't at all like we'd remembered it. There were new buildings and a shopping area. We had booked Fins and Flippers for this day. It is a beautiful little island that can be seen from the ship. Once we got off the ship we followed the directions we were given to the tender that took us over. It costs $20 a person for the day and doesn't include drinks or food. There is a very nice pool and a bar/restaurant area that is shaded and the tables have umbrellas. It has a very nice breeze. We purchased lunch there and it was good.
When we first got there, we walked around the area. There is a nice beach with chairs all along the beach area, lots of trees for shade and there are animals along the beach area. There is a monkey in a cage, a lemur, George, who LOVES his belly rubbed! There were several "cats" and lots of macaws and parrots. As we made our way around and back to the "front" of the island, there were sea lions and sting rays.
We settled by the pool and spent the day there mostly in it. The place is very beautiful and they are reconstructing some Mayan ruins and were to open the museum on the next day. We were able to go in and look around, however, they were still working on it getting it ready for the grand opening. We really enjoyed Fins and Flippers and will probably do this again if we ever have Roatan on an itinerary again.
Day Seven: Sea Day
Another lazy day for us...nothing to write about.
Day Eight: Time to Leave
Our flight was out of Fort Lauderdale so our time to start disembarkation was 7:15. We got up early, had breakfast from the buffet and then headed for the door. We were off by 8:00, grabbed our luggage from the carousel and headed for Customs. It wasn't as bad as other cruises and didn't take as long as some have. Our shuttle was waiting for us and two other couples who were also flying out of FLL. We were at the airport by 9:30.
Since our flight wasn't until 1:05, we couldn't check our luggage until 10:00 so we made ourselves comfortable until then. The airport wasn't very crowded and this helped. We checked in at the kiosk, checked our bag fairly quickly and headed to the gate for another long wait. Our flight was late coming in and once we finally boarded, a storm came up so we had to sit there another hour and forty minutes until we were cleared for take off. Another long and tiring day, but we finally made it home and began the task of unpacking.
The Ship & Entertainment:
The Liberty is in great shape...she was just as beautiful as we remembered. The dEcor is Venetian and quite elegant. The Liberty has MUTS and there was always something playing on the screen, night or day.
The casino stayed busy; the lounges were nice with great entertainment. All of the bands and singers we heard were very good.
The Welcome Aboard Show featured the singers and dancers and the Liberty Orchestra. Both were very good. On the first sea day, the show was Singing with the Big Band, starring Christopher Alan Graves. He was very good and we enjoyed this show. He sang songs from the Big Band era with a special tribute to Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.
We missed the Captain's welcome Aboard Cocktail Party because we drank quite a bit at the roll call meet, but I'm sure it was good.
The show on Ocho Rios day featured the Village Idiots. They were a comedy juggling act and were really good. They were funny as well as great jugglers and they were very entertaining.
The next evening's show was Wonderful Word starring the Liberty singers and dancers and it was of course it featured songs and costumes depicting several countries. The next night brought us Carl Guerra a comedian. He was pretty good, but not as good as others we have seen. He did an adult show a night or so later in the cruise and even that wasn't great. He did not make me "snort" so that's how I judge comedy. If I snort, it's great!
This evening was also the Mega Deck Party...it was quite wild and I have never seen so many people on the Lido deck at one time. Once everyone began dancing and jumping, the whole ship shook. We were on the deck just above and were hoping the engineers did their homework and designed the Lido to hold that many people! The band was great and one of the best we've heard.
The next main show for our next night was Just Rock again featuring the singers and dancers. It highlighted rock songs from the '50, '60's and 70's. Very good show. Our last night's show as Carnival Legends featuring some of the passengers. "James Brown" was the best and "Elton John" came in second in our opinions. No one could top James Brown.
As I mentioned earlier, the food was as usual outstanding. We have never had a bad meal on Carnival and this cruise proved that statement to be true also. The prime rib, the fish dishes, the steaks, the dessert, the sides, the salads, appetizers - everything was delicious and much better than our selections on our Celebrity cruise in April.
We also ate at the Fish and Chips restaurant in the buffet several times and it was as good as we remembered. The deli was great; I wasn't able to make the stir fry station this time as the lines were always too long. The hamburgers were good as well as the pizza.
We did not eat at Harry's, but everyone we talked to who did, thoroughly enjoyed it.
Our Cabin Steward was Eileen and she had two assistants. She had 27 cabins and I believe this is what took so long to get them ready. I don't remember the stewards ever having that many cabins. She was still cleaning at 10:30 in the evening most nights. She and her assistants did a great job, it just took a long time some times.
Our Waiter was Linka and her assistant was Gabor. Both were excellent and we never had to wait for anything.
Embarkation and disembarkation was very quick and easy for us...no complaints here.
We used SAS shuttle service from Fort Lauderdale to get us to the ship and back to the airport. They were great. As soon as we got to the carousel to get our luggage, my phone rang and it was Frank with SAS to see if we had our luggage yet. As soon as we got our luggage, I called him back and he told me were to wait and he picked us up almost immediately. After we got off the ship and got through Customs, I called them and the driver told me where to wait and again, only a couple of minutes and he was right there. Both drivers knew of all construction going on and took the best routes to get us where we needed to be in time. We will probably use them again if we fly in and out of FLL and need to get to MIA.
Our cruise director, Butch Bigovitch (not sure of the spelling) was pretty good. He was filling in for Steve Knisely who was on vacation. We had Steve last year and really liked him. Butch was very good...we saw him all around the ship and he would recognize us and always speak or wave...very visible and friendly. His Minnesota accent did take some getting used to, though, but we liked him a lot. Yah!
I showered in the spa every evening since the showers were larger than the cabin's. There is shower gel and shampoo in these showers. The shower in the cabin also has shower gel and shampoo. There is a small hair dryer in the dresser drawer. The cabin was very warm and we didn't sleep well because we could never get it cool enough. We had maintenance check it three times, but they could never fix it. Fortunately we took a small fan and glad we did; it helped a little, but not much.
We really enjoyed this cruise and love the Liberty. We will probably cruise her again.