Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by Cleo8332: Mother/Daughter cruising fun!
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Mother/Daughter cruising fun!
I wasn't sure exactly what to expect for my first cruise, I had been given lots of advice from friends who had cruised with Carnival and other cruise lines in the past. I must say that Carnival far exceeded my expectations.
Our room steward, Richard, was great - it's amazing how much of a mess you can make in a couple of hours so he and the rest of the stewards definitely work hard. He also answered some questions for us when we saw him during the week.
Cabin was a great location for access to Emile's restaurant and the aft pool, water-slide area. It's also mid-ship so there really wasn't that much movement. However, the balcony is underneath the Emile's restaurant overhang so you won't be able to sunbathe out there. We didn't find it very noisy with the exception of the deck party that was had mid way through the cruise. They had the whole ship separated into teams (red, white and blue) and at one point they had each team stomping and making noise which More make the cabin very loud. We're both night owls though so it didn't bother us at all.
Our dining room experience was great as well. We were at a table for 6 with another couple of ladies in the Golden dining room. There was another single guy also assigned to our table but he chose to eat with some new friends for most of the nights on board. Our head waiter was Insan, although everyone calls him Sonny and his assistant was Anthony. They were both great fun and once Sonny knew that we all loved our chocolate he pretty much knew what we'd all order for dessert each night (Anything chocolate, and our favourite was the warm chocolate melting cake!). Also, one of the other ladies at the table asked for lemonade the first night and Anthony always filled a glass for each every other night without her having to ask for the rest of the nights.
I don't drink alcohol so I purchased the fountain card on the first day. Our beverage server in the dining room, Piyada knew that I wanted a diet pop after the first night so I didn't have to ask after the first night. She would still double check that I wanted one before she brought it out though. I will say however, that if you want a non-alcoholic drink while your lounging out by the pool it would probably be faster if you got up and went to the bar yourself. I ordered a pop once and waited almost 20 minutes for it one day while I watched the server go back and forth from another lady 3 times bringing her what looked like an alcoholic beverage before I received mine. Also, on the last sea day my Mom ordered a large bottle of water from a server and it never arrived at all. Unfortunately she didn't remember which one she had ordered from so we ended up ordering different drinks from someone else after a half hour.
I also found the food in Emile's lido restaurant to be great as well, however I am not a picky eater. I would highly recommend getting an omelet at least once during the week and definitely check out the Mongolian station at lunch as well. The Deli and Burrito stations are also not to be missed.
Our first port was Half Moon Cay, Bahamas which is a private island which is leased by Carnival. This is a tender port so be prepared for a bit of a wait to get on and off the island. There are 3 tender boats with a total capacity of 600 passengers and our cruise had 3400 passengers on board. There is only one way through the barrier reef surrounding the island so that means only one tender can come in and go out at a time which also slows the process down a bit. However, I must say that the crew of the Liberty has the process down to a science. When you are ready to go ashore all you need to do is go to the theatre and receive your tender number. But don't go until you have everything you want to take with you as well as your entire group. The crew will seat you in one area of the theatre where you wait until your tender is ready. If you wait until peak time to leave the ship be prepared for a 45 minute wait. I'm sure we waited close to 30 minutes but it didn't seem that long. On the trip to the island we were given a bit more information about the island - only 30 people live on it, and if you miss the last tender back you might be # 31 :)
Once on the island there are plenty of loungers to go around or you can rent a clam-shell for shade, or a tube to float in the ocean. There are also cabana's which you can rent if you like.
We were the only ship in port that day which is probably by design by Carnival. The ship tenders all sorts of food and staff to the island for the day so there is a buffet for you while on shore. There is a small area to shop for souvenirs like baskets, T shirts, hats, towels etc. It's very hot so I'd recommend buying one of the big bottles of water from the ship or bring a bottle that you can fill with lemonade from the buffet area. Less
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Cabin review: 8D8332
This is a great location for access to Emile's restaurant and the aft pool, water-slide area. It's also mid-ship so there really wasn't that much movement. However, the balcony is underneath the Emile's restaurant overhang so you won't be able to sunbathe out there. We didn't find it very noisy with the exception of the deck party that was had mid way through the cruise. They had the whole ship separated into teams (red, white and blue) and at one point they had each team stomping and making noise which make the cabin very loud. We're both night owls though so it didn't bother us at all.
Port and Shore Excursions
We did the catamaran sail and snorkel and had a lot of fun. Our tour was the last of the day and unfortunately we got a bit of a late start as the previous tour was a bit late in getting back. We had been on a snorkeling excursion before in the Dominican Republic but I must say that the captain of this boat explained the best way of getting a good seal on the snorkel mask much much better which made the trip a lot more fun.
Don't wait to buy your souvenirs for this stop - everything was much more expensive ($30 T Shirts and towels etc.)
We didn't spend any time at the beach, however the ladies who shared our dining room table with us did and they let us know that if there is a ship leaving port while you are at the beach they make everyone get out of the water while it is preparing to leave and you can't get back in until the ship is safely away.
The reason for this is that the cruise ships actually get very close to the island. The water is about 26 feet deep around the island then it suddenly drops to 7000ft (according to the catamaran tour anyway). This makes for some cool shots of the ships from the pier and the shore.
The bus driver taking us back to the ship was open to dropping some of us off at different areas of the city if we wanted so my Mom and I got off downtown to do some shopping before walking back to the pier. If you like really nice tablecloths and other linens I'd suggest checking out The Linen House. If you like colour changing clothing and accessories definitely check out Del Sol (there is one in St. Thomas as well).
I think that next time I'm in St. Thomas I'd prefer more shopping time as you can get some amazing deals, especially on jewelry.
We were a little late getting into port, our excursion was supposed to leave at 9:15 but I don't think they had started letting anyone off the boat at that time. We ended up being let off with the crew as some other ladies in our elevator felt faint due to the crush of people on the floor above.