Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by Becca2010: 5th Cruise, 1st with Carnival
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5th Cruise, 1st with Carnival
This was our fifth cruise, first with carnival. My family and I have been on Disney and Royal Caribbean. To start off I was surprised. We really didn't expect much from Carnival but we were wrong. For almost $800 less than Liberty of the Seas, it was virtually the same. I'll break everything down into categories..
Embarkation: We arrived in Fort Lauderdale around 10:30 and got to the pier around 11:30. We were on the boat by 12-12:15. It didn't take long at all even though the lines seemed endless.
Dining: This is where Carnival needs to improve. The food was good and that's it. But like I said before, for $800 less, you can deal. BREAKFAST: We ate at the buffet and the silver Olympian dining room. The buffet had little to choose from. Usually they changed a few items around from day to day. They had the usual - fruit, cereal, bacon, ham, pancakes, waffles, french toast, potatoes, and this sausage thing which was good but that was it. I thought the Silver Olympian More was way better. There were a few items you could order that were not on the buffet. Also, the buffet had an omelet bar. I only got an omelet once from there because the line was horrendous. Actually, the line was like that every morning. Last year, we were on Liberty of the Seas(Held almost twice as many people I think?) and we never had to wait in line. LUNCH: Once again the lines were long. Surprisingly, the lunch buffet had much more items to choose from than RCCL. They also had a deli and burrito bar along with an Asian station where stir Fry's were made. I didn't try because the line was long but it looked delicious. DINNER: We only went to the buffet after our dinner (Early 6 p.m.) was over. They basically had the same food as in the dining rooms. Reviews I've read mentioned the warm chocolate melting cake so I had to try it. It was very good but too rich for me. I couldn't finish it. Our dinner in the dining room (Silver Olympian) was good like I said but nothing spectacular. They had the usual prime rib, escargot, lobster and shrimp. On Disney, everything had a lot of flavor to it but not here. Don't get me wrong, it had flavor but it needed something more. HARRY'S SUPPER CLUB: You should def. try it. It was so so so good!!! Better than Chop's on RCCL. OTHERS: The pizza shop was open 24 hours. It was good. They also served cal zones which I thought was pretty cool, along with Caesar salads. There was also a sushi bar but I was afraid to try it. Another thing they had was a coffee and dessert shop. You had to pay for this. On RCCL you did not.
Service: The service on Liberty was on par with RCCL. There were always people coming around on the deck with drinks etc.. Our room steward did a wonderful job. Whatever we needed he got for us. Our dining room waitresses were great. The first day they were a little slow but I guess that's understandable.
Balcony Room: The room itself was bigger than Liberty of the Seas but the balcony was smaller but not by much. The beds weren't as comfortable as Liberty of the Seas either. There was a lot of closet space and the bathroom was a little bigger too. They also give you razors, shampoo, tooth paste, Tylenol and a few other things which neither Disney nor RCCL has ever done. It was always kept clean. One complaint was that the venetian palace (the main place for shows) was one deck below our room and you could easily hear and understand what people were saying and singing along with the roaring yells of the crowd cheering. The only time it really bothered us was the 1st night because we were tired from our early flight but other than that, we were out of the room while the shows went on.
The Ship: Beautiful!! Anywhere you looked, employees were cleaning. You couldn't tell the ship is five years old, it looked brand new. The designs and lights and everything was stunning. The layout was pretty easy to maneuver once you got use to it. Everything felt more enclosed compared to RCCL though. The only complaint here is that you cannot get to the Silver Olympian dining room directly through deck 3 and 4. You can get there from any other deck then go down though. Another thing was you could ALWAYS feel the boat moving. It wasn't bad or anything but you felt the presence of it especially at dinner. RCCL and Disney (Which is small than Carnival Liberty) we never felt moving. The water slide was so much fun. I went so fast on it. I enjoyed it more than the Flow Rider on RCCL. Even though RCCL was bigger too, we never had a problem finding deck chairs on this ship. The big screen TV on lido deck was cool. Sunday and Monday night football was a blast.
Activities:The activities on the ship were fun and differed from RCCL. I can see why Carnival is the Fun Ships because it's true. Everyone seemed more laid back. They had karaoke one night. I never laughed so hard. It seemed like more people were involved in the activities which made it fun for everyone. On Half Moon Cay, they had a men's hairiest chest competition. That was hilarious. The cruise Director Butch was very informative. One night there was a party for the red, blue and white teams (Each team is a deck on the ship) and afterwards there was a Mexican buffet. It def. beat RCCL's Mexican buffet. People were really into it though. They painted their faces and everything. Just an example of "Fun Ships" I guess.
Ports of Call: HALF MOON CAY: This island was voted the #1 private island for cruise lines and I can see why. It was the nicest place we'd ever been to yet! The water was crystal clear,warm and calm. Too bad you couldn't just go here for vacation. You could also go very far out. We brought our own snorkeling gear but there were very few fish and I didn't see any rocks or reefs.
St. Thomas: This was our first time here, and actually to all of these ports. We heard about Magen's Bay and was going to go there but only a certain amount of ppl are allowed on the beach because of some national park mumbo jumbo. So if you want to go there maybe book a shore excursion so you're guaranteed to be there. Anyways, I read about Sapphire beach but our taxi driver told us about Secret Harbour so we went there instead. It was GREAT for snorkeling. We saw so many different types of fish. Someone even saw a sea turtle. The beach itself is very rocky and the reefs start almost immediately when you walk into the water. The water was very clear and warm though. You could swim out very far where the depth of the water was probably 20 feet and you could see the bottom with no problem. The beach also had beach chair rentals, and a bar and restaurant.
San Juan: What a disappointment!! We didn't hear of a beach to go to so we decided to walk around and shop. I saw so many beggars it was ridic! The streets where the shops were smelled like urine. The layout of the streets would remind you of New Orleans because of how narrow they were. Also, there were armed police around every corner because of the organized crime in San Juan is horrible. We didn't encounter anything though. We only stayed here for about two hours. I thought it was a waste. However, there is a coach store I heard that everything is 50-75% off. You could see that Cristobal Fort from the boat and whenever we left, the ship went right past it. Great photo opp.
Grand Turk: When you step of the boat there is a beach, margaritaville and shops. We decided to go to Governor's Beach. It was abs. beautiful! Snorkeling was amazing. I found a conch shell and a lot of sand dollars. If you go there, walk to the far right. There are far less people down that way and better snorkeling. The beach was a little rocky, well actually it was broken pieces of shells but it wasn't bad. Whenever we were there, it felt like the water wanted to pull you out... rip current? The water here was also very warm and crystal clear. You could only go out maybe 25 feet before a drop off of 40-75 feet!! We left Governor's Beach and returned to the beach where the ship was docked and I was so glad we didn't go there all day. There we more rocks and shells and way too many people. There was a medical emergency that day so we stayed in Grand Turk for 4 more hours but it didn't delay anything.
Disembarkation: This was a breeze. We flew through getting off the boat and customs. If you were a non-U.S. citizen though good luck. Those lines were so long.
Overall: We would def. go back on carnival. For $800 less it was worth it. The only bad thing was the food but you can live with it. Were even looking to go on the Carnival Dream next year. If you have any questions or want to see pictures you can email me: firstname.lastname@example.org Less
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