Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by Sassy216: Long time coming
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Long time coming
Started our long awaited cruise by travelling a day early to from Wichita, Kansas to Ft Lauderdale (better connections and cheaper) then to fly directly to Miami. Stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport. Got a AAA rate of 89.10 for a very nice King room. Hotel offered complimentary shuttle from airport to hotel and after getting luggage and phoning hotel, the shuttle picked us up and transported us to hotel where within minutes we were checked in and ready to rest before our 7 day cruise vacation. Before leaving home I had scheduled transportation from our hotel in Ft Lauderdale to the Port of Miami with Steve Sadowsky with SAS Transportation 1-954-600-0240, www.ridesas.com. THe cost was 15.00 per person each way and I must say was the BEST VALUE!!! Before I shuttle arrived we walked across the street for last minute champagne/wine purchase from BJ's. No need to be a member, they offer a one day pass. Kmart also carries limited selection of wine, which is More
also in same shopping center. McDonalds and Burger King also at intersection if wanting breakfast. Larry, our driver was right on time and delivered us to the ship as promised and gave us instruction for pickup when our 7 fabulous days of cruising was over. Embarkation went smooth and we were checked in and on the ship for lst buffet by 11:50am! As we disembarked with our luggage I phoned Larry and he picked us up within minutes for the drive back to Ft Lauderdale Airport. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND HIS COMPANY!!!
I believe in doing alot of research before I travel planning my upcoming vacation. I found that "prepaying" for alcohol drink tickets through Carnival was a good way to control your spending and still have cocktails or beer throughout the cruise. Monthly I would go online to Carnival and purchase 4 drink tickets for $21.25 that would be delivered to my room upon checkin. THe thoughout the cruise as we ordered a drink or beer we would pay by drink coupon instead of on sale and sign card. If you orderd a drink over the $5.25 drink coupon the additional amount would be put on your sail and sign card. This worked great and we were not surprised with that horrific alcohol bill at the end of our cruise. Just another way to "prepay" for your vacation.
I also requested our reservations to Harry's Supper CLub prior to leaving home. I was given our confirmation of date and time about 1 month before we left for our cruise. Believe me, the $30.00 per person extra fee for the Supper Club is very much worth the cost. The supper club is as close to a 5 star dining experience as I can imagine. It was very intimate and very good. Service was impeccable and food incredible and presentation unbelievable!! Do remember...dress code is inforced as my husband wore dress shorts but was turned away until he put on slacks. No biggie..went and changed and back for our fine dining experience. Great way to celebrate a special occasion! Be sure to not book on a already scheduled formal night.
Day one: On ship by noon and eating first buffet while waiting for room to be ready. Room ready as promised by 1:30 and on balcony having first drink and getting settled in. Only glitch so far as by 7:00pm still hadnt received my luggage and was on my way to Purser desk to file necessary paper work when we discovered our luggage sitting outside the door of a cabin several yards away from our cabin. Breathed a huge sigh of relief toasting that I would not have to live in same clothes for 7 days..party was on!!!! Quickly changed for dinner, had late seating in Silver Olympian room and ready to meet our dinner companions. Discovered we had a booth, which could really be a bummer if you dont getalong with your dinner companions, but that was not the case, as we have found new friends for life, with Jack and Dawn from Baltimore!!!! Day one of 7 of the chocolate melting cake!! Incredible!! Be sure to ask for 2 icecreams to go along with cake each night...you will be glad you did!!!
Day two - Half Moon Cay: We were first group off the next morning for our short tender to the island. Get off as early as possible to avoid getting a number and waiting in line for the tendor ride. HAlf moon cay is gorgeous with white fine sand and beautiful blue water. Plenty of chaise lounges so scored our seats by the bar to watch the people and hear the music and oh yes...judge the hairy chest competition!!! The only downfall this day was the food!! The barbecued burgers and hotdogs were horrible!! Food was cold and undercooked, so recommend eating a big breakfast before getting off ship. Didn't do any excursions here..just relaxed! Did try to snorkel on our own but water was very choppy and no fish in a totally sandy bottom. Dont pay extra here for snorkel excursion.
Day three: Sea day Up very early! Can't sleep when I can watch the sunrise from my private balcony! Grabbed breakfast and out to the deck to score chairs and enjoy watching the ocean while sunbathing. Also, this is the first formal night. Fun to get dressed up, take pictures and go for a nice dinner...Lobster and Steak! After dinner, we tried to take in a show but left early not finding it very entertaining!
Day four: St Thomas Off the ship as soon as docked. Had not prebooked any shore excursions..just wing it at the island. Took the first offer from "Hermina" in her open air truck "taxi" for a 2 hour tour of island. This cost was $25.00 per person and was worth it! Same tour abou double if booked through Carnival. Had a full day of fun, laughter and $1.00 Coronas! End of tour we were dropped off in the heart of the shopping area. Lots and lots of jewelry stores!! WORD TO THE WISE......DO NOT DRINK BEFORE HITTING THE SHOPPING AREAS!! PURCHASED A NEW DIAMOND FOR MY WEDDING RING AND HAVE HAD BUYERS REMORSE EVER SINCE!!! Bought from Diamond International and DO NOT BUY FROM THEM. I FEEL LIKE I WAS TOTALLY TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF AND FOUND AFTER ARRIVING HOME AND HAVING STONE APPRAISED THAT I COULD'VE GOTTEN A BETTER DEAL AT HOME! DO NOT FALL FOR THE CARNIVAL CRUISE....BUY BACK PROGRAM EITHER. TOO MANY STIPULATIONS!!!! BEWARE OF DIAMOND INTERNATIONAL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Took a taxi back to ship, $4.00 per person. Finishied shopping at Havensight mall for last minute souveniers and beer, which we carried back onto ship with no problem!!!
Day five: San Juan Again, off early to see what tour we could get. Paid $20.00 per person and toured old and new San Juan, capital building, several quick on and off stops for pictures and then off in Old San Juan for shopping or back to ship if you prefer. San juan is a shoppers PARADISE!!!! Loved the old San Juan cobble stone streets and many shops. Be sure to walk into area about 4 block or so the the Outlets - Ralph Lauren, Coach, Burberry, Dooney and BOurke, Guess, etc. I bought a purse at Dooney....great buy!!!! Be sure to go upstairs toward back of store in DOoney for clearance items too! Also, go to La Bonnera bakery for a sweet treat, recommended by Rachel Rey and then to Barrachinos for a taste and then full size Pina Colada. This is where the original Pina COlada was began and recipe still stands today. Walked back to port and passed Senor Frogs and Don Q RFum and get free samples of full drinks before getting back on ship. Found it very easy to purchase liquor in ports and return with it to your room.
Day Six: Grant Turk Was to be our Grand Turk day, but 3 hours outside SanJuan a fellow passenger had a severe medical emergency and we had to turn around and return to San Juan so he could be transported for medical care. This caused us to be off track and unable to make port. So we got an extra day at see and Carnival comped everyone $20.00 per person to your sail and sign card. Many upset passengers but after speaking with the Captain, there was no way he could get us to any other island in the time we had, so this had to do. So 2 full days at sea at the end of our trip! All in all had a great time and can't wait to schedule my next cruise!!!!! Will never cruise again without a balcony cabin!! SPOILED...ROTTEN!!!!! Less
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Cabin review: 8A6450
Our cabin was the at the very back of the ship. Was told we had an oversized balcony. It was spacious and our room was as well. It was very secluded and very quiet. CLose to elevator and only one floor away from Promenade deck and close to everything!!!