Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by squirreleezmom: Don't rock the boat, baby!
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Don't rock the boat, baby!
First off I want to give a little background on the reviewer. Married couple in mid 40's with a 14 yr old daughter. First time cruise for her and second for hubby and I. We have been going on land based vacations annually in the Caribbean for the past 15 years and our daughter wanted to try a cruise. Our 19 yr old son was unable to go with us so this put a damper on our "family" vacation from the start.
Our first mistake was that we allowed Carnival to arrange the airline reservations. The dates and times would've been ok if Carnival notified us that the return flight times had changed 1 1/2 months before the trip. We would've made alternative arrangements instead of spending 3 extra hours in an airport. Of course the additional mechanical issues with American Airlines is not the fault of Carnival but a courtesy notice of flight time changes would've been appreciated.
We utilized the shuttle service from the airport to the port and everything was very smooth. Not More much of a wait at all. The process at the port to check-in was fast and friendly and we were on our way. Got on the ship around noon and went to the Lido buffet for lunch. Emile's was crowded and when we finally found an open booth, it was notably vibrating under our seats. Very annoying and we hadn't even left the port yet. I thought the lunch buffet was good and everyone seemed happy to start the vacation. We went directly to our room around 1:30 pm and it was ready. I was very happy that we booked a balcony and had that extra space. Of course my daughter was a bit disappointed with the size of the room because she was use to larger resort rooms on land. But it wasn't an issue after that. They had her bed (sofa) made up and it was very comfortable, same as our queen bed. The bedding was very nice and every night except one, we all slept like babies and enjoyed some afternoon naps as well. I noticed the rocking motion of the ship as soon as we got out of the port and my daughter asked, "is it going to be like this the whole time"...I hoped not. I decided to take some dramamine to be safe.
The first big disappointment was finding out early in the morning on Sunday that we weren't going to be able to stop at Half Moon Cay because of 30 mph wind and large sea swells. I booked this cruise because of the stop in HMC. We were not happy to be stuck an extra day on the ship. I talked with a seasoned captain on this trip later in the week and he thought this was an excuse as the sea appeared calm as we approached. I wonder how often this happens? Anyway, we received a letter that evening stating our sail and sign account would be credited $20.00 for the port fees that we had paid for, please... I didn't even check on this when we left the ship on our folio. The only thing that would've satisfied me was a complete refund at that point.
The hot breakfast buffet was the same thing everyday with droopy raw bacon, sorry I like it crispy. The omelet line was always long, be sure to ask for Pam spray otherwise they cook it in about half a cup of oil.We had room service one morning and it was prompt and you didn't have to fight the crowd. We kept forgetting to put our order on the doorknob the night before. Breakfast in the Silver dining room was basically the same food but brought to your table. The lido lunch food had good burgers and the salads were good as well. We had anytime dining and only went to the dining room 3 times. We were generally seated within 20 minutes. The food was good, not excellent but our servers were friendly and courteous. We didn't try Harry's steakhouse.
We missed the 2nd Elegant night because of the rough seas and my hubby and daughter were feeling sick from the motion. Luckily I had been taking dramamine everyday and although I didn't like the motion I didn't get sick.They took some dramamine also and it seemed to work for them but hubby went right to sleep. That night the captain had to cancel the shows for the safety of the entertainers, due to the rough seas. To us, it wasn't safe to even walk around the ship let alone get dressed in high heels and try to make our way to the dining room. We stayed in our cabin and admired our special occasion clothing that we never got to wear that night. Of course Carnival can't control the sea just like I can't make my disappointment go away.
The room stewards did their job well and took good care of our room and bringing ice twice a day. Loved the towel creations.
I feel that the quality of food has gone downhill since our last carnival cruise 2 years ago and I felt sorry for the grill workers that were trying to cook for all those people, especially at the Mongolian Grill. I hope they got regular breaks, they looked so overworked and annoyed. I waited for 30 minutes for my meal,choking on the exhaust, in a long line for a dish that wasn't that good. Maybe I felt sorry for myself. The other options; deli,fish shop and burrito bar kept short hours and we always missed out.
We loved the ports that we did stop at and I guess being on a crowded moving ship is the price to pay to see three (suppose to be four)destinations in one week.
We did the Ocean race with OnDeck in St Thomas in the afternoon and took a 4x4 taxi tour around the island in the morning with a stop at Megan's Bay/Beach. Both excursions were fun and the taxi tour was only $25.00 pp,these taxi's are everywhere near the port, no need to book ahead with carnival. Save yourself some money, you'll need it for your liquor bill later on, ha ha.
We booked the Segway tours online for our stop in San Juan. Our tour guide and instructor was Natalia and she was an excellent guide and very friendly. She knows so much about Puerto Rico and truly loves her job. The segways were great, easy to ride and what a way to see old San Juan in 90 degree heat.Check it out at www.segwaytourspr.com
In Grand Turk we walked out of the cruise center area and walked down the beach and hung out at a little beach bar/grill called Jack's Shack by Oasis Divers. We enjoyed the island music, the beautiful ocean and the cold drinks away from the crowds.
Debarkation was a breeze and we were off the ship and getting on the shuttle within 20 minutes to the airport. I overheard one lady say that a crew member from the Liberty told her that this was the roughest voyage she had been on in the past five years. I believe it. I think we'll stick with our land vacations. Less
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