Background: We sailed on The Liberty March 6th through March 13th 2010. This was my first cruise. I am 33 and my husband is 34, we have 2 young boys, but chose to leave them home for the week with my parents and have a "grown up" vacation. We chose a cruise because we have never done it before and so many of our friends and family raved about cruising. Most everyone we know also recommended Carnival so that is why we went with them. I just happened to book The Liberty because I liked the itinerary, the dates and the price we got.
Arrival: We left Long Island, NY at 8 am from Macarthur Airport and landed by 10:45 am in Ft. Lauderdale. We had pre-booked the Carnival transfers from the airport to the port. As soon as we walked into the baggage claim area there was a Carnival representative there. We got our luggage and they directed us to a waiting area. We waited about 30 minutes and then they walked us outside to a bus that drove us directly to the port of Miami, the ride took about 45 minutes. Once at the port it took us about an hour to get through the security and get our sail and sign cards. We walked onto The Liberty just before 1:30pm. We had a balcony room on level 10, we went to check if by chance it was ready yet, but it wasn't, so we took a brief walk around deck 9, which was already rather crowded with people lounging by the pool and then headed to Emile's. The buffet line was rather large, but I headed to the burrito bar, where there was no line at all and my husband headed to the grill to grab a burger, also no line. After lunch we headed to our rooms which were ready, and to our surprise our luggage was already there as well. Our Room: We had a balcony room on level 10, the Panaorama deck. We loved the room. I will never cruise without a balcony, it was my favorite part! I loved waking up in the morning ordering some room service and sitting out on the balcony watching us pull into a new port! The room was plenty big enough for the two of us, the bathroom was a little tight, especially the shower. Everything was clean and the room steward was great. Most nights we were left an adorable towel buddy. The floor we were on was very quiet, we never heard anyone.
Dinning: We had the late dinning at 8:15 in the Golden Olympian Restaurant. I enjoyed having the late dinning, we never felt rushed during the day to get ready for dinner and had plenty of time to return from port, relax, shower and get ready for dinner. Most nights we also visited the Origami Sushi bar prior to dinner, which was really good. Next time I cruise though I will probably bring my children, and then I would choose the early sitting. I am really glad we were assigned to the Golden dining room, we never had any issues with feeling the boat move or vibrations from the engines. We ate twice in the Silver dining room for the open seating breakfast and there was really bad rumbling from the engines, so much that you actually had to hold your glass still because you were afraid it would tip over. For lunch and most of the breakfasts we ate on the Lido deck , we tried just about everything, the Fish and chips, the pizza, the deli, the grill and the Mongolian wok. It was all very good, I liked some dishes better then others, but there are so many choices you have to find something you like. One night we ate dinner at Harry's Steakhouse, it was well worth the extra $30 per person. The food quality is much better then what they serve elsewhere on the ship. My husband and I both had the tuna Tatar appetizer and the porterhouse. The only real complaint I had about the cruise and the service on the ship was the bar staff in the dining room at dinner. The staff seemed to push drinks everywhere you went, but when my husband and I always wanted a drink with dinner, the wait was ridiculous. The first couple of nights we ordered drinks they didn't show up until we were half way done with the main course. So we started visiting the Flower Lobby Bar prior to dinner and bringing in our won drinks.
Entertainment: I was slightly disappointed with the entertainment. I would say it was average, very similar to entertainment I have seen at resorts in Pennsylvania. I was expecting more. Each night there was a shoe in the main the theater. It usually had the same Liberty Dancers and the same female and male singer. They were OK. One night they had a comedian, Phat Cat, who was pretty funny. Another night they had a juggling / comedy act, I found them boring. The last night they have the Legends Show, which are guests that auditioned during the week performing. That was pretty entertaining. They had other things around, like DJ's and piano music, but we didn't get to do much of that, and the club with the DJ was empty each time we went by it.
Ports: We visited Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, San Juan, and Gran Turk. We enjoyed all the ports, however Half Moon Cay and San Juan were our favorite stops. Half Moon Cay is the most beautiful beach I have ever been to. You can read more about the ports in my ports review.
Disembarkation: Disembarkation was simple. They gave us number luggage tags the last night and collected the luggage from the hallways after 11pm. In the morning we left our room at about 7:30am and headed with our carry on bags to the Lido deck for breakfast and to wait for our number to be called, we were called by 9:30am, once off the ship we collected our luggage and took the Carnival shuttle back to Ft Lauderdale airport. No problems at all.
Overall: Overall we had a great time and cannot wait to cruise again. We loved Carnival and have no big complaints, but I think we will book our next cruise on another line, just to have something to compare it to.