This was my 5th cruise and so far the best. The Carnival Liberty has a lot to offer. Very clean ship. Great crew. Wonderful cruise director. In fact, Tod is the best cruise director of any of the ships I've cruised with before. He was very visible and did a great job. The entertainment was typical cruise ship style--some shows better than others, but the final Legends show is a "do not miss." Tod and the other activities directors made it very memorable. The comedians were good, although we were surprised to find the family shows to be a bit funnier than the late night shows. See Tommy the bartender for some fun--across from the karaoke room. He sings and jokes while making drinks and makes it a great place to go for a nightcap.
We had a balcony on the 8th deck. It was a good choice--only one deck up to the pool where we spent a lot of time. It was also near the buffet, which made it convenient for breakfast and lunch--or even going for a walk and getting a quick cup of coffee to bring back to the room in the morning. In general, the food was far, far better than Norwegian, as good or better than Royal Caribbean. The people serving drinks in the pool area were visible and available, but never intrusive or annoying as I've found on other ships. We had breakfast in the Silver Olympian Dining Room once--a nice change from the buffet. Dinner was in the Golden Olympian. The headwaiter named Can made dinner an adventure. He was very attentive, experienced, and took time to get to know us. He also a great sense of humor. Because we were on the flexible dining schedule, we needed to request him and did so whenever possible. Make sure to get the chocolate melting cake for dessert at least once.
Half Moon Cay is by far the best beach day of all the cruise lines. We were a group of 6 women, all family--ages 29-74. We all had a wonderful time and found plenty to do that was fun for all our ages. A highlight was dressing up in western garb for some fun pictures. Elegant/formal night was another highlight of the trip. Bingo was expensive, so we didn't play this time. The casino is small with very few of the video games that do the fun bonuses. Still, there was plenty of activity there without being too crowded.
All in all, this was a great cruise. If I have to find a criticism, it would be that there weren't as many choices for onboard activities as I would have liked. Having said that, however, the activities that are planned are executed well by the staff and a lot of fun. I just wish there were more of them. I would definitely do this cruise again.
Grand Turk is another great beach day with both the beach and shopping right off the pier. Some of our group did the snorkeling/hiking excursion which was a lot of fun, and others did the Historical homes and churches tour (ok). However, there really is no need to book an excursion at all if you are happy with beach and shopping activities. We didn't realize how nice the beach was before we arrived, so we had booked excursions instead which were scheduled for the middle of the afternoon. We did our shopping early, went back to the ship for lunch, then back again for the excursions, but wished we had time for the beach instead.
Four members of our group went on a snorkeling and hike excursion. The boat ride to the site was indeed "exhilarating" as promised, and included rum punch to drink while going to the site. Snorkeling was good and the group elected to forego the hike in favor of extended time in the water.
The other two members of our group went on the Historical Homes and Churches tour. This was ok, but not great. It was basically a bus/van ride with a few stops. At age 51, I was by far the youngest one on the bus and I think I would have preferred snorkeling with the others in my group instead. My 74 year old mother-in-law, however, loved it. There are a lot of cows, burros, and goats in the streets when you leave the pier/beach/shopping area. The lighthouse was not much to see. The church was pretty. The museum was the most interesting part of the excursion if you like history. A very knowledgeable guide told us about the history of shipwrecks and there were some interesting things to see in the museum.
Some of our group went on the zipline and rappeling adventure and had a blast. Everyone felt very safe in the harnesses as they took a series of ziplines from platform to platform. Others of our group went on the Old San Juan walking tour which was also very good, but a LOT of walking. The fort was interesting and the lengthiest part of the tour. It also included a stop at a historic church, some interesting buildings, and historical places of interest related to Ponce de Leon. The tour guides give a lot of info on the history of San Juan and there is plenty of time to shop at the end of the tour. Definitely wear comfortable shoes if you choose this excursion.
St. Thomas has a lot to offer and a variety of excursions to choose. We all went on the Ultimate Adventure Tour including a stop at Magens Bay. The beach was certainly beautiful as advertised, but small, and we actually enjoyed our day at Half Moon Cay more. The rest of the tour was very good with stops for spectacular views, a little shopping, and Blackbeard's castle--really a tower. Views from the top are beautiful. The rum factory was very small and a little disappointing in its size, but interesting nevertheless. There are two vats to see (and sniff) with a brief explanation of rum making, followed by free tasting and the opportunity to buy in the gift shop. There are several pirate statues around the grounds and a house to see with a tour guide inside who enjoys his job of enthusiastically telling every detail of every piece of furniture in one of the houses. History buffs may enjoy this part more than we did, but at this point in the tour you are on your own to follow the path that leads to the shopping area and the boat back to the ship so you can stay as long as you are interested.