Boarded the Carnival Liberty on March 3, 2012 with no issues. Boarding was fast with a scan check-in and we were on board before 1 PM drinking our frozen drink of the day and lunching on Lido deck.
Day 1 Half Moon Cay
If you like going to the beach, this stop is for you! Carnival's island is a short tender away and the entire ship staff is on land to serve you, complete with the bar staff, and BBQ lunch. The water is beautiful and we had a fun day with our teenagers just enjoying the sun and surf.
Day 2 At Sea
Nice day but we noticed that even for a formal night, Carnival does not have the shrimp cocktail they used to have every night (my son's favorite.) The new Guy Burger place is really good if you like a gourmet burger - this is a free lunch station that stays open until around 5 PM.
Day 3 St. Thomas
Busy port, love Megan's Bay and our teens enjoyed being able to buy their own drinks as the drinking age is only 18. Shopping is good in St. Thomas as well.
Day 4 Puerto Rico
Light showers this day and we opted to pick up a tour when we got into port as opposed to a Carnival Tour. Our cost was $20 per person and we did the same tour that was $42 as an excursion. We say the new areas, the San Juan Fort, shopping in the old area and back to the ship. We had plenty of time at each spot and a very knowledgeable tour guide who was full of information.
I (mom - 40s) had a seaweed massage when I got back on ship at the 30% discount - $137. It was 2 hours and very relaxing, I had an additional rub they did not explain so the bill was $157 plus the $20 tip, so massage total was $177.
Day 4 Grand Turk
Nice spo, again we are not too adventurous and stay near the boat for safety. Shopping was expensive here, and drinks at Margaritaville were $10, but the bar was fun with a swimming pool, swing chairs, right on the ocean.
We booked a later afternoon snorkel, rum catamaran cruise was really fun. All who came off said it was the best excursion, and we agreed. The crew was very safety conscious, took us to great areas to see a lot of fish and coral.
Chocolate bar was held in the afternoon and was not really great, I would rate it as average overall. Felt like a weird time to have a chocolate bar.
THEN the issues began. On the way out of Grand Turk late evening, we apparently lost an engine. We were informed during our sea day on Friday and we also had a crew member get ill and need a life flight off the ship Friday evening. Both events delayed our return to Miami until 11AM on Saturday.
Our debarkation was a complete debacle and this is where Karl with a K really let us all down. He kept telling people to leave the 3rd deck lobby, but never gave people good direction on where they should go or when to get off. An hour after we docked the 3rd floor lobby, lounge, and all stairs were loaded with self assist people. We never heard numbers called to move us from our stateroom, so everyone kept coming onto 3 from elevators to a packed area.
The comics were a highlight, but so many people liked the comedians they might have been better putting them in the main showroom instead of the back lounge.
Bob the piano guy did not do it for us as other pianist have done on all our previous cruises, and other folks must have felt the same way as he never filled the house after his first night.
I know music near the casino seems like a good idea, but it blocked the hallway on the Prominade deck (combined with the photo folks) so it was always a traffic nightmare in that area after dinners.
Overall we like Carnival due to the number of activities on-board that our family members can enjoy, but I think we might look to go a bit more upscale on our next cruise as we do like fine meals and dressing a bit nicer for dinner.