Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by okgladmom: Carnival Liberty cruise was much enjoyed
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Carnival Liberty cruise was much enjoyed
My husband and I chose the Liberty based on it's itinerary. This was our 4th cruise, 3rd with Carnival. We flew to Miami Friday night and stayed at the Airport Embassy Suites. We left the hotel at 11:00 a.m. and arrived at the port at 11:30. The taxi cost $25. After a simple check-in, we were onboard enjoying rum punch by 12:45. The Carnival employees at check-in were courteous and helpful. We found our Aft balcony cabin at 3:00, with our bags waiting at the door. The muster drill lasted about 20 min. Dinner the first evening was open seating but we had late seating the rest of the week. Food selections were plentiful and we often chose 2 appetizer/salad selections. We ordered from the Wine package before sailing by calling Carnival's Bon Voyage dept. and the coupons were delivered to our table the first night. We also ordered a bottle of rum from the gift dept. and it was waiting in our cabin. We ordered drink coupons as well and they were also delivered to us at dinner. While these More
things weren't necessarily cheaper, they weren't added to our sail and sign account, but were charged to our credit card before we left. That way, we spread the costs out over a couple of cards. I brought along a small plastic bottle to put rum in that we took with us to the pool areas and for our day at Half Moon Cay to "doctor" up the drinks a bit. The mini-bar in the cabin is stocked with sodas, beer and airplane sized liquor bottles. Our room steward asked us if we wanted it unlocked. You can also have them remove all the items in the fridge if you want to put your own items there.
We enjoyed the Serenity area on deck 10. The lounge chairs there are a little nicer and it's definitely quieter there. However, you need to get up there early, around 8:00 on mornings at sea. There aren't a lot of chairs available and they go quickly.
I can think of three things that bothered us a bit. One, people need to clean up a bit more for dinner in the dining room. We saw people there that looked like they had just finished their Saturday morning grocery shopping. We figure if the waiters can wear nice suit/uniforms, serve us on white table cloths and cloth napkins with numerous utensils, we can put on a shirt nicer than a T-shirt. Two, while I'm happy the housekeeping staff kept our cabins clean and tidy, we could do without having to dodge their carts in the hallways. Not only the carts, there were usually vacuum cleaners and cleaning buckets full of dirty water sitting in the hallway. I don't leave those items out all day while I'm cleaning, why should they? Third, Carnival really needs to do something about crowd control on port day. I'll address it specifically in the St. Thomas review below.
Disembarkation day was completely chaotic due to the technical problem on Thursday night that slowed us down to a crawl and then on Friday with the helicopter rescue for the ill crew member. I won't spend a lot of time here since it's been addressed in several other reviews. However, I will tell you to NOT book your airplane trip home before noon. If you can't get a flight after 12:00 or so, you really need to plan on going home the next day. No reason to stress out over not being able to get off the ship as planned. Issues come up and accidents happen. You need to be prepared for them. Booking a flight before noon for an 8:00 port arrival is asking for trouble.
Overall, we enjoyed our week on the Liberty very much. The 2.0 upgrade is evident. Guy's Hamburgers were amazing. If you're a chocolate fan, be sure to ask when the chocolate buffet is. We just stumbled upon it one afternoon. Entertainment was so-so. They put the comedians in the Punchliner Comedy Club instead of the main Venetian Palace. It was extremely crowded and hard to see the stage while sitting in the back. Less
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Cabin review: Carnival Liberty Balcony Empress 7446
Our cabin was 7446, Deck 7, Empress. It was an Aft balcony. We enjoyed the view from the back of the ship. King bed, three closets, vanity, tv, mini-bar, safe, two clothing drawers and one misc. drawer. Only one electrical outlet in the cabin with another in the bathroom (it's at the top of the mirror). Keep in mind, this is as far back on the ship as you can go which means the walk back there can take a while. Maybe it helped walk off a few calories!
Port and Shore Excursions
Oh my word, what a fun excursion!! A short ride across the island gave us a chance to see the scenery before getting to power snorkel. I'd recommend this excursion to anyone because it was not your basic snorkel trip! We were instructed how to use the "under water propulsion unit", taken off shore and started snorkeling. It was simple and fun to use! The water was beautiful and we saw tons of fish. Going out to the 7,000 foot drop off was exciting too. We loved this and would definitely do it again. After getting back to the port area, we were heading down the beach to eat at Jack's Shack but didn't make it that far. Instead, we stopped at a little beach side restaurant just past Margaritaville. I can't remember the name, but we enjoyed the conch fritters.
Half Moon Cay is Carnival's private island. We tendered to it after picking up a number in the Venetian Palace. When our number was called, we proceeded to deck 0 to get on the tender boat. Leaving the island, we simple waited in line. The island itself is not a "tropical" island but the sand is beautiful and the water is crystal clear, but freezing! We didn't do any of the water activities but I saw para sailing, snorkeling and a kids swim area. Lunch buffet was good and the pavilions to sit at were nice. Be prepared, it's a small island and gets very crowded!
I'm giving San Juan port a 4 instead of 5 because we visited there extensively a few years ago. We walked around old San Juan a bit, then ate lunch at Raices, which we had eaten at before. It's on Calle Recinto Sur, just a few blocks away from the port. We also visited the Harley Davidson store which is just down the street from the port. If you've never been to Old San Juan, be sure to visit Fort San Cristobal. It's interesting and a nice walk plus you can take an awesome picture of the ship from there.
Let me begin by saying this is the 2nd time we have done VI Ecotours kayak, hike and snorkel and we LOVE it! However, we originally planned to do the Mini-Boat Adventure. We left our cabin at 9:30 to get in line to get off. First we went to deck 0 and was told the line was forming on deck 1. When we got off the elevator, the line was already around the corner and down the hall. We weren't too far in line and thought we were in good shape to get off and make the 10:15 tour. Within about 15 min, we realized we weren't moving very quickly. When we finally made it around the corner, we saw what had happened. People were lining up in both stairways, and around EVERY corner! There were no Carnival employees to tell people where to get in line and we even saw people getting off the elevators and "blending" in the lines! I'm not saying just a few people were cutting in line, but DOZENS of them! When we finally got off the ship at 10:20, the planned excursion had already left. That's when we decided to do the eco tour again. After about a 20 min. truck ride, we arrived. The instruction talk took about 10 min. then we boarded our kayak. We kayaked about 30 min. thru the beautiful mangroves then took a short hike (it's actually a walk on a trail) to the edge of the island to an area called Red Point Cliff. We loved it there and didn't want to leave! After a walk back to our kayaks, we snorkeled about 20 min. or so. It is fair snorkeling. Then we kayaked back, rode back to the ship, went onboard to change clothes and grab a snack and still had time to do some shopping at the pier.