The biggest distinction about the 110,000-ton, 2,974-passenger ship -- the latest in Carnival's Conquest class of vessels -- is its itinerary. After the ship is released from the northern Italian shipyard, Carnival will offer its first-ever series of Mediterranean itineraries.
Carnival Liberty's Mediterranean program will encompass eight 12-day cruises from Rome; ports of call include Naples, Dubrovnik, Venice, Messina (Sicily), Barcelona, Cannes and Livorno (the jumping-off port for Florence).
Following its summer/fall in Europe, the ship will reposition to Ft. Lauderdale, where it will sail a unique six- and eight-night series of Bahamas/Caribbean voyages.
Carnival Liberty's theme is not necessarily articulated in the way you'd imagine -- i.e. American spirit and patriotism (Carnival Valor pretty much claimed that design focus). Beyond signature features that apply to all ships in the Conquest family, unique aspects of the ship include the Venetian Palace, its Venice-inspired main show lounge; the ornate Gilded and Sterling dining rooms; Harry's, the alternative restaurant inspired by the jewels of Harry Winston; and Tattoos Dance Club, whose decor is centered around -- you got it -- body art.
Carnival Liberty launches on July 20.