First time cruiser: Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by crooksu

Carnival Liberty 5
Member Since 2013

Overall Member Rating

First time cruiser

Sail Date: January 2013
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
OMG! I am a first time cruiser. I kept hearing how wonderful it is to be on a ship and I had absolutely no idea of what to expect. was WAY beyond our expectations to say the least! I spent almost a year trying to figure out what needed to be done to just decide on cruise lines, destinations, ship configuration, best dining options, how to name it...I hate surprises so it is important to be prepared for what to expect as best I can.

After a year of checking into it...and waiting for my partner to retire...we drove to Florida and spent time there acclimating to the warmer weather before going to Miami to meet our cruise ship. We had booked the Faster to the Fun pass and scooted right through immigration and customs and onto our first cruise ever. We sat in the buffet room eating our first meal within about 7 minutes of boarding the ship. We had heard about the food forever and we were in the Miami harbor looking out the window of the Carnival Liberty enjoying More every moment on board. We were on board for 5 hours before even leaving the dock.

Our room was an ocean view mid ship lowest level because we had no idea if we would be sea sick or not. The room was very spacious and we LOVED being able to see the ocean outside. It was more than we ever hoped for and we were never seasick even once!

We had worried about tipping, but it was all prepaid along with our awesome shore excursions. I can't even begin to tell anyone how often we got lost on the ship to begin with...and actually clear until the end we were not totally sure which way to walk after leaving the elevators.The shore excursions were outstanding. We had our dolphin experience as well as swimming with manatees. We purchased the requisite inexpensive t-shirts as well as a piece of hand made wall art for our deck back home. We zip lined, cave tubed, snorkeled with dolphins, fed sting rays, and swam with sea turtles. It was one of the best trips we have ever been on.

The food was amazing and we were on the Dinner My Time so we had lots of different people to sit near, different times to eat, and saw lots of different people all of the time. We ate dinner in the dining room every night and it was wonderful to be able to get whatever you wanted every meal.

After wandering all over the ship to find our favorite place to lounge, we chose the adults only area at the back of the ship with hot tubs and a swimming pool and a bar right next to it all. The lounge chairs had towels in them and we rarely were able to get a lounge chair, but we did sit in other chairs there and spent a lot of time in the hot tub.

We are not people so we did not do much with ship entertainment. We went to some of the shows, but we would be tired after so much fun on the shore excursions so we sort of retired early by 9:00. Then the surprises would come in the form of towels posing as different cute animals, and somehow our beach towel would transform into a clean fresh towel. We really went through the beach towels since we spent so much time in the water. We were also glad we had two swim suits as it took awhile to dry them.

When we returned to Miami we went through a period of mourning the end of our wonderful cruise. And as soon as we drove back to Iowa (which was cold and snowy), we started planning our next cruise. We have plans to be cruise addicts in no time. I already have decided to extend our time on a cruise, and to branch out into more cruising fields.

We just can't say enough about what a surprise it was to learn what others already knew...which is that we too, LOVE cruising!! We already took our photos and made a book on Shutterfly to celebrate and share our experience. And we posted MANY of our pictures on FB for our friends to enjoy. Less

Published 02/17/13
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: 6C1309 Ocean View

WOW...we are first time cruisers and had no idea of what to expect so we were pleasantly surprised to find a spacious well lighted room with a large ocean view window. The bed was perfectly comfortable and also large. The room had a flat screen TV and channels where you could see the ship destinations and routing, plus your room portfolio. The closet and drawer space was perfect. The bathroom was a nice size and easy to put away our toiletries plus I like the pumps for soap and shampoo. The carpet was clean, the linens were great. We did not like the huge robes as they were not soft at all, nor were the bath towels, but we did appreciate getting a beach towel to take with us everywhere we went. Plus it could be traded in any time for a clean one! We LOVED our first cruise!

Read All Ocean View (6C) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We took a long bus ride, but were prepared for this by reading up on it ahead of time. It was made to feel shorter because our guides gave us a wonderful history of the country. They infused humor in the education and they stayed with us once we reached our zip line and cave tubing adventure. We felt totally secure the entire time. Everyone was polite and they took great care of us while we zip lined through the jungle, then the tubing through the caves was equally awesome. The guides were obviously proud of their country and heritage and it showed. They were amazingly educated in telling us about the history of everything we saw. I loved learning about Belize and will return at some point. Oh, and if you forgot anything, they had things available for us to rent...although it was a little bit expensive, at least we could rent water shoes and other things. Oh, and the photos were cheaper to purchase, but they were not as well done as the first port ones.

Dolphin Swim & Encounter

Awesome experience to meet and swim with dolphins. We also swam with a couple of manatees. We were confused about the difference of shore time and ship time so we missed the seal show. I will say the the lunch was a hot after ship food it was not even close to anything we would have preferred. Skip food in the future. We worried a little about the captivity of the manatees, but know they live longer in captivity. They might have had larger area for the captive animals. We purchased the photo CD but it was amazingly expensive, although we would not have gotten the wonderful photos without it.

Stingray Swim

This was a real highlight of the trip for us. The stingrays were absolutely awesome and the guides were amazing. This is a trip I will take over again for sure. We also went to see the sea turtles, but the guide was in a hurry so we rushed through the exhibits. We did get to hold a baby turtle and I loved that part. They release many of the yearling turtles, but they also sell the meat for food. I was concerned about that part. We were able to swim in a man made lagoon which was great for beginner snorkelers but not really a plus. They did provide for snorkel gear if anyone came unequipped. The real highlight here was truly the amazing sting rays! And there were very few photos taken, but they were well done and not expensive. I was able to purchase five very good pics out of the six they took. They had to email them and they were totally true to their word with that. I loved this part best out of the entire cruise.

We were able to snorkel with dolphins on this shore excursion. The dolphins were trained to push us up into the air, and pull us through the water. We were then allowed to snorkel in the deep water freely with about 20 dolphins, including little babies. I really liked that the dolphins were allowed out into the big ocean where they could be free and that they would willingly follow the ships back into their captivity after playing in the reef. We again purchased the photos, and they were much more reasonable and still pretty professional this time. Plus we were able to take some of our own photos if we wanted.
Read 2447 Roatan Reviews

Compare Prices on Carnival Liberty Western Caribbean Cruises

Read more Carnival Liberty cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Carnival Liberty Review >>

Compare Prices on Carnival Liberty Western Caribbean Cruises

Member Since 2013
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Carnival Liberty deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Carnival Liberty 76% Loved It

4 Day Bahamas Itinerary
See all Carnival Liberty Deals >>