Carnival Liberty - Eastern Mediterranean: Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by Jef Barnett

Carnival Liberty 4
Jef Barnett

Overall Member Rating

Carnival Liberty - Eastern Mediterranean

Sail Date: July 2006
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Rome (Civitavecchia)
CARNIVAL LIBERTY - Western Mediterranean 7/18-7-30/06 Rome, Naples, Croatia, Venice, Sicily, Barcelona, Cannes, Livorno.

PAST CRUISES: We have sailed on 13 other cruises with Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity, Norwegian, Home Lines and Carnival.

REASON FOR PICKING THE LIBERTY: Itinerary and price. We usually look for a good deal and some interesting ports. We had sailed on 5 other Carnival ships and always had a good experience.

AIR ARRANGEMENTS: First time booking air via Carnival and the last. They had us going from Phila. to Frankfort then changing for a plane to Rome. They booked others on a non-stop. Returning was even worst. They booked us from Rome to Paris, then a plane to Boston, then changing again for a flight to Phila. Again, others flew more directly. The return from Rome was late, so we had to stay a day at the airport hotel in Paris because there is only one/day. We had a really hard time getting Air France to re-route More us direct to Phila rather than thru Boston because of the way Carnival booked the different airlines.

EMBARKATION: A Carnival representative met us at airport and everything went very smoothly getting to the ship and onboard. No waiting in lines.

BOARDING THE LIBERTY: First cruise on any ship where you werent greeting upon boarding the ship and either escorted to your room or directed to the proper floor. No one gave out the usual pocket-sized map of the ship. Not in the room either - had to go to the purser to get one.

CABIN: We had an outside cabin on deck 2 (Main) near the atrium elevators. Good size room (220 sqq ft) The bedding was GREAT. They use really comfortable beds, down pillows and down duvets. Best sleep I ever had on a ship. Cabin steward was excellent.

DINING ROOM: Requested the 8pm seating but got the 8:30 instead. Half the nights it was changed to 8:45. Apparently, they always get too many 8:00 requests. It worked out fine. The waiter was the worst we have had. He never introduced himself, never chatted with the guests or tried to get friendly. His assistant was much better but also quiet. Thankfully, our table of 10 hit it off. (except for the French-only speaking couple). We really think that when the cruise lines started to add the tips to your bill, the service suffered. Others on the cruise had excellent servers so maybe ors was just an isolated incident. I would have complained to the captain or the maitre d' but that was even worse service. It appeared that the only person overseeing all the wait staff was Paul, the dining room manager. Every other ship had a captain for the floor and then the manager/maitre d'. We never saw Paul except when he made the announcements at the end of the dinner. Again a drop in service for Carnival.

FOOD: Typical of Carnival. That is to say, not the fanciest food or the most interesting of sauces but good quality fare. Overall we enjoyed the dinners. Same regarding the breakfasts and lunches that we attended. Very disappointed at the special Midnight Buffet& we have always waited to take pictures and then eat some of the most creatively designed cakes, breads, desserts in the shapes of animals, flowers, buildings&well there was almost done of that on the Liberty! To say we were disappointed would be a gross understatement& One ice carving, some fancy desserts, and dont want to forget the cheese and cracker platters with the crackers still in their cellophane packages  really!!!

LIDO: We ate at Emiles a few times. We thought the layout of the restaurant was difficult to navigate and find food options. 24 hours soft yogurt station was great.

BAR SERVICE: Not a lot of waiters around the pool areas nor at the shows. This was really a change except you could never get a drink when you wanted one. Maybe they went too far on cutting back those annoying waiters.

GETTING AROUND THE SHIP: There are two dining rooms on this ship. The Golden Dining Room is mid-ship- decks 3 and 4 so its location does not allow for aft to forward passage. You must go up to deck 5 or down to deck 2 to travel freely. Tried to get used to this, but it still kept getting everyone a problem!

PORTS OF CALL: The best thing about the cruise was the ports we visited. Each one had its own charm and story behind it. We did not use Carnival tours anywhere, but pre-arranged group private tours with members on our roll-call for Naples, Cannes, Dubrovnik, and did things on our own at the other ports. It was hot, humid and crowded most places. Would try not do Med. Cruise again in the summer months when everyone else in on vacation. We were in Italy 2 years ago in May and saw about ¼ of the crowds we did this time.

OVERALL: This was a fantastic cruise, 12 nights gave us time to see a number of ports and still have over 3 days at sea to relax. Met some great people through CruiseCritic.coms roll-call as well as our dining room table-mates. The ship was beautiful, cabin overall was great, the food was good, (Carnival level-as expected), but the overall service was below Carnival standards. Less

Published 09/25/06

Cabin review: 6a

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Jef Barnett
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