Fun Vacation: Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by trapnellkrystal

Carnival Liberty 4
Member Since 2013

Overall Member Rating

Fun Vacation

Sail Date: February 2013
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale around 10:00 am and us SAS shuttle service ($15/person) to head to Port Miami. Although we were advised not to check in until 1:00, we had no problem checking in around 11:30. Process was smooth without much waiting. We did have to wait several hours for our luggage to arrive (it wasn't there until after the safety drill, hours after it was supposed to arrive),which was a minor inconvenience.

Overall impression of the ship: as other reviewers have mentioned, the Liberty has a weird layout. The only decks that go all the way across are 5 and 9, which makes navigating a bit tricky. The hot tubs (besides the one nearest the slide) are not quite hot enough. It's impossible to get away from the smoking areas. You have to walk past the casino to get to the Silver dining room every night, and it is always full of smoke. That was our biggest complaint about the cruise. Second biggest complaint was the crowds. There are some areas (deck 5 specifically) More where it was hard to get around, especially on Elegant night, as there are many people waiting to get their pictures taken. There just aren't enough common areas that aren't right in walkways.

Food-The food quality was quite good. We typically ate breakfast at the burrito stand (the breakfast burritos are awesome).Breakfast in the dining room was also quite yummy if we had the time to sit down for that. The lunch buffet wasn't great, and we were rarely hungry before 2:30 anyway, so we were left with Guy's Burgers (which were yummy, but not always what you wanted to eat after a big breakfast) or the pizza, which was just okay. We ate dinner every night in the dining room and enjoyed many of the dishes there. One of our servers found out we liked apple juice with our meals, and always had some waiting for us when we got there. None of us liked any of the beef dishes, but we all liked many of the seafood dishes. There was always something we loved every night. Desserts were good, but nothing was better than the warm melting chocolate cake. I only wish I hadn't been so full when it was served every night.

Entertainment-Carnival has earned the reputation as the "party boat," and it is well-deserved. The crowd is much younger and so there are a lot of activities tailored to people who want to dance, limbo, participate in hairy chest contests, etc. There are musicians all over the ship, playing music and encouraging dancing. That was fun. The shows were fairly good, some better than others (we liked Edge, the juggler extraordinaire). We really enjoyed the comedy of Cowboy Bill, and imagine he won't be doing cruises much longer, as he is just that good. We also participated in some trivia games and Scattergories and those were a lot of fun.

Tendering in Belize and Grand Cayman was a bit of a pain. We had excursions booked in both places (not through Carnival) and had to wait in long lines to get on the boats. In the future, I would take breakfast down to the lounge to wait before the time you are supposed to be there, to ensure you make the first tender boat. Both times we made it to our tours just fine, as the boats run often.

We had fabulous weather, until our final day at sea, when it rained all day. That was a bit of a bummer, but there was plenty to do to keep us busy. We checked out Yahtzee from the library and played. Karl was an energetic cruise director and the Love and Marriage game on Friday was one of his highlights. Not to mention his impression of Dolly Parton in the Friday night show.

Overall, it was a fabulous vacation and Carnival exceeded our (admittedly low) expectations. Less

Published 03/07/13

Cabin review: 8E Balcony

We had a balcony, which meant extra interior space as well. Bed was not as comfortable as others we have experienced, but not bad. Balcony was nice, but our neighbors next door were always smoking outside, which made our experience far less enjoyable. Great location, on deck 10 close to the pool and the Lido deck on 9.

Read All Balcony (8E) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We had prebooked a cave tubing excursion with, and got on the second tender boat to Belize City. We loaded into a bus and were taken to the ATV center about an hour away. We opted for the ATV experience first, and spent about an hour driving ATVs through the muddy jungle. It was so much fun! We then joined the rest of the group and finished our cave tubing experience. It was a great excursion, followed by some delicious Belizean tamales back at the ATV center. You could also purchase drinks and snacks there (including soda in glass bottles for $1--what a bargain!). Belize City itself is a little sketchy, but there are some bargains to be found outside the cruise terminal. Definitely book an excursion if you go here. Our Cave Tubing was $50/person, plus another $25 for the ATV.

Our plan for Cozumel was to take the first ferry to Playa del Carmen, rent a car, and visit Tulum and a cenote on the mainland. We took a taxi down to the ferry, but they were only running every two hours and we were going to have to wait over an hour and a half before the next one left. We decided it would be too tight (time wise) to head over to the mainland, and instead decided to stay on Cozumel. We took a taxi back to the cruise port and walked around outside until we found a little rental agency (at a gas station) that would rent us a Jeep for $55. We spent the day exploring the island, saw the ruins on the northwest side of the island (not very impressive), and then ended up at Mr. Sancho's resort. We had a really fun day, even ending up back in the town to do some shopping away from the other cruisers, before we had to return the Jeep and board the ship.
Read 5470 Cozumel Reviews

Stingray Swim

We booked the Stingray swim/Coral Gardens snorkel ahead of time with Discount Excursions for $35/person. We were loaded into a bus with 20 other people and taken to the boat (stopping for ice and squid at the local market). The stingray experience was crowded (many other boats there), but a lot of fun and something everyone should do. The snorkeling was fantastic and the water clarity was amazing. Would recommend this to anyone.

Our favorite port was also our shortest day. Sadly. We got off the ship without a clear plan of what we were going to do. A taxi driver outside told us that he'd take our group of 4 to West Bay (or the west end) and back for $25 a person. That didn't include any of the amenities at the beach. We opted instead to rent a car for $50 and we set off exploring on our own. We took the advice of the car rental agent and went to Palm Bay Beach, about 20 minutes away. For $10/person we were able to go into the resort and use their amenities there. There were less than 50 people there total, and it felt very secluded. For another $10/person, we had a guy take us out to the reef in a speedboat and snorkel with us for over an hour. He found an eel for us and also a sea cucumber. The water was gorgeous and the snorkeling was a lot of fun. It was our own private tour! We had to be back to the boat by 2:30, but wished we could have stayed all day (and even more). We stopped for some local shopping and made a deal with a woman on some dresses she had made. We also talked another local into showing us where the local market was so we could buy some Honduras vanilla (which ended up being about $1.50 a bottle, as opposed to the $5 other sellers were asking). I definitely want to go back to this gorgeous island and spend much more time!
Read 2443 Roatan Reviews

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