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First off, I’d like to say that this was our 4th Carnival Cruise and the longest at 8 days. So far, the Liberty has been the best ship yet. There are many things to like, especially since this ship has gained several of the Fun Ship 2.0 features such as the Red Frog Rum Bar, the Blue Iguana Tequila Bar and Blue Iguana Cantina, Guy’s Burger Joint, and the Alchemy Bar. November is already a great time to cruise to the Caribbean and even though the ship had over 3000 passengers on it (I asked), it never felt crowded. There were always places to find a quiet chair. Traffic flow was very good and the multi-tiered lido deck is spacious and open-feeling. I think the only place I saw a lot of people together was in the dining rooms and comedy club. Embarkation went smoothly once we got to the terminal. We used an offsite parking service called Park n’ Cruise which is located about 3 miles away from Port Canaveral. Usually, this goes very fast (great service) and we are shuttled to the port within a half hour, but today, there were 5 ships in port all trying to offload a possible total of 17,500 – 23,00 passengers and there was complete gridlock at the port. Once inside the terminal, we got through security, got our sail n sign cards and were heading up the boarding ramp in 20 minutes. The Liberty has a somewhat toned-down decorating scheme when compared to other Carnival ships – yes, this ship’s interior was designed by Carnival’s ummm….famous Joe Farcus, whose loud and often clashing styles define other Carnival ships. On the Liberty, you will find a garden theme with wrought iron and floral touches throughout the halls and main atrium. Not quite classy, but not as obnoxious as I found the Freedom, Ecstasy and Legend to be, visually. Of my favorite places on the ship, the Serenity area is always nice with its cushy wicker chairs and hot tubs high on the bow and the aft pool area for the late night snacks and hot tubs. Dark sky enthusiasts should head up to the “secret” observation decks on decks 6, 7 and 9 forward (10 has light from the top). On clear nights, you can see millions of stars! Entertainment – there is certainly plenty to do onboard; the hard part is figuring out what to do first. We loved the two stage shows “Singin’ With the Big Band” and “Rock Down Broadway”. Our other favorite is comedy shows and on this 8 day voyage, we got to see 4 comedians 3 of which we really liked. The lounges are spacious, but get there at least 20 minutes early so you get a good seat because they fill fast. They have karaoke with a twist – you get to sing with the show band behind you in the comedy lounge. Some contestants were fabulous! Another cool thing they had was called Carnival Legends where they held auditions for parts of famous singers and people practiced all week to appear in a big show on the last night where they did their performance as Garth Brooks, Aretha Franklin, Madonna, Frank Sinatra, Ricky Martin and others. It was a blast! Other things going on around the ship included game shows, trivia, the ever popular newlywed game and of course the always funny Men’s hairy chest contest and scavenger hunts. There is usually live music playing somewhere – on lido (almost all day) and over near the casino. The guy they had on lido was awful – I’m in favor of bringing back the steel drum calypso / reggae band or just letting the DJ play dance or island music (Jimmy Buffet anyone?) Food, food and more food! The American Table fare in the MDR (main dining room) was good as usual. I took full advantage of formal/lobster night by ordering two entrées and skipping dessert. We decided to try the specialty restaurant, Diamonds, this time and were not disappointed. Our 5 course meals were fabulous and since we booked it on the first night, we got a free bottle of wine. The service up there was exceptional, slower paced and less hectic than in the MDR (no singing/dancing waiters either). We each finished dinner with the biggest hunk of beautiful cheesecake we had even gotten. Neither of us could finish it. If this is your first Carnival cruise, you MUST grab a Guy’s burger for lunch. It’s only open from 11 to 6. There are several “stock” burgers or you can get it plain with or without cheese and add all your own goodies over at the toppings bar nearby. YUM! I have always liked the pizza on Carnival ships and this one was good too, but the pizza chef was quite stingy with the toppings when compared to past cruises. Cabin – Our cabin was on deck 7 (Empress), # 7202 which is sold as an inside cabin all the way forward with a large window that overlooks a public observation deck (obstructed view)…that almost no one knows is there (the fabled “secret” forward decks). These rooms are great because they are quiet and if you enjoy feeling some ocean motion to help remind you that you are on a ship – these are the cabins for you. Yes, it’s a bit of a walk to the dining room in the aft section, but hey; after consuming a few Guy’s burgers, you can use the extra walking, right? The only downside is that this particular room is right across the hall from the crew cleaning closet so on a few mornings, we could hear the stewards opening and closing that door. Not a big deal though. Our cabin steward was wonderful. He kept our room cleaned and even let me keep every towel animal so I could take a group photo on the last night. Tip – bring some large suction cup hooks with you. You can hang up more clothes inside/outside of the closets or on the walls of the bathroom. Spa & Gym – this was the first time we decided to use the spa services. Hubby won some money in the casino so we booked a couples hot stone massage. The massage was ok, but in my opinion not any better than the regular massages I get back home at Massage Envy for a third of the price. At the end, the two very nice Asian therapists did a “product consultation”, AKA hard sell of all the lotions and stuff they use. It was awkward sitting through that because we knew we were NOT going to spend $30 on lotion or whatever. In my opinion, most of the spa services are grossly overpriced and they try to sell you stuff so we won’t be doing that next time. The gym was beautiful! There were many different weight machines, treadmills and elliptical machines to use. Large windows made the space seem airy and open. You can take a few fitness classes too….but let’s not get crazy, I’m on vacation here. Ports – We visited Nassau, Grand Turk, San Juan and St. Maarten; all of which were really pretty and nice. To each their own when it comes to excursions, but here’s what we did. Nassau – just walked around shopping and stopped at Senor Frogs for conch fritters and drinks. Weather was great in November and all the shops and outdoor markets were in high gear. Grand Turk – we didn’t plan an excursion here either and just made it a beach day. You can grab a free lounger on the beach or head on over to the shopping area and Margaritville’s giant pool area. They have a Flowrider surf simulator there and for $40 a wristband, you can wipe out as many times as it takes. If you bring snorkel gear, you can snorkel right there near the ship. The water is crystal clear – just wait about an hour after docking so the water isn’t churned up anymore. Good cell service here (T-Mobile) San Juan – beautiful place to visit, but not enough time to see much. We did a self-guided tour through the center of town and managed to spend 3 hours at the smaller fort before being too tired to go to the larger fort. Tip – wear your most comfortable shoes here and carry water and don’t forget to stretch before setting out. San Juan is really hilly and there are a lot of steep ramps and stairs at the forts. Great cell service here. St. Maarten – we did schedule an excursion here for the America’s Cup Regatta. I have always wanted to sail on one of these 12 metre boats and here we got the chance. These boats are from the 87 race. The crew showed us how to sail and we all had fun even though we didn’t win. Crappy cell service here. Debarkation went smoothly. Our deck was called for self-assist at 9:15 and we were through the terminal and on a Park n Cruise shuttle within 20 minutes. As usual, the last morning is sad because you are reminded that work is looming on Monday morning, but until I win the Mega Money lottery, I will have to limit my cruising to once a year. Overall, this trip was our favorite. The ship was wonderful; the service fabulous, the food yummy and everyone we met was nice. It also didn’t hurt that we won some money in the casino and so Carnival ended up paying for our overpriced spa treatments and lunch at Margaritaville. Next up: Carnival Breeze!  

Beautiful Ship = Wonderful Week!

Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by CruiseKittyFL

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2014
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Interior with Picture Window (obstructed views)
First off, I’d like to say that this was our 4th Carnival Cruise and the longest at 8 days. So far, the Liberty has been the best ship yet. There are many things to like, especially since this ship has gained several of the Fun Ship 2.0 features such as the Red Frog Rum Bar, the Blue Iguana Tequila Bar and Blue Iguana Cantina, Guy’s Burger Joint, and the Alchemy Bar. November is already a great time to cruise to the Caribbean and even though the ship had over 3000 passengers on it (I asked), it never felt crowded. There were always places to find a quiet chair. Traffic flow was very good and the multi-tiered lido deck is spacious and open-feeling. I think the only place I saw a lot of people together was in the dining rooms and comedy club.
Embarkation went smoothly once we got to the terminal. We used an offsite parking service called Park n’ Cruise which is located about 3 miles away from Port Canaveral. Usually, this goes very fast (great service) and we are shuttled to the port within a half hour, but today, there were 5 ships in port all trying to offload a possible total of 17,500 – 23,00 passengers and there was complete gridlock at the port. Once inside the terminal, we got through security, got our sail n sign cards and were heading up the boarding ramp in 20 minutes.
The Liberty has a somewhat toned-down decorating scheme when compared to other Carnival ships – yes, this ship’s interior was designed by Carnival’s ummm….famous Joe Farcus, whose loud and often clashing styles define other Carnival ships. On the Liberty, you will find a garden theme with wrought iron and floral touches throughout the halls and main atrium. Not quite classy, but not as obnoxious as I found the Freedom, Ecstasy and Legend to be, visually. Of my favorite places on the ship, the Serenity area is always nice with its cushy wicker chairs and hot tubs high on the bow and the aft pool area for the late night snacks and hot tubs. Dark sky enthusiasts should head up to the “secret” observation decks on decks 6, 7 and 9 forward (10 has light from the top). On clear nights, you can see millions of stars!
Entertainment – there is certainly plenty to do onboard; the hard part is figuring out what to do first. We loved the two stage shows “Singin’ With the Big Band” and “Rock Down Broadway”. Our other favorite is comedy shows and on this 8 day voyage, we got to see 4 comedians 3 of which we really liked. The lounges are spacious, but get there at least 20 minutes early so you get a good seat because they fill fast. They have karaoke with a twist – you get to sing with the show band behind you in the comedy lounge. Some contestants were fabulous! Another cool thing they had was called Carnival Legends where they held auditions for parts of famous singers and people practiced all week to appear in a big show on the last night where they did their performance as Garth Brooks, Aretha Franklin, Madonna, Frank Sinatra, Ricky Martin and others. It was a blast! Other things going on around the ship included game shows, trivia, the ever popular newlywed game and of course the always funny Men’s hairy chest contest and scavenger hunts. There is usually live music playing somewhere – on lido (almost all day) and over near the casino. The guy they had on lido was awful – I’m in favor of bringing back the steel drum calypso / reggae band or just letting the DJ play dance or island music (Jimmy Buffet anyone?)
Food, food and more food! The American Table fare in the MDR (main dining room) was good as usual. I took full advantage of formal/lobster night by ordering two entrées and skipping dessert. We decided to try the specialty restaurant, Diamonds, this time and were not disappointed. Our 5 course meals were fabulous and since we booked it on the first night, we got a free bottle of wine. The service up there was exceptional, slower paced and less hectic than in the MDR (no singing/dancing waiters either). We each finished dinner with the biggest hunk of beautiful cheesecake we had even gotten. Neither of us could finish it. If this is your first Carnival cruise, you MUST grab a Guy’s burger for lunch. It’s only open from 11 to 6. There are several “stock” burgers or you can get it plain with or without cheese and add all your own goodies over at the toppings bar nearby. YUM! I have always liked the pizza on Carnival ships and this one was good too, but the pizza chef was quite stingy with the toppings when compared to past cruises.
Cabin – Our cabin was on deck 7 (Empress), # 7202 which is sold as an inside cabin all the way forward with a large window that overlooks a public observation deck (obstructed view)…that almost no one knows is there (the fabled “secret” forward decks). These rooms are great because they are quiet and if you enjoy feeling some ocean motion to help remind you that you are on a ship – these are the cabins for you. Yes, it’s a bit of a walk to the dining room in the aft section, but hey; after consuming a few Guy’s burgers, you can use the extra walking, right? The only downside is that this particular room is right across the hall from the crew cleaning closet so on a few mornings, we could hear the stewards opening and closing that door. Not a big deal though. Our cabin steward was wonderful. He kept our room cleaned and even let me keep every towel animal so I could take a group photo on the last night. Tip – bring some large suction cup hooks with you. You can hang up more clothes inside/outside of the closets or on the walls of the bathroom.
Spa & Gym – this was the first time we decided to use the spa services. Hubby won some money in the casino so we booked a couples hot stone massage. The massage was ok, but in my opinion not any better than the regular massages I get back home at Massage Envy for a third of the price. At the end, the two very nice Asian therapists did a “product consultation”, AKA hard sell of all the lotions and stuff they use. It was awkward sitting through that because we knew we were NOT going to spend $30 on lotion or whatever. In my opinion, most of the spa services are grossly overpriced and they try to sell you stuff so we won’t be doing that next time. The gym was beautiful! There were many different weight machines, treadmills and elliptical machines to use. Large windows made the space seem airy and open. You can take a few fitness classes too….but let’s not get crazy, I’m on vacation here.
Ports – We visited Nassau, Grand Turk, San Juan and St. Maarten; all of which were really pretty and nice. To each their own when it comes to excursions, but here’s what we did.
Nassau – just walked around shopping and stopped at Senor Frogs for conch fritters and drinks. Weather was great in November and all the shops and outdoor markets were in high gear.
Grand Turk – we didn’t plan an excursion here either and just made it a beach day. You can grab a free lounger on the beach or head on over to the shopping area and Margaritville’s giant pool area. They have a Flowrider surf simulator there and for $40 a wristband, you can wipe out as many times as it takes. If you bring snorkel gear, you can snorkel right there near the ship. The water is crystal clear – just wait about an hour after docking so the water isn’t churned up anymore. Good cell service here (T-Mobile)
San Juan – beautiful place to visit, but not enough time to see much. We did a self-guided tour through the center of town and managed to spend 3 hours at the smaller fort before being too tired to go to the larger fort. Tip – wear your most comfortable shoes here and carry water and don’t forget to stretch before setting out. San Juan is really hilly and there are a lot of steep ramps and stairs at the forts. Great cell service here.
St. Maarten – we did schedule an excursion here for the America’s Cup Regatta. I have always wanted to sail on one of these 12 metre boats and here we got the chance. These boats are from the 87 race. The crew showed us how to sail and we all had fun even though we didn’t win. Crappy cell service here.
Debarkation went smoothly. Our deck was called for self-assist at 9:15 and we were through the terminal and on a Park n Cruise shuttle within 20 minutes. As usual, the last morning is sad because you are reminded that work is looming on Monday morning, but until I win the Mega Money lottery, I will have to limit my cruising to once a year. Overall, this trip was our favorite. The ship was wonderful; the service fabulous, the food yummy and everyone we met was nice. It also didn’t hurt that we won some money in the casino and so Carnival ended up paying for our overpriced spa treatments and lunch at Margaritaville. Next up: Carnival Breeze!
 
CruiseKittyFL’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior with Picture Window (obstructed views)
Cabin 4J 7202
Cabin – Our cabin was on deck 7 (Empress), # 7202 which is sold as an inside cabin all the way forward with a large window that overlooks a public observation deck (obstructed view)…that almost no one knows is there (the fabled “secret” forward decks). These rooms are great because they are quiet and if you enjoy feeling some ocean motion to help remind you that you are on a ship – these are the cabins for you. Yes, it’s a bit of a walk to the dining room in the aft section, but hey; after consuming a few Guy’s burgers, you can use the extra walking, right? The only downside is that this particular room is right across the hall from the crew cleaning closet so on a few mornings, we could hear the stewards opening and closing that door. Not a big deal though. Our cabin steward was wonderful. He kept our room cleaned and even let me keep every towel animal so I could take a group photo on the last night. Tip – bring some large suction cup hooks with you. You can hang up more clothes inside/outside of the closets or on the walls of the bathroom.
Panorama Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Grand Turk
    We didn’t plan an excursion here and just made it a beach day. You can grab a free lounger on the beach or head on over to the shopping area and Margaritville’s giant pool area. They have a Flowrider surf simulator there and for $40 a wristband, you can wipe out as many times as it takes. If you bring snorkel gear, you can snorkel right there near the ship. The water is crystal clear – just wait about an hour after docking so the water isn’t churned up anymore. Nice places to shop here. There is an exhibit dedicated to the space capsule landing near here many years ago. Good cell service here (T-Mobile)
    View All 2,168 Grand Turk Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Grand Turk Cruise Port Review
  • Nassau
    We just walked around shopping and stopped at Senor Frogs for conch fritters and drinks. Weather was great in November and all the shops and outdoor markets were in high gear. Nassau has a ton of shopping areas. You can find just about anything at reasonable prices. The conch fritters at Senor Frogs are very good. McDonald's has free wifi.
    View All 5,989 Nassau Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Nassau Cruise Port Review
  • San Juan
    Beautiful place to visit, but not enough time to see much. It would probably take 3-4 days to really see all the big attractions. We did a self-guided tour through the center of town and managed to spend 3 hours at the smaller fort before being too tired to go to the larger fort. Tip – wear your most comfortable shoes here and carry water and don’t forget to stretch before setting out. San Juan is really hilly and there are a lot of steep ramps and stairs at the forts. It is a beautiful city with a lot of character. Great cell service here (T-mobile).
    View All 3,924 San Juan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's San Juan Cruise Port Review
  • St. Maarten
    St. Maarten is very pretty - mountains and a lot of pretty beaches. They have recently built a very nice visitor center full of shops, restaurants and bars. We did schedule an excursion here for the America’s Cup Regatta so we didn't have much time to explore the est of the island.
    View All 4,822 St. Maarten Cruise Port Reviews
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