Jamaica wedding with family and friends: Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by mankato320

Carnival Liberty 5
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

Jamaica wedding with family and friends

Sail Date: January 2010
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
We had a fantastic cruise so if your looking for negative reviews skip this one...Our family consists of two adults, two 16 year old boys, one 13 year old girl, and one 10 year old son. We left Minnesota on Friday for Miami and stayed overnight at the Wyndham Airport Hotel.

We arrived in Miami very late but had little trouble finding the hotel shuttle. My review here is about the Liberty, however if you are looking for hotel info. we had so many problems with the Wyndham that I would highly recommend you stay elsewhere.

This was our first cruise; we loaded 13 people and enough gear for 30 people into 3 cabs ($24 per cab rate max 5 people), and headed to the Port of Miami. We arrived at the Port at around 11 AM and it was already a madhouse. Some of us had our bags tagged with our Carnival deck tags, some did not. I would suggest tagging your bags prior to getting there if you can. They do have very helpful Porters that are anxious to help you and do have extra More tags. Getting on the ship is a bit of a process and some waiting, but before we knew it we were walking onto the Liberty and the holy sh*t factor kicked in. We were amazed from step one onto the ship. The Liberty is a beautiful ship and well organized. For our family we had two Balcony Staterooms on level 6 starboard aft. Our rooms were spotless and perfect for us. Our room had 2 Twin Beds converted into a King, a single Convertible Sofa and an upper bunk. My wife and I and our two youngest were in this room and it worked very well. Every night while we were at supper the sofa bed and bunk were made up and every morning the bunk was stowed away for space. With two adults and two children in our room it often looked like a tornado touched down. Twice daily our room attendants made our room look spotless. Anything left out was picked up, folded, put away, and/or organized. We ordered room service every morning. We used room service as our alarm clock and had a small breakfast and coffee on our balcony. I must add, if your considering saving some money and going with an inside stateroom, DON'T! We had inside staterooms booked and changed our minds and will never regret it. With the sun rising, a hot cup of coffee in my hand, and in my Carnival robe, I stood on our balcony and watched us port in Cozumel, The Cayman Islands, and Ocho Rios and will not regret paying extra for the experience and view. Every day ended on the balcony reflecting and watching the waves in the glow from the ship lights. We went with the soda cards for the kids which are just stickers attached to your ID card. I believe it was $38 or $39 per child but well worth it if your kids drink soda. We thought about sneaking liquor on the ship but didn't only because our hotel wasn't near a liquor store. However, it would not have benefited us because our family hangout/meeting spot was next to a bar near the casino and there was no chance I was going back to our room to mix drinks. I drink beer or bourbon and rarely drank either on the ship. Since our excursion on Mexico I have become a Margarita fan. Speaking of excursions, DO NOT BOOK THROUGH THE SHIP!!(no offense Carnival). We booked on-line for Mexico and Grand Cayman.

On the ship we tried to take part in daily activities but there is indeed too much to do. We went to a comedy show, a musical production, and some other fun shows but we seemed so busy all the time we know we missed a lot. We simply were having too much fun in the sun, in the pool, eating, eating, eating, relaxing, drinking, meeting others. It was wonderful.

I don't think we over packed but I did spend the majority of my time on the ship in swim trunks, a t-shirt, and flip flops. We did two formal nights and wore suits and ties for the guys and dresses for the gals. The guys in shirts without jackets looked under dressed and the guys in tuxedos looked over dressed. The food in the Silver Dining Room was very good and changed often. I must thank our waiters Valentine and Avito for making our evenings so memorable. They were so good to us, we will miss them dearly. I read about the Chocolate Melting Cake before we cruised; yes, I agree you must have the Chocolate Melting Cake! Harry's...wow what a meal. You must try Harry's one night and do dress formal for the meal. We agreed we would have eaten at Harry's more had we known how good it was. It's not free at $30 something per meal plus tips and drinks, but man is it good. The buffet was as good as we expected. I loaded up on my favorites every morning and always found a spot to eat next to a window for my family. Lunch was an all day thing. We found ourselves eating burgers and pizza (dang good pizza!) all day. We had a buffet supper one night because we were to lazy to get out of our flip flops. We regret that night because the dining room is so much better for supper. My advice; daily room service for something light before breakfast, buffet breakfast and lunch, and your schedule dining room (Silver or Golden-same food) or Harry's at night. We did the late seating and would recommend it. One night at Sea my son and I felt sick. It happened to be the first formal night and we believe it had a lot to do with the mass of people moving to both dining rooms at the same time. After that we took a daily motion sickness pill just in case but it really wasn't that bad. It got a bit rocky at times but we were on a ship not land so it was to be expected. We all miss the ship and know we will go back as soon as we can. We talked about the people on board; I read some comments about Carnival and "white trash", etc. The people we met and the kids met were such good people and it was so relaxed on board that I would be nervous about going on another ship. I hope those that complain of "white trash" go on another ship because I don't want to be around people that complain about other people. It seemed that everyone on board wanted to have fun and get sun and we did just that. Thank you Carnival Liberty! Less

Published 01/25/10

Cabin review: 8A6465 Balcony

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Port and Shore Excursions

In Cozumel we booked through www.cozumelcruiseexcursions.com and went on a snorkeling excursion on the Manta Catamaran. We met our crew at the Aqua Safari Pier in downtown Cozumel and oddly enough sailed back to port to pick up 20 others from the ship Carnival Freedom which was also in port that day. We snorkeled in two great spots and dumped the Freedom cruisers back at the ship port. Fernando then asked my family where we wanted to go next, alone! He gave us a couple of options and we chose a sunken ship. My point about booking on-line is that we had 27 max on our boat and every other boat we observed was packed tight. Our crew on the Manta took such good care of us and they were very good to our children. My daughter was stung by a jellyfish and Fernando was quick to help her and assure her that it happens often and gave her some minor first aid. She was back in the water shortly after. We also had great Margarita's and the best pineapple I have eaten. After our excursion we asked Fernando where we could get something good to eat that wasn't a big tourist spot like Margaritaville, and Fernando set us up with a table at Toro's Place. The food and service was fantastic. We will be going back and we loved Cozumel and the people of Cozumel!

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Our second port was Grand Cayman. THE GOOD; we booked snorkeling on-line at www.grandcaymancruiseexcursions.com and were on the Buccaneer Catamaran through Capt. Bryan's Sail and Snorkel Tours. We made 2 snorkeling stops and of course Stingray City. It was fantastic, the crew was fantastic, the boat was fantastic, our boat wasn't packed and most of the other boats were double deckers packed very tight. We loved the snorkeling and would HIGHLY recommend Capt. Bryan's Sail and Snorkel Tours. THE BAD; aside from the snorkeling we did not like Grand Cayman. This was a big debate between our family/friends and others we heard talking about it on the ship. I think we disliked it because it was way to much like being in the USA except our money is worth less there. We saw more US stores and restaurants there than we have back home. Those that loved Grand Cayman complained about street vendors in Cozumel and Ocho Rios so I think it was a perception of safety because it seemed so westernized. I personally was annoyed by the number of times I was asked if I wanted a taxi to Seven Mile Island in Grand Cayman. I had no issue with the vendors in Cozumel and Ocho Rios, and I was annoyed by the dozens and dozens of jewelry stores in Grand Cayman.

Ocho Rios; what a beautiful port. I'm a bit biased because we got married while in Ocho Rios through Tropical Weddings Jamaica. We could not be more pleased with Tropical Weddings Jamaica! It was way beyond what we expected. We did the "Cruise Sailors Package" and married on a beach in St. Ann's Bay, WOW!!! After our group did some shopping and the locals were so nice I can't wait to go back. We will go back and it was obvious they want us there and need us to keep coming back. We felt the same way in Cozumel. They know the economy depends upon tourists and they don't take it for granted. We were very concerned about our safety before we went and now I feel like a fool for worrying. Again, you will be approached by vendors and it does scare some people.

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