ENTERTAINMENT/ACTIVITIES: enough to cater to all tastes, from funny and wild dancing on the Lido Deck to calm, piano or violin music in the lobby and walking areas on Deck 5. The comedy club was great, loved the ambiance and lounge atmosphere. The shows we saw were entertaining with the America Rocks show being our favorite. We missed the Love and Marriage Show, but we were told this was a must-see, as the passengers said they laughed and laughed. The Cruise Director (Donkey) was funny and seemed to really enjoy his job and interacting with the passengers at all of the events.
CLEANLINESS: We never noticed any area as being dirty and staff were constantly cleaning everywhere.
HUB APP: It is free and was very helpful in getting information about anything you needed.
GUY’S BURGERS: very fresh and cooked within minutes of when you get it. This place really makes up for what the buffet lacks. You can go here and get exactly what you expect for taste, quality and convenience.
PASSENGERS: All were on vacay mode and everyone was friendly and happy. Very relaxed dress code, but not so relaxed that you think you are in Walmart lol.
DIVE IN MOVIES: located on the pool deck-volume was loud enough to hear but not too loud, they provided popcorn and blankets for each movie. The movies were current and good, clear screen.
SMOKING: Smoking allowed on one side of Deck 10 overlooking the pool/movie area where you can still enjoy watching the activities and movies. Smoking area on Deck 3 just off the Lobby is perfect for a nice, quiet area to smoke and enjoy the ocean sounds and just relax. There is a smoking area in the casino also, on one side of the bar furthest from the open walking area.
FOOD: buffet, Mexican, Mongolian grill, Pizza Pirate, steakhouse (upcharge of $30/person), main dining room, unlimited tea/coffee/juices/lemonade.
STAFF: all very friendly, helpful and speak to you when you pass. They truly seem happy to be there and not just putting on an act.
CABIN: we were on Deck 2 in an interior cabin with portholes. Not as small and cramped as we thought, the shampoo and body wash was surprisingly good quality and smelled really good. Cabin steward was always on time, kept the room very clean morning and night and delivered cute towel animals each day
PORTS: The ports on this cruise were Nassau and Princess Cays. Nassau is definitely a tourist area with lots of shopping and Junkanoo beach is not far away (about a 15 minute walk from the ship). The beach was clean, water clear and blue, plenty of food and drink to choose from for a fee that wasn’t too outrageous. A little bit of selling at the entrance of the beach, but not annoying and we were pretty much left alone to enjoy a day on the beach.
DRINKING/BARS: Lots of choices of drinks and very tasty. Bartenders were working their butts off the whole time, trying to get to each customer quickly.
CONS (my very subjective review):
ENTERTAINMENT/ACTIVITIES: So many to choose from! The ship does a great job of letting you know what is offered and times; however, you can’t possibly see them all, so choose wisely and get there at least 30 minutes early to ensure you have a seat. They fill up fast. The shows in the Venetian (Flick and America Rocks) were good. Don’t expect a full-on Broadway show with top, seasoned performers. They were good and put on a good show, but you can tell some still needed time to perfect their voices. I can’t carry a tune, so who am I to judge lol.
CLEANLINESS: Not really a cleanliness issue per se, but there was a strong smell of sewage on the 2nd level hallway that just would not go away the whole trip. Seemed like the higher the floor, the less the smell. Choose a higher deck if you get sick on your stomach easily. We were in the very front of the ship and it was a VERY LONG walk from the elevator to get to the room. If we rode a bike down the hall, it would have taken us about 2 minutes to get there, it is THAT LONG! You can feel the ship rocking way more in the front. One night is was choppy waters and we could hear the waves hitting against the ship, which woke us up and sounded like really hard rocks hitting the ship hard. Scary if you aren’t expecting it.
HUB APP: If they had a GPS on the app to help you find your way around this huge ship, that would save a lot of walking and sore muscles for us out of shape old folks with bad hips and feet! The ship is HUGE and there is a LOT of walking involved to get where you want to go. There are maps at the elevators that show you where things are located, but most of the time we didn’t know if we were near the front or back of the ship.
PASSENGERS: We were entertained people-watching; however, if you are looking for a more calm, sophisticated crowd, you may want to consider another cruise line. There’s lots of drinking, loud dance music (we liked it, but some people don’t) and lots of younger women who liked to flaunt their bodies (fine for them, not so much for kids, etc if you are more conservative).
CABIN: The only noticeable thing that could have been better was the mini fridge was not really cold. The sewage smell on Deck 2 where we stayed was very strong and was there the entire cruise.
FOOD: Don’t expect to be able to eat what you want at all hours. The buffets, Guy’s Burgers and other food areas are NOT open 24 hours. Pizza Pirate is only good for a quick meal if you are hungry-it is open 24 hours but since the other areas aren’t open, there is a LONG line and the pizza is not what you’re used to when ordering from the name brand pizza places. The buffets will suffice when you are hungry, but they don’t have a huge amount of veggie choices and limited meat choices. Breakfast bar has the instant scrambled eggs, which I can usually eat at other restaurants, but I found these yucky, so I opted for omelettes made with the real eggs instead. The omelette outlet has a line, so be prepared to wait for it. Other food outlets looked to be better quality food/taste, but there is an upcharge for them (sushi, steakhouse, etc). The Blue Iguana Cantina looked yummy (tortillas, taco salads, salsa bar, etc), but every time we went they were either closed or closing.
PORTS: Nassau is HEAVILY a tourist area and the people selling are VERY pushy, will get in your face at times trying to sell you this or that, following you as you walk. There were TONS of taxis lined up where you first enter the sidewalks and every other seller seemed to be yelling at us to either use their cab or buy their wares. If you aren’t firm with a “No, thank you” they will hound you a little bit. We walked to Junkanoo Beach, which was about 15 minutes from the ship. After a few minutes of walking and getting hounded, we got really annoyed by all of it. Princess Cays: we chose not to go because we heard it was very rocky and you can’t get to it unless you take a water taxi provided by the ship, so we chose not to go. Other passengers that went said they saw a lot of neat fish and sting rays when swimming and snorkeling, and all of them said it was really rocky to walk without water shoes.
DRINKING/BARS: DO NOT BUY THE SIGNATURE DRINK THEY PASS AROUND AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CRUISE! We got two tumblers of Rum Punch and were charged $58 (our fault for not asking the price or looking at the receipt we signed)! The itemized cost was 1) the punch itself, 2) the tumbler, 3) the lid (yes, the lid!) and 4) a $7 fee for the tip for the little guy that gave it to us! We planned to get a little smashed on the trip but it never happened. I do not drink mixed drinks, but I decided to get some on this trip expecting to have one or two as my limit since I am a lightweight. I NEVER felt buzzed at all. I began suspecting the liquor was watered down somehow. I watched the bartenders as they poured the correct amount into each drink I ordered, too. Beers are $7 each and up and mixed drinks that we ordered were $9 and up. That is BEFORE the automatic tip (18%) is added to your bill, each time you order.
PREPAID GRATUITIES: These are NOT including bar tips, so be prepared for that.
CUSTOMER SERVICES: LONG lines and a wait each time we went, especially on embarkation day and disembarking to settle your account the night before or the day of. The staff did come around to the line and try to help the passengers in advance of reaching the desk, which was great.
SELF SERVICE KIOSKS: Both kiosks on Deck 3 and Deck 5 were not working the first day. Usually there’s a line to use them, so be prepared to wait a bit.
ATMS: $6 fee to get cash, so get your cash before you board if you don’t want to pay that fee.
We went to relax, escape and disconnect and weren’t disappointed. The cons served as a learning experience for us as new cruisers and were things we learned to expect when we cruise again. We will adjust our choices to allow for those, but none of the cons were so much that it would stop us from cruising on the Liberty again. We learned that the drink package is a must if you are a drinker, even if you don’t plan on drinking 15/day, the tips will get you even if you are buying less than 15/day and are on a budget.
THINGS WE WILL DO DIFFERENTLY ON OUR NEXT CRUISE:
1) Pack lighter and only bring a few clothing changes. You really don’t need as many clothes as you think you will. I heard this advice many times before our trip but didn’t listen. I will next time. We will be bringing carry-on luggage only on our next trip just for the convenience and ease of moving around with it.
2) Bring a sweater, hoodie, or something to allow for the slightly windy evenings on the deck.
3) Buy the drink package
4) Get to shows about 15-30 minutes before they start to get a good seat and/or not be turned away because they are full (particularly true for the comedy show).
5) Bring a lanyard for the Sail and Sign card. You need it for practically everywhere you go and it saves you time digging it out.
6) Bring a power strip for the room so you have more plug ins for charging phones.
7) Book a room close to mid-ship/elevators to cut down on long walks and easier access to the action. Book a room on a higher deck to escape the sewage smell.
8) Learn the layout of the ship prior to boarding to save time wandering around looking for things.
9) Learn the open hours of each food station to avoid getting there and seeing they are closed.
10) Study the activity schedule more closely and plan ahead for what we want to do so that we don’t miss out on things we would have enjoyed.
Easy check in and boarding the ship. Carnival has this part of it down to a science. Lines are long but move really quickly.