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This was our first cruise with Carnival, so I don't know if our experience was typical of Carnival or just this ship. We had heard that the Carnival line caters to a younger crowd than other lines we sail on, and we found that to be true. (More strollers, fewer walkers.) I'm used to being pampered on a cruise, and I definitely felt less pampered on this sailing than any I've ever taken. The ship also seemed older than it is. It was built in 2005, but was refurbished in 2016. It reminded me of an aging Vegas casino (think Caesar's Palace.) Mind you, nothing was in disrepair or falling apart; the ship seemed well maintained. But things like dirty windows obstructing views gave a less than stellar impression. I realize sea mist makes windows salty and clouded quickly, but the windows in the dining areas had rust stains running down them, contributing to the overall feeling of an older ship. There were some things we liked. They have a dedicated comedy club with a variety of shows, some family friendly and some adult later in the evenings. The Punchline Club was a great addition. The entertainment overall was first rate. Some of the shows were not my cup of tea, but all were exceptional and entertaining. The ship offers an downloadable app called Carnival Hub, whick contains ship information, activities, opening times, and most importantly, a chat feature so you can communicate and coordinate with other members in your party. This was the most impressive thing this cruise offered. Also, embarkation and debarkation was easier than we've ever experienced. It was fast and orderly, and we were on the ship and in our cabin (with our luggage) in a little over an hour after we arrived at the port. But then came the muster drill. We were made to stand in crowded rows on the deck for over half an hour. This is the first time I've had to stand on deck for muster since my first cruise 27 years ago. I have foot and back problems, which left me in agony and almost in tears for the rest of that evening. This was by far the worst part of the trip, and tainted everything else for me. I understand that this is required by law, but it doesn't have to be done standing on the deck. On other cruises it is done in a lounge or dining area (with seating). Overall, the crew looked tired. These people work long days seven days a week. I guess it's a wonder they don't look exhausted on every cruise. But many of the crew looked like they had been run ragged. We even overheard one crew member say "Five more to go!" after that unmitigated disaster that was muster call. We were definitely feeling her pain. Our cabin steward Hamidi was a bright spot. He was extremely helpful and always called us by name after introducing himself. He kept our cabin neat and tidy and always stocked. Another thing that concerned us was the lack of emphasis on cleanliness. On previous cruises there have always been crew members stationed at the entrance to dining areas encouraging people to wash their hands, and areas provided to do so. On this cruise, not only was it never mentioned, but the "washing station" did not work and the hand sanitizer dispenser at the beginning of the buffet line was empty for at least one day. The buffet seemed very limited compared to other cruises we've taken. One buffet line that fed from both sides, compared to six different lines on our previous cruise, all containing a variety of international dishes and a dedicated dessert buffet. And at least half the restaurants were an additional charge. For that matter, many of the activities were an additional charge as well. All cruises offer these premium activities, but I would say at least half of what we wanted to do had an upcharge. I can't speak to the food in the dining room, as we didn't eat there at all (we rarely do because of schedule conflicts). But overall, the food was unimpressive. Nothing you can't find at your local buffet restaurant. The excursions were what you would expect - shopping, snorkeling, glass bottom boats and beach games. One notable standout was the Sting Ray Encounter on Eleuthera. This was amazing and educational, but we also had access to this island and this excursion through the Princess cruise we took to the US Virgin Islands in March. So you might be better served to sail that itenerary if you want to see this amazing excursion. Perhaps this ship, or the Carnival line for that matter, offers exactly what young families need (like the very popular Guy's burger joint). But this cruise had very limited appeal for my husband and me, and we have likely taken our last Carnival cruise. This cruise was booked last minute as a quick getaway before the Christmas rush, so we thought we'd give this line a try. It was by no means awful (except for that muster drill), but we will probably not be sailing with them again.

A little disappointing

Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by Tditchfield

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2019
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Interior
This was our first cruise with Carnival, so I don't know if our experience was typical of Carnival or just this ship. We had heard that the Carnival line caters to a younger crowd than other lines we sail on, and we found that to be true. (More strollers, fewer walkers.) I'm used to being pampered on a cruise, and I definitely felt less pampered on this sailing than any I've ever taken. The ship also seemed older than it is. It was built in 2005, but was refurbished in 2016. It reminded me of an aging Vegas casino (think Caesar's Palace.) Mind you, nothing was in disrepair or falling apart; the ship seemed well maintained. But things like dirty windows obstructing views gave a less than stellar impression. I realize sea mist makes windows salty and clouded quickly, but the windows in the dining areas had rust stains running down them, contributing to the overall feeling of an older ship.

There were some things we liked. They have a dedicated comedy club with a variety of shows, some family friendly and some adult later in the evenings. The Punchline Club was a great addition. The entertainment overall was first rate. Some of the shows were not my cup of tea, but all were exceptional and entertaining. The ship offers an downloadable app called Carnival Hub, whick contains ship information, activities, opening times, and most importantly, a chat feature so you can communicate and coordinate with other members in your party. This was the most impressive thing this cruise offered. Also, embarkation and debarkation was easier than we've ever experienced. It was fast and orderly, and we were on the ship and in our cabin (with our luggage) in a little over an hour after we arrived at the port.

But then came the muster drill. We were made to stand in crowded rows on the deck for over half an hour. This is the first time I've had to stand on deck for muster since my first cruise 27 years ago. I have foot and back problems, which left me in agony and almost in tears for the rest of that evening. This was by far the worst part of the trip, and tainted everything else for me. I understand that this is required by law, but it doesn't have to be done standing on the deck. On other cruises it is done in a lounge or dining area (with seating).

Overall, the crew looked tired. These people work long days seven days a week. I guess it's a wonder they don't look exhausted on every cruise. But many of the crew looked like they had been run ragged. We even overheard one crew member say "Five more to go!" after that unmitigated disaster that was muster call. We were definitely feeling her pain. Our cabin steward Hamidi was a bright spot. He was extremely helpful and always called us by name after introducing himself. He kept our cabin neat and tidy and always stocked.

Another thing that concerned us was the lack of emphasis on cleanliness. On previous cruises there have always been crew members stationed at the entrance to dining areas encouraging people to wash their hands, and areas provided to do so. On this cruise, not only was it never mentioned, but the "washing station" did not work and the hand sanitizer dispenser at the beginning of the buffet line was empty for at least one day.

The buffet seemed very limited compared to other cruises we've taken. One buffet line that fed from both sides, compared to six different lines on our previous cruise, all containing a variety of international dishes and a dedicated dessert buffet. And at least half the restaurants were an additional charge. For that matter, many of the activities were an additional charge as well. All cruises offer these premium activities, but I would say at least half of what we wanted to do had an upcharge. I can't speak to the food in the dining room, as we didn't eat there at all (we rarely do because of schedule conflicts). But overall, the food was unimpressive. Nothing you can't find at your local buffet restaurant.

The excursions were what you would expect - shopping, snorkeling, glass bottom boats and beach games. One notable standout was the Sting Ray Encounter on Eleuthera. This was amazing and educational, but we also had access to this island and this excursion through the Princess cruise we took to the US Virgin Islands in March. So you might be better served to sail that itenerary if you want to see this amazing excursion.

Perhaps this ship, or the Carnival line for that matter, offers exactly what young families need (like the very popular Guy's burger joint). But this cruise had very limited appeal for my husband and me, and we have likely taken our last Carnival cruise. This cruise was booked last minute as a quick getaway before the Christmas rush, so we thought we'd give this line a try. It was by no means awful (except for that muster drill), but we will probably not be sailing with them again.
Tditchfield’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 4B
An average sized interior cabin. One extremely poor shortcoming was that there were only two outlets in the whole cabin! One on the vanity and one in the bathroom near the ceiling. I even carry a multi usb charger when I travel, but the current it was able to pull was insufficient to charge anything. So we were left trying to charge our cell phones, tablets, my Gopro, my husband's razor, etc. 24/7.

Also, we requested the beds be separated (twin beds) for this cruise and they were not. We had one large bed, and this particular cabin would not accommodate any other configuration. Overall, very disappointing.
Main Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews