Eastern Caribbean Fun on the Liberty: Carnival Liberty Cruise Review by mrsh2os

Carnival Liberty 5
Member Since 2009
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Eastern Caribbean Fun on the Liberty

Sail Date: October 2010
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
We arrived early at the Port of Miami (about 10:15 AM) and the check-in process was quick and easy with the self-serve kiosks. After a brief wait, we were allowed to begin boarding about 11:30, and it went quickly from there. We enjoyed lunch in Emile's on the Lido Deck immediately. Our family (which includes two teenagers)especially enjoyed the burrito bar and the Mongolian grill--both welcome additions which we had not experienced on previous cruises.

After a tour of the ship, we went to our cabin and our luggage had already been delivered. We unpacked, laid out on the deck and participated in safety drill. (Safety drills are so much nicer now that they were in the old days where you were required to wear a life jacket too!)

We were set for early dining since that is our preference. We had a great waiter and assistant. We had purchased a soda card for each member of our family. We tipped the bar waiter well throughout the week, and he kept us supplied with soft More drinks. The food was great--standard Carnival fare--but we always enjoy it! We can't bring ourselves to pay even more to eat in Harry's Steak House, but some friends of ours did and they said it was wonderful and worth it (with real, brewed tea, great bread, humongous steaks and cheesecake to die for).

On our first full day, we enjoyed the paradise of Half Moon Cay. The tender process required a little bit of a wait in the lounge, but the process was well organized, and it didn't take long (maybe 30 minutes). Half Moon Cay is splendid and perfect in every way. We continued walking down the beach past the private cabanas to where the beach was less crowded. We wanted to take part in volleyball at noon as planned in the Carnival Fun Times. The volleyball court was difficult to find and no one else showed up to participate so we didn't get to play. The lunch buffet was great with lots of fresh fruit. There are plenty of covered picnic shelters which are nestled among the island foliage. We walked all the way to the end of the beach, to the rocks (and to where the sign says "proceeding beyond this point is dangerous and prohibited") and went snorkeling (we have our own equipment, but I think you can rent it on the island). We loved seeing the fish, coral, and shells, but the highlight was the 5 ft long barracuda. He was quite intimidating, and we moved away quickly, but it was an experience we won't forget.

We enjoyed our days at sea with sleeping late, lunch on the lido deck, working out in the spa gymnasium, and watching movies. Daytime activities were varied and we also enjoyed the waterslide, and playing volleyball. We never made it to miniature golf, but it looked like fun.

Each night there was a different comedian playing in the Victoria Lounge, and we really enjoyed this comedy club. Some of them were funnier than the others, but this was a fun thing to do each night after dinner. Each one did an R rated show later in the evening, but the PG rated shows at 7:30 were quite entertaining. Each night we were sufficiently entertained with a musical, magic show, movie on the lido deck poolside screen, dancing lessons, and game shows in the Venetian.

The Liberty was a great ship with lovely decor. It was easy to get around (except the Promenade is very crowded in the evening especially with all of the photography sets creating an even more congested walkway), and laid out well. Some of our group visited the casino, but I can't stand the smoke there so I don't go there. Our cabin steward was sufficient with taking care of our room and leaving the signature towel animals, but I think it was a different one each day, and there was nothing overly impressive. I will say, however, that our cabin REEKED of cigarette smoke when we first embarked, and the crew was very responsive to taking care of that issue. They changed our linens again, washed down the walls, and brought in an O2 machine. The only other negative about the ship is that the seal around our balcony door was broken so there was, at best wind noise, and at worst a loud annoying whistling. Each night we had to creatively engineer our door so as to take care of the noise.

The crew worked efficiently, and they were friendly. Everything was great! The Liberty did not disappoint us, and we all agreed that this was one of our best vacations ever. Less

Published 10/29/10

Cabin review: 8A9258 Balcony

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Port and Shore Excursions

The cruise center at the pier is very nice--clean, modern, and full of the typical shops, lots of beach chairs and a huge pool at Margaritaville. We decided, however, that we wanted to venture away from the other 3200 passengers so we planned to go to The Pillory beach. A taxi ride would cost $7 per person each way. We decided to be even more adventurous, so we stepped outside the cruise center gate and checked our options. We could rent bicycles for $20 each or get a golf cart for $80. We thought the golf cart would be a lot less work and we negotiated down to $70. This adventure turned out to be a mistake as the island lacked of any kind of beauty. The scenery was disappointing. When we finally arrived at Pillory, we decided it was a nice beach, but not worth the time and money it took to get there. If we return to Grand Turk, we won't bother with leaving the Cruise Center.

Read 1701 Grand Turk Reviews

I dd research before we left home and printed out a self-guided walking tour of Old San Juan from a helpful internet site. We followed the tour and had a fantastic time. We learned the history behind the cobblestone streets, saw jail cells from the 1500s, marveled at the city wall, walked the same street as Christopher Columbus, admired the Catholic church where Ponce de Leon is interred, were thoroughly impressed by the Fort El Morro which offered lots of interesting history and amazing photo opportunities and scenic vistas. Don't miss Palomas Park where you can buy a bag of corn for $1 and have the pigeons eat out of your hand. There are scores of pigeons who will sit all over you! Normally, I'm grossed out by pigeons, but this was so much fun! I am glad I had Purell with me! We finished up with shopping in the quaint area. San Juan is friendly, colorful, and interesting. I heard others who visited the El Yunque Rain Forest and they weren't impressed, but we loved our walking tour. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes as you will do a LOT of walking.

Read 2976 San Juan Reviews

This was my third visit to St. Thomas. I've already done the shopping thing there, so we booked a discover scuba diving excursion (where you get to try scuba without actually being certified) through a private company. They picked us up right at the pier. They provided us with instruction and outfitted us on the boat ride. We went to two different reefs, and the scenery was amazing. We saw LOTS of fish, coral, a sea turtle, a stingray and a shark! It was a fantastic experience! The cost was $150 per person, and worth it. It was nice to not be part of a Carnival excursion as we have always felt "herded" in the crowd on past excursions.

Read 4002 St. Thomas Reviews

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