View Single Post
  #28 (permalink)  
Old January 8th, 2007, 08:38 PM
Kuki's Avatar
Kuki Kuki is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,502
Send a message via AIM to Kuki

Jan. 8

On thing that amazes me which just seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, on all the cruise lines, is the incredible amount of junk (advertising) mail we get in our cabins each day. From advertising brochures stuck in the mail box, to more of the same stacked up, and delivered with the ship’s daily newsletters, we’re deluged with “Ship SPAM?. I HATE SPAM in my e-mail income, and I learning to HATE ship SPAM just as much.

All the cruise lines encourage us to help the world’s ecology by reusing our towels before having them laundered; they could help more by not creating this incredible amount of extra garbage.

Today was mostly a sea day en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where we arrived at 5 P.M. for an evening stop.

Last night, after dinner Mrs. Kuki attended the production show, Wonderful World, in the Venetian Lounge (the ship’s main showroom), which she said was a fabulous production. We met up prior to the midnight show; Adult comedy of ventriloquist Jerry Goodspeed. His show was quite funny, but we’ve seen him before. Tonight a long time Carnival comedian Happy Cole performed in the Venetian. Happy is another entertainer I’ve seen often on Carnival ships, so I didn’t attend his show.

This is one problem with cruise ship entertainment. It’s quite understandable that the big, elaborate, and costly production shows aren’t changed often. However, for repeat cruisers on any of the cruise lines, it does seem there’ll be a pretty good chance you’re going to end up seeing a lot of acts from previous cruises. I’m sure the entertainment departments have a difficult job finding and scheduling new talent that’s appropriate for these venues.

Last night, when I tried to file my report, and at times again today, the satellite internet connection was spotty. The Liberty has WI FI service bow to stern, including your cabin, using your own laptop, or you can rent them for $20 per day. There are several packages available; $55 for 100 minutes, and $100 for 250 minutes. Though it sounds expensive, these rates are considerably less than the some of the other cruise lines. There is an initial $3.95 sign on fee the first time you sign on. You’ll also get some bonus free minutes if you sign up the first day onboard.

Now that we’ve been on the ship for a couple of days I can report a bit about the demographic of our fellow passengers on this cruise. As all the holidays had ended and the kids returned to school just prior to our cruise, I didn’t expect many children, other than very young children, and for the most part that held true. So, this is a good time of year to cruise if you prefer to cruise with less children onboard.

What also seems true, is there’s an older average age on this cruise than many of my previous cruises on Carnival. There’s not many “twenty-somethings? in the crowd, and quite a few seniors onboard. The “younger crowd? on this sailings appears to be in their 30s . I’ve dubbed this sailing “The Cruise of the Wild and the Walkers?.

Helen (of our Ray and Helen) has been having some knee problems, and though she doesn’t need a wheel chair at home, Ray thought he’d get a wheel chair to use for her onboard. He was able to get one at embarkation to use for the entire cruise, however it did require leaving a $50 deposit. I would imagine that their availability is somewhat limited, so if you happen to know you’re going to need one I wouldn’t depend on one being available. To be assured of having one if necessary, it would be best to bring one with you.

Once inside the terminal handicap assistance was available, but you may have to stand in line to reach that point.

Yesterday and again today there were some fairly high seas, and the ship was doing a bit of rocking and rolling. Today the pools were closed and covered to prevent passengers from using them. The water slide was also closed, so I haven’t gone for a “ride? yet.
There was also the occasional scattered showers, but other than clearing the open decks for a just a few minutes each time, they didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirits.

The buffet set up in Lido now has the “grand buffet? (the regular buffet lines) nearest to the aft pool. Out next to the aft pool area is a hamburger and hot dog station on the starboard side, and the 24 hr. pizza station on the port side. Moving towards mid-ship the deli counter is on the port side, the Asian food counter starboard.

The buffet lines closer to the mid-ship pool has two lines which change daily, with the Taste of Nations, and across from those were two lines offering stir-fry “Mongolian Grill? style. And there’s the pool-side outdoor grill serving breakfast in burgers, hot dogs, and fries. The waiting times in lines at the various stations were short even during peak lunch hours, considering the sheer numbers of passengers they were serving.

I had delivered an invitation to all those booked in our group to meet today at 3 P.M. in the Piano Bar, as a social “meet and greet?, only to get there and find the Piano Bar was being used for some gem presentation. We just planted ourselves at the wine bar next door on the Promenade Deck and eventually many in the group did stop by, even if we were a bit harder to find than planned.

The gathering was cut a bit short because the Liberty arrived in San Juan about 2 hrs. earlier than the 5 P.M. scheduled arrival. The ship had rushed to get in due to a medical emergency onboard. Given the opportunity, everyone wanted to rush off to spend some daylight hours in town. San Juan as an evening stop does not really impress me, though I’m sure there are some who like to go out to the restaurants and bars.

There is one shop in San Juan we always enjoy visiting when in Old San Juan. As we have 6:15 dinner seating, we decided we’d go to dinner in the dining room, and then walk up to Old San Juan and see if it was still open. We had thought the dining room would be pretty sparsely attended tonight, and we could likely be through dinner pretty quickly.

We were half right. Only about 25% of the passengers at our sitting showed up for dinner. (Either choosing to eat on land, or get out see some of San Juan, and do alternate dining when they returned to the ship). Our service was going along just fine, until we came to a grinding halt at entrees. After some time Beda became concerned as his assistant, Michael hadn’t returned, nor did our food. After some waiting he decided to go see if he could rescue Michael and our meals, telling us to call 1-800- Liquor if he didn’t return soon. I’m not certain what was going on in the kitchen tonight. Perhaps many of the cooks were given the evening off. It wasn’t crucial for us to get out quickly, just surprising that a quiet dining room created more problems for them than a full one.

I did skip my favorite desert, Key Lime Pie, to get Mrs. Kuki to “her store?, but alas to no avail. We got there to be greeted by closed doors. No one had to feel to bad for her though, St. Thomas is our port of call tomorrow.

Celebrity Century pulled into port after us. On the way back from Old San Juan I got some pictures of our back to back ships, side by side.

Tonight the college championship football game between Ohio State and Florida is being shown on the Big Screen on Lido Deck, and there’s also a big “Mexican themed? pool-side buffet scheduled for afterwards.

We’re not going to be participating in either, as we’ve got an early morning tour booked to St. Johns (and we're old), and Mrs. Kuki needs her rest before jolting the economy of the British Virgin Islands, and forcing a sharp rise in the stock value of American Express.
Reply With Quote