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Old January 11th, 2007, 11:34 AM
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Liberty - Jan 11

If this cruise was the same length as the cruise we did on the Century last week, today we’d be leaving the ship, but thankfully we still have 3 days left to go.

The Liberty’s eight night itinerary is really very good; 8 nights - but because it departs on Saturdays you really only need to take one week off of work. I learned that the itinerary is changing slightly, with the last day stop in Nassau being dropped. On future cruises the ship will be staying later in Tortolla, and the last 2 days returning to Ft. Lauderdale will be two full sea days. This is a major improvement form a minor adjustment in my judgment.

Last night’s deck party went late into the morning and at 1:30 A.M., when I fell asleep, in our cabin we could still hear the band playing two decks up. They were having a good time for sure! Too bad we’re old.

Sound proofing, or rather lack thereof is a bit of a problem on the Liberty. For the entire cruise we’ve been able to hear people in the halls outside of our cabin, even when they are just speaking at near normal conversational levels. Fortunately this cruise there’s been very little late night traffic through the halls, but on cruises where fellow passengers might be more rambunctious at night the lack of soundproofing could get somewhat irritating.

Earlier in my reports I talked about the free laundry perk for Platinum level guests in the repeaters program. At the time I stated the free laundry service was for wash and fold service only, which we assumed to mean just washing and folding service. It turns out we were wrong. Dry Cleaning is also included free for Platinum members. This is a nice perk as when we do leave the ship, most everything will be packed clean.

Smoking, and what areas it’s allowed in is always big concern for many; both non smokers and smokers alike. On the Liberty smoking areas are quite restricted, and with a bit of effort both groups can avoid each fairly easily.

Deck 3 (bottom level of the Atrium) is totally smoke free in ALL the public areas. The same can be said of Deck 4, with the exception of the Cabinet Lounge, which is the ship’s cigar bar. This is rather oddly located right outside of the Silver Olympian Dining room on the stern.
The only lounges which allow smoking are on Deck 5 - the sports bar, the casino, and a portion of the casino bar, and the Piano Bar.
Smoking IS allowed on the Starboard side of the outdoor upper decks, but is not allowed in the area of the aft pool (which has a retractable roof).

If you’re a non-smoker, with just a bit of effort, the only spots you should encounter a problem with smoke is in the casino. If you’re a smoker, it may take a bit more effort, but look around and you will find areas where smoking is acceptable.

Our port of call today is Tortolla, but the ship is only here until 3 P.M. This week’s is the last sailing which will have such a short time in port. Beginning next cruise the Liberty will be staying here later into the evening.

The most popular tour here, and for good reason, is the Baths at Virgin Gorda. Accessing the Baths requires a short boat trip, either with the ship‘s tours, or booking privately. There’s also several nice beaches one can just grab a taxi to from the pier.

Mrs. Kuki had had some surgery done not to long before we left for these cruises, and has had to take things easy to speed her recovery. The tours to the Baths of Virgin Gorda do require some physical activity on rocks and uneven surfaces so we weren’t planning to try that one this trip.

Our plan was to go to the beach at Cane Garden Bay, but this morning she said she’d prefer to spend the day relaxing on the ship, so we did just that. Treated ourselves to a sea day, without a moving ship. That’s the beauty of cruising; you get to do as much or as little as you like.

Our CruiseMates group cocktail party is this afternoon. As it turns out its timing conflicts with that of the Carnival repeater’s cocktails party, so we can only hope all our CruiseMates show up. The timing of both was established by the ship, and I didn’t learn of the conflict in time to make any changes.

Within our group onboard there are quite a number of “lurkers? to the CruiseMates web site; many names the “regular posters? to our message boards may not recognize. We often say for every person there are literally hundreds of others “behind the scenes? reading and researching. This demonstrates the point. In one group of 10 friends onboard, one person reads the boards, and they chose to join this group cruise, talked their other friends into going, and printed out everything about the group to pass on their friends to read. That’s often the way the Internet works. Besides the obvious dedicated participants on our message boards, there are thousands behind the scenes, gleaming information and spreading that info via word of mouth.

Of course we’d love every visitor to register to the site and participate fully, but it’s also nice to know we are of great assistance to those who do not so obviously participate.

I’ve had several people approach me the past few days who aren’t booked with the group, but have heard about us onboard from people who are, and they wanted more information about our cruise and the CruiseMates web site. They may have not been so eager to approach me if they’d known about my “striptease? last week.

A very busy evening of events is scheduled onboard this evening; with the Legends show, various games, and a show by a comedian I actually haven’t seen before, Will Malfori. So I’ll be going to see that show.

btw.... all the pictures within this report can be seen full size in the photo galleries if you like
http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/

Back to basking in the sun now!
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Kuki
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