Carnival Liberty Reviews

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42 User Reviews of Carnival Liberty Cruise Ship

Western Caribbean
Publication Date: January 15, 2006

Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Liberty by LEN C. Western Caribbean January 15, 2006

Cruise history, 10th cruise and 5th on Carnival. The Carnival Liberty was a nice, new ship, but did not impress me much as we embarked walking into the Garden Atrium. The changing colors of the large chandelier hanging above the Flowers Lobby were a bit â?~gaudy' and Las Vegas like, but that's typical Carnival.

Embarkation was pretty organized I have to admit. We arrived at the cruise terminal very early since we had to schedule the shuttle service thru our hotel and 10:30 was the only spot available. A line was forming outside since they did not have the doors to the terminal open yet. Once inside the building the line moved smoothly and there were ample guest service agents to check us in. I looked at my watch as we started waking up the gangway to the ship it was just about 12 noon as we boarded.

We had a balcony stateroom on the Upper Deck-6. It reminded me much of the Triumph, and Pride. Basically same layout and color scheme. Quite roomy as Carnival's cabins always are. We

dropped off our carry-on bags and then headed up to the Lido Deck for lunch

Food was typical Carnival fare. Lido buffets changed daily except for breakfast which was standard eggs, bacon, sausage and either pancakes or French toast along with an omelet station. Also fresh fruits, Danish and cereals. We had second seating at 8:30 in the Golden Olympian restaurant. Food was average to good depending on the menu. The best dinner for me was the prime rib. It was prepared perfectly as I ordered.

Entertainment was decent I still think Carnival needs to improve in this area. The one show Wonderful World has been on two other cruises I have taken, so this was my third time seeing it! The other show we saw (can't remember the name) was much better and not a repeat for me. It was kind of a walk down Broadway show with songs and dances from several Broadway hits.

Our ports of call were Freeport, Grand Cayman and Costa Maya. Unfortunately Freeport ended up being the best port day for weather the entire cruise. We had to leaving Grand Cayman two hours short due to rough seas and the tendering process. So we had to rush to the beach and then had about an hour to shop before tendering back to the Liberty. Weather did not improve as we headed to Costa Maya. Seas were very choppy and could be felt. Our time in Costa Maya was a BUST! Again rough seas and the fact that the ship was banging back and forth off the pier made them decide to pull out by 12:30 we were supposed to be docked until 6 PM. They were afraid the ship could become damaged. We received a $50 per cabin credit of the Sail & Sign account to compensate for the disrupted port times. Guess you can't control the weather!

Overall we had an enjoyable cruise even though we spent more time at sea than in ports. I still managed a suntan! I wouldn't discount the Carnival Liberty after all she is the newest ship of the fleet, however be aware you will have a "Vegas" type feeling when on board.

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: January 1, 2006

Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Liberty by Marci Ridley Western Caribbean January 1, 2006

First Time Cruiser As a first time cruiser, I was disappointed with the information that I received from the reviews I had read, and found most of them incorrect in light of my experience. Then again, what you receive from your experience will depend on your expectations and past experiences. We cruised on the Carnival Liberty (Jan 1 - Jan 7, 2006) and my vacations was nothing less than spectacular. My biggest complaint would be the rudeness of the other passengers, which was unbelievable! It's too bad that standard manners are not a prerequisite to booking a cruise.

We had a group of (8) traveling from Idaho, and the flight arrangements had much to be desired. We weren't even all on the same plane. Upon arrival in Ft. Lauderdale, we checked in to the hotel and took a shuttle to go get an uneventful dinner (New Years Eve). In the morning, we all met outside with another very large group from Canada while waiting for the busses to transport us to the pier. This was a very disorganized process

that could be easily fixed by Carnival if they chose to do so. Four Greyhound busses and a couple of hours later, we arrived at the Pier. Point of Order: You need to get on the bus that your luggage is put on, and then you will not be allowed to get off the bus until your luggage has been unloaded. They load the luggage by Carnival color-coded tags. Suggestion - Patience. It all works out! Once you get off the bus, you simply check to make sure that your luggage is accounted for, and they do the rest. Then, the line starts!

The line was long, and I believe we waited 1-1/2 hours before we reached the ticket agent, but the line moves very quick-it's just 3 buildings long. (And there are chairs and restrooms in the terminal) The ticket agent was professional and personable. This is when you give them your credit card-Automatic 150.00 pp - Make sure you are prepared for that. You then go through security - Point of Order: You are allowed (1) bottle of champagne or wine; no spirits. They will go through your carry on and confiscate any. I did watch a person carry in two cases of bottled water-? For the Embarkation process, I can't think of any improvements that they could make.

We had a balcony room, and I must say, for myself, it was worth the extra money! If you have ever seen a dog with his head out the window of a vehicle, then you know what I looked like! Everyone in my group had their luggage by 6; I saw mine about 8pm. Don't stress about the luggage - It will get there. The first night, the dining room allowed us to come dressed as we were because some of us didn't have the chance to change! We were in the Silver Dining room (seated together!) at the early 5:45 dinner time! Perfect for us. Richard was our waiter and Vit was his right-hand man and they are phenomenal. What a wonderful dining experience. We had three young men with us that weren't used to the "fu-fu" food, but they always found something good. You order appetizers, soup, salad and the main entree. Don't be afraid if you want to order two - there is a night that surf & turf consists of two entrees.

Dessert is very good, exquisite in fact. But they always have the good old stand by of ice cream if all else fails. Service, menu options, presentation, taste - not much that could've been improved on. There is also some entertainment - singing and dancing! Just plain fun! We purchased the soft-drink cards - unlimited supply of fountain soft drinks - for like 40 bucks. Pepsi drinkers beware - only Coke products served. That being said, I didn't partake of 40 bucks worth of soda on the trip - there is always water, juice, coffee, tea and hot chocolate in the Buffet restaurant, Emily's. I would not have purchased one if I'd known. The buffet restaurant, Emily's was good. Variety up the wazoo. There were hamburgers/hot dogs, deli sandwiches, stir fry, Chinese, 24-hr pizzeria, and Fish and Chips (upstairs towards the back of the ship - hard to find, but worth the effort) in addition to the regular fare of food.

If you are unable to find something with that in mind, you may be in trouble. Room service is also available, and we did use continental breakfast service one day due to an early stop in Freeport, Bahamas.

Our room was very comfortable. The beds are twin size, but the comforters are cozy and they give you two pillows. The only two suggestions I would have is the phone is too far from the bed and there is no clock. Set yourself a phone-alarm one morning and you will understand about the phone, and I know you are on vacation, and may not want a clock - but with specific departure times for ports-of-call, shows, and activities, it would be nice to know what time it is. On the television, there is a channel that shows the direction of the ship, it's speed, the wind speed, temperature, etc. Very informational! There is also a way to see what the menu for dinner is, along with excursion information, room charges, messages, etc. We were even able to catch an episode of our NBC soap opera while at sea!

Our ports of call were Freeport, Bahamas, Grand Cayman, and Montego Bay, Jamaica. (Jamaica was a pleasant surprise substitution for Cozumel). Freeport was nice - not a lot to do if you don't book an excursion - lots of shopping! We arrived at 7am and left at 2:30pm. And the sand on the beach is so-o-o fine and the water is so-o-o blue! Do your homework, and book an excursion here. Grand Cayman, is a tendered stop. You have to ride a smaller boat to get to shore. There is a lot of money in the economy, and they haven't built a dock for the large cruise ships, yet. Some doubt they every will.

GO PLAY WITH THE STINGRAYS! - You won't be disappointed! Even if you are a bit squeamish, they are easy to see and you can avoid them most of the time if you chose. If you go on a good excursion, your tour guide will catch one and you can touch them and even hold them if you choose. Don't worry - they are safe except their tails! An opportunity of a lifetime. The snorkeling is phenomenal! The tropical fish are so colorful, the coral and other marine life are amazing. You may get lucky and see a lobster, or even a turtle! PS - salt water helps you float, but the tour people should give you a small blow-up life vest that helps keep you afloat. There is so much to see here, and so little time, do your homework on the excursions so you know what is available.

In Jamaica, which was not our originally scheduled port-of-call, we spent the day at the beach and at Margaritaville! I am not a drinker, and loved the atmosphere and entertainment at Margaritaville! They have this 100' slide that shoots you in the bay, and what a hoot! Food is good, too! There is a lot to do here, even if it's just a sightseeing tour. The more you know about the area, the better prepared you will be. Jamaica is a very big island, and a trip to the falls (very popular) was an all-day affair. As you walk along the shoreline, there are not many shells, but there are pieces of "coral" everywhere! Lots of good shopping, here! Days at sea were filled with lots of activities.

The shows with the Carnival dancers were excellent - the costumes are so very colorful, choreography was wonderful and well executed, pit band/orchestra did an outstanding job. We saw a ventriloquist that was great, the ship talent show was ok, and the village idiots were entertaining. Hard to believe all this happens on a gigantic moving piece of steel-They had camp Carnival - a day camp for the small ones that appeared to be lots of fun. I wouldn't bring my small children on a cruise; I'll reserve that for Disneyworld.

They had a spa/gym with outstanding facilities. And the message chairs aft of the casino - worth the 1$. There are many activities - from Bingo, hairy-chest contest, not-so-newlywed game (not to be missed), fear factor, etc. Lots of dance lessons - and Butch, Ass't director, is amazing! There will be people taking pictures of you every time you turn around - let them take as many as they want!

Go have your picture taken - formal or informal. You only purchase what you like, and you're bound to find a picture that you will like somewhere. You don't have to buy them all. Point of order: Be patient, you will stand in many a line. Remember, you are on vacation, and so are the other 2499 people on the ship. No worries, mon!

Disembarking was pretty simple - Put your luggage outside your room by midnight, and they will take care of it from there. All you have to do is get up, eat breakfast and wait for them to call your tag color. It is explained very well in a meeting the day prior. You make your way down the gangplank, go through customs (show your passport), find your luggage, and make your way to the busses that take you to the airport.

Overall, I had an amazing experience, and would be happy to answer any questions you may have at [email protected] Out of five stars, the Carnival Liberty would receive 5-1/2!

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: January 1, 2006

Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Liberty by Eric Kalman Western Caribbean January 1, 2006

I'm not really a big complainer, but this cruise is an exception. The embarkation was unorganized and slow. To the person who wrote the other review on the Liberty, I was standing right behind the man with the two cases of bottled water. We arrived at the pier at 1:30pm. By the time we got onto the ship, it was around 3:15pm. We had only minutes to relax before having to rush back to our cabins for the muster drill. For a cruise ship this new (not even a year old), the ship seemed like it was in its prime years.

The atrium elevators operated once and awhile. At one point, only one of the four elevators was working. For the rest of the elevators, the wait was sometimes long. Multiple elevators would go down past our floor when we wanted to go up. There were many bulbs blown out, and not replaced. A bulb was blown out in my parent's cabin. And there was at least one bulb blown out in all of the chandeliers in the golden

olympian dinning room. Some of the pool deck chairs were broken and never removed. And there was a cracked window at the lido pool.

I found many of the passengers quite rude by blocking our paths and also getting onto the elevator before I could get out. The service from the crew was poor. For example, they stopped replacing the used drinking glasses in my cabin. My parents had a similar experience. I also heard from one of the passengers that was in our party found it unsanitary. She noticed a crew member sneezing in his hands and wiping it on his uniform and continuing to work. Before the cruise ended, she got sick. I don't know if this was related to that crew member who sneezed.

Also, the crew was inexperienced, and had no clue of anything. Dinning on the ship was at an all time low. Breakfast was as lousy as a microwaveable breakfast meal. Lunch at the buffet had a limited selection. The taste of the nations buffet was usually incomplete. For example, the Indian food had no basmati rice, just some meat and fish, and the southern fried chicken had no mashed potatoes and gravy to go with it. This left me to only eat at the grill, which I have been doing on the other Carnival cruises.

The Sushi bar opened late, and there was no choice of sushi, all you got was a plate with four pieces of no one knows what's in it sushi. No ordering a la carte.

Dinner was just a little bit better in the quality of food. But it should also have been found at the lido buffet. The desserts were pretty, but tasteless. The Cherries Jubilee and the Baked Alaska, usually served on Carnival's formal nights, now only a memory. Also, the waiter sometimes forgot to bring out dishes I ordered.

The shows were same-old. The movie screen on the lido pool I thought would be a relief. I liked it on the Caribbean Princess. This time it was disappointing, movies were hardly shown and most of the time there was only looped video of a surfer or waterfalls, not very entertaining for an hour while swimming at the pool. And the same shows that played on the Caribbean Princess were played on the Liberty. Examples were Tom Jones Live (I think it wasn't live) and the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Docked at Freeport, Bahamas, we decided to go to the International Bazaar. We never went because the cab driver went "Southwest Airlines" on my mom and was going to charge her for two seats. We got off the cab and shopped around for 15 minutes. We later learned that the Bazaar was destroyed and closed up because of Hurricane Wilma.

Grand Cayman was a disaster. In order to get off the ship we had to wait in line for an hour to get a number, then another half an hour to get onto the tender. We missed our reservations for a rental car. We ended up not leaving the ship after we heard how long the wait would be. It was calculated that we would only have an hour and a half to explore the island.

Which only left us with Montego Bay, Jamaica. The port was changed at the last minute instead of the alternate port Costa Maya which was replaced because our original destination, Cozumel, was devastated due to Hurricane Wilma. Anyhow, praise to the captain for getting us a spot at the pier. Jamaica was the only time I had fun on the cruise.

Finally, disembarkation was slow and being one of the last people to get off, had to navigate a maze to get to the custom's declaration desk when there was no line at all. I tried to make the most of this cruise but couldn't. The "Fun Ships" should be called "The Stressful Ships".

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Eastern Caribbean
Publication Date: November 12, 2005

Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Liberty by Greg Eastern Caribbean November 12, 2005 Awesome Cruise!

Embarkation,was a horror,we were told that there was a two day cruise,and some passengers would not get off until 11am,perhaps emmigration??????!!!!I would have gotten them off!!!It took three hours for most to get on,oh well,it didnt ruin my trip,nor my group of 13.Ive cruised 7 times,2 holland,2 princess,2 royal,and now carinival.I no longer drink,and havnt smoked in years,but I like to eat and cook,which I do quite well.Are seating was just as we requested except it was 5:45 instead of 6:15,not a big deal,every night I ordered at least three entrees(5 lobsters and fillest,on lobster night) and all deserts,90%was excellent,they even had a green pepper corn homemade ice cream,gourmet!!!All at dinner silver olympian,one night went to harrys,very romatic,foods was good,but I liked the the regular better!breakfasts always better in the dinning room,lunchs were very good tons of choices,buffets a plenty,service on entire ship was great!!

so much to do for adults,not to many teens on this son won 1000,in casino,gave back,800,slots were all hitting.Tortola was the most beautiful port,beach, ever,and I heard from those who went to virgin gorda thats

even nicer.I do not reccomend the pearl island snorkel,stingray excursion at nassau,its a joke,the island was made made on top of 400 square yards of coral,stingrays are in a cage,snorkeling was dangerous over top of coral,rough seas,this day,awful,not worth it!!!John heald was awesome.Met mikee from cruisemates he and his friends are awesome,what a great and beautiful ship,highly reccomend it!!

email me your [email protected]

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Publication Date: November 10, 2005
We were very interested in the new Carnival Ship Liberty.  We have been on Carnival before on the Pride and that trip was with mixed reviews.  Liberty sailed from Ft Lauderdale on a quick 2 night to Nassau.  We had a balcony cabin which was very nice.  Lots of room.  The first problem we encountered was that dinner reservations were wrong.  We had a party of 10 and we were spread all over the dining room. We met with staff and made changes prior to departure.  When we arrived for dinner the reservation was still messed up with people sitting at our assigned table.  We attempted to resolve the issue without any success.  We ended sitting near the other members of our group.  The food was terrible.  Of the 10 in our group only 3 finished there entire meal, selection was poor, and so was service.  Entertainment on this short cruise was very good.  The ship's cast did a great job and the comedian (Jim Brick) the second night was good as well.  Food selection left much to be desired, it was good it was only a 2 night trip.  The second night the dinner reservations were still a mess, no changes from the first night and no help from staff.  Again the food was terrible.  The Midnight buffet the second night looked great but the quality was poor.  If it wasn't for the Deli, Pizza and the Pool Grill feeding would have been a real problem.  The ship is well decorated but very busy throughout.  The outdoor movie screen at the pool area was very good with a good selection of entertainment.  As you can see there was good and bad on this 2 night trip but the the "bad" issues really need to be fixed.  We won't be back to this ship any time soon. 
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Transatlantic Crossing
Publication Date: October 24, 2005

Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Liberty by Todd Matthew Transatlantic Crossing October 24, 2005 As a past Guest on Carnival, and having known what to expect. This cruise was unexpected! What a wonderful time. The ship was fantastic, the crew were Great, and very helpful. The food well what can you say! This was the first time I was able to attend the supper club. Harry's went above anything that I could imagine, from the 6 course dinner,to refolding the napkin if you got up for a dance. The dinner lasted for 8:30p through 12:00a and not one bit was rushed. I was worried about the five day crossing and running out of things to do.Let me tell you that we were so busy with the different activities that there was not enough time to get to all of them. Everyone has to experience the slide! Young or old, it's fun I did 5 hours in one afternoon, met all kinds of new friends just as nuts as me. Overall the experience was well over what I expected and I would do it all over again! 

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Transatlantic Crossing
Publication Date: October 24, 2005
This is my review of our recent cruise on the Carnival Liberty, Transatlantic from Civitavecchia, Rome to Miami Florida. 10/24/2005 I’m a 28 year old Dutch boy and this was my 7th Carnival Cruise. From the airport of Rome it’s a 45 minute  drive to Civitavecchia. We stayed at the Sunbay Park Hotel in Civitavecchia. It’s a nice and clean old hotel only minutes from the Port by taxi.  Embarkation I arrived at the cruise terminal approx 12.15 pm. The cruise terminal was large and fully staffed with Carnival representatives. I already printed my Fun Pass documents, so embarkation went smoothly and quickly. I was on board within 15 minutes. Cabin Because I booked this cruise about 1,5 years in advance, I had a wide selection of cabins. My cabin was 8328 cat. 8C verandah deck. It was dead center mid ship so it’s a great location. The cabin itself is large and very clean with lot’s of storage space, TV, refrigerator, safe and a sofa. Cruise director I was pleased an consider it as a bonus that John Heald was our CD. It is the best Cruise Director of the entire fleet of Carnival. He was very funny and when I told him I was from the Netherlands (his wife is Dutch and lives in the Netherlands only a few minutes from my home adress) He also made jokes in Dutch. That really made it very special to me  He is leaving Carnival next year and I can only hope that I get one more time with John on the ship. He try’s to make all quest happy at all times. TV When the ship is cruising in Europe, there is only CNN and a couple of British and Spanish channels on TV. When the ship is crossing the Atlantic Ocean there is NO TV at all, only a few movies channels and of course the all day Carnival TV.  I did not mind this at all that there was no TV . But some guests make it a big issue that the can’t watch there favourite TV series, sports and  soaps. Please keep this in mind if you can’t miss TV. John Heald even made a quest happy by videotape his favourite program at a friend in Miami. WOW that’s what I call service from the highest level.  Carnival Staff The entire Carnival staff was very friendly all the time. My cabin steward, Alex, Robert and Dinesh Jiranjie from the Silver Olympian dining room, Petra from the Coffee bar, the entire Casino staff and the assistant cruise director’s Butch, Stephanie and Brent were the best you can get. The try to make you feel at home at all times. Because I’m Dutch it still is difficult to follow anything because it all goes very fast. When I am still thinking about a joke the next one is already coming. But they can’t do anything about that. I just have to cruise more often.  Port of Call We visiting Mallorca , Barcelona, Malaga, Madeira and St Maarten. We should go to Barcelona first but there was a strike from the Spanish fishers and they kept the ports closed, so we went to Mallorca first and the next day we would try again to go to Barcelona. We arrived in Barcelona the following day at 5 PM because that’s when the strike ends. It was completely out of Carnival reach. The couldn’t do anything about that. We still had a few hours left so we went to La Rambla in Barcelona and shop ,eat and drink a little bit. Please keep your belongings with you at all times. Like any other big city there are criminals looking for your camera’s and money. Because I went to Spain a lot in the past I did not take any tours. I just went shopping and get some drinks.    Madeira however was a great port of call. It is a beautiful island and there is lots and lots to do. We took the best of the west tour 8 hours and we explore the entire island. Madeira has it all. Beautiful cliffs (the 2nd highest in the world)  mountains flowers you name it and the got it. I ‘ll visiting this island in the future again for a couple of day’s to explore even more. St Maarten  is also a beautiful (Dutch) island. I went on the certified scuba tour and I had a blast. It’s really nice to go diving in ST Maarten .In the afternoon I went shopping in Philipsburg. There are lots and lots of shops with great prices. You can get very easy in to town from the ship. Take the water taxis. They leave near by the ship and the bring you all day long for 5 dollars to the town and back. The beaches are nice and clean on the Dutch side. On the France side, people are naked on the beach ! Please be ware of that. Atlantic crossing We had 5 wonderful FUN sea day’s to cross the Atlantic ocean. Please note that you don’t see land for 5 day’s and that you are thousand of miles away from land. Some passengers complaint about not seeing land. The sea is rocky and so it's not a smooth ride. But I didn’t mind that at all. You are at sea and at the Atlantic ocean, so please keep this in mind. I always say that it’s a cheep way of getting drunk hahaha because you can’t walk strait ahead on the ship. Debarkation was the only thing I had a complain about. It was very unpleased to get of the ship with thousand of others at the same time. But than again it was the first time the ship went in to the USA and customs  needs lots of time clearing the ship. We went of at 11.30am and there was still a long line through customs and we had a few problems finding our luggage. They put our luggage at different colours, Finely we were at the taxi stand and there were no taxis available, but we saw a Alamo bus coming so we went on it and got to the Alamo company in 15 minutes. Overall this was the best Carnival cruise I have been on (it was my 7th) Carnival  is still a great company to cruise with and they really try to make everybody happy. 99,5% of the people on board had a blast. You simply can’t make everybody happy, but please don’t blame Carnival for that. I really think that they do everything possible to make it an experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to get onboard again. Kuki  you did a great job as a social host. I agree with you  that it’s not easy to do this job and that the crew worked very hard, while we enjoy our vacation. John, as we say in Dutch,  Het was werkelijk fantastisch, bedankt, doei en hopelijk tot ziens. I apologize for such a long review, but I can tell even more I have also made a picture gallery.    (title sorry Liberty Transatlantic again) If you have any questions please email me ! I’ll be back on board may 19th 2006 to do the Mediterranean cruise on the Beautiful Carnival Liberty And to everybody going on a cruise,  Bon voyage! Vincent Schuijt The Netherlands [email protected] Cruise History: 1990 Mardi Gras, 1993 Jubilee, 1998 Imagination, 2002 Fantasy, 2003 Carnival Spirit (panama canal), 2004 Carnival Triumph, 2005 Carnival Liberty (transatlantic)
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Repositioning Cruise
Publication Date: October 12, 2005
Was a passenger for 28 days sailing the Med and then a Trans-Atlantic to Miami.  Fifth Carnival Cruise, Ship itself was spectacular although navigation somewhat difficult for the first few days.  The Promenade is the main rouute from bow to stern.  Food was good but,often cool and delivery often slow.  Entertainment was less than acceptable, very few professional acts and some of these were painfully short.  The use of passengers for Talent Shows and Legend Shows would have been beeter used during the afternoon hours.  The absence of the Cruise Director at most activities was very noticeable. The Venetian Palace is lovely but, has sight restrictions and leg room problems, to enter and  exit some mobility needed in upper levels. Lack of organized activities noted.  Bingo and Trivia overdone.  Better use of FunVision with more variety on deck necessary. Disembarkation and organization major problem.  Overall experience reasonable but, not one I would soon repeat.  Carnival has some major flaws that must be addressed with the Liberty.

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Eastern Mediterranean
Publication Date: September 6, 2005

Rating: Buono (Good) Mezza Mezza (Half & Half) Cattivo (Bad)

The following is my review of our recent cruise on the Carnival Liberty. Using the above rating system, I will attempt to rate our trip according to segment. Hope this is helpful to future Carnival Liberty guests.

9/3/05 Departure

Tallahassee to JFK - Buono

Anyone familiar with the Tallahassee area knows any flight not making a stop in Atlanta is a good thing.

JFK - Rome - Cattivo

We transferred from Delta to Alitalia for the flight to Rome. The plane appeared to be fairly new, but either had a very poor air conditioning system or the flight attendants preferred to keep the cabin HOT. Even after many complaints, there wasn't much improvement. Needless to say, 8 ½ hours in a HOT airplane was extremely uncomfortable. (NOTE: This situation was the same on the return trip from Rome to JFK)

9/4/05 - Arrival in Rome

Rome Airport - Cattivo

Very crowded, very disorganized and very little assistance from airport staff.

9/4/05 - 9/5/05 - Hotel Madrid, Rome - Buono

Wonderful small hotel located near the Spanish Steps. Staff spoke English and was always very helpful. Nice rooms with air conditioning,

and even though we had 1st floor rooms, they were very quiet. Had a generous buffet breakfast each morning (included) with a lovely view from the rooftop garden. Would recommend.

Rome Tours - Mezza Mezza

Be aware that not all tours include entrance fees. We were taken to the Coliseum and given about a half hour to explore, only to find out that the entrance fee is 30 Euro per person. Didn't feel it was worth it for that short length of time.

Be aware also that most tour guides use some form of miked communication systems where you place an earphone in your ear to listen to their commentary. If you should stray from the group or get separated, you could be out of hearing range quickly.

Last but not least, be prepared for the TRAFFIC. Rome is very congested with cars and scooters and it seems traffic lights, rules and regulations are only a suggestion! 9/6/05 - Embarkation - Buono

The port of Civitavecchia is located about 1 ½ hrs. outside Rome and was a pleasant drive once you leave the city. The cruise terminal was large and fully staffed with Carnival representatives. We already printed our Fun Pass documents, so embarkation went smoothly and quickly. We were on board within 15 minutes.

Carnival Liberty - Overall - Buono

Cabin - Buono

Because we booked this cruise a year in advance, we were afforded a wide selection of cabin categories. For the first time, we choose a 'family' cabin on Deck 11, Spa Deck. This cabin was 230 sq. ft. with floor to ceiling windows. As we were only 2 people in the cabin, it was spacious with a lot of storage space. We will definitely go for this type cabin again if available.

Bathroom - Cattivo

This section refers to the problems my in-laws had with their bathroom shower. Almost from the first day on board, their shower flooded. It got worse as the days went by and was brought to the attention of our cabin steward who thanked them for letting him know. We all assumed that was all that was needed and the problem would be corrected. Unfortunately, the problem continued to get worse (keep in mind, this is a brand new ship!). Finally, when the cabin stewards got tired of picking up wet towels from the floor, they asked my in-laws why nothing was said, acting surprised when told that the problem had been brought to their attention previously. Sometime before the end of the second week, a maintenance person must have made an appearance, because there was a .5% improvement in the amount of flooding. Very unacceptable! Another reason why I don't agree with Carnival's rule about staff gratuity's being deducted from your Sail 'N Sign card in advance. True, you can have this changed once on board, but I'm sure most people don't bother.

Décor - Buono

In some areas of the ship, they tried to impart a European flavor, and it was a welcome change from the usual neon-look. The lounge was decorated in a Mardi Gras motif with masks and court jesters. The major complaint we had was the entranceway overhead lighting. As you walked through the ship, each entranceway listed the different rooms in that particular area, but the lighting changed colors 5 times and was very hard to read. Guess they can't get the neon-look out of their system completely!

Food - Mezza-Mezza

Mediocre, at best, in both the dining room and Emils. We did hear from one guest that the alternative restaurant, Harry's, was excellent.

Water - ?

If you cruise with Carnival, take notice that the drinking water (not bottled) seems to have an additive that acts like a laxative. We have noticed this on every Carnival cruise we have taken, but have never seen or heard mention of it from other guests.

Entertainment - Cattivo

The production shows were geared to a younger crowd, even though the majority of guests on this cruise were in the 40-60+ age group. Also, the big screen TV on the Lido deck showed a variety of animated features geared for children; however, there were maybe 15 on board. Also, it was irritating to be asked to give a performer(s) a standing ovation. This should be left to the judgement of the audience.

Cruise Director - Buono

John was a prize! His sense of humor and quick wit was amazing and he proved to be the most talented of all.


On Sunday, during dinner, we were asked to take a moment of silence to honor and remember all those lost on the 9/11 anniversary.

Tours - Overall - Buono

While I can't comment on all the tours offered by Carnival, I will critique our tours as follows:

Naples - Pompeii, Sorrento, and Isle of Capri Tour - Mezza Mezza

Because this tour was highly recommended as 'the one to take', we changed the tour we had booked on-line. The first stop was a visit to the Cameo Factory on the way to Pompeii. They gave you a little time to shop if you were interested in buying cameo jewelry (we were and did).

The tour of Pompeii was interesting, but was too long in duration. This tour should be shortened to allow more time in Sorrento and the Isle of Capri.

Sorrento was a lovely town along the Amalfi coast. Had a nice lunch there, but not much time to shop.

In order to take the Hydrofoil to the Isle of Capri, you had to walk down dozens of steps from Sorrento to the pier below. This was not easily achieved for people with physical problems and should have been addressed by the tour guide.

The ride on the Hydrofoil took about 20 minutes and the walk from the pier to lower Capri took about 15 minutes. Once there, we were told to wait in line for the Funicular to ride to upper Capri. Keep in mind there is only one Funicular, and by that time in the afternoon, Capri was very crowded with tourists and tour groups. Needless to say, this was very frustrating. We probably waited about 30-40 minutes and when we finally reached the top, we had about ½ hour to either spend shopping, walking around, or taking pictures. We opted for ice cream and made the mistake of putting our things on a table while we waited in line to order. While on line, we noticed a sign posted that said if you sat at a table, you paid double. Even though we told our husbands to remove our articles from the table, and we didn't sit down, I was still charged $10 US for a 2-scoop cone. Everything you read and hear about these tactics, especially in Italy, is true, so beware!

Dubrovnik, Croatia - Buono

Took the Country Home tour, which included a traditional lunch. Very nice area, although still recovering from the revolutionary war 12 years ago. People were friendly and Dubrovnik was an interesting walled city.

Venice - Buono

Venice was probably our favorite city, especially because the ship was in port overnight here. We were fortunate enough to dock almost adjacent to St. Mark's Square (our Captain had some pull being an x-gondola driver), and it made for less walking. Went on the evening Gondola ride through the canals, which were surprisingly clean. There is one singer for 4-5 gondolas and the drivers are very skilled at maneuvering through the narrow 'streets'. St. Marks Square was crowded with people sitting at tables outside having a café and listening to music.

The next day we took a walking tour of Venice with a very enjoyable guide named Paulo. He was an older gentleman who was extremely knowledgeable about Venice history. Took us to the Doge's Palace where we got a first-hand look at how the Duke ruled in Venice, which once was its own state, like the Vatican is now. Paulo had a very dry sense of humor that we enjoyed. He talked about Venice's diminishing population because the youth of today leave the island to find more opportunity on the mainland.

Messina - Buono

In Messina, we took the Taormina and Mt. Etna tour. Taormina is a very nice town and we got up close and personal with Mt. Etna and some extinct craters. Would recommend.

Barcelona - Buono

Took the Montserrat By Rail tour. Traveled through the City of Barcelona by bus and then at the base of Montserrat, boarded a small rack railway to take us up the mountain. Great views! Saw the Montserrat Monastery and the beautiful church where we viewed the Black Virgin and heard the Boys Choir. Would recommend.

Cannes - Buono

Another favorite area - Monaco and Monte Carlo. Because of recent heavy rains causing the closure of part of the highway, we had to take the road along the coastline from Cannes to Monaco. It was just beautiful! It's easy to see why the 'rich and famous' love this area. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch in a nice restaurant, but were disappointed in the famous casino. It was small and very, very crowded. While the casino was very ornate, the church where Grace and the Prince were married and are buried, appeared very simple and plain. Guess we just expected more, but still glad we took this tour.

Livorno - Mezza Mezza

Another disappointment! The ship must dock at Livorno, a very industrial city with a lot of refineries polluting the air, judging from the odor. From there we took the bus to Florence, which was about a 2-hour drive. Our bus escort left us in the hands of a tour guide and we walked around Florence. Saw all the great landmarks of the city, but the tour did not include entrance fees to the Duomo or any museums. After a nice lunch in Florence, we started our return to the ship, with a stop in Pisa. Here we were able to go into the Cathedral and Baptistery, but again, did not have entrance included to go into the tower. Mid-way through our tour, it began to rain. We took cover in a café and had a delicious cappuccino.

Debarkation - Buono

I'm happy to report that this was the best debarkation we've experienced so far. Carnival finally got their act together to improve the process. They deliver colored number luggage tags for you to attach to your luggage before putting it outside your cabin the evening before. On the morning of debarkation, you are allowed to remain in your cabin until your number is called. Once called, you leave the ship and proceed to the luggage holding area to pick up your luggage. The airport shuttle buses outside had corresponding numbers to your luggage number so that there was no confusion about which bus to board.

I apologize for such a long review, and in closing, even though we may have expected more, we did enjoy our cruise.

Bon Yoyage!

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: December 18, 2005
Just back from our first cruise. (two adults, two children 4 & eight). I broke my comments down for an easier read: EMBARKMENT: Arrived at embarkment in Ft Lauderdale and was ovewhelmed by how many people were in line. However, it moved well with us getting on board the ship in about an hour.  CABINS: We booked two outside adjoining cabins antipating them to be small. It worked out to be only about $1000 more since we had to pay adult fare for the kids. It was worth it! The rooms were a good size and nicely decorated.  Very impressed with the housekeeping. The housekeeping staff kept our rooms in good order.  The beds and bedding were the most comfortable beds I've ever slept in. (I'm considering buying the bedding package they offer). The towel animals created by housekeeping kept our kids (and us) amused everynight. We even bought the book on how to create them. The showers were powerful and it was nice having two bathrooms since we are use to 4 at home. The only problem was the noisy people in the hallway.  I wish people would think of others before they shout down the hallway at someone.   Did not hear anything from adjoining cabins. The sound of the ocean at night drowned out most sounds and if you are like me, the white noise makes for good sleeping. FOOD/SERVICES: We didn't do any formal nights mostly eating in the alternative areas. The grill and deli were awesome! The 24 hr pizza was good too. The buffets were good but were busy at times but we were able to find a window seat everytime.   Found the staff in the buffet areas not too helpful. The language barrier grew a little tiresome after a while. I have a hard time believing they don't understand English considering how may people they deal with.  On our last full day at sea after the Debarkment/Tipping presentation from the cuise director, it was funny to see the staff suddenly learn English and socialize with the passengers. This was in contrast to the other days where they looked at you like deer in headlights when asking for peanut butter or directions. We even tested it; on the last day, my wife asked one of them for margrine and I said, watch, you will have it in a flash. I was right! Any other day, they would have sent us on a wild goose chase to look for it ourselves. If you are going on a cruise soon, watch for this, it can be entertaining to watch them avoid helping out the passengers. This is not to say all of them were like this, there were some that were helpful but that was the exception. The scheduling for the food was hard to understand. Pizza was easy, 24hrs. The grill I still can't figure out, just that it closed at 6PM and reopened late at night ( I think?)  The Chinese food, I don't know the hours. It would help to have signs posted with the open and close times.  We only ate in the formal dining room twice for breakfast, once for lunch and once for dinner. Nice place but not really a good place for our active kids.  CAMP CARNIVAL: We took advantage of Camp Carnival The kids loved it so much that they kept asking to go. This told us lots about the great staff at the camp. We were so comfortable with the staff, we went on an excursion in Mexico leaving the kids at the camp. This was a huge step for us to leave them.  They had a Christmas concert that included the kids on stage and gift giving from Santa Claus. Overall, the kids acitivities were great! Perfect vacation for a family if your kids are willing to go to camp. Overall, the kid program is top notch with the best staff you could hope for. They demonstrated they were there to make the cruise fun for the kids and giving us peace of mind they were in good hands. EXCELLENT STAFF!! EXCURSIONS:  Can't do much on the cheap BAHAMAS: It cost us $40 return for taxi to get to a beach.  It was nice to swim in the ocean for the first time and enjoy the warm weather GRAND CAYMAN: Watch out for this if you are planning excurisions with the kids.  Booked the Coral & Stingray snorkal for all four of us. They have a price for adults and kids.  We were told by the Carnival Excursion staff they would have equipment for our kids and any print material they have says that a child is considered 4-12 yrs. When we arrived at the stingray site and everyone was jumping in, the boat captain told us they don't have kids snorkle equipment and said "I need to get the company to get some" indicating they never had it.   We paid over $200 and I was the only one that got to enjoy it while my wife stayed on board with the kids.  Once back on board the Liberty, we went to the excursion desk and he seemed concerned and would look into it for us and will get back us personally before the cruise was over. After two days, ( our last day) we had to go back to him and he seemed less concerned redirecting us to customer relations. I guess he was hoping we would forget about it?  We now have to chase carnival guest relations to make up for this.  I don't expect they will do much considering the flipant attitude of the excursion desk.  Beware, the desk has weird hours, this makes it difficult to chase them if you have a problem. COSTA MAYA: Despite the issue with our Grand Cayman excursion, we booked the Blast Speedboat Snorkal at Jungle Beach.  What a BLAST!!  it was worth the $190. We left the kids on board for the day so we could take advantage of this. This was by far the most beautiful spot we been to. It was the best value too. It included the bus ride, boat, snorkal equipment, all your drinks (good if you drink) and beach facilities. I would recommend this to anyone. The local staff were funny and very helpful. They work hard to make your stay worth it.  OVERALL: Despite the "convenient" language barrier on board and the excursion issue, this was by far the best vacation we ever had. The food, ship, kids camp, entertainment and ports of call were worth the money. We will consider carnival again for our next cruise especially because the kids camp made it easy for us adults to have a vacation too.
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