Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Liberty
Sailing Date: January 21st, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Liberty Cruise Review
This was not a very good experience for a first time cruiser. I did not enjoy the trip and don't know if I ever want to go on another cruise.
We did the 8 day trip to Panama with ports of call in Costa Maya and Costa Rica. This was indeed a big, beautiful ship. The cabin was more comfortable than I expected (outside room, no balcony) and I spent a great deal of time there mainly to avoid the crowds.
If you don't like crowds, you won't like spending a week on a ship with 3000 other passengers! There were long lines for everything and fellow passengers were unbelievably rude. We were pushed, shoved and jostled everywhere we went. We were crushed into elevators, cut off in buffet lines and nearly knocked off our feet going down the gangway at the ports of call. Deck chairs were "saved" by folks who threw a towel on a chair and expected it to be their own personal chair for the rest of the day whether they were occupying it or not. (The crew should intervene in this situation.)
The food was good, but I missed dinner a few nights due to the heavy seas. The ship heaved and rolled a lot more than I would expect from a vessel of this size. Even the evening entertainment was cancelled one night because the pitching of the ship would have knocked the dancers off their feet.
The entertainment varied between mediocre and downright stupid. (A Hairy Chest Competition and a bawdy version of the Newlywed Game.) The exception was The Mozart Trio who played light classical selections in the Cigar Bar and the atrium. Very enjoyable.
Our room steward and dining room servers were extremely polite, helpful and attentive. Service from the staff in the public areas varied, however.
Although we expected to be charged extra for beverages, gratuities, etc., we were outraged at the fees to use wireless Internet access on our laptop. At fifty cents a minute, the cost was prohibitive,especially when the connection was not especially fast. Five dollars would just about buy you time to read a couple of emails.
We booked our excursions through the cruise line for each port of call. The tours were a little tedious, being cooped up on a tour bus after being cooped up on the ship. The highlight of the trip was seeing the Gatun Locks at the Panama Canal. My complaint with Carnival was that no information was supplied on the ship prior to arriving at the ports (other than the brief descriptions of the tour packages.) It would have been interesting to learn a little about each place before we visited there. With the big movie screen up on the Lido Deck, why didn't they show some kind of documentaries about the Panama Canal and other places we visited? If they can find time for Bingo and Trivia, why can't they offer some mini sessions or even some reading material about the ports of call? Even some documentaries on the closed circuit television in our cabins would have been enjoyable.
Although the ship itself was spacious and comfortable, a week at sea is simply boring. If you don't enjoy the "Vegas" atmosphere and don't care for crowds, then this kind of cruise probably isn't a good choice for a vacation.