Number of Cruises: 5
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Liberty
Sailing Date: May 19th, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Liberty Cruise Review
My husband and I cruised the Mediterranean on the Carnival Liberty at the end of May. We chose this cruise for the Itinerary and the price. We wanted to see Italy and this itinerary was perfect. At each port we had booked an excursion…sometimes more than one a day. We came to see the country and that’s what we did. Since I had researched this trip online at www.carnival.com, the majority of our excursions were pre-booked. Our tickets were delivered to our stateroom which eliminated the need to stand in line at the excursion desk. However, it is a good idea to attend the port talks given by the cruise director, even if you have booked in advance. Our cruise director, John, gave excellent advice on all of the ports of call.
Speaking of John, he was fantastic. He was funny and engaging. He had a great program of nightly entertainment put together for after dinner fun. We never laughed so hard as when we were in the Venetian Palace theatre.
We booked an inside cabin for this cruise. Our philosophy is to splurge on the activities on the vacation rather than the accommodations onboard the ship. Everyone has equal access to all the common areas of the ship. If you are only using the cabin to sleep and change clothes…why spend the extra money for a window? If you want to see what’s going on outside, either turn on the TV and look at the “bridge cam” or take a walk to one of the common areas, or out on the deck. That being said, our beds were configured side by side into a king and were very comfortable with 2 pillows per person. The storage space was quite adequate. Hint: slip your empty suitcases under bed for more room. The bathroom was roomy with the nice touch of having shampoo and body wash dispensers inside the shower.
Now for the gripes about this ship. First off, we, and many people we spoke with had the same problem, having difficulty finding our way around the ship. Our cabin was located mid-ship, our dining room, the Silver Olympian, was located at the back of the ship and the Venetian Palace was located at the front of the ship. In order to get from one place to the other, we were required to go up 2 decks, go over to either the front or back of the ship, and then go down 1 deck to the entrance of the room you were attending. Make sure you pick up a map of this ship and keep it with you at all times. It would have been nice if this map was provided in the cabin. It was only after seeing another passenger with a map that we even knew that they were available. Oh, there are maps at the elevator banks, but beware, some elevators do not go to all decks!
The décor of this ship was annoying. There was every color of the rainbow lumped together in many of the common areas. I mean gaudy in a bad sense! The signage used about the ship was extremely difficult to read. The letters in the signs were made up of tiny light bulbs that changed colors while you were trying to read them. It took me a little while to realize that the triangles in the signs were arrows indicating that you had to proceed up or down one deck to locate the room you were looking for.
Don’t even get me started on the common restrooms. There was one ladies room where I had to open 3, count them, 3 doors, before I even got into the restroom. That did not include the door on the stall. The common ladies room situated just outside the Silver Olympian dining room was another design flaw of this ship. (You can tell there were no women consulted on the design of this ship. LOL) Upon entering the ladies room the automatic hand dryer greets you with a puff of hot air because it is situated too close to the entryway. If someone else is finished and trying to exit, I hope she’s the friendly type, because you will be brushing up against each other making body contact as you try to eek past each other. By all means, do not wear your form fitting dress and the highest heels you own because you will have to either straddle the bowl or jump on top of it to close the door in the stall. There is not enough clearance to stand in front of the bowl and swing the door. The doors swing into the stall!!
I’m still trying to figure out the décor in the Silver Olympian dining room. What were those blue lights supposed to be? I figured out that the silver trappings along the walls and ceilings were gigantic silverware handles. I felt like I was Alice in Wonderland at times.
The Promenade deck was gaudy and we had to pass the smoky casino each time we went to dinner. The black wrought iron chandeliers had lights that changed colors every few seconds. And didn’t they ever wash the windows from the outside while we were in port? The only saving grace of the Promenade was the Sushi bar which was complimentary and open before dinner. Could someone please tell me why Sushi is complementary and there is a charge for popcorn on the Lido deck by the pool? I was charged $1.00 plus the 15% gratuity for a quart sized bag of popcorn!!! Shameful! Petty! But I could walk a few feet and get a hamburger and fries covered on the meal plan.
If you want to do a quick check on your e-mail while onboard…..have patience. The internet café “The Web” is situated behind the bar in The Cabinet Room which is a designated smoking bar. I applaud the fact that there are designated smoking areas on the ship, as there should be, but to have others subjected to it when there is only one path of access to an area is not right. Internet access onboard can be hit and miss. Loading pages with multiple animations is extremely slow. Fees are hefty at $0.75/minute or you can buy plans which reduce the cost to around $0.55/minute. But be sure to use all your minutes by the end of the cruise because the lower rate is bought in incremental packages of 100 or 200 minutes. There were a couple occasions when the WEB was inaccessible because there were art auctions taking place in the Cabinet Room. After the auction started there was no way to get to The Web Room until they were finished with the auction. Times varied so be forewarned. If you are an internet junkie and can’t live without it, bring your laptop along.
I was also disappointed in the food at times that was served in the dining room. Veal Picatta was served with no hint of lemon at all in the dish. I had a bagel and lox for breakfast one morning that had definitely been sitting out on the counter for too long. The bagel was cold and chewy and the slice of red onion and tomato were dried out. No sense complaining, because it would take too much time to get a replacement and we would miss our land excursion. Skip the broccoli and cheese soup! Inedible!
There was also one instance where our tablemate at open seating breakfast had ordered half a grapefruit and was given citrus sections…which she reluctantly accepted. Then when her main course came, the waiter had gotten the type of dry cereal wrong. When she complained, the waiter told her it was all the same. This time she stood up for herself and requested the correct cereal. When the waiter returned, he had commented to her that he had to go all the way up to the Lido Deck and back just to get her cereal. Gee isn’t that too bad? No apology given.
The last complaint I have about the ship was that an envelope was included in the evaluation form for tipping the Matre’d. If he did something special for me, I would have tipped him. But why don’t they include him in the general service gratuity added to the shipboard tab?
In conclusion, I think that this Fun Ship should rethink their service options when cruising to Europe. Skip the waiters dancing on top of the service islands at dessert. The Fun Ship atmosphere is more conducive to the Caribbean than the Mediterranean.