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Stan

Age: 44

Occupation:Military

Number of Cruises: 7

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Liberty

Sailing Date: 2009-06-13

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

I sailed on the Carnival Liberty out of Miami on 13 June 2009. This was my 7th cruise overall and my first cruise as a single guy. I was part of a group of 53 singles that booked with a company called singlescruise.com. Our ages ranged from mid 20's to early 50's and the group was nearly split 50/50, women to men ratio. Of course, the ship itself had many other single cruisers, but you could only participate in our groups activities if you were a part of the singles group.


The port of Miami is easy to get to and parking your own car there was $140 for the cruise duration. Check in was painless and fast as I arrived at the terminal at 1100 and was on board by 1215. The buffets were open once I boarded and the fun began. Please remember to go check out all your food options before stopping at the first line you see. It's always funny to see a long line at the burger station because people don't realize the good stuff is behind the sliding doors. My stateroom was ready at 1330, which was an inside cabin with no windows. It's nice for sleeping in; just bring a small flashlight so you can see your way to the restroom without waking your cabin mate.


The weather on this cruise was great. The ship rode fine and there was minimal rocking. I really enjoyed being up on deck when we were leaving port and entering a new port. It's a great experience and a fun time to meet and talk to folks.


Alcoholic drinks on board are expensive, but that shouldn't stop you, you're on vacation. I only drink beer and they charge roughly $5 for a 16 ounce one. If you buy them by the bucket, they are a little cheaper. Remember that the tip is already added in to your drink prices (look at the receipt you sign). The soda cards are a good deal if you drink a lot, I would just get someone in our group that had one to get me my one morning soda each day.
I thought the food onboard was very good, but I'm not real picky either. The one place I really enjoyed was the sandwich station located along the side wall between the buffets. Great hot and cold sandwiches to tie you over till dinner. A group of us ate at Harry's (the fine dining) at a cost of $30 a piece. It was very nice but does take a long time for the whole experience.


We had one guy in our group that enjoyed exploring the ship as it was his first cruise. Every time I saw him I would ask if he had found a certain spot yet (I've sailed this class ship before). He would report back with his findings and ask for more things to look for, so go explore the ship. If it doesn't have a “crew only” sign on it, open the door and see where it leads.


First stop was Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Most of our group did the tubing and Dunn River Falls excursion. I enjoyed the tubing the best and elected to just hang out on the beach at Dunn River instead of standing in a long line to climb the falls. We left there and stopped at Margaritaville to enjoy the party prior to boarding. It is within easy walking distance back to the ship but you have to weave through shops to get there and back.


Second stop was Grand Cayman. I have been there before and swam with the stingrays (great experience), so I didn't leave the ship until around noon. Several of us went to Margaritaville and hung out. I have no problems walking by all the shops and not buying a thing! The tender boats are nice and efficient at getting you on and off the ship, so get off the ship just to experience the view of the ship anchored, if nothing else. There were a total of four ships anchored so the island was crowded.


Third stop was Roatan, Honduras. I thoroughly enjoyed the island and its people. We traveled by vans to the other side of the island (roughly 45 minute drive) to a private beach resort and spent the day playing beach volleyball, swimming, snorkeling, and of course eating. The ride through the hills there and back was an excursion in itself. We had time to shop along the street adjacent to where the ship docked and go into several bars that went out over the water for a nice view of the island and ship. The island is a very authentic and not yet highly commericialed, but will be as more ships are going there. The people there are pushing you to buy their goods, but just be polite and move on. I felt safe there walking the streets. Several of us sat at a bar just outside the check in area to the ship and watched everyone board and were the last few to board ourselves. It was fun to watch the people and that whole boarding process.


Recommendations: a bungee cord works great to hold your balcony door open (if you have a balcony), explore the ship and marvel at its ability to float, go all the way forward on deck 9 to the outside railing for a great view, when you first board don’t stop at the first buffet line you see (explore all your options), go outside on deck 3 for a nice place to relax without the crowds, see the shows and the comedians and if you don't like them leave, check out all the bars and other areas to decide which is the best for you, bring a cheap hole punch and lanyards to wear around your neck for your sail and sign cards, sneak booze on board in your luggage if you want to, order two entries (food was great), tip extra they work hard seven days a week, and remember there's no such thing as a bad cruise, it's just that some are better than others!!! Read reviews and learn all you can before you go, have fun and enjoy!!


All in all, a great cruise. If you have any questions shoot me an e-mail at Stanley.skipper@ang.af.mil and if you are considering cruising single, check out singlescruise.com. You can't go wrong; they are a great company and provided fun activities all week long!!

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