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Overall Rating
Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions

Age: 46


Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Liberty

Sailing Date: 2009-08-11

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

This was our family's 4th Carnival cruise. We've previously sailed on Glory, Triumph and Fantasy. Embarkation from Miami was smooth and organized. We were on the ship within 1 hour of arrival. The cabins are adequate size and we love the comfortable beds. We stayed on Deck 2 for this trip, and did not notice any difference in movement from previous cabins on higher decks.

The food was good, with the exception of steaks, but we were not disappointed in the overall value. The dining room staff was fun, efficient and very welcoming. The Karaoke and piano bar was our biggest disappointment of the whole trip. Silly as it sounds, we plan for months what songs we might sing at karaoke, because on the Glory & Triumph, Linka (the karaoke host) made it a blast for everyone. I can't remember the name of the karaoke host on Fantasy, but she was a lot of fun too. Aretha on the Liberty was not too friendly and did not engage the crowd. We felt she didn't want us there, which was very odd. John in the piano bar was grumpy and if I had to guess, I would say he was counting down his days until he got off the ship.

Now for the good stuff... The casino staff were friendly and very accommodating. The shows were good, especially the comedian. Noonan, the cruise director, did a great job and I was impressed at how he participated in so many things!

Destinations...Half Moon Cay was one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The sand is soft and very fine and the water is as clear as pool water. We were concerned about getting a shell to rent for shade, but there were plenty. St. Thomas was just okay. We were glad we planned an excursion or we may have been bored. We did the barefoot catamaran sail to shipwreck cove. It was fun, but there was not much snorkeling time - we kept in a group and followed the guide around the cove. Advice for Puerto Rico - I do not recommend getting off the ship and taking off on foot, especially if you arrive early (7:00a.m.). We tried this and we were approached by a man who gave us a story about how he had arrived on an earlier ship (there wasn't an earlier ship) and his father was beat up and in the hospital. He wanted us to follow him down the street to the police station to confirm his story. He said he needed $12.00 for something, but by that time, I was rather scared and knew that he could potentially be dangerous. We beelined it back to the port and found Alberto, who gave us a bus tour for $10 a person. It was definately worth it. At first the bus drivers will tell you $20 a person, but hold out for the $10. The fort at El Morro was very cool - we all enjoyed exploring it. After seeing the fort, we went shopping and found some great values. Grand Turk was nice. We found chairs near the end of the "cruise center" area next to a little bar on the beach. The drinks were half the price as Margaritaville and they had live music, which was great.

The fun days at sea were great, but the servers really push the drinks. The big screen on lido asks that people do not "save" seats, and I noticed that there was less saving of seats than previous cruises, but you still need to be on deck by 9:30 or so to get a seat, especially if you have a large group. There were not as many Lido deck activities, such as contests, as previous cruisings, but the band was good.

Debarkation was as smooth and efficient as embarkation. Overall, I'd say that we had a great time, but if possible, we will probably verify the entertainment hosts before selecting our next ship.

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