Number of Cruises: 7
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Liberty
Sailing Date: January 15th, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Liberty Cruise Review
Boarding process went smoother than other cruise that I have been on, lines moved well and service was friendly and efficient. Rooms are very nice, we had a balcony and found the layout very spacious based on previous experience. We were pleased with the room staff as well, always kept very well. We used the silver Olympian dining room ( early seating) every night for dinner and were pleased with selection, service and quality of food. We were traveling with our daughter and son in law who is limited in his food preferences but who was never disappointed with his meals. Buffet dining on upper deck was often crowded and a bit disorganized but choices and quality were good. By checking other stations you could usually avoid lines. Deck layout is a bit cramped and good seating hard to find. I am an early riser and one morning while out walking on deck a found people reserving deck chairs a 5 in the morning in order to get a good location. I used the exercise facility every day and was pleased with equipment. Hours of use are limited as there are rooms below. For me personally I wish that they had thought about this and located differently. We had some bad luck on shore excursions as the weather was very windy. Bahamas stop: We went to tranquility beach for four hours and spent a cool morning there. Rented wave runners and had a blast. Lunch was standard beach fare of hamburgers and hot dogs with salads, in hind sight I wish we had ordered food from the bar / restaurant there as it loaded far superior to what we received after waiting in line for 25 minutes.
Freeport: Due to high winds the port authority advised that all ship tenders would have to stop at 3 pm, an hour earlier than our scheduled departure. We went on the stingray safari / snorkel tour and had a lot of fun ( wind not a problem). When we retuned to the port after a circulars bus ride we were confronted by a huge lineup. We decided to shop a bit and when we realized that the line was not moving we decided to have a drink and lunch at a second storey patio bar overlooking the line and had a pleasant time while waiting ( over a hour). From reading other reviews this seems to be a common problem here. End result was that the ship left on it's original scheduled time. Costa Maya: The itinerary originally called for a stop at Cozumel but was changed to due storm damage. The captain got the ship there early to make up for previous day's problems but wind delayed clearance for two hours. Communication was very poor in this matter as we waited 45 minutes on lower deck for scheduled clearance before an announcement was made. When we were finally allowed to go ashore and load the bus for our tour we were advised that all tours were cancelled and we were advised to return to the ship. It required about three hours to get everyone on board and depart. The next day our cruise director, Brent announced the another carnival shipped had been unable to land at any port for 5 days due the weather. I had purchased a block of time for computer / internet use but a technical problem forced closure of computer room for last three days of cruise. My son in law , who is IT specialist for a large credit union in our area found it hard to believe that the problem could not be fixed. Lack of the ability to communicate with my business back home did create some concern and annoyance for me. Again communication of problems seemed be slow in coming. We were quite concerned about debarking due to an early flight home and we made two trips down to the purser's deck to enquire about the proper procedure. Both times we received different instructions but the lady who helped us the second time was very helpful and we left our rooms at 7 to meet in the Venetian room as instructed by the purser's desk and the printed instructions in our room. When we arrived at the Venetian we were created by Ian ( Social host) who very offhandedly said we were an hour and a half early and to go wait in our rooms until called. I tried to explain that we self assist and that we were told to meet here at 7:30 to which he replied that it didn't matter and to go back upstairs. We did as instructed but checked minutes later and found that they were in fact allowing self assist passengers to leave. From that point on things went very smoothly with taxi and airport.
Summary: Due to some unavoidable issues our vacation did not go a well as hoped but the ship, food and service was acceptable. They do need to work on communications in some areas. I do not think that I would travel on Carnival again as my experiences have been far superior on Royal Caribbean ships that I have been on.