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Lorina

Age: 35

Occupation:RN

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Liberty

Sailing Date: 2011-03-5

Itinerary: Exotic Eastern Caribbean

Overall, I would say our experience was okay. We had sailed with Carnival in the past and it was absolutely horrible so I was pleasantly surprised this time around. The ship was very clean and the rooms were the largest of any ship I have been on. However, the ship itself felt a little small. The public areas seemed very crowded most of the time. On sea days, it was impossible to find a chair on any of the open decks. There is also nowhere to find a chair in the shade except for at the open air dining tables. For this reason, it was difficult to find tables to sit at to eat sometimes because people were lounging at them all day. The pools themselves were small but not crowded because the few people I saw use them said they were very cold. The hot tubs were warm but also a bit crowded. We used the one at the adults only pool. I have seen other reviews that said there were kids in the adults only pool, but I did not see that on this cruise. There were often kids around the pool though because the pizza restaurant is beside the adults only pool. ( a poor design oversight). The shopping onboard was pretty typical cruiseline stuff. One store that sold cruiseline souveniers and another that sold duty free items such as liquor, perfumes and jewelry. The casino was mostly slots which we did not play but during the time we looked around the casino, I did not see any pay out. The casino and the sports bar were very smoky and I did see cruiseline staff smoking in the sports bar in uniform. The staff was mostly indifferent to passengers. The room stewards and housekeeping staff were the only staff who were consistently friendly and helpful. We had an incident while onboard where my husband was splashed with dirty mopwater while the balcony above ours was being clean and when he complained about it, the guest relations staff offered to launder his clothes but never aplogized or offered to inform anyone in the future of cleaning above their balconies. Because of the really poor service and average everything else, we will most likely not travel with Carnival again.

The food on the cruise was average. The only thing that made it gourmet was the presentation. The menu was not as varied or as exotic as I have experienced with other cruises. I ordered the flatiron steak which was on the menu every night twice because the specials on the menu did not appeal to me at all. Shrimp was offered as an appetizer several nights and one night as an entree but there were few other seafood options. In general, the food was bland and repetitive. The buffet food was typical cold salads and a meat carving station. We did not eat at the steak restaurant and didn't hear any comments from anyone else about it. The pizza restaurant had pretty good pizza and a good ceasar salad. The fish and chips were good. The burrito station was also good but the ingredients were also bland. The room service food arrived cold and was not good at all. The room service menu is also quite limited. We did the anytime dining which was convenient for us because we always ate as soon as the dining room opened but sometimes the wait seemed quite long for those who were eating at popular dinner times. The dinner service is very slow. It took on average an hour and fifteen minutes per meal.

The stateroom was the only real redeeming factor of this cruise. The room was larger than others in the industry and comfortable. We had a balcony which we used often since our son goes to bed very early. The balcony itself was very small. The chairs had to be aligned perfectly or the door wouldn't open. There were lots of closet space and drawers to put items in and many shelves in the bathroom. We actually had unused storage space and plenty of room to store our two large suitcases, car seat and stroller. The room steward Yupin was excellent.

The onboard activities were lacking. We really didn't find anything to do on sea days. There was the typical offering of Bingo and slot tournaments but really didn't see much else going on. The kids club was good for our two year old who really enjoyed it but the hours were odd and often inconvenient. It was closed on sea days from 1-4 for lunch and sometimes during other times for special activities like Build a Bear. It was closed during the returning cruiser cocktail party so we were unable to attend. We did do a couples massage class in the spa which was too crowded and overpriced for the 30 minute class. The other spa services were very expensive (about twice as much as at home and about 25% more than other cruises I have been on).

Because we were traveling with a young child, we were unable to participate in most of the excursions because they have a minimum age requirement. We did do the ultimate St. Thomas excursion which was good but probably could have been done by taxi for about half the price. Magen Bay was not to be missed. Blackbeard's Castle is actually not a castle at all but does have several museum type places to see. I would not advice paying for the walking tour in San Juan because it can be done on your own for free.

The cruise was average, nothing at all special. The service was terrible except for the room steward who was great and the dining room waiters who were acceptable. The ports of call were really good and we enjoyed each of them. Overall, it was a great itinerary which I would recommend to anyone just not with Carnival. If your travel days are flexible, you can find a similar itinerary with other lines.

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