P & B Hamel
Number of Cruises: 5
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Liberty
Sailing Date: January 21st, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Liberty Cruise Review
P & B Hamel
Traveling from Toronto, this was our fourth Carnival cruise, which we found quite deserving of a 4.5 star. Much of our comparison will be with the same class GLORY last year. The 8-day cruise to Panama was a very appealing itinerary on this new ship.
Our transfer from Ft. Lauderdale Airport was held up over an hour because of apparent delay at the ship. Despite the crowd, embarkation went reasonably well and we were on Lido deck for lunch by 2 pm. One disappoint again was being assigned a late dinner despite an early dinner request when booking last summer. The Maitre’D was unable to grant a change after a long wait.
Our balcony cabin was very spacious and comfortable again, with a bar fridge so bring along some beverages. Our steward Daniella was extremely attentive. The LIBERTY is big, bold and beautiful even if some décor is not to our taste.
Our dining experience throughout was remarkable. Our few breakfasts and all dinners in the Silver Olympian Dining Room were outstanding. Also impressive again was the quality and great variety of foods available at Emile’s on Lido deck. From the deli, pizza, burgs / dogs fries, fish & chips, Asian plus up to 3 alternate buffet areas. Aside from some brief waits, I can’t imagine any significant complaints regarding food on board. One disappointment – baked Alaska no longer offered. We chose not to reserve at the optional Harry’s.
We found the entertainment throughout the ship to be the best yet. Most of the shows in the fabulous Venetian Palace were first rate; particularly the Vegas style ones along with an entertaining 10-piece orchestra. Poolside, Lobby and Promenade deck venues were much better than Glory offered last year.
Costa Maya was a bust because of a very rainy day. Limon Costa Rica was a repeat for us so we spent time shopping on shore. Colon Panama offered some very interesting tours including the canal. We chose to arrange our own tour but beware of cons – perhaps better to be in a group for good value.
We were pleased that the public address announcements and sales pitches were barely half of what we suffered through on the Glory. Also, we are pleased that smoking is getting more controlled for the benefit of majority of passengers.
Debarkation was fastest ever. We chose self-assist and were able to leave around 7:30 am. However, that only increased the pain of having to wait at the airport longer. Most disappointing aspect of the trip was that Carnival chose the last of 3 Air Canada flights back to Toronto – even after my appeal. We could have easily arrived home Sunday PM – instead Monday AM. Never allow Carnival to arrange our flight again. A most inconsiderate end to our vacation.
Overall this Liberty cruise was very impressive even though the weather was quite windy and rougher than normal. Staff members were friendly, informative and helpful especially Serg from Russia who located us hours after my wife lost her sunglasses. Incredible selection of quality photographers available although I can’t believe the lack of incentives to buy multiple photos.