Sunday, March 6, 2016

Carnival Liberty Cruise Review

 Carnival Liberty Review
March 6, 2016
12-day Repositioning Cruise

Just The Facts:
Ship:  Carnival Liberty
Ship Captain:  Giuseppe Giusa
Cruise Director: Cory “Family Guy’ Rogers
Ports: San Juan - St.Thomas - Barbados - Scarborough Tobago - Grenada - Aruba - Grand Cayman - Galveston

This is my first cruise on the Carnival Liberty, 60th Carnival Cruise, and 111th cruise overall.  I am cruising as a solo.  This repositioning cruise is also being promoted as a Carnival Journeys cruise with extra events

Travel Day—Saturday—March 5—Travel—Galveston

The purpose of travel today is to move my vehicle to Galveston where this cruise will terminate following the repositioning cruise.  I left the ranch about 9:30 am for the drive south.  I-45 was closed between Houston and Galveston I so took an alternate route and arrived at EZ Cruise Parking about 2:00 pm.  I dropped my car at EZ Cruise Parking and good cruise friends picked me up and we had lunch at The Original Mexican Cafe in business in Galveston since 1916. It was Tex-Mex like I recall as a younger person.  We toured the island before heading to Alvin Texas.  We had a late dinner at a very cool place in Alvin, the Gordon Street Tavern. 

Day One—Sunday—March 6—Embarkation Day—San Juan, Puerto Rico

Carnival Journey Cruise
I slept very well and needed an 8:00 am wake up call.  Thanks to friends I was off to Hobby Airport arriving about 9:15 am.  I checked in and soon headed to off to Orlando.  I had an hour+ layover then boarded a flight to San Juan Puerto Rico arriving at 6:45 pm local time. The ship sails late at 10:00 pm as most do from San Juan, but all guests are supposed to check in by 8:30 so I will be cutting it close.  I took a private taxi from the airport to the pier ($24) and since there were no lines at all I was checked in and through security just after 8:15 pm.  It was a bit odd going through the lobby to the cabin with my bags while most guests were going to dinner or about the various ship activities.  I have the only 1A on deck eight and the cabin was already set for first day turn down with tomorrows FunTimes and a towel animal…but wait…I have arrived and it's still day one for me.  With the humidity and anxiousness of the late arrival I was tired by the time I made the cabin.  I cleaned up and needed something to eat, but they began closing everything due to boat drill beginning soon...and the lines at the buffet were the longest I have ever seen for an evening meal.  Most guests agreed that it was one of the worst Safety Drills...ever...lasting an hour+.  Finally after boat drill room service delivered a Reuben sandwich and a Tuna Salad sandwich on white bread along with some diet cokes.  It was very welcomed at this point.  The majority of day one was travel, but I did get settled in the cabin and have 11 more days to enjoy the ship and cruise.

Day Two—Monday—March 7th—St. Thomas USVI
Paradise Point - St. Thomas USVI  -  (click to enlarge)
Seas were very calm and I slept fair, awoke a few times in the night and would spend some time on  the internet as I would do at home (in order to have expanded Bandwidth).  We were already docked at Havensight in St. Thomas when I got around about 9:00 am.  At 10:00 I went up to the Blue Iguana for breakfast since they close at 10:30am.  They have replaced the Eggs Benedict in the MDR as my new Carnival breakfast favorite.  I had my now Blue Iguana breakfast favorite: two Huevos Rancheros topped with two fresh fried eggs.  The preparer forgot to add the guacamole on my tortilla before adding the eggs so he gave me some on the side and I actually liked that better.  While the  Huevos Rancheros and eggs are hot I add Cheese and Pico de Gallo from the Blue Iguana Salsa Bar...a great breakfast.  I went back to the cabin but soon I Wayan came to clean so I went up to the lido aft bar to kill some time.  I had a nice long discussion with the bartender about Texas liquor laws when the Liberty gets to Galveston and more when he mentioned that his brother just joined the ship yesterday…it wasn’t long before his brother came by for lunch and it was I Gusti a head waiter who has served me many times on the Carnival Sunshine.  He is one of my favorite waiters.  Small world.  Since I have not been to my MDR table as yet he will be a good option if I need to change.  I left the ship about 12:30 and made my way to Paradise Point, I did get a discount for the tram so I went up to enjoy the afternoon drinking Bushwackers (and a Dreamsicle), using their internet, and enjoying one of the best VIEWs in St. Thomas. A FUN afternoon. Upon boarding the ship I stopped at the Alchemy Bar to meet the staff and ended up staying for a while.  Annamarie, from Romania, the lead Alchemist is a hoot.  Vladimir from Serbia is also great.  Very nice guests there as usual that I’m sure will become Alchemy friends for the next ten days.  Time for dinner and I am assigned to the Silver Olympian Dining Room (MDR).  I have a nice center area table location as per request in the MDR … and dinner was good.  I ordered the Greek Salad, Baked Ziti, Grilled Pork Chop, and Peach Pie ala mode for dessert.  Of course I am NOT a fan of the no tablecloth situation that is a part of the American Table.  IMHO it cheapens the dining room experience.  The Welcome Show was held in the Venetian Palace Theater at 10:15 pm.

Day Three—Tuesday—March 8th—Fun Day at Sea
Vladimir the Alchemist
Calm seas overnight and I slept much better than previous night…the Bushwhackers may have helped.  About 10:00-ish I went up to the Lido buffet for a light breakfast.  The weather is gorgeous and guests are taking advantage of it on deck.  At noon I went to the Diamond Luncheon in the Golden Olympian MDR mid ship.  It was nice and I appreciate the invitation and event; however, it was not near as nice as the exact same event on the Carnival Freedom last month. We again have 70+ Diamond guests and it seemed most were in attendance. The officers and staff greeted everyone upon entry, they did the same on Freedom, but on the Freedom the cocktail servers where behind them with champagne or wine as you were assigned a table.  I did get a nice table in the center of the room. The wait staff and the servers were excellent; however, the food was disappointing.  The menu was the same menu as usual: I ordered the Root Vegetables  and Crunchy Leaves with Walnut Dressing, The Charbroiled Filet Mignon with Mushroom Pinwheel, Battered Blue Cheese, and Pumpkin filled with Roasted Cauliflower and the Dessert was a Raspberry Dark Chocolate Pate.  The steak was just adequate and the fancy sides were all cold…they were so good on the Freedom that we requested extras…not so today. I did take advantage of the bar service and enjoyed several+ Cosmopolitan cocktails.  This does make me appreciate so much more the effort of the chef and staff of the Carnival Freedom on their Diamond Luncheon.  I will order a premium steak later to compare with what I was served at this luncheon, but IMHO there is no excuse for serving cold side dishes with the entree.  Again thank you Carnival for the cocktails. I made a visit to Cherry on Top for some candy and walked around the ship since it my first time to sail on the Liberty.  As a part of the Journeys cruise experience they held the Carnival Connections Q&A and a photo seminar by Radu this afternoon.  Personally I had some cabin time before going to the Alchemy Bar for aperitifs.  Vladimir made me two special cocktails that were unique, different, and tasty.  This is the Captain’s Elegant night so we do have nice tablecloths in the MDR this evening.  That is nice.  For dinner I ordered the Italian Wedding Soup, a Shrimp Cocktail, a Spaghetti Carbonara (as starter), and the Lobster & Shrimp entree.  For dessert I had the Creme Brulee…all were good.  The production show this evening is Just Rock in the theater as well as other groups performing at various venues.

Day Four—Wednesday—March 9th—Bridgetown, Barbados
Barbados east coast - Atlantic Ocean
Smooth seas overnight.  Room service was prompt and knocked on the cabin door at 7:00 am that also served as my wake up call since we dock at 8:00 am and I have an early tour today.  I was among the first off the ship and went to the meet location for my tour that I booked with Glory Tours through Viator.  My guide/group never showed so Glory called back another tour that had already left and added me to that one…that made me popular with that group...unprofessional by someone.  The tour was actually fine, but not exactly what I booked.  We were off heading north and drove by my old favorite haunt of Sandy Lane Hotel.  First stop was at Cherry Tree Hill for a nice view and I had a coconut water (with rum). Next we stopped at the Morgan Lewis Windmill, one of the last sugarcane mills in the world.  We then stopped at Bathsheba on the Atlantic side where there are wonderful views of the rocky coastline.  We actually made a couple of beer stops along the way…fine by me as Banks Beer, the local brew, is one of my favorites. We drove by St John’s Church and through the Garrison Historic Area, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  I had the beach option at the end of the tour at Carlisle Bay but choose to go directly back to the ship.  The tour was fine, but Barbados is not as pretty as I remember it from previous visits.  Upon return I could have shopped at the nice port shopping area, but went on board to have a nice lunch from the Mongolian Grill and a bit of a unique Chicken Dish and Beef Stew from the buffet.  It was actually some of the best food I have had so far.  I did walk by the Guy’s burgers and saw a supervisor so I had to stop and visually check the meat…it looked perfect.  Some tend to under cook a Guy’s Burger and the supervisor even commented that they really try to get that bit of crispy from the grill.  I’ll have one soon.  I did see the Captain too and thanked him for the cocktails at the luncheon on Tuesday.  He just smiled.  :-)  It was lovely weather in late afternoon and sail away time…It was on my mind so I did sneak up to Lido and got that Guy’s burger before they closed at 6:00...that will be my aperitif for the night in lieu of Alchemy.  We had two more guest show for dinner so our table is now just about full…just wish we had tablecloths.  I ordered the Shrimp Appetizer from Port of Call menu…I forget the name of the dish, but it was pickled and very good, the Seafood Newburg (fair) and Beef Wellington (fair) entree.  After dinner most of the table went up to the Alchemy for cocktails.

Day Five—Thursday—March 10th—Scarborough, Tobago
Smooth seas overnight and I slept very well.  I had room service delivered about 8:00 am as a wake
Folk Lore show on Tobago
up and light breakfast.  I’m doing the ship's Carnival Tobago Highlights and Folklore Show excursion today.  We were away about 9:00 am and there were 3 smaller buses of guests taking the same tour.  First stop was Fort King George with nice views overlooking Scarborough and a museum.  Second stop was at the Mysterious Tombstone and then to Fort James on west coast.  Next stop was at Pigeon Point a public/private resort area where I enjoyed a couple of Stag beers and people watched the short time we were here.  To this point the tour has been less than impressive.  Final stop was at a community/public center where we were seated for the Folklore show.  I did get a seat on row two center…nice.  The folklore show was fantastic…the saving grace of this tour.  There were several drummers and steel drum and the dancers were in very colorful costumes.  They did several dances and it was a good show. My overall impression of Tobago is not really positive…I can see why cruise ships don’t usually call on this port.  If I ever returned I would not bother getting of the ship.  After re-boarding the Liberty I went up to Lido and had a nice double Guy’s Cheese Burger.  It was very good.  Then it was to the cabin for clean up and a nice nap.  I went to the Alchemy for aperitifs and had a Quick Fix and later AnnaMarie fixed a J├Ąger-tini, yes as in J├Ągermeister…it was good.  I have had a unique drink each night…they are very creative at this Alchemy.  Dinner was very good, I ordered the Mixed Greens Salad, Pasta (as Starter) Chicken Milanese  and Pot de Creme for dessert.  The Chicken Milanese was VERY good.  Best dinner so far.  The primary show this evening was Motown and Beyond in the Venetian Palace theater, several table-mates went, but I may be getting a bug so I retired early to the cabin.

Day Six—Friday—March 11th—Grenada
St. George's Street Market
Rolling seas overnight, but I slept very well.  We were docked early…about 7:00 am but no excursion for me so I slept later than previous port days.  I went down to the MDR for a nice proper breakfast: melon, three fried eggs over easy, ham, bacon, corned-beef hash, hash browns, and white toast.  The hash browns were bad, but everything else was good and to order.  I had visited Grenada just a few months ago and had a great tour so I just walked around the town of St. Georges taking in a few sites.  I did purchase some spices for friends back home who love to cook. Grenada is known as the Spice Island. I like Grenada as a cruise destination and would certainly return to the island.  I was back on the ship early so went to the Lido deck aft swimming pool and enjoyed the pool to my self for a while.  More guests returned early as several water excursions were canceled due to rough seas.  The ship is actually rocking as much as I’ve seen in a while to be tied down at the pier.  I was enjoying the breeze and the weather is actually very pleasant.  I really enjoyed my pool time and relaxing on deck.  The MSC Orchestra is docked next to us…very unique in that there are NO Americans on board.  While in port and while watching the pier from Lido it was very easy to determine which guests were from each ship.  Since my next two cruises are on MSC I was looking for my balcony locations since the MSC ships have a unusual configuration…I’m going to love my extended balconies and also tablecloths at dinner.  I had lunch from the Lido buffet and it was Greek food at the International area…very interesting and good.  We sailed away about 4:00 pm. Guests I spoke with seemed to really like Grenada as do I so I hope it continues to be a port of call...I would return.  No aperitifs tonight, but I stopped by deck four’s The Cabinet (that's really the name) to listen to music by Latin Flavor.  They are very good and have quite a few followers and dancers on the dance floor.  Dinner was good…I ordered the Butter Lettuce salad with Cherry tomatoes and two entrees: the Chicken Marsala and Oven Glazed Ham.  For dessert I ordered the Black Forest Cheesecake (good) and the Baba Au Ru, a soaked sponge cake, that was excellent. 

Day Seven—Saturday—March 12th—Fun Day at Sea
Guy's Burger
Smooth seas overnight and I slept very well.  Today is 1980’s Throwback Day theme on the Carnival Liberty, a part of the special Journey’s activities.  They have 1980’s Carnival Capers (newsletter), 80's Music, 80’s Trivia, 80’s photo stations, and more.  Since I seem to have a slight ‘bug’ my theme of the day is to 'take it easy' before I do get sick.  I went to the MDR for the SeaDay Brunch and I had a nice table at aft center windows, but service was slow…it may have been busier than they anticipated.  I ordered the Fruit Plate and the Steak & Eggs my usual, but it was off…overcooked and the black curly hair on my plate was not appetizing.  I basically had a cabin day all day.  I watched some TV shows, used the internet, and just rested as per my theme.  I did go up to Lido deck and had a wonderful Guy’s Hamburger and watched the island of Bonaire to where we have been diverted to due to a medical situation.  No Alchemy or alcohol for me today although they did have a 80’s Captains Reception in the theater with complimentary cocktails for all guests.  Dinner was an exact 1980’s replica Captain’s night menu and the tablecloths were very welcomed on the table.  For dinner I ordered the Italian Wedding Soup, Tossed Green Salad, Spaghetti Carbonara, and Tournedos of Beef Tenderloin.  Broiled Lobster Tail, Pork Loin, and Salmon were other entree options. The dessert was Baked Alaska.  There was a special variety show in the Theater tonight and a special Midnight Buffet, but I popped by the Alchemy after dinner just to say hello and retired to the cabin completing my ‘take it easy’ theme.

Day Eight—Sunday—March 13th—Aruba, Netherland Antilles
Aruba Dancers
Again smooth seas overnight and another good nights rest. We were docked about 8:00 am in Oranjestad the capital city of Aruba.  It’s a little cloudy, but that is actually perfect to keep the heat down for the guests on island tours today.  I’ve been here numerous times so I have decided to stay on board today.  First I had a nice breakfast at Blue Iguana, then enjoyed the hot tub located on Lido deck aft.  Very few guests staying on board so I had the hot tub to myself and basically any lounger I wanted.  About 12:30 pm I went to the Venetian Palace theater where a local dance group from Aruba, The Aruba Popcorn Dancers, performed.  It was a colorful and interesting show…I enjoyed it.  Following the show I went on deck and noticed many guests returning so I was off to get a late lunch in the Mongolian Grill.  Already a long line, but still worth the wait.  I took a selection of desserts back to the cabin and watched one of the two daily movies shown on Cabin TV: The Book of Life.  Something I don’t mention enough in my reviews is that generally Carnival shows two free in-cabin movies each day and two Dive-In movies a night on Lido deck.  Fresh popcorn served on Lido deck too.  We sailed away at the scheduled time of 4:00 pm.  I went up to Lido to get a photo of the Guy’s Burger area then ended up eating a burger as well.  I then went aft for a coke and watch the sun setting on the horizon. Also visited with Gusti the bartender, the brother of Gusti my waiter friend…small world.  Since I had three meals I considered skipping dinner tonight, but nah…might miss something.  Dinner was good, I ordered the Kansas City Beef Soup (new), Shrimp Cocktail, and the Aruba Port of Call entree: Antillean Style Grilled Chicken (very good).  Two good desserts: Key Lime Pie and Boston Creme Cake.  The feature show in the theater was another Variety Show with comic hypnotist Rich Guzzi.  I’m Feeling much better this evening so I think my 'take it easy' theme has worked...may continue for another day though.

Day Nine—Monday—March 14th—Fun Day at Sea
Walrus guarding aft pool & hot tubs beyond
Smooth seas again and we set our time back one hour overnight.  We are now on Galveston time for the rest of the cruise.  I woke during the night and used the internet so slept later.  I went up to Lido about 10:30 am and got two great Eggs Benedict…timing is everything sometimes.  After breakfast I walked around the ship…visited the Serenity Deck on 11 and 12 forward…I had not been there as yet and it was very crowded on this sea day.  They have a bar and two hot tubs, but little shade.  It’s not as nice as Lido deck aft in my opinion.  I went to deck 3 where they were having dance lessons…packed there as well.  Casino also busy.  I bought some Swedish Fish at Cherry on Top and finally made my way back to the Lido aft pool area where I enjoyed a diet coke and people watched.  Guests are enjoying their day at sea.  I went up to Lido for lunch and was not impressed with any of the selections…there was no international choices all stations had the same blah food.  The food has been so hit or miss on this cruise.  I watched a replay of Cory’s morning show this afternoon.  He seems to be a good Cruise Director, I really haven’t had any real interaction with him, but seems to be doing a good job.  For a change and my first cocktail in a few days I went down to the Lobby bar for a martini.  Nice area with entertainment.  I went to the Alchemy for an aperitif…nice to see the regulars again.  Dinner was good, I ordered the Soup, a Shrimp Cocktail, and two entrees: BBQ Ribs and Fried Chicken.  The ribs were good and glad to see them on a non formal night as they were in the past.  Tonight's feature entertainment was the Love & Marriage Show with Cory. 

Day Ten—Tuesday—March 15th—Grand Cayman
Gusti - always a smile
Smooth seas overnight and I slept very well.  We were in our anchorage early and Cory began making tendering announcements just after 8:00 am.  The Carnival Freedom is anchored next to us and there are three other ships as well.  It will be busy on the island today.  I’ve decided to stay on board.  This is a lovely island, but I’ve swam with the Stingrays many times, snorkeled many times, seen the Turtle Farm…including the original, been to Rum Point several times, been to Margaritaville several times, and stayed on Seven Mile Beach for a week at a time.  This used to be the island I would purchase alcohol, but now that Texas collects taxes in Galveston, and the ship no longer delivers it the cabin…it is not worth the hassle.  I went to the Lido and had a wonderful 3-egg omelette with bacon for a late breakfast.  I went to the aft Lido pool area and enjoyed the hot tub and visiting with cruise friends.  Gusti (from Bali) at the aft bar has been keeping my Yeti tumbler filled with ice and diet coke all cruise…thanks Gusti. I had some cabin and nap time in the afternoon then started having some indigestion…is it the dreaded Noro that’s going around?  Or perhaps the double portion of Green Chilies I requested on my omelette this morning?  I’ve had Noro and thus a resistance, but I suspect it was a new strain so I think I had a version although weaker than what many on the ship have had.  I basically slept all afternoon and through the night…no food…slight fever…perhaps 14 hours and it was over by morning.

Day Eleven—Wednesday—March 16th—Fun Day at Sea
Standing ovation for Wonderful World
Smooth seas overnight as we are entering the Gulf of Mexico.  My appetite has returned and I went down to the Main Dining Room for breakfast…three eggs easy with bacon, ham, and toast.  I asked Wayan for a thorough room cleaning and new sheets.  He did an excellent job and was finished by the time I returned from breakfast. Although feeling well I’m planning on having an easy day today…I did go by Lido deck aft for some sun.  They did offer lunch in the MDR which is a rare occurrence now days on Carnival, but I ordered BLT’s from room service for a late lunch…always good.  I got involved in a Castle marathon on cabin TV and watched until almost dinner time.  It was the final formal dinner and it was good…the tablecloths help the ambiance for sure.   I ordered the Pasta e Fagoli, the Spanakopita, and Duel of Filet Mignon and Short Rib combination entree.  For dessert I had the Key Lime Mousse and the Grand Marnier Souffle.  All good.  I’ve had rest and feel well so I went to the feature entertainment tonight in the Venetian Palace Theater.  The production show was Wonderful World a show I have seen on several ships, but one of my favorites so I was pleased to see the Carnival Liberty production of this show.  First the Liberty has a full 8 piece orchestra that enhances all cruise shows, a full complement of 12 dancers, plus two feature singers.  Wonderful World highlights music from around the world…there were songs or dances from: France, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Africa, Spain, Bangkok, and more. It was a fantastic show with a colorful cast of singers and dancers, greats sets include pyro and shooting streamers, and of course the full LIVE orchestra. The Can-Can is my favorite dance and Con Te Parte my favorite song, both done very well.  I saw my MDR table mates in the casino area listening to Beatles music on the way back to the cabin and visited a short while before retiring.

Day Twelve—Thursday—March 17th—Fun Day at Sea
Smooth seas overnight and I slept very well.  Spent some time on the internet and noticed that the Triumph is fogged out of Galveston this morning, I hope it doesn’t happen to us tomorrow.  Weather was odd in Texas seeing several inches of frozen hail on the ground at friends & families homes in DFW area…ranch missed it overnight though.  I went up to the Lido deck for my final Blue Iguana breakfast…went big with three eggs.  I spent the rest of the morning on Lido deck aft just lounging and enjoying the fresh sea air.  The Carnival Liberty gets an A+ for keeping that area an adult only area.  To me it is much more enjoyable than the Serenity adult area.  It was actually lunch time by the time I wanted to return to the cabin so I had a small Guy’s burger and ice creme before returning.  All the food areas were very busy including the Chocolate Buffet in the International area of the buffet.  This afternoon I worked on this review, filled out US Customs forms, and organized items for packing later.  The VIFP Party was held at 5:00 pm in the Theater...it was very nice with the usual VIFP dialogue and introduction of the Liberty's officers.  They were very generous with h'orderves and cocktails.  Thank you...in fact I ended up in the lobby area with my friend finishing off the overflow cocktails.  It was time for my final evening of aperitifs at the Alchemy Bar...it has been fun.  Dinner was good and of course we had the farewell song from the waiters and the farewell hugs from the table mates on the last night.  I was fortunate to have a very nice table this cruise.

Debarkation—Friday—March 18th—Galveston, Texas
Smooth seas overnight and I slept well.  I saw the lights of Galveston very early…just after 5:30 am so knew two things:  No fog and we’re early.  I soon started packing as is my custom to pack upon arrival in Galveston.  Since we were early I guessed correctly that Diamond guests would debark early so went down to a fairly empty deck 3 and before I could sit they started debark.  My timing was lucky and couldn't have been better...I was about the 4th to 'ding' out...was 3rd on the gangway...and 2nd to hit the floor in the warehouse...several guests past me on the way to US Customs, but they all went to different windows.  My passport card made me first through customs and first out the door onto the street about 7:30 am.  I walked over to EZCruiseParking and actually had to wait until 8:00 am to get into the lot for my car.  I know the owner so hassled him a bit by text...I was fine and very pleased at the convenience of parking there.  I highly recommend EZCruise.  I fueled up at Raceway ($1.89) and was off the island about 8:20 am.  An easy drive north stopping at Heitmillers Steakhouse in Waco for a great Chicken Fry and at the ranch by 1:45 pm.   On the way home I received a call from a friend boarding the Liberty this same morning and was told that boarding was delayed so that they could do a thorough cleaning of the ship because of all the Norovirus cases on our sailing.  I knew I wasn't imagining it although they never informed the guests officially.  (Lack of table cloths perhaps?)

Ship / Crew
The ship always seemed clean, but there were a lot small maintenance items I thought they would want to have up to date before they arrive in their new homeport: There were a LOT of light bulbs in the MDR that were burned out…There was broken netting and barrier fencing…Some railings were bent…and a lot more.  The ship crew seemed very friendly, they themselves can make the cruise more enjoyable for the guests. Waiters and Cabin stewards especially very friendly.  Quality training by Carnival is quite obvious.  Favorites this cruise were my MDR wait team, Alchemy Bar team; and overall Crew in general.  They always seemed to have a smile on their face and eager to please the guests.  I didn’t really have much  interaction with officers this cruise.

Cabin
I had cabin 8357 a 1A located on Verandah Deck (deck 8) near the mid -ship elevators on starboard side.  I prefer an aft location but as a solo a 1A is nice and this is the only one on deck 8.  This is a unique floor plan with extra floor space as there is no couch. Perfect for a solo. The cabin has a swipe type safe, twin/queen beds, a refrigerator, three-section closet, three drawer cabinet, one electrical outlet on counter/dresser, bottle opener, telephone on desk, shelves in bath, small table, small stool at dresser, Robes (2), and a small flat screen TV with the interactive features.   The Liberty does have magnetic walls so I use my magnetic hooks on the ceiling or wall.  My cabin steward I Wayan was very good, the cabin was always clean.

Dining / Food / Bars / Entertainment
Both Main Dining Rooms are nice although I prefer the Silver Olympus Dining room located aft.  The Blue Iguana for burritos and Guy’s Burgers are excellent. They also have a Mongolian Wok. The buffet food is pretty standard fare, but selected items and desserts are good.  IMHO the MDR food is just adequate, but I had a very nice table location and the wait team was good.  I love the Alchemy Bar and the Lobby bar is very nice.  Thirsty Frog beer is available in the Red Frog Pub and the Red Frog Rum bar, EA Sports bar, and Lobby bars.

American Table / Tablecloths /  My Opinion
The new American Table experience is more than a menu change in the MDR.  As an experienced cruiser changes in the menu are generally a good thing and I have no problem with the new menu; however, the new table set up is a concern to me.  The lack of tablecloths in the MDR takes so much away from the ambiance of the dining room.  It looks like a fast food environment…and how can the Matre’D enforce dress codes in a cheapened environment?   It can not be as healthy with service ware on the bare table, lack of butter knives, and more.  At least with a new tablecloth between dining room sittings my personal eating space seemed cleaner and more inviting to me.

Observations
The adult-only area aft worked...
Food was 'hit & miss' some really good items and some flops...
There were a large number of Blue cards (newbies) for a longer cruise...
Large number of Gold cards using their complementary cocktails vouchers on Friday

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CRUISE

Alchemy Bar:  Alchemists and fellow guests.
Wonderful World Production Show
St. Thomas: Paradise Point cocktails
Tobago Folk Dancers  (Island: not so much)
Carnival Liberty Lido aft pool area--Adult only
Carnival Liberty Crew members
Aruba Dancers
Diamond Guest Luncheon
VIFP Party


Disclaimer: Your cruise experience may be very different than mine.  I have been cruising for many years so I'm older and a bit jaded with cruise experience.  I no longer attend all events or ship activities.  A new cruiser will attend many more activities and production shows...as well they should...they are usually very entertaining.  There are many evening events that one can experience with good entertainers and comedians...enjoy them.   One tip: Don't try to do everything offered...hit the highlights and enjoy your cruise.