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|
Day Two—Monday—March 7th—St. Thomas USVI
|Paradise Point - St. Thomas USVI - (click to enlarge)|
Day Three—Tuesday—March 8th—Fun Day at Sea
|Vladimir the Alchemist|
Day Four—Wednesday—March 9th—Bridgetown, Barbados
|Barbados east coast - Atlantic Ocean|
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|
Day Six—Friday—March 11th—Grenada
|St. George's Street Market|
Day Seven—Saturday—March 12th—Fun Day at Sea
Day Eight—Sunday—March 13th—Aruba, Netherland Antilles
Day Nine—Monday—March 14th—Fun Day at Sea
|Walrus guarding aft pool & hot tubs beyond|
Day Ten—Tuesday—March 15th—Grand Cayman
|Gusti - always a smile|
Day Eleven—Wednesday—March 16th—Fun Day at Sea
|Standing ovation for Wonderful World|
Day Twelve—Thursday—March 17th—Fun Day at Sea
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.
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.
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
Diamond Guest Luncheon
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.