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This was our first cruise. DH & I took our two adult sons (22 &20) with us. We have always wanted to try cruising, and wanted to have some quality family time with our DS’s who are grown and living away from home.
Staterooms – Two Category 11 Suites (#7231 & 7233) They were really nice, and we all enjoyed the jetted tub. About a week before the cruise we got a call from our on-line TA saying that Carnival had upgraded us to two suites. We had originally booked two balcony cabins close to the center of the ship because I was worried about DS#1 and myself being seasick. We were really excited, until I realized that they we close to the front of the ship. We had a couple of nights where we heard loud crashing sounds, which I imagine was the ship hitting the waves, but sounded like the ship hitting rocks. It was enough to wake us up though, and disrupt our sleep.
We had a very easy embarkation due to the VIP perks of the suites. The longest part was getting through the security gates to enter the port. That was quite backed up. I kind of felt guilty for a teeny moment going through the VIP line since we hadn’t paid extra for the suites – but I got over it! Lol! A strange thing happened with the baggage handler. I had taped two twelve packs of pop together and put a luggage tag on it, as I had read here of others doing, plus I know you are allowed to take pop onboard. He gave me a bit of a rough time and insisted I put it in a suitcase or it would get confiscated. I did manage to jam it in a suitcase, but I was not too impressed.
We had our Steward (Filomena) open the balcony dividers between the rooms, and this made for a nice big balcony. We spent quite a bit of time on the balcony, and it really made the rooms feel larger. If we cruise again we will definitely be getting a balcony! Filomena did a great job all wek – no complaints. After our day in Grnad Cayman he left a stingray towel animal on the bed. DH did a double-take! Lol!
Ports of Call:
Nassau, Bahamas - It was cool & windy. We had planned to go to the Sheraton Hotel and hang out for a while and rent jetskis, but it was too cold for that so we took a taxi to Atlantis, looked around then cabbed it back and took the horse-drawn carriage ride.
Georgetown, Grand Cayman - We were booked on the Rays, Reef & Rum Point tour with Nativeways, but due to a communication error regarding the departure time, we missed it. We ended up just doing the Rays & Reef part, which was fine. We still enjoyed it. Swimming with the stingrays was really cool, and not to be missed.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica - We had booked a tour with Marva Shaw. She took us on a bit of a tour of the island and Fern Gulley and then to do the White River Tubing. We were the only ones there at the time, so had a nice quiet ride. Our guide sang reggae songs the whole time, and we joined in a few times. He was great, and it was really fun! After the tubing Marva came back for us and took us to Reggae Beach for a couple of hours. This is a nice, quiet beach that cost $5/person. It was pretty, but there was quite a bit of garbage laying about. We had some nice, relaxing beach time. We then went to the Taj Mahal Shopping center. We had lunch at the Jerk N Taj restaurant, where I think we got ripped off because lunch came to $85 U.S. for four of us. We got a bit disoriented walking back to the ship and cut it very close (way too close) to departure time.
On the Sea days we just relaxed and enjoyed the ship. We spent quite a bit of time at the aft pool and never had any problem with kids in the hot tub. We liked the quieter atmosphere back there and with pizza, the grill, a bar and ice cream all handy, what more could you want? I guess we are getting old, but I found the forward pool with the calypso band just too noisy for us.
On Friday (the second sea day) DH & I participated in "On Deck For The Cure". Our DSís signed up, but didnít make it to the walk as they were still feeling a little "under the weather". It was a great feeling doing that walk. I think Carnival has taken on a wonderful initiative with that project.
We loved the Liberty! I thought it was beautiful, and not overdone at all. I figured out the easiest way to get to the aft pool was just to travel down the corridor on our floor and take the last set of elevators (or stairs). We were on the seventh floor, so it was an easy two flights of stairs up to Lido, or two flights down to Promenade. We took the stairs almost all of the time, and I think this helped wear off some of the wonderful food we ate during the week.
We ate dinner in the Golden Olympian dining room every night at the early seating. Our waiter was Danilo, and his assistant was Dejuuste (sp?) They were great. My son described Dejuuste as a big ole teddy bear that just smiles and laughs all the time. We had breakfast in the dining room once (on the last sea day), the buffet a couple of times, and from room service a couple of times. Lunch was mainly from the grill, the deli or the pizza place. We thought the food was great. The Chocolate Melting Cake lived up to itís reputation. Mahvelous! The prime rib, lobster and filet mignon were also very good, as was a fish dish I had (sorry, canít remember the name.)
We went to both of the big shows. I thought the second one, "Rock on Broadway" was better than the first one. The comedian, Percy Crews was hilarious! I havenít laughed so hard in a long time. We missed the second comedian because he only did the midnight show and a 10:30 p.m. show the following evening. Too late for me. I also went to the Holiday show featuring the Camp Carnival kids. It was cute and well done, even though Santa didnít make his grand entrance when he was supposed to. We also enjoyed the duet playing in the Flowers Lobby over an after-dinner drink a couple of nights.
We attended the Captainís Cocktail Party on the first Formal Night, and both DSís made good use of the complimentary beverages. I also got a chance to dance with all three of my boys. Speaking of the Formal Nights, here is a funny story. I had talked my DSís into renting tuxes, with the trade-off being that on the second Formal Night they wouldnít have to dress up at all, and we would just eat at the buffet. Well, they enjoyed wearing them, and insisted on wearing them the second night. Lol! The only thing was, I only brought one formal outfit. Luckily it was a top and long skirt, so I rented a sparkly tank top from the Formalities shop and bought a pashmina shawl from the gift shop, and Voila! Instant second Formal Night outfit. Lol!
We ventured down to the piano bar one night, but it was so smoky we walked right back out.
We did self-disembarkation because we needed to get off as early as possible because we had booked a private air-boat tour (which was awesome, BTW, we saw gators!). It was really easy, and a lot of people seemed to be doing the self-assist.
Overall, we had a great vacation. Cruising was a new, and wonderful experience for us. There were times, when the ship was sailing smoothly, that I thought I could do this forever. Then a few times when it was rockiní I was trying to figure out how much longer until I could get off. Lol!
The crew we encountered was all exceptionally friendly. Even just passing other stewards and staff in the hall they would smile and say hello. Cruise Director Steve Kinsley was pretty funny. We didnít really appreciate his announcement on the P.A. system on the first sea-day morning though. We had had a rough night, and were still sleeping and didnít really want to hear about what was going on in the Venetian Lounge. I guess he was just doing his job, but maybe they could just play those announcements in the public areas, not the sleeping quarters.
So, with our first cruise under our belts, I wonder what our next adventure will be?
Good review! I cannot wait to sail on the Liberty Saturday!
Past Cruises: Carnival Destiny 1/7/07- Wedding Cruise Carnival Liberty 1/5/08- Anniversary Cruise Carnival Victory 3/10/12- Fun in the Sun Carnival Liberty 3/16/13- Family & Friends
Carnival Valor 3/9/14 & 3/16/14- B2B
Thank you for the great reveiw. We are leaving this Friday and can't wait. We are taking DD and friend who are the same ages as your sons. What areas of the ship did they enjoy most? Thanks for your reply.
Last edited by trucruz; January 1st, 2008 at 08:45 AM.