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navybaby1113

Carnival Liberty Review Eastern Review w/ Pictures

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Good evening! We recently returned from our cruise on the Carnival Liberty and thought I’d get a review started. This will be a long and detailed review with tons of pictures (I took around 1000). For those that enjoy it, I also have plenty of food porn to share. Santa brought me a new camera for Christmas, so the majority of the shots were taken with my Canon Rebel T3. I carried my 18-55mm kit lens, a 55-250mm telephoto lens, and a 50mm f1/8 prime lens (this is normally my favorite lens, but I didn’t use it at all on the trip). Some shots were also taken with my husband’s Sony Cybershot and our Kodak Playsport underwater camera/camcorder. A few of the pre-cruise pictures were also taken with my iPhone.

 

I have most of the Fun Times, so I will scan and post them at the beginning of each day.

 

Please be patient with me as these reviews can take a while to finish. I will try not to keep you hanging for too long though. Feel free to ask any questions you have and I will answer them to the best of my ability. I hope you enjoy the review!

Edited by navybaby1113

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A little background information:

 

This cruise was mine and my DH’s fifth Carnival cruise. Both of us are in our late 20’s and we’re from Tallahassee, FL (Go Noles!). We have previously sailed on the Celebration, Dream, Inspiration, and Freedom.

 

We had never been on an Eastern Caribbean cruise and we were excited to try out the 2.0 upgrades, so we thought the Liberty would be the perfect cruise for us. We originally booked the January 19th itinerary, but then we found out a huge group was also booked on that cruise. We didn’t feel comfortable cruising with them, so we changed to the February 2nd itinerary. We were booked Early Saver, so we had to pay $50pp in administrative fees to change. It was added on to our final payment. Our PVP was fantastic throughout the entire process and made the change very easy.

 

We had purchased a FCC on our Freedom cruise and decided to apply it to this cruise. We had some trouble using the online form. I tried it on both Google Chrome and Firefox on my Mac and then we used Internet Explorer on my husband’s PC. It didn’t work the first time we tried in Internet Explorer, but I did some googling and it recommended turning your browser to compatibility mode. We were finally able to submit it after we did that. I received an email from Carnival immediately stating that they received my request.

 

We submitted the FCC on October 14th and received an email on October 17th that it was applied to our account. I was shocked by the quick turnaround. I’m really sad that they don’t sell the FCC anymore. We really liked being able to purchase them onboard and then book the cruise when we get home.

 

Since we booked ES, I made sure to check for price drops every day. Instead, the price kept steadily climbing. All oceanview cabins completely sold out on January 11th, so no price drops for us. :-( This was the first cruise that we have booked ES and not received any price drop.

 

FTTF had been showing up as “Sold Out” for months leading up to our cruise. I had completely lost hope that they were going to open up more spots. I continued to check a couple times a day though. Well, about 2 weeks before the cruise I got lucky and they opened up some more! I snatched it up and the Faster to the Fun showed up on our documents and luggage tags immediately after I paid.

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We can't wait to read this review! We are doing this cruise over Thanksgiving, and can't wait!

I do have a question about the dining room. Did you notice any ladies wearing open toed sandals to dinner? DW has a pair she wants to wear but in the past we were told closed toe shoes only. Thanks and looking forward to your review!

Edited by willnrenee07

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Awesome - can't wait to see and read more. We're also on this cruise in 49 days and after a count down of something like 549 days I'm soooo anxious - a picture heavy review is just what I need :D

Edited by jtdlmc

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We can't wait to read this review! We are doing this cruise over Thanksgiving, and can't wait!

I do have a question about the dining room. Did you notice any ladies wearing open toed sandals to dinner? DW has a pair she wants to wear but in the past we were told closed toe shoes only. Thanks and looking forward to your review!

 

I wore nice flip-flops to dinner every night without a problem. Your wife will be fine with her open toe sandals.

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I know some people don’t enjoy long reviews, so before I start, I’ll post my general thoughts and cliff notes.

 

Overall Cruise: Very good! Absolutely loved the ports and really enjoyed being on a ship that we were familiar with (we sailed on the Freedom previously, which is a sister ship to the Liberty). I wouldn’t say this is my favorite cruise we have ever taken, but it was a ton of fun and I was sad to be kicked off the ship at the end. The majority of our fellow cruisers were older (most over the age of 40), so that made the ship a little quieter than normal, which was very nice! It was also really interesting the majority of the ship was not from Florida. We only met 2 or 3 other couples from Florida the entire trip.

 

Overall Thoughts on the Ship: Love the layout of the Conquest class ships. By far my favorite. I did not like the decoration on this particular ship, but that’s no big deal. I loved the new 2.0 additions. My only complaint is with the sports bar. I love the new space and would have loved to have spent even more time in there, but the smoking machines in the casino are right around the corner, so the sports bar has a really strong smell of smoke.

 

Overall Thoughts on Food & Dining: Love the 2.0 upgrades made to the dining areas! Guy’s Burgers were very good. Wasn’t a huge fan of Blue Iguana cantina for lunch, but really enjoyed it for breakfast. The Punchliner Brunch is a fantastic addition and their menu items are really tasty. The Taste Bar is a great idea, but I wasn’t such a fan of most of the offerings.

 

Overall Thoughts on Entertainment: There were a total of 4 shows including Carnival Legends and they were all very good. The ship was in the middle of a cast change. You could tell in some parts that the cast was inexperienced, but they were still very talented. Emilio, the guy who ran the trivia, was one of the most fun people on the ship and made our experience great.

 

Overall Thoughts on FTTF: Completely worth the money when sailing out of the Port of Miami. We were through security and check-in with 15 minutes and onboard before 11:30am. Went straight to our room and dropped off our carry-ons. The remainder of our luggage was delivered around 1:30pm. Had to use guest services a couple times and was able to walk right up to the desk in the Plantinum/Diamond/FTTF line. Did priority tendering in HMC and they escorted us straight down to the tender when we were ready. We used the priority debarkation and we were off the ship around 7:15am. It took a while for us to find our luggage, but we were still out of the port and on the road before 7:45am. This was fantastic because we were able to beat all the traffic.

 

Half Moon Cay: This is by far the most gorgeous place I have ever visited. The sand is so white and the water is so clear. We walked all the way down the beach and we were the only ones down there for a while. The beach area next to the ship was packed though, so if you want quietness, walk further down the beach.

 

St. Thomas: We used Godfrey Tours and this was a fantastic decision. He did a fantastic tour and it was very inexpensive. I would highly recommend his tour to others.

 

San Juan: We took the trolley up to El Morro, which was very simple to figure out. El Morro was huge and took us about 3 hours to look through the entire place. The view is gorgeous. Do not miss sailaway if you’re going to San Juan. It is one of the most scenic sailaways I have ever seen.

 

Grand Turk: We got off the ship for about 30 minutes and then went back on. We were not in the mood for another beach day and all that is really here is a beach and Margaritaville. Would not really be interested in visiting this port again.

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I know some people don’t enjoy long reviews, so before I start, I’ll post my general thoughts and cliff notes.

 

Overall Cruise: Very good! Absolutely loved the ports and really enjoyed being on a ship that we were familiar with (we sailed on the Freedom previously, which is a sister ship to the Liberty). I wouldn’t say this is my favorite cruise we have ever taken, but it was a ton of fun and I was sad to be kicked off the ship at the end. The majority of our fellow cruisers were older (most over the age of 40), so that made the ship a little quieter than normal, which was very nice! It was also really interesting the majority of the ship was not from Florida. We only met 2 or 3 other couples from Florida the entire trip.

 

Overall Thoughts on the Ship: Love the layout of the Conquest class ships. By far my favorite. I did not like the decoration on this particular ship, but that’s no big deal. I loved the new 2.0 additions. My only complaint is with the sports bar. I love the new space and would have loved to have spent even more time in there, but the smoking machines in the casino are right around the corner, so the sports bar has a really strong smell of smoke.

 

Overall Thoughts on Food & Dining: Love the 2.0 upgrades made to the dining areas! Guy’s Burgers were very good. Wasn’t a huge fan of Blue Iguana cantina for lunch, but really enjoyed it for breakfast. The Punchliner Brunch is a fantastic addition and their menu items are really tasty. The Taste Bar is a great idea, but I wasn’t such a fan of most of the offerings.

 

Overall Thoughts on Entertainment: There were a total of 4 shows including Carnival Legends and they were all very good. The ship was in the middle of a cast change. You could tell in some parts that the cast was inexperienced, but they were still very talented. Emilio, the guy who ran the trivia, was one of the most fun people on the ship and made our experience great.

 

Overall Thoughts on FTTF: Completely worth the money when sailing out of the Port of Miami. We were through security and check-in with 15 minutes and onboard before 11:30am. Went straight to our room and dropped off our carry-ons. The remainder of our luggage was delivered around 1:30pm. Had to use guest services a couple times and was able to walk right up to the desk in the Plantinum/Diamond/FTTF line. Did priority tendering in HMC and they escorted us straight down to the tender when we were ready. We used the priority debarkation and we were off the ship around 7:15am. It took a while for us to find our luggage, but we were still out of the port and on the road before 7:45am. This was fantastic because we were able to beat all the traffic.

 

Half Moon Cay: This is by far the most gorgeous place I have ever visited. The sand is so white and the water is so clear. We walked all the way down the beach and we were the only ones down there for a while. The beach area next to the ship was packed though, so if you want quietness, walk further down the beach.

 

St. Thomas: We used Godfrey Tours and this was a fantastic decision. He did a fantastic tour and it was very inexpensive. I would highly recommend his tour to others.

 

San Juan: We took the trolley up to El Morro, which was very simple to figure out. El Morro was huge and took us about 3 hours to look through the entire place. The view is gorgeous. Do not miss sailaway if you’re going to San Juan. It is one of the most scenic sailaways I have ever seen.

 

Grand Turk: We got off the ship for about 30 minutes and then went back on. We were not in the mood for another beach day and all that is really here is a beach and Margaritaville. Would not really be interested in visiting this port again.

 

I'm interested in the trolley to El Morro process. How do you know which one to get on? And it is free, right? How long do you have to wait to get back on one to go back to the pier? And is there a certain one you have to board? Did the El Morro tour only cost $3 per person? That is what it said on their website. Seems like the cheapest personal excursion ever! Sorry for all the questions, but I'm very interested in doing this. Thanks in advance for your reply! :)

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My family is sailing on the Liberty in June and looking forward to reading your review. Thanks for taking the time to post. What cabin were you in and do you have pictures?

 

Thanks

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I'm interested in the trolley to El Morro process. How do you know which one to get on? And it is free, right? How long do you have to wait to get back on one to go back to the pier? And is there a certain one you have to board? Did the El Morro tour only cost $3 per person? That is what it said on their website. Seems like the cheapest personal excursion ever! Sorry for all the questions, but I'm very interested in doing this. Thanks in advance for your reply! :)

 

I'll go into a lot more detail when I get to the San Juan part, but here's some quick details. The trolley is free. I printed out a map from here:

 

http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/free-trolley-old-san-juan/

 

We waited about 5 minutes to get one to the fort and then it was waited outside of the fort when we were ready to head back. Not sure what the normal wait is though. Can't imagine it would be too long.

 

El Morro is only $3 per person or you can pay $5 per person and get into both forts.

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My family is sailing on the Liberty in June and looking forward to reading your review. Thanks for taking the time to post. What cabin were you in and do you have pictures?

 

Thanks

 

We were in 2470 and I have tons of pictures!

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I'll go into a lot more detail when I get to the San Juan part, but here's some quick details. The trolley is free. I printed out a map from here:

 

http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/free-trolley-old-san-juan/

 

We waited about 5 minutes to get one to the fort and then it was waited outside of the fort when we were ready to head back. Not sure what the normal wait is though. Can't imagine it would be too long.

 

El Morro is only $3 per person or you can pay $5 per person and get into both forts.

 

Thanks for the trolley link. Loved the trolley system in Key West. Of course it was for hire. Looking forward to your review. We will be on the Liberty again in October.

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I'll go into a lot more detail when I get to the San Juan part, but here's some quick details. The trolley is free. I printed out a map from here:

 

http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/free-trolley-old-san-juan/

 

We waited about 5 minutes to get one to the fort and then it was waited outside of the fort when we were ready to head back. Not sure what the normal wait is though. Can't imagine it would be too long.

 

El Morro is only $3 per person or you can pay $5 per person and get into both forts.

 

Wow, thanks for this info, didn't realize it was this easy. Looking forward to your full review!

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Friday, February 1st (Pre-Cruise)

 

I took the day off from work, so I started my day off with a hair cut and a pedicure. :-) Best way to begin a vacation.

 

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DH had to work all day, so once he got home we finished getting everything ready and got on the road. We ended up leaving Tallahassee around 3pm. After a year of waiting, we were finally on the road!

 

It’s about a 8 hour drive from Tallahassee to Miami. Instead of driving all the way in one night, we decided to get a hotel in Stuart, FL instead, which is only about 6 hours. Plus, it only cost us $100 for the hotel with our military discount and it included breakfast! Drastically cheaper than any hotel we could find in Miami.

 

The drive was pretty uneventful. We hit rush hour traffic in Jacksonville and ended up stopping for dinner, so the drive took a little longer than we expected.

 

We arrived in Stuart around 9:30pm. We were booked at the Holiday Inn Express, which was right off of exit 101 on I-95. It’s in a convenient location and was a great price. If you’re driving to port and don’t want to stay in Miami, Stuart is a good place to stop. There is also a Courtyard Marriott right off of this exit that is the exact same price as the Holiday Inn Express. They do not have a complimentary breakfast though.

 

The hotel was ready for us when we checked in and reminded us that the hotel is completely non-smoking and also does not allow pets. There were plenty of reminders around the hotel that if you were caught with either of these things, that you would be fined $500.

 

The room was a nice size and the bed was very comfortable. The room was clean and the air conditioner worked well, which are the two most important things to me in a hotel room. The TV didn’t have too many channels and the internet was kind of slow, but since we were only staying the night, that didn’t bother us much.

 

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I've been working on getting over a cold, so I think I'm going to go ahead and head to bed for the night. I promise I'll be back tomorrow with embarkation day!

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Hanging on to every word of your review. We will be doing the same itinerary Mar 2-9.

I've previously been to all ports except HMC. Looking forward to seeing if you rented a clamshell, and wondering if there are plenty available.

 

Thanks for your review!

 

Jan

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