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Carnival Liberty 10/26-11/3

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Our vacation began on Friday, October 26th. Our group included myself (28), my husband (31), my sister (25) and her boyfriend (27), my parents and my husband’s parents. This review will be written by my sister, Alyson and I.

 

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Four of us began our vacation by driving from Wilmington, DE to Baltimore, MD on Friday, 10/26. Being members of Starwood Points Club, we used hotel points to stay at the Aloft Baltimore Washington International Airport Hotel. We were able to park at the hotel for free for the entire week; hotel allows up to 14 days of free parking.

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We enjoyed dinner down the street from the Aloft Hotel at Chili’s and headed to bed rather early as we had a 6am flight out of BWI Airport.

 

 

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

The hotel provides a free shuttle from the hotel to the airport. We arrived to the lobby at 4:45am to get the shuttle and were at BWI by 4:55am. There was a long wait at the American Airlines terminal but the line moved quickly. We passed through security and made it upstairs to our gate in time to board with minutes to spare. We were all boarded and ready to go by 6:05am but there was a delay, a bag had fallen onto the runway. We did not take off from BWI until 7:00am. We arrived at Miami International Airport by 9:40am. We headed to baggage claim to gather our luggage and met my sister and her boyfriend who flew in from Regan Airport in Washington, DC.

 

American Airline caused a delay with my mom’s bag which threw a wrench into our plan but after 30 minutes of searching they were able to locate her bag and we were on our way. Carnival now offers an option if you fly into Miami on the day of embarkation you can check in at MIA. The booths are located in Concourse D or H. Our American Airline baggage claim was in Concourse D. We walked down to Carrousel #26, which is clearly labeled, Carnival Cruise. Here you will check in to the ship. You are given your Sail & Sea card and given the option to book transportation through Carnival. We had already booked transportation, so we simply gave the Carnival rep our boarding passes from Carnival and our passports. The process of checking in was fast and cut down on the wait at the Port of Miami. You will be given an “Airport Express” card which will be how you board the ship once at Carnival’s port.

 

We had pre-booked transportation from MIA to Port of Miami with American Shuttle (http://www.americanshuttle.com/). We had transportation for 6 passages with private shuttle, for $13pp including gratuity. We walked out from baggage claim, we walked out of the doors by Baggage Claim Carrousel (you can go to #5, 19 or 25) and you will find an American Shuttle booth. We went out by Carrousel 19, where we checked in with the representative who tracked down our van. We were on our way shortly to the port of Miami.

 

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I spy a whale tail!!!

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When we arrived at the Port of Miami, our luggage was taken from the shuttle and loaded onto the ship immediately and we headed to go through security. We were upstairs in the Carnival port within 15 minutes of arriving at port. There was plenty of seating to relax. Around 12pm, they begin calling out zones to board the ship, they begin with “VIP and Assistance Needed”, next was “Faster to Fun” and then “Airport Express.”

 

To board you may go to the right or left once upstairs near the kiosks. We will have your embarkation picture taken and then your Sail & Sea card photo as well. We were upstairs and at the Lido Deck by 12:30pm. It was quick and very organized.

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We immediately headed to get lunch at Guy’s Burgers which we had been drooling over photos of since we booked this vacation. Boy did it live up to our expectations. There are 6 “preset” burgers with toppings clearly listed or the “plain jane” option (simply burger and cheese) and a toppings bar to allow you the freedom to “top” as you wish. Fries are served with the burger. They were very hot and fresh.

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We enjoyed the Serenity Deck option day one but never returned throughout the week due to distance from the food/bathrooms/quietness of the deck. Though we walked around a few days and there was NEVER an open seat on this deck, just wasn’t what we were looking for.

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After some exploring, it was around 2pm, and we decided to see if we could access our room yet. We headed down to our interior room on Deck 7 to find we were able to access it already. Our luggage arrived around 3:30pm, which was plenty of time to get ready for dinner that night.

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After getting our luggage unpacked and our room situated we headed back to the Lido to watch the Sail Away at 4pm.

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We sailed out of Miami and were on our way to Half Moon Cay, or so we thought.

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We hung out on the Lido enjoying a few cocktails and the music until around 5pm when we headed back to our room to shower and get ready for dinner at 6pm.

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As we began to get ready for dinner, we began to notice how rocky the ship was becoming. By the time we headed to dinner, we were holding onto railing as we climbed up and down the stairs so we did not fall down the steps; simply walking down the hallway, involved a zipzag path due to the rough waters.

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Unfortunately as we walked to dinner, we noticed many other people had felt the rough waters as well and noticed many staff members “cleaning up after them.” We arrived to dinner and met our servers, Nunung & Marthana, who were fantastic all week. My sister had to leave due to her upset stomach, even after having taken Dramamine. The dining room was VERY empty, which you could hear the talk of the tables saying many folks were in bed due to sickness. The rest of the seven of us enjoyed dinner as best as we could with the swaying. I enjoyed the creamy tomato soup and spring rolls as appetizer, flat iron steak as dinner and warm chocolate melting cake as dessert. Everything was delicious.

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After dinner, we headed down to the casino to test out our luck. We played some slots and enjoyed our time. While playing a casino worker works around and gives out blue lanyards for free. He will hole punch your Sail & Sea card and attach the lanyard to the card. It was a great tool for the week.

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We were all exhausted so we headed to bed rather early. When we arrived to our rooms, we found out that we were not heading to Half Moon Cay as it is a tender port and we were still experiencing high winds from the tail end of Hurricane Sandy. We would be headed to Nassau, Bahamas instead!

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Sunday, October 28th, 2012 Nassau, Bahamas

We arrived in Nassau, Bahamas at 7am. We got up sunrise and to watch us sail into port. It is a gorgeous port to sail into as you pass the lighthouse and you can see the Atlantis Hotel from the port.

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We ate breakfast at the buffet and got ready to head off the ship. We were off the ship by 9am. Since we had no plans for the day due to the unexpected change in ports, we spent some time trying to figure out what to do with our time in Nassau.

 

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We decided to walk to the Straw Market and do some early morning shopping. We all found some souvenirs. My advice is negotiate, negotiate, negotiate!!! They will definitely lower their prices within reason of the item.

 

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We decided to take a taxi to the Atlantis Hotel to see what the hype was all about. It was $4 a person plus tip. It was a short trip, about 5-7mins in the taxi to the hotel. When we arrived we walked into the casino and explored the hotel grounds for a few minutes.

 

My husband and I decided we wanted to do a “Discover Atlantis Tour,” which was $40pp. The rest of the group decided to test their luck at the casino then headed back with a meeting point of Senor Frogs. Discover Atlantis allowed us to go to The Dig & Ruins, Predator Lagoon, Royal Stingray & Spotted Eagle Lagoon, and Hibiscus & Reef Lagoon. It did not allow us to the slide or their beaches. However, as we explored the hotel, we were able to go on the beaches to take pictures & such. No one checked our bracelets to see which one we had.

 

First we headed to the The Dig & Ruins to explore. They provide you a detailed map to allow you to know exactly which exhibits you are viewing. We absolutely LOVED the ruins! The Atlantis definitely pays attention to detail. The Dig & Ruins look very realistic. Plenty of fish, sea life & “Lost World” items to view.

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Next you walk out of the The Dig & Ruins to where the beach is and walk a path to the Predator Lagoon, which is underneath the Seashell Roof building. The outside of the resort is absolutely gorgeous. The Predator Lagoon is also a fantastic exhibit. When you enter the Shark Tunnel, it’s completely amazing! We walked through three times and each time you saw a different sea creature swimming by!

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The total time we spent exploring was about 2 ½ hours.

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We got a cab back to Senor Frogs to meet up with the rest of the group. When we told our taxi driver where we wanted to go, he laughed at us. He said I cannot take you there, we thought he was joking with us. He further explained that Senor Frogs was shut down due to major damage from Hurricane Sandy. He dropped us off close to the area and we walked down to Senor Frogs to hope to meet our group. When we got there, we were disappointed in the damage it had occurred! The entire right side of the building that faces the water was gone, the deck out front was missing, the metal door that slides down over the door was missing! My husband and I had been there in December of 2011 so it was sad to see the destruction. However in Senor Frog true style, they never yet a guest leave the Bahamas without a party! Out front they had constructed a makeshift bar and were serving beer & cocktails! We decided not to get a drink, but explore out front of the bar instead.

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Due to the Hurricane the entire street was shut down due to it being COVERED with conch shells! We had never seen so many!

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We decided to head back toward the ship but stopped at Sharkee’s, a bar/restaurant near the port. We thought out group might have been there. We tried Kalik, a Bahamas beer. It was good but came with a high sticker price of $7 per beer. I thought it was slightly high as it was a native beer, but it was good and we are on vacation.

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We were allowed to walk the streets with our beer so we did and headed back to port.

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When we arrived at port, we had to wait in a long line to get through customs back on the ship due to four other cruise ships being in port also. All four ships’ passengers go through one line. We had to be on board by 1:30pm to leave by 2:00pm.

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We headed to the Lido deck to get some lunch from the buffet and enjoy the sun & music. We spent the remainder of the afternoon on a lounge chair enjoying the sun.

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As we sailed out of Nassau, I had to capture the beautiful lighthouse that you pass. I could of taken 3000 pictures of just this.

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Goodbye Nassau, thanks for the memories

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Dinner that night was delicious yet again. I had the French onion soup, chicken quesadilla, and pork loin. I skipped dessert as I was completely full.

 

 

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We LOVED our waitress and waiter. They were fabulous every night..

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After dinner, we headed to the Venetian Palace to begin an intense game of Bingo!!!! The jackpot that night was $600. To play bingo, it was $20 per person, which you bought using your Sail & Sign card. For the $20 you received three bingo cards, 2 pull tab cards and 5 “Win a Cruise tickets.” The pull tab cards are cards with 12 tabs to pull back, if you get three like objects in the same row you win a given prize. The prizes ranged from $5- $1500. That night, my mom won $10 and my sister won $5. We enjoyed ourselves at bingo, even though none of us won.

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After bingo we headed to the Piano Bar for a little. There weren’t many people in the piano bar which allowed us to be comfortable and sit on the couches, which looked like a piano keyboard.

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We hung out in the Piano Bar until 10:45pm then headed to the Punchliner Comedy Club show of the night.

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It was an “Adult Only Show.” The first show was “Cowboy Bill” and boy did we laugh! My cheeks hurt from laughing so hard! But the comedy show is definitely an 18 or over type of show, so I would not go if I do not enjoy that type of material. After the comedy show, we headed to bed as it had been a long day.

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Monday, October 29th, 2012 Day at Sea

 

We woke up early to reserve chairs as we knew with a day at sea we would have major competition for great seats. Our original plan was to sit on the Serenity Deck, with the clam shell couch and lounges.

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But as we sat up there, we realized we were 4 decks away from the bathroom, food, and no music. While it was nice to be peaceful and quiet, we knew we would want to listen to the music and entertainment later on in our day. So we choose the second row in front of the pool, which was a perfect location, as it was close to the pool, bathrooms, food and entertainment. I must say that they set a 40 min of inactivity limit to “holding chairs” and they DO check! We all went to the breakfast and came back in under 40 minutes, as we were sitting there chatting, the towel attendant came around and put a sticker on chairs that we unoccupied. Forty minutes later, she came back to check the chairs if no one was there, she would take the towels/stuffs that were on the chairs and held it at the towel booth.

 

As we lay on the lounge chairs, the Blood Mary/Mimosa Cart came around! It was a fantastic idea! Perfect morning cocktail! The server made each drink right in front of you. 232323232%7Ffp7348%3A%3Enu%3D62%3A4%3E938%3E255%3EWSNRCG%3D346%3A%3B2%3B7%3B5346nu0mrj

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At 9am, as we enjoyed our morning cocktails, we watched the morning show with the Cruise Director, Jacques and Asst. Cruise Director, Steve. They were very funny, a great team! My dad was chosen to help with their show. He had to tell them the weather report and his name with ONLY hand signals!

232323232%7Ffp54374%3Enu%3D62%3A4%3E938%3E255%3EWSNRCG%3D346%3A%3B2%3B7%3B2346nu0mrj My dad letting them know it was sunny!

 

It was funny to watch and a great idea to involve the crowd. They also played a little trivia for the children. It involved some easy trivia questions and the kids called in from a room phone to win a “Build a Pet.” The day at sea was super relaxing.

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At 1:00pm, we watch the “Ice Carving Demonstration,” which was done right on the Lido deck and we could see it from our lounge chairs. It was amazing how fast he was able to create a masterpiece out of ice.

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At 1:30pm, they had the “Blue’s Tequila/ Red’s Rum Challenge.” It was a competition that guests were chosen to create cocktails using either Tequila or Rum and make a cocktail for the ship. The winner won a “Piece of Ship” and their signature drink featured on the menu the rest of the week.

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Tonight was our first formal night so we headed back to our room around 4pm to shower & get ready. We did not go to the Captain Meet & Greet at 5pm, though my parents did and said it was nice. However, they both commented (this is their first Carnival cruise) that on the RCL cruise, the Captain’s Dinner pre-party was a cocktail style party with cocktails and such. This was not.

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Formal Dinner was delicious again in the MDR. I ordered pumpkin soup, alligator fritters and prime rib.

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As a side note, each night on the menu in the MDR, they have a Didja item. It was an “exotic” item and it changed night. Tonight’s was the alligator. Surprisingly it was good. I had never had alligator before and I wasn’t sure what to expect but decided to give it was try. It resembled the “conch fritters” we had in Key West before.

 

My husband ordered the Lobster Tail and said it was also very good. 232323232%7Ffp73483%3Enu%3D62%3A4%3E938%3E255%3EWSNRCG%3D346%3A%3B34%3B86346nu0mrj My husband's meal

 

That night at dinner, we decided to do some “post dinner drinks.” My mom and I ordered Bailey’s which came in a souvenir shot glass, however the price of one shot of Baileys in the souvenir shot glass was $9.95.

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After dinner, we changed and headed to the Punchliner Comedy Club to see Cowboy Bill Martin again. His show was completely different and we still enjoyed every minute of it. After the show, we headed to our room for the night.

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Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 St. Thomas

 

We were scheduled to arrive in St. Thomas at 10am.

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However as it approached 10am, the captain made an announcement that we would be arriving at port at 11am and we would extended our departing time from 6pm to 7pm. The problem with this departure is our dinner was at 6pm and we had booked the Steakhouse that night from 6pm. I was disappointed to have lost an hour but in the end, it did not really matter. We got off the ship and walked up the driveway to where the Havensight sign is.

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When we got there, we were able to get a taxi that would take us to Sapphire Beach. It was $10 pp to take a taxi there. We had already purchased Paradise Point tickets and our plan for the day was going to be head to Sapphire Beach, go shopping then Paradise Point as our final stop. Our driver, Henry, explained to us that he could pick us back up if we told him when we were going to be ready, we decided that 2pm would be a good time to be picked up, as we could be back to shop by 2:30pm and still leaves us with plenty of time to get to Paradise Point and back on the boat by 5pm. Henry drove us to Sapphire Beach, which was about a 25minute drive from port. He was very informative and told us all about St. Thomas, even that a gallon of milk is $6!! He dropped us off at Sapphire Beach and gave us a slight tour of where everything was located.

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When you get out of the taxi you walk through a lobby and then come to a patio which had some souvenirs, and a booth to rent chairs, snorkeling gear, diving gear, floats and jet skis. There are restrooms as well. We rented the snorkel gear, which was $7 for 1 hour or $10 for the entire day; we chose to pay $7 as it was all we needed. My dad rented a chair for $7 which was a flat day rate. We headed down the beach slightly to a tree where my dad could place his chair so that he was not completely in the sun. We got right into the water. It was the perfect temperature.

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The water was a little cloudy, looked like a lot of sand had been turned up, which we believe was due to the hurricane effects. So at first we did not see many fish, however we had read on CC to bring rice krispies from the boat to feed the fish, so we did. Boy did it work! Within minutes of sprinkling the rice krispies there were a TON of fish, some eating the rice krispies out of my Dad & Mom’s hands. We snorkeled for an hour and half then headed up to the beach to relax.

 

There were a few stands to purchase snacks and beverages both alcoholic & nonalcoholic. We ended up ordering lunch on the beach from the server that walks the beach.

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The food is from the Sapphire Beach Grille, and the server brings it right to you. We ordered hotdogs, fries and a ham/swiss wrap. All of the food was good. It was priced for its location. I think a hotdog was $7 and the wrap was $10. But it was okay as we were hungry and didn’t mind spending the money. My sister & I had brought a change of clothes to switch into so that we could shop & go to Paradise Point in. We headed to the bathrooms to change. There are only 2 stalls so the line moved slowly but we were able to change without a problem. There are NO changing stalls however.

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After we finished changing, Henry arrived right on time. He explained to us that he was going to take us to a better place than Paradise Point for free! He said he would take the scenic route back ($10 pp back) and he did just that! We arrived at this outlook, which provided us with spectacular views of St. Thomas, the marina and our ship! We explained what we were looking at and gave us some history of St. Thomas.

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Originally, we were going to head to Charlotte Amalie to shop then go to Paradise Point. We did not have time to go to Charlotte Amalie so we headed to Havensight instead. As we were driving back to Havensight, my mother & father in law called to inform us that the Paradise Point trams were broken and they were shuttling people up the top in vans. We were very disappointed as we were looking forward to the tram ride up too! We had already purchased the tickets so we weren’t sure what to do. We had just seen the same views and if they were just going to shuttle us up, it was just like what we had just done.

 

My sister, her boyfriend, my husband and I decided to do some shopping/browsing around Havensight as my parents walked to Paradise Point to see if they would issue us refunds. We shopped for a little, only bought an ornament, our tradition for vacation. My parents called to inform us that Paradise Point had already contacted the cruise ship and they were automatically issuing refunds to everyone who purchased Paradise Point tickets. All eight of us headed to Senor Frogs which is directly next to the Gangway for the Liberty. We enjoyed a beer and the music for about an hour. Drinks were rather expensive, domestic beers were $5.50 and frozen yards were $19. They did not have a wide selection of beers; they did not have your basics of Miller Lite, Bud light, etc. I have been to many different Senor Frogs locations and I never remember them being so pricy. We had Dos Equis.

 

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Then headed back to get ready for dinner.

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LOVE your review! Your making me excited for my upcoming trip on the Liberty! I will be on the west side of the Caribbean.

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My in-laws, my husband and I had booked the Steakhouse dinner for tonight. It was $30pp. At first I was against doing it as I felt it was $30 for food that was already included. But they wanted to do it so I went along with it. When we arrived and had the full experience, I completely understand why it was $30pp.

 

We were treated as though we had stepped in Ruth Chris’ steakhouse (I was under the impression it would be like Outback). We were greeted by many fantastic servers (I think they were bored) as we had about six throughout dinner. They were all very friendly and accommodating.

 

After our drink order was taken, we received four appetizers, which were compliments of the chef. Two mini tomato soups and two sear salmon. I am VERY hesitant with salmon, yet I tried it. Boy am I glad I did. It was FANTASTIC. First our appetizers came out, I had ordered Lobster bisque, which they bring out an empty bowl with only croutons in it and pour the soup in. It was delicious, creamy without being thick and tasteless. Next our salads came out. My husband ordered the Caesar salad, which the server created and tossed right in front of him! I ordered a Spinach/Walnut/Bleu cheese salad, which was perfect.

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For dinner, I ordered a ribeye without the bone served with wasabi mashed potatoes. I had never had them before and they were delicious. My husband ordered the ribeye with the bone served with mushrooms. When he ordered the mushrooms, I thought it was an odd side dish as you only receive one, but when he received them they were delicious. They were sautéed in a sauce and were cooked perfectly. By the time we finished our meals, we were stuffed, but the server asked if we wanted dessert. Not wanting to turn down a desserts, my inlaws each ordered the “mini dessert shooters” and my husband & I split the cheesecake. After we ordered our desserts, a different server came over to see how our dinners were and asked if we had planned on dessert. My husband and I reply “Yes we did, we just want a taste of some dessert so we are going to spilt a slice of the cheesecake.” The server began laughing and replies “Well you are going to get more than a taste, as that SLICE is 14oz!!!!!” We sat there in shock! We both looked at each other and thought “she must just be kidding with us, it cannot be that big.” Well out came that SLICE of cheesecake. OH.MY.GOD. She was not kidding. It was THAT big. We felt awful as we only ate a few bites each leaving what looks like a NORMAL size piece of cheesecake. My inlaws “mini” desserts were barely that. Each of the four shooters held at least 4-6oz of dessert.

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After we rolled ourselves out of dinner, we headed to meet the other four members of our group. We decided to give Bingo another chance as we had fun playing the first time. It was the same jackpot as before with all of the same items included in the $20. My husband and I each won $5 in the pull tab games, so it wasn’t a total lose.

 

After Bingo, we walked around the ship. We headed up to the Lindo deck for the Blue Iguana Mexican Fiesta. It turned out to be a lot of fun. They started out with Mexican/Latin type music then began line dance type of dances. They had drink specials in a blowfish cup which my mom ordered. It was a good strong drink she said. They had a Blue Iguana “look alike move” contest. It was pretty entertaining watching people try to get the same expression on their face as the iguana. They tossed out many prizes to the crowds including beads, sombreros, glow necklaces, etc. It was a fun end to the night. We headed back to the room to head to bed as we knew tomorrow would be a busy day.

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We were on that cruise with you guys . We had a great time and are doing the same halloween cruise on the liberty this year . and piane bar with ben was a blast:)

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we also were on that same cruise with you:D

Guess you missed the flyer handed out at embarkation about the change from HMC to Nassau;)

Love reliving that cruise again thru your review:D

Did you both dress up for the Halloween party?

Edited by ladylikes2cruise

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Enjoying your review! We will be going to St. Thomas in May and I am thinking we might go to Sapphire. Have never been there. So the $10 taxi is pp/one way? Is there any other (cheaper?) way to get there? If we opt for a taxi, how would or could we ask our driver to take us up to the lookout as yours did? TIA and can't wait to read the rest. Sorry you missed HMC. Maybe next time! :D

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 San Juan

 

Good Morning San Juan!

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We had previously booked a private tour with Albert Aguirre of Surf Cab Tours. We had emailed him before leaving for vacation (surfcabs@yahoo.com). It was $52 per person and had a 10 person maximum. We paid day of as we got off of the ship. Albert was waiting for us after we got off of the ship. He escorted us to his air conditioned van. We had requested a tour to the Rainforest then seeing some of the sights. Albert allows you to plan your own day.

 

Albert was very friendly and chatted with us the entire trip to the Rainforest, dicussing San Juan and its culture/daily events.

 

We arrived at the Welcome Center at the Rainforest, used the bathrooms and explored for a few minutes. We headed into the Rainforest. Albert stopped on the road, grabbed a leaf, smiled and continued driving. You will find more about what he did later on.

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We stopped at two waterfalls. The first required some hiking if you wanted to head all of the way up. It was a moderate hike, only a few minutes walk but sneakers were definitely needed.

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Albert took photos for all of us as we hiked and even posed pictures!

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Before we headed to the second waterfall, Albert used the leaf to make a HAT! We loved it!

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Next stop was Yokahu Tower. We climbed up the steps and observed all of San Juan! It was gorgeous.

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Our next stop, was another waterfall. Again, a short walk to the waterfall.

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Again, our photographer Albert took fabulous photos!!

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We took off our shoes and walked around the waterfall pool. The water was cool but perfect on the hot day. The bottom of the pool is rocks so tender feet are NOT recommended. We walked slow and were able to go underneath the waterfall.

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The guys even hiked up a little higher to get to the top.

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I have about 300 photos from this day, about 150-200 are compliments of Albert. I couldnt express more gratitude to him for a fabulous day.

 

After we left the rainforest, Albert gave us a driving tour through Old San Juan Streets as we headed to the Forts.

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We explored the ground of the Fort. We did NOT go inside.

 

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The grounds were gorgeous.

 

After our tour, Albert dropped us off at the restaurant called Punta de Vista, that he recommended as my sister was looking for monfongo. The drinks were cheap as was the food but everything was DELICIOUS!!!

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We have our amazing day in San Juan thanks to Albert!

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We were on that cruise with you guys . We had a great time and are doing the same halloween cruise on the liberty this year . and piane bar with ben was a blast:)

 

 

Did you have a great time? We LOVED the ports and the boat, especially the upgrades. We decided NOT to do another Halloween cruise again (one last thing I need to pack, hehe)..

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we also were on that same cruise with you:D

Guess you missed the flyer handed out at embarkation about the change from HMC to Nassau;)

Love reliving that cruise again thru your review:D

Did you both dress up for the Halloween party?

 

Yeah, we didnt read anything until the next am! We were so excited to be on vacation. Oops!

 

Yeah, we all dressed up for Halloween, that will be coming soon!

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Enjoying your review! We will be going to St. Thomas in May and I am thinking we might go to Sapphire. Have never been there. So the $10 taxi is pp/one way? Is there any other (cheaper?) way to get there? If we opt for a taxi, how would or could we ask our driver to take us up to the lookout as yours did? TIA and can't wait to read the rest. Sorry you missed HMC. Maybe next time! :D

 

Sapphire Beach was very relaxing. It was about 30min drive from port. It is $10 pp per way. It was worth it. The snorkeling was nice but like I said the water was a little cloudy but coming from NJ Shore Oceans, it was gorgeous still!

 

We didnt find any other means of transportation but what we got for $20 was well worth it! When Henry picked us up, he asked what we wanted to see on our day in St. Thomas. We told him Paradise Point and he said "Dont waste your money, I will show you the same thing but for free." I do not remember if the outlook had a name but they all know it apparently.

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We returned to the ship to celebrate Halloween! We relaxed on the Lido deck while others took a nap before dinner.

 

They had a pumpkin carving contest.

 

232323232%7Ffp54379%3Enu%3D62%3A4%3E938%3E255%3EWSNRCG%3D346%3A%3B68%3B%3C%3B346nu0mrj The Winner

 

We watched the sail out of San Juan.

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We headed to the MDR for dinner. I don't remember what we had for dinner this night (terrible I know) but they had Halloween inspired desserts.

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All 8 of us in our group dressed up for Halloween. They had asked you to walk along the promenade dressed up and crew members would be handing out certificates if you were the best dressed. The certificates invited you back to the Palace later on!

 

Many guests wore costumes. Some guests went all out, while others simply wore a halloween tee shirt. It was up to you. My mom and mother in law, brought candy to hand out to the children.

 

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My inlaws won a certificate so at 10pm we headed to the palace to support them. They didnt end up winning the entire contest but overall we all had fun!

 

After the contest, there was a halloween party in the club.

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Overall, Halloween on board was fun. I do not know if I would do it again as a costume was simply one more thing I had to worry about it but the crew did a great job decorating and enjoying the day!

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I apologize for how the next part will come but I thought previously we could edit posts which I had planned on doing for anything my sister wanted to add. But apparently it's blocked on this page for whatever reason. I am going to create an entire post for comments my sister wanted to add to this post then continue on with the rest of the review.

 

 

Alyson note: The Blue Iguana Cantina is also good. If you are used to authentic Mexican/Spanish food, you will not find it at the B.I.C., but it is a nice treat on board. Theyoffer tacos and burritos throughout the day and breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros in the morning. After they build your "entree", you can head over to the salsa/toppings bar. Make sure you read each one carefully and follow the picture if you don't like spicy :). We did eat here two or three times - only once for breakfast (the "huevos rancheros" option was pretty greasy).

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Alyson note: We also went to Sharkeez to relax and have a few cocktails. The staff seemed a little unprepared due to the amount of cruise ships that were probably re-routed due to the storm. The manager was screaming at all the servers making it almost uncomfortable. The drinks were delicious, though. As we were leaving, we noticed that there was a woman selling coconuts. My boyfriend is obsessed, so he had to have one. I believe it was $5.

 

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Alyson note: Due to the cruise being the same week as Halloween, you could find stateroom doors decked out every floor you passed. Here are a few, including ours!

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Alyson Note: Cherry on Top is so tempting! We never ended up buying any candy but all week we thought about it. It looks delicious! However, 3 or 4 of us spent money at the jewelry store. Most of the people who worked in the jewelry store were very helpful, excempt ONE woman. She seemed to be the only employee that we came in contact with that was not friendly.

 

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Alyson had the photos from snorkeling due to my camera dying. As you can see the water was slightly cloudly.

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Arguably the best dessert of the week after St Thomas... raspberry chocolate and something layered cake with raspberry sorbet!

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Alyson Note: In the middle of the tour, I could not hold it any longer and had to ask Albert about the best spot for MOFONGO (pretty much mashed plantains, signature dish of PR). He told us he would take us to a spot that the locals love that is actually right across from the port. Punto de Visto was cheap and delicious!! We also got free shots!Me and my boyfriend shared the mofongo relleno - churrasco (steak) with ajo (garlic) sauce. The server told us that this is one of the most popular choices. We also shared the carne frita (fried pork )with yucca. I am not typically overly excited for this dish, so it was just average for me.

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