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Carnival Liberty Eastern Review with photos

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Where do I start? This was my third cruise with my DH Jason. We went with his sister, Jenny, and her husband, Lance. This was their very first cruise and they loved it! The weather was gorgeous and we made all four ports. Here is a shot from the tender boat at Half Moon Cay to get started. Then I will get into all the details and I have tons of photos! :D

 

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We're doing the same itinerary in 2014 as the 2nd leg of our B2B. Looking forward to more photos.

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We flew down to FLL from ALB. Our connecting flight in Tampa was delayed by a little bit. As we were waiting, I saw someone get off the plane who looked familiar. I nudged my husband and said "Is that Hulk Hogan?!" He said "Yes, brother!" LOL! My first celebrity sighting! ;)

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So I did a lot of research on transportation from FLL to our hotel in Miami. I went with SAS since it was highly recommended by a lot of people on the board. I have to say that we will never book them again! Here's the story:

 

I called SAS once we got our luggage. They told me to stand outside under the yellow Southwest sign. We waited for about 10 minutes when the beige SAS van showed up. We thought a white van earlier had been SAS, but Lance asked the driver and he said he wasn't SAS, but that he'd take us for $72. In hindsight, we should have jumped in! But we declined as we didn't know who this guy even worked for.

 

The SAS guy, Hector, loaded our luggage into a mini trailer hooked to the van. He told us the van would be full and we should sit four in the backseat. Me, Jenny and Jason climbed in the back. It was a couple minutes before 4 p.m. Lance got in and didn't sit with us at first until the van filled up. It took quite awhile for the van to fill up and it was hot in there! We had to circle the airport to get our final passengers.

 

We chatted with a nice couple from Austin, Texas, while Lance squeezed into the backseat with us. We were packed in this van like sardines! I think we finally made it on the road a little before 5 p.m. We thought we'd hit traffic, but it wasn't too bad.

 

So Hector proceeded to drop off couple after couple at their posh hotels in downtown Miami. By this time, it was pushing 6 p.m. and we had been in the van for close to two hours! The only relief we got was when couples got out, Lance was able to move forward. For some reason, Hector drove past the last couple's hotel and circled back around.

 

We were all starting to get slap happy from lack of sleep at this point. We were making up songs to the songs on the radio about being stuck in the van for so long and laughing hysterically. "This van is on fire!" (a la Alicia Keys).

 

Hector told us he was going to avoid an accident on the highway, so he took us through a seedy part of town. At one point, we had to wait for the road to open and close for what I'm assuming was a tall ship. Then we passed a Mexican restaurant and I tried to pronounce the name. Then a few minutes later we passed the same Mexican restaurant! Hector was driving in circles!

 

When I saw the sign for the road the hotel was on, I was ecstatic. After what felt like circling the Miami airport, Hector pulled into a parking lot with a boarded up building. I almost cried as I thought this was our hotel! :eek: But, alas, La Quinta Inn Miami East was behind said building. We were all barely able to move when we got out of the van. We reluctantly paid Hector and he did mutter an apology about the "delay." By that time I was hauling myself into the hotel. The clock at the reception desk of the hotel said 6:45 p.m. We had been in that van for 2 hours and 45 minutes! I was literally the first one on and the last one off. Never again!

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We checked into La Quinta and headed over to Bennigans to eat because we were starving. The restaurant looked rundown. The floor was sticky and it looked liked it hadn't been swept for days. We ordered our food. My husband had pot roast and I had a chicken cesar salad. Jenny and Lance shared a pizza. The food wasn't half bad.

 

We left the restaurant and used the vending machines in the hotel. All of the candy bars were half melted. When I tried my Twix, it tasted stale! At this point, we were exhausted, so we all went to bed. We shared a room to save money, but I'm not sure if I'd do this again because it seemed like we all had to use the bathroom at the same time. I also won't stay at La Quinta Inn Miami East again.

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Thanks for the detailed review so far! Can't wait to read more! Although it doesn't sound like your trip started out well at all! :(

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We had a crappy, crowded continental breakfast at La Quinta and then had the front desk person call us a cab. Because we had gotten in so late the night before because of Hector, the next available free shuttle was noon and we didn't want to wait that long. The taxi came quickly and I think it cost about $26 to get to POM. We got to POM around 9:30 a.m. Check-in was a breeze and we were boarding the ship by noon. Here is a first sighting pic taken from the taxi!

 

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Thanks for the detailed review so far! Can't wait to read more! Although it doesn't sound like your trip started out well at all! :(

 

Thanks! It didn't start well, but the actual cruise itself was amazing! :D

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Wow, you really didn't get off to a good start did you? Looking forward to the rest of your review.

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Once aboard, I high tailed it to the shore excursions desk and signed up for the Behind the Fun tour! :D

 

We all ate lunch on the Lido deck and then DH and I gave Jenny and Lance a tour (since we had been on a Conquest class ship before, we were familiar with the layout).

 

Here is a Guy's Burger my DH devoured and a yummy turkey sandwich I had from the deli.

 

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Thanks for your review! :D

 

We are on Liberty this Saturday on the Eastern (but going to Nassau).

 

Looking forward to more! :)

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Hi, I remember when you read my review you asked about those strawberry cake pops. I think I said, "I didn't have any, but Tom said they were OK". LOL, well, at least you were able to try for yourself!

 

I love looking at these pictures of the Liberty. Makes me want to go again, and soon! I feel like I need a cruise AT LEAST every other month! :eek:

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This is one of the reviews I've been waiting for :) Sorry things didn't get off to a great start for you. I'd have been fuming after nearly 3 hours in the shuttle. We stayed at the same La Quinta the last time we cruised out of Miami and weren't impressed, but it wasn't that bad. It wouldn't be our first choice in the future but it worked well since we were on a budget at the time.

 

Glad to hear the cruise portion of the trip was much better! Looking forward to the rest.

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Subscribing so I can follow along. I've been looking at the liberty for a future cruise, so your review and picture will help

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Hi, I remember when you read my review you asked about those strawberry cake pops. I think I said, "I didn't have any, but Tom said they were OK". LOL, well, at least you were able to try for yourself!

 

I love looking at these pictures of the Liberty. Makes me want to go again, and soon! I feel like I need a cruise AT LEAST every other month! :eek:

 

Yeah, the strawberry one was kinda dense, but the chocolate one later in the week was yummy!

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Our room:

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Our room was just as we expected except we had no free samples and no soap! I left a note for my room steward, Heiner. We saw him in the hall that night and he said I could leave him a note anytime I needed something. The lampshade on DH's side of the bed had major stains on it (kinda gross), but other than that, perfect!

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It was pouring after lunch, but it cleared up in time for muster. Muster was painless and we got out in time for sailaway. This was a big deal for me because I missed sailaway last time due to muster running long. I decided to find the secret deck for sailaway. I led my crew to the secret door and voila! Secret deck! Here are some sailaway pics:

 

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Balcony of a suite. Someone told me this was the captain's suite:

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Jenny and Lance. I was taking a picture of Jenny as she was taking a picture of me!

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We had early seating (6 p.m.). I had the grilled chicken from the everyday menu and my DH had brisket and said it was good. My chicken was a little chewy, but not bad. DH had chicken tenders for an appetizer and I had heart of iceberg lettuce. Service was slow, but I think it was because it was embarkation night. The service was much faster for the rest of the week (with the exception of the night before debarkation). Our head waitress was Luredana with assistant waitress Ni Luh and assistant waiter Bambang. I had warm chocolate melting cake for dessert and DH had orange cake.

 

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Oh, I forgot to mention that I bought a sparkly funnel hat at the gift shop and a t-shirt for my DH (two for $20) and we all went to the Welcome Aboard Show. Our cruise director was Troy Linton. He seemed okay, but as the week went along I actually began to dislike him. I thought he seemed arrogant. He called he women "toots" which kinda bothered me.

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Oh, I forgot to mention that I bought a sparkly funnel hat at the gift shop and a t-shirt for my DH (two for $20) and we all went to the Welcome Aboard Show. Our cruise director was Troy Linton. He seemed okay, but as the week went along I actually began to dislike him. I thought he seemed arrogant. He called he women "toots" which kinda bothered me.

 

Sorry to hear that about Troy. We are lucky 5/4/2013 Karl comes back on board for our trip.

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I remember reading your last review!.... and looking forward to this review as it will re-live our Liberty cruise we took in August!

 

I am sorry to hear about SAS and wish I had warned you previously. We are one of the very few people who will NEVER use SAS again. They left us stranded in FLL - never showed up, never answered our calls, never apoligized. We had to find transportation after waiting over an hour for them to arrive.

 

We have traveled to Miami from FLL and back a few times since then, realizing there are many alternatives to SAS.

 

Looking forward to the rest of your review!

Catrin

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We had gorgeous weather for Half Moon Cay. Sunny, warm and a warm breeze. I have lots of photos of the Liberty here. I couldn't get enough of how she looked floating there in the turquoise waters!

 

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One good thing about the double decker monstrosities is that they provided a bit of shade!

 

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If you look closely, you can see the hot tub in there:

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thanks for your review and great photos. The photos bring back some very fond memories of my cruise on the Liberty back in 2009. Looking forward to the rest of your review.:)

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