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Our Carnival Liberty Experience 3/29-4/5/14

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Eastern Caribbean 03/29/14-04/05/14

 

 

Miami, FL; Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; St. Thomas US Virgin Islands; San Juan Puerto Rico; Grand Turk Turks & Caicos, Miami, FL.

 

 

****Disclaimer****

 

The opinions expressed within this review are those of my family, our friends and specifically me on this vacation. They come from our experience on Carnival Liberty. I apologize in advance if I offend and/or cause anxiety from those readers who do not like what I have to say or feel I am taking too long to post and/or finish. If that is the case, please stop reading now, no need to put yourself through any undo dourest.

 

 

 

Picture of Carnival Liberty:

 

DSCN1406.JPG

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I am writing this review because over the 344 days or 11 months and 10 days or 49 weeks and 1 day, (yup you guessed it we booked this far out, first time for that and still not sure I liked it too much other than the OBC we got for filing the Early Saver forms). I had a lot of time from booking to when we left for Florida, to research and read a lot about Carnival Liberty- just about Carnival in general and what people seem to like and/or dislike (and I mean a heck of a lot!!). So, I thought I too should try to give back to my fellow CCer’s, this isn’t my first review because I have written one for each of our other cruises-this one is different because it’s my first picture review (I have practiced inserting pictures on the CC test forum, so I hope I can do this).

 

 

I plan to begin with our early, early, early, morning (did I mention it was early) departure from our home city Buffalo, NY (sounds better with town but we are truly a city) and our one day & night stay in Fort Lauderdale pre-cruise, our experience on Carnival Liberty & what we did each day, our post cruise excursion through Carnival (fully paid for using OBC we received from price drops) and return to Buffalo with some final thoughts.

 

 

OK with all that said, we all know the best laid plans are not what usually occurs – call it Murphy’s Law, call it Life but somehow, someway what we want, might not always be what we get……….. So, let the games begin! (LOL, I have always wanted to say that).

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We found out in January that we would have the new American Table and American Feast menus on our voyage. We had looked at them online and everyone would be keeping an open mind- thank you baby Jesus! :D:D

 

 

This trip consisted of myself (42), my DH (51), DS#2 (17) the graduate from high school and the reason for this cruise, DS#3 (15), DS#4 (13 to start but the birthday boy during the cruise). My DS#1(23) decided to stay home. He had to work and would move back into the family home to take care of the family dog while we were away. We also had DS#2’s BFF (17) another high school graduate and his mother (56). Meeting us in Miami would be my BFF (42) and her DS (15 but turning 16, right after we get back from this cruise). I only give you the ages as I found it helped me to try to understand whether my DSs, DH or I would enjoy something based on the posters ages in other reviews.

 

As my signature announces this was our second cruise with Carnival and fourth cruise overall for DH & I, second for DSs. My BFF, this was her second cruise-both with Carnival and everyone else had never cruised before. Prior to the cruise I had signed the boys up for Circle “C” and Club o2. They loved NCL’s clubs but that was 6 years ago, I truly hoped they would like what Carnival had to offer (but more on that during the review).

 

Here is a picture of everyone:



IMG_20140407_153042.jpg

 

 

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**Footnote ** because I graduated with my Bachelors degree in May ’13, DH let me book a balcony for us, as I opted to not have a party and/or any gifts, instead using that money to upgrade from an interior (when cruising with so many we look to cut our cost ). I just wanted to be able to enjoy my morning coffee, fresh fruit & one/two (multiple) glasses of wine/spirits (in the evening, of courseJ). I thought it was a great trade off and well worth it. I worked full time outside the home, while I completed my degree. I am very proud of what I accomplished, not for me but in showing my sons that you can do anything you put your mind too. I promised my mother I would get my degree, so completing it -although she is no longer with us (she passed right before I started school), I kept my word thus showing another lesson to my sons in keeping your word. It’s so funny how life works out (any way I digressed- sorry about that)!

 

Graduation Picture: DH & I

 

215.jpg

Edited by Buffalofirsttimer4

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Looking forward to your review. We are booked on the Liberty on March 1st so we have a long way to go. We booked out Valor cruise 9 months out and this one 11 months. I understand the wait.

 

You have a beautiful family! Our cruise will be in celebration of my son and his best friend's graduation and my 40th birthday.

 

Hope you had a fantastic cruise!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app

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We also had a scare with DH being diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms (several blood clots in both lungs) in early February, so we were happy he was on the mend and would be able to join us (If he hadn’t been able to come we would have had to eat his fare because we opted not to take the insurance- I know, I know, we should have bought it but I never thought we might need it-best laid plans right but I digress again….:-(.

 

 

We did book the cabins with DH in the balcony with one son and me in the interior with two sons-this way both cabins got to partake in any past guest price drops since we booked Early Saver. Once we got on the ship DH & I went to guest services to get extra cabin cards, as I would be switching with DS#2 to stay in the balcony and he would go to the inside cabin.

 

 

Originally I was going to save my notes for the end but once I started to put the review together I decided to move them to the front.

 

 

Notes:

· I actually started writing my review 60 days out from our trip- in a word document. I was afraid I would forget some preliminary details that I wanted to make certain I added. This helped me keep track of those little details-plus I brought it with me in a notebook so I could jot down notes while on the trip.

· I used packing lists (excel spreadsheets) to keep everyone straight. I’m a little “type A personality” (if you haven’t figured that out already) so this really helped me with the packing for five people.

· I packed one swimsuit in everyone’s carry on going down to Fort Lauderdale. I wasn’t sure if the hotel was going to let us check in early-remember we were arriving EARLY to FLL and if the weather permitted I wanted to begin our vacation immediately. (Well again best laid plans). Hotel actually let us check in when we arrived and NO RAIN!!!

· I did over pack, I always do. Even though I pulled out several outfits and repacked several times before we left.

· I brought Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer and baggies to place the TV remotes in-at the hotel & in the cabin-nasty germs on them.

· I wiped down the surfaces of each cabin-drawers, desk top, phone and unpacked the balcony & inside cabin, you can never be too careful and yes I have done this every cruise, just a little OCD about germs. Plus DSs would have lived out of their suitcases for the week had I not.

· I brought different sized Ziploc bags to seal sand & shells in. I always bring sand back from any beach I have been too-my collection has sand from California to New York and the Dominican Republic, along with the Caribbean islands we have visited on cruises. I also bring them for those odds & ends you need along the way, like extra fruit from the buffet to have on the balcony or packing wet clothes in when leaving, or even dry cereal we use to get the fish to come close when snorkeling.

· I brought OTC meds for everything from heartburn to diarrhea to cough syrup, a small sewing kit that includes a nail kit, band aids & Neosporin- just in case.

· We had sun tan lotion/sunblock from 0-80 SPF and Aloe lotion just in case we got too much sun. It is expensive in port & on the ship; I would rather spend my money on other things.

· We had power outlets (Belkin) with charging ports, battery operated alarm clocks-all for each cabin, duct tape and clear packing tape, and yes I have had to use it on trips before, you live and learn.

· I packed soap and shampoo (the boys have sensitive skin, as do I) but please be aware that Carnival does supply you with two dispensers in the shower labeled shower gel & shampoo, should you like to use them instead.

· I packed a flat iron for my hair; it’s naturally curly so it was a must to get it to look decent for elegant night.

· I printed out our luggage tags on a color printer, packed them in my expandable file folder and attached them prior to leaving the hotel with clear packing tape.

· Yes, I use an expandable file folder to organize each day of the trip. I had a file pocket for packing lists in the front; then flight info; hotel confirmation; shuttle confirmation; boarding passes, passports & birth certificates (just in case). DSs carried their school IDs as well as Drivers Permit & Non driver NY State ID cards with them; Bon Voyage purchase receipts (which I had to call to get them to email to me); Cabana rental info & map (printed off the CC forum); copy of confirmation from Godfrey regarding the tour in St Thomas; walking tour & trolley map for San Juan; and copies of coupons for Jack’s Shack in Grand Turk (and you thought I was lying when I said I was type A w/OCD).

· I have envelopes for each day with spending cash. We took $3,000 for our family of 5, allotting so much for each day depending on what we did. I also had two envelopes labeled receipts for each cabin so I could keep track of our spending onboard. Each cabin also got $25 in singles for tipping when ordering room service.

· We used our debit card for our onboard account (I know how some feel on these boards-please do not flame me- as this works for my family). We have done this on every cruise we have taken- with 3 different lines and never had a problem. We just advise our bank(s) that we are leaving out of the country, when we are leaving & how long we will be gone, as well as where we are going on which day and have never had any issues-one card for the onboard account and the other for purchases on land (should we not have enough cash) and yes we have two different banks which equates to two different debit cards. We have never seen several charges or holds to our account-it has always been for the amount of our onboard account-I guess we have been lucky.

· We assigned a spending limit for our sons, $75 each-they don’t really drink soda, so the free lemonade & tea were fine with them but they like non-alcoholic frozen drinks & Milkshakes, so this way they could order them themselves without having to find Mom or Dad to get it, plus I didn’t want any surprises from fun times in the arcade-just in case. They only spent about $40 between the three of them.

· We brought refillable water bottles, coffee mugs with lids, sugar free flavor packets, and flavored non-dairy coffee creamer. The ship has Sugar, Sugar Cane, Equal, Splenda and Sweet & Low packets.

· We ordered room service most mornings- 4 coffees & 4 teas gave us a carafe each (DH only drinks tea) and I would make my coffee with my French Vanilla creamer & Splenda in the cabin. The ship does have a coffee shop if you want to purchase flavored coffee (I am too frugal, so I bring what I need). That coffee shop (Jarvin Café- deck 5) is where you can get Milkshakes.

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I made signs for our doors-makes it so much easier to remember which one we are in since they all look alike. “We be cruising”–that was our theme this cruise. I even surprised everyone with t-shirts made by Vistaprint only cost $8.33 each shirt, so it was a bargain.

 

 

Picture of cabin door & t-shirts:



DSCN1141.JPG

 

IMAG0226.jpg

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DEPARTURE DAY (Friday March 28)

 

 

We had an EARLY Southwest flight from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport to Fort Lauderdale (yes I did book it but at the time I booked it I was just thinking let’s get this vacation started ASAP and this was before the winter from hell arrived). Yes, we live in the Northeast, Buffalo none the less and are supposed to be used to snow but even us hardy folks are just tired of it already. It was a direct flight, less likely to lose our luggage-right?

 

 

Excitement is in the air at our household. Grandpa will be driving the five of us with our luggage to the airport, a short 4-6 minute commute. DS BFF & mother will meet us at the airport. My boys have never really flown (unless you count the Boys Scouts Aviation badge in a small propeller plane at the Clarence Airfield). Any way- they are so excited, I don’t believe anyone has slept since Wednesday night into Thursday and I made them go to school all day on Thursday, while I took a half a day from work to finish some last minute errands & pampering (mani & pedi- I know-such a mean Mom-LOL).

 

Our flight was scheduled for 6:10AM (yes that is AM, which is EARLY), so we are hoping to be at the airport by 4:30am, according to what I have read the check in counter for Southwest opens 180 minutes before the first departure (which would be 2:45am -there was a 5:45am flight before us but security doesn’t open until 4 am) so I tried timing it so we would not be at the airport too early, nor too late-best laid plans right :D. We all need to check luggage. Each of us will be taking full advantage of the two bags fly free plus a carry on. We all have opted for EB (Early Bird check in). So Thursday morning I went into Southwest’s system to check us in and printed off our tickets. I also downloaded the Southwest app on my phone so when we get back to Miami, I can check everyone in for our return flight.

 

Sunrise from the plane:



IMAG0231.jpg

 

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Looking forward to your review. We are booked on the Liberty on March 1st so we have a long way to go. We booked out Valor cruise 9 months out and this one 11 months. I understand the wait.

You have a beautiful family! Our cruise will be in celebration of my son and his best friend's graduation and my 40th birthday.

Hope you had a fantastic cruise!

Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app

 

Thank you, I hope I do not disappoint you, this is my first review with pics so I hope I do it justice. We had a wonderful cruise and cannot wait to do it again, you will enjoy Liberty-the crew is top notch!!

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Loving your review already! We will be sailing on the Liberty next March.

Edited by FloridaMomma

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ARRIVAL BEST WESTERN PLUS FORT LAUDERDALE AIRPORT/CRUISE PORT

1221 W State Rd, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

 

We picked this location (1) because of what other CCer’s stated on the Florida thread-some good, some bad, (2) trip advisor reviews-again some good, some bad- and (3) because the price was what we could live with-THIS WAS MOST IMPORTANT.

 

 

We had two rooms for the seven of us-two queen beds each room. The most important factor though was just getting a room because there was a Music Festival at Bayside in Miami that weekend, so we could not stay in Miami. Flying into Fort Lauderdale was cheaper than Miami and I couldn’t chance not having a place to stay, I really wanted IC or Holiday Inn Bayside but they were sold out and Marriott-Downtown Miami was way more than I wanted to spend (somewhere around $300-400 a night per room). We had stayed in South Beach for DH 50th Birthday cruise but again I couldn’t get the hotel we stayed at before for a price we could live with.

 

 

The Best Western has a free shuttle from the airport, free Wi-Fi (important for teenagers who are going to have to shut down their phones into Airplane mode in the morning) and a shopping plaza with a grocery store (for wine/soda/juice and last minute item pick up). We had places to eat dinner close by (literally right out their front door). So since we would not be renting a car, this seemed like a great place for us to chill for the day before a cruise. I had found in my research a Sports Bar close by (in the strip plaza) called Slackers where I heard the food would be good & not too expensive and if we did an early dinner the boys should be able to go in (seeing that it is a bar). I also looked into Lester’s Diner (which is supposed to be famous) as an alternative-about a 15 minute walk from the hotel. Let’s see what everyone decides for dinner.

 

 

Brunch Plans- we just walked over to Wendy’s for a quick bite to eat. Food was hot and ready fast (just what growing boys need). All the boys went back to take naps and us girls went to check out the shops in the plaza. There are lots-Big Lots, Subway, Dollar Tree, Slackers, a shop like Marshalls/TJ Maxx (I just cannot remember the name), grocery store-Winn Dixie, Dunkin Donuts (at the far end), nail shop, a Cuban café, a Thai restaurant (don’t know the name).

 

Dinner Plans- We went to Slackers, don’t be fooled by the exterior. The food was good. Since it was Friday-they have an All you can eat Fish Fry (tilapia/fries/coleslaw)-only ate one serving but it was good, there were a couple of us had that, others had Philly cheese steak with fries, a cheeseburger with fries and the full slab of ribs (DH said they had a little kick to them).

 

 

I'll apologize now- I forgot to take my camera with me when walking around, my original intention was to take pictures so others could see the area around the hotel (best laid plans-LOL).

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Awesome so far! I love a thorough review! We are sailing the Liberty in November!

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**Footnote ** because I graduated with my Bachelors degree in May ’13, DH let me book a balcony for us, as I opted to not have a party and/or any gifts, instead using that money to upgrade from an interior (when cruising with so many we look to cut our cost ). I just wanted to be able to enjoy my morning coffee, fresh fruit & one/two (multiple) glasses of wine/spirits (in the evening, of courseJ). I thought it was a great trade off and well worth it. I worked full time outside the home, while I completed my degree. I am very proud of what I accomplished, not for me but in showing my sons that you can do anything you put your mind too. I promised my mother I would get my degree, so completing it -although she is no longer with us (she passed right before I started school), I kept my word thus showing another lesson to my sons in keeping your word. It’s so funny how life works out (any way I digressed- sorry about that)!

 

Graduation Picture: DH & I

 

215.jpg

 

Congratulations on your accomplishment!!

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(“B” DAY- Boarding)

 

They also have a continental breakfast included in their rate so we didn’t have to purchase breakfast which was a savings, with boys this can add up quickly! I went quickly down the street to Dunkin for a quick cup of coffee, we had free vouchers-told you I’m cheap and I needed to stop at the Dollar store for another water bottle-(seems DS15 forgot his in Buffalo.

 

 

 

The boys ready to be picked up by QLS Transportation:



DSCN1112.JPG

 

 

 

Look at the pile of luggage (and that didn’t include everything)-you can barely see the top of my head.

 

DSCN1114.JPG

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We also had a scare with DH being diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms (several blood clots in both lungs) in early February, so we were happy he was on the mend and would be able to join us (If he hadn’t been able to come we would have had to eat his fare because we opted not to take the insurance- I know, I know, we should have bought it but I never thought we might need it-best laid plans right but I digress again….:-(.

 

 

We did book the cabins with DH in the balcony with one son and me in the interior with two sons-this way both cabins got to partake in any past guest price drops since we booked Early Saver. Once we got on the ship DH & I went to guest services to get extra cabin cards, as I would be switching with DS#2 to stay in the balcony and he would go to the inside cabin.

 

 

Originally I was going to save my notes for the end but once I started to put the review together I decided to move them to the front.

 

 

Notes:

· I actually started writing my review 60 days out from our trip- in a word document. I was afraid I would forget some preliminary details that I wanted to make certain I added. This helped me keep track of those little details-plus I brought it with me in a notebook so I could jot down notes while on the trip.

· I used packing lists (excel spreadsheets) to keep everyone straight. I’m a little “type A personality” (if you haven’t figured that out already) so this really helped me with the packing for five people.

· I packed one swimsuit in everyone’s carry on going down to Fort Lauderdale. I wasn’t sure if the hotel was going to let us check in early-remember we were arriving EARLY to FLL and if the weather permitted I wanted to begin our vacation immediately. (Well again best laid plans). Hotel actually let us check in when we arrived and NO RAIN!!!

· I did over pack, I always do. Even though I pulled out several outfits and repacked several times before we left.

· I brought Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer and baggies to place the TV remotes in-at the hotel & in the cabin-nasty germs on them.

· I wiped down the surfaces of each cabin-drawers, desk top, phone and unpacked the balcony & inside cabin, you can never be too careful and yes I have done this every cruise, just a little OCD about germs. Plus DSs would have lived out of their suitcases for the week had I not.

· I brought different sized Ziploc bags to seal sand & shells in. I always bring sand back from any beach I have been too-my collection has sand from California to New York and the Dominican Republic, along with the Caribbean islands we have visited on cruises. I also bring them for those odds & ends you need along the way, like extra fruit from the buffet to have on the balcony or packing wet clothes in when leaving, or even dry cereal we use to get the fish to come close when snorkeling.

· I brought OTC meds for everything from heartburn to diarrhea to cough syrup, a small sewing kit that includes a nail kit, band aids & Neosporin- just in case.

· We had sun tan lotion/sunblock from 0-80 SPF and Aloe lotion just in case we got too much sun. It is expensive in port & on the ship; I would rather spend my money on other things.

· We had power outlets (Belkin) with charging ports, battery operated alarm clocks-all for each cabin, duct tape and clear packing tape, and yes I have had to use it on trips before, you live and learn.

· I packed soap and shampoo (the boys have sensitive skin, as do I) but please be aware that Carnival does supply you with two dispensers in the shower labeled shower gel & shampoo, should you like to use them instead.

· I packed a flat iron for my hair; it’s naturally curly so it was a must to get it to look decent for elegant night.

· I printed out our luggage tags on a color printer, packed them in my expandable file folder and attached them prior to leaving the hotel with clear packing tape.

· Yes, I use an expandable file folder to organize each day of the trip. I had a file pocket for packing lists in the front; then flight info; hotel confirmation; shuttle confirmation; boarding passes, passports & birth certificates (just in case). DSs carried their school IDs as well as Drivers Permit & Non driver NY State ID cards with them; Bon Voyage purchase receipts (which I had to call to get them to email to me); Cabana rental info & map (printed off the CC forum); copy of confirmation from Godfrey regarding the tour in St Thomas; walking tour & trolley map for San Juan; and copies of coupons for Jack’s Shack in Grand Turk (and you thought I was lying when I said I was type A w/OCD).

· I have envelopes for each day with spending cash. We took $3,000 for our family of 5, allotting so much for each day depending on what we did. I also had two envelopes labeled receipts for each cabin so I could keep track of our spending onboard. Each cabin also got $25 in singles for tipping when ordering room service.

· We used our debit card for our onboard account (I know how some feel on these boards-please do not flame me- as this works for my family). We have done this on every cruise we have taken- with 3 different lines and never had a problem. We just advise our bank(s) that we are leaving out of the country, when we are leaving & how long we will be gone, as well as where we are going on which day and have never had any issues-one card for the onboard account and the other for purchases on land (should we not have enough cash) and yes we have two different banks which equates to two different debit cards. We have never seen several charges or holds to our account-it has always been for the amount of our onboard account-I guess we have been lucky.

· We assigned a spending limit for our sons, $75 each-they don’t really drink soda, so the free lemonade & tea were fine with them but they like non-alcoholic frozen drinks & Milkshakes, so this way they could order them themselves without having to find Mom or Dad to get it, plus I didn’t want any surprises from fun times in the arcade-just in case. They only spent about $40 between the three of them.

· We brought refillable water bottles, coffee mugs with lids, sugar free flavor packets, and flavored non-dairy coffee creamer. The ship has Sugar, Sugar Cane, Equal, Splenda and Sweet & Low packets.

· We ordered room service most mornings- 4 coffees & 4 teas gave us a carafe each (DH only drinks tea) and I would make my coffee with my French Vanilla creamer & Splenda in the cabin. The ship does have a coffee shop if you want to purchase flavored coffee (I am too frugal, so I bring what I need). That coffee shop (Jarvin Café- deck 5) is where you can get Milkshakes.

 

OMG - this is my packing list to the tee!

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BOARDING: Carnival Liberty Port of Miami (Saturday March 29)

 

We booked transportation from the hotel to POM with QLS Transportation for the seven of us. We had used them on our last Carnival cruise and thought they were wonderful. Pick-up was scheduled for between 10 -10:30 am. Since we all had FTTF we wanted to get onboard as quickly as we could, drop our carry-ons and head to Guy’s Burgers. We heard from the other passengers on the transport that the driver got a little lost trying to find our hotel but all worked out and we got to the port around 11am, on board by 11:20 (lady at check in had a hard time finding our room cards for some reason).

 

I also needed to put in our pick for the cabana, soda requests and fin sizes for the snorkel equipment. So, getting to the port early was important to us and all the other shuttle services stated they didn’t start pick-ups until 11am. We also wanted to go to guest services and get extra key cards for the balcony & interior cabins. This way I could get into the balcony & DS#2 would be able to get into his home away from home for the week- the interior cabin.

 

We had cabins (6449) Balcony; (6463) Interior; DS#2 BFF & mom as well as my BFF had interior cabins close by (#6471 & 6459).

 

 

Pictures of the balcony cabin (taken that evening since I forgot to take it when we boarded):

 

DSCN1126.JPG

 

 

I had pre-ordered from Bon Voyage a liter each of Baileys and Barcardi Limon to go with my diet soda.

 

I had birthday decorations put up in not only our inside cabin for DS#4 but BFF’s inside for her DS. They both were very surprised so it was worth it. (forgot to take a picture of this-sorry but I thought it was worth the $35-you can order it with cake delivery for $40- if you order separately its $35 & $10 (cake). I did have to go to Cherry on Top to have the decorations put up for DS14 after we boarded they confused his cake order for Wednesday with having the decorations put up then. (Just a slight hick up)

 

 

In January I decided to surprise the boys by ordering the Family Beach bag from Bon Voyage, asking that it get delivered once the ship was under way. Having three beach days I thought they might like to have a few “toys” to use. It included two paddles with a ball, beach ball (blow up kind), a small hand mister (my BFF took this-LOL), black sun visor, deck of cards, and a Frisbee.

 

I also ordered the Sweet Treat for DS#2 BFF, couldn’t leave him out of getting something in the room, LOL, it was a jar of small chocolate chip cookies and candies.

 

I hadn’t seen my BFF since July when her and DS come back home for a visit during 4th of July week. She booked everything through Carnival since she was coming from Atlanta- cruise, flights and transportation so we told them to just look for us once they got on board.

 

Lunch: Guys Burgers of course-YUM YUM

 

DSCN1117.JPG

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Sail away party- the most fun I have had on any cruise. Brittany was great and I believe my boys stayed out on the dance floor at every party.

 

Dinner: We all had Anytime Dining (confirmed) with all our bookings linked via our great PVP. It was interesting, I tried to remember to take pictures (sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t-sorry). The food was hit or miss. Always hot, fried calamari for the table good, flat bread with ricotta, arugula, mushrooms and onions- it was ok (only ordered it this night). Shrimp cocktail, good, flat iron steak –today good but small, Mahi Mahi good (under the ports of call).

 

The boys at their own table:

 

DSCN1123.JPG

 

Flatbread:

 

DSCN1124.JPG

 

Table Calamari:

 

DSCN1125.JPG

 

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Hope you had a great time, we did the same cruise back in Feb.

 

We had a wonderful time, thank you for taking the time to read my review so far!

 

Loving your review already! We will be sailing on the Liberty next March.

 

Thank you for reading and you're going to love the Liberty!!

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Really enjoying your review. Thank you!!!!

 

Can't wait to be back on Liberty in May.

 

And Congrats on graduation!

 

Thank you for reading-I have read your reviews in the past and I hope I do it justice. The graduation was 20+ years in the making!!!

 

OMG - this is my packing list to the tee!

 

LOL- I got a lot of advice from Cruise Critic when we went on our first cruise and more advice with every cruise.

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Sorry I meant to insert these prior but here are some pictures taken when we first got on the ship.

 

 

 

Lido Deck Prior to Sail away:

 

DSCN1118.JPG

 

 

 

DSCN1119.JPG

 

 

 

DSCN1120.JPG

 

 

 

DSCN1121.JPG

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HALF MOON CAY, BAHAMAS 9am-5pm (Sunday March 30)

 

We had rented a cabana before (for DH 50th Birthday cruise) so we are excited that everyone else would get to experience it. Having FTTF for us & DS#2 BFF cabins, we let my BFF use the cabana tickets to get on the tender quickly. I purchased two snorkel sets (US Diver) through Amazon prior to us coming so that DH & DS’s could snorkel from the shore here, at Coki Beach in St Thomas and when we get to Grand Turk. With the four they provide and the extra two we had enough for all the guys to go out at once. We ladies had decided it would be a relaxing day on a mat or lounge chair with a drink of the day. With the cabana rental you get fresh cut up fruit, tortilla chips with sour cream, guacamole, & salsa, eight sodas & two bottles of water with ice in a cooler, 4 floating mats, 4 snorkel sets with fins and 4 beach towels.

 

When we got onboard I had chosen Pink Cabana #8 ......

 

Well, best laid plans….woke up to white caps and a sinking feeling that all my planning was for naught as this stop was going to get cancelled…and that’s exactly what happened. Our captain- Giuseppe, came over the loud speaker to advise that it was too dangerous to anchor and tender over to the island, we would receive a credit for port charges ($20 & change) & excursions already paid for—I realized that meant lots of pics & DOD (looking at the glass half full instead of half empty) :rolleyes::rolleyes:

 

I spent the day either on deck 10, cause yes the chair hogs were out in full effect or on my own balcony (I did see a school of dolphins which was really cool-sorry no pics).

 

 

Pictures on balcony

 

 

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OK, I'm going to take a break now and gather some more notes & pics (this is way more difficult than I originally thought-:eek:) but I hope in the end it will be worth it to those reading.

 

I had 27 pages in my word document before the cruise and now I have a paper notepad and notepad app on my kindle with notes that I need to insert-LOL.

 

I try to come back in a little while, thanks for taking the time to read.

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I like your review style! The font size and picture size are just right. I am following along. I will be on the Liberty soon and look forward to seeing more about the new menu.

 

Congratulations on your degree! I need to get myself motivated to get back to school. It is a challenge when working full time. You did it!

 

I'm sorry you missed Half Moon. You had a great attitude about it though. (I think I might have pouted a little!)

 

Thanks for taking the time to do this review:)

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Enjoying your review. Thank you for taking the time to post.

 

Could you tell me if the noise from the Karaoke/Comedy Club could be heard from your party that had interior rooms? We have an interior room near the back of the ship on deck 6 in Aug and am worried about the noise when trying to go to sleep. But maybe you'll hit on that later? :p

Edited by erby2283

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Enjoying your review. Thank you for taking the time to post.

 

Could you tell me if the noise from the Karaoke/Comedy Club could be heard from your party that had interior rooms? We have an interior room near the back of the ship on deck 6 in Aug and am worried about the noise when trying to go to sleep. But maybe you'll hit on that later? :p

 

Yes you could hear the sounds from the Victoria lounge but it's not bad and the Balcony rooms in aft also hear it not just the interior.

Honestly, we heard it the first night but after that it was like white noise and off to sleep we went (and that was only because I was in bed at 11pm). Most nights we went to bed after midnight and that room shut down completely by 1 am.

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I like your review style! The font size and picture size are just right. I am following along. I will be on the Liberty soon and look forward to seeing more about the new menu.

 

Congratulations on your degree! I need to get myself motivated to get back to school. It is a challenge when working full time. You did it!

 

I'm sorry you missed Half Moon. You had a great attitude about it though. (I think I might have pouted a little!)

 

Thanks for taking the time to do this review:)

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to read and I'm glad you're enjoying it. After reading so many reviews over the years I realized I really like larger font (my eyes are not what they use to be- I transitioned to bifocals this year). :eek:

 

As for going back to school- go for it you can do it- we are our own worst enemies-believe and achieve. We cannot be perfect (sorry that does not exist) but we can become better and education is the key to the betterment- JMO!

 

As for Half Moon Cay (I didn't say I didn't pout ;), I was really looking forward to it) but with that said I was on vacation in warm & sunny weather so I would not let that define our vacation, specifically my vacation. I went with the roll of things, just makes for a happier me.

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Really enjoying your detailed review! I commend you for being so organized for everyone on your trip. Hope you had time to relax, you deserve it! Looking forward to the rest!

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GREAT review!! :D Looking forward to the rest since we will be sailing on the Liberty for the first time in August. Sorry that you missed HMC. :(

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Yes you could hear the sounds from the Victoria lounge but it's not bad and the Balcony rooms in aft also hear it not just the interior.

Honestly, we heard it the first night but after that it was like white noise and off to sleep we went (and that was only because I was in bed at 11pm). Most nights we went to bed after midnight and that room shut down completely by 1 am.

 

Thank you!

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OK…where did I leave off……………….. yes, now I remember- Deck 10 near the aft (Starboard side), it was windy but with the sun beating down on me it felt good.

 

 

Lunch: Decided to try Fish & Chips (since it is right there on deck 10)- couch fritters & fried oysters. Actually the oysters were not exactly what I was thinking they would be. They are finely chopped & mixed in a patter with spices and chopped pepper/onions like the fritter, only issue I could see was they do not cook them long enough (kind of mushy in the middle-both the oyster & fritter). BFF said the fish and chips were good (I should have gotten that). The garlic dipping sauce was great for the fries though! So I went and tried a burrito-chicken on a jalapeno wrap-it was good but a little too much breading (if I’m being honest).

 

 

Sorry no food pics today :mad:

 

Dinner: From the grill our table had Pork chop, chicken breast (all said to be good). Junkanoo Pot (Bahamas Port of Call Menu)-chicken (dark meat), mussels, shrimp, scallops, pineapple chunks, over yellow rice (sticky)- this dish is spicy but very tasty. Double baked potato (had to ask for toppings-again seems to be a theme as my BFF had to ask the first night as well), green beans (with bacon & onion), rice pilaf (very sticky white rice-didn’t taste so great according to DH). Tonight we tried “Cruiser” the drink- it was great!!!

 

OK, originally my youngest was suppose to go to Circle C but it turns out the kids in that group were actually only 10-11 years old, he stands 5'10 155lbs so he didn't want to be with them. He went to the Club 02 person in charge and actually moved himself so he could hang out with his brothers, worked out great. So, for all those who say they are "strict" about moving I guess it depends on the situation and child involved. I did purchase the Club 02 picture with all the kids in the group but haven't scanned it yet to attach...guess I'll attach it later.

 

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Looking forward to your review!

 

Thanks for reading along!

 

GREAT review!! :D Looking forward to the rest since we will be sailing on the Liberty for the first time in August. Sorry that you missed HMC. :(

 

It's OK... just gives me reason to book another one-right :D

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Really enjoying your detailed review! I commend you for being so organized for everyone on your trip. Hope you had time to relax, you deserve it! Looking forward to the rest!

 

Oh yes I truly enjoyed myself and yes I relaxed. Organization occurred with four sons to coordinate activities for Boy Scouts, Basketball, Track, Football, Bowling every Saturday from Sept-April every year, and karate. When the kids out number the parents you become very organized!!!

Edited by Buffalofirsttimer4

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Enjoying the review! We did this same itinerary a year and a half ago.

 

When I saw only "Half Moon Cay" was in red font on your title page I thought "Uh-oh, does that mean they missed the port?"....and sadly that was the case.

We missed it too on our cruise, with a cabana (#9) already booked. Very disappointing, but LOTS of OBC to spend! For us, that meant pre-paid Bottomless Bubbles, pre-paid grats and a discount on the Behind the Fun tour! :D

Edited by Pellaz

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Love your review, we will be on the Liberty in early May but it will be a Southern Caribbean out of Port Canaveral.

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Goodness! You remind me so much of myself. I am such a planner as well. My family (me 46, DH 49, DD 21, DS 20, DS 16 and his friend 16) will be on the Liberty May 31 sailing. Your review is awesome and I am finding it so helpful.....I am actually taking notes!

 

Carnival - Ecstasy, 2013/1014 (New Years cruise)

Carnival - Miracle, 2013

Royal Caribbean - Monarch of the Seas, 2013

Royal Caribbean- Oasis of the Seas, 2011

Carnival - Destiny, 2010

Carnival - Victory, 2009

Carnival - Paradise, 2004

Royal Caribbean - Majesty of the Seas, 1996

Royal Caribbean - Monarch of the Seas, 1993

Carnival - Festival, 1989

Edited by Carol Jones

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