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REVIEW: Carnival Liberty - Western Caribbean - 4/5/14 thru 4/12/14


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Now that is one of the itineraries we'd love to do! I'll bet you're really looking forward to it. Is that a 7 or an 8 day cruise? We've also been to Grand Turk, really liked it and would love to go back. We've never been to Aruba or Curacao but we've only heard good things about both and from the pictures I've seen in other reviews, I would like to see both someday. Hopefully sooner than later. I hope you all have a wonderful time, it sure sounds like fun.

 

It's an 8 day, seems like the 7 day is never quite long enough for me :p

We we're originally going to try the Splendor out of NYC, as I thought I would head to Montreal with the kids after to visit my parents. Since that wasn't going to work out ( and we had already done that itinerary on the Miracle a few years ago) decided to switch to the Liberty, and excited we have new ports! We live in NC, so either port we can drive to, and it's almost the same difference in mileage, so we're lucky with that :)

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Our first stop was at the first store we came upon was called Los Cinco Soles that was fairly large and looked pretty nice and they didn’t have employees stationed outside yelling at people to come in. We were looking for Christmas ornaments for ourselves and a couple friends, a shot glass for a friend who collects those, a refrigerator magnet, a few postcards, and vanilla (the kind with no coumarin) to bring back for my mom. The displays were nice and things were easy to find and there was more space to move around in here than a few other places we stopped in afterward. We found the things we were looking for, including the vanilla. They have the vanilla without coumarin and also had a variety of sizes ranging from tiny to huge (2 liter???) bottles. I got a medium size for my mom and am kicking myself for not getting one of my own. I contemplated buying one for us, but I had to keep in mind that I’m going to have to get everything back and keep that check-in bag under 50 pounds, so I passed on it. When we found everything we were looking for, we paid for our items. I highly recommend Los Cinco Soles. They have very friendly and helpful employees.

Next the hunt was on for some T-shirts. Los Cinco Soles had T-shirts but I remembered a shop from when we were in Cozumel in 2006 where I got a good quality T-shirt (embroidered logo, thick material) that I still have and it’s in the same good condition I bought it in. I wanted to see if that shop was still there but I couldn’t remember the name. But first we walked down to the man made “beach” among palm trees where there were some pretty good ship views to get pictures since that spot was close by. Unfortunately Liberty was basically blocked from view by Caribbean Princess. We got some ship pictures and went to look for those T-shirts.

I really wish that Carnival Liberty was on this side of the pier since I really wanted some exterior pictures of the whole ship. There was no other area to get full pictures of Carnival Liberty, so I had to settle for Pictures of Caribbean Princess with bits of Liberty behind her.

Carnival Liberty behind Caribbean Princess (it looks like Caribbean Princess grew a "Carnival Funnel"):

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Carnival Elation:

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It's an 8 day, seems like the 7 day is never quite long enough for me :p

We we're originally going to try the Splendor out of NYC, as I thought I would head to Montreal with the kids after to visit my parents. Since that wasn't going to work out ( and we had already done that itinerary on the Miracle a few years ago) decided to switch to the Liberty, and excited we have new ports! We live in NC, so either port we can drive to, and it's almost the same difference in mileage, so we're lucky with that :)

 

We've only been on 7 day cruises but would love to do a longer one sometime. When trying to decide which cruise to go on, we were really tempted to do the Dream repositioning cruise but it was 9 days, which ruled that one out. The temptation was sure there though. We did the 7 day Southern Caribbean out of San Juan on Valor last year and that is still my favorite itinerary. I'd love to sail out of NYC someday, I think it would be a great way to see some of the popular sites from a different perspective. I loved Jamman's Splendor review and enjoyed seeing the pictures he got as Splendor sailed out. If we ever get lucky and hit Mega Million or Powerball, most of my time will be spend cruising. :D

 

Will you be doing a review when you get back? If so, I will definitely subscribe. :) No arm twisting though since these do take a lot of time.

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We had to go through the “pushy vendor gauntlet” to get there but we just looked straight ahead and ignored the “Senor, Senorita come look in my store” calls that we heard constantly. Some of them were even trying to shout over one another. Annoying. I think they’d have better luck attracting people into their stores to shop if they weren’t so aggressive and didn’t hassle everyone so much. It was definitely a deterrent for us.

We finally made it to the area where I remembered getting my T-shirt on the last visit. There were a few stores in that immediate area that didn’t have their employees out front shouting for people to come in. I can’t remember the name (maybe “Les Best”, we had a bag from there), but it was in the row of shops in the back of the cruise center (farthest from the ship). We found the T-shirts and we needed four, two for us and I wanted to get two for our neighbors who were watching out cats for us. They were thick, 100% cotton and are not prewashed, so they will shrink, and have a small embroidered “Cozumel” logo on the chest. They were $5.00 each. One of the guys working let us know that the shirts were $5.00 but they were also five for $20.00. Perfect. I couldn’t decide between two colors so I got them both for the total of five.

T-shirt mission accomplished. Now to get pictures of the cruise center area before getting back on the ship so we walked around doing that while we ignored the yelling from the vendors. We did notice that the people working at the little outside kiosks that were located throughout the cruise center weren’t bothering anyone. We usually saw them talking to each other but if they got a customer, their attention was on helping the customer. I really loved all the bright colors.

Miscellaneous pictures of the cruise center shopping area:

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Three Amigos (Tres Amigos). There was a party going on here too:

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I see you Carnival Liberty! I was trying to get to an area where I could get all of Carnival Liberty, but this is as far as I'd get:[URL=http://s934.photobucket.com/user/H_B_G/media/04-07-2014%20-%20Cozumel%20Mexico/100_8386-1.jpg.html]100_8386-1.jpg[/url]

 

More Three Amigos pictures:

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We've only been on 7 day cruises but would love to do a longer one sometime. When trying to decide which cruise to go on, we were really tempted to do the Dream repositioning cruise but it was 9 days, which ruled that one out. The temptation was sure there though. We did the 7 day Southern Caribbean out of San Juan on Valor last year and that is still my favorite itinerary. I'd love to sail out of NYC someday, I think it would be a great way to see some of the popular sites from a different perspective. I loved Jamman's Splendor review and enjoyed seeing the pictures he got as Splendor sailed out. If we ever get lucky and hit Mega Million or Powerball, most of my time will be spend cruising. :D

 

Will you be doing a review when you get back? If so, I will definitely subscribe. :) No arm twisting though since these do take a lot of time.

 

I did read all of Jamman's review, which was great, pretty much knew all about the ship, then decided to change...lol...Which ports did you stop at while on the Valor? To be able to cruise with the kids I have to find a reasonable price, so that means driving to the port :D. We did an all inclusive the past 2years, which was a nice change, but I was ready to get back to cruising, and my 11year old told me a couple of months ago, it was time for another cruise :p. Can you tell I have a cruise buddy?!? The pictures of your rum punches was making me salivate for one!!

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Great review. It's so nice re-living our Liberty cruise, which was just a couple of weeks before yours :)

 

Thank you! Re-living our cruise is exactly what I'm doing while working on the review. When I was looking at Carnival's webcams for Liberty and Glory (both alternated Western/Eastern) to see how the weather looked and how calm or rough the water was, one of the sailings appeared to have water so smooth and perfect weather through out. I know it was in March but can't remember if it was Liberty or Glory now. I hope you were on the one I'm talking about - it looked like great weather.

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I did read all of Jamman's review, which was great, pretty much knew all about the ship, then decided to change...lol...Which ports did you stop at while on the Valor? To be able to cruise with the kids I have to find a reasonable price, so that means driving to the port :D. We did an all inclusive the past 2years, which was a nice change, but I was ready to get back to cruising, and my 11year old told me a couple of months ago, it was time for another cruise :p. Can you tell I have a cruise buddy?!? The pictures of your rum punches was making me salivate for one!!

 

The rum punches...you and me both!!! LOL!!!

 

On Valor we sailed out of San Juan and went to St. Thomas; Sea Day; Barbados; St. Lucia; St. Kitts; St. Maarten/St. Martin; back to San Juan. The prices for the cabins on this itinerary were a lot lower than the other itineraries, but airfare to and from San Juan is a little pricey. If you ever get a chance to do that itinerary, I say "go for it". The scenery and beauty of all of these islands is the best I've seen. With the exception of Barbados, all the others are very mountainous. Some people on our cruise said that St. Lucia reminded them a lot of Hawaii. I've never been to Hawaii, so I can't say for certain. Just very scenic.

 

So glad you have a cruise buddy in your son. My family never cruised so my first cruise was our honeymoon. My family used to spend a week every June in Nags Head, NC, and we've been there with friends here several times now. I just love it there! I'd love to try Atlantic Beach/Emerald Isle area someday.

 

I wish we lived a little closer to FL...close enough to do the complete drive in a day and get a hotel close to the cruise terminal the night before the cruise. We could drive to Baltimore, but that would have to be a summer cruise. We've looked into that and the prices are a lot higher. I think a perk with driving would be not having to worry about how heavy my suitcase is.

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Donkey ride anyone?

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These guys are right next to the pier entrance - nice opportunity for a photo op before heading back down the pier:

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Now why would they put Pinatas up that high and out of reach???

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After getting pictures we were thinking about getting on the ship. By now it was about 3:30PM. We were over by “Three Amigos” and “Fat Tuesdays” getting pictures and DH asked if I wanted to go in. We had two choices here, either “Fat Tuesdays” or “Three Amigos”, both were full of people who looked like they were having a lot of fun. Decisions, decisions. We spent time in Fat Tuesdays when in New Orleans one year and love the drinks. They’re frozen and very good, especially on a hot day. The one in New Orleans had drinks that were made with grain alcohol. OK, decision made – Fat Tuesday’s it would be. Since we didn’t have to be back on the ship until 5:30PM, we had time.

We went in and ordered the “Attitubes”, which were souvenir cups in the shape of a long skinny tube with Fat Tuesday’s Cozumel on one side and on the back there was a “meter” for the different stages of drunkenness you’re at by measuring how much you drank out of it. I got a “Dirty Monkey” and DH got “Sex on the Beach”.

The drink menu above the bar in Fat Tuesday's:

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View from the bar stool to the other side of Fat Tuesday's:

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Both drinks were very good. We took a seat outside at one of the tables along the water for views of the ships.

Carnival Liberty & Caribbean Princess:

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Thanks for doing this review - we were on the same cruise! We decided to go to Paradise Beach (down the beach from Nachi and Mr. Sanchos). Paradise Beach had all their large water toys in the water (about 10 or so) and my kids (and many others!) played on them all day. They would have been so disappointed if we had gone to mr. sanchos and the toys stayed on the beach.

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We could also see the action inside from where we were sitting. They have a pole on a table that people were using as a “stripper” pole, but no stripping was involved. They were all taking turns and were encouraged by the crowd. There was a couple dancing together and then one guy that I thought were the best and they also appeared to be the favorites of the rest of the crowd. They weren't being obnoxious but they knew how to get the crowd going and into it. The guy was getting dollar bills from some of the gals and a few were tossing him beads.

Out of everyone taking turns "pole dancing", this couple was a favorite:

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And so was he:

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Thanks for doing this review - we were on the same cruise! We decided to go to Paradise Beach (down the beach from Nachi and Mr. Sanchos). Paradise Beach had all their large water toys in the water (about 10 or so) and my kids (and many others!) played on them all day. They would have been so disappointed if we had gone to mr. sanchos and the toys stayed on the beach.

 

Same cruise...how cool is that? I've had others comment that they were on a cruise just before us. Just noticed you were on Valor a few weeks before we were last year. What did you think? That was my all time favorite. Love that itinerary.

 

A friend of mine recommended Paradise Beach to us, after I made reservations at Nachi Cocum. How did you like it there? Is it an all-inclusive or do you just have to pay to get in or rent loungers? I don't regret going to Nachi and we thought it was well worth it for the price and what all is included.

 

That would be disappointing, especially for kids, to go to Mr. Sanchos and see the water toys on the beach and unable to use them. Hopefully they told people in advance that the water toys couldn't be used that day so they could change plans if they wanted.

 

How did you enjoy the cruise overall?

Edited by pghsteelerfan
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Fantastic review.. Really enjoyed the pictures and learn a lot from the information you shared.. really excited about my up coming cruise

 

Thank you! I'm trying to be a little more detailed with this kind of information in this review than I was on my last one. I've read other reviews that have the detailed information and it sure helps in planning for and getting ready for a cruise. I'm glad it's helpful to you. :) I hope you have a wonderful cruise with calm seas and beautiful weather.

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After we finished our drinks it was getting close to 4:30PM. We had an hour before we’d have to be back on the ship but we decided to head back and avoid the last minute rush and long lines. I got several more pictures from the pier as we were heading back.

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I got a lot of pictures of Carnival Elation:

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View back toward were we just were:

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Zoomed in views of Fat Tuesdays and our now empty table:

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Great review and pictures. We are about to book the Liberty for the 8 day southern. Just curious, any reason you wouldn't order room service for coffee? My favorite part of any cruise is having coffee delivered every day and drinking it on the balcony in my pajamas.

 

 

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This is the Disney ship (Disney Wonder) that was also in port with us. This is zoomed in since it was at another pier not even close to where we were:

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Entering the "Cruise ship canyon":

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Even though people would be getting on Liberty and Caribbean Princess, there weren’t really any lines for either. We just walked right on, put our beach bags and the things we bought through security, got our Sail & Sign cards “dinged” back in and went right up to the cabin to drop off our beach bags and purchases then went right up to Lido Deck 9.

Grabbed a quick picture from our balcony before going back upstairs because I loved this view:

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Today was the day they had drinks in the souvenir “Blowfish Cup” that were supposed to be served during “Blue Iguana’s Mexican Fiesta”. Unless they had the time it was held on a sign near the bar, we never saw it and there was no time mentioned in the “Fun Times”. We never did see a Blowfish cup, so I’m glad we got ours on Valor last year or we’d have missed them.

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Great review and pictures. We are about to book the Liberty for the 8 day southern. Just curious, any reason you wouldn't order room service for coffee? My favorite part of any cruise is having coffee delivered every day and drinking it on the balcony in my pajamas.

 

 

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Thank you. I don't think you'll be disappointed about booking Liberty and that 8 day southern sounds like a great itinerary. We've never been to Aruba or Curacao but would love to see both someday.

 

The reason I get the coffee from the Lido Deck and bring it down is because I like going to Panorama Deck 10 first, to get sunrise pictures (if I'm early enough for that or if it's clear enough) and also just exterior pictures of the ship while some of the lights are still on or for better views if we're coming into a port. I was also really hoping to see the "towel animal chair hogs" and get pictures of that, but never noticed them. After getting pictures is when I stop on Lido for the coffee and take it down. I did get smart and stared using the Tervis tumbler instead of two mugs.

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LOVING this review!!! We will be on the Liberty for the first time in August.

 

GREAT pics and loads of detail. Thank you for taking the time, (and effort), to put it together.

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I brought my Red Frog tumbler with me since I just wanted water to drink for now and DH went to get a drink at the Red Frog Rum bar. When I got my ice/water, I met him and he was still waiting in line. Once he placed his order and got a drink, we both went up to Panorama Deck 10 to see if we’d have a good view of pier runners from up there. We didn’t have that great of a view so we went back down to Lido Deck 9 and got a seat by the windows where we had a good view of the pier and we waited. I got a few pictures of the bridges of both ships.

Views down into the "Cruise Ship Canyon" from the bar stools along the windows of Lido Deck 9 waiting to watch for "pier runners":

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We noticed Caribbean Princess' lower balconies don't have full cover in case of rain. The advantage? Perfect for getting sun:

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