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Carnival myths debunked or confirmed - My experience on Liberty


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Hello CC nation. I just returned from my first Carnival cruise on the Liberty. This was cruise #53 for us across 7 cruise lines. I thought I would do a bit of a different review based on typical Carnival stereotypes and report whether or not they're true.....at least, in my experience on this 1 cruise. These are just some of the usual topics that I tend to read on these boards.

 

#1. First, I'll start with the food. Carnival food (free food) is better than other lines. False. No way is that true. I've always said that MDR food is the same quality across the mass market lines and I still firmly believe that. Some things were good and others weren't so good. Where Carnival shines, I think, is the Steakhouse. We ate in there twice and everything we ate was excellent. In fact, I'd say, for steakhouse specialty restaurants, this is one of the best in which we have ever eaten. On the other hand, the room service menu sucked. There were no hot options so I missed out on one of my favorite cruise activities...hot room service breakfast on my balcony.

 

#2. Comparing specifically to RCI...Guys Burgers is better than Johnny Rockets. Absolutely, 100% true. The burgers were delicious and what really made them better was the fact they were free.

 

#3. Carnival Warm Chocolate Melting Cake is the best food item ever. False. I guess I kinda got my hopes up because people talk about it so much and some even memorialize it in their CC signature, but I didn't get it. It was good, but not that good. I found it very rich, so I didn't finish it. I felt like I was going into a diabetic coma just from eating half of it.

 

#4. Carnival has bigger rooms. False. They may say bigger on the Carnival deck plans but my standard balcony room felt no bigger or smaller than my standard balcony rooms on the other lines I've sailed......with one exception. Princess. This whole bigger rooms things might technically be true but the reason I'm saying false is, it didn't feel like it. One thing's for sure....the balcony was smaller than what I'm used to. What I really didn't like about the room was 2 things. The first is pink. Really? Who thought pink was a good color for a cruise ship stateroom? Next is the balcony door. I prefer a slider because when you are stuck next to a door slammer...you know, people who allow their doors to just slam closed behind them..you get it from both ends.

 

#5. Carnival is the party line. True. Remember, this is only speaking from my one experience, and I am cognizant of the fact this cruise was out of Texas. But compared to other short cruises I've taken (this was 5 nights), and I've taken a lot, this was by far the most drunks I have ever seen and been affected by on a cruise. On a side note, I didn't like that I couldn't sit at a lido bar like Red Frog or any of the others and enjoy a cold bottled beer. This is the only cruise line I've ever sailed that won't let you drink from the bottle at the bar. It had to be poured into a plastic cup. From what I was told, this was the result of past acts by passengers.

 

#6. Carnival ships are ugly. Well, I gotta say true on that one also. I'd like to sit down with Joe Farcus and find out what really goes on in his head. The gaudiness does grow on you though and after a few days, you kinda just get used to it. Maybe not the pink stateroom though.

 

#7. Carnival has the best piano bars. True. I didn't catch his name, but this guy was excellent. He kept everyone engaged and there was much more audience participation than I have seen on all the other lines I've sailed.

 

#8. Carnival is the line to sail for comedy. True by a long shot. RCI has comedy clubs on some of their ships but it's the same show all week. The comedians on Liberty were excellent and in 5 days, I think we saw 4 or 5 different acts. One thing I'll say though, the venue kinda sucked. The seating was terrible. It would nice if Liberty reconstructed it to look more like a comedy club.

 

#9. Carnival's entertainment sucks. I can't really say true or false on this one. It was odd that there was no main theater show 2 of the 5 nights, and of the singers/dancers shows, there were only 2 singers...one of which murdered many of the songs. And, it is true that the main lido entertainment is a DJ. That was kind of a bummer. But, the live acts that played in the atrium and in the casino were excellent. I just wish I could have enjoyed the band in the casino more. I'm not a smoker, so I found it very uncomfortable in there most of the time.

 

That's all I can think of for now. I'll add more as they come to me. All in all, we did have a good time and while Carnival certainly isn't my new favorite line, I certainly will not rule them out in the future. :)

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thanks for your review. Liberty is my favorite ship to date, and that includes one ncl, and one celebrity, but 8 carnival cruises. I thought Liberty was really nice, décor wise, probably the best of all the Carnival ships I have been on, so be prepared if you venture on Carnival again, you will likely find them uglier than Liberty:D just kidding, but Breeze, Magic, and Vista seem to be going the way of more modern décor, and Farcus had no input there. I am however a fan of Farcus, but am all to familiar with the 60's, 70's and 80's. ;)

 

agree with you on the warm melting chocolate cake. and room size seems to vary, have had some really big rooms, and some very small rooms too.

 

again thanks for your review, hope you did mostly enjoy though.

 

edit to say; speaking of party line, yes it still is, but it is also a family line now and the activities are geared to each group, you just have to look for it, or steer clear of it. now that my ageometer, has just rolled 60, I have learned to gear down my party vibe, and have some great quiet spots on board conquest class ships like Liberty.

Edited by SMSACE6
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Hehe I just gotta say that the whole point of the chocolate melting cake is its richness and that's what makes it great!

Agree that short cruises bring out the party crowd on Carnival! Try longer ones and you may see a difference!

--Thanks for writing!!

 

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again thanks for your review, hope you did mostly enjoy though.

 

Yes, I certainly did. The CD, Franky, was hilarious and did an excellent job.

 

One thing I'd like to add, even though it gets away from my true/false theme, is that I REALLY respect what Carnival is doing for our military. They hosted a military appreciation event that was attended by the CD, the main show singers and a bugle player. We sang the national anthems of the USA and Canada, along with the theme songs for all 5 branches of the US military. Bravo CCL for this class act.

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Good comparative review. I also agree with you on the chocolate melting cake. I think it is like eating unbaked chocolate cake mix! I do think NCL's Howl at the Moon dueling piano bars are better than Carnival's, though. And as far as drunks go - NCL now seems to have a larger percentage than CCL due to their unlimited beverage program (ubp) being included as a free at sea choice. I also think Carnival's balcony staterooms (and balconies themselves) are larger than the ones I have sailed on NCL. All in all, it is nice to branch out to other lines!

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I agree with most of what you have Aquahound. Never was a fan of the WCMC, and food in the MDR is just so-so. I also enjoy the steakhouse.

 

As for the party atmosphere, I try to balance between being bored because there is nothing going on and the over the top party. Interestingly enough, the most drunks I've seen on a cruise was on a Princess sailing. Who'd of thought?

 

When I sail other lines, I miss the comedy club, but not the shows. The decor leaves A LOT to be desired on CCL. I love the Princess ships decor. And I love that some of the Princess ships have extended balconies.

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Another one just came to mind and I'm surprised I didn't think of this yesterday...

 

#10. Carnival is The Fun Ships. I give this one a true and false. True, meaning this cruise certainly was a lot of fun. False meaning they aren't THE fun ships. When it comes to certain things, I was hoping CCL would have changed things up a little. But alas, I now know they do some things exactly the same as others.....same exact questions in the Love and Marriage show, same exact way of auditioning for the Love and Marriage show, same exact top 10 stupid questions, same exact lido party, same exact pool games, same exact trivia games....the list goes on and on. On the last night, the CD even told a joke I've heard on other lines....the one where a member of the stage crew's wife just had a baby, and then he goes on to say he hasn't seen her in 11 months.

 

This isn't a complaint at all....just a tidbit on CCL's "fun" gimmick. :)

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Good comparative review. I also agree with you on the chocolate melting cake. I think it is like eating unbaked chocolate cake mix! I do think NCL's Howl at the Moon dueling piano bars are better than Carnival's, though. And as far as drunks go - NCL now seems to have a larger percentage than CCL due to their unlimited beverage program (ubp) being included as a free at sea choice. I also think Carnival's balcony staterooms (and balconies themselves) are larger than the ones I have sailed on NCL. All in all, it is nice to branch out to other lines!

 

Thank you OP for the balance review and thanks pe4all for writing what I was thinking about Howl at the Moon and the Balcony rooms :). I stay away from the chocolate melting cake, though my DS loves it with butter pecan ice cream. I have yet to sail NCL with UBP (next year) and I really haven't seen much of the party scene on CCL but I don't search it out either.

Edited by Warm Breezes
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Yes, I certainly did. The CD, Franky, was hilarious and did an excellent job.

 

 

 

One thing I'd like to add, even though it gets away from my true/false theme, is that I REALLY respect what Carnival is doing for our military. They hosted a military appreciation event that was attended by the CD, the main show singers and a bugle player. We sang the national anthems of the USA and Canada, along with the theme songs for all 5 branches of the US military. Bravo CCL for this class act.

 

 

Who was the cruise director, you you remember the name?

 

 

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Another one just came to mind and I'm surprised I didn't think of this yesterday...

 

 

 

#10. Carnival is The Fun Ships. I give this one a true and false. True, meaning this cruise certainly was a lot of fun. False meaning they aren't THE fun ships. When it comes to certain things, I was hoping CCL would have changed things up a little. But alas, I now know they do some things exactly the same as others.....same exact questions in the Love and Marriage show, same exact way of auditioning for the Love and Marriage show, same exact top 10 stupid questions, same exact lido party, same exact pool games, same exact trivia games....the list goes on and on. On the last night, the CD even told a joke I've heard on other lines....the one where a member of the stage crew's wife just had a baby, and then he goes on to say he hasn't seen her in 11 months.

 

 

 

This isn't a complaint at all....just a tidbit on CCL's "fun" gimmick. :)

 

 

There is some repetition, that is for sure. Most cruisers don't cruise as much as some of us here. I agree on the Q & A on the Love and Marriage show. It would be nice if they changed it up some.

 

 

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If sailing out of Galveston is convenient for you, you may want to try the Breeze. I love that ship and really miss her - I'm a Florida girl so her leaving Miami hurt (though the Magic out of Canaveral was right up there with the Breeze).

 

I have family that live in Texas, so not that surprised that the crowd was a little rowdy (lol). I haven't been on the Liberty, but am hoping to one of these days - I've heard nice things about her.

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Who was the cruise director, you you remember the name?

 

It was Frankie Perrone. I had to look up his last name. On the ship, he was called "Frank the Tank." Like I said earlier, I thought he did an excellent job.

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I have family who love WCMC and I think it's OK but I am not a huge chocolate fan and rich food makes me feel blah really fast - so I will have a bite but that is it.

 

On the cabin size, I think Carnival's claim to fame is on "inside" cabins only. At 185sf they are the largest insides. (compared to Royals 109-170 and NCL's 128 on Epic insides, 121-154 on Sky) From memory, I do think that Carnival insides have the biggest bathrooms and possibly the most storage (note I have only been on dream and conquest class ships)

 

I agree that Carnival does a fantastic job honoring our veterans.

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If sailing out of Galveston is convenient for you, you may want to try the Breeze. I love that ship and really miss her - I'm a Florida girl so her leaving Miami hurt (though the Magic out of Canaveral was right up there with the Breeze).

 

I have family that live in Texas, so not that surprised that the crowd was a little rowdy (lol). I haven't been on the Liberty, but am hoping to one of these days - I've heard nice things about her.

 

I wouldn't say Galveston is real convenient. It's a 5 hour drive. NOLA would be much more ideal for me.

 

The way this one worked was, Liberty of the Seas and Carnival Liberty both had last minute cancelations. LOS was $660 for an inside and CL was $430 for a balcony. Granted, LOS was 7 nights vs CL 5 nights. But, being last minute, I thought 5 nights was perfect. It encompassed the holiday weekend plus 2 days, which was really all I wanted.

 

Good to know about Magic. Dream Class also sails out of NOLA. Having now tried CCL and seen for myself that it's actually not a bad cruise line, I will certainly look closer at that class and maybe even Triumph.

Edited by Aquahound
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I think this was a really good comparison. My opinion differs a little bit on a couple of things, but that's how opinions work. I will say that as far as cabin sizes, you see it more in the interior and ocean view cabins than the balconies. The interior on Carnival is the same size as the balcony (minus the outside part). Interiors on Royal are significantly smaller, and interiors on Norwegian are almost the size of a linen closet. Carnival's ocean views are definitely some of the biggest as well.

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I don't agree with all of what you have said, but respect them nonetheless. I do agree about the WCMC, its okay but kind of rich. I am not all that into chocolate stuff I guess. I like chocolate candy, but when it comes to cake or chocolate sauce, not so much (more of a caramel type of person). That is one of those things that I don't order on land either. I also agree that Guys burgers are good.

 

I don't necessarily agree that the food is better on other lines, but that is just my experience. I have been on Carnival, Celebrity and Disney. Disney had the edge for the buffets, but MDR left much to be desired. Celebrity was decent in the dining room at dinner (we had Blu) but nothing spectacular. I liked Carnival a little better for MDR. The buffets and MDR on Celebrity were terrible. Carnival's main line buffet (excluding Guys, burrito bar, etc type of special areas) was pretty bad too. The Sea Day brunch was very good on Carnival, better than breakfast/lunch on Celebrity or Disney.

 

I also don't necessarily agree that its a "party ship" but that may depend on how you define party. Most of the time (except maybe the short weekend cruises), I have not encountered the drunk, Daytona Spring Break, Girls Gone Wild type of party stuff. But if you mean loud by the pool area due to blaring music, then I do tend to agree. But I saw the same (or more) on Disney. But the good thing about Carnival is that there are places to get away from it, where it is quieter. I am not talking library quiet, but just not so "in your face" as the lido can be.

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