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Carnival myths debunked or confirmed - My experience on Liberty


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Thanks for the review and comparisons Paul. I agree with a lot of what you said. I also despise the warm chocolate melting cake. Definitely think Guys is better than Johnny Rockets and Carnivals steakhouses are awesome for sure. IMO, the MDR food was a little better on Magic than it was my last time on Freedom of the Seas. That is subjective of course though.

 

Definitely think about giving Magic a try :) I highly recommend that ship. Farcus was still the designer I think but other than the strange "eyeballs" in the Centrum, the decor seemed more toned down than other CCL ships Ive seen pics of.

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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.

 

You raise good points. Please allow me to clarify. First, the food. I don't think the food on other lines is better than Carnival. I think it's all the same. I find it all to be banquet quality food. Nothing great...just ok.

 

As for the party atmosphere...I defined it based on the amount of stumbling drunks and loud/obnoxious people I saw. There were men wearing bathrobes in the MDR, a fight almost broke out in the main lobby when a man slamming shots began aggressively going after another man's wife, a party was blacklisted from the Steakhouse for being so obnoxious, a guy tossed a beer to another guy going down the waterslide (and missed of course) nearly hitting a kid in the pool, a large haired woman burped out loud in the buffet and then screamed "whatch y'all looking at....sheeeeit." These is just what I saw...I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot. To top it off, when we were in Steakhouse, a man outside in a wife-beater stumbled and fell into the window next to our Steakhouse table. I swear, I though he was coming through the window. It was ugly.

 

But remember, this was my experience on one specific 5 night cruise out of Galveston. I've been on enough cruises to know that length of cruise and port of embarkation can make a huge difference.

 

I do understand how it can be avoided at times but other times, it can't. Carnival, I noticed, has an odd ship design that funnels people through the casino due to decks being cut off by that central dining room. It gets worse when all the photographers set up in that area, cutting out half the walk space. I really wish they had added an aft door to the deck 3 outdoor promenade. It would make the walk much nicer.

 

Besides, Carnival is the only line I've sailed (in recent years, at least) where waiters get up on tables and dance in the MDR. It's been a long time since I've seen that on another line. Don't get me wrong, it was fun to watch. They danced to Gangham Style. But it certainly does lend to the party ship thing.

Edited by Aquahound
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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.

 

Interesting re your opinion on Celebrity's food. I found it to be much better than Carnival's MDR. I think that TO ME it was a bit more sophisticated. Not a lot, but some and I thought the buffet area was well thought out with a variety of dishes. I sailed on the Reflection and maybe that explains the difference.

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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.

 

This was on my ship, and I missed it... kind of wished I knew more about what they were going to do. I thought it was meant more for veterans to get together but will make sure we go next time.

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This was on my ship, and I missed it... kind of wished I knew more about what they were going to do. I thought it was meant more for veterans to get together but will make sure we go next time.

 

Definitely go. We had veterans from as far back as the Korean War up to a guy who was leaving for boot camp next month. Every service was represented. The CD, Frankie, called for a moment of silence and when everyone was looking down, a bugler came out and played taps. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. A microphone was passed around for folks to tell stories. The way this event was ran caused a man sitting by himself in the back of the room to identify himself as having severe PTSD. He said it was the most safe he has felt in a long time. Needless to say, he gained about a hundred supporters at that moment.

 

What I also thought was a class act was a nice shout out to all our allies, including playing the Canadian national anthem.

 

I guess it's a sponsored thing because there was a short tv presentation given by Carrie Underwood. This was followed by another of the ship's singers singing Carrie's "See You Again." Once again, not a dry eye in the room.

 

I've been to veterans get-togethers on other cruise lines and no one did it like Carnival.

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Definitely go. We had veterans from as far back as the Korean War up to a guy who was leaving for boot camp next month. Every service was represented. The CD, Frankie, called for a moment of silence and when everyone was looking down, a bugler came out and played taps. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. A microphone was passed around for folks to tell stories. The way this event was ran caused a man sitting by himself in the back of the room to identify himself as having severe PTSD. He said it was the most safe he has felt in a long time. Needless to say, he gained about a hundred supporters at that moment.

 

What I also thought was a class act was a nice shout out to all our allies, including playing the Canadian national anthem.

 

I guess it's a sponsored thing because there was a short tv presentation given by Carrie Underwood. This was followed by another of the ship's singers singing Carrie's "See You Again." Once again, not a dry eye in the room.

 

I've been to veterans get-togethers on other cruise lines and no one did it like Carnival.

 

Will have to keep my eyes open for this if it's on Fascination.

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Thank you for your opinion. I agree with you on some things & not on others, but that is what opinions are about. Thank you for the mention of the tribute to veterans- I asked hubby (Viet Nam Vet) if he wanted to attend the military get together & he declined because we both thought it was just a get together of veterans. We didn't realize they paid a nice tribute to them. I'm wondering if this is on all CCL ships or is this organized by each cruise director. We will definitely check it out next cruise.

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Thank you for your opinion. I agree with you on some things & not on others, but that is what opinions are about. Thank you for the mention of the tribute to veterans- I asked hubby (Viet Nam Vet) if he wanted to attend the military get together & he declined because we both thought it was just a get together of veterans. We didn't realize they paid a nice tribute to them. I'm wondering if this is on all CCL ships or is this organized by each cruise director. We will definitely check it out next cruise.

 

I agree. No idea it was any kind of a tribute. Good to know for the future.

 

I enjoyed your review and feedback Aquahound. Thanks for sharing it. Man, how I hate the dancing waiters.

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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. :)

 

Too bad you didn't get a chance to try Carnival when they were in their prime, up to 2008.

 

Unfortunately, pretty much everything you list is true now.

 

My only disagreement is the piano bars. Even 30 years ago, some were great, and some were poor, We learned pretty quickly that an empty room meant a poor piano entertainer. And unfortunately, there were more empty rooms than full.

 

Loved your turtle story.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

#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.

 

 

So glad I'm not the only one who was like: Really?? This is the famous chocolate melting cake?!?! It might have been the hype that ruined it for me but i thought it was just okay. haha

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I think you and I went on the same cruise Aquahound. I just got back yesterday from the Liberty. This was my 9th Carnival cruise and 20th overall with various lines. They have a good product and reasonably priced cruises. It is nice to be able to drive 45min. from where I live, park, and get on a ship.

I liked the Liberty overall. The music on the ship, especially the show band, was excellent. Shows were so so. It seemed more like they were auditioning for another ship and they were not really into performing. The CD, Frankie, was good and I enjoyed the 70's and 80's Trivia.

Food was hit and miss, but I did not have to cook so I was happy. I agree with one of the other reviews that stated there were a lot of drunks on the ship. I had a nervous moment when 4 big drunk guys got on the elevator and began to get too close and backed me up against the wall. The door opened and I got out.

I think I will fly to Florida and go on one of the mega, mega ships for my next cruise next year. I have been on 4 Carnival cruises in a row and it is time for a change :).

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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. :)

 

 

Thanks for your review. We have also cruised many times on all the mass market cruise lines and I agree 100% with your comments.

 

 

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I love the melting cake so much that I found a recipe to make at home for special occasions. :-) It uses a lot of eggs!

 

My husband and I both agreed that the food was solidly good. Not great, but not bad. We're good with good. :-p

 

I haven't liked the comedy shows. Some tags are funny, but it seems to get super raunchy, fast. Nothing against that kind of humor, but too much of it gets pretty uncomfortable for me. I think we're going to skip it all together on our cruise next month.

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