November 2015 - Carnival Liberty to Caribbean - Southern
We cruised on the Carnival Liberty out of San Juan Nov 15-22nd 2015. This was our 3rd Carnival cruise in 4 years. While we enjoyed the Liberty, we will not cruise out of San Juan again.
While the Liberty seems dated, we did enjoy the way it was decorated. The dining room staff along with the room stewards met or exceeded our expectations! We enjoyed the comedians - both the PG and Adult versions. We enjoyed the shows in the main theater better than on previous cruises.
Now the down side .. We were very disappointed in the overall atmosphere. It would seem that Carnival provided big discounts to the local Puerto Rican community to fill the ship. We really felt discriminated against. The cruise really seemed to cater to the Spanish speaking Puerto Ricans. We found them to be load, rude and obnoxious. These sentiments were shared by several people we spoke with. Even they were the focus of the comedians jokes!
The food varied a great deal. Some dishes were really over the top while others were very common food. The prime rib was nothing more than could be found at any cheap steakhouse - nothing special at all. No, we didn't pay the $35 to eat at the steakhouse aboard ship as we can do that at home.
The assistant cruise director was just nasty. During his calling of Bingo, he repeatedly asked if anyone wanted to 'touch his balls' in reference to the bingo balls ... which don't exist as the 'ball' selection was done electronically via iPad. The iPad selection opens the door to question the validity of number (ball) selection. Sometimes the old ways are still best.
We had an aft cabin which we have loved on previous cruises. My wife even slept on the lounge chair a couple of nights. The problem was smokers. As each morning we woke to find multiple cigarette butts on our balcony, it seemed the smokers (on deck 10) must have been tossing their butts over the aft of the ship. I really hope our cabin steward didn't think we were the ones leaving them.
Excursions - We did a mix of Carnival sponsored and local tours/excursions. Don't do ATV tours expecting to be off road - I think that is a general statement that we have found to be true. Snorkeling is not the best off of Southern Caribbean islands - not something I'd really recommend. Having said that, the Jolly Roger in Barbados was really fun. Keep it all in perspective. Island tours are interesting. After going on Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises, we enjoyed the Southern Caribbean islands/ports the least. One tour that we would highly recommend is the ShoreFox 'Flavors of Old San Juan' food tour - will worth the money ($93)!
Of a scorecard from 1-10, I'd rate the overall satisfaction a 5. After our previous cruises, we were excited to book our next cruise aboard Carnival and never considered another cruise line. I'm confident that our next cruise while paying more, will be on another cruise line. Sometimes cheaper is not always the best value.