November 2013 - Carnival Liberty to Caribbean - Eastern
Embarkation - Getting through security was a breeze, as we were through the terminal and to the check in line in less than 10 minutes. Here was our first issue we encountered. We had purchased Faster to the Fun, which was among other things for priority check in. We were in this line, about 4 families deep. Apparently there are only two stations which are supposed to be for FTTF, because we were still in line while the two regular lines were moving right along. People from our group had already gone through and were boarding before we made it to the front. If this is really "priority" then this line should go whenever a station is open, not to one of the two meant for it.
Onboard - The staff was wonderful as always. Our cruise director, Josh, was always around and interacting with passengers. Everyone was always helpful and smiling. We had to visit Guest Services a few times and the second time they already recogized me before giving my card. They were always able to resolve our issues, which most of the time were are on doing and nothing wrong on their part.
The food was good in the main dining room. Same old same old, though I know they are about to introduce new menus. We hit Guys Burgers a few times and Fish N' Chips once. The Mongolian Wok was usually too crowded, although I did go there twice. The Blue Iguana breakfast burritos were our go to for breakfast most mornings.
Ports - This was our first trip to all four of the ports. Half Moon Cay is the most beautiful place I have ever been to. We were able to get Cabana #9 and it was well worth the price. The food trays were great to munch on throughout the day, but mostly it was nice to be able to have shade for the day. The water is crystal clear and very relaxing. It was a very relaxing day.
St Thomas - We booked a tour through Godfrey Tours for the day. They were waiting for us outside the terminal and we waited around 10 minutes for the rest of the people on our tour. They took us to the Charlotte Amalie shopping area for two hours. This was a little long for us as we are not big shoppers, but there was a nice park area for us to wait in. We bought some souvenirs and spent some time taking pictures until our bus returned for our island tour. We spent around two hours driving and made some stops along the way. It did start raining during the tour but it was not too heavy and really helped to cool us down.
San Juan - We were here from 7am-3pm and couldn't find an excursion that looked appealing so we slept in and got off the ship around 10. We wound up taking a tour outside the terminal for $20 per person. We got to see a lot of the city but our stops were no longer than 5 minutes. We drove through new and old San Juan and stopped at the El Morro Fort. While not the best tour ever, it did give us some ideas for our next trip to San Juan. We bought some souvenirs and got back on the ship.
Grand Turk - Another beautiful port. We did the Reef and Rays excursion through Carnival. The water was a bit choppy but the snorkeling at the reef was wonderful. The Rays encounter was awesome. They were swimming all around us and coming up and rubbing on our legs and feet. It was very neat to be able to hold and pet them. The water was very clear and very comfortable. Afterwards, we ate at Margaritaville. The drinks were good and the atmosphere was nice. We had the nachos, which were plenty for the two of us.
Overall - The Liberty is a gorgeous ship and we really enjoy the Conquest class ships. The staff was great, especially the dining room staff. The ship was very clean and everyone always had a smile. We would definitely do this ship and itenirary again, just not over Thanksgiving. WAY too many unsupervised children. Not too many children, because most were well behaved and very respectful. Then you had the few running the halls and pushing all the buttons in the elevators. We saw one crash into a housekeeping cart one night while running the halls. Of course, no parents around. It amazes me that people expect Carnival to babysit their children on vacation. That's what Camp Carnival is for. But overall it was a great trip and we would recommend it o anyone that asks.