February 2015 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Port Canaveral Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Liberty
We started out our vacation with a two night stay at the Radisson...which needs some serious updating of the rooms. We were afraid to take off our socks and the beds were full size, not the queen we were told; for a 6'5" man, that's a problem. We lived through that inconvenience and looked forward to our cruise.
After years of cruising, we've learned not to wait on the hotel shuttles. It's fine if you want to stand in line and wait, etc...we prefer to just pay $15 for a cab and be taken right to the entry with our luggage. So in 15 minutes we were at the ship and having our luggage taken.
Since we had a suite, we had preferred check in and were on the ship within 15 minutes of checking in. Walked around and grabbed a bite to eat in the buffet area (on the Lido). Then we went to our suite which was beautiful and had more then ample room for the four of us (we had our two sons along). Closet space was awesome, the bar was stocked, Jacuzzi tub, nice big balcony and I loved the separate dressing area. Met up with our friends and did more touring of the ship; before we knew it we were at Muster and taking off. We realized our assigned dinner time was messed up and we were not eating with the friends we booked with. Went to the dining room to try to get it switched and were told they would see what they could do.
First thing to go wrong. They took away both of our dining times and gave us each "my time dining". We were livid. After three heated conversations and then talking to the Matradee during our "my time dining" he reluctantly agreed to allow the 6 of us to dine at our requested early dining time at the table we were at that night. The curve ball...."you have to come in through the 4th floor dining area and sneak down the steps to the third floor dining area." Nope, we didn't feel odd at all, haha. After three days we were finally eating together and in the dining area; before that we were going to the buffet which is another subject.
The first two days we were at sea. The days were mixed with clouds and sunshine but that was good so we didn't burn so fast. We had a good time each and every day by the pool. The DJ is great; the pool games are okay and the live oriental band is funny to hear at times but entertaining still. Day 3 we were in Grand Turk. Spent the day at Margaritaville and did some local shopping. The black clouds rolled in and so did the wind and rain. Our captain decided we were not leaving until it passed....I believe it was 7 hours later that we finally headed out. The next morning, Day 4, we were told there would be no San Juan in our trip and we were heading straight to St. Maarten. We got a whopping $17.11 back pp for not going to that stop. It was a bummer as we were so looking forward to our plans there but safety first. There were no extra things to do on ship, no cheaper drinks, nothing....a huge failure on the part of Carnaval. Day 5 we docked in St. Maarten on time. We rented a Jeep and headed to tour on our own and to Orient Beach. It's an easy island to navigate and I recommend doing this to anyone. Lots to do at Orient Beach and to see, :0) We went parasailing which was awesome. Again, more shopping....got some great purchases of jewelry and sunglasses then back to the ship for some rest.
All hell broke loose. We road in swells for two days. The ship was making so many cracking noises I was convinced it was coming apart at the seams. Of course, no one can control the weather; thankfully none of us get sea sick, so all was well.
Now, here's the main issue we had....and I mean all 6 of us. The buffet food never really changes and the choices are very limited. The salad bar is a joke, or at least it was to us. We were getting hard boiled eggs from breakfast to use in our salads in the afternoon. Twice in the dining room the chicken breasts were partially cooked. Food was bland at best or just totally disgusting and I'm not a picky eater. I love trying new things and usually like most things. Deserts were about the only thing worth eating and do get the chocolate lava cake....it's to die for. You will likely find yourself at the deli getting a sandwich or at Guys for a burger which are very good; taco bar is good too but too spicy for me anyway to eat every day. I didn't get to try the fish and chip area but my friend said he enjoyed it. This is the first cruise that we actually walked off having lost weight!! Woo-hoo!! Maybe it WAS a good deal. Sticking with RC from now on.