July 2016 - 5 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Liberty
All in all the cruise was as we expected having been on Carnival before. We took our daughter, son-in-law, and 2 grandsons on the cruise. We chose Carnival because of the activities available for children, the fairly close proximity to the port in Galveston, and the fact that we had taken 2 other Carnival cruises in the past. It was a 5-night cruise and the kids had fun. My wife and I had dinner one night in the Diamonds Steakhouse. Florin was our server and he was amazing. Dennis was our cabin steward and he took great care of use. We had the grandsons stay with us on 2 nights and he set up the sofa bed for them on those nights to give their mom and dad some free time away from the boys. Ayu in the dining room was super attentive with us. She even remembered our names despite us doing the Dine at Your Time where we didn't have an assigned table. We asked for her the 2nd time we ate in the dining room because her service was so outstanding.
We also took advantage of the Cheers package. We never had 15 drinks on any of the days and had only 1 or 2 drinks on several of the days, but we think the Cheers package was well worth it. It would be nice if Carnival included some bottles of wine in the Cheers package. They could be restrictive and only allow a couple of wines in each category to be available via Cheers. We found that their wine list wasn't huge, but it had some decent wines on it. We decided to just order a glass of wine from the list on occasion so that they cam under the Cheers program. When we wanted a bottle of wine, the prices were as good if not better than land-based restaurants.
We rarely got in the pools on this trip because they were overflowing with people. That was the case in the adult-only pool in the stern as well as the pool amidships. We were just leery of what might be in the pools (bacteria, etc) with all those bodies in a compact area.
The food was good and the offerings were plentiful. Guy Fieri's burgers were good and if you didn't want to go there at noon, the lines weren't bad at all. We really liked the Wok offerings - plenty of veggies, cheeses, meats, and noodles to choose from. The Blue Iguana Tex Mex grill also had plenty of offerings for burritos and tacos.
The casino was rough on me the first night of the cruise, but the last night of the cruise the Blackjack god was with me and I came out well ahead.
We would recommend Carnival to those who are first-time cruisers. We highly recommend getting a suite if they can afford it.
The size of the Grand Suite is very nice along with plenty of storage and closet space, not to mention the large balcony. Don't get an inside cabin. Pay the extra for an outside cabin at least. People in suites have priority for boarding and disembarkation. If you don't get a suite, you can still get Faster to the Fun which gives the same priority for boarding and disembarkation.