February 2016 - 7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Liberty
Our trip on the Carnival Liberty was pretty enjoyable.
I purchased the transfer through Carnival from the airport to the port. No problems there. We were able to locate the transfer group easily after we picked up our luggage.
The atmosphere in San Juan when we arrived at the port was very festive. The employees were helpful directing us where we needed to go, and very friendly. We had no lines checking in, when I was expecting to have to wait. We had a hiccup because we booked multiple staterooms on the same credit card, but the representatives at the desk were very patient and figured out the issues.
Our luggage arrived several hours after we did. However, that is pretty normal.
I purchased the bottomless bubbles package online. I thought that would mean that it was automatically assigned on our card and would save us time. Nope - we still had to wait in line to get our stickers and then had the option to buy a cup separately.
The balcony staterooms we had were on the 10th floor. The housekeeping crew was there waiting to greet us when we arrived. They were very friendly and asked if we needed anything. The rooms were clean and ready for us when we arrived which was a great relief.
The ship itself was older and smaller than some of the others that I had been on. We knew this going in, so it wasn't a surprise. We found the Lido Deck buffet area, and had a late lunch. The deli was good, and my husband wanted to eat at the burrito stand every day. The kids LOVED Guy's burgers. They practically wrote songs in his honor.
The meals in the dining room were good on some nights, and not so good on others. I would have been happier to eat at the buffet again (if it had been open at night) instead of some of those meals. However, you were limited to either the dining room, or the deli or pizza stand. I had the pizza once, and wouldn't do it again. The late night buffet was chili dogs and stale grilled cheese sandwiches. Not good.
As far as night life, we didn't participate in much. I didn't like the one comedy show we attended. We spent some time in the piano bar and in the lobby listening to the acoustic guitar. I spent the most time in the casino playing blackjack. For the most part, the dealers were helpful and fun. There were a couple that didn't really communicate with the guests.
The ports we visited were great. We did a couple of the Carnival shore excursions. In St Thomas, we did the BOSS Underwater Adventure. I highly recommend that as long as you don't suffer from vertigo. You get lots of fish swimming right around you, which can cause dizzyness if you are prone to it. We also did zip-lining in St Kitts, which was pretty exciting. Practically everyone in our group was a first timer on the zip lines, so don't let that be a deterrent to you. The other locations we either took a cab to the beach, or puttered around the port area.
The seas were much rougher on this cruise than any other I have been on. I assume it was because of the time of year. I was still feeling the effects of the boat 24 hours after we left. That doesn't bother me, but my daughter had some problems with sea sickness. We tried to visit the medical center the second evening of the cruise, but they were closed (around 8:30), and they would charge a significant fee to call the doctor back in addition to any treatments they did. We found a non-drowsy dramamine equivalent in the gift shop, so she took that for the evenings for the rest of the cruise.
We have 3 teenagers, 16, 16, and 13. One of the 16 year olds and the 13 year old were very enamored with the clubs that were on board for their age groups. They couldn't wait to get done with the family time activities so they could meet up with their respective groups. They made friends and exchanged phone numbers on the last night so they could keep in touch.
Overall, we would take this cruise again, although at a different time of year.