May 2014 - Carnival Liberty to Caribbean - Southern
We just returned from our 8-night Southern Caribbean cruise aboard the Carnival Liberty and had an excellent time. The ship is very well maintained and we would sail her again in a heartbeat, the itinerary and ports of call are amongst the best we have ever experienced, and the entertainment was outstanding and much improved over other Carnival cruises we have taken over the last couple of years. The new "American Table" and "American Feast" menus in the dining room had lots of variety and the food quality was very good. Our Cruise Director was Brittany Boyd and we sailed with her last year on the Carnival Breeze. At the time, Brittany was the Assistant Cruise Director and it was nice to see that she had been recognized for her hard work and enthusiasm and promoted to Cruise Director. Brittany's personality is infectious and she is as genuine, sincere, and personable when you run into her on the ship as she is on stage. She's the real deal -- a modern day Julie McCoy! The Assistant Cruise Director was Sharlotte and she too was excellent. Both Brittany and Sharlotte have bright futures ahead with Carnival. The rest of the cruise staff, Misty and Christopher in particular, we could have done without and this was our first Carnival cruise where the entire cruise staff wasn't top notch. Misty and Christopher, in particular, were arrogant, couldn't be bothered interacting with guests, and simply went through the motions of doing their job. When on deck together, they conversed amongst themselves and couldn't be bothered with the guests. There was no doubt they would have rather been doing something else and in speaking with other guests they too felt the same way. Misty was retiring after 10-years with Carnival following the end of our cruise and that was 10-years too late if you ask us. Carnival will be better off without her than with her! We had a balcony cabin on the Empress Deck (Deck 7). It was well maintained and location excellent - only a couple of floors up/down from all the activities. Our only complaint was our Room Steward, Marvin. Marvin was very personable and there wasn't a moment that went by from the time we boarded until the time we disembarked that my wife and I were not addressed by our names. Marvin meant well but he couldn't make a bed to save his life and he often left furnishings out of place after cleaning the room. Marvin's a great guy but a bit of a fish out of water so to speak when it comes to being a Room Steward. Sorry Marvin, nothing personal but we've had better. Carnival would be well served keeping him onboard but not as a Room Steward. Our only other complaint was with the Maitre D Goran in the dinning room, Deck 3, aft. Our issue with Goran was his inconsistency in enforcing dress code rules on the two formal evenings. Personally, so long as people look presentable I could care less what they wear to dinner. My wife and I have been on more than a dozen cruises, most of them on Carnival, and this was the first cruise we have ever been on where the formal dress code was enforced (or not). The first formal night, I wore a nice polo shirt, dress shorts, and deck shoes. On the second formal night, I wore the same and was REFUSED entry in to the dining room. Not only was I refused entry, but Goran went out of his way to cite the requisite dress code from that day's Carnival Fun Times. While the rest of our party was seated for dinner, I returned to my cabin, changed into slacks, and returned to the dining room. When I returned, however, I noticed that others in dining room were wearing jeans, baseball caps, and also shorts -- all attire not permitted according to Carnival's stated dress code for the evening. When I asked why jeans were allowed despite being expressly prohibited in that day's Carnival Fun Times, I was told they were permitted. Confused, you bet especially since shorts and jeans are both listed as unacceptable attire and Goran made it a point to emphasize that. Rules are rules and I don't have an issue with rules enforcement. I do have an issue, however, when rules are not uniformly enfoced but rather enforced in a discriminatory manner. Other guest who were present when I challenged Goran on the random manner in which he enforced the rules agreed with me but Goran could care less. He was in charge and it was clearly his way or the highway. Goran is another that needs to go. Servers and wait staff, however, were excellent and did an outstanding job. Hope this review is useful. We had a wonderful time and will definatly sail the Carnival Liberty again.