Originally Posted by KarenO
We are doing a family cruise (Eastern Caribbean) next April on the Liberty. Reservations are completed at this time. How was the Liberty in general? Is it in pretty good shape? How was the food in the dining room? We were on her sister ship (The Valor) last year and the food left much to be desired. Believe me, I am not fussy when it comes to food but it was pretty bad and am hoping the Liberty is a little better. Out of 17 of us, 6 of us have cruised before so most of them wont know the difference in food. Also, what is the best time to book air? (To start looking now or closer to the time we go.)As you know, the cost of air from MN (we're from Duluth) is quite high. My husband and I usually do air from the cruise line and and have gotten it quite reasonable. This past spring we did our own air and it was very expensive, almost as much as the cruise. (We do the park and fly from Mpls.)
You read my initial posting so you know some of my thoughts.
Liberty is in good shape. It is going in for an extended dry dock this Fall but other than some, very minor, carpet wear it is in good shape. The other noticeable thing was that a "contact paper" was put over the mirrored doors of the elevators and it was peeling. I imagine some bozo had scratched the mirrored doors and they put that over it until they are replaced in dry dock.
I have to qualify that I am pretty picky about food but I would say that the food was good. I did go for the omelette on most mornings and for lunch I usually hit the Deli and wasn't disappointed. I wanted to try the Mongolian BBQ but the lines were always so long that I never did. The one time I tried the Burrito Bar I wasn't impressed. Nothing was really bad. A couple of things, like the Burrito Bar, Chateaubriand and lobster bisque were not too good. The Flat Iron Steak is OK if you order it rare to medium/rare. If ordered medium/well it is very tough. Other things like the Prime Rib, Mahi Mahi and braised short ribs were very good. I was also impressed at the size of the lobster tail. I didn't order it, on lobster night, but had a bite of my wife's and it was cooked well.
We fly out of Minneapolis and we did pay higher air than we previously have. It was $405 pp. Cruise air was $5xx. The irritating part was that about three weeks later the air cost had gone down to $315. Oh well. I maintain that when you see air that is tolerable, book it. Like me, you may see it cheaper a few weeks later but you have an even better chance of seeing it more expensive. We booked the cruise less than three months before sailing and booked the air a couple of weeks later. We also did not wait longer to book air because we were traveling with children and wanted to make sure we could get seats together.
My daughter and son-in-law had cruised once before on Carnival Pride and both said that the food, activities and pool area were better on Liberty. It was my grandkids first cruise and they thought it was the best vacation ever. They absolutely loved Camp Carnival and didn't want to leave.