In the early morning hours of saturday January 21 we gathered (50 people) at a parking lot to wait for the bus driving us down to Fort Lauderdale. You can imagine that nobody was really wide awake at 06.00 and most of us slept during the drive.
We arrived in Fort Lauderdale around 11.00 hrs after a dreadfull drive in an old buss with a smelly toilet, happy to stretch our legs and get some fresh air. We got in line at 11.30 and we were on board at 12.30, which is fairly quick for Carnival. My cabins was not ready yet, it was kindly requested it would take another hour or so. After that we went in, changed clothes and found out that the remote control of the television did not work and the showerdrain was blocked, we had our own tidal wave ď?Š .
Our cabin steward, whom I never saw during the cruise, was not to be found and my DH asked chef Housekeeping what to do and he took care of it all. We got our remote back later in the afternoon and the plumber came when we were on the Lido deck. Our cabin steward never came to introduce him/herself and there was also no nametag inside the cabin telling who your cabin steward is, like we had on former cruises.
That was the first time we raised our eyebrows.
When we went to the Lidodeck, we always team up with our friends on the aft deck, we saw that the coffee machine was â€śunder maintenanceâ€? and this was not fixed during the whole cruise, another eyebrow. The good thing is: the ice machine never failed to give ice ď?Š
The coffee machine above the buffetline at the fish and chips department had always good strong coffee, the coffee machines at the lido deck and at Emileâ€™s gave yuk coffee, just a bit of dark water ...... I know that the ships coffee is not to our taste, so I brought my own instant coffee to keep me from withdrawal symptoms.
After the musterdrill we sailed away at 17.00 hours and we had 2 seadays ahead, which we very much like. For us it is a good way to relax and get around the ship.
We had a friend from Holland with us and she got lost several times, it was her first time cruising, we had a few laughs about her being lost.
Saturday night in the dining room we had to wait almost an hour to be served, which is not acceptable. Not only our table, but the table next to us, different waiter, but with our TA seated at that table, had the same problem. She was furious. It turned out that our waiter was not capable of handling two big tables and two tables for four and our busser was only 3 out of 7 8 nights visible, so our waiter was very busy.
On sunday we had breakfast at 9 aft, as always on a ship, and it took more than an hour before tables got cleaned, basically we have cleaned our tables ourselves by bringing our trays to the waiters station on the deck almost every day.
In our cabin one panel under the sink was twisted away a little, we made a remark of that, but nothing has been done about it. Another one ..
Positive thing is that the Pursers desk staff was very friendly and tried to help out on several occassions.
Another gripe is the roof over 9 aft. When there was only a little rain in sight one of the staff closed the roof immediately to leave it closed for hours. 9 aft becomes very humid, because of the pool and the hot tubs and is sickening damp. There is no other ventilation then the doors to Emiles. After a few remarks the roof was opened again, nobody gets hurt from a few drops of rain. The few staff members who were present at 9 aft where nauseas with the roof closed.
The whole Lido deck from forward to aft was not cleaned properly during the cruise, the aft deck went sticky with all the water and ice spilled on the deck. The tables were not cleaned and were sticky.
Arriving at Costa Maya it still rained, but the temperature was good. At the end of the morning we took our change, and walked down the pier to look at the shops and get the DI bracelet charm, yes I am a collector too. We had been to CM three years ago and liked it very much, but the prices have gone up trippled, which is no fun to shop. We had planned to go to the beach at Mahahual, but for the rain nobody went. We walked around a little, and went back to the ship. Some of our group did go to the beach to snorkel and had a good time. We gathered in the hot tub on 9 aft. There is no better feeling to be in the water on the water when sailing away ď?Š
We made it a habit to get to the hot tubs on the Lido deck with the big screen to watch a movie after dinner. That is very relaxing and had a good talk with some of our fellow passengers, it is nice to meet other people.
On our last night we tried the hot tub under the slide and boy, that is really HOT HOT. I could not get in, but one of our friends was very comfortable in that hot water and teased us with not getting in.
Costa Rica is very pretty, although the town is poor, but they are trying to make something out of it in bits and pieces. We booked our own tour on land and we had a great guy named Roy who took us for the city tour, tortuguero canals and a banana plantation. We saw a lot of sloths in the trees, leguanaâ€™s, aligators and a lot of birds who are not in my biology book ď?Š That was really nice. The nature of CR is just as beautiful as Belize. It is an option to go back there and see some more.
A couple from our group went white water rafting and had a blast, for the daredevils under us.
Panama Canal was our next and last destination. I always wanted to see the locks there and this was my change. To be on the safe side we booked a ships tour which took us after a bus drive to the Pacific side to a ferry, who went through the Miraflores locks. Ofcourse here in Holland we have our locks too, but that is peanuts compared to Panama Canal. I really enjoyed the tour. The ferry was big enough with chairs on the decks. It was strongly advised to stay seated and not stand at the side, so you do not block everybodies view. You can stand there to make a picture or video tape some but then get back to your chair. Lunch and drinks are provided. The ferry takes a couple of hours, and it was a hurry back to the ship to be back at 03.30. This tour is well worth the money. I spoke to others who took the train tour and they were content also. Our Floridian friends went on their own, hired a cab and watched the locks on the Atlantic side, they went not through it. After that they went shopping, had some nice things and cheap boozz, they felt not safe enough to take a stroll around Colon and after the shopping they went back to the ship.
Then back to Fort Lauderdale with 2 seadays. We played Mexican Train dominoe a lot and had a good time.
I went to two shows in the theatre. One sing and dance show, the other was a comedian. I am always a bit hesitated about comedians, for past experience learns that we Europeans do not often understand the American jokes, for they are about persons we do not know. But this one was a hoot, I had a good laugh.
I hoped to meet John Heald, he was supposed to be back on the Liberty the 21st but we had Brent Mitchell.
Another gripe: children in the hot tub on 9 aft. There are signs the these tubs are Adults only and again, to our disappointment, we had to conclude that Carnival does not have any security staff around the Lido deck to see that these rules are obeyed by. Only on the first day (saturday) there was one officer who send them away but that was the last time too. On our last day at see (also saturday) a man with two little girls came into the tub and ignored the fact that another couple shook their heads. I asked this gentleman friendly if he did not know that kids were not allowed in these tubs but were free to go to the other deck, he gave me a loud mouth, for which I was not impressed. He threatened that if I touched his kids he would do something to me, and I yawned, yeah rite. I told this gentleman very friendly that I did not need to touch his children, and felt sorry for them to have him as a father and that I would call security to get him and his kid out of the tub.
Read this very carefully: on the deck there was one carnival staff member, I asked him to call security for me, because of the kids and the man being rude. This guy did NOT SPEAK english at all.
And there I stood, being Dutch, trying to get it clear to the man that he need to call security and he did not understand me. Is it not mandatory for ships employees to speak at least english? I speak english, donâ€™t I?
Well, so many things have bugged me on this cruise, but it did not spoil the fun of being on a cruise. We had a great time anyway, the ports of call were good, I absolutely loved CR and PC, and would advise anybody to do it at least once.
De debarkation was very smooth, because we travelled with 50, our TA arranged same coloured tags for all of us. We had to be in the Venetian Palace theatre at 08.00 and we were off at 08.45 and back in the bus up to Deland. Another cruise gone.
Any cruise is good and we will book Carnival again in an instant, but Carnival need to do something about their staff and sloppyness on the Liberty. We were not the only ones who were complaining about this.
Well, so far my review, pics follow later, we have some problems with our digi camera. It will all work out.
__________________ A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
Thanks for the review. Hope you'll load it into our Reader's Reviews area, so it will remain archived for others to read.
The cleaning issue on the Lido deck was the same during our 16 day transatlantic sailing. We saw the same one or two people EVERY day being responsible for bussing and cleaning a huge section.
We also had similar service issues in the dining room. I believe the system they use is to blame. The wait staff told us they've discussed the problems with management, but management has used any of their recommendations for speeding things up.
Their are also very small and inefficient serving stations in the dining room.
And it does seem as though there is a staffing shortage. In our case, the bus person (asst waiter) was always running to the galley to bring the various courses, and the waiter was left to handle the section on their own.
They need more staff, or the head waiters have to chip in, and lend more of a hand, instead of standing by the entrance all night.
BUT.. I really did enjoy the ship... and I'm going back next Jan. Hopefully by then they'll have this thing under control.
Iâ€™m glad that you had a great time onboard the Carnival Liberty. Panama and Costa Rica are indeed great ports. Everybody shoot see the locks at least oneâ€™s in a lifetime. I had a blast and it was a great trip trough the locks on board the Spirit in 2003. Iâ€™m sorry that you didnâ€™t meet John Heald. Do you know were he is ? Or does anybody else now this ? Brent Mitchell was your cd ? On my Transatlantic cruise Brent was one of the assistant cruise directorâ€™s together with Butch, Stephanie, Becka and Dominika. But they all learn it from the master himself. And they did an excellent job on my cruise. How is he as a cd ?
I hope that Carnival takes better care of staff and crew. There is always something to improve.
As long as it didnâ€™t ruined your cruise. I cantâ€™ wait to get onboard the Liberty againâ€¦. In 99 dayâ€™s.
I feel indeed lucky that Iâ€™m going on another cruise within 7 months, I couldnâ€™t miss the opportunity to cruise Carnival in the Mediterranean. Itâ€™s only a 2 hours flight to Rome and because we always have to fly at least 10 hours, this is peanuts for us. I hope I have a great cruise again and I will check for sloppy service and crew. But than again I canâ€™t imagine it will ruined my cruise either. I just donâ€™t let it.
I like to know who is our CD on board, But I sure that I can find it out before I set sail.
I hope that you put your review in the readers section, positive reviews are always welcome, Very negative reviews should be taken with a grain of salt. We have to make fun our self and relax and have Fun on our vacation.
I loved your review and I know exactly what you mean with the comedy shows. We just have to cruise more often
Best regards, and maybe we have a roll call of Dutch people onboard a Carnival ship somewhere in the future.
You know, sometimes on the few hot summerdays we have, my DH and I rent a boat for the day at the Loosdrechtse Plassen, maybe we can work something out for a drink in the evening on a terras? Vinkeveen is not that far from Amsterdam.
__________________ A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
I think itâ€™s a great idea to get together and chat a little about cruising. When I return from the Liberty I will write another review and I hope indeed we will then meet for a drink at the beautiful Vinkeveense Plassen haha. Itâ€™s only a 15 minute drive from Amsterdam.
I was on the Liberty Jan 7th. I never experienced a service issuse. From my cabin stewart to waiters, and the bus people , I thought they were top notch. One of the highlights of my cruise was the outstanding and friendly service.
I couldnâ€™t agree with you more. I didnâ€™t have a bad experience either. All the crew and staff onboard the Liberty how have served of helped me in any way were indeed very helpful and very friendly and they did a outstanding job.
But everybody has there expectations, maybe some are higher than others. All I want is that the staff and crew is kind and helpful. I work in the â€śserviceâ€? industry and I have to please my clients too and I know that you simple canâ€™t make everybody happy. Thatâ€™s just the way it is.
My dh and I were on the Liberty Dec. 4 through Dec. 18th.
Overall it was nice. The December 4th cruise was a six day cruise and the Presidential Wine Club cruise. Because of the VIPs the ship was tip top. The next leg was a little different. Many of the staffs contracts were up. We opted for the same table in the dining room because our server was awesome. Our dining experience was not as good. We talked to the maitre'd and he moved us. Again awesome service!!!
Our stateroom was never as clean as it was on the Dec.4th cruise.
The night before we disembarked we pulled out our bags to pack and found a pair of panties under the bed behind our bags. We mentioned it to our room steward and he said we could just throw them away!!!!?????
No cruise is a bad cruise, some are just better than others!
We love Carnival and just finished a cruise in January and are booked for the Mexican Riviera for April 1 on the Spirit.
I always enjoy reading others reviews. I have to agree that my E. Liberty cruise on 12/10-12/18 was top notch.
Dear livetocruise: How disgusting with the panties. They would have stayed there, I would not have put them in the trash!!!!!!!
I wish I would have done back to back and seen the differences. We definately had a blast and cannot wait for our next cruise!!
jacq and vincent i read the cruise from jacq and i'm afraid that i must have the same problems it is only 14 days when i make a cruise from san juan with the carnival destiny. there were friends with us and i told them it is a great experience a cruise how can i told them that it is not what they must think at all.
was it the mony worth your cruise every penny i mean.
thank you and it was good too read your experience.
IV2boat The panties remained under the bed!!!! However, as we disembarked I felt bad that I didn't stand in line at the pursers office and tell them. I even thought about calling, but didn't know who to call once I was off the ship. I felt sorry that other guests might have to find them.
That might have been a small thing but to me it was a big issue. If it had been at the beginning of the cruise I would have insisted on the steward changing linens and all because this incident just made the entire stateroom seem dirty. By the way we had different staterooms and different room stewards on the back to back.
Relax you going on Holiday. You will have a great time. San Juan is Great The Normandie Hotel is very good (like a 3,5 star hotel in the Netherlands). My first impression of San Juan Puerto Rico was poor, But I been there for 9 dayâ€™s and it was one of the best vacationâ€™s ever. I have seen the Destiny in port and I heard that since the dry-dock, the ship is in excellent condition. You must go to the El Yunque Rainforest. Itâ€™s fantastic. Please keep a eye on traffic. Itâ€™s very busy in San Juan and watch out for pick pockets. I have never seen so many police man watching everybody. But I never felt unsafe at all.
Have a fantastic cruise, I really hope that you enjoy it as much as I do. Hope you get the cruise fever too. Itâ€™s the best way to spend you hard working money.
HAVE FUN ! Relax I think that it will be an experience of a lifetime. And Arie please tip well. Itâ€™s normal that you tip at least 10%. We have a very bad name in the Netherlands of being â€śzuinigâ€? cheap ! hahaha. They say to me in the past: â€śIf you are Dutch it ant muchâ€?
So I tip well and the stop very quickly with these comments. My opinion is that if you can pay for the cruise you can also give good tips.
Bon Voyage ( Fijne vakantie) !
Cruise History: 1990 Mardi Gras, 1993 Jubilee, 1998 Imagination, 2002 Fantasy, 2003 Carnival Spirit (panama canal), 2004 Carnival Triumph, 2005 Carnival Liberty (transatlantic)