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  #31 (permalink)  
Old January 8th, 2007, 10:37 PM
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My husband and I are sailing on the Liberty In August and have never sailed on Carnival before. What can you tell us about the the size of the cabins, entertainment, food etc? We have booked a cabin class of 8C with balcony
I think the 8C cabins are identical to ours, except for deck and cabin location. The balcony cabins on this ship are wonderful!! GREAT beds... I'm sleeping like a baby moose.

As these reports go along you should hear a lot more about the food and entertainment. I'll be trying to touch on most everything onboard, in some manner.

Hope these reports help provide info, while having some fun.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 09:38 AM
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Sorry I didn't think of this earlier but, did you and Mrs Kuki go to a hotel in San Juan and did either of you notice a show going on there? I'm trying to find "Grand Hotel" that has some kind of Juan something dance show and can't find a thing on it... Remember or hear anything remotely close??? Maybe someone mentioned something about seeing a show in a hotel? I want to try to book it privately but can't find a thing... Thnx...

Also, I hope we get in 2 hours early too as I want sooooooo badly to get to the Coach and Dooney stores before they close too....

Hope Mrs Kuki makes up for the shopping today on St Thomas.

And you're doing an EXCELLENT JOB on the pictures as well... I am truly enjoying this review... Thank You
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Old January 9th, 2007, 12:44 PM
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Kuki, I sailed her the same week as you but last year. We had a wonderful time in all the Islands. I truly loved the liberty and the 8th day is such a plus. What I find funny is that we also arrived in PR two hours early because of a medical emergency HMMMMM I find that a bit odd jeje. We loved Tortola since it is not as commercialized as the other Islands. Happy Sailing!
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Old January 9th, 2007, 02:05 PM
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Kuki: your review has been great and of course, makes me sea-green with envy. Thanks for taking the time out of your vacation to make us feel part of the cruise. I am sure everyone at CM appreciates it!!!!!
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Old January 9th, 2007, 09:06 PM
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Thank you very much for the updates! Much appreciated

Looking forward to reading the rest of your postings

Happy Cruising

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Old January 9th, 2007, 11:10 PM
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Jan 9 - from the Liberty

With the Celebrity Century sitting at the pier in San Juan with us, after having just cruised her last week, it naturally led to some thoughts comparing the two.

Perhaps it will come as a surprise to some, but I think the cabins are more comfortable on the Carnival Liberty. We had a Category NS (Century Suite) on the Century, which though not a true suite, does comes with butler service. On the Carnival Liberty we have a standard balcony on Deck 7 (Category 8A I believe). The cabin on Liberty is larger, brighter, and laid out very well, and perhaps also surprising, I think the bedding on the Liberty is superior to that on the Century, with more comfortable beds as well.
Though we certainly miss the size of the balcony, and the location, on the stern, from the Century.

Our cabin steward on this cruise may be the very best we’ve ever had, and on his own, so far, is doing at least as well, if not better than the combination cabin steward and butler team we had on the Century.

I think the differences between the two cruises and ships may be worthy of an article of its own when this cruise ends. Certainly in some areas we found our Century experience to be superior to what we‘ve experienced so far on the Liberty, but in a number of cases, we’re finding Carnival wins out. Within the industry Celebrity is considered a “premium? brand, and Carnival a “mass market brand?, so once this cruise is done, comparing the two could be fun, but for the moment “love the one you’re with? is the mantra.

As we had booked an early tour to St John this morning we pre-ordered room service breakfast. It arrived 15 minutes before our requested time, which is pretty good, and better than late, when we have an excursion to catch. I rarely book ship’s excursions in St. Thomas. To go to St. John you can do it quite easily by yourself, with a taxi to Red Hook Ferry- ferry over - taxi to Trunk Bay. But we had decided to go with the Leylon Sneed excursion this morning, which leaves from pier-side, goes directly to Trunk Bay, and returns directly to the pier. It was an 8 A.M. tour, and we were back at the pier by 1 P.M. Tweety and Da Coot joined us on the tour.

As we were leaving the port RCI’s Voyager of the Seas was arriving, and gave us a nice photo op.

Having left the pier shortly after 8 A.M. Trunk Bay was nearly deserted when we arrived…. And the view was breathtaking!!

The Leylon Sneed anchors just off of the beach, and you can snorkel right off the back of the boat, or if you want to lie on the beach, they use a couple of dinghies to run passengers back and forth from the beach.


After a couple of hours on the beach you get back on the boat, and the free rum punch flows, the crew entertain as you head back to the ship. They give the alcohol a bit of time to kick in and then the Limbo contest starts.




The tour was most enjoyable, and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to spend half the day snorkeling or on the beach, and the other half maxing out the credit cards!

Arriving back to the ship at 1 P.M. left plenty of time to get back onboard, clean up, have some lunch, and take Mrs. Kuki to infamous “honey I shrunk the bank account? downtown St. Thomas - to make up for not giving her gifts for our anniversary in November and her birthday in December.

The Caribbean really isn’t the bargain hunter’s dream it was a decade ago when it comes to big ticket items. There are just so many cruise ship’s visiting, bring too many “hard done by wives? like Mrs. Kuki, or “trying to get out of the dog house? husbands like me, for the merchants to be really hungry. I believe the prices actually go down when the ships leave port.

But what St. Thomas does offer is incredible selection and variety. If you know your prices WELL, you can generally shop in St. Thomas for some unusual items that you may not find at home. Knowing your prices is VERY important if you think you may be a serious buyer, and so is the willingness to bargain hard! Though the tradition of offering less than half the asking price really doesn’t work here anymore, you should still be able to bargain firmly enough to get at least 25% off whatever they initially tell you is their lowest price. We ask… How much is this? Then say… We don’t want to waste any time, what’s your best price? Then… we waste time negotiating to a price we can live with, or walk away.

As a result today I am officially out of the dog house for my actions in November and December!

Everyone must have enjoyed themselves in St. Thomas today, because the ship seemed to have a very jovial atmosphere about it tonight. With most everyone back in the dining room tonight, service was very good… making last night’s “aberration? seem even odder.
But our waiter Beda did remember to save me some Key Lime pie that I missed last night, and it was delicious!

The headline act tonight was Marc Anthony, another long time Carnival entertainer, who I’ve seen many times before. An excellent act, but I passed on seeing him again. I’m still trying to figure out how these entertainers can be on every Carnival ship.

Cruisers new to Carnival would think the entertainment on this cruise is wonderful, and for the most part it is; but personally I wouldn’t go to Las Vegas to see Barbara Streisand over and over again either.

I spent some time in the casino (still hate the automatic continuous shuffling machines), and some time in the Piano Bar, before returning to the cabin to find Mrs. Kuki sleeping; no doubt recovering from overwhelming love she felt for her husband today.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 11:23 PM
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Default what dock did Liberty use in St. Thomas?

What dock did Liberty use in St. Thomas?
Havensight, or subbase Crowne Bay?
Hoping in April for Havensight.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old January 9th, 2007, 11:25 PM
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We were docked at Havensight, along with the Voyager of the Seas and the Carnival Glory.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 11:41 PM
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Default thanks for quickly reply, RE: check out Spa showers

thanks for St. Thomas quick reply.
While I have not done it myself- I was told that the spa showers are multi jet- perhaps you can see if spa is indeed worth going to for hot tub and then a shower??
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old January 10th, 2007, 09:37 AM
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Kuki,
Thank you so much for taking the time to post here. I have a question about the Leylon Sneed. What is the ladder like that you have to use to get back on the boat from snorkeling or from the dinghy? Is it an actual "ladder" or more like stairs?

Keep up the great posts. I can't wait for our cruise in March.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 09:45 AM
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I'm enjoying the reports, Kuki. I would love to read an article comparing the two cruises. I'm surprised to say that after this last Celebrity cruise, I'm beginning to think I would like to try a Carnival cruise. Since I am usually on the quiet side, I didn't think I'd ever say that.

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Old January 10th, 2007, 01:39 PM
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Kuki: Thanks for the reports. I cannot believe it was only a week ago that I was enjoying the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean. I'm back to snow and gray river water in Pittsburgh. Kuki, how about telling us what little bauble Mrs. Kuki scored in St. Thomas? Inquirying minds want to know, .
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Old January 10th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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I have a friend who just sailed Liberty about 3 weeks ago; he is trying to locate the recipe for the ceaser salad dressing that they served in the restuarant Harry's on the ship; do ya think they would tell ya what it is....
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Old January 10th, 2007, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Kuki, how about telling us what little bauble Mrs. Kuki scored in St. Thomas? Inquirying minds want to know,
Mary Lou...
For her birthday Mrs. Kuki wanted a very simple knecklace to wear every day, and for our anniversary I bought her Versace watch. ( I needed to score points to have some in the bank

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Old January 10th, 2007, 04:29 PM
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I have a friend who just sailed Liberty about 3 weeks ago; he is trying to locate the recipe for the ceaser salad dressing that they served in the restuarant Harry's on the ship
Mary...
We're dining in Harry's tonight, we'll see if we can pry their recipe out of them.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
Quote:
I have a friend who just sailed Liberty about 3 weeks ago; he is trying to locate the recipe for the ceaser salad dressing that they served in the restuarant Harry's on the ship
Mary...
We're dining in Harry's tonight, we'll see if we can pry their recipe out of them.
thanks for the fast reply!
Wow, Ms. Kuki must be delighted, that is one fine "everyday" necklace if I ever saw one!!!. I like the watch too, yep, I think you scored extra points so no more doghouse for a while...
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Old January 10th, 2007, 05:13 PM
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Jan. 10 - Liberty

Now that we’re half way through the cruise, I thought I should report more about something near and dear to all our hearts; our stomachs.

I’ve talked about the buffet food in earlier reports, but not the dining room food. The food in the dining room has been very good. Presentation may not be as elaborate and artistic as on some other lines, but the quality, variety, and portion size, have ranged from very good to excellent. The soups have been served hot every evening, and the cold dishes cold, the entrees from prime rib, to steaks, to pastas have all been well prepared and flavorful. I am not a fish eater, but Mrs. Kuki has had fish most nights, and has said it’s been very good.

Carnival also offers a very extensive list of “alternate choices? along with the dining room menu each night; including starters, and side dishes. It’s nice to be able to choose different accompaniments with entrees if those listed on the menu are not appealing to you.

One short coming on Carnival is the bread. The same rolls and slices of French bread are served every evening without variation, and a bread basket is not placed on the table to help yourself; rather it is served by the assistant waiter, and in our case, you’d best take as much as you want the first time because it’s rarely offered a second time.

Other than the bread issue, and the blip on our evening in San Juan, our dining room service has been very good. Beda, our waiter, is an excellent server. I suspect that his assistant Michael may be relatively new to the job, but Beda has been going the extra mile to ensure our good service. Even though no one at our table is much of a drinker, our drink waitress, Erika, has my diet coke waiting at the table each night, and a refill arrives without even having to ask. So, all in all, no complaints about service.

On Carnival, in the dining rooms each evening the wait staff entertain, either with songs or dancing. Personally, this isn’t my favorite thing. I feel once or twice during a cruise would be ample. But from the crowd reactions this entertainment is popular with many.

This morning we arrived in Antiqua.

The last time we were here we did a mini-boat excursion, where we were assigned small two person motor crafts, and led out to a ride some waves, with a stop at a beach. We enjoyed that, but as some of our other CruiseMates had booked a day pass at an all inclusive resort, we thought we might join them. By the time we got moving around this morning, Mrs. Kuki and I had decided to pass on that. Many people love these port a day itineraries, but we like a break between ports, so we made the decision to just walk around the port area to see what’s out there, and stopped at a bar by the pier for a cold drink, then returned to the ship.
http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...thumb60083.jpg
At the pier, as you approach the shopping area, there’s a taxi dispatch with posted rates to different beaches, and for varying tours.

If you keep on walking, just past the pier exit, there are lots of drivers and guides to take you anywhere you want to go on the island for LESS! Negotiate a price for whatever destination or tour you have in mind! People were getting day tours of the island in fully air-conditioned vans for @ 15-20 person.

Yesterday we were docked next to the ship we were on last; the Celebrity Century. Today in Antigua, the NCL Jewel, the ship we’re on in May for the “It’s All Greek to Me? CruiseMates Group Cruise to the Greek Islands, pulled in next to us. She looks like a beauty, and from our balcony I had a fairly clear view of some of the deck space which goes with the Jewel’s Garden Villas. Not that I’m going to have one when we sail her, but they look GREAT!



After wandering in town today we returned to the ship to spend some of the afternoon baking by the pool. As I sat there the Captain, his wife, and son wandered by dressed as “civilians? enjoying an ice cream cone, and stopped to chat for a bit. Of course it was the one time during the entire cruise that I didn’t have my camera with me. Too bad because with the three of them together, doing something so simple as eating ice cream together, it was such a very sweet moment of a loving family that I would have liked to share the picture with all of you.

We then had time for an afternoon nap. We’ve got reservations tonight, along with a few other cruisemates for Harry’s, the $30 pp alternate restaurant, and we’re really looking forward to it. Dan, the Director of 02 on the Liberty, and ex host of the CruiseMates teen area is going to join us for dinner.

The ships’ pub crawl is tonight as well, culminating with a late night deck party.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 06:36 PM
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Kuki, thanks for the reports. Wish I had something scheduled on the Liberty. BTW, Tell Mrs. Kuki I approve of her purchases. Very lovely. That should take care of getting you out of the Moosehouse.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 07:18 PM
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Default CVC

No flaming please!
is Carnival Vacation Club on Liberty??
we are considering Liberty or Pride for a June Cruise but want to be sure to get any of the benifits we were silly enough to buy into.
thanx
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Old January 10th, 2007, 07:31 PM
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june,
We also bought into the CVC a couple years ago and are finally using up ALL the points this August on a Princess cruise. Yes, you will get all the benefits on the Liberty and any "Carnival" cruise. You don't get the benefits on any other Carnival line other than being able to book a cruise. Given a choice between the Liberty and Pride, I would definately book the Liberty. Newer and nicer ship, jmho. We cruised on the Liberty last year, 8 day Panama cruise, mini suite using our points. Very nice!
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Old January 10th, 2007, 09:05 PM
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Kuki,

Great post, I am enjoying your cruise, while I wait for mine. Thanks!!!
I also am interested in the Leylon Sneed and how you transfer to and from the dingy. Is it only for the fit and strong or can us weak and not to fit make it? (without too much humiliation, lol).

Janet
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Old January 11th, 2007, 01:01 AM
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Jan 10 Continued

Eight of us reserved for dinner in Henry’s tonight (named after famous jeweler Harry Winston), and we invited Dan, the ex CruiseMates teen host now working for Carnival, to join us. We met for drinks before hand in the atrium bar, and then headed to the feast.


A printed menu is presented, but also a visual menu presentation, with all the offerings laid out on a cart.

It was explained that the Dover Sole on the menu was not available because the proper quality of Sole was not available when they last picked up stores, but Sea Bass was available in its place. We placed our orders and awaited a delicious meal, but then the waitress reappeared… to tell Mrs. Kuki, who’d ordered the Sea Bass, that they had run out of Sea Bass, but “suddenly? Sole was available again. We got a chuckle out of how the “proper quality? of Sole had suddenly arrived on the ship, so Mrs. Kuki ordered the steak.

The food in Harry’s was excellent! Between the 9 of us we covered the menu offerings fairly completely, and everyone said they thoroughly enjoyed their meal. The table settings are beautiful, and the food presentation outstanding as well. All of this was pretty much matched our experience from 15 months ago when we dined at Harry’s. Also the same as our last experience at Harry’s, service not truly up to the standards of similar surcharge alternate restaurants on other ships we’ve sailed. As we had just dined in Muranos on the Celebrity Century last week, where we experienced impeccable service, the gaps were made even more glaring tonight. It certainly wasn’t bad service, but I still feel that when paying a surcharge in a ship’s restaurant one has every right to expect the best! In these situations it’s the small details that count.

After dinner Dan had to head back to work. He was the red team leader for the pub crawl, and deck party.

Dan... You call this work??

For anyone not familiar with Carnival, the dining rooms are divided into “colored teams? at the beginning of cruise. Everyone is a member of teams Red, White, or Blue. As the cruise goes on people participating and winning events earn “points? for their team. Regardless of if the totals are actually accurately kept, passengers seem to enjoy the game, and cheer their teams loudly when the accumulating points are announced each evening at dinner. It’s a bit of a mystery to me as to why it works, but it does, and seems like it builds a bit of a spirit of community around the ship.

The deck party was still hopping late when I retired to our cabin.

It was a pleasure to spend some time with Dan tonight. He is an 18 year old who’s mature beyond his years. And he seems like an ambitious young man, who I have little doubt will succeed no matter which direction his career ultimately turns to.

He’s leaving the Liberty soon, to have a week off, and then will be transferring to the Inspiration, sailing out of Tampa, which is close to his home, so he‘s happy. We’ve invited Dan to dine with us again at our regular assigned table in the dining room tomorrow night. Tonight in Harry’s everyone behaved in a manner suitable for the venue. Hope we don’t embarrass Dan tomorrow night in the dining room.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 01:11 AM
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Quote:
I also am interested in the Leylon Sneed and how you transfer to and from the dingy. Is it only for the fit and strong or can us weak and not to fit make it? (without too much humiliation, lol).
There is a ladder on the side of the boat that you have to climb down to the dinghie, and back up. There's handles on the boat all the way to the dinghie, and using those you don't have to be a Gold's Gym body builder to get in on and off the boat. Unless you have severe mobility issues you should be able to get on and off the boat without much difficulty.

btw.. when we did the tour, they told us the afternoon version was quite heavily booked, so it seems the idea of going on the morning trip to Trunk Bay, leaving the afternoon for St. Thomas is a good idea.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 01:16 AM
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Kuki, I'm really enjoying following this cruise!
That was some nice "Bling" you got for Mrs. Kuki! Worth waiting for!
Nice to see Dan is enjoying his job. What fun!
My boss is looking at Liberty for a cruise in the near future. I have steered her to this site to check it out!

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Old January 11th, 2007, 12:34 PM
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Liberty - Jan 11

If this cruise was the same length as the cruise we did on the Century last week, today we’d be leaving the ship, but thankfully we still have 3 days left to go.

The Liberty’s eight night itinerary is really very good; 8 nights - but because it departs on Saturdays you really only need to take one week off of work. I learned that the itinerary is changing slightly, with the last day stop in Nassau being dropped. On future cruises the ship will be staying later in Tortolla, and the last 2 days returning to Ft. Lauderdale will be two full sea days. This is a major improvement form a minor adjustment in my judgment.

Last night’s deck party went late into the morning and at 1:30 A.M., when I fell asleep, in our cabin we could still hear the band playing two decks up. They were having a good time for sure! Too bad we’re old.

Sound proofing, or rather lack thereof is a bit of a problem on the Liberty. For the entire cruise we’ve been able to hear people in the halls outside of our cabin, even when they are just speaking at near normal conversational levels. Fortunately this cruise there’s been very little late night traffic through the halls, but on cruises where fellow passengers might be more rambunctious at night the lack of soundproofing could get somewhat irritating.

Earlier in my reports I talked about the free laundry perk for Platinum level guests in the repeaters program. At the time I stated the free laundry service was for wash and fold service only, which we assumed to mean just washing and folding service. It turns out we were wrong. Dry Cleaning is also included free for Platinum members. This is a nice perk as when we do leave the ship, most everything will be packed clean.

Smoking, and what areas it’s allowed in is always big concern for many; both non smokers and smokers alike. On the Liberty smoking areas are quite restricted, and with a bit of effort both groups can avoid each fairly easily.

Deck 3 (bottom level of the Atrium) is totally smoke free in ALL the public areas. The same can be said of Deck 4, with the exception of the Cabinet Lounge, which is the ship’s cigar bar. This is rather oddly located right outside of the Silver Olympian Dining room on the stern.
The only lounges which allow smoking are on Deck 5 - the sports bar, the casino, and a portion of the casino bar, and the Piano Bar.
Smoking IS allowed on the Starboard side of the outdoor upper decks, but is not allowed in the area of the aft pool (which has a retractable roof).

If you’re a non-smoker, with just a bit of effort, the only spots you should encounter a problem with smoke is in the casino. If you’re a smoker, it may take a bit more effort, but look around and you will find areas where smoking is acceptable.

Our port of call today is Tortolla, but the ship is only here until 3 P.M. This week’s is the last sailing which will have such a short time in port. Beginning next cruise the Liberty will be staying here later into the evening.

The most popular tour here, and for good reason, is the Baths at Virgin Gorda. Accessing the Baths requires a short boat trip, either with the ship‘s tours, or booking privately. There’s also several nice beaches one can just grab a taxi to from the pier.

Mrs. Kuki had had some surgery done not to long before we left for these cruises, and has had to take things easy to speed her recovery. The tours to the Baths of Virgin Gorda do require some physical activity on rocks and uneven surfaces so we weren’t planning to try that one this trip.

Our plan was to go to the beach at Cane Garden Bay, but this morning she said she’d prefer to spend the day relaxing on the ship, so we did just that. Treated ourselves to a sea day, without a moving ship. That’s the beauty of cruising; you get to do as much or as little as you like.

Our CruiseMates group cocktail party is this afternoon. As it turns out its timing conflicts with that of the Carnival repeater’s cocktails party, so we can only hope all our CruiseMates show up. The timing of both was established by the ship, and I didn’t learn of the conflict in time to make any changes.

Within our group onboard there are quite a number of “lurkers? to the CruiseMates web site; many names the “regular posters? to our message boards may not recognize. We often say for every person there are literally hundreds of others “behind the scenes? reading and researching. This demonstrates the point. In one group of 10 friends onboard, one person reads the boards, and they chose to join this group cruise, talked their other friends into going, and printed out everything about the group to pass on their friends to read. That’s often the way the Internet works. Besides the obvious dedicated participants on our message boards, there are thousands behind the scenes, gleaming information and spreading that info via word of mouth.

Of course we’d love every visitor to register to the site and participate fully, but it’s also nice to know we are of great assistance to those who do not so obviously participate.

I’ve had several people approach me the past few days who aren’t booked with the group, but have heard about us onboard from people who are, and they wanted more information about our cruise and the CruiseMates web site. They may have not been so eager to approach me if they’d known about my “striptease? last week.

A very busy evening of events is scheduled onboard this evening; with the Legends show, various games, and a show by a comedian I actually haven’t seen before, Will Malfori. So I’ll be going to see that show.

btw.... all the pictures within this report can be seen full size in the photo galleries if you like
http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/

Back to basking in the sun now!
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Old January 11th, 2007, 02:38 PM
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Kuki,

Though I haven't posted on the thread I have been avidly reading and looking forward to each post. It's great that there are so many "behind the scenes" Cruisemates who are on board. The itinerary for this cruise is an added bonus from a standard "Eastern Caribbean" and I am ready to do another Carnival cruise. I just wish they did more Southern Caribbean itineraries but I may think about jumping on the Liberty to Europe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
I’ve had several people approach me the past few days who aren’t booked with the group, but have heard about us onboard from people who are, and they wanted more information about our cruise and the CruiseMates web site. They may have not been so eager to approach me if they’d known about my “striptease? last week.
Who knows Kuki: That striptease may get us some more bookings from people looking for a "repeat performance."

Take care and my best to Mrs. K.
Mike[/quote]
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Old January 11th, 2007, 06:18 PM
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I have to agree with Mike,I have been lurking, but not posting...Minus the cold I had last week, and all things taken into consideration, I almost wish the cruises had been reversed, with the Liberty being the first cruise, with the 5 dayer added on...with all the gang booking Liberty

It sounds like you are having quite a fun time, with a great itinerary, we are cruising vicarioulsy through you all....Wish we were all there.....!
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Old January 11th, 2007, 07:16 PM
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I'm in the same boat as Mike,and Mam,guess lurking is our past time.
Enjoying the posts from both cruises and the photo's are great.
Guess I can't call you Mister Mudd anymore.You should be a long ways from the doghouse!
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Old January 11th, 2007, 09:12 PM
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Enjoying the reviews, jealous and wishing I was there too. Leaving in 10 days on the Celebrity Century, can't wait!!! Enjoy
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Old January 11th, 2007, 09:32 PM
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Kuki: I, too, am enjoying cruising along with you all. I guess it is the next best thing to being there. And the "baubles" are wonderful!!!!!!!
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