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  #91 (permalink)  
Old January 14th, 2007, 02:08 PM
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We're actually in Ft. Lauderdale for tonight, and most of the day tomorrow (our flight doesn't leave until 8 P.M tomorrow). We're staying at the Embassy Suites on 17st. and were able to book for tonight, and pay an extra $50 for "late checkout" to allow us to stay in the room until 6 P.M.

We were off the ship early, got our rental car, and came to the hotel shortly after 9... and didn't expect a room would be available for check in. It wasn't.

We hopped in the car, went to the Original Pancake House on 1A1 for a great breakfast (even though Embassy Suites told us we could have their breakfast though we weren't checked in). From their we drove up to Saw Grass Mills. Hadn't seen the news section yet. I let Mrs Kuki go into the Prada store just to smell it

1 PM we were back at the hotel, room available, and her I am. Mrs. Kuki is napping, and we're meeting cruisemates friends for dinner tonight.

Sure to appreciate having high speed internet access , instead of waiting 10 minutes online just to load all the SPAM e-mails
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  #92 (permalink)  
Old January 14th, 2007, 02:58 PM
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Carnival Liberty is not a ship everyone is going to love. That’s the reason there are so many different ships and different cruise lines. I think the last 5 years the various cruise lines are doing more to separate themselves from the other lines than they have in the past decade. For some time there everyone seemed to be trying to do the same things, copying each other, and playing to the same market. It now takes some research on your part to get educated and find the ships which most meet your needs or criteria because there are now as many differences between lines as there are similarities. And by the looks of things that trend is continuing to grow.

With regard to the Liberty…Some will find it much too large. Others will find the décor garish and loud. Others still may think the layout is bad (because of the Deck 5 and above trick I described in an earlier report). If you don’t know the trick you can find frustrating dead-ends, and oddly located walls. I’m sure some people would say it’s a loud, noisy ship, and other criticisms I haven’t even thought of.

The key to enjoying a cruise on the Liberty, or perhaps almost any Carnival ship, is to understand clearly what you’re buying before you book. The “Fun Ship? theme is one of the things that’s made Carnival the largest cruise line in the world, and that exact theme may be the exact thing which some people don’t enjoy. Know what you’re buying, prepare to loosen up a bit, and there’s absolutely no reason anyone in that mindset can’t have a wonderful time on the Liberty. You will however be disappointed if you get onboard expecting a quiet, completely relaxing getaway, with elegance and European style Michelin service in intimate surroundings.

There’s absolutely no reason someone who enjoys Holland America, Celebrity, or even Regent, or SilverSeas cruises can’t go and have an incredibly wonderful time on Carnival, or the Liberty specifically. Just adjust your own persona a bit to benefit from the Liberty’s strengths, and you can have a wonderful vacation. I just went from a Celebrity ship to a Carnival ship, and I very honestly can say I had wonderful cruises on each!

Having spent the last two weeks on CruiseMates Group Cruises on different ships, I can tell you honestly, that though both ships had some “issues? in certain areas that maybe should have been better, most everyone who was on either one of these group would probably tell you that the “group experience? they had made up for most of the glitches or issues they may have encountered.

We’ve presently got two upcoming CruiseMates Group Cruises. Want some real adventure and a great group of people to do it with? Join us on the Norwegian Jewel, exploring the Greek Islands together. ( light packing, no formal nights, and no dining assignments -- and 10 different restaurants to try.)
INFO : http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/...se/Jewel07.cfm
Call Best Price Cruises NOW to climb onboard the adventure.

Too exotic for you? Bring the entire family and spend Thanksgiving ‘07 with CruiseMates on the new Carnival Freedom, at amazing rates!
INFO:
http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/.../freedom07.cfm

And the details will be up VERY soon on the newest addition to the Group Cruise Program---- We’re going to do a 14 day Transatlantic Crossing on the Carnival Freedom, Miami to Rome and the rates, and shipboard credits and amenities will BLOW YOU AWAY. If you can’t wait to see the promo go up, call Nancy Bogert for the details!
Toll-free: 1-800-561-0802
Fax: 570-323-0702
Email: nancy@planningcruises.com

We're working on putting together several other new groups as well, and hope to have some info ready to release soon.

Read the Century and Liberty Virtual Cruise Reports and tell me you didn't wish you were there! Come onboard next time!
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  #93 (permalink)  
Old January 14th, 2007, 05:09 PM
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Kuki, It's been great reading along with your cruise. I always look for an Original Pancake House wherever I'm going, since trying one when coming back from a cruise out of Miami. Makes a great stop on the way home. We enjoyed the Liberty when we sailed on her. Along with the deck 5 and above trick I found you can use Riviera and Main the bottom two cabin decks front to back.

Perhaps we'll join one of the group cruises in the future
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  #94 (permalink)  
Old January 14th, 2007, 08:37 PM
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A Brief Summation.

Another great cruise has come to an end. Over the eight days I’ve attempted to share the experience with all our CruiseMates readers, and also share some details about the ship which may be helpful to those sailing her, or other Carnival ships in her class. I hope you found it helpful in your preparations and anticipation.

Every cruise, even on the same ship during a different week, can be different in some ways. And even passengers on the same cruise can experience the cruise in different ways. What you’ve been reading are my own opinions, given as honestly as I know how. These opinions are not to be taken as “gospel? but hopefully you’ll gleam some helpful hints, and will have enjoyed the trip with me.

Mrs. Kuki had some minor surgery done shortly before we left home, and was in a bit of recovery mode, with instructions not to overdo things for six weeks (she’s doing just fine, and I think the cruise was just the thing for recuperation). But because of this we didn’t do as much in ports of call as we normally would, therefore in these daily reports I didn’t offer very much tour and excursion information. I apologize for that, but I prefer to only comment or recommend tours and excursions that I’ve personally experienced.

For several years I’ve been saying that Carnival’s food has been improving, and on the Liberty we found that it is still improving; as good as anyone in the mass market cruise business… and worth mentioning again. The menus were interesting and varied, with more nightly alternate choices available than any other dining room menus I can recall. Pastas offering we always noted to available as a starter. I’m a carnivore, and normally lean to the beef items on the menu, and don‘t eat fish at all. On this 8 day trip, with all the variety offered on the menus, I only ordered beef entrees twice, opting for a couple of different veal dishes on two nights, and some chicken dishes as well. Soups were served hot, salads were made with crispy, fresh lettuce, and at least at our table, I don’t recall hearing any complaints about anyone’s entrees. With the current Carnival menu, if you can’t find something good to eat, you’re just too darn picky.

I found no areas on the ship which were in a state of disrepair, or appeared to need attention. Everything still seemed new, which was almost odd with the numbers of passengers sailing this ship week in and week out. One area that could really use improvement is the washrooms in the public areas. It’s not that they weren’t sparkling clean, it’s that they don’t have paper or cloth towels to dry your hands; only hot air hand dryers. To their credit, there were boxes of “bacterial wipes? on the back of the washroom doors to use as you exited.

Carnival excels when it comes to entertainment, with quality in their productions and the talent they feature onboard their ships. The only caveat is the previously mentioned issue with my having seen many of their “headliners? before.

The pool-side band was good, and entertaining, and perhaps oddly I never found them too loud, which is often the case in that venue. This trip they were enjoyable, but not intrusive.

We normally enjoy spending quite a few evenings in the Piano Bar, especially when traveling with a group. On Carnival ships the Piano Bar makes an excellent “drop by? spot for group members in the evening, and this lounge is often the most social lounge on the ship. This cruise we found the piano player, Robert, playing too loud to really enjoy for long. I think the crowd in the Piano Bars should be loud and boisterous, not necessarily the piano player. Robert’s style seemed to be to want to entertain, rather than initiate social interaction through song. Not really the style we were looking for, and as a result, though we did stop in most nights, we didn’t stay too long.

Carnival cabins are amongst the largest in the industry. We really liked our Category 8A (standard balcony cabin). It’s well laid out, with more storage than we needed, and we’d packed for two weeks. The beds, linens, and duvets are terrific. The bathrooms a bit utilitarian, but a nice size as well.

There are several things about the cabin that I don’t like.
-The chair at the desk has no back. It’s more like a powder room stool than a chair, and quite uncomfortable for me since I was “working? each night, though this is probably not much of an issue for the average cruiser.
- the balcony doors are regular functioning doors, not sliding doors. The worst thing about this is listening to balcony doors slamming all around you. I’m sure it’s not intentional but people just forget to hold the doors when they go out on their balconies, or back into the cabin.
-the noise issue I’ve already mentioned in one of the previous day’s report. The walls are reasonably soundproof, so it wasn’t noise from neighbors that was troublesome. Most of the noise seeped in through/under the door to the cabin from the hallway.

There were many areas of the ship I didn’t even visit, such as the gym, the Jarden Café, the sushi bar, etc. It was not my intent, or my assignment, to write a review of the ship. It was my intent to share my cruise with you!

Hopefully others returning from this cruise will join in this thread, and give you their own opinions, and maybe they’ll be able to cover some of the areas I omitted.
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  #95 (permalink)  
Old January 14th, 2007, 11:17 PM
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Kuki, it's been most enjoyable "cruising" along with you on the Liberty. It's also nice to see people I actually know in the photos!
Have a safe trip home tomorrow, and brace yourself, the prairies have been suffering,and continue to suffer from the coldest, snowiest weather in Canada!

donna
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  #96 (permalink)  
Old January 15th, 2007, 12:48 AM
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Thanks for the virtual cruise. It was very enjoyable. The pressure will be on to do it for all the cruises you take from now on.
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  #97 (permalink)  
Old January 15th, 2007, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
I always look for an Original Pancake House wherever I'm going, since trying one when coming back from a cruise out of Miami.
We first stumbled across one in Pheonix a few months ago. Now we look for them in the phone book anywhere we go. Odd I know but excellent breakfasts without spending big $$.
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  #98 (permalink)  
Old January 15th, 2007, 10:39 AM
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Hi to all. Hope most of the group are getting home safely. I know Kuki and Geela aren't leaving Ft. Lauderdale till 8:00 pm tonight. It was great pleasure seeing all our old cruising friends again and meeting new cruise pals!! Many thanks to the Kuki's for hosting another terrific Cruisemates event. They always make these group events some much fun!! Hope to see you all on the high seas soon. John & Priscilla
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  #99 (permalink)  
Old January 15th, 2007, 11:18 AM
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Kuki,
Thank you for your work that you've keeping us landlocked cruisers updated on he cruisemate cruises.
Thank's to my wife we are booked on the Freedom cruise in November
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  #100 (permalink)  
Old January 15th, 2007, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Thank's to my wife we are booked on the Freedom cruise in November
James... that's GREAT news! Look forward to meeting you in November. Thanksgiving cruises are really terrific! I've done several and we always enjoy them.
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  #101 (permalink)  
Old January 15th, 2007, 06:27 PM
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Thanks Kuki for another great report loved reading about your cruise!!
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  #102 (permalink)  
Old January 15th, 2007, 11:59 PM
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I would like to add my thanks for a very entertaining couple of weeks.

Thanks for all your hard (???) work Kuki!!
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  #103 (permalink)  
Old January 16th, 2007, 08:29 AM
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Good Morning Kuki & Mrs Kuki,

Hope you had a safe and smooth flight home and that you're all rested.

Did you remember to ask Nichole & Andrew if they'll still be onboard in March/April?

Also, what night do you think we should make reservations for Harrys?

And another BIG THANK YOU for "taking us along" on the cruise with you. I enjoyed it so much I actually went back and read your New Years Cruise thread.... Does Linda still have the clock pocketbook??? Tell me it ain't so!!!!
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  #104 (permalink)  
Old January 16th, 2007, 11:44 AM
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Elaine...

Doesnt look like they'll be there for your cruise, sorry. But ask for Marius (one of the supervisors in the pits). He just came back to the ship, so will be around and he'll take care of you at the tables, and hook you up with the host.

I thought night 4 of the cruise was perhaps the "weakest" menu of the cruise, so that might be a good night for Harrys.
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  #105 (permalink)  
Old January 16th, 2007, 12:09 PM
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Thanks for taking the time to post all the info for this cruise. I've enjoyed dreaming about our 3/4/07 cruise.

I was wondering if you would know what the taxi fare was from the ship to Pineapple Beach Resort in Antiqua. I keep getting conflicting info.

Any idea??

Thanks.
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  #106 (permalink)  
Old January 16th, 2007, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
I was wondering if you would know what the taxi fare was from the ship to Pineapple Beach Resort in Antiqua. I keep getting conflicting info.

Any idea??
Sorry... we just walked arount the pier area that day, so didn't check out any taxi prices at all. No help here
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  #107 (permalink)  
Old January 17th, 2007, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
Quote:
I was wondering if you would know what the taxi fare was from the ship to Pineapple Beach Resort in Antiqua. I keep getting conflicting info.

Any idea??
Sorry... we just walked arount the pier area that day, so didn't check out any taxi prices at all. No help here
Thanks. I knew that you and Mrs. Kuki were "laying low" this trip but I figured it was worth a shot. Hope you are not suffering from too much "post cruise let-down" now that you are back home.

Again, thank you so much for all the great info you posted. We can't wait for our 3/3/07 cruise!!!
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Old January 17th, 2007, 10:04 AM
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We had a group of 10 and paid $8 each way to the Pineapple Beach Resort last week with as part of Kuki's group. It was about a 40 minute ride. The resort lived up to everything that has been said about it!!

Don
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  #109 (permalink)  
Old January 17th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverBoatDon
We had a group of 10 and paid $8 each way to the Pineapple Beach Resort last week with as part of Kuki's group. It was about a 40 minute ride. The resort lived up to everything that has been said about it!!

Don
Thanks Don. Was it just a regular taxi that you grabbed at the pier or did you pre-arrange with a tour service for the ride?
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Old January 18th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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We just walked up to the Taxi stand off the Pier!
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Old January 19th, 2007, 05:52 PM
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Made it home safe and sound. Had a real great time on the ship. Was great to sail with everyone we have sailed with before. Looks like we will be doing it again in April 2008. Hope I have enough underware for 14 days.
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  #112 (permalink)  
Old January 26th, 2007, 06:09 PM
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Welcome home Kuki.
Your reports were so awesome. We sail on June 3rd and I am really lookin forward to it.
THANKS!
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Old February 5th, 2007, 12:52 AM
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Kuki, I thoroughly enjoyed your day by day report on Liberty. We were on the 6 day cruise right after you. We had a group of 37 and at least half were newbies (four grandaughters were part of the group). This was our 20th cruise and fourth with Carnival. We liked the ship and the overall experience, but service in the Golden dining room was almost non existant. Our waiter just couldn't get it together and his assistant would disappear after the initial water was poured. Our four tables always had dessert after everyone had left on both levels of the dining room. All that aside, we all enjoyed the cruise immensely and next up is the Miracle in May.

Betty
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