This is part 2 of my Carnival Liberty review. For my new readers, our family’s first cruise was last month on the Carnival Liberty. We cruised for 3 nights from Port Canaveral to Nassau. In the first part of my review I told you all about embarkation, Faster to the Fun (BUY IT!), the pools, and the boat’s facilities. Read that here.
In this post, I am going to tell you about the Liberty’s entertainment, the cabins, our destination (Nassau, Bahamas), and disembarkation.
There was just so much going on you can’t possibly make it to all of the shows and parties. The first night aboard, there is a Welcome Aboard show. The best part about this is meeting the cruise director, Donkey. The rest of the show was boring. There are some towel animals on a TV talking. Then Donkey gets onstage and introduces himself, cracks some jokes, plays some games onstage with the passengers (go up there if you can, you win awesome prizes), and then some singers/dancers come out. They tried; A for effort. But we walked out in the middle of their performance. It’s a group of people singing some pop songs from the 80s, 90s, then into 2000s. I don’t know how far it went; like I said, we left.
Going back to Donkey… You hear his voice making announcements over the PA system before you meet him and all throughout the cruise. Also, you see him everywhere. Everywhere. I can’t count how many times I saw him mingling with the passengers. Sitting at someone’s table making them laugh. He really is awesome.
There are so many meet and greet options and games available. There is an LGBTQ mix and mingle that was held by one of the many bars. There were bingo competitions, games in the casino, a nightclub. We had the kids and my mother so we didn’t make any of the adult only options. However, there is always the children’s club that will watch your kids while you partake in adult activities.
We did go the family comedy show. Mike Estime from Everybody Hates Chris was performing. We all enjoyed his show; kids included. He also performs an adult comedy show during the later hours.
The kids enjoyed the arcade. They can use their sail and sign cards to pay for games. I recommend putting a spending limit on their card which you can do online when you check in prior to cruising. I gave my kids each a $15 limit. The limit is for the entire cruise not per day. I would’ve given them a little more had I realized that.
We booked 2 types of cabins on this cruise. An interior cabin and an ocean view cabin (window only). There were a total of 7 in our party. The interior cabin sleeps 4 and the ocean view sleeps 3 people. Adjoining rooms are available in the same cabin type. My mom’s cabin, the ocean view, actually had an adjoining door. The Carnival customer service rep I worked with when booking the reservation booked rooms directly across the hall from each other.
The ocean view cabin is much more roomier than the interior but there are only 3 beds: 2 twin beds (that can be pushed together to create a king) and a sofa that can be converted in a small twin. There is a long vanity area outside of the bathroom in the ocean view cabin.
The beds were super comfortable. Even the bunks.
The interior cabin is very tight quarters. It has 2 twins (which also can be pushed together to create a king) and 2 bunks that can be pulled down over the king. There are 2 small, lighted vanity areas outside of the bathroom in the interior cabin. The beds were super comfortable. Even the bunks. The only thing I didn’t like was the 2 twins ended up have a couple inch gap in the middle by the 2nd night.
Bathrooms in both cabins were small, which I expected. The floors of the bathrooms are at a slight angle towards a drain so that water can drain out. Which you definitely need because taking a shower SOAKS the entire bathroom floor. There is a very small raise on the floor to separate the shower from the bathroom so water does get out when you’re showering.
The bathroom includes a bar of soap for handwashing. In the shower, there are 2 dispensers: 1 contains body soap, 1 contains shampoo. Bring your own travel size toiletries. It’s not the best shampoo or body soap.
There are plenty of towels and washcloths and fresh ones brought daily if you need them. If you hang your towel on the rack, the room steward will leave it. If you leave your towel on the floor, the room steward will replace it.
All cabins have a small safe that is locked and unlocked with your sail and sign card. I kept our passports, cash, and credit cards here. When you’re onboard, all you need is your sail and sign card. Attach a credit card to your file and you’re good to go. You can also set up the account with cash but you will need to go to guest services every time you get close to your limit.
Both cabins had a mini-fridge. I purchased a package of water bottles online, prior to my cruise, which were in my room when I checked in. I put these in the mini fridge. Also, my wine (you are allowed to bring 1 750ml bottle per adult over 21) went in there.
We had one stop on this cruise. And it was beautiful!
We docked in Nassau in the morning. We sat by the window at breakfast and watched as land got closer and closer. The water here is amazing. Completely clear to the bottom.
You have to wait to get off the boat. The boat needs to dock, be secured, the gangway needs to be setup. This is one port that you do not have to tender in. At some different ports, there is no dock available so you will need to take another smaller boat to access the island. If you are cruising to one of these ports that require tendering, Faster to the Fun will grant you priority tendering and you’ll get on the island before the other passengers.
Everyone that was from Nassau was smiling and welcoming.
Anyhow, no tendering in Nassau. We were able to get off the ship around 10:30am. It’s a bit of walk through the port to get into the city. There are a lot of shops in the port, a lot of taxi drivers offering their services. Everyone was super friendly. I know some people think the natives are pushy but this is how they make their living; they’re just trying to support their family. None of the natives were rude. I say natives because there were some nasty non-native tourists that were rude. Everyone that was from Nassau was smiling and welcoming.
We didn’t book any excursions. We were planning to do a little souvenir shopping and head to one of the beaches. We walked through downtown and went in a few shops. Most of the shops we went in were priced too high but as we got further out from the port and closer to the beach, we found local shops with decent prices.
We decided to go to Junkanoo Beach because it was closest to the port. It’s normally a 12 minute walk which wasn’t bad for me or the kids but was too much for my mom, who’s older. The heat in the Bahamas is more intense than Florida’s heat.
Once we got to Junkanoo beach, I wanted to stay forever. I mean, this is what a beach should be. There are plenty of chairs and umbrellas to rent. Plenty of vendors to help you get the chairs and umbrellas. There is an amazing outdoor restaurant with a DJ playing reggae and soca. There are nice bathrooms and showers. There are some huts that sell souvenirs. The only con to this beach is that you will find some broken glass amongst the sand. I read the reviews that this is a rocky beach with broken glass so we all brought water shoes. I saw one piece of broken glass and there were less rocks than Florida’s beaches so it wasn’t bad for me.
The water. OMG the water. Perfect temp. Completely clear. There is a net so the larger sea life doesn’t come near the swimmers. My daughter saw a sea turtle near the boat and we saw some colorful fish there also. I didn’t want to leave! But we had to be back on the boat by 5pm or we would get left behind. So we started the hike back to the port.
I wanted to find a taxi, at least for my mom but we were unable to find one at the beach. We walked for about a block and my husband waved a passing taxi down. He waited for my mom to catch up (like I said, natives are super nice) and I was surprised his car fit 7 passengers because it looked small. He took us from Junkanoo to the port for $3 per person.
To get back in the port, you have to have your passport (or photo ID) and your sail and sign card from the ship. Make sure you bring these with you.
To get back on the boat, you need your sail and sign card and security scans you and your bags again. Safety precaution, ya know.
The process wasn’t long. The walk through the port was the longest part.
The next day was a day at sea. Tons of shows. Lots of people in the pool. Lots of people at the bars. This is the only time I had trouble finding a deck chair out of the sun. There were plenty in the sun though.
We took this opportunity to pick up some of the pictures that the Carnival photographers had taken of us throughout the cruise. I really wish I had purchased the package before we got onboard. If you don’t have a package, the pictures range from $15-$22 for a single print. There were at least 75 pictures. We bought 4 of the best ones and the rest were thrown away.
The day before you disembark, you will find a letter in your cabin with your options for the next morning. Again, I can’t say this enough, get Faster to the Fun (unless you are already a platinum Carnival cruiser). We had 2 options: 1) Leave our luggage outside the night before, get off the boat at 7:30am, pick up the luggage off the boat. or 2) Carry our own luggage off, report to the dining room at 6:45am, and not worry about trying to find our bags after getting off the boat.
We picked option 2 of course. I don’t like checking my bags and trying to find them in a sea of luggage (excuse the pun).
I was expecting to be able to take advantage of the breakfast buffet on our last day but no such luck. There is no breakfast offered prior to disembarkation. There was coffee at all the coffee stations. At the dining room we had to report to in the morning, there was coffee and cookies.
There is no breakfast offered prior to disembarkation.
Once the boat was docked and the gangway secured, our disembarkation was delayed slightly due to a passenger with a medical issue that had to be taken off the ship first. There were paramedics waiting at the gangway. Even with the delay, we were on our off the boat by 7:10.
There weren’t many people that were platinum or FTTF. There were no crowds at all.
We made our way through security where they asked if you purchased any liquor or whatever in the Bahamas. No phones allowed in this area. They do not want any pictures getting out. The whole thing took 5 minutes. No big deal.
There are 2 parking garages at the port Carnival uses. Both are close to the boat. We walked with our luggage. You get a ticket when you arrive in the parking garage. There are signs to bring your ticket with you so you can pay at the kiosk upon your return to port. Leave it in your car. Trust me, you don’t want to lose this ticket because you will pay the highest parking rate. You can pay when you exit the parking garage. We paid $68 per car for the 4 days our cars were there.
There are some parking places further away from the port that will shuttle you over. We opt not to do that. We don’t want to have to load and unload a family of 7 with everyone’s luggage more times than we absolutely have to.
We were happy to be home but hangry since we did not have breakfast. So we headed to the nearest iHop or iHob whatever they call themselves nowadays.
All in all, we had a wonderful experience on the Carnival Liberty and can’t wait to do it again. All of the employees on the boat were so nice and friendly.
The food was amazing. I know I haven’t written about the food and that is because there is so much that I will need to do a separate post about that alone. Stay tuned to hear all about the restaurants and food options on the Liberty.
Have you been on the Carnival Liberty? Comment below and tell me what your favorite part of the boat was!