Saturday, August 18, 2012

Carnival Liberty - Exotic Eastern Caribbean - Day 1

Exactly two weeks ago, Hubster and I set sail on our week long trip on the Carnival Liberty. And boy let me tell you, it was liberating. After 7 months alone with two kids and a hyperactive dog, I needed a break from life. For the next seven days I'll be post a day by day look back and review of our cruise.

We chose the Exotic Eastern Caribbean itinerary because of the ports that it visited. It was a seven day cruise (Saturday-Saturday) and visited Half Moon Cay (Carnival's private island), Bahamas; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. We had been to Half Moon Cay before and absolutely loved it. This was one of the few cruises that we could find that didn't offer Nassau or Cozumel, which we had no interest in visiting. Our previous experience at Grand Turk wasn't fantastic but it definitely wasn't a deal breaker.

At around 10:30 am, Hubster and I were officially on cruise mode. We had my mom drop us off at the Port of Miami. Thankfully my parents live about 20 minutes from the port because I believe parking is $20 a day. No way in hell would I pay $140 to just have my car sitting around unattended. We made it to the port right around 11:00 am which was perfect! We were able to breeze through security (with our two allowed bottles of wine) and check-in without an issue. Once we finished checking in we sat and waited for our zone to be called. The wait was about half an hour but we didn't mind since we were sitting and able to connect to the the free WiFi.

When we had previously cruised, Hubster insisted on leaving the house later which meant we didn't arrive at the port until about noon. Although we were able to board the ship as soon as we checked in, we spend tons of time waiting in lines. This time around he couldn't stop going on and on about how arriving early was definitely the way to go. Duh! I told you so!

Once we were on the ship, we dashed upstairs for the buffet. One of the best parts about cruising is all of the food! I saved us a table with a view of the city while Hubster loaded up a bunch of random things on a plate. There were cheese cubes, some sort of tilapia that he loved, pickled vegetables, chicken breast, eggplant parm, breads, browned potatoes, tons of everything. After finishing up the meal, we explored the ship a little. Just after 1:00 pm we were able to drop off our bags in our cabin and do some more exploring.

We sat at the Redfrog Rum Bar for a bit chatting and sipping. I ordered a Mango Magic which was fabulous!!! Hubs had some boring beer.

At 4:00 pm we went to do the muster drill. It was awful. I think it lasted longer than it needed to and it was just plain uncomfortable. We were all squished together and hot and sweaty. I hate being touched while I'm sweaty and I hate being touched by sweaty people. Barf.

Once all of that craziness was over though, we actually set sail. My parents and the girls were at the end of the beach so we went to look for them. Thankfully my dad had a huge American flag so we were able to easily spot them.

I think around 5:00 pm-ish the spa was doing raffles for spa credit so we went to check that out. Of course we didn't win but Hubs booked us for a much need couples massage. The massage was fantastic. It was this head to toe thing that is normally some outrageous price, and we got it for $129. It was one of those "specials that they only offer at embarkation".

We chose to do late dining which is 8:15 pm. The massages left us feeling greasy so we washed up before dinner. Service at dinner on the first night was horrible. I was really surprised and I hoped it wasn't a sign of what the rest of the week was going to be like. I think one of the assistant waiters may have been new and slowed down the process more than helping. I honestly don't even remember what was for dinner because the experience was so bad. Our three course meal took over two hours for just the two of us at the table. Thankfully all of our other dining experiences were much better.

At bed time I felt a lot of movement. I heard that the higher up in the ship you are, the more movement you feel. It makes sense if you think about it. In the future I'd consider going a little lower in the ship. The movement wasn't totally horrible though. And after all, there were two or three tropical storms headed in our direction.

Even with the few little negative things going that happened on our first day, I'd still say it was a good day. We were on vacation..! The first stop was Half Moon Cay, Bahamas which I will be posting about tomorrow. We were most excited about this port because of how beautiful it is!

Carnival Liberty - Exotic Eastern Caribbean:
  • Day 2 - Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
  • Day 3 - Day at Sea
  • Day 4 - St. Thomas, USVI
  • Day 5 - San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Day 6 - Grand Turks, Turks and Caicos

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