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I’ve been meaning to share about mine and CA’s travels recently… and haven’t. But finally, the first post has been written by my amazing husband! Just to give you a little background, this is our third cruise together with Carnival, it was 4 days long and left from Port Canaveral. Now onto the fun part, all about our cruise!
All Aboard the Fun Ship
We are boarding our third cruise together on a cool January morning: Carnival Liberty! After two lengthy cruises, this is a “quickie” as it only has two ports of call, Freeport and Nassau, both in the Bahamas. We haven’t been to either of these locations, so we are excited to see some new places! We head right to the bar after boarding to get our Cheers! stickers on our Sign and Sail cards. This allows us to get up to 15 drinks per day and not have to worry about our bar tab. Since our room is still getting prepped by the awesome staff, we head to the SkyBox Sports Bar.
There are literally wall-to-wall TVs. Since it’s early January, we are there to watch the NFL Playoffs. After hanging out for the first half of the game, we decide to go explore the ship and get accustomed to our home for the next four days. The Liberty has undergone the Carnival 2.0 upgrade which means updated restaurants and bars. One of my personal favs is the Alchemy Bar. It provides any “elixir” you need to forget about reality and fully enjoy your vacation. They also added the Blue Iguana Cantina, Red Frog Rum Bar, and Guy’s Burger joint. We’re on vacation, no calorie counting! After touring the ship for about an hour, we head to our room to unpack. CA suggested an Aft-view Balcony which is located all the way at the back of the ship. The views are spectacular! Plus, being in the back of the ship keeps us closer to all the action.
We’ve Set Sail
As is our tradition, our first dinner is at the 555 Fahrenheit Steakhouse. There is a slight charge for this four-course meal, but trust me, it is worth every penny! After a fabulous dinner, we head over to the Casino for a little gambling. We don’t win big tonight but no problem, there’s plenty to do on Liberty. We visit the Taste Bar for an appetizer, this is included so don’t miss it. We head out to the Lido Deck for some fresh air as we cruise on to our first port: Freeport.
First Port: Freeport
The great part about cruises is going to sleep while the ship is sailing the ocean and waking up in a port you’ve never been to. We head down to the Lido Deck for buffet breakfast. CA grabs us some specialty coffees at the Jardin Café (also covered by Cheers!). After some grub, we stroll over to the Venetian Palace Show Lounge to check in for our excursion. Today is a beach day “Beach Getaway”. Although we’re in the Caribbean, it a “cold” front of “only 68 degrees. Don’t think this is going to ruin our visit though, we left snow back up in New York. After a few hours on the beach, we’re back on Liberty and head to Guy’s Burger Joint for lunch. CA snags us some margaritas from the Blue Iguana Cantina. I would certainly recommend the Blue’s Blue Margarita- it is delicious! After lunch, we head up for a siesta (aka nap time to charge the batteries for a night of fun).
We freshen up and head to the Garden Atrium for a pre-dinner drink and some live acoustic music. Next, it’s on to dinner in the Golden Olympian Main Dining Room. Venu and his staff were amazing! For dinner, I had steak, shrimp, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. CA enjoyed salmon, rice, and veggies. Dessert is the staple of any Carnival cruise: Molten Lava Cake! The wait staff put on a great show including dancing and singing (maybe some lipsyncing lol). After dinner, we stop for a nightcap at our favorite place, Alchemy Bar. A day of sunshine, eating, and drinking wore us out, so we call it an early night. Vacation is tiring!
Second Port: Nassau
Our next port of call is Nassau! CA was in full training mode for his first Half Marathon, so he heads up to track for a workout. I take advantage of some alone time and grab a coffee from Jardin Café and enjoy it out on our balcony. I’m super excited for today’s excursion: we are swimming with Stingrays! The excursion was called Private Island Stingray Encounter & Beach and was a short boat ride away from the port. We arrive and get our briefing about how to handle the rays. This was definitely an experience I will never forget. After the rays, we headed over to the beach for lunch (extra charge) and some relaxation in the sun.
Back aboard the Liberty, we take our daily nap to recharge. CA snaps some sunset pictures from our balcony (it’s quite a perk!) and then we head out for another night of food and entertainment. Carnival uses the Port of Call to feature signature food and drinks in the Main Dining Rooms. Tonight’s dinner I enjoyed Penne ala Vodka with shrimp, while CA had the Caribbean Pepper Steak special. After dinner, we tried our luck in the casino for a bit. Then we headed to the Punchliner Comedy Club for some laughs. There is so much entertainment on the ship that is included. Make sure you use the Fun Times to plan out your days and evenings (#cruisertips).
Day at Sea
Another fun fact about Carnival cruises is their Seaday Brunch. Where else can you get French Toast covered in Honey Nut Cheerios! Another cool aspect of eating in the Dining Room on Carnival ships is sitting with other cruisers. It’s a great way to meet other people, learn tips and tricks, and hear stories. After our delicious brunch, we headed up to the Lido Deck to catch some rays on our last day! We happened to sit next to a couple that has been on over 200 cruises!! Boy, do I have some catching up to do! (hint, hint @carnival). While I was getting as much Vitamin D as possible, CA headed inside for the Slots Tournament and an Art Auction. It really is amazing how much there is to on a Carnival cruise.
We returned to the Golden Olympian Main Dining Room for our final dinner on the Carnival Liberty. Tonight’s dinner I enjoyed Chicken with mashed potatoes and vegetables, while CA had the Fish with the vegetable dish. We headed to check out the Pixels Photo Gallery area, which is dedicated to displaying any and all photos that are taken while on your cruise! Usually, they take your photo on embarkation day, at each port, at “fancy” night, and they always have displays with photographers waiting to take your picture! These are all extra charge but we did decide to grab a few of our favorite prints on the Carnival Hub app. The Carnival Hub app also doubles as a messaging app that you can keep in contact with the other people in your party for only $5 a day! Which helps if you have a large party and want to meet up at certain points of your cruise without having to wait around too much.
After we checked out the photos we went to the Lobby area on Deck 3 where they were throwing an 80s style party for the last night. It was so much fun to see the crew dressed up in 80s style and listen to the fun music they were playing. We headed to the casino to try our luck a few more times and than cashed out whatever winnings we had left and CA’s chips. We decided to head to our room and pack for the next morning since we had to be out of our room by 9 am.
Our flight was early afternoon so we didn’t need to disembark too early. The process does actually take a while if you’re waiting on the ship, they also have designated areas that you may sit and have breakfast available. When you leave the ship you have two options, to self-debark or have your bags waiting for you in an area when you debark. We have self-debarked twice, this cruise and our honeymoon cruise in Europe, and had our bags waiting on my first cruise in 2015. Self-debarkation isn’t bad but just be aware you’ll either need to wait for the elevators to take you down to deck 3 (Lobby) where you disembark. Either way, you wait on a line to swipe your card one last time and you’re officially no longer cruising, saddest moment ever lol.
Returning back to New York wasn’t bad, we did have a delay but I had my laptop and we just relaxed, ate some food and waited patiently for our flight to board. We returned home to cold weather and our puppy Thor.
Have you ever been on a cruise? Have you cruised with Carnival? We’re going on another cruise with Carnival this winter and honestly, I can’t wait!