1. Travel

Carnival Liberty - Western Caribbean Cruise Journal

By

1 of 6

Embarkation in Miami
Carnival Liberty at Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras

The Carnival Liberty docked at Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras. Mahogany Bay was one of the ports of call on a western Caribbean cruise that also visited Cozumel, Belize, and Grand Cayman Island.

Carnival Liberty (c) Linda Garrison
Our seven-day Carnival Liberty cruise roundtrip from Miami to the western Caribbean included stopovers at Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Grand Cayman, where we enjoyed the following activities: It was an active, sun- and fun-filled week. Plus, we had two sea days--one the first day of the cruise and the second on the last day of the cruise. The Carnival Liberty alternates seven-day cruises to the eastern Caribbean and western Caribbean year-round. Both itineraries are fun and different, so some cruisers do back-to-back voyages, allowing more time for fun, sun, and overeating.

My husband Ronnie and I drove the 650 miles from our home near Atlanta to Miami, stopping over for the night in Port St. Lucie before continuing onto Miami the next morning. I know that driving isn't an option for everyone, and the parking at the Miami cruise terminals is $20/day, but it was nice to not fight the airport crowds and enjoy quiet time with my husband, who detests flying.

We arrived at the cruise port in Miami just before noon and were on the ship 30 minutes later. It couldn't have been smoother! With ships like the Carnival Liberty docking every week in Miami, it's not too surprising that they have a smooth boarding process. Our cabin wasn't going to be ready until about 1:30, so we took our carry-on bags up to Emile's Bistro on Lido Deck 9 and settled down for a leisurely lunch. Ronnie and I enjoyed the Mongolian wok barbecue in the buffet. It is one of the most popular places on the ship for lunch, and the line was short this first day since no one had discovered it. We were in our cabin before 1:30.

While waiting for our large bags to arrive at the cabin, I did a little exploring of the ship before we sailed. It was a gorgeous January day in Miami, in the mid-60's and with sunny skies. The top deck of the ship provided marvelous views of the city, the islands in the bay, and Miami Beach. I eagerly checked out some of the Fun Ship 2.0 changes recently added to the Carnival Liberty like the RedFrog and BlueIguana bars by the pool, but skipped the interesting Mexican cantina and Guy Fieri's burger joint since I had just finished lunch. (Even I have my limits.)

The Carnival Liberty left the dock about 4:30, and the ship sailed towards Miami and turned around before re-tracing our path towards the sea. Not sure why the captain had docked with the bow facing in towards Miami when the other four ships in port were all docked with their bows seaward. Anyway, we all left at about the same time, and it was quite a parade of huge ships leaving Miami--the Carnival Destiny, Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Eclipse, Norwegian Epic, and us. There was a sailaway party on the deck. The fun had begun!

Before getting ready for our 8:15 dinner, we meandered along the Promenade and enjoyed some sushi and a drink. At first, the ship really seemed crowded, but we quickly got used to the high energy level that permeated much of the ship. Fortunately, you didn't have to go far to find a quiet spot (like your cabin balcony or the Serenity all-adults area).

Dinner was on deck 3 aft in the Silver Olympian dining room. Ronnie and I both had the prawns and Singapore rice noodles for dinner. They were very good. I had the delicious gazpacho cold soup, and Ronnie had the creamy tomato. We both had salad and Ronnie had the creme brulee for dessert, while I had the yummy chocolate melting cake. The late evening entertainment sounded tempting. The Venetian Palace, the main show lounge, was having a welcome aboard show. Other lounges featured magic, piano bar, karaoke, and adults-only comedy. Since the weather was nice, the ship was showing a horror movie at the outdoor Seaside theater. We wandered around a little and did some people watching, but decided it was time for bed.

Page 2 > > Day at Sea and Training a Dolphin in Cozumel > >

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.