This week Carnival Cruise Line made a couple big announcements about a current ship and a new ship. First, the Carnival Legend, a Spirit Class Ship, will sail some unique itineraries in 2020. This will include a partial Panama Canal transit and a Trans-Atlantic crossing.
The other big news was about the brand new Carnival Ship arriving in 2020. On Wheel of Fortune, they announced the new name will be Mardi Gras, a blast from the past. For those not familiar, in 1972, Carnival began cruising with a 27.000 ton ship called the Mardi Gras. This was the first ship in the fleet but was not built by Carnival, rather purchased from another cruise line.
The new Mardi Gras will be 180,000 Gross Tons and will hold over 5000 passengers at double occupancy and over 6000 at capacity. She will also be the first cruise ship in North America powered by (LNG) Liquefied Natural Gas. But the most exciting part for me is the ship will sail from a brand new cruise terminal at Port Canaveral. My favorite port and just a couple hours away.
Great things are happening in cruising so what are you waiting for? For more information send me an email at email@example.com or call or text 904-534-4318.
Embarkation Day for your cruise is exciting and can be a little hectic. Here are my top 5 tips for Embarkation Day.
Below is a list of the top 5 items I suggest you take on your next cruise found on Amazon. Make it simple, just click on the picture to see more details and purchase.
Everyone travels with phones, cameras and more. Unless you are on one of the brand new ships, you will probably have only the one plug. This power strip allows you to plug in multiple devices at one time. Most importantly, cruise lines do not allow you to bring on anything with a surge protector and this does not have it.
Organize your cabin with these magnetic hooks. Yep, the walls on the ship are metal so these wil work great to hang bags, hats and anything else you want to stay off of the floor.
I have been using these luggage tag holders for the past two years and love them. Normally you would staple the ends of the tags together but this is much more secure.
Whether its on the ship or at the beach in port, the wind can be strong. These clips will hold your towel on your chair and you can avoid that chase down the beach.
These waterproof cases can save a disaster. Now, I don't try to take my phone in the water but I don't use these. Primarily I use it to prevent splashes if I am say by the pool or on a boat for an excursion.
For more items, check out my Travel Store.
For most, being outside is where you will spend most of your time while on a cruise. So the outdoor areas need to be nice and have great views.
The main pool area features a large pool, a small pool and 3 hot tubs. If you are thirsty, you are steps away from the Red Frog Rum Bar and the Blue Iguana Tequila Bar. Hungry, grab a bite at Guys Burgers or the Blue Iguana Cantina. Love the burgers at guys. Need a towel, there is a towel station and also a rack for life jackets for the kids. And this is where you will find the big screen to watch Dive In Movies under the stars.
Of course the area with the biggest crowds especially on sea day is the Lido Deck Pool. One of the features of this area I really like is the tiered deck found on the Conquest Class ships and some other older ships. From deck 9 there are about 5 or 6 risers with deck chairs going all the way up to deck 11. This helps with crowds and on sea day the Lido Deck on the Liberty is very crowded. Not only because of the pool but because of so many activities like Groove for St. Jude, the hairy chest contest and ice carving. Finding a couple chairs together can be a challenge but if you have patience and time it right, you will find one. As every cruise does, there are the chair hogs who place stuff on chairs at 7 am but Carnival staff monitor this and remove it after a certain time.
Deck 10 is another area full of seating and where you will find the smoking area. It runs from the back of the ship up to the Lido pool area and over looks not only the Tides pool but the man pool as well. It’s a great place to watch sail away.
Located on deck 11 Aft is the sports court which features a single basket for basketball and a volleyball net. I did not use this since I am old with bad knees but did walk up there and was not impressed. The court really needs some work and there were no organized activities for adults there although I did see some Camp Ocean activities going on. Up above the court is the mini golf course which is circling the funnel. We played a couple of games up there and it was fun and even challenging. When we played, it was not very windy so that was not a factor like I thought it might be.
Toward the front of the ship on Deck 12, you will find the first level of the Serenity Area. This area is ages 21 and up and is a place you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the pool areas. There are padded chairs, hammocks, clam shells and a bar. As I said, there are 2 decks for Serenity, deck 14 (no 13 on Carnival) there is more seating and 2 hot tubs. This area does get crowded on sea days but on port days and in the evening, seating is wide open. I really like grabbing a drink and heading to the hot tub in the late afternoon. This cruise, I did not spend really any time up there but have in the past. My nephew is only 18 and wanted to make sure I was following the rules. Also on deck 14 though towards midship is the corkscrew slide which is a lot of fun and if you do it right, fast.
Another area that is great for walking and enjoying the view is on Deck 3 outside the atrium. This has a great view and is close to the water. This area is usually the busiest during the evening when people are congregating in the atrium.
Now for the secret decks. If you go to Decks 6 or 7 and walk all the way forward down the cabin corridor, you will come to a set of doors that will take you out to the front of the ship just below the bridge. Most people do not know about this are so sometimes you are completely alone. A big reason to go to this area is to watch the stars at night. Because you are under the bridge its dark so the moon and stars shine bright. Also an excellent place to watch as you enter a port.
I hoped this review was helpful and provided some valuable information.
A substantial part of the cruise experience is the entertainment. This can include, but not limited to, the main shows, live bands, game shows, trivia and comedy. Carnival has created a team of people made up of the Playlist Production Performers and Fun Squad. On my most recent cruise on the Carnival Liberty, they did not disappoint.
Now one of the entertainment options I did not go to was the comedy. Almost every night on your cruise they will have a comedian usually doing two shows. One family friendly (which I prefer) and one adult. Other options include the piano bar, night club and of course the casino. You will only get bored if you want to .
I hope you enjoyed this part of the review of Carnival Liberty. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to give me a call or text904-534-4318.
This last week I returned from a 4 night Bahamas Cruise on the Carnival Liberty. Sunday, August 26th, I sailed from Port Canaveral with my nephew who had never been on a cruise. We had a Fun Day at Sea and visited Nassau and Freeport. Our experience was awesome but I want to get into more detail starting with embarkation. This post will include embarkation and food.
The embarkation process was really smooth even though I did not have Faster to the Fun this time. We had a check in time of 11:30 and walked into the terminal on time allowing us to check in when we arrived. After a quick check in and security check, we sat in the waiting area for about 15 minutes before they called our group so we were on board by 11:50 or so. Of course the cabins are not ready until 1:30 but yes, we tried. I really just wanted to get my sail and sign card. See, Carnival places your sail and sign card in the mailbox outside your cabin rather than giving it to you at check in. It has really sped up the check in process so to me it was a great idea If you want to make purchases, you just use the bar code on your boarding pass.
As with all of my cruises, one of the first things I do is grab food. Before we did this, we walked around almost the entire ship. This was my second time on the Liberty and fourth time on this class of ship so I showed my nephew around. Its always a great idea to explore the first day so you can get a feel for the ship.
Lunch is when everything is open including the dining room if you wish to partake. Personally, I just want to grab and go for lunch. On embarkation day and Freeport Day, I had Guys Burger and as always it was awesome. This time, I asked for extra donkey sauce and loved it. On Sea Day, I enjoyed a Cuban sandwich from the deli. The only thing that bothers me about the deli is they are pre made. Still made on the ship and same day just not at the time you order. That being said, I didn’t notice a difference in the taste.
On Nassau day, after the beach, we were starving so we headed to the barbeque. I told my nephew how good the mac n cheese was and I was not wrong. He went back for seconds. The pork and the slaw were great but the bun they give you now is small compared to the rolls they used to give you.
For dinner, we had My Time Dining and went to the dining room 3 of the 4 nights. Now I have to say this. I read reviews about the food on Carnival and some will say its bland. Been on 11 Carnival Cruises and not once have I ever encountered this. We had a different menu each night and the last night is the only one I had a hard time finding something I wanted. The best meal I had was Teriyaki Salmon on formal night and it was amazing. Of course desert was incredible including the melting cake and baked Alaska. My only issue there was not getting to see the parade of baked Alaska lit on fire. Apparently they only do this during the main dining times, which makes sense.
Late night options include pizza which is available 24 hours a day, the deli open until 11pm and all the ice cream you can handle. I really like the pizza on Carnival despite the fact it thin slice and I prefer thick. But make sure if you go late at night, you are patient because once the comedy club lets out plus the bars, it gets busy.
The other food options I did not take in this time was the Seafood Shak which is an ala carte menu up charge restaurant or the Blue Iguana Cantina. But, I have had them in the past and would imagine they were just as good on this ship as others.
My next blog post will be a review of the entertainment so watch out for it.
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Carnival Cruise Line and Port Canaveral have reached a deal to home port Carnivals largest mega ship. For 25 years these two have had a very successful partnership making Carnival the biggest cruise line to sail from the port.
The new ship from Carnival is un-named but we know it will be 180,000 Gross Tons and hold over 5000 guest. In addition, it will be the first cruise ship in the US to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas. Construction will begin on the ship in November 2018 in Finland. Itineraries and more details will come in 2019 and the ship will debut in 2020.
One of the cool things about cruising is the community that has formed on Facebook and YouTube. I have come across some great people who document their cruises and really show how much fun cruising is.
Here are some groups with their Facebook Page and YouTube Channel. Go check them out and subscribe.
Freedom to Roam Travel My Page and Channel
Live Stream on Saturday Nights on YouTube
La Lido Loca
Live Streams on Tuesday Nights on YouTube
Website and Podcast
Not a cruise page but they have seen the world.
Freedom to Roam Travel is here to help with your vacation plans. Give me a call or text 904-534-4318
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Packing for your Caribbean Cruise is part of the fun of preparing. But maybe you have never been on a cruise before and have no idea what to bring. Well, for Travel Tip Tuesday I thought I would share a few things that are in my suitcase when I set sail.
Special Note: For some of the items I mention, you will find links at the bottom of the page for options available on Amazon.
Two Pair of Flip Flops
This is for the men because we know women already know better. If you are like me on a cruise, you wear your flip flops pretty much all the time. Its inevitable, you go to the pool and come back to your cabin and your flip flops are soaked and you squish all the way down the hallway. But you are ready to go explore the ship and you want your feet to be dry. Well, put on the second pair you brought because you read this blog and enjoy the rest of your day.
Carrying your wallet, money, cell phone or other valuables to the beach or pool can be risky. Water or sand can get on them and then you have a mess. A dry bag is going to keep all those items clean and dry avoiding the cleaning hassle later.
I know, What? Depending on your ports, you could be going to areas where bugs can be a problem. Jamaica, Belize and more. You can usually find a variety of brands in the travel section of your drug store or even a the dollar store. With diseases like Zika and West Nile, protecting your self from mosquito is a no brainier.
In the Caribbean you will most likely spend a lot of time in the Sun. Remember, the sun can be stronger in the Caribbean than where you are from. Especially during the summer. consult a doctor or pharmacist for brands and strength advice. Also, you may be able to find a repellent and sunscreen combination so you kill two birds with one stone. No animals were hurt in that statement.
If you are planning on doing any diving, snorkeling or just swimming at the beach, a waterproof camera can be a lot of fun. There are a variety of cameras available from Go Pro Action Cameras down to point and shoot that are waterproof. I specifically use a Vivatar which has been great. The camera its self is not waterproof but it comes with a protective case.
Of course these are just a few of the items I pack but stay tuned for more travel tips. And upcoming for my next cruise in August, I will have a packing video on my YouTube Channel so make sure you subscribe.
This blog will provide you facts, tips and experiences..