In August I sailed on the Carnival Liberty from Port Canaveral and for the first time, I took the Behind The Fun Tour. BTF is a tour that takes you behind the scenes into areas you would not normally be able to go as a passenger, interact with crew and have fun. Pictures were not allowed so unfortunately I don’t have any.
We started the tour back stage in the theater. Here we met the stage manager and he talked about the pyrotechnics, the choreography and equipment used during the shows. I was amazed about how much smart technology is used in timing of pyrotechnics and sets. We also met the dance captain who talked about all of costume changes and what it’s like being part of the entertainment.
We spent most of the time below the passenger areas including bravo deck which was below the water line One of the areas located here is the laundry. It was amazing to see this set up and how many people and how much equipment it takes to maintain the towels and linens on the ship. With almost 3000 passengers on board they have to be efficient. Did you ever notice how fresh and flat your sheets are in your cabin? Well, they have a machine that irons the sheets at the same time drying it then folding the sheet. Of course they hear it every tour, “I want one of those at home”. Pretty cool.
An area I really did not expect to see was the engine control room. The engineers spent time talking about the systems and answering questions. It was loud in there so it was hard to hear but I did learn a little bit.
We spent some time learning about crew life, training and accommodations. While we did not get to see one of the crew cabins, we did see some of the crew areas. They have their own gym, dining area and bar packed with games and a dance floor. They can spend time in the passenger areas when off but of course there are rules. It was interesting to hear what life is like on board since they do spend 6-8 months on the ship.
Running almost the length of the ship is a hallway, nicknamed, I95. Along here are freezers, coolers and other food storage areas. When you get off the ship in a port, you have seen the entrance to this behind curtain. Here we learned about how food is provisioned for each sailing, stored and then distributed to the correct areas. The origination in this has to be on point. It was amazing to see the logistics in what goes into my drink at the bar.
Towards the end of the tour, we got to the place I was excited to see, the bridge. Behind a small door on deck 7, I believe, is where the action is. Although it was pretty quiet. They talked about some of the controls, the navigation and we even got to ask questions of the captain. And the view from there is amazing. We ended the tour with a picture with the captain which they provide for free.
We finished the tour in the galley (kitchen). Here they showed us the process of planning the meals and how they get them out efficiently. Despite this being in the morning, there was a lot of activity in preparation for dinner since it was formal night. They even gave us some chocolate covered strawberries to try. To be honest, I was hoping for the chocolate melting cake, but that’s ok, I had 2 that night. We ended the tour there in the dining room where they gave us a back pack and we got to keep our lanyards.
The tour was $70 and I believe it was well worth it. We got to see areas I would have not been able to see and learned so much. I wouAld like to take this tour again maybe on a different cruise line or a different class ship. Next time you are on a cruise, try this out. One thing I forgot to mention is the crew interaction. We spoke to crew that really have no interaction with guest and it was awesome. They really enjoy the visits from guest on this tour.
The tour is booked at the shore excursion desk and has to be booked on board. Its held on a sea day and the space is limited so make sure to book it as soon as your board. I paid $70 but prices vary by ship and cruise line.
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I have a passion for travel and believe travel is about experiences. Experiences create memories and are the stories we tell to friends and family - even with a little fudging on the facts.