Saturday, May 5, 2012

Carnival Liberty -- Cruising Again

Well, the trip on the Carnival Liberty is sadly over. Months of anticipation went into it, and it still only lasted a week. Overall the cruise was INCREDIBLE, but how could it not be? I didn’t post here every day of the cruise because; well I have really neglected the blog lately and didn’t want to just use this site to praise my vacations. SO, if you want to read about the cruise then get your reading glasses out cause I am coving the entire party in one post.

Day One: Miami- We left home very early (I knew it was too early) and we needed to stop at the Miami Airport to pick someone up. Well we got there about an hour before this persons flight even landed so like over anxious cruisers we are, the motherly parental unit and myself looked for the cell phone waiting lot to chill out. Well we looked, and looked, and looked until we finally got sick to death of looking and made and county building the new cell phone waiting lot. I found this to be a wonderful place to take a nap. We got to the port around 11:30 and proceeded to check in. As we finished checking in they were calling VIP to board the ship. The motherly parental unit and I enjoyed a Blue Iguana Burrito on the lido deck and then went to the cabin. Carnivals new thing with opening up the cabins by 1:00PM is an awesome idea. As we were leaving Miami the rain started, and proceeded to rain for the next long time. The seas were calm even though it was raining sideways. After a lovely dinner, the motherly parental unit decided she wanted to try the casino game that I did so well at last cruise, three card poker. Well she had some good beginners luck and went up early hitting three of a kind which pays $170. Well we will talk more about this later. The comedians the first two nights were fair at best but there was so much other stuff to do it was no big deal.

Day Two: Half Moon Kay- Still raining sideways. I had pre-booked a bicycle tour of the island for this stop. Carnival wanted everyone who booked an excursion to go to the lounge (I thought to tell us they were canceling) and when we got there they were taking people to the tender boats. I thought it would be worth $40.00 not to go over to the island in the rain so I conveniently missed my tender. I went to guest services and asked about canceling the tickets and they said there would be a 25% service charge if the excursion did happen. Again I am willing to pay $40 not to go so $10 not to go sounds like a deal…..or not. It seems if you book your excursion on line through Carnival and not on the ship then the people on the ship do not have authority to cancel the tickets for you. (note to self, do not pre-book excursions anymore) In the end it didn’t matter because the excursion did end up getting canceled and I got a full refund which made me happy.

Day Three: Wet Day at Sea- Yes more rain. There were bits of dry skies here and there, but I was beginning to think I was not going to get a tan on this trip. It was Elegant night, which means lobster tails and jumbo black shrimp for dinner YUMMY! The service in the dining room was exceptional. We had anytime dining which meant the dining room was slow when it opened every night and most nights we were out of there in just over an hour. The main server had two assistants which led to us never needing anything for more than a minute. There was also one of the production shows, and one I had never seen which I liked a lot. I am not big on a lot of the shows but this one was good. It was called “Wonderful World”. If you ever get a chance, go see it! After the show we went back to the casino, by this time I am down a bunch and the motherly parental unit has officially given back all the winnings from the first two nights plus some.

Day Four: St. Thomas- When I wake up I go outside and the sun is shining, I was quite excited about this. When we made port around ten we let the first wave get off the ship before we tried to go downstairs. We hit dry land and the motherly parental unit and I did some shopping in the port side shops. After she was done she made her way back to the ship and I made my way across the street. I took the sky ride up to Paradise Point where I took some lovely pictures of the harbor and surrounding mountains. I also got my picture taken petting a baby goat. He followed me around for about ten minutes making me realize he wanted some attention so I reached out my hand and he came running over. I also rode the ferris wheel at the top of the point. Now I do not mind unreasonable heights, but hanging over the edge of the cliff on what seemed to be a hundred year old ride kinda made me a little freaked out. After a quick change of my shorts I made my way back to the ship for lunch. The Guy Fieri Burger Bar, and was it ever good. What diet? After a relaxing evening and losing some more money in the casino it was time for a rest before tomorrow.

Day Five: San Juan- The day started off with a little rain, but cleared up after a bit prompting me to get to walking. I walked from the port north along the water through Old San Juan. It was about a three hour walk and surprisingly it was uphill both ways, no really it was. I went along the water of the harbor going into the old city and through the heart on the way back, and then the last three blocks went back down the three hour hill. By then it was raining again so I went back to the ship for a nice long nap. There was no show this night which meant there was but one thing to do, casino….. oooops.

Day Six: Grand Turk- This was the third time I have done this exact same cruise, and every time I have had a different favorite port. This time it was Grand Turk’s turn. I wanted to a bit of snorkeling since we finally had perfect weather so I hiked around the point and down the beach a good ways. I donned the snorkel gear and heade3d out. Now for years in my younger days I loved surfing, swimming and anything to do with the water. So much so I have often wondered why I stopped, until this day when I remembered. The last time I rode a surf board was about fifteen years ago, and there was an incident. The surf was REALLY big that day and I was having a grand time until I got stuck. The waves were about ten feet high. Well I was riding a rip current back out when a set of waves came in and broke right on me knocking me off the board. I have a rip current pulling me out and big waves pushing me in and down. Well out plus in equals zero so all that was left was the down part. My head got buried in the sand several times until the life guards ended up coming out to pull me in. I had blocked all that out not wanting to remember it until now. Turns out I now have a phobia about being in water deeper than I am tall. The first time a little wave went over the top of my snorkel I popped my head up to clear it and went to touch the bottom and couldn’t. Instant panic set in. I freaked and started to thrash for a bit. It took about fifteen minutes for me to calm down and make it back to where I could walk in the water. Snorkeling over! Once I made it back to shore I wandered back towards the port and found the most perfect place to sit a bit.

I took this picture which should be a postcard or an advertisement for Carnival Cruise Lines or something. It is perfect! I then went to Margaretville Restaurant for the best conch fritters I have ever eaten. Then back to the ship for a rest and a shower. It was elegant night again and we were going to the steakhouse for dinner.  The most amazing five course meal including an eighteen ounce ribeye steak cooked the perfect medium rare. Can’t get better than that. Tonight was the first night for the second round of comedians and Allyn Ball was performing. I have seen his show several times before, but he is so funny that I had to skip the second production show to see him again. WORTH IT!!!!!

Day Seven: Fun Day at Sea- Total relaxation, plus a bit of left over sunburn from the day before.

Overall Rating---AWESOME. I tried a bunch of foods that I have never tasted such as: Oysters Rockefeller, Shark, Alligator, and frog legs. I liked all of them except the frog legs, people say they taste like chicken but I say they taste like a chicken would taste if it was really a frog. Yuck!

I am sitting in my chair back in my office typing this missing it so much already. I am booked, but not starting the countdown for bloggers cruise six in January 2013. Really? Eight months till the next cruise??? Guess I will have to wait. Well that’s long enough, here’s hoping all your faces have smiles.