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Carnival Liberty
May 2012
"Fun Ship" 2.0 Innovations

Carnival Liberty Docked in Grand Turk

by Linda Coffman

When Cruise Diva sailed on Carnival Liberty's first Caribbean cruise in 2005, we learned from Joe Farcus, Carnival's former ship architect, that the theme of the ship's decor was the pursuit of artistic freedom. 

Fun is what Carnival Liberty is all about and the first Conquest-class member of Carnival's fleet to receive the cruise line's latest "Fun Ship" 2.0 upgrade is not only a sparkling tribute to artists and craftsmenwith interiors that showcase their creativity and skillit's also about new dining options and some other changes to familiar spaces.

A walk through Carnival Liberty reveals the artistry that brings pleasure to our daily lives in ways we may not think about or recognize. From functional (pottery) to funky (tattoos!), Farcus had a master plan he was eager to share. "I thought of the central idea of artisanship because these ships are built by true craftsmen."

Dining
Carnival Liberty's array of traditional and alternative dining choices are as expansive as my waistline felt at the end of my cruise.

Guy's Burger Joint

The variety of casual dining choices include made-to-order omelets for breakfast and a wide variety of buffet items for lunch and dinner, as well as meat-carving and pasta stations and a Mongolian stir-fry buffet in the Art Nouveau styled Emile's Restaurant. In addition to the usual selections, there are Oriental dishes, a, coffee bar, Pizza bar, the Deli for just-made sandwiches, and a second level offering Fish & Chips. Serving stations near the swimming pools dispense ice cream treats. On either side of the entrance to the buffet restaurant are "Fun Ship" 2.0 additionsGuy's Burger Joint, where the burgers and fries are hand made, and BlueIguana Cantina, serving up made-on-the-spot tacos and burritos with your own selection of fillings. Try the Sushi Bar on Promenade Deck for freshly prepared sushi before dinner. Also on Promenade Deck, the Jardin Café serves specialty coffees and pastry treats for a nominal charge.

Silver Olympian Dining Room

The Silver Olympian Dining Room & Golden  Olympian Dining Room are the formal restaurants where diners are seated beneath silver- or gold-leaf domes and stunning Murano glass chandeliers. Columns fashioned in the shape of flatware handles are crafted in Tiffany's "Olympian" pattern, from which the dining rooms derive their name, and walls contain niches where antique flatware is displayed. Don't be in a rush to leave after dessert or you'll miss the inventive and talented wait staff performing musical numbers just as energetically as they served dinner. Dinner is served in two seatings or, for those passengers who prefer to set their own schedule, in Your Time Dining™ that allows them to dine at their leisure in an open-seating arrangement.

Diamonds Steakhouse, Carnival Liberty's premium steakhouse is a jewel—literally. Originally named "Harry's" for celebrated jeweler Harry Winston, the décor is enhanced by bejeweled lighting and vitrines set into the walls display fine jewelry (real gold, but, alas, faux stones). For the $30 per person cover charge, it's one of the best restaurants—and dining bargains—at sea. Not only is the food exceptional (escargot, lobster bisque, grilled lamp chops, a filet & lobster surf 'n turf combo, and several cuts of beef from 9 to 18 ounces), but the presentation is sophisticated and the atmosphere decidedly upscale. Don't miss this fine dining experience. As a bit of lagniappe, on the first night of our cruise a bottle of wine was included with dinner for the same per-person charge.

For parents who want to share a romantic dinner for two, the Camp Carnival program and group evening babysitting solves the problem of child care. In addition to the many choices, Carnival Liberty offers the flexibility of dining whenever you are hungry—around the clock. Pizza is always available and room service never closes. While room service choices are somewhat limited, a picnic on your private balcony is always a treat.

Staterooms
With so many categories, category selection might seem daunting. In reality, there are only five cabin configurations, but every passenger is assured of standard accommodations that are, on average, larger than those on most cruise ships. On Carnival Liberty, they range from standard Interior and Oceanview staterooms to Oceanview staterooms with private balconies and Suites and Penthouse Suites with large private balconies. More than 60% of all staterooms are outside and, of those, 60% have balconies.

Oceanview Stateroom 1057 with Balcony

Staterooms feature light wood cabinetry, pastel decor, mirrored accents, small refrigerator, personal safe for valuables, vanity/desk with stool and drawers, a sitting area with sofa and table, a hairdryer in the top vanity/desk drawer. An additional open shelving unit next to the refrigerator that was not found on earlier Conquest-class ships adds storage for small items. Terrycloth bathrobes are provided for passengers' use during the cruise in all oceanview accommodations. Three sets of closet doors provide hanging space behind two of them and deep shelving behind the third.

Bathroom amenities include shampoo and bath gel in shower mounted dispensers and an array of sample toiletries. The shower itself is roomy and has a pull-out clothesline for drying bathing suits or hand laundry. A real plus is the two-sided (regular and magnifying) bathroom shaving/make up mirror. Closet and drawer/shelf storage, as well as bathroom shelves, are more than adequate. My one 'problem' observation—one closet wasn't quite long enough for long evening dresses to hang freely. A shelf below the hanging area, while ideal for storing shoes, cause my dresses to 'pool' at the bottom. However, there was plenty of room for the dresses in a second hanging closet.

Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than a lumpy, bumpy bed with scratchy sheets and pancake thin pillow. To insure sweet dreams, Carnival provides more than a chocolate treat on your pillow. The exclusive "Carnival Comfort Bed" systems are simply heavenly. They start with plush mattresses and add soft and comfy duvets, upgraded pillows, and linens for a good night's sleep.

For families, the sitting area sofa converts to an additional sleeping area at night and connecting cabins are available. Passengers with physical challenges haven't been overlooked—staterooms have been designed that take their special needs into consideration.

And yes...even with all the innovative changes on Carnival Liberty, stewards still fashion those cute towel animals to greet guests after evening turn-down service. You can even attend a Towel Folding Fun demonstration to learn how they do it and the adorable new Towel Animal Theater show is where your favorite critters come to life and you can find out what they do when you leave the cabin.

Continued --> Carnival Liberty (Part 2)

Images courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines & © Cruise.Diva.com

More Carnival Liberty from Cruise Diva's Blog:

At Home At Sea
Dinner in Diamonds Steakhouse
At Half Moon Cay (almost)
Signs of Change
So Entertaining
“Fun Ship” 2.0 and More
Service With A Smile


Carnival Cruise Line - Cruise Reviews

Carnival Cruise Line Profile


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