Escaping the daily grind aboard Liberty
Ship Review by Michael Coleman, December, 2009
The cares of the world seem to disappear aboard Carnival Liberty.
While CNN and other news channels (beamed to the ship via satellite) remind us of a sagging economy, a nation at war, and the titillating trials and tribulations of Tiger Woods, passengers aboard this mega-ship can enjoy a week-long respite from it all, year-round, in the Caribbean.
There’s a host of resort-style amenities — 22 bars/lounges, four pools, a 214-foot-long corkscrew water slide, four dining venues, 13,300-square foot spa, a 4,200-square foot kid’s play area and high energy Vegas-style revues, nightly.
A sports park features nine-hole mini-golf, there’s ping pong, basketball and volleyball courts and a jogging track (to put the size of Liberty in perspective, nine laps around the track equals one mile). A golf professional is onboard to host both lessons and trips to various Caribbean courses.
Want more? There’s a casino, shops, tattoo booth, cigar lounge and an Internet cafÃ© with private workstations featuring flat-screen monitors, along with Wi-Fi access available in virtually all public rooms and areas.Â Passengers can also make and receive cell phone calls whether the ship is at sea or in port.
Non-stop daily activities also include everything from bingo and hairy chest competitions to karaoke, art auctions, trivia competitions and a plethora of games, events, and seminars.
Need a breather? There’s always a deck chair available to enjoy the Caribbean sun. Liberty also features a massive, 270-square-foot Seaside Theater which hovers over the Lido Deck. Look for concerts, movies and sporting events on the big screen, day or night.
Culinary choices are equally impressive.
Two main dining rooms (Silver and Golden) each feature diverse menus with six appetizers, two salads, six entrees and four desserts offered nightly.
The pool deck venue, Emile’s, features breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets. The 1,250-seat eatery includes carving stations, a Mexican burrito locale, Mongolian Wok, fish ‘n chips counter, poolside grill, New York-style deli, dessert station and 24/7 pizzeria and ice cream. The pool deck grill, meanwhile, serves hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken and other casual fare.
Plan your day accordingly. Lines for the deli (hot country roll with turkey and Swiss cheese is a favorite) and Mongolian Wok (choose your own made-to-order noodles, vegetables, meats and sauces) grow longer as the week progresses but whether it’s your first day aboard Liberty or last the wait is worth it.
For those seeking a more intimate dining experience there’s Harry’s, the ship’s reservations-only supper club. Modeled after upscale steakhouses ashore, the venue offers fine hand-cut, dry-aged U.S.D.A. prime beef including a nine-ounce filet mignon, 14-ounce strip loin, and a 24-ounce porterhouse, along with traditional accompaniments such as creamed spinach, wasabi mashed potatoes, and sautÃ©ed mushrooms.
Look for impeccable, leisurely paced service, elegant surroundings, nightly entertainment, and an excellent choice of wines. The $30 per-person fee pales in comparison to a comparable dining experience on land.
Rounding out Liberty’s dining choices are a patisserie offering specialty coffees and sweets, a sushi bar, and 24-hour stateroom service.
Liberty also features one of Carnival’s largest spa/gymnasiums at sea to work off the calories.
On the Web: www.carnival.com
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