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This is a bit late, but here goes:
This was a 12 day cruise aboard the Carnival Liberty. The ports included Naples, Dubrovnik, Venice, Sicily, Barcelona, Cannes, and Livorno.
DH and I arrived at BWI with about 2 hours to spare. I have traveled for a number of years and check in was never so easy. It took all of 5 minutes. We walked straight to the counter, 3 bays to check in, 2 carry on bags, checked passports ? done. Not even the customary question ?did anyone besides yourself pack your luggage? was asked. The plane left at 6:05pm for NJ and I have never flown in such a small plane (only 3 seats across the entire plane) but it got to NJ safely. We had a lay over of about 2 and ? hours and then boarded a much bigger plane (7 seats across) for the 7+ hour trip to Rome. We arrived in Rome on time around 12:30. Customs was a breeze. I had two people in front of me and since I have an EU passport, they didn?t even stamp it, just looked at it and waved me through, but they did stamp my husband?s who is a US citizen ? total time about 7 minutes. Getting our luggage took about 30 minutes. I had booked the ?Rome at a Glance? tour with Carnival but was told that there were no more tours that day, so we boarded the bus for the 1 + hour trip to the pier. Once we arrived at the pier, check in was very fast, never asked for the fun pass (which they said was very important), give them our credit card for the sail and sign account, they took my passport and gave me a receipt, gave us our sail and sign cards ? about 5 minutes. We had a late lunch on the Lido deck, returned to the cabin to await our luggage which arrived several hours later. We did the mandatory fire drill, had dinner and retired for the night.
The director (Brent Mitchell, I was disappointed, I had heard so much about John Heald, but Brent wasn?t too bad) warned us of the traffic here and he was not kidding. The drivers here were so impatient, all you heard was honking horns, and as soon as the lights turn yellow, they were ready to go. We had the ?Ruins of Pompeii? tour in the afternoon, so we decided to walk into town. Not much to see and we got soaked when it rained. - I forgot our umbrellas in the cabin. At that point we turned back and headed back to the ship where we dried off, had lunch and waited for our tour. Pompeii was fantastic; you should not miss this tour. Get yourself a good pair of walking shoes, the cobblestones are hard on the feet, you are walking for several hours, but it is worth it.
DAY AT SEA:
Explored the the nooks and crannies of the ship and had dinner for the first time in the dining room. Our dinner companions were very nice; they were from York, England. I order the Delta prawns. I thought prawns were supposed to be bigger than shrimp, but maybe the Delta ones are not. The prime rib was delicious, and my husband enjoyed his salmon.
We were here for two days. We did the Murano/Burano Island tour on the first day and we had an enjoyable time. Murano was especially interesting because we were able to see excellent examples of glass making and in Burano we saw lace making. The second day we did the Doge?s Palace/St. Mark?s Basilica tour, these buildings were very impressive.
A shuttle bus took you into town, it was 10Euros per person return trip, they would not accept their own money ? kunas, it had to be Euros. We took the ?Walk the Ramparts? tour, not to be missed, the view was fantastic.
DAY AT SEA:
Another sunny relaxing day at sea.
Did the Taormina/Mt. Etna tour which was a full day excursion but worth the long day.
DAY AT SEA:
Another sunny relaxing day at sea. A passenger became gravely ill and had to taken off the ship. The captain stopped the ship and the passenger was taken off board and taken to shore by launch. There were some islands to our left, but I am not sure what they were called.
A shuttle took you into town for 5Euros per person return trip, walked Las Ramblas did a ton of shopping. We did the Gaudi and Barcelona tour, which was interesting to say the least; you cannot miss Gaudi?s works.
We had to tender at this port, but the process went smoothly only had to wait about 20 minutes before our number was called and going back to the ship we had to wait about 5 minutes. We did the Cannes Walking tour.
We did the Leaning Tower of Pisa tour. What they did not tell us was that when you get into town and left the bus, you had to walk about 20 minutes before you get to the leaning tower. I felt sorry for some folks because they were elderly with canes. They should have told us that up front. It is such an unique piece of architecture, but if you want to go to the top you had to climb several hundreds of steps, I was content to see it from the outside.
We had to rise very early in the morning. We had breakfast, and our color and number was called by 6:50am. We had difficulty finding our luggage, our three bags were in three different locations, but Carnival had plenty of buses waiting. So we made our way to the airport without a problem. Getting through customs at the airport was a breeze, it took about 20 minutes.
OVERALL IMPRESSIONS OF THE SHIP:
Very nicely decorated, not too much glitz, I especially loved the Venetian Room where most events were held. The center piece in the ceiling is a sight to behold made from Murano glass at a cost of 200,000 euros, according to the director. The piano bar is tastefully done, I love the black and white theme. The internet caf? is in a horrible location, you have to walk through a bar filled with people smoking, poor lighting once you get there, about 12 computes for 3,000 passengers, it was a nightmare. Everyone was complaining about it.
I love George Michael, Sade, Simply Red and Stevie Wonder, but after hearing the same songs for 12 days, I was ready to tear my hair out and offer them my CDs to play.
The food was very delicious and well prepared, but the desserts were horrible, everything seemed to be diet. The only time we had great desserts was in the dining room.
The shows were ok. The dancers were a bit hesitant with the more elaborate moves, but the comedian (I can?t remember his name) was hilarious. The choices of movies in the cabin were slim to none.
House keeping was especially efficient, Pat was very accommodating.
Our balcony stateroom was very roomy and the bed was the most comfortable I have ever slept on.
We booked all our tours through Carnival and the tickets were in our cabin when we arrived. We were very pleased with Carnival?s tours, they were well organized and the tour guides were excellent.
Overall, a great cruise.