We’ve rounded up the best Carnival Liberty tips to help you make the most out of your cruise vacation.
Carnival Liberty is one of Carnival’s mid-sized cruise ships, coming in at 110,000 gross registered tons, It carries 2,974 passengers, and some say it’s a perfectly-sized cruise ship. The vessel features venues that some of the newer ships gave up in favor of more cabins.
As of 2022, Carnival Liberty currently sails from Port Canaveral, Florida (40 minutes east of the Orlando International Airport). The ship was the first vessel to undergo Carnival’s Fun Ship 2.0 initiative back in 2011.
If you’re a first-time Carnival Liberty cruiser, here are 21 tips to help you navigate your way around the ship and make the most of your Bahamas cruise.
1. Get a drink at the Alchemy Bar.
The Alchemy mixologists are the best on board! And they don’t just make any good drink — they’ll make a custom drink just for you that incorporates your alcohol, drink, and/or flavor preference. I’ve previously told them I like Manhattans and chocolate, and also martinis and chocolate (martinis were $1 off that day).
Flavors you can ask for are chocolate (of course), cinnamon, lemon, orange, apple, rosemary, cucumber, and mint. I’m sure you could combine a couple if you’re feeling adventurous.
Every drink at Alchemy is $10.95 but check their chalkboard for which drinks gets $1 off that day. The mixologists can also whip up custom non-alcoholic beverages for $6.50 each.
Alchemy does have a menu with excellent drinks, but it’s definitely more fun to get something just for you. And if you buy the CHEERS! drink package for alcoholic drinks, you won’t have to keep track of your purchases, and you can get unlimited water to stay hydrated.
2. Get a lobster roll from the Seafood Shack.
They’ll set you back $12, but you won’t regret spending money on this treat that you can enjoy poolside. If you don’t like lobster, there other menu selections that any seafood lover will enjoy such as buckets of fried clams and shrimp, clam chowder, and fish and chips. Ask anyone who has had it, and they’ll be sure to recommend the lobster roll.
Review: Carnival’s Seafood Shack
3. Watch a Dive-in Movie.
Most of Carnival’s fleet have Dive-in movies now, but Carnival Liberty has an amazing setup for viewing. On some ships, the majority of the seating requires craning your neck. That’s not the case on Liberty! Here, you’ll find loungers on numerous levels of stadium “seating” spanning multiple decks.
The movies selected are not new releases, but they’re only a few months old and — of course — free.
You will also want to stop by the RedFrog Rum Bar (this ship does not have a RedFrog Pub) after snagging your seats for some free popcorn to munch on.
If it gets chilly out, head to the towel hut and check out a blanket or two (they’ll record your cabin number and charge you for the blanket if you accidentally keep it).
On the other hand, if you’re feeling warm, you can head to the ice cream machine also located on the lido deck.
4. Try Mongolian Wok.
Mongolian Wok is only open from 12-2:30 p.m., so it’s easy to miss — but make sure you don’t! Because of the limited hours, you might have to wait in a 30-minute line, but don’t let the slow-moving line deter you. As you get closer to the front, you’ll get a bowl and begin making a completely custom meal.
- You pick your noodles: lo mein, cellophane, rice noodles, or mix and match.
- You can choose from around 15 vegetables to add to your bowl.
- When you get to the front, you’ll pick a protein: chicken, pork, calamari (sorry, no tofu) and a sauce: Szechuan, Thai BBQ, Black Bean, and soy sauce (not listed, but an option).
- Then enjoy your meal!
Pro Tip: the Szechuan sauce is pretty spicy!
5. Grab Some BBQ on Deck 10.
Some of the newer Carnival ships have Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que, which is an outside barbecue joint located on an outside deck. Liberty has Ol’ Fashioned BBQ, this is basically a non-branded version of Guy’s.
You have an option of chicken, beef, and pulled pork, along with sides like coleslaw, potato salad, mac and cheese, and baked beans.
This is a place you should plan on going on the first day of the cruise because as the cruise gets going, so does the crowd.
6. Take advantage of the adults-only pool.
Carnival has been moving away from having adult-only pools. If you’re on Carnival Liberty, make sure you head to the back of the ship if you want to avoid getting splashed.
At night, they close the roof so that you can enjoy the pool without chilly wind ruining it when you get out.
7. Attend the Mardi Gras party.
This is the best event on board for those who aren’t afraid to get up and move. If you’re a bit shy, don’t worry — there will be a ton of others right up there with you!
Make sure to be down on the dance floor of the lobby if you want Mardi Gras beads; they can only throw them so far. The event starts with selecting a Mardi Gras king and queen, for which the candidates are randomly selected by the cruise director who is hosting the event.
The candidates will have a dance-off to determine the winner, so if you want to win you really need to bring it! The event continues with a conga line around the lobby and then a night of dancing.
If you have little ones, you can sign the kids up for the Night Owls (babysitting with an added fee) program at Camp Carnival. Chances are if you have teens, they’ll already be busy in Club O2.
(Note: This activity has been temporarily put on hold during the cruise restart due to social distancing, but is scheduled to return.)
8. Order some sushi.
Liberty has a “Sushi at Sea” on the lido deck, which is reasonably priced and pretty enjoyable. There is a small menu of some staple sushi items including 4 different rolls, sashimi, and nigiri. You’ll wait in line at the window to place your order.
Don’t be deceived if there is little to no line. After you place your order, you’ll be given a buzzer, so you really have no idea how many people’s orders are ahead of yours. Go a little earlier than you’d like to eat to make sure that waiting for it won’t cause you to miss a comedy show or the sunset on your balcony.
If you have a balcony, I recommend you take your sushi with you and enjoy it seaside and at sunset — depending on which way the ship is going. If not, don’t waste the fresh air by eating it inside, walk a little ways forward or aft and find an outside table. Sushi at Sea is open from 12-10 pm on embarkation and sea days, and from 5-10 pm on port days.
9. Eat Seaday Brunch.
Held in the main dining room, the options are bountiful, and you don’t have to get up early. It normally runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. They have tweaked the menu over the years — on top of the steak and eggs, you will find burgers, barbecue sandwiches, French toast, mac and cheese, and other brunch-type items.
On Liberty’s three and four-night sailings, you’re only going to get one chance to try it out, so make a point to head to the dining room that day instead of the Lido buffet.
10. Go on the water slide.
The Liberty only has one water slide, but it’s a good one. If there’s a line, it’s worth waiting for at least once. Without a line, you’ll want to go a few times! This probably varies by cruise and even day-to-day, but the water wasn’t cold which made it easy to enjoy.
11. Get pizza delivered — anywhere on the ship!
It will cost you $5 per pizza (tip not included), but you don’t have to wait in line or lose the deck chair you finally acquired!
To order pizza to your cabin, a bar, or a deck chair, open the Carnival HUB app and find it in the side menu. The pizza doesn’t come from the kitchen on Liberty, it comes from Pizza Pirate. If you’re ordering poolside, make sure to take a selfie when ordering (you’ll have the option) so that the delivery person will recognize you.
READ MORE: Carnival Pizza Delivery Review
12. Go Up to the Sky Deck to Lay Out.
If you’re looking to spend some time in the sun, go up to the top deck. There is a nice breeze on deck 14 by the entrance to the kid’s slide. Most cruisers flock to the lido deck pools or Serenity during sea days, so chances are you’ll have your choice of real estate up there.
There is an opposite area without the noise of kids playing right above the basketball court by the ship’s funnel. The only issue there is you may hear the basketball bouncing. The good news is you won’t get hit by the basketball because it’s in a netted in area.
13. BlueIguana Cantina Serves Breakfast.
BlueIguana Cantina not only serves tacos and burritos during lunch, but also a killer breakfast burrito in the morning. You can pile it high with breakfast meats, eggs, cheese, and veggies. This is perfect for a grab-and-go type meal if you’re wanting to get to the lido deck quickly to claim a lounge chair!
READ MORE: BlueIguana Cantina Review
14. Get to the Comedy Club Early.
The Punchliner Comedy Club is located on deck 5 aft and has a large variety of seating. A good piece of advice is to get in the club early because they have really cool round couches that you and your party can grab and enjoy the show. They are a lot more comfortable than just sitting in a regular chair. The comedy club manager usually opens the door 20 minutes prior to show time and it fills up fast. Luckily, the lounge is a decent size.
15. Use the Jogging Track Early.
The jogging track is located on deck 11 aft and can get pretty crowded, especially with the walkers. If you’re looking to get your exercise in during the sailing, consider going to the track early. Between 7:30 and 9:00 seems to be the prime time for the walking crowd.
If you don’t want to jog outside, you can also head up to the gym. The gym gets crowded, so you’ll want to get there early as well. Both the gym and jogging track have stunning ocean views.
16. Use Room Service Carefully.
There are some room service items that cost money and some that are complimentary. However, after 10 p.m., all of the items you order will have an after-hours service charge, so make sure you know what time it is when you’re ordering.
A good alternative to room service is popping by the 24-hour complimentary pizza joint or seeing if they have the Late Night Selections in the Lido buffet area.
As an example of late-night room service pricing, Chicken Wings are $7 and Chicken Tenders are $6.
READ MORE: Carnival’s Late Night Eats Menu
17. Eat at Guy’s Burger Joint.
Make sure you get one of those famous burgers at Guy’s Burger Joint. This is a complimentary venue where you can eat as much as you’d like.
There is a menu of five different burgers, but if you want to customize your own, all you need to do is head over to the toppings bar where you’ll find a selection of grilled onions, mushrooms, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onions, and about a dozen different types of sauces.
RELATED: Guy’s Burger Joint Review
18. Go to the Free Raffles.
Even if you don’t plan on buying a spa treatment or a bottle of booze, you should consider going to the drawings anyway. They normally offer free spa treatments or steakhouse dinners if your name gets picked in the raffle. There’s no obligation to enter, either. So if you have the time, drop in and put your name in the hat.
On our sailing, people won free excursions, spa packages, gift cards to the shops, and free bottles of champagne. It’s worth just showing up and registering if nothing else.
19. Research Your Excursions.
Shore excursions are a big money maker for the cruise lines, and sometimes they’ll use scare tactics to try to get you to purchase their tour and not one from an outside vendor.
Although you should be smart and know what time your cruise ship leaves, you are free to book an outside tour if you’d like. A lot of the popular tours in Nassau are the all-inclusive beach resorts or the Atlantis water park (which can be very expensive!).
Nassau has public transportation options that are very convenient for cruise travelers to use, as well as a cash-only taxi system.
(Note: If you use cash, negotiate the rate before getting into the vehicle.)
20. Bring Adapters/A Power Strip
Since this is an older ship, there aren’t many options when it comes to plugging in your devices and the ship does not have any USB ports in the staterooms. There is one electrical outlet in each cabin located in the desk area. The outlet is equipped with a 3-prong 110 volt and a 220 volt (European). Carnival details the information on its website.
Make sure you have an appropriate power strip without surge protection, otherwise it will likely be confiscated during embarkation and you won’t get it back until you debark your cruise.
We used the razor outlet in the bathroom to charge our watches at night, and used the regular outlet for our phones. Next time, I will be packing some type of USB/power strip contraption.
21. Pick Your Debarkation Zone Early.
Recently, Carnival changed up its debarkation process. Now instead of getting a luggage tag delivered to your cabin, guests can pick which zone and what time they’d like to debark. If you’re carrying your own luggage off, this won’t apply to you because you can walk off whenever you’d like.
However, if you have a late flight or don’t want to get off the ship super early, you can pick a later luggage tag. They go quickly, so if you have a certain time you’d like to get off the ship, get there early. The zone tags are typically located on deck five or near guest relations (I’ve seen them in both places on Carnival Liberty).
The do ask that you leave your stateroom by 8:30 a.m. on disembarkation morning so the cabin stewards can clean and sanitize the room for the embarking guests.
Do you have any tips to offer anyone sailing on the Carnival Liberty?
Want to read more from our special guest columnist Lauren Rodgers? Visit her blog, Lauren of All Trades.
This article was originally published in March 2019. It was updated and republished in February 2022.
Watch a Tour of Carnival Liberty (2018)