Cruise News Weekly Editor Michael Coleman is aboard Carnival Liberty on a Western Caribbean itinerary this week. Here’s his latest dispatch:
AT SEA, en route to Miami – Dec. 11, 2009 — The monumental task of serving eight meals plus snacks per day for some 3,000-passengers runs like clockwork aboard Carnival Liberty.
Passengers aboard the 110,000-ton vessel will have consumed 45,300 eggs, 23,750 shrimp, 7,350 hamburgers, 6,950 bananas, 6,480 pounds of chicken, 5,400 pizzas and 3,200 steaks when their Western Caribbean voyage concludes tomorrow.
Obviously, culinary choices aboard Liberty abound.
There are two main dining rooms (Silver and Golden). Each feature diverse menus with six appetizers, two salads, six entrees and four desserts offered nightly. Look for a broiled lobster tail to be served once during the voyage. Dinner menus also include vegetarian selections and Spa Carnival Fare, guilt-free items that are lower in fat, sodium, cholesterol and calories.
An extensive wine and after-dinner drinks list is available.
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.
The restaurant’s extensive menu also features items such as double-cut lamb chops, broiled lobster tail, veal chops, and Chilean sea bass. 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.
Still hungry? The ship also features late-night buffets, along with a more elaborate Gala Midnight Buffet and Chocolate Extravaganza offering a variety of all-chocolate desserts once each cruise.
Liberty also features one of Carnival’s largest spa/gymnasiums at sea to work off the calories before enjoying your next culinary experience.