Preparing for Bahamas Cruise aboard the Carnival Liberty

Almost time to start packing. On July 16, Pam and I leave for a summer getaway to the Bahamas aboard Carnival Liberty.

Liberty, launched in 2005, was the first Carnival ship to undergo the “Fun 2.0” transformation in 2011, an almost one billion dollar-initiative to add new features and experiences across the Carnival fleet. Those included an outdoor theater, Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint, RedFrog Rum Bar,  BlueIguana Cantina, Alchemy Bar, EA Sports Bar and a DJ nightclub.

That should keep us busy.

Our 4-night, 5-day itinerary includes stops at Nassau and Freeport, and you know what that means: Shopping. For the most part, Pam usually bypasses the mainstream shops and heads for vendor booths along the side streets, where she has scored good deals in the past.

Earlier this year, Carnival announced the signing of a multimillion-dollar agreement to build a new cruise port in Freeport. Set to be located on the eastern side of Grand Bahama Island, it will accommodate two large ships at a time and feature a beach with recreational activities. Final approvals and permitting are still pending.

You might recall Liberty made news in 2015 for an engine room fire when the ship was docked in St. Thomas. There were no injuries and it was recently reported the National Transportation Safety Board attributed the cause to loose bolts.

At 110,000 tons, Liberty will accommodate almost 4,000 guests at capacity. We’ll be departing from Port Canaveral, which is a first for us. We’ll let you know how parking and embarkation compares with Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

So grab your favorite hat and cocktail and come along. The blue waters of the Caribbean are calling our names. — GERRY BARKER

Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

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