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A quick first look at Carnival Liberty reveals acres of teak-covered open decks, spacious lobbies and bold, cheerful colors. But before we can discover all that this huge vessel has to offer, we have to don our life jackets and head for the stifling hot Promenade Deck. Here, the mandatory Lifeboat Drill is taken very seriously. After a quick snack we venture out on deck to witness the departure from the shipyard. It took thousands of workers two years to build Carnival Liberty and as the giant vessel prepares to leave her place of birth, many yard workers can be seen saying farewell to "their" ship from the quays. At 5:00 PM the ship's deep whistle blows, the lines are cast and Carnival Liberty starts to maneuver to the open sea. Tugs and pleasure craft accompany the vessel out into the Adriatic Sea, while the shipyard workers use car horns and fire hoses to wish Carnival Liberty all the best for the future.

With the open decks lined with guests and the Italian sun shining in full force, Captain Marco Nogara slowly directs the vessel  towards the city of Trieste before picking up speed and setting course for our first port of call Dubrovnik. First surprise: no conga lines, no noise; just people enjoying the beautiful weather and a cool drink. Even when sailing at 23 knots, you really don't notice you are on a ship. When walking the deserted decks later that night it is clear that most people on board are not that interested in the nautical aspect of the voyage. Carnival Liberty, like all Carnival ships, is a floating resort meant to dazzle and impress and provide everything we have come to expect of a cruise vacation. Whether we sail at 10 or 20 knots... Who cares?

A salute from the Monfalcone Fire Brigade

Carnival Liberty leaving her place of birth
Slowly sailing towards Trieste
First cruise...

Deserted decks

Carnival's signature funnel

A view from the bridge - on the pool deck's giant screen
Leaving Italy behind
Wide open decks - another Carnival hallmark
Waiting for screening of Titanic on the giant screen...

 

Photos and text: 2005 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

First published on November 5, 2005

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