Our 1st time on a RCCL ship the "Liberty of the Seas" & on a 14 day transatlantic cruise to Barcelona,Spain with 5 stops. It was our 1st time also to Europe. We enjoyed a wonderful experience on the biggest ship we have cruised on to date (Only 10 cruises so far but 7 in the last 4 years). We really liked the enclosed promenade & the decor of the Liberty. We love ballroom & Latin dancing as we only learned at home with DVD's from a dance studio in Tampa, Fl. (14 different dances in the last 15 months.) Are only complaints were too small of dance floors & the steaks at dinner were not very good. The ship never seemed crowded except on "Captains Night" & the "Dreamworks Parades". We liked the live bands that played every night & really enjoyed dancing on the wood floor of the ice rink to the "Liberty Orchestra" & the Liberty's Jaz band (which also include the main singers from the production shows) in the "Oliver or Twist" lounge on the 14th floor. We had the floor to ourselves on a More
few dances. A lot of people missed out on this since it was the last night before disembarkation. We compare RCL closely with Celebrity & Princess cruise lines as our other favorites so far. A very nice cruise experience on a good looking ship!
The Ice show was amazing along with the "Up in the Air" theater show. Had a very funny Magician & a funny Juggler, too. The "Saturday Night Fever production was a must see. Make sure you have reservations for the shows as seats are limited.
We joined the CC "Meet & Mingle" group of some 200 "Cruise Critters" & enjoyed the new relationships we formed. The Liberty staff did a nice reception for us. Enjoyed the "gift exchange" & slot pull(even though 50 of us did not win anything, which I think the casino rigged ahead of time since they picked the machine we were to use).
Since there is no Port on the list for Malaga, Spain, I will do the review here!!
Port rating (4).
This was a short port day so got off the ship early. We again did the HoHo bus around the city. Walked a lot,too. Stopped at "Castillo De Gibralfaro" up the hill. Incredible view of the surrounding area. A great view of the "Bullring from here. It was a zoo because of all the tour buses that were at the top with little room to maneuver. The HoHo bus had a hard time even getting to the drop off/pick up point. But this is a must see while in Malaga. Back on the HoHo after some fight to get back on the bus form all the people waiting in line. Actually walked back down the hill & stopped the bus as he was coming up to the drop off point. Back off the bus & walked to the "Cathedral of Malaga", "Roman Theater" ruins next to "Alcazaba", & the "Plaza Merced". All we had time for before getting back to the ship without rushing.
Again there is no listing for Valencia, Spain so will do the review here.
Port Rating (4).
We tried to get help from the Liberty desk about free shuttle to the front gate of the port but was told several times that we had to purchase a bus ticket for rt of $15 each to get to & from the ship since we were docked in a commercial area of the port & walking was prohibited. After taking the bus to the central area of the city we found out there was indeed a free shuttle to the entrance to the commercial port & a stop a couple of blocks away to get the city bus. We hopped a city bus around the whole city then walked the city center. A long day of walking but worth it. We saw Serrina Bridge, & Towers, Baroque Cathedral, plazas, , bull arena, central market building where all the locals shop for their food, flowers, etc. A very nice day to see Valencia. Less
The closet on our inside cabin was tight & hard to get to when Bathroom door open.
Great quiet room & hallway at the back of the ship. Fairly easy to get to the back elevators. We had the best room steward of any cruise we have taken.
Barcelona was our cruise disembarkation point. We took a cab to the "Barcelona Aeropuerto Hotel" which is right next to the airport for a 1 night stay in Barcelona. Cost us $102 for the night thru Hotwire.com. They stored our luggage for us since we were an early arrival. we the hopped a bus which had a stop just a block away from the hotel back to the "Plaza De Cataluna". We the got on the HoHo bus for a trip around the city. Since it was Saturday, Barcelona was a mob scene all day. People everywhere & line after line of people lined up to visit the sites. We decided to stay on the HoHo most of the time. Saw many sites including Gothic Quarter, Plaza De Espana, Olympic Stadium, Columbus Statue, "Paseo de Gracia (La Pedrera)" & "Temple de la Sagrada Familia" Got back off the bus at the "Plaza De Cataluna" & walked the "Las Rambla" to a side street that led to a "Placa Reial" where we ate an early dinner. Very quaint & romantic eating at the "Braseria Steakhouse Rossini" in the outside cafe. Hopped back on the HoHo to go to the "Palau Natcional de Montjuic" & the "Font Magica de Montjuic" to watch the Fountains come alive at sunset to the music.Back on the HoHo to "Plaza de Cataluna" where we caught the bus back to our hotel. Need at least a week to see everything up close in Barcelona. As a side note. Nancy's parents were in Barcelona 50 years ago & still had post cards & booklet that was saved over the years showing the sites back then. She enjoyed knowing we were visiting the same places they did.
Since we were to Nassau on previous cruises where we took a water taxi to Atlantis & a catamaran snorkel trip past Paradise Island, we decided to take a bus ride to Cable Beach. It was a huge disappointment because we wanted to walk the beach back along the hotel district but were stopped & not allowed to go through the "Sandles Resort" resort beach "property". So we hopped a bus back to Fort FinCastle (Water Tower) & walked up to the "Queens Staircase" & walked back to the ship. Not a real hard walking trip but ask someone which way to go before starting from the downtown area. Saved a lot from what the tour companies were charging.
We did not take the tour to Seville but opted to take the city buses around Cadiz. Cost us about 4 Euros. We then walked around the walking trails in the historical areas. Stopped at Plaza De Espana, Palace of Congress, San Carlos Gate, Church of Carmen, Cathedral Square, etc. Walked back to the ship.
We did a "Hop on Hop OFF" (HoHo) bus loop around the city. We got off at "Plaza de Espana" & found the tram station to La LaGuna which is up the mountain.We had fun trying to get our round trip tickets from the machine till a German couple came along & pushed a button for English to make it easy since we don't speak Spanish. We got off but was confused on which way to go & see to take pictures of Santa Cruz from above. A map would have helped but was all commercial business area. So we walked a ways & got back on the tram back down the mountain. It was all city along way with lots of stops but enjoyed being with the locals even if we could not communicate with them. We jumped back on the HoHo & stopped at A very nice park (Parque Garcia Sanabria). Walked to the next HoHo stop & rode back the the ship.