My husband and I travelled on the Liberty of the Seas ship in September, 2011, from Barcelona to Italy. This was our first cruise and we had been wanting to try it out since we've done the busy European touring vacations and the Caribbean beach vacations. We were looking for something in the middle where we could relax if we wanted to or be as busy as we wanted to. Cruising was it!
When we left, we had only booked an excursion in Rome, anticipation that we may want to relax more. By the first port, we realized that we wanted to see as much as possible, so we booked excursions every day, some half days and some full days.
ROOM: Our room was oceanview on the 7th level on the back right side of the ship. Rooms on the ship are small, but completely functional, even if you spend alot of time there. The only thing we would do different is to get a balcony room. It felt stuffy by the end of the week so airing it out would be great.
FOOD: We loved the food! There were so many options and we had the My Time dining plan for the main dining room. We ate where we felt like, probably about half buffet and half dining room. We didn't find it necessary to pay extra for the Johnny Rocket's or steak restaurant since the food in the dining room was excellent. The menu was different every night, but we really enjoyed our meals there. Book ahead if you'd like a table to yourselves, or if you'd like to mingle, you can be put at a table with several others. There's also room service, which we did a few times for breakfast. Unfortunately, our breakfast order was never right. We would order 2 plates of breakfast, but only receive 1. We started having buffet, but we didn't know until later on that the dining room also served breakfast.
EXCURSIONS: The excursions provided by Royal Caribbean were very good. All of the tour guides are very experienced and knowledgeable. Even the "On Your Own" tours have guides which give you alot of information and advice, including how to stay safe in the areas you are visiting. The excursion I liked the least was Pompeii, but only because it was so hot, and the cameo shop was okay.
THE SHIP: Since we visited a different port everyday, the last day was the only one dedicated at sea. We were happy to finally be able to see what it had to offer. We tried almost everything. The rock climbing wall was alot of fun and very high. We also tried out Flow Rider, which simulated surfing/boogie boarding. It was fun, but I probably wouldn't do it again because it was a little painful when falling off. The upper area has a hard rubber grate which cause a few scraped and bruises. The evening entertaining was really good. I wish we would've seen more shows.
OVERALL EXPERIENCE: We have finally found our favourite method of travel because it mixed the busy aspect with the relaxing aspect. We did what we wanted when we wanted. Even watched a movie on the upper deck from a hot tub! We also loved the cruise line and staff. Expect to have a bill of at least $1000 more after the cruise for drinks, on-board purchases and excursions. Next time, we would get both the wine and soda packages. We did choose to prepay our gratuities, which was very convenient.