My wife and I cruised on Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas August 25th.
I'll say up front that this was a great vacation. All the people we dealt with were magnificent and the ship is wonderful.
We flew into Barcelona one day early and spent the night at the Hilton Diagonal Mar hotel. We arrived at the hotel about 10:00 AM and were greeted at the desk by Hugo who was very helpful in both checking us in and helping us plan our day. We knew our room would not be available until midafternoon so we wanted to take a guided tour of Barcelona. We had purposely not pre-booked because we were unsure of how we would feel after our first all night Trans-Atlantic flight.
Not to worry, Hugo had us a guide with a Mercedes Van in 30 minutes. Armando with Diagonal Mar Limousines was absolutely delightful. He was knowledgeable, professional, experienced and friendly. Little did we know that this, like all of our "private" tours in Europe, would be a "5 star experience". Armando priced us a 4 hour private tour for 300 Euros (Cheaper if you don't book through the Hotel) but he ended up taking us for 5 hours. We saw everything we had previously scouted out on the internet and much more. Our first of many wonderful guides!!
We boarded the Liberty hassle free the next day and met up with our travel partners, my Sister and Brother-in-law. My wife and I had booked an owners suite because we previously sailed on Freedom of the Seas (sister ship to the Liberty) in the exact same suite. Great room!!
Our experience on the ship was pretty good. The people we dealt with directly, our waiter Dennis, Assistant Waiter Rohn, and cabin Steward Nadia were the finest we've experienced in 3 Royal Caribbean cruises. We had booked My Time Dining for the week and during dinner the first night we found our waiters, Dennis and Rohn, to be the absolute best of any we had ever had on any cruise line. We requested that we have them every night and they certainly did not disappoint. Great experience, however the food unlike the service, was good, but not great (except for deserts which were fabulous). Then again, everyone has their own tastes. We did feel that the excellent wait staff more than offset the mediocre meals. 3 stars out of 5 for the food, 8 stars out of 5 for the service resulting in our 5 star rating for dinning.
The cabin was great except for one small disappointment. Suite guests are no longer offered complementary daily bottles of water in the room or free tours of the Galley and other parts of the ship. Having enjoyed these when we sailed on the Freedom it's hard to understand why something so relatively insignificant in cost to the cruise line would be eliminated. I would definitely recommend to RC to reconsider this decision. Maybe "Penny wise but Pound foolish"?
The Concierge room and service offered to Suite guests is a nice perk and was one of the reasons we re-booked the Owner's Suite on the Liberty after staying in it on the Freedom. Guests are treated to "Happy Hour" drinks with food and to a 24 hour private lounge area with a self-serve coffee bar.
Our very able Concierge was Carlos. He attended to our every whim from being able to book us a last minute bus tour to printing out our boarding passes for the flight home.
The shows we saw, Saturday Night Fever, the Ice show and the Magician were great and of Las Vegas quality.
One thing I would highly recommend is checking out private tours rather than the group bus tours. We Used Rome In Limo for our 3 tours in Italy and found that for 4 people the price was about the same or less than the bus tours. We paid 500 Euros per tour for 4 of us in a Mercedes Van with excellent English speaking guides. This compares with the 165 (about) Euros each for our bus tour of Nice/Cannes our second day out. I can guarantee you won't be disappointed with Rome In limo.
Our Nice-Cannes bus tour was good but obviously not the experience of a private tour. The good points were we had a wonderful English speaking French lady who was an excellent guide and we ate at a charming French restaurant. The bummer was we had one couple who evidently were so totally clueless or unconcerned that they were constantly late getting back to the bus, thereby wasting everyone else's tour time. It got so bad that even after being warned repeatedly by our guide that they risked being left if they would not comply with the rules, they failed to appear for 20 minutes after lunch. To the applause of every one on the bus, we finally left them.
One of our stops was a French perfume factory where we were shown how perfume is developed and produced. We had a perfume "smelling" session and explanations of the different fragrances.
Thankfully, the last day of this particular cruise is spent at sea giving us time to wind down and relax after our fun filled week.
Disembarking, like the embarking process was hassle free. I do recommend if you have many suitcases you should try and grab a porter in the baggage area to expedite the process. He took our 5 cases directly to the waiting van and led us to our bus for the short drive to the airport.
All and all, it was a vacation of a lifetime for us on a lovely ship and in some very wonderful countries.