We cruised the RCCL's Liberty out of Barcelona in October on a 7 day cruise to ports in France and Italy. This was our 6Th cruise on a variety of cruise lines. Embarkation was a breeze and getting to our starboard balcony cabin was easy. We enjoyed the balcony but periodically had to retreat to the room when the smokers around us became bothersome. Clean cabin, excellent room steward and a quiet hallway was appreciated.
Buffet meals were pretty good but desserts were hit or miss. Cakes tended to be dried out and the sweets seemed to cater to the global cruisers - "Try to Identify that Candy." We chose Anytime Dining for dinner but made daily reservations to avoid waiting for a table. Our first waiter seemed to be from a different planet so we asked for a change and the service improved significantly. Entrees at dinner was really good or just so-so. Desserts seemed bland and the lack of variety was disappointing. Strangely, an additional cost Surf and Turf from Chops More
Steakhouse was offered some nights but we declined since we had reservations to eat there later in the cruise. Big mistake. When we did eat at Chops, there was no lobster at all on the menu. My wife's steak was excellent but my stuffed shrimp were shockingly bad. On the other hand, room service was good and we enjoyed practically everything they brought us. The great itinerary made up for the other issues, however. Good port choices, enjoyable excursions with the exception of Pisa/Florence where a disgruntled tour guide regularly fussed at all of us on the tour for acting like tourists. Later, in Florence's Uffizi gallery, he rushed us past famous works of art so he could stop and talk about his personal favorite, very unfamous works of art... And it was our most expensive excursion of the cruise.
We found the ship clean but minor problems kept popping up. The ATM's ran out of Euros quickly but were never refilled. The huge Wine Bar ran out of Riesling (!)...Mixed drinks varied from tasty to tasting like a cheap mix from a box. The entertainment was okay but seemed a little tired and mechanical..
We will probably cruise RCCL again and hope it will be closer to what we had expected for this cruise. Less
Liberty of the Seas Cruises to the Western Mediterranean
Cabin review: Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony
Starboard-side balcony cabin was quiet most of the time. Hallway was also quiet. Some balcony neighbors turned on boom boxes but not very often. Balcony smokers had us retreating back to our cabin periodically. Cabin Steward was very good. Cabin was comfortable and clean. Not much to watch on TV if you need that sort of thing.
Bused to Pompeii, kinda cool but it helps if you have a vivid imagination about what things might have looked like. Volcano is very far away considering that it buried the town. Then on to Sorrento with lots of OMG views from bus straight down to ocean 1000 feet below. Neat, scenic little touristy/souvenir town and reasonably priced. Then took high speed catamaran to Capri. Capri was the most beautiful place on our trip. Clear blue water, lots of OMG edge of cliff views (with fences), and lots of luscious plants, flowers, even cactus! Most shops closed from December to March when cold weather arrives. Many postcard views, souvenir shops and lots of inclines and steps. Overall, great scenic excursion...
Bus tour to the leaning tower of Pisa (it leans a lot!). You park in a distant parking lot and walk 15 mins or so to get there. Then had to rush around. No public restrooms but you can use the restrooms at McDonalds, after you purchase something! Then on to Florence. Right away they crammed us all into an expensive jewelry store that had restrooms. We had to get salesperson to unlock door so we could get away. On to Uffizi gallery was almost as good as Louvre but more cramped with paintings/sculptors in smaller rooms. Line went around the block, which we skipped, yay! Rushed by lots of famous works of art so the grumpy tour guide could stop and talk about his favorite, un-famous works -- Boo! Provided meal was good. More climbing up steps, but not too bad. Unfortunately, surly tour guide, frantic pace and high cost of this excursion put this into the "poor value" category.
First, we did a bus tour of Nice, nice town but not much to really see then on to the mountaintop medieval village at Ste. Paul de Vence. Many photo opportunities in this postcard town. Shops were nice - mostly artistic, vendors friendly and prices were moderate to high. Lots of narrow streets and alleys to explore and photograph. Some walking but not too strenuous. I would recommend.
Rome was too cool and crowded. Threw our coins in the fountain, saw the coliseum inside and out -- the line of individual tourists buying tickets seemed to stretch to infinity (we felt guilty skipping it) At the Roman forum excavations were still going on. St. John's Basilica was huge, lots of Michelangelo murals complete with mummified popes and the Pieta. Provided meal was good. They are starting to restore things that have toppled from earthquakes. Ticket said that Spanish Steps were included but we never saw them. Since you can't park near sights -- walk, walk and walk some more... Still, a great excursion with tons of things to photograph!