This cruise was all about the ship - not the ports. I went on this trip with my two dear neighbors who had never cruised before so I wanted to make sure they experienced what I think is the BEST ship out on the seas right now. They had a wonderful time and have been completely spoiled by the Liberty of the Seas! This ship is a slightly smaller version of the Oasis and Allure of the Seas. They have the same top notch entertainment and perks of the Dreamworks characters. This is the 4th largest ship in the world and is #1 in my book!
Here are my top tips:
1) Before you book your cabin be sure to check out Deckgenius.com to get the inside scoop on all the cabins. Every Ship has some cabins which are configured with extra space due to the ships structure. Our AFT Cabin #7408 was a perfect example, it was the corner Aft Balcony with a balcony 3 TIMES LARGER than other similar graded cabins. It was massive and by being on the corner, we had amazing views from both the back and the side.
2)Fly in the night before and stay at one of the many hotels near the port that offer free airport shuttle and offer shuttles to and from the port for a small fee. Don't risk flying in the day of the cruise - the ship will not wait for you.
3) GET TO THE PORT EARLY! They might tell you to not show up until 1:30pm but trust me, be there at 10:30. You will breeze right through the lines and most often can be on the ship by 11:30 enjoying lunch and exploring the ship vs everyone else stuck in lines for 2 hours at the port.
4) Don't head straight to the Windjammer Buffet when you first board like everyone else but go to the Promenade on Deck 4 and enjoy a nice relaxing lunch at the Cafe Promenade or Sorrentos. The Lido deck will be packed while you can be exploring all the venues on Deck 3 - 4 - 5 with no crowds. A great way to familiarize yourself with the ship even before it sails away.
5) Most people do not need to waste money on prescription sea sickness meds or patches when all you need to do is pick up a $4 dollar bottle of generic motion sickness pills. We had some 50 mph winds on our cruise and a couple of those pills is all we needed.
6) Bring on your own wine, pop, or bottled water. They will allow you to bring on up to 2 bottles of wine or a case of pop per person. You can empty out the little minibar refrig in your room and use that to store your drinks. (except during Spring Break time when they do not allow you to bring on your own drinks) Bring your own sports bottle that you can refill daily with cold water, tea, or lemonade to use while you are laying around the sun deck or at port.
7) Go to the Main Dinning room for Dinner each night - this is an experience in itself. Ask for a large table so you can meet new people - you can even email RCLDining@rccl.com to ask to be placed by the windows. The menus offer great options, if you can't decide between two appetizers or entrees - order them both! We would order order 4 or 5 different desserts every night and share them because we could not make up our minds.
8) Check out several towels your first day so you don't have to stand in line each day to get a new pool towel. As long as you return all your towels by 11pm on the last night of the cruise, you will not get charged for them.
9) Get to all the main shows 20 minutes early if you want a good seat - making reservations really does not matter, just get there early. They have amazing shows so you don't want to miss them.
10) Disembarkation day - Carry your own luggage off so you can sleep in a little and not have to mess with waiting in big groups to get off the ship and then hunt around to find your bags.
This is my favorite ship hands down and I can't wait until I return in March for a Spring Break cruise with my 12 year old twins!!!