Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review by gotaluvit: Good but a Miss for Me
Overall Member Rating
Good but a Miss for Me
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
First time on RCI. We chose the cruise based on a set schedule more than anything else. The ship and ship facilities were super and the vast majority of the staff was helpful. I did hear over hear more bitching about management and other staff than I recall ever encountering before on a cruise but it was not a big deal. To me, the on board entertainment was probably the best I have ever seen. The general environment was off for me. RCI seems to do Las Vegas style with emphasis on the casino and late night activities. There was also way more tolerance for smoking than I appreciate. At least two of the lounges allowed smoking which made them "off limits" for me. Both of these factors contributed to the "miss" for me although I understand others would see it differently.
The big miss was the food service. Let's face it, many of us do the buffet for breakfast and lunch and variety was lacking. They had many stations but most offered the same fare. Overall quality was More good for what they did have. I got the impression that those that had fixed dinner seating were happy with the service. Overall, I would say that the menu and quality was good. Frankly, I am always amazed that these huge ships can do as well as they do. We chose the "any time" option and it was obvious that RCI was only doing this to try to compete with other lines that have this option. They only allowed us in 1 of the main dining rooms and the seating process was a total mess. Your reward for making a reservation was to wait longer that those that just walked up and they were understaffed at the doors (one person was taking reservations on the phone and managing seating at the same time). Your only other options were two highly priced specialty restaurants. I contrast this to the category leader that has many more and reasonably priced specialty options and the ability to go to any of the main rooms with a much smoother process. RCI needs to fix this or give up.
Leaving the ship was just plain frustrating. It took over 3 hours and RCI was not very good at keeping passengers informed. To be fair, I think the majority of the problem had to do with a lack of adequate customs staff which might, in turn, have been due to arriving on Saturday with 6-7 other ships. To me it is not good enough for the cruise line to say "not my fault, it's customs / immigration". I am in their hands until I am free and clear of the dock and they need to do better. Less
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