We recently took a short cruise just as a quick spring getaway. We chose the Liberty of the Sea because we like the Freedom class ships and we did not want to be gone very long. We thought it was a good combination.
We always fly in the night before so as to not have a stressful embarkation. When we arrived at the pier, there was a crowd but we went straight to the Diamond line and were helped quickly. The person checking us in was in a foul mood and that kind of set the tone for the weekend. We took our luggage with us so we didn't have to wait on it. Rooms are not ready until 1:00pm no matter what so plan accordingly.
Lunch in Windjammer was awful.
Our room was fine as always. RCCL no longer allows attendants to put ice in your room. We thought that was odd.
We have always had reasonably good experiences on RCCL but this was not one of them. It was ok but not great. We decided on the flight home that even though we have cruised alot with RCCL and are Diamond members, we will choose a different cruise line next time.
We saw a noticeable decline in several areas. The food in the main dining room was borderline uneatable. The service was even worse. After 3 requests for a cocktail, we gave up. After night number one, we ate in Portifino and then Chops for dinner. The food in Portifino was better than the MDR, but not good. The service in Portifino was marginal. Our meal in Chops was excellent - almost outstanding - as was the service. We tried to eat there the 4th night but couldn't get in. Dinner in the main dining room on the last night was horrible. We went to the Windjammer once and never returned. It was like a bunch of starved cattle feeding at the feed lot. Food was disgusting.
The customer service we have come to really enjoy was no where to be seen. Drink servers at the pool were almost never to be seen; cabin attendant was polite but did an average job. Never did see the cruise director which was unimportant to us but still we thought odd. The entertainment on the ship was a joke. The music was awful and the entertainers were bored out of their minds as were the passengers.
I used numerous public ladies' room around the ship and they all were a mess. Toilet paper missing, toilet paper on the floors - what's up with that?
We made one stop in Cozumel and all the rest was spent on the ship. Too much time on the ship to not have good customer service and good entertainment.
The Liberty is a nice ship and we hope RCCL does a little intervention with her!
RCCL may be cutting corners and it shows. We spent several thousand dollars on this vacation and it was not worth it.
We always carry our own luggage off the ship and we did this again on this cruise. We left at 7:30am and it took us 1 1/2 to clear customs. 3500 people and they have 3 customs agents.
The terminal is in a warehouse looking building with no AC so be aware. Don't book an early flight home. The Liberty is heading to Rome in April so you won't have to deal with this in Fort Lauderdale.
We met some nice people from California who had booked 4 staterooms overlooking the Promenade. Don't do it. They were miserable. They said the noise was so bad with disco music booming all night, they were thinking about sleeping outside by the pool.
We always book at least a balcony room and this cruise was no exception. We were thinking how nice it would have been to have had the option of staying on a Diamond/Diamond Plus level adult floor where you would be insulated from all the kids running up and down the hallway all night yelling. The people next to us were out on their balcony smoking so much, we felt like we were smokers. RCCL needs to not permit this or at least have a non-smoking balcony option. Also, if you are a smoker you will love RCCL. There is smoking everywhere - bars, casino, pool area - and it is hard if you are a non-smoker.
One final note - RCCL has now implemented a new tipping rule. They automatically charge all tips to your Seapass account whether you like it or not. The servers all get the same regardless so it has removed all incentives to the staff be nice and helpful to the passengers. It really showed. This was a bonehead move on RCCL's part.
We are going to look for a change.