Just returned from our first cruise with Royal Caribbean on Liberty of the Seas. Before leaving I was a little worried as some reviews had not been so good especially about smoking and children. However during the whole cruise we did not have one issue with either.
Our cruise departed from Barcelona was very straightforward and within 20 minutes we were onboard. However when we first arrived at the port there seemed to be a lot of people outside sorting out luggage tags, this could all be sorted out if they just send you your luggage tags prior to departing but I am sure that this is due to cost saving.
Once onboard we went to the Windjammer to have some lunch and was delighted to see the different types of food available. An amazing choice and this continued throughout the entire cruise. I am not one for buffet food but it was lovely and the staff so helpful and friendly it made the atmosphere very enjoyable so we continued to eat breakfast and lunch most days in the Windjammer.
At 1 pm our cabins were ready and some of our cases had already arrived. We were staying in a Junior Suite on Deck 9 (midship) and Prakesh our steward came to greet us. He was always friendly and extremely attentive and could not do enough for us. The cabin was spacious and even when the sofa became a bed at night for our two children to sleep on we still had plenty of room. It was spotlessly clean on our first day and remained this way until we left thanks to our Steward.
All ports of call were lovely especially Villefranche and we took the tender into port and then walked for 5 minutes to the train station for a 15 minute journey to the amazing Monaco, a fabulous place with so much to see and do (definitely a place not to be missed). We decided not to go to Rome as we felt for a family of four there is too much to see and do in Rome and so we enjoyed the ship with only half the people on board and we all thought this was the best decision. We did the Pisa on your own tour and felt the tour guide was very informative during our hour long journey but sadly we only had one hour at Pisa itself so there was no time to go up the tower or visit all the other buildings within the square. at Naples we took a taxi to Pompeii who then picked us up 2 hours later.
I cannot forget to mention that the Shows were amazing, and certainly as good as many West End shows. Saturday Night Fever was just brilliant and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.
We ate every night in Michaelangelo's at 7pm. We had a table for 4 and quite possibly had the best waitress ever. Daniella was lovely and friendly. She greeted us every evening with a smile, spoke to my children as if they were her own and couldn't do enough for us, for example I asked for some lemon on the first night for my water and from then on it was on the table to greet me. She was quick to discover our likes and dislikes and would advise accordingly.
My only gripe was that not everyone adhered to the dress code. I appreciate that it is just a suggestion, but it did not seem right that on formal night when most men wore suits (not tuxedos like P&O) that quite a few people came in to dinner in jeans and t-shirt. I felt that this was a real shame, I think it is lovely to go back to your cabin after a day of sightseeing or sunbathing to get changed and go for dinner in beautiful surroundings. (Maybe its just me!!!).
All in all we had a brilliant holiday, certainly a few things could be better but its not very often you can have a holiday that is perfect but this was not far from it.