Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review by djkca: Liberty of the Seas a Very Mixed Experience
Overall Member Rating
Liberty of the Seas a Very Mixed Experience
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
My wife and i just returned from a Med cruise on RCCL's Liberty of the Seas that ran from September 29 to October 6, 2013. We booked a balcony room on an upper floor. The room was of an adequate size, as cruise ship cabins go. Having a balcony was nice but honestly we used it far less than I anticipated. To us, this particular cruise was less about enjoying the ship and more about seeing the wonderful places we were stopping at daily. The bed was comfortable. My main complaint about the room was that the shower leaked a lot of water onto the floor of the bathroom. Also, the room could have used one or two additional electrical outlets. During the course of the cruise, we found our cabin stewardess to be almost invisible but our room was generally kept in pretty good order.
The Liberty of the Seas is actually a very pretty ship and the Promenade has a fantastic European street feel to it. A number of restaurants and bars add a sidewalk cafe vibe that is very appealing. In More addition, there was a nice assortment of shopping available. My only criticism on this is that some of these venues became totally overloaded at times. The ship encourages people to use these public spaces to congregate, which is fantastic, but they simply don't have enough seating capacity most of the time. You end up with a coffee in your hand and no place to sit down and drink it. I cannot comment on the ice skating, the dock climbing, the surfing, etc because we did not use any of that.
One of the biggest reasons people go on a cruise is because they have an expectation of being fed well. I am afraid this is generally the biggest disappointment on this ship. The main dining room food never exceeds mediocre. On several occasions, my wife and I sent bad food back for a suggested "better" alternative. We were always equally disappointed with the alternative, gave up, ate a little, and left the rest for the trash bin. I will say that the wait staff in the main dining room is quite good.
The food in the Windjammer was even worse. A large percentage of it was completely inedible. Things like sausage were jammed with fillers, scrambled eggs appeared to be the worst powdered eggs I have ever encountered. The few items that were actually edible were often scarce. The Windjammer service was also horrible. You could not get anyone to clean a table and you had to fetch your own drinks because no one was ever available, etc. There were an inadequate number of tables to accommodate demand. At one point, someone got on the loud speaker and literally asked everyone to hurry up and get out to make room for others. I have been on about six cruises before and have never seen anything like it. RCCL should invest in some cattle prods to increase their table turnover efficiency!
The food in the paid restaurants (we went a couple times) was better. However, I would honestly say it was only on a par with the main dining room food on many other lines. The dining room food on Princess or Holland America easily equals what you must pay extra for on RCCL. These paid option restaurants should be a step up for something special; not an escape from the horrible food in the "all-inclusive" venues.
I do not expect good entertainment on cruise ships and RCCL met my expectations. My wife and I do enjoy the comedians frequently appearing on other cruises but they were completely absent here. This could be because there were a lot of Europeans and Chinese on the cruise and comedy often does not carry over culturally (or linguistically). Most of the options presented did not appeal to us so we simply passed. The one show we attended was the Saturday Night Fever show which was mediocre. One nice thing was the appearance of Dreamworks characters from Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and Madagascar. While we did not have kids with us on this trip, this was definitely great for families. Honestly, this was a very culturally diverse group of passengers. I am not sure it was possible to entertain everyone on board so I forgive RCCL on this area.
We took two shore excursions arranged through the ship and two we arranged with Share a Shore Excursion with others on Cruise Critic. After the first excursion in Provence, I cancelled our scheduled excursion in Nice. I was miffed that my headset did not work in Provence and i was given a completely inadequate credit from the line to compensate for this. The tour in Naples provided by RCCL was good but i think the tour guide's constant sneezing led to me being sick two days later. If you have a chance to use Share a Shore Excursion in Italy, you should. They were superb.
Logistically, RCCL did an excellent job of painlessly getting people embarked and disembarked. Totally clear process and absolutely polite and efficient people executing the process. Bravo on this point. Less
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