Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review by 71Bruin: Ist Transatlantic Cruise: Fantantic!
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Ist Transatlantic Cruise: Fantantic!
We are experienced cruisers (Diamond on Royal Caribbean) but this was our first transatlantic cruise. We chose a larger ship (Liberty v Legend) and a larger room (Junior Suite) because of the length of the cruise and the large number of sea days (9 in total, 8 straight). We had always loved the sea days but had no idea how we would like 8 in a row. The verdict is: "Fantastic". There were literally over 1,000 Diamond and Diamond Plus cruisers on this trip and we seemed to be the only transatlantic first timers! That tells you something. The Diamond/Diamond Plus party took up the entire lounge at the front of the ship on deck five (Royal Promenade deck). The drinks were plentiful, the service wonderful and the food adequate (why can't they make a cocktail meatball that doesn't almost crack your teeth when you bite into it?). the diamond lounge itself (deck 14) got a tad crowded and was near the Viking Crown lounge , so a bit out of the way as opposed to where they placed it on Oasis and More
Allure (deck 6 overlooking the Promenade). We used it a few times but didn't feel the need for it a lot.
Our cabin was simply great. I booked rather late due to a health issue which resolved sufficiently by early September to allow us to go at the end of October and got one of two remaining junior suites which was perfectly located near the rear elevator lobby on the 9th deck. The room was twice as large as our hotel room in Barcelona, with a nice 7 foot couch and a lounge chair with ottoman. Our cabin stewardess was very friendly and did a good job keeping the room nice and towels clean.
We had a good table for the late seating with two nice couples who were also Diamond level experienced cruisers. We like meeting new people on cruises and this was a nice result. One of the couples moved to our table from an unfavorable location on the second night and they stayed so we must have made a favorable impression on them and they were fun. The food was good, not great, and our service was very nice. The windjammer was adequately sized, unlike Oasis and Allure, and never felt overwhelmed, even on day one. (In fact, I asked about how full the ship was and was told it was full, which surprised me, because it just didn't feel crowded around the ship, except in the solarium.) Again, the food was good, not great but with cafeteria style and the volume they must prepare, I was fine with it. The dining room for breakfast was just OK from a service perspective (We tended to use the windjammer for breakfast because of its ease and their omelet bar was very good) and lunch in the dining room was good, but too short (12:00 to 1:00pm only).
The entertainment was mostly very good but lacked enough stand up comedy for me. They do Saturday Night Fever as a stage production and it was great. The Ice Show was amazing ( I simply don't understand how they do their tricks on ice, on a moving ship!). They had a Motown group from Vegas which was also excellent. The last night they had a novelty couple (she was a contortionist and he was a juggler, acrobat) Very engaging, very talented (boy could she bend into some interesting shapes!) So, all in all, hard to complain about the entertainment. The Cruise Director was Rich and some of our cruise buddies knew him from prior cruises and he was very good and engaged the whole way across from Barcelona. The 70's disco night party on the Promenade was a lot of fun along with the dancing in the "Catacombs". It was our first Halloween on the high seas and while we debated taking costumes, we decided not to, and it was our one regret about the cruise. May of the costumes we saw were great and creative. One cruise buddy went as Jack from Pirates of the Caribbean and his costume was AMAZING right down to the beard (His wife's costume was also great in the same theme). I kidded them about having to take an extra suitcase just for the costumes, and they said yes! Now that's dedication! The night was a lot of fun.
The front desk staff was really attentive and into problem solving, an A+ from me. The internet, and this is a REAL issue for me, was spotty at best, incredibly slow and incredibly overpriced. RCL really needs to take a look at this because it is very frustrating as a loyal RCL cruiser to spend up to 5 dollars before you even see the first web site you are trying to get to. Other cruise lines give their loyalty members free access to internet and don't try to gouge their other cruisers for a few more dollars of profit. Regardless, the quality and cost of that service needs serious help and improvement. We had our one excursion on St. Martin cancelled, for "lack of interest". Look, I'm 64 and my wife and I love to zip line, do exciting (not reckless) things etc so we booked that tour in St. Martin. We were the only ones to book the tour out of 3,500 passengers!!! Come on! I guess it was an older, more staid crowd with a large number of European guests but I was shocked to find out we were the only ones; very disappointing. I found lots of quiet nooks to read during the day and that was nice. They seem to have placed a lot of chairs around the ship in little sitting areas. On our cruise to New England a few years ago, it seemed tough to find a nice quiet out of the way spot just to read.
Overall, this was a great experience and we will be looking for other chances to go "Transatlantic!" Less
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