We (Deb and Jack from Massachusetts) cruised to the western Caribbean on January 23, 2014. This was a 4 night cruise. Our cruise experience has been with Royal Caribbean (8), Carnival (4), Norwegian (3), and Celebrity (2).
Pre-night we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Cruise Port. Highly recommend them. They have an airport shuttle too. We also stayed at the Beachcomber Resort in Pompano Beach. Highly recommend this place for their hotel being directly on the beach and great balconies with ocean view. There is a shuttle to the cruise port and the cost was $35 for two people.
First I will tell you about the best part of the cruise. On cruises, we usually get a balcony cabin when we cruise, but this time we tried a junior suite. What a difference a suite makes! The cabin seemed twice as big and the balcony certain was twice as big as a balcony cabin. In addition to the bed and desk, there was a full size sofa and a nice chair and foot stool. The balcony had two regular chairs and two reclining chairs. If the price is right in the future, that is the way we will cruise! I loved spending time in the cabin.
There were some problems that I will note. First of all, we had a $700 on board credit for this cruise because of our Royal Caribbean visa (credit card) reward points. It took us two trips to the guest relations desk to fix the problem of the credit not showing up on our account. Finally got it resolved on the last day and the only reason for that is because I called the Royal Caribbean corporate office myself to get the matter resolved.
The next problem involved our room steward. A very nice young woman who we asked to bring us ice each day. The cruise line has a new policy where you can get ice if you ask. They don’t automatically bring it to you like they have in the past. I didn’t know we had to also ask for glasses to go with the ice, but we did. We were told by the room steward that we would need to order a glass of water from room service in order to get a glass! Yeah, okay. Also we only like our rooms made up in the morning and not in the evening. Usually, the room steward will leave a towel animal at some point, but this trip we did not see one towel animal. We missed that extra touch.
Lastly, there is a paperless reward system at Royal Caribbean. Whatever level you are on their Crowne and Anchor reward tier, they give you coupons, but now they are just automatically deducted from your account. We had to wait in line at guest services for them to tell us that the $7.50 discount on the internet package gets refunded to you on the last day of the cruise. It would have been nice if they stated that on the paper that said the coupons are paperless! I must say that the discounts for the platinum level we were at (after 7 cruises with them) were useless. Mostly buy one, get one free things. Nothing was simply free. You are welcome, Royal Caribbean.
Getting on the ship: (embarking) was not as quick as usual. We normally arrive around 10:30 a.m. and this time we arrived at about 11:30 a.m. and there was a bit of a line. Not too bad though.
Mini-Bar: Ours did not get refilled daily, so if you use something from the bar… write a note to your cabin attendant to refill it.
Gratuities: The cruise line puts a $12 per person, per day, charge on everyone’s account. This drives me crazy! They will take it off if you go to guest relations which is what I do on most cruises. I will decide what to tip. Royal Caribbean, pay your employees more money if you want them to make a certain amount. Do not expect me to tip them what you want unless I feel they deserve it.
Breakfast and Lunch Buffets: We do not like eating in the dining rooms so we always eat at the buffets. Food was good and there was a decent variety each day. Not as many desserts as I recall from that past however.
Specialty Coffee at the Promenade Café on Deck 5: Stay away! The people working there do not know anything about specialty coffees.
Cruise Activities: I don’t think there was enough variety. Anything that looked interesting to us was late in the evening and when I am on a cruise… I do not stay up late. I stayed up late on one cruise to see the Quest though. You definitely must see that.
Casino: Very smoky and machines ate up our money very fast!
Cozumel: We decided to stay on the ship this time, but we had planned to visit Carlo ‘n Charlie’s if we got off because we have had fun there before. So I will recommend that you pay them a visit if you want some good laughs and drinks.
Shopping: On the last day of the cruise they had a tee shirt sale which was 2 for $20 so wait for that sale before you shop for shirts. They have the same sale on all cruises.
Ship Cleanliness: No complaints there. Use those hand sanitizers!
Disembarking (leaving the ship): Everybody has a color code and that determines when you will leave the Ship. Ours was first since we had booked an excursion. We booked the Land and Sea excursion and I would not recommend it. It is not worth the price and the amount of time we spent waiting for passengers who were not on time was ridiculous. Save your money and do something in Ft. Lauderdale on your own after you check your luggage at the airport if you have a late flight. The beaches in Ft. Lauderdale are only about 10 minutes from the airport.
Internet Connections: Internet was very slow and the cheapest package was $25 for 37 minutes of time.
Overall Cruise Comments: The Liberty of the Seas did not meet our expectations and this may be why the prices were so low for this cruise. I would not sail of this ship again and if it were not for the great rewards on this cruise lines visa credit card, I probably would not sail with them ever again.
Our goal for this cruise was to relax. That we did do. I loved our cabin and I loved the experience of sailing the seas.
If you have any questions about my review or experience, please feel free to email me at dw3333 (at) yahoo (dot) com and I will respond to all.