This cruise on Liberty was my 18th cruise, 14th on RCCL and 3rd on Liberty. This is my first time writing a review, I have appreciated the ones that have been written and thought I would return the favor.
I flew to Orlando from Toronto a few days prior on business. I rented a car from Orlando airport and drove it to FLL the night before the cruise. With Budget, the rental for a SUV was $79 plus fees. My wife and another couple, all of in our early 40's flew in the night before the cruise.
We stayed the night near SawGrass Mall. The hotel was a La Quinta and was just fine for the $125 a night and was no more than a 20 minute drive to the port in the morning.
We arrived to the port a little after 10am. The two guys dropped the ladies at the ship and then returned to the airport to drop off the rental car. Although there was only 1 other ship in port that morning, the process of driving back, returning the car, walking to terminal one and catching a cab back to the port took between 45-60mins. Most of that was spent in traffic.
We walked into building shortly after 11AM. We breezed through security and check in, and as we were diamond members we were escorted past the waiting crowds upstairs into a smaller waiting room. (they allowed our travel mates to accompany us as well. They started boarding around 1130. We were boarded shortly after diamond plus and suite guests, but once the boarding process started we were on the ship in under 10 minutes.
We chose the cruise for the ship itself, the price, and the duration.....it just worked for us. We originally booked an interior room but were upgraded to a ocean view. We were deck 10 back corner room. There is one room there with a portal as all the other cabins seem to have a balcony.
This was my first RCCL cruise where they had the drink packages available. I have sailed Celebrity with it on a 12 day Med Cruise and found it convenient. As this was a 4 day cruise and it seemed everyone there was partying a bit more than usual, it was well worth it. It was $55 a day, grats in. I never had any issues with it, and I believe I came out ahead.
The ship itself was clean and well maintained, I never had any problems whatsoever with any of the crew or any of the amenities.
We took advantage of the diamond member 20% discount at the spa and had a couples massage. Not the greatest I ever had, and seemed closer to 30mins rather than 50, but it was relaxing nonetheless.
We never had any issues finding deck chairs, we generally sat on Deck 12 right by the top of the cantilever hot tubs. We did find that deck chairs sat with a book on them for hours with no one sitting on them. I never will understand that.
The adult only pool I found quite cold. It was there to serve a purpose, refresh yourself and get out.
We saw most shows and the headliner comedian, they were all good to above average. But I will say, that I have never enjoyed a show on all my cruises more than the Saturday Night Fever Show. I thought it was fantastic.
Now for the food. This was the disappointment for me. While it was not terrible, it just wasn't great. I remember a time when the food was spectacular. No more. Yet this was a first for me, this was the first time we said to each other that the food was just not that good. We did "Chops" the NY was just ok. The rest of the nights we ate in the MDR. Don't get me wrong, we ate enough to gain weight. We were never hungry. We just weren't blown away with any one meal. That being said, we did enjoy the sandwiches in the Promenade Café, they made a great midnight snack.
We went one night dancing, it was packed and went late into the night, two other nights we sat at the Piano Bar and enjoyed that as well.
For anyone not paying the sea pass card with a visa....our travel mates did not. They put cash down and when they went over that, they were cut off from purchases, even from their drink packages. They went to guest services and put there credit card down. The payment was taken from the card and the card was the used to secure the rest of the payments, but the RCCL system never showed this. Finally they were given a business card from Guest Services, and every time they made a purchase, the crew member had to call to verify the account was in good standing. That was definitely an inconvenience, but we never let it ruin the trip. So if you can, my recommendation is to put down a Visa.
We chose the "carry your own bags off" option. As it seems everyone else did, probably being just a 4 day cruise. The process was to start at 7:30....we came down about 7:15. By 7:30 the line started at Studio B....back into the MDR.....around the MDR....back out and up the stairs to Deck 4. We were in line right at the MDR doors. Once we started moving in took exactly 1 hour to clear customs. We grabbed a cab and made in to FLL in time for a 10:30 flight.
We came home and this weekend booked a great deal on Allure for the March 9th sailing.