Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review by jjfitzy: A Fantastic Cruise With Family
Overall Member Rating
A Fantastic Cruise With Family
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
My wife and I, our five children and one friend sailed on 2/15 for a 5 night cruise to Belize and Cozumel. This was our 3rd cruise, having sailed on Disney and Carnival. I was a little apprehensive about Liberty and RC after reading some of the reviews, but I've come to realize that many people set unreasonably high expectations or give a negative review based on one or two trivial bad experiences. I also notice that many people expect a cruise to be the same experience as dining at a 5-star restaurant, which it's not. If you insist on 5-star dining, you're better off going to NYC or San Francisco and staying in a hotel.
The good points: The boat is fantastic, new-looking, and very upscale. We never lacked for things to do. If you have kids, you'll never see them because they'll be on the mini golf course, rock wall, basketball court, rock wall, or flow rider which is absolutely amazing. The walking/running track on deck 12 was great to use in the morning, as was the fitness More center.
Everything was really clean. Even the public restrooms were luxurious. I saw workers cleaning railings, glass, door handles, elevators etc. on many occasions. They constantly required you to clean your hands with sanitizer at the dining area entrances and whenever getting off and back on the boat (not sure why other reviewers would complain about this?).
The "mall," (promenade), ice rink, theater, and bars/lounges were also fantastic. Many great places to hang out. We saw the ice show (great), skated on the rink, and saw the acrobatic show which was also great. Didn't do Sat. Night Fever. Had fun in the casino but it smelled like they allow smoking in some parts.
My wife, oldest son and I did the pre-paid premium drink package ($55 per person per day) and it was so worth it. It includes all beers, all the top-shelf liquor, frozen drinks, and good wine (except in the wine bar unless you select something under $12, none of which was very good) . Assuming beers were about $7 or $8, frozen drinks probably $10 or $12, wine $8 or $10, mixed drinks around $8, and liquors like Crown Royal and Gran Marnier $10+, plus tips, you get outstanding value with the package if you do 5 drinks or so a day...not hard to do on a cruise when you're at the pool all day, cocktails before dinner, then dinner and after-dinner activities. Tip: if you like red wine like me, find the bars that serve Clos du Bois Merlot and Cabernet, believe it or not it's served at the Sky Bar outside on deck 12 above the pool. Also at the bar on deck 4 in the back by staircase. Their house red served in most of the other bars is pretty bad.
Food was pretty decent in my opinion. As I said, I didn't have high expectations, but I found one or two things each night I thought were very good. The dining room is magnificent and I thought the service was good, a bit slow on some nights but we like to take our time anyways. The apps and desserts were great, entrees ok, and I thought the Windjammer was very good for a buffet. Great fresh fruit and salads if you want to go healthy. One of the best things food-wise was the pizza/Italian place in the promenade. It had great breads, cheeses, salads, some pastas and pizza all at no extra charge. We ate at Johnny Rockets one night instead of the formal dining night and it was great ($5 charge per person).
Belize was OK; we booked our own cave tubing excursion and that was great ("CavetubingRus" which you can find on the web). Not much to see right in Belize City. Cozumel was fun; for a good meal go out of cruise terminal shopping area to the main street, turn left and walk past El Cid Hotel to Eduardo's Fajitas. A great local place right on the water with awesome fajitas etc. So much better than the tourist trap Senor Frog's. We did RC's catamaran snorkeling excursion for $39 per person which I highly recommend, it even includes free beer and margaritas on the trip back.
The not-so-good: There wasn't much to criticize. Embarking took a little longer than expected because the boat was late arriving, but for the size of the crowd I couldn't really complain and the lines moved quickly. Had to pass thru many "checkpoints" in the terminal and on the boat before we were "free" to wander around.
I occasionally ran into a less-than-friendly employee, particularly in the bar areas. As the trip went on they became a bit less patient each day. They weren't very accommodating to our kids ordering sodas and Shirley Temples at the bars. But there were so many bars and lounges, you could just go somewhere less crowded to get served. And not being pushy went a long way towards getting what you wanted, quickly.
There were also photographers stopping you everywhere to take your picture, which they then try to sell to you on the last night at really high prices (must have worked though 'cause my wife bought 4 :-)
The interior cabins were small but modern and very clean. The bathrooms were tight and a couple of days/nights we noticed a bit of sewage smell, like the toilet had backed up . But this didn't last the whole trip.
All in all, it was a great trip on a great boat. Any negatives or inconveniences didn't sway our opinion one bit. All 8 of us, with a wide variety of tastes and expectations, said we would take this cruise again in a heartbeat. We loved it. Less
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