Liberty of the Seas, May 16-18, 2007
Can a Freedom class ship really get any better? For this cruiser it is wonderful to know that should I decide to get married again, I can do it while surfing onboard one of the most magnificent ships on the ocean, Liberty of the Seas! When you spend three days on a 160,000-ton ship, the time boils down to hours. As familiar as I am with this class of ship, it was a delight to once again encounter the gracious staff of Royal Caribbean. They must have a fantastic employee-training program, as everyone treats you like you are royalty. I have not run into one cross employee yet as I have on other cruise lines.
I am especially fond of the new bedding and flat screen TV's in every stateroom. Since you spend 1/3 or so of your cruise in bed, it helps to really enjoy it. In fact, I missed the show the first night because my cabin beckoned me! The pillows are a little too high for my damaged neck, so I have to adjust and sleep flat. Perhaps they will offer a feather pillow option at some point. With 24/7 complimentary room service, having breakfast on the balcony in my pajamas is my favorite part.
The food was just wonderful. For appetizers, we settled on the Escargot Bourguignon, which is baked snails in garlic herb butter in a perfect serving dish just right for dipping the crisp rolls into, plus Orange Carpaccio, orange slices, red onion, watercress, feta cheese and cumin mint yogurt. Delightful! Since I could not decide on so many great options, I asked my waiter to bring me several entrée's in smaller portions. I just had to have them all! Linguini pasta folded in a creamy wild mushroom and white truffle sauce had so much flavor I pictured the chef with a syringe full of mushroom essence infusing my dish before serving! The Orange Lime Salmon with sautéed baby bok choy and tomato chili compote was light and divine. The Eggplant Mozzarella Tower with chunky plum tomato sauce and balsamic glaze was not my mother's, but a good chef's second. The surf and turf was cooked to perfection. The surf was incredibly marinated and seasoned shrimp which my son Dylan and I could not get enough of. The Roasted Duck with black currant sauce, red cabbage and croquette potatoes and the desserts thrilled the pallet. The complimentary pizza at Sorrento's was a fun selection of cheese, veggie, chicken and other delights. The sandwiches in the coffee shop! Oh la la! There was also Grilled veggies on scones, Brie and ham on croissants, and many different desserts like little chocolate soldiers standing in a row. All included with your cruise fare. I did not partake of the Ben & Jerry's, but my son said every flavor he had was up to par. I tried to get to Johnny Rocket's for lunch, but considering the exquisite alternatives, the wait was far too long for this tummy to wait in line.
I want to save up all my money for as long as necessary to take my family on vacation in the Royal Suite! By far, the most incredible cabin at Sea. I have been on the exquisite Oceania ship Regatta, but I don't think it compares to this cabin on Liberty of the Seas. It was not the grand piano in the living room that thrilled me (although I could envision my daughter doing one of her tricks and playing chopsticks upside down and backwards) it was the gold freestanding bowls in the master bathroom with the elegant tub surrounded by cream and black marble and the built in window seat backed by a hand painted mural. What elegance and masterful design went into this cabin? I liked it much better than the Presidential Suite, which sleeps 14 and does not have the ambiance or fabulous living space of the Royal Suite.
They finally are selling socks in the gift shops, as I always forget mine and you must wear a pair before getting your shoes for the Rock Climbing Wall. After spending $24 on six pairs of socks so I could race my 6'4" son to the top, we found something better to do and missed the session. With all the bravado of a 24 year old, my son took on the challenge determined to beat the pants off of the President of Royal Caribbean, Adam Goldstein, in ping pong. It turns out that Adam has not been sitting behind a desk, is fit as a fiddle and put my son in his place with a win of 21-12. My son wanted to continue and take Adam outside to the full size basketball court, where he knew he would dominate, but Adam had other plans! My son had a ball surfing the first and every time he got up on the Flow Rider and we played the nine hole miniature golf for giggles.
The one show I managed to get to in this brief two night stay, had a very Cirque de Soleil flavor and was wonderfully choreographed with clever stage props and sparkling costumes. The acrobatics behind a veiled stage gave the unbelievable impression that you were watching a show that was taking place under water. It was a lovely fantasy and a great production with contemporary music. Nothing stodgy about this company. I will make sure to attend every show when I get onboard again in October for a week long party with my cruisers.
Bravo to Royal Caribbean for having the first Godmother in history, as far as I know, who is not a celebrity, but just a hard working American woman who cares about other people. Donnalea Madeley was voted the best one for the job, just a regular travel agent who has charities all over the world she supports.
Things you can't find on other ships: Generation YSPA: Spa service menu for Teens; Vitality Program: Tai Chi, Meditation, Chinese Herbs, Acupuncture, Fitness path in port, lectures on wellness topics, fitness shore excursions, menu options in Vitality program every day. Also, every food description was in four languages, English, Chinese, Japanese, & Korean. Have the Latin people not found Royal Caribbean yet? You can also whiten your teeth, have a couple's massage or an exotic Lime and Ginger Salt Glow. Is this a vacation or heaven? Once again, great job Royal Caribbean!