Embarkation: We arrived at the cruise terminal at approximately 12:20 on Saturday the 10th. We were able to queue up inside, but were held up in the second terminal for nearly 2 hours. We were not able to board the ship until after 2 PM. I later learned from one of the crew that there was apparently a power glitch? that prevented the ship from being cleared by customs officials. From the previous RCI cruises we had sailed, this seemed out of the norm so we didn't get too upset at the delay. I heard quite a bit of complaining during this wait however.
Once on board we made our way to our cabin (6514). The cabin was very large and roomy. There are PLENTY of spaces to hide away luggage once you have unpacked and more than enough room for two adults and their belongings. There is a nice size sofa, flat panel TV, and the bed is large and extremely comfy…possibly more comfy than my bed at home. The balcony is also very spacious. We picked this room because it is at the end of the hall at the front of the ship with no room on one side. An added bonus is that the balcony has a see through wall to the front of the ship so you can sit on the balcony and watch your forward progress. We love the far forward cabins! After relaxing for a bit, we headed off to make reservations for Chops for the week. Good thing we did…even after only a few hours there were not a lot of good time frames left. We also found out you cannot make reservations by phone that first day…you have to go to the restaurant. We were pretty hungry at this point but the Windjammer was not an option…the entire ship seemed to be gathered there. I noticed that Sorrento's pizza in the promenade was not that busy. Went there instead and enjoyed a leisurely meal of pizza with very few people around. Keep this in mind for boarding day.
Dinner was the main seating table 316 Rembrandt dining room. Met our table mates (A big Hi to Rick and Vidya from New York…there couldn't have been two nicer people on board!) Our other table mates never showed….their loss LOL! Our waiters were Sandeep and Ainsley. They were OUTSTANDING! Request them if you can! My wife had the prime rib and I had the sirloin. All very tasty. The show that night featured a comedian and juggling act. The juggler (Rick Novell) was quite good. The comedian (Rick Starr) was ok. He had good moments and bad. Following the show was the Mardi Gras parade in the promenade. Definitely a must see! A good start to our trip.
Sunday: Went to pick up ice show tickets that morning. Make sure to get there at least 30-45 minutes early to get in line…it backs up fast. Tickets are free but go QUICKLY! Went to the meet & mingle after that. Ended up winning one of the raffle prizes! RCI bag and T-shirt. We then went and checked out the flow rider for the first time. Great fun to watch! Even if you don't try it, make sure to save at least a half hour to check out the people who do. Lunch was Johnny Rockets today. Great burgers and the onion rings are to die for. The staff is very personable and really like to bust a move at every opportunity. Relaxed and toured the ship for the rest of this sea day. Dinner was the first formal night. Filet of beef for both me and my wife tonight with a delicious double strawberry cheesecake for desert. Mmmmm! The captain's reception was after dinner on the promenade but we unfortunately ran late and didn't get to meet the captain…at this time. The show was 'Somewhere in Time'. It was a great musical number that had some outstanding sets. Loved it! Late night comedy tonight featured Rick Starr again. The show was ok.
Monday: Lunch today at the Windjammer. Nothing special at the Windjammer but not bad either. Played a bit in the casino. The casino on the Liberty is very impressive. 300+ slots and all major table games. If you're into gambling a bit, you won't be disappointed. We arrived at San Juan Puerto Rico at about 3:30. Debarking went smoothly and we were walking the city streets in no time. Did some souvenir shopping and hit Senior Frogs for a drink. We were back on board within a few hours. Tonight was dinner at Chops. Absolutely incredible as always. I can't recommend Chops enough! Best meal of my life! This is a great night to book Chops as well. We ate by the window with a great view of the lights of San Juan. The show for tonight was 'In the Air' which is a great Cirque de Soleil type show. The acrobatics are incredible and the show was great. Another must see. Played a bit more in the casino before bed and won $300 playing 3 card poker…woo hoo!
Tuesday: Had breakfast from room service today. A nice alternative to the Windjammer. Got off the ship and headed out for our excursion on St Maarten. We did the SegWay scooter tour. These things are a blast! Did a little shopping downtown before boarding ship. We were back on the ship by 3 PM. Attended the Crown & Anchor gathering before dinner and got some info on the new Genesis class ship. Impressive! Dinner was back in the dining room. I had tortellini and my wife had a sirloin. Tonight after dinner was the ice show 'Encore'. Very impressive performances with some moves that just left me floored. This is a must see for all! We played bingo after the ice show to try to win a free cruise…unfortunately we didn't win ? We found out later that the guy that did win had the nerve to complain about the free cruise schedule. Unbelievable! The Love & Marriage game show was after Bingo. This show is always hilarious.
Wednesday: Windjammer for lunch. We used this as a bit of a lazy day at sea. We checked email, did a bit of shopping on board, played in the arcade (outstanding big arcade with games for all ages!), and booked our next cruise with RCI for onboard credits. Tonight was the second formal night. We were back at Chops again tonight for another great meal. After Chops, the show for tonight was a singer (Kenny James). He was very talented and performed a wide variety of music. We finished the night at the Karaoke club to watch 'Finish the Lyrics' game show. Very fun with a lot of energy.
Thursday: Thursday was the stop at Labadee Haiti. We're not beach people so while most of the ship was ashore, we explored everything on the ship and made pictures and video galore! Breakfast was at the Windjammer. Lunch was at Sorrento's pizza on the promenade. Took some time today to lounge in the Solarium. Very relaxing…especially the cantilevered whirlpools. Love it! Before dinner we stopped back at our cabin to get ready and had a message on the phone. When we boarded we had dropped a letter off for Captain Teige requesting a moment of his time for a bridge tour if possible. We are not diamond members by any means nor did we book a suite, but we got a reservation for a bridge tour! We were sooooo excited. The bridge tour was scheduled for Friday morning. Dinner was back in the dining room that night. After dinner we went to another show ('Ever After'). This is a great musical play on storybook tales. Later that night was the Quest (hilarious game show as funny as it gets!) followed by an 80' dance party in Studio B where the ice show happens. A floor can cover the ice to turn the studio into a dance club. We danced until early morning.
Friday: Today was our bridge tour. We showed up at 10:30 and took the tour with 8 others. This was so incredibly cool! I'll never forget it as one of the most special parts of any of our cruise vacations. The captain was not on the bridge at the time, but we were told to report to guest relations for a surprise at noon. We did so and were escorted back to the bridge for a private chat with the Captain! He is a very fascinating man and very personable as well. We were incredibly honored that he took the time to speak with us one on one. There were two more sessions of bingo today trying to win the big pot ($4000+). It wasn't us ;-) The rest of the day was spent doing some light shopping and packing for the end of the cruise. Dinner was in the dining room for the final night. My wife had a NY strip steak and I had the turkey. Great as always. The wait staff gave a great farewell performance tonight! The show after dinner was a return by the juggler Rick Novell and a different comedian Jim David. Both were very good. After the show we headed to the promenade for the pirate parade. It was even better than the one earlier in the week. It is absolutely amazing how much they can do in a limited space. Don't miss the parades!
Debarking: To depart the ship, they ask you to be out of your room by 7:30. That's a little early if you ask me and I heard a lot of complaining from others, but what can you do? After leaving our room and waiting a bit later than the estimated time, they called our color and we got in line. We were off the ship in short order after that. Departure for us seemed to work quite well this trip. I've heard others didn't have quite the same experience however.
If you've read this entire review and are now here…congratulations! It's long enough that I'm shocked that you're still with me ;-) In summary, we had an outstanding trip! We wholeheartedly enjoyed the Liberty, but may be ready to downsize a bit on the next cruise. The sheer number of people on board can just get overwhelming at times. We may try the voyager class instead. To anyone that hasn't experienced the Liberty however, I would very much recommend it.