We started the process of booking our wedding aboard the Liberty of the Seas 7 months prior. It took alot of convincing for my fiance to have the wedding this way as it was his first and my second. However I knew from the first time talking with Royal Caribbean's "the wedding experience" staff our choice was the right one without a doubt. We chose the Liberty of the Seas because we wanted the biggest and the best for our special day. I have cruised previously with Royal Caribbean on the Grandeur two times and the Navigator one time. My experience on the last three cruises made our decision very easy to have our wedding with Royal. Royal explained all the packages for our wedding which were very reasonable and in the end saved us thousands of dollars having our cruise wedding. We booked the Symphony package and booked our destination. We were excited!! Since we are Canadian we had to have our marriage record that the Wedding Experience fedexed to us 2 months prior to the wedding notarized by our attorney in Ontario. It was one easy step and we had to do absolutely nothing else. Royal took care of everything.
Prior to Departure. We were given the recommendation of the Marriott Biscayne Bay (Miami) by Royal and it was THE best choice. We had 7 guests plus ourselves fly to Miami and they all enjoyed the hotel immensely. The pool area was fabulous as was the service. The ladies and myself had our hair done in the salon at the Marriott the morning of the wedding and I must say..we looked AWESOME. Our limo was part of our wedding package and it arrived exactly on time and was a lovely white stretch limo. Everything thus far was without a hitch! No bridezilla here!!
The Embarkment Process Wow how easy was this..We arrived at the Port of Miami at 10:30 am with our guests. Our wedding coordinators were there to meet us and gave the sailing guests and non sailing guests the instructions required. Our guests and we were through everything in less than 30 minutes!!! My fiancE and I went with the minister to a quiet place before boarding the ship and went through our vows. They were lovely and were exactly what we had in mind. We were in our cabin by 11:30 am and our wedding was at 1 pm. Our guests (9) in total were able to roam the ship and have a good look around and by the end they wished they were sailing. My fiancE's tux was waiting in our cabin..He got dressed and off he went to meet up with the others. I then proceeded to put on my wedding gown with the assistance of my maid of honor and waiting for the knock on the door by the wedding coordinator at 12:45. The knock came and my stomach did summer saults!! Our wedding was in the skylight chapel at the top of the ship and was so beautiful. The flowers were amazing. As most weddings do...it was over in a flash but how beautiful it was. Percy our photographer gave us amazing memories for the rest of our life. We had a very nice reception in the Cloud 9 lounge. Our non sailing guests left the ship around 4 pm and were very very sad to leave! Our wedding went so smoothly, so stress free and we knew we had the very best wedding ever!
The Ship Your jaw drops as soon as you pull up to the port and see the ship that is "yours" for a week. The ship was so magnificent in size it was overwhelming. Inside the layout and decor were stunning. We printed out the deck plans beforehand and we were very glad we did. We could navigate quite easily to find everything we were looking for. The first thing you notice inside the ship was how it was absolutely sparkling clean. Everywhere you looked it was spotless and inviting. There were specific smoking lounges and as a non smoker you could easily avoid these areas. The pools were fabulous but very very busy. It was very hot and they were used every hour on the hour. We enjoyed sipping our pina coladas and watching all the activity. My husband was too sunburnt (or so he says..) to try the Flo Rider but it was so much fun watching the wipe outs and the thrill of it all!
I could go on and on about the ship however you really have to go at least once to see the splendour of it all.
Stateroom Our stateroom was at the very back of the ship-believe me we got our exercise walking from the elevator to our cabin. Our balcony was large and our view was fabulous and had no obstructions what so ever. I had our stateroom decorated to surprise my husband and it was very cute. He loved the streamers, sign on the door (just married) etc. Our first sign of trouble was our room was very hot. In August in Miami you notice that very quickly. We were told it was because our balcony door was broken and could not lock properly which affected the air conditioning. The maintenance staff was in our room back and forth the rest of the day trying to fix this problem. It took approximately a day and a half to cool down and they finally had an air conditioning repair man come to solve the problem. Our phone in the cabin also did not work the first day. It was bothersome however we were sailing away on our honeymoon and happy as clams. Our balcony room was extremely roomy with a larger bathroom than I had experienced before on the other Royal ships.
The Ports We arrived in Puerto Rico and it was lovely (it was my third visit and my husband's first). I sincerely would not recommend the 4 hour walking tour in August. Although our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and wonderful it was HOT HOT HOT.
St. Maarten was paradise. We took the excursion to Oyster Bay Resort and it was lovely. The water was crystal clear and the service at the resort was top notch. We had sun and fun, bbq lunch and yummy rum punch.
We were a little apprehensive to go to Haiti but upon arrival realized we could not have been more wrong. Royal Caribbean's island of Labadee was simply breath taking. We did not do an excursion for the day because there were several beaches to choose from - where could you go wrong! Royal brings the buffet off the ship and onto the island and it was lovely. The tendering process was so fast and efficient like I have never seen before. We would most definitely go back to Labadee in a heart beat.
Entertainment. In one word..James Andrews. He is the cruise director on the Liberty and really made the cruise for us. He was entertaining to watch and just lovely and made each guest feel he was there just for them. If your going on the Liberty in the near future say Hi to James from Jenn and Mike! He truly knows his job and Royal was very lucky to find him. Anyone who has sailed on the Liberty will know who their daddy is and that's Phil!!! He is the assistant activities manager and was so funny, and made Bingo a blast. He has a great career ahead of him and we enjoyed him very much.
All the productions were of Vegas quality and shows how Royal really is number 1 in entertainment. No contest. The one show "In the Air" was just like watching Cirque du Soleil. It was truly incredible.
Dining My husband was a great Windjammer fan, I was not so much. I loved eating in the dining room and the speciality restaurants. The midnight buffet in the Solarium was tremendous. It definitely proves you will not go home hungry, lighter, or disappointed. There is something for everyone. For the thousands of people that were onboard it was extraordinary to see no huge line ups or having to wait for anything.
Guest Relations This was our one real glitch in our vacation. We found the service on board just wonderful however Guest Relations were not as agreeable. We were overcharged on our mini bar by double and it took 4 days to fix this problem with them taking it off only to put in on the next day. It was not fixed until the last day of our cruise and was not handled the best way possible. The error should have been fixed the first day we brought it to their attention and not the last day. My advice. don't use the minibar in your room and if you do please check your sea pass account daily.
Disembarkment This was such a smooth process it was unbelievable. With the amount of people aboard and trying to get off the ship it was done with such skill and ease we were off the ship (unfortunately) in no time. The best process I had ever experienced. Transportation is easy to find to the airport or you can purchase (good price) a transfer at guest relations which I would recommend.
Overall We would like to encourage any bride and grooms out there if you are thinking of being married aboard a cruise ship it is a truly great experience. You literally show up and get dressed and Royal really took care of it all. Low low stress for the bride and groom and memories of a lifetime.
Overall I would recommend the Liberty of the Seas to all. Please experience this thrill of a lifetime just once. Be prepared for people and more people but this too was part of the fun. Royal Caribbean is a wonderful company and we will maintain being very loyal customers.
Please note: Royal does actually read the comment cards you fill out at the end of the cruise and contacted us when we arrived home to go over our experience with them. What a great company!