My husband and I are in our late 50's with no children. This is our fifth cruise with RCI - our second on the big ship, having cruised on the Freedom last year. We love this ship - so much to do - never a dull moment.
We arrived in Miami the night before our sailing. Our flight arrived late so we reserved a room at the Wyndham Hotel Airport. Clean, good personnel, hassle free. The next day it took only 30 minutes from the time we left the hotel, got through embarkation and stepped onto the Liberty. Really!!! We then checked out our table for two in the dining room, on to the fitness center to sign up for spin classes, to the spa to sign up for massages and then on to the Flowrider to sign up for my husband's private lessons. The rest of the day went as usual - lunch at the Windjammer (a little crowded but we didn't care - too happy about starting our vacation) - the drill was pretty painless - then on to Deck 12 for the sailaway. Our luggage was at our stateroom after the sailaway so were able to unpack before dinner. Since dinner was delayed a little for the second seating we settled in at the Vintage Bar and had a glass of wine with some appetizers, relaxed and people watched.
We have been to all of the islands many times so we stayed on the ship for most of the trip. We are both very active people and managed to keep ourselves busy with all the physical activities one can experience on the ship. My husband kept himself busy at the flowrider, rock climbing wall. and the fitness center. I signed up for spin classes and a three-day "boot camp" with Brenton, one of the instructors. He worked me pretty hard but I have returned home with a wealth of new exercises. Also learned info on proper eating habits. Found out I'm a little on the lean side and have to eat more in order to build up those Madonna muscles I'm working so hard for. Boo of the week! The spin classes were hot - A/C leaves a lot to be desired - but the group was fun and Brenton made sure we had a good time.
For the first time we too experienced food in the dining room that was a little below RCI's usual quality and taste. Somewhat disappointing but it didn't spoil our trip. There are so many other places onboard where one can indulge throughout the day that it didn't really matter once we got to dinner. Our waiter (Vasti) and assistant waiter (Emal) were really very good and took great care to see that we had a pleasant evening. We did spend one evening at Chops - did this last year and it was just as wonderful or better this year. They really know how to prepare a meal and make your evening extra special. Well worth the extra $$.
Our stateroom attendant was excellent - this has been the case with each of our other cruises on RCI. We have found if we give the attendant a tip in the beginning of the cruise when asking for extra towels and tissues, it continues throughout the cruise. You'll find they are very appreciative and will help to make your trip even more special. Just lovely people all around. We had a balcony room and wouldn't go any other way.
Everyone working on the ship did their best to insure a wonderful trip for all. We never met anyone that didn't greet you with a smile and a kind word and start up a conversation at the drop of a hat. The service throughout the ship was exceptional.
We did the Zip Line at Labadee and had a blast. Even the jeep ride to the top of the hill for the take off was a real trip. We would recommend this to everyone. We also visited Cayman island, did some shopping and had a drink at Jimmy Buffet's place...fun.
We too had a full ship and must say that the crowds just weren't noticeable. I read a lot of reviews before we left and several individuals talked about dealing with a lot of kids and crowds. We truly never were bothered. Sure the Windjammer can get crowded - but once you learn when the real rush is on - go either earlier or later and you're okay. Be flexible and you'll find yourself enjoying it more. People were chatting about not being able to find chairs on cruising days - that everyone was hogging them. We explored the ship and found several areas with very few people and lots of chairs. Just get yourself "out of the box" and you'll be amazed at what can be found!!! And unless you have an excursion on an island day, stay on the boat until the initial crush is over and you'll find yourself on a tender with very few people - worked for us. And if you have an excursion, just go with the flow - you'll eventually get to where you need to be. LIghten up - it's a vacation!!!!
On our last evening we had a private wine tasting with Gerardo at the Vintage Bar. He set us up with two dessert wines and two ports - gave us an explanation of each with additional details about wines and ports in general. Very informative and enjoyable. We ended up with a full glass each of our favorite of the four wines with some appetizers. A very enjoyable way to spend the evening - would recommend this to all.
In conclusion we had a wonderful time and will definitely sail with RCI again next year. Thinking about the Oasis but want to wait for the reviews - looking forward to all your reviews on the Oasis.