Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review by Janet Foster: 10 Friends on a Fun Cruise...
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10 Friends on a Fun Cruise...
Liberty of the Seas
April 18th - 25th
Cabins: 1406, 1404 - Deck 10
Cabins: 7714, 7414, 7412 - Deck 7
I like to use my pictures as my visuals in my review so this will be long but fun!
We sailed with a group of 10 people. All in our 50's.
Coming from: Nevada, California, Colorado, Texas and Florida.
Most of us got to Miami on Thursday so we could have a day of sightseeing. We all flew into Miami and rented a mini van to use on Friday. Stayed at the Hampton Inn - Blue Lagoon.
This was an excellent choice for us. It is really close to the airport. Across the street there was a Walgreens, and a CVS, a grocery store (Publix), liquor store, Starbucks and many fast food restaurants. We all settled in on Thursday early evening and just ordered pizza to the hotel as we all flew in from different locations and we were tired. The Hampton Inn was very nice and quiet. The beds were comfy and the sheets were creamy smooth. They had laundry facilities which proved useful as my husband spilled something on one of his pairs of pants so I was able to get them washed.
Each morning they had a continental breakfast which was mediocre to say the least. I would much rather grab something at McDonalds. But they had muffins and cereal, fruit, the omelets were a little rubbery for my taste. When we arrived at the hotel Thursday, we also arranged for our transportation to the ship. The hotel called a company they use and we reserved a van for 10:30am on Saturday. The cost would be $10pp.
On Friday, we did the Duck Tour around Miami.
If you are going to Miami early I highly recommend this. It is a tour bus that drives along the streets and then drives right into the water and then becomes a boat. I know, I know.. but you have to see it to believe it. We saw about 6 ships in port on Friday which just made us all anxious for Saturday because we all kept taking lots of pictures of the ships all lined up; we ate lunch on a sidewalk cafe there on Ocean Blvd in South Beach. After the "touring of Miami", we went back to the hotel and then ran across the street to stock up on liquor and snacks.
We bought cases of water, 12 packs of soda and mixers. Each couple had their own supply of rum runners that we purchased online months earlier. http://www.rumrunnerflasks.com/sneak-alcohol-on-cruise-ship.aspx
We did not travel with the liquor as we did not want to weigh down our suitcases on the plane. After we filled up our rum runners we put them into our checked luggage in different places distributing throughout the luggage (inside pant legs, shoes, in the lining of the suitcases ) and then the luggage was locked up with those plastic zip cable ties that we brought with us. Each couple also had a small rolling ice chest that we checked in with our checked luggage also. This was nice because as you may know the little refrigerators' in the cabins really don't keep things as cold as you'd like and the room attendants would keep our ice chests filled with ice for us each day.
At the store:
Later that day (Friday) three more of our group of 10 arrived in Miami. It was fun getting together and seeing everyone. We had shirts made for our group and handed them out when we all finally were together. Everyone got a laugh out of the shirts that said on the front: Does this ship make my aft look big??
The back had the name of the ship, the ports visited and everyone's names.
We had dinner that night at "Joe's Stone Crab" also on South Beach. We had about an hour and a half wait but we were in the atrium having drinks and catching up with each other so the time went by very fast. http://www.joesstonecrab.com/
On Saturday morning as I stated, we had plans to meet a driver who was going to take us to the port. He was to pick us up at 10:30am. Lot's of excitement in the lobby as I would say 80% of the people staying there were cruise people.
The driver was there right on the dot to pick us up. There were about 8 disappointed cruise travelers from other groups who thought our shuttle was their shuttle and tried to hijack it away from us. The driver had our last name so there was no mistaking who the transportation was for. That settled all the anxious travelers down but we did get some L@@ks from them. I think some of them were sneering at us as we drove off.
The ride over to the port was about 15 minutes or so and it was exciting to see the Liberty of the Seas sitting there waiting for us. The van was unloaded and the luggage handlers loaded up the entire luggage in the crate and put the cases of water and sodas next to it. Be sure to tip them well. They work hard.
and we all had so much luggage that we filled up the entire crate. One of the ice chests is there on the ground.
After the porters took our luggage, we started walking towards the terminal and there are signs that say to have your passports and SetSail papers ready. They check them as you enter the door. This picture shows everyone starting to dig their things out of their bags.
It was very organized and we were waited on right away. I would say that it was about 11:30 about this time. Everyone received their Sail & Sign cards and I had brought a hole puncher and punched the cards for the ladies so that we could wear them around our necks attached to these nice necklaces we brought. My card had a coke sticker on it as I had purchased the fountain package a few weeks earlier. My sister and friends did also but for some reason their sticker was not on their card, so once they got on the ship they had to go to a place where the coke packages were being sold and talk to them about it and then the person working the stand had to look their names up on a list ... it was a bit of a hassle so if you purchased a coke card, then make sure that your sticker is on the Sail & Sign card before you leave the check in counter.
The line to get on the ship weaved in and out and down through another building but it kept moving and I would say that we were on the ship in 20 minutes. So we just kept taking pictures of each other as we went through the lines.
Then we finally got to board the ship.
The ship was beautiful just like I had imagined. I always felt like I was in a shopping mall or resort. Couldn't imagine we were on water.
Then like I said, the ones who didn't have the coke sticker on their cards had to go get their stickers. So we all waited for them to get their stickers and coke cups. Because I had my sticker already on my card at the time of check in, my coke cup was waiting for me in my cabin.
The balcony had these three loungers, plus a table with two chairs. The cabin on this deck had longer cabin rooms and balconies than the set up for the exact same cabins on Deck 7. Boy did we get teased about that. But we really didn't even know this at the time of our reservation. We enjoyed our cabin very much.
I had my Clorox disinfectant wipes inside my purse so I gave the cabin a quick once over. I knew that another couple had just left that cabin hours ago after staying in it for a week. I just have to wipe down everything. I did the lights, phone, remote, door handles, knobs you name it. I felt better. We had all planned to meet up at the Windjammer for lunch and plus we needed to get out of the way of the room attendants who were making deliveries and last minute finishing touches to the cabins. I also had to stop by Chops and Portofino's to check on our dinner reservations for later in the week. When we made reservations online the computer would only allow us to make parties of six or less, so we made two parties of 5 people and wanted to make sure we could all be seated together. They said no problem and it worked out nicely.
After staring off the balcony for a bit, we all met up at the Windjammer for lunch. The food was great!!
Soon after we ate we took a stroll around the ship and wanted to see the Flowrider the shops and my husband needed to get signed up for his internet access so he could use his laptop in the cabin when he needed to. So we stopped by RCCL Online and were able to set that up fairly fast. There were lots of computers in there as you can see.
We checked out the adult pool
and the Flowrider
After that we went back to our cabin and were surprised that most of our luggage was already sitting by our cabin door waiting for us. We started unpacking right away. I always bring an over the door shoe organizer (clear) so that I can put that on the back of the bathroom door and put our odds and ends in it to keep the bathroom counter clear of junk. As you can see it worked out nicely. My husband even was able to find things for himself.. maybe I should use this at home??
I also brought a little pop up hamper. It fit in the closet perfectly. It folded down so small you would never know what it was. I recommend one of those. I unpacked as quickly as I could, the suitcases all fit under the bed and I brought extra hangers so we got everything done fast. You can get extra hangers from the room attendant but our room attendant "Sigrid", was very busy doing last minute touches in the cabins and introducing himself to everyone, so if you don't mind waiting for hangers after the life boat drill then that would be when you could expect them.
Then we headed off to the lifeboat drill and that was at 4pm.
We found our area and could see that as you are walking up to your muster location the crew is checking off everyone's cabin numbers that are on their life jackets. That was about a 20 minute process, hard to keep everyone contained like that when there is so much to see and do. It was a BEATING walking out of the muster location because there was only one way to go and lots of people. We were on the rear of the ship at the side so like I said, that was a beating but we got through it. We went up stairs to our cabins and dropped off our life jackets, grabbed our Walkie-Talkies, a rum runner (yes they all made it safely to our cabins without incident) and some cups and with our Walkie-Talkies, we found everyone. We gathered for sail away at the rear of the ship near the Flowrider and Johnny Rockets. With a wonderful view of Miami and not very many people at all. The captain came on and said they boarded everyone and all the luggage faster than anticipated so we were sailing off an hour earlier than scheduled. So we left port at 5pm.
It was windy but we had a beautiful view of Miami as we sailed away.
After sail away we explored the ship more and ended up in one of our cabins for Happy Hour. We were still enjoying our time together and after awhile we all went to our cabins to get ready for dinner. We had a late seating.
This was our view for the next week. Wonderful huh?
We took a stroll through the casino; I thought I was in Vegas!
Sunday, Sail day, we basically hung around the pool all day and searched out the stores the ship is so big and beautiful that there is constantly something different to see each day.
After breakfast we did meet up with our Meet and Mingle. It was really hard for me to get everyone there because they wanted to go do their own thing but my girlfriend's husband won the door prize so it made it all worth the while. We all wore our look-a-like shirts this day.
We had decided prior to the cruise that each couple would host a themed cocktail party in their cabin. We picked Sunday through Thursday, five nights. Each couple selected their theme and then was responsible for decorating their cabin and delivering invitations to each couple. So this meant bringing the decorations in our suitcases and planning it all out. This ended up being so much fun.
The first cocktail party theme was "LOVE BOAT"
We even had a captain's outfit.
Each couple also had to have a game to play and a prize. These decorations were all brought.
The next morning we arrived at Labadee Haiti, the island is very beautiful, our excursions for the day were "Zip Lining" and "Malfini Beach". Because our zip line was at 9am, we need to get off the ship as soon as we could. If you don't need to get off right away then don't. We were held up in the elevator area on Deck 2. They make the elevators stop off on Deck 2 to keep Deck 1 from getting all jammed up. It was hot and crowded so if you can take your time getting off then do so. There are lots of chairs everywhere and lots of shade so it isn't necessary to hurry up and go save something. The BBQ lunch is served at 11:30am. You can go to the bar and get cocktails and have them put on your Sail & Sign card. The bazaar area where the vendors are would have been more fun had the vendors not been so pushy. I got tired of hearing "HEY LADY... HEY LADY..." and maybe would have stopped to look more if I had not been treated like the last girdle at a women's sale event.
The zip lining was fun, and "OK".. it did not thrill me or scare me. My daughter had been on a cruise two weeks earlier and did the zip lining on Jamaica at their Montego Bay stop. From her pictures that looked like more of an adventure. The zip lining on Labadee is two runs. The first run is small and basically just to get you used to it. Then they put you in a jeep and take you up to the top of a hill and you are zip lining out over a cove of water to an area where you started from with the first run. If you think you are going to be able to go watch, you can't because they load you up in a jeep. The ones who did not go with us were able to watch us from the beach as we practically sailed over them.
We were on the boat to Malfini Beach. We passed the back of the ship and saw all of our balconies.
We were greeted by the staff with complimentary Rum drinks... Very tasty.
We where here for about three hours.
There are chairs for everyone, plenty of shade if you so desire. The sand is soft white powder, water is beautiful. There are rafts for everyone to use and there are bathroom facilities. I call it an "out house". We loved this place and we all had a great time here. Everyone so friendly.
The room attendants were laughing at us because each night we would order room service snacks and they got a big kick out of the decorations and wanted us to leave them up the whole week. They even got involved by helping to deliver the invitations to the parties.
Another great sunset..
We really didn't have anything planned but got guy to drive us around which was nice. It was nice that we docked at the port and did not have to get on the tenders to get to shore.
Beautiful Island. We went to Margaritaville. It is ok.. over priced drink and lousy food but good atmosphere. We also had a big rain that day but it really didn't matter.
After the tour we headed back to the ship and walked around. The ship was empty and so it was really a nice stroll.
This ship is so beautiful that you just keep walking around with your mouth open all the time.
I love it.. my girlfriends husband went into get a shave at "CLEAN SHAVE" this one morning and walked out $197 poorer. Seems he got the sales pitch with the best man products on earth for the face. Boy did we all give it to him.. so did his wife. The rest of the cruise all he would say is: "I'm sorry ma'am I am not buying products today."
This ship is magnificent!!!
Pretty empty when everyone is off the ship at the ports...
We all had to get to our cabins around 5pm to get ready for the next cocktail party.. the theme was "Pirates of the Caribbean"... you can only imagine!!!
This is how we were greated at the door!!!
Remember, each couple had to have a game to play with a prize. This couple had pin the parrot on the pirate. The game was taped on the sliding glass door in the first picture of the previous page. You should have seen the looks from passerbys as we had the door open for a bit. This was the best party ever..
This evening we ate at Portofino's. The restaurant was not very crowded as we had a late seating so we had the attention of the whole restaurant. It was fabulous!!! Highly recommend everything on the menu!!
Next stop is Cayman Islands........
Most of us have already visited Cayman so again we really didn't have anything planned. Two of the couples went to 7 Mile Beach for the day.
The rest of us took a tour and the guy took us all over the place.
Did you know there is a website that friends and family can see you if you are ever in Cayman Islands? http://www.caycompass.com/webcam/bayshore.shtml
My mother and daughter saw us standing in front of the "Sting Ray Fountain" when we were all there. Speaking of stingrays, if you go to Cayman Islands, be sure to go to the Swimming with the Stingrays excursion. That is something you won't want to miss.
The driver we hired took us to the area where you could swim with the dolphins so it was fun seeing the dolphins. The driver then took us to a Rum Cake factory store. Oh was that good! We got to sample all the different flavored rum cakes. We also drove to HELL. Got a few postcards and sent them off from there.
Then the driver dropped us off in the shopping district. It was a fun day.
They have everything all organized as you tender to and from the ship.
It was nice having our Walkie-Talkies because we could easily find anyone we needed to. Some stayed out by the pool others went to their cabins to get ready for the next cocktail party which was CASINO NIGHT...
This was a lot of fun and the game was voted best game of the cocktail parties. It was a dice game. Again the room attendants had to stop by to see our decorations and laugh at us. We ended up leaving some of the bigger decorations with them. Wonder what they are doing with them all??
With the cocktail parties around 7pm and our dinner about 8:30 or 9:00 depending where we were headed this pretty much took up our evening except for a stroll around the deck, or a stop in the casino. Our group was so loud I don't think we would have been appreciated in any of the shows. We basically make up our own entertainment.
We pulled up to the port and the men in the group decided they would go on a power snorkel adventure.
We stood out on the deck watching people get off the ship. We decided to wait a little bit to get off. The ship was pretty empty on this deck.
The ones who left to go snorkeling took this picture of us. I can't believe how well it zoomed in.
The women decided to take a taxi to the shopping area. The taxi is $7.00 each way.
This was fun looking in the shops but be prepared to have the shop owners practically beg you to come look in their shop and come in and get "your free gift". This got old. We would never go in the shops that had the free gifts. They were basically jewelry shops. We felt very safe walking the streets. We did not venture down the side streets.
We stopped off at Carlos and Charlie's along the way and had a drink and some nacho's it really hit the spot. Their menus were huge!
After we had our little stop we made our way further down the main drag until we were tired of walking and hailed a cab to take us back to the ship.
As we neared the ship, our Walkie-Talkies started to get in range and the other's who went snorkeling were calling us to find out where we were. We all decided to meet at the pool and get in the spa and relax. So pretty seeing the ships out the window.
Later after a few drinks some of the group decided to try the Flowrider. Being in our 50's we wanted to put this off towards the end of the trip in the event of an injury.. HA HA
Those who dared try it did pretty good!
Afterwards we all went up on deck for the sail away from Cozumel. Generally you can see a "runner or two" making their way back to the ship in a hurry but actually everyone made it back in time.
Everyone had to go get ready for the last Themed Cocktail Party of our cruise.
This night was Mardi Gras!!
We all loved our themed cocktail parties and agreed we will do something again the next time we all cruise together.
The shrimp cocktail.. So good. The shrimp was caught in Cozumel this same day.
The meal was fantastic; I could have cut my steak with a fork. The side dishes were great and the deserts, well you just have to have desert! YOU MUST GO HERE!!!
We planned on going to a show after dinner but the dinner was so long and we did not get out of there until close to midnight. We spent some time in the casino before turning in.
Our next day was Friday, our last sail day. Heading back to Miami. I could tell everyone was getting sad that the trip was going to soon be over. We planned on spending the day at the pool but the winds were 55mph that day and it was cool up on deck. The water was also pretty unusually choppy this day. Two in the group felt a little queasy and I know that they did not replace their patch when they were supposed to because they felt fine. So, let it be a lesson if you are feeling fine then the patches must be working!
We decided to all go play bingo. Oh.. I think it was too early in the morning for others to be around us. We were probably the type you didn't want to sit near. It was fun just being in line getting our cards.
After we all lost at bingo, we headed to the photo gallery to see the pictures that had been taken though out the cruise. We generally don't get many pictures, maybe one or two. As we were making our way down the mall area, the stores were all setting up big sales and food displays were set up along the way as well. It was pretty crowded.
They had watermelon carvers and ice sculptures.
They had different kinds of food every where. Like I said it was very crowded. Probably the worst I have seen since we had been on this ship but I believe it was because it was so windy up on deck plus it was a sail day.
We decided to head for a less crowded place, Johnny Rockets. (small cover charge)
Small cover charge and right when you sit down you are handed a plate full of onion rings and fries. They keep them coming too! The food is very good and the waiters do a song and dance.
Because it was sooooooooooo windy up top and soooooooooo crowded in the main areas we decided it was a good time to head back to our cabins and pack. So we all took a break to do that. We were going to meet up at the Flowrider for the Flowrider Surf Championships. Five men competed for the title.
After that was over we walked around the golf area, basketball area and rock climbing areas.
Here is most of our group.
So what should we do? Let’s go drink up the rest of the liquor we had brought with us in our “Rum Runners”.
We had brought a magic bullet blender with us so we were making frozen Pina Coladas.
The TV was set on the channel that showed you the front of the ship.
As the trip was winding down so was our energy. After all we are in our 50’s. We decided not to eat in the dining room that last night. We would just go to the Windjammer for our dinner. As it turned out it was Asian night so that worked out perfectly for us. We got in the elevator and headed for the Windjammer. They changed the dates on the floor of the elevator each day so it really helped us to remember what day it was.
Our last dinner together...
That evening in the Windjammer we got to see the best sunset of the cruise!
Everyone in the restaurant broke out in applause after the sun had set.
Which included these "cast members", I am sure you know the song.
The Skipper too….
The Millionaire (he bought the face products)
And his wife…
A movie star…
The professor’s "wife" and
And the rest are here on Liberty of the Seas!!!!
After dinner. We went to the casino to loose some more money. Went and said goodbye to our room attendants. My room key and my sister’s room key were not working so I had to go wait in a long line at the front desk to get it reactivated and the only way to get it reactivated is to make a whole new key. Seemed crazy but oh well. The casino was very CROWDED!!! So was the Photo Gallery.
We put our luggage outside our room at the required time between 7pm and 11pm. We again settled in one of the cabins for some drinks before saying our goodbyes to some of us and heading to bed on our final night. It was indeed sad seeing all the suitcases sitting out in the hallway.
As it turned out the others in our group were down in the waiting area at 6:30am. We didn’t get off the ship until 7:30am so we bypassed all of that waiting and met up with them out on the curb. It was a very smooth process getting off the ship. It amazed me as we were walking down the hallway that a lot of the rooms were already made up for the next cruise. (CLOROX WIPES!!!!) Boy they sure move fast.
We got our luggage and went out very fast. One of the couples in our group was randomly selected to have their entire luggage searched by “Customs Officials”. That meant that all of the suitcases were opened and searched. Yes you got it. IT was the couple who had the “Pirates of the Caribbean” party. Everyone including the officials got a big laugh out of the wigs and costumes, chains and hats.
We managed to get a van to take us all to the airport. There were lots of them waiting for people.. just beyond the cab stand. The porters know where to take you for sure!!!
We said our sad goodbyes and talked about how we can’t wait until we all take our next cruise. Possibly in 2011. Can we count on you to join us???? It was a great trip!!! THE END
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Cabin review: JS1406
The cabin is great. Our deck 10 aft JS was probably the best.... Long room and LONG balcony. Right below the Windjammer but we never heard any noise. The balcony was not windy. No vibrations from the ship and the only sun was got was when the sun was going down in the afternoon.
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