19 October, 2009 We just got home from our first cruise and WOW! We were on the Liberty of the Seas 10-17 October. I had tried to learn as much as possible by reading others' comments and asking questions of the Meet & Greet group during the 45 days prior to boarding. All of this was helpful to a degree, but I was just overwhelmed by the dEcor of the ship, the friendliness of other passengers, and the professional manner of the crew. We are in our 60's and were a bit apprehensive about the possibility of kids and teens running amok, disturbing the peace. NEVER HAPPENED! Or if it did happen it was in areas designated for kids. Not to say that we did not explore the ship. My Coke-Pass and I went from refill to refill, bar to lounge, to restaurant. Now, I admit that I have enough of a memory problem that I am not even going to try to relate details day by day. But there are a few memories that I should share.
Firstly, I did try to organise as much as possible in advance. I cannot have a phone here at the beach where I live, so I Skype-phoned people to organise the things I felt important. The rental car was waiting for me at Alamo at the right price. The Quality Inn had the room ready for us within an hour of our (early) arrival. The stores had lots of clothes in my large size. The free hotel to pier shuttle was on time and the porter captured our 2 bags and arranged for them to be delivered close enough to our cabin (JS9328) that finding them was not an issue. He even borrowed a phone from another porter so I could phone William from Mobility Express to tell him where to find me to deliver the mobility scooter I had arranged (again by Skype, I had made about 7 paranoia-type calls to him LOL!) to rent for the week. He soon rocked up and gave me a quick demo of this scooter's operation, then was gone, telling me to phone him when I got back so he could collect it.
Meanwhile, thousands of people, and about 10 thousand pieces of luggage all seemed to be going the right direction...onto the ship!!! All officials of any sort just sent us to the front of the queues, and before you know it we were on the ship. Oh My!!! On the ship...we just did not know what to look at first. The dEcor matched any 5 star hotel I have ever visited. There was no sense of being crowded, the stories about not finding tables in the Windjammer were a myth. But more about restaurants and food shortly. We got to our cabin, still very pleased with the size, layout, and accoutrements. My wife smokes so she enjoyed lots of time reading on the balcony. The big bed was especially comfortable and the 4 pillows per person made my time on the bed watching the football games while drinking cokes seem like the life of someone very spoiled. Well, I suppose that was the idea, wasn't it? Off next to the emergency drill, then quickly away to meet all the fine folks I had been corresponding with. We had decided to meet informally that first day and to enjoy the meeting arranged by the ship the next morning. I think I managed to forget almost everybody's name (and I was taking that medication, darn it) but it was lovely to keep bumping into people we already knew. Then we arranged within our group to visit all the different types of cabin so everybody could know what they might like on a future cruise.
I'm afraid I committed some cardinal sin of cruising when asked which ports I most wanted to visit, and replied that I wasn't interested in any of them, that I was just along for the boat ride. Truthfully, though, I did get off at San Juan P.R. And spent 4 nostalgic hours with my friend Corky. He was an entertainer turned realtor who still does well selling properties at Palmas Del Mar resort at the western side of the island.
One comment about the ship; nobody should ever get seasick. I mean, REALLY! Aren't ships supposed to give some sensation of motion? And shouldn't they bump a bit when docking? I think we were back in Miami an hour before I realised we had arrived. Ahhh.
Now, about the food. Previous writers of comments were just teasing us, or they really have their noses out of joint. How could anyone complain about the food on this ship??? Glorious fare! My typical breakfast was 5 thick slices of hot fresh ham, 4 eggs over-easy, cooked in minutes while I waited, biscuits and sausage gravy, bacon, sausages, a selection from the dozen or so sweet rolls, and endless coffee. No need to explain that lunch seemed to come too soon. I never did manage to sample all the various selections on offer. (But I tried!!) Then back for an early supper. 2 starters, 2 mains, 2 desserts, and Caesar salad in the middle, as well as yummy breads selection.
We made an effort to see most of the recommended shows and enjoyed multiple trips on the Royal Parade with all its food and drink and shops etc. Music overhead. And even some parades down the street. Fun! The miniature golf looked like fun, the very tall rock climbing wall looked interesting. But lounging by the pool only occupied about a half hour of our time. We did our "lounging" in the comfort of our air-conditioned cabin. Now we really must give special mention to the folks at Guest Relations on deck 5. They were very helpful when we learned that the rented scooter worked very well but that its battery charger did not. They got in touch with the ship's engineers and on 3 separate occasions got the batteries recharged for me. This turned a potential disaster into a holiday of a lifetime. And yes, I expect to do a 2nd cruise and a 3rd. I'm addicted to it after just this one trip.