We arrived In Miami the afternoon before our cruise and stayed in the Holiday Inn Port of Miami. I got this hotel from my fellow Cruise Critic members and found it a good choice for us. However, if you wish to be anywhere else except near the port, you may choose to rent a car or stay elsewhere.
We arrived at the port around 10:50am and were on the Liberty by 11:35. So pleasant and easy. I went straight to the MDR to check our table location as I've had problems in the past. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find our table next to a window in a great location! It made dining all the more pleasant, and our waiters, Deo and Yogesh were as professional and courteous as they come.
Our last cruise was on the Mariner and the Liberty is a slightly larger version of this ship. I expected to feel that the ship was too large but that wasn't the case. We had two rooms, ours was a balcony and our sons had a promenade view room across from us.
The biggest shock to us was that our kids made friends quickly and we hardly ever saw them. We had to arrange times for them to check in with us during the cruise. Even being home more than a week later, they are still video chatting with their newfound cruise buddies from around North America. On previous cruises, they only wanted to hang with us and play bingo. We were expecting the same on this cruise but it never happened.
We lucked out with weather. Hot and steamy which for me is perfect cruise weather. We enjoyed our balcony more than on any other cruise and when we weren't relaxing there, we managed to snag a couple of chairs in the Solarium. The food was not great but totally fine. I loved that they had muesli and freshly made waffles in the morning! We didn't feel the need to try the specialty restaurants. We occasionally went to the casino and I enjoyed that there was a non-smoking area for the gaming tables in the evenings.
Here are the negatives which deserve noting: • Windjammer closing at 9pm every evening was a big bummer. If you are hungry after that time, you are basically out of luck! The snacks in the promenade were inadequate and does not make up for this.
• Entertainment was not great. The ice show was wonderful and I enjoyed the comedians but I wish there were more comedic talent. I found the dancer/singer shows boring even though the sets were lovely. Also, the entertainment in the bar areas were very mediocre and lacking.
• Poopy smell! I read some previous reviews about this on this ship and was a bit freaked out about experiencing this. I will say that it wasn't "that" bad where we were, but I did notice it on our deck 7 hallways. Our room was basically fine but I did smell it at times from our bathroom and even when turning on our faucet. It almost made me want to brush my teeth with bottled water!
We still ended up loving this cruise though, and I would definitely sail on Liberty again.