My family and myself were on the January 2, 2011 Liberty of the Seas sailing. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale as coming from El Paso, Texas it is much less expensive than flying into Miami. We also like to fly in a few days early. I figure if I am going to fly that far I am going to make my trip as long as possible. We rented a car from National that I could then drop off at the Miami Airport. We stayed at the Homewood Suites. If you do not want to rent a car they do have a complimentary shuttle to and from the airport with additional services to area restaurants and shopping. The staff at the hotel were very helpful and friendly. We arrived at the port at 1:00 P.M. We waited in line for about 30 minutes for security. Once we were passed security the line for Diamond members passed quickly. We had been on this ship the previous year so we were familiar with the layout. We found our staterooms. We are a family of six so we had booked a balcony and two promenade inside staterooms. Our balcony was very nice. The inside cabins were a bit on the small side with little storage. For the two boys that was OK, but was a bit of a challenge for the two teenage girls.
Overall we had a wonderful time. There will never be the perfect cruise. We go with the attitude that any day not at work is a great day!! While I would say that the staff on Liberty was friendly, they just did not seem happy. Everyone always said hello , but it seemed more like they were told to say hello rather than just wanting to be friendly. We had an excellent stateroom attendant. I am sure that it was a challenge to keep up with my four children.
Entertainment - The ice show and productions shows were awesome. It is amazing what those skaters can accomplish in such a small venue. The Royal Caribbean band was one of the best cruise bands we have ever heard. The singers and dancers were great. The weak point of this cruise was the main headliner. His name was Kenny James and was a winner in the 80's on Star Search. While he was a talented man, his show lacked pizazz. Maybe he needed back up singers? We had two comedians, both funny just wish we could have heard more from them.
Food - While we did not starve, we were not wowed by the food. We ate breakfast in the main dining room as I do not like fighting the crowds in the Windjammer. They have now set up a buffet line in the main dining room, so that you can order from the menu as well as choose items from the buffet. Lunch was either off the ship or in the Windjammer or Sorrentos. I believe that my boys consumed two pizzas a day as in between snacks!!! While the breakfast and lunch was good, dinner was slightly disappointing. We had nights when the soups and appetizers were better than the entree. It seems also that they have reduced the number of entree choices.
Activities - The major reason we choose Royal Caribbean is for the activities on the ship. I do believe that we participated in everything. Sign your children up for all the activities early on the first day so that does not slow them down from participating in the activities. There is a limited amount
of time each day allotted to the larger activities such as the rock climbing wall and flow-rider.
This ship is amazing. The cruise director was hilarious. We walked into the opening night show a little late and he was speaking. He was so funny I thought he was the comedian.
We took advantage of the future cruise on board credit and booked the Oasis for next December. We are loyal to Royal.