This will probably be a long review as I know people are interested in the new additions on Liberty after drydock.
First of all we are a family of 5. My husband 42, myself 38 and my dd 11, ds 6 and dd 3. This was our 7th cruise having sailed Carnival, Disney and 4 Royal Caribbean cruises
We flew in 2 days before the cruise to Orlando. We stayed at the Embassy Suites in Lake Bueno Vista for $69 per night which we booked through hotwire. Very happy with the hotel as it included a great breakfast with made to order eggs etc. We went to Magic Kingdom on the Saturday. Sunday morning we got up early and headed to Miami in our rental car. We arrived at Miami airport and took the car rental shuttle to the Port of Miami and the nightmare embarkation that I read so much about at this port began.
We arrived at 1 pm and walked up to the entrance where the lineup began. The sign read that there was a customs delay and boarding would begin at 1:30 but this did not happen. We stood in the entrance for 2 hours. Finally around 3 we went through security and entered the check-in line. We finally boarded at 4pm, we dropped our bags in the room and had to go straight to Muster drill which was out on the deck, no life jacket needed. Fortunately this was done quickly and we had a quick bite to eat as we were very hungry and had not eaten since 7am and then began our tour. The liberty looked very clean and fresh. We then went to the sail away party which consisted of dancing with most of the Dreamworks characters, kids had a blast and our cruise began, trying to forget the day we had just had. We had main dinner seating so we had to head for the dining room still not having time to unpack. We were very happy with our dinner companions as Royal Caribbean did a very good job of matching us up with a couple our age and 3 kids similar in age to ours. Unfortunately we had a new waiter and new assistant waiter. This was a problem the entire week. Although they were both very sweet the service was just too slow which was a big problem when you have 6 kids at a table. We were just getting appetizers when other guests were on dessert. We were never offered coffee and had to ask for it everytime and took forever to arrive. The food was the usual RCI menu which I enjoy, however I found the desserts a little lacking this cruise. We did complain to the head waiter who tried to speed things up and often had to go get food and coffee for us himself. Very disappointing. Most nights the kids just got tired of it and missed dessert to go to Adventure Ocean as they didn't want to miss certain activities.
Service in other areas of the ship was very good, especially our stateroom attendant Pinella and the waiters in the Windjammer.
Anyways after dinner we toured some more, signed up for Flowrider and Rock climbing and headed to Adventure Ocean for their welcome and signup session. Kids stayed for a bit and had a great time. We missed the welcome aboard show as we just couldn't fit it in which was disappointing. Before bed we went to the hot tub on the main pool deck area as it was still too cool to swim in the pools. (Weather in Florida was cool that day) The first thing I noticed as I slipped into the warm and inviting hot tub and looked up at the stars was the noise of a television. I looked up and there was the big tv screen I had heard was coming. It was blaring a football game and I thought YUCK, that is last thing I want to hear or see when I am sitting in a hot tub on a ship looking up at the stars. It covers the Liberty sign up on the bridge so you cannot stand on the bridge and look over the pool deck which I didn't like either. Oh well that is just me and my husband loves television so he was ok with it.
Day 2 was a sea day and we were excited to get out and enjoy the ship. We went to a character breakfast in the Reflections dining room at 8am which we signed up for the night before at dinner. They seated us in the back corner of the dining room and placed a plate of decadent chocolate pastries on our table which were amazing. We were also given a special Madagascar breakfast menu. Some of the dining staff came out and danced with one of the Madagascar characters. You could tell this was their first time doing the dance but they looked like they were having so much fun! Each of the Madagascar characters came out one at a time to each table so each child got to have a picture and a hug. Pictures are done with your own camera.
We then headed to flowrider as it is usually not tow busy the first morning as people need to sign up and find it. My 11 year old dd and husband loved it. I took my other kids to play mini golf and my 6 year old ds tried the rock climbing wall which he loved and returned many time throughout the week.
We spent the rest of the day swimming and kids spent more time in Adventure Ocean. Tonight was formal night and meet the captain. Our dinner was late again so we missed meeting the captain Tonight's show was Ever After which was a modern version of fairy tales and my kids loved it.
Day 3 was Belize. We got off the ship with a group of 6 adults and 8 kids that we had made friends with. We did not want to spend the whole day in Belize so we found a driver that would take us on a 2 hour tour. We got him down to $60 per family so that was ok.
We got back on the ship and went to the pool for a swim. Today was the new Dreamworks Move it Move it Parade which was at 3:30 and 5pm. We went to the 5pm parade which was awesome and then went right to the Crown and Anchor Welcome back party at 5:15. Tonight's show was a vocal impressionist which was ok not great. Tonight was also the 70's party which we went to for a few minutes but we were too tired and went to bed.
Day 4 is Costa Maya. We got off and took a taxi to Majahal to the Malecon strip. We had a great day on the beach with a few good drinks and some local food. Tonight there were 2 ice shows at 7 and 9pm. First come first serve. We ate a quick dinner and skipped dessert and actually got into the 7pm show which was fantastic. At 8:45 we took the kids to Movie Under the Stars. The movie was The Secretariat. They swam and watched the movie while the adults relaxed watching the movie. This was the only night they did this and I would have liked to have a movie for the younger kids as this movie was a little old for them. Tonight was also the Love and Marriage Show, Dancing Under the Stars, Boogie boarding and rock climbing under the stars.
Day 5 was Cozumel, my dd got off for a bit to do some shopping but the kids just wanted to stay on the ship today so we did. I was shocked at how quiet the ship in in port. We did flowrider in the morning as it was quiet but it closed at 11am. All the shops were closed and there was nobody around including crew. We enjoyed the pool deck to ourselves and the kids went to Adventure Ocean. The kids also went to the main stage theatre to watch How to Train a Dragon in 3D. Tonight was the second formal night and lobster night. The show this evening was In the Air which we missed and wished we hadn't but the kids were had things they wanted to do in Adventure Ocean.Quest was also this evening which we love and the cruise director Mike changes it up a bit which we really enjoyed.
Day 6 was a sea day and a chance to do the things you haven't done yet. Flowrider, rock climbing, pool decks were all packed. The show was a comedian which we missed as we were watching the kids at the disco.
Embarkation was smooth, we got off at 9:30 and got through customs quickly.
My kids and I had a fantastic time. We loved the new dreamworks experiences. There are character breakfasts, meet and greet photo ops,sail away with the characters, the parade and the characters periodically visit the kids club.
The cupcake cupboard was cute but we did not try any. We enjoyed movie under the stars but I would prefer not to have the tv screen although during the day you didn't hear it much as the band and dj are playing music. The 3D experience was great and liked that addition. The cruise director Mike was great and we enjoyed his morning show on the tv in the morning giving useful tidbits of information. My kids LOVED Adventure Ocean. They participated in circus shows, pirate parades, games on the sports deck, dancing at the disco, but especially enjoyed making new friends. The pool areas were great but the H2O zone was a little cold so my little one didn't use it which was disappointing as that was a main feature we thought she would enjoy. Kids also loved the ice-cream station Sprinkles by the pool. I forgot to mention that we had 2 inside connecting rooms which was amazing and we will definitely always do connecting rooms. The kids had their own room, bathroom and space for their stuff and we had a great nights sleep with our kids within ear shot and a few steps away.
You would never know there are 4000 plus people on the ship. The ship has alot of areas so you never feel crowded.The only day it felt busy was on the last sea day. Lastly the crew was fantastic and everyone was friendly. We would definitely go on Liberty of the Seas again!