We are both in our mid-50s; it was my 18th cruise & my wife's 10th. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale from Detroit one day prior to our cruise due to unpredictable Michigan winters.We stayed at the Airport Hilton. The hotel was pretty nice. We had dinner at Bubba Gumps and walked around Ft. Lauderdale a bit. We took a van shuttle service to the Miami port.
We arrived about 11:15am at the port, dropped our luggage off with the porters and proceeded inside. When we got close to the security scanners we had to wait about 45 minutes before they would let us proceed. I had my camcorder on in that area and security told me I couldn't use it until I was through security. Anyway after we got through security we got checked in and proceeded directly to the Windjammer. We headed to the very back to avoid the crowds. By the time we finished, our cabin was available. We receive our luggage very quickly at approximately 2:30. We had a pretty active Cruise Critic group and we all wore Mardi Gras beads so we could spot each other. We had a party at sail-away.
We had early seating in the dining room on the 5th deck on what they call the balcony. We had a table of 8 but only had 6 seats occupied. The food was good and the servers were good but service was a little slow at times. We ate one evening in Chops. The ambiance was nice but the food was nothing special. We both felt the steaks were a bit tough.
Labadee Haiti - Since we had been there several times, we elected to stay on the ship and get a massage. While they were a bit pricey, they were enjoyable. I forgot to tell them up front I didn't want any extra products so they tried to push them on me. The therapist seemed a little miffed that I didn't want to buy anything.
We saw all of the evening shows.Gordon Whatman was the Cruise director. At first I didn't think I was going to like him, but he started to grow on me. He has an excellent singing voice. The shows were all very good. They had a violinist that was billed as a comedian one night. He was really good but if they would have said he was a violinist ahead of time I think the theatre would be empty. The comedians were pretty good. We did not see the Ice Show this time. We just couldn't fit it into our schedule.
My wife fell on the deck near the pool and had to go to the ship hospital. Luckily she only sprained her ankle and was skinned up a little bit. The medical staff was very professional.
Cruise Critic party- We had a pretty good sized group that met in the Olive or Twist lounge. We had a gift exchange for those who wanted to participate. we were to bring something from our home state to exchange. After that we had a cabin crawl. We had most categories covered from an inside cabin to the Ben & Jerry's suite all the way up to an Owners Suite. This was a lot of fun.
The ship was really nice especially after the recent dry-dock with the improvements of the big screen on the pool deck and the interactive screens near the elevators. The food was good and service was adequate. The weather except for being windy when we left port,couldn't have been better.
It was slow getting off the ship do to Customs. We were in a line that went through the casino and took about 30 minutes to get to the customs inspectors. We opted for the service to have our luggage taken directly the airport. That worked fine and was just slightly more expensive than taking them ourselves after you account for the tips you would have to give to all along the way. It was definitely less hassle which was worth the little extra it cost.
We have friends in Ft. Lauderdale that picked us up at the port and drove us back to Ft. Lauderdale. We had lunch at a restaurant with a beach view were we sat in swings kind of like porch swings. Good food & we had our last drinks in Florida. Traffic was heavy in Ft. Lauderdale since it was just the beginning of spring break. We made our flight in plenty of time. Unfortunately when we got back to Detroit we had to put our coats back on.
We definitely would sail Liberty again.We booked a cruise on Adventure while we were on this cruise. This will be our first time in a Jr. Suite