My husband and I and our two teenagers just returned from the 7 day Western Mediterranean cruise on Liberty of the Seas. We had a terrific time. We stayed in the Grand Suite which was perfect for our needs...plenty of room and the boys thought the pull-out couch was comfortable. Suite guests are able to take advantage of the concierge lounge which allows you to get coffee and continental breakfast each day and also drinks and appetizers before dinner. The concierge on our ship, Mario, was terrific and always knew our names and asked if he could do anything to help us. It was great. The ship was in great shape as it apparently had just come from refurbishing in January of this year. The food in the dining room was fine...the choices were great each evening but the food was a bit under par. As always, the staff on the entire ship was pleasant and helpful. We didn't eat in the Windjammer Cafe during the trip. The great secret is that the main dining room serves breakfast daily and lunch when at sea. They have a full menu and the choices are always great. Sometimes our food for breakfast and lunch seemed better than dinner. We ate at Portofino on the last night on the ship. The charge for the meal was worth it to us. The menu was extensive and the food was tastier than that served nightly in the dining room. My kids enjoyed the basketball court, wave rider and mini golf. As always, there are always things to keep you occupied.
In each port we booked tours through RC. We usually don't do this but there was so much to see in such a short time we thought it would be best and it was. First of all, Barcleona is great..try to allow yourself a day on either end to enjoy this wonderful city. The check-in at the port was seamless...the line moved so quickly, it was very well organized and everyone was extremely helpful and friendly. Our first port was Toulon, France. We took the tour to Aix-en-Provence. We went to a lovely city but the tour guide was not great and it was difficult to hear her on our headsets. The tour was only 1/2 day.We didn't really have much time to explore the city on our own but it was nice enough. Day 2 was Nice. We took the Cannes/Nice/St. Paul de Vence tour. It was a spectacular day...we drove along the coast and saw each city and had a very nice lunch in Cannes. (lunch was included in the tour). The highlight of the day was the ride to St. Paul de Vence. It was an unbelievably beautiful town! Well worth the long day. Again, no long amount of time to explore on our own but still worth the trip. Day 3 was Florence. We just booked the 1/2 day tour to Pisa. It was a nice day...sorry we didn't' also see Florence but thought we would give ourselves a break. Day 4 was Rome. The tour was great. It took quite a while to get to Rome by coach and when we got there it was very crowded. Saw Trevi Fountain and then off the Colisseum and Roman Forum. We had an excellent tour guide and learned so much. Day 5 was Naples. We drove to Sorrento and took the cruise up the Amalfi Coast. It was spectacular! Went in to Amalfi for about an hour on our own then back on the boat and back to Sorrento. We had lunch in a castle perched on the hillside overlooking the bay (again, it was included in the tour)...it was a great day. Each tour was very well organized and well worth the time and money. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and always seemed to take their responsibility for our safety seriously. Although we wished we had more time on our own in each city it was well worth it to take the RC tours. They all did a great job.
Getting off the ship was as easy as getting on. The whole process is very well organized. We had transportation from our hotel arranged so we didn't need to get a taxi but the long for taxis was very long. It may be worth it to arrange it through a hotel if you're staying in Barcelona to extend your stay.
All in all it was a great trip. We would definitely sail on this ship again.