Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review by ollienbertsmum: Great ship with so much to do
Overall Member Rating
Great ship with so much to do
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
We arrived in Barcelona the afternoon before, settling in the Hotel Fira Palace for the evening. I got a good deal and was very pleased with it. The taxi ride was short - only 8 euro for the distance, doubled because of the cost of our luggage. We arrived just before midday so embarkation was busy, but we really did not have to wait long. Tip - if you have something to sort out with guest relations go now - it was the only time I saw it empty! We had to have extra key cards made as DDs were 18 and 20 and so in theory could not be in a stateroom by themselves. We forgot to hand in the alcohol waiver at the same time, so I did need to queue later :(
The ship seemed familiar after having sailed Voyager, Jewel and Adventure so we made our way up to Deck 11 and had lunch whilst waiting for the room to open. It was not really hot enough to want to dive into the pool but we were happy enough being on board. I was amaazed how well the windjammer coped with the numbers, there More were always spare seats. No table hoggers here.
The longest queue I ever saw happened after muster drill. The windjammer was now closed and so to get a cup of tea you needed to go to the Royal Promenade. I needed one though so it had to be endured.
That was it, we were on board.
There was lots to do - fabulous shows, great cruise director Leo Papa who managed to sound enthusiastic in both languages, although he usually got more response in Spanish - was that because it was the second time we heard the jokes??? There were more bars and live music than you could want for a week. OK so the parades were corny and we felt the costumes were designed by someone who was colour blind - but it is a detail.
I liked the food, but I am not a meat eater; I heard people complaining but maybe they were referring to the steaks when the say that the food is underseasoned. You can always ask for more salt, you cannot take it out if there is too much for your likeing.
The one ship tour we went on was well organised. We also took the late departure program which was good value and you felt like it was another day at sea. My family did not really enjoy it though because by this time they felt 'ready to go' and so it was like hanging around. We would make terrible back to back cruisers!
Our stateroom was opposite the library. I had previously enjoyed a PR but found it noisy (above the bar) this time I chose one away from the noise of the Promenade. I was worried about being too near the lift, but apart from hearing children running by our door about 3 or 4 times, I would hardly have known anyone else was on board. Fantastic. A main reason for the choice was having no connecting door. That really made it quiet. I would pay extra to not have a connecting door again.
The itinerary was great, Provence and the riviera were fabulous and Livorno, Civi and Naples have so many options.
Toulon lacked good transport infrastructure for DIY cruisers, but we chose a tour to Aix which worked out well.
We happened to be in the ports when other big ships were in which was a pity. It was choas on the train to Rome we ended up leaving half an hour late because so manyfolk were late back.
My one big complaint was that the ship was too cold in all of the public areas. I could turn up the temperature in my stateroom, but when in the theatre and dining it was like artic blasts. The weather outside was not that good either so there was nowhere to warm up !!! The weather in the Med was not very good, which was not the fault of RCI but I was surprised how much the ship was moving. Because of the storms during the week, we were lucky to be able to tender into Cannes 3 other ships did not make it that day.
So all in all a good cruise -but next time I will take thick clothes for the ship!! Less
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Cabin review: PR7331 Promenade Stateroom
Convenient location beside lift and stairs, but not noisy. Overlooks promenade, but the top end so the noise of parades and bars is avoided. The only noise I ever heard were occasional footsteps - a few times during the cruise. I would book this cabin again.Read All Promenade Stateroom (PR) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
French friends stressed how expensive it would be, but there was some moderately priced shops. We walked to the old town and visited the market, there was a really good cheese stall, I wished I had access to a kitchen to have a need to buy some of the food
The weather was bad - really strong winds so it was not fit for a day by the sea, the beach clubs along la croisette were really expensive - too expensive for someone coming off a ship with a nice pool. There were public beaches at either end, we used the far end beach and on walking back we found the one beside the casino/film theatre was much more sheltered and nicer. Would it have been more pleasant if we had visited on a weekend or even a more pleasant day? Maybe not.
I had planned to go on to Antibes by train. It would have been easy enough, but we had all seen enough with our simple day in Cannes
We took the train right round to Sorrento. I bought 4 tickets for our return journey - it was a bit silly, I could have got them later if needed and we did not use them.
The mistake of the day was leaving the ship so late. The train is a very slow way to get to Sorrento. It is cheap but time consuming. I was concerned that one of our party might get motion sickness crossing the bay, whilst it was fine to get out of the train station and follow the incline down, look at some shops and then go down and get the ferry tickets back, we felt rushed. There was not quite enough to do - apart from look at the shops. Later I saw on the map a lemon grove, maybe that would have been worth it. Had we been there early a good idea would have been just to spend the day by the water, there would have been a cost involved, but I am sure it would not have been exorbitant.
The ferry left at 4.25 so we spent the afternoon having a great pizza and limoncello by the sea. DH made the mistake of ordering a plate of fried seafood which was a couple of prawns and s few bits of squid. He catches squid himself - crikey we have a freezer full, why would he do that? So he was disappointed with his food. I think the limoncello made up for it.
The girls loved the journey back across the bay. We got off right beside the ship. There were lots of shops in the port. The authorities probably found that cruisers avoid going into Naples so this is the only way they encourage them to offload their euro in Naples itself.
Gosh I have no idea where I would go next time I visit Naples. I thought Sorrento was beautiful, and would be back again in a heartbeat but I have read about so many other options.
The train system was groaning under the strain of several very big ships in port. Catching the 8.41 am train was easy after leaving the ship at about 8.15am. We were into St Peters in plenty of time for our booked Vatican tour at 11.00am. If you have not booked a slot, there are guides who will take you for a premium. Standing in the queue would be too much of a waste of your precious day in Rome.
I took a taxi from the Vatican to Piazza Navona to speed up the day. Taxis were plentiful but be careful of the taxi drivers - I heard tales of them giving change for a 10 euro note when they had been given a twenty. Maybe make a point of saying 'have you got change?' Ours made me laugh by taking his own tip! It was only a 6 euro trip, but more that once I would not have accepted that trick.
We had a great lunch and then managed to see the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Spanish steps before taking the Metro back to catch the train to Civi.
Tip: Get back on at Termini - by the time we got on the 4.10pm train it was full - and there was no room at all for those waiting to board at St Peters.
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