We are Caribbean and Bahamas cruise veterans, but we weren't sure what to expect on our first Med cruise. We flew overnight to Barcelona the day of the cruise - lesson 1. We had flight delays from Orlando to JFK, and it was stressful. But our JFK flight was also late, and though we landed 3 hours late we made it to Barcelona about 11 am. The cab ride was easy, and 30 Euros later we were at the pier.
The check in process at Barcelona was quite simple. There was no line to check luggage or check in, and even the security line was next to nothing. We got on board and headed to Windjammer. Even though it was about 12:30, there were plenty of tables.
We love the Liberty of the Seas, having cruised her once and the Freedom once. The upgrades they made are great too - adding the big screen TV by the pool deck, and the Dream Works characters (I don't care how old you are, if you don't like Shrek you ain't human). But the biggest thing we liked were the new shows - up in the air, a Cirque Du Soleil show and Saturday Night Fever. They were the only shows we saw, and neither disappointed.
But that brings me to my biggest complaint - we missed shows because of the schedule. I guess because of the long tours, the first dinner is 6:30, and there were times when the only show was at 8:00. We were at a table for 11 and there was no way we were getting out by 8. In general, and I think it's because of the long port days, there were not as many activities. But I didn't take this cruise for the on-board fun, I took it to see the sights. More on that below.
Our wait staff was average, as was our stateroom attendant. I believe this is a general trend on RCCI - good service but not as great as in the past. As Diamond Plus members, we leaned heavily on our concierge, and we did get a lot of help from him.
The food was good, though as some have noted they don't serve Lobster any more. I love lobster tail, but the ship's one always had too much garlic. The menu is good and they have made some new changes. We did WJ for breakfast, it was great. We did Johnny Rockets on sea day for lunch - the service was slow but the food was hot and delish.
Disembarkation was easy - again we leaned on the concierge to walk us off. We got our bags and were on the way to the hotel.
We stayed two nights in Barcelona afterward. If you go, I STRONGLY recommend Hotel Colon, right near the Cathedral. The best service I have gotten in a hotel in a long long time. Not to be missed!