We cruised on LOS on the last cruise of the 2011 season from Barcelona the week of October 22 to 29. We were in a balcony cabin midship on the 7th deck.
After spending two days in Barcelona prior to the cruise we proceeded to the dock around noon on the 29th. After dropping the bags with the porters we were checked in a very short time and ready to board. Interestingly, the security screening was performed by Barcelona port personnel and not those of LOS. Just after the bag screening and body scan there were several shops including some that sold wine, beer and hard liquor. We purchased a couple of bottles of wine for in cabin use, placed them in our backpack and proceeded to the ship. There were no more security checks and no one asked to see in our backpacks.
We were not able to go to our cabin until 1pm so we went off to Windjammer for a light snack and then explored the ship. The ship was in excellent shape, clean and neat and showing no signs of wear and tear that we could see. The food we had in Windjammer was good and this was one of the two times we ate there (the other being on the day we left the ship for breakfast). This has nothing to do with the food quality but the fact that we dislike buffets and the inherent risk of disease being spread by too many dirty hands touching all the food.
At 1 we went to our cabin and it was ready and surprisingly our luggage was waiting for us when we opened the door. The cabin was in excellent condition, was very clean and neat, and we had no complaints. Our steward did a great job in keeping it that way the whole cruise. After unpacking we headed back out for more ship exploring.
We had late dining (the 9pm seating) in the Botticelli dining room and were seated at a table of 8. All of our table mates were Americans (as we are) and were very pleasant people and fun to dine with. Our waiter was excellent and the assistant waiter was very good. We found the food quality to be quite good and were happy with every meal. We ate dinner every night but one in the main dining room. The other night we dined in Portofino which was excellent and well worth the extra cost.
We chose this cruise based on the ports of call and we were not disappointed. We found the ports to be excellent and with the long days allowed in each one we were able to really explore. We did two ship excursions and the rest of the ports on our own. We did the excursion to Aix at the first stop which was quite nice. Our guide was very good and we had some free time to explore on our own. The other excursion we did was the Almaficoast by boat and Pompeii. This was also excellent as our guide was very good and the boat ride down the coast was wonderful as was the visit to Pompeii While this was an expensive excursion we felt that it was worth it.
At the other ports we were on our own. We used the local train to travel from VilleFranche to Monaco, back to the village of Eze and then on to Nice and back to Villefranche. This was very easy to do and very inexpensive. It is a short walk from the ship dock to the train station. The town of VilleFranch is quite nice as well and we poked around it for a while upon our return on the train.
At Livorno we had a car reserved and picked it up right at the dock (Hertz). We then drove to Lucca and spent most of the day there before returning to the port with a stop for lunch in a small village on the way back. We have been to Florence several times as well as Pisa and really wanted to see Lucca so this worked out well for us.
At the port for Rome we had purchased train tickets in advance so we simply walked to the train station (a very short walk from the port gate) and boarded the train and stayed on it all the way to Rome Termini main train station. We then walked around Rome, had lunch, and returned to the ship by train. As we had been to Rome in the past we had no need to see the Vatican or Sistine Chapel so we spent our time around the center area.
The last port of Naples we had booked the Amalfi boat ride and Pompeii which was an all day outing. This was an excellent excursion and we really enjoyed it. The included lunch, which we had no expectations about at all, turned to be quite good and a nice relaxing break in the day.
Overall we found this cruise to be excellent, The ship is in great shape, the crew and staff is excellent and the itinerary is great. We would strongly recommend this cruise and the Liberty of the Seas to anyone.