Fifteen family members sailed on the RC Liberty of the Seas Western Caribbean Cruise for Christmas 2011. We are again impressed with the excellent service and value we received. We all agreed that heaven must look a lot like a trip with RC. Our family included three couples and our "kids" ages 18 to 30. Every single member of the group said it was the best vacation they'd ever had and couldn't even suggest something that RC could have improved upon. This included some members who travel the whole world for their jobs.
Our rooms were on deck seven. We had three adjoining balcony cabins (7224,7226,7228)for the Moms and Dads and put the "kids" across the hall in 5 interior cabins. This location was great. We were near the stairs and elevators, yet we never once heard any noise from passengers once inside the cabins. Every cabin was spacious, spotless and attended by the same steward who learned our names and took excellent care of all of us. We discovered that the balcony cabins were well worth the extra expense and made the trip much more romantic and relaxing. The glass privacy panels between the cabins opened when we wanted to connect with the others, which was great fun.
The Christmas holiday timing of this cruise is extra special. The passengers included mostly families, like ours, so the age range was greater than on cruises at other times. We took a cruise on Princess a few years ago and found that there were many more older couples, very nice, but too often irritable about very small things. In contrast, the holiday cruises on RC are filled with joyful energy.
The ship is arranged in a way that the kids can have fun (Flow Rider surfing, climbing wall, mini golf, teen clubs, arcade, etc) in their own areas without interfering with others. We never once saw a misbehaving child, so the crew must have some pretty fantastic training.
Our 18 - 30 year olds found things to do every minute, day and night (as we did!) and we were all very tired and happy by the end of the cruise.
A cruise line is only as good as its crew and I think that's what impresses me most about RC. Every crew member we had contact with was cheerful and professional. One young woman I spoke with at length said that RC was a great employer and that they were well treated. She said through RC she had seen the world and was able to visit places she never thought she would. I've never been to those places - where do I sign up?
The shows were professional and worth seeing. We were surprised that there were still empty seats, but there were multiple showings. The ice skating show was my favorite. It was super cool to be so close to world class skaters.
The kids enjoyed their excursions to scuba dive and adventure parks, but the zip line adventure park was a bit intense for some family members who said they were pretty darned scared, but they did it, and they were happy they did.
The dining room service was perfect. I think perhaps first seating might be better, but only slightly. We all preferred the dining room to the Windjammer as it was less stressful and the dining room is so beautiful. Everything we were served was very good and there was so much of it! One family member didn't like the waiters offering drinks that cost extra (like Orange Juice), but we didn't think much about that.
The only problem we encountered the whole time wasn't Royal Caribbean's fault. We used an ATM on shore in Cozumel and had to call the bank to cancel our card after the transaction went through and the power to the ATM shut off just before our cash was dispensed. The bank said our account had been charged, but they refunded our cash. Probably best to avoid using the ATM at that port.
The only other advice we have is to book an excursion through RC. Belize and Cozumel are not places you can stroll around in. The interesting places are ones you need to be taken to. Easiest and safest way is through RC.
In summary - We highly recommend Royal Caribbean. They think of everything. It was a perfect trip, the best Christmas vacation we've ever had.