This was our ninth cruise, and our third with our daughter, who turned 5 the first day of the cruise.
We have sailed on Enchantment twice (pre and post lengthening), Jewel, Majesty, Freedom and now Liberty and have really grown to like Royal Caribbean. We think of ourselves as somewhat "savvy" cruisers; however, we had a few "firsts" on this voyage.
We live about 20 minutes from Port Everglades, so we usually have no trouble getting there; however, for some reason we could not leave the house in a timely manner (could have something to do with the 5 year old's princess makeover birthday party the night before...but I digress...) and got to the port at around 12:00.
We moved through the security line very quickly, but my wife's carry on bag was put through the machine seven times. Seven..... I asked if there was any problem and was assured that all was well and the screener gave us the ok and we moved on. Seriously though, if there was THAT much of a question of what was in the bag, why didn't they ask us to open it? Oh well, no matter.
Seapass cards in hand, we took our welcome aboard photo and boarded. Our room was ready and we dropped our bags off and went to the Windjammer, where we had our first minor hiccup...
I asked a "drink guy" for a chocolate milk for our daughter and he said, "no chocolate milk on the first day." Um, was he kidding? No. He was not. I asked him again and he gave me a look and said, "I said no chocolate milk on the first day." Wow. Double wow. I stood there for a few seconds to make sure he wasn't joking and then I went to the drink guy on the opposite side of the Windjammer and he gleefully handed me a chocolate milk for my daughter. I made a mental note to tell someone at Guest Relations about this encounter later on. I was pretty torqued and it was not the way I wanted to start my vacation.
Yes, it finally happened after 8 cruises. We got a message on the phone that one of our bags was being "detained". Having not tried to sneak any alcohol on board, I was very curious as to what was going on. Turns out, unbeknowst to me, my wife packed some scrapbooking tools in her suitcase and something piqued the security guards' curiousity... It turned out to be a hole puncher. Said puncher was about 12 inches long and absolutely looked like a dangerous instrument. I took it out of the bag and the officers inspected it, quite puzzled. I explained to them what it was and they didn't "get" it. I asked for a piece of paper and showed them how it worked. . . All that hardware to punch a hole in some paper!! The head officer smiled and said, "ok, have fun punching!". I took the bag up to room and all was well.
Our DD's sofa was supposed to be turned into a bed. After dinner on the first night we returned to the room and it was still a sofa. We called housekeeping and we were told that it was already changed into a bed. Nay Nay, say I. We were then assured that someone would be there "shortly". Thirty minutes passed and I called again. No Answer. There was no answer for 15 minutes. I then walked down to guest relations and the manager personally called housekeeping and was assured that someone was on their way to the room to change the sofa. No one came. I called down to Guest Relations again and the manager once again called the housekeeping department. The sofa was changed and sheets/blanket appeared...two hours later.
I told the Guest Relations desk how long it took and the manager was mortified. I didn't ask for anything other than an apology. The next morning we received a hand-written apology from the Manager, $100 onboard credit, a box of six Cupcake Cupboard speciality cupcakes, three bottles of wine and complimentary dinner for two at Chops. I was speechless. I have never ever been so compensated for a minor hiccup on RCCL or anywhere else for that matter. . . it was absolutely an AMAZING response by their customer service agent.
They had the alcohol tasting table out in front of the liquor store like they always do (you know, where they give you a thimble-sized taste) and I asked to taste some of the coffee/cream liquor they sell (love that stuff!) and then asked if I could taste something else I'd never seen before. The lady said "only one per passenger". Never ever heard that before. Found that pretty tacky.
Our first cruise with our daughter was prior to her being potty trained on Freedom of the Seas. Our Second cruise with her was when she was fully trained...on Disney's Dream. My wife and I were very apprehensive in that RCCL had BIG shoes to fill to compete with Disney's kids' program. We feared for nothing.
DD LOVED LOVED LOVED Adventure Ocean. The staff was AMAZING. The first thing out of her mouth every morning and after every meal was "Can I go to Kid Club now?". It was an absolute success. And the black light puppet show on the last day should not be missed. A lot of fun for the family. Oh, and the "pirate parade" was pretty good, too.
The Move It, Move It parade was a LOT of fun, especially since DD watched Madagascar, Shrek and Kung Fu Panda before we left... It seemed all ages had a good time. I liked it a lot more than the standard circus-like paradge we saw on Freedom in 2010.
In the Air: The show was pretty entertaining. It consisted of dancers and acrobats with some suspended in harnesses doing all sorts of aerial dances/gymnastics.
Saturday Night Fever: I was skeptical; however, it was awesome. I can't believe that the show was 1:30 long. . . it flew by and was extremely entertaining. The singing was top-notch.
Ice Skating Encore!: Amazing. especially when you consider that it was done on a ship...in not-so-calm seas. It's amazing what skaters can do on such a small ice surface.
Unfortunately, the only week we could cruise due to my teacher-wife's schedule and my corporate pilot schedule was the week of March 3....the beginning of spring break. It wasn't too bad...except for the last night where, down the hallway, it seemed like there was 15 kids in one room. Security seemed to either see it for themselves, or was called and they pulled what seemed to be a clown-car family amount of kids out of this room and took a few with their hands behind their backs down the hallway...not too sure what happened next........
Well, there's some random thoughts from the voyage....
If anyone has Liberty questions please feel free to ask and I'll see what I can come up with.