This was my second cruise, first with Royal. I booked the trip maybe 3 months ago and we decided to go for an inside cabin to get the price down as far as we could. We live in Ft. Lauderdale, so Liberty was a great choice, almost in our back yard.
Royal's website is not the best. While you can book many things and can find many reminders, ere are lots of holes for a new cruiser. I'm going to give you some tips and run down some main points about our trip.
Embarkation: we arrived at the port around 10:45 am. They were already allowing check-ins, but the ship was not ready to board yet. Getting here a bit early was a great move. We got to sit in the air conditioning after security and check in. About 11:20am and they opened the ship for boarding. We were told rooms would not be ready until 1 pm, so we made our way to Windjammer buffet for a bite. After lunch, we began exploring. We made it to the 7th floor about 12:30 pm and saw that our room was ready. Nice!
Room: we originally booked an inside cabin on the 8th floor, but I was worried it would be too small. Yeah, I know...you don't spend much time in the room, but we find ourselves relaxing there quite often. I called Royal about a week prior to departure and asked if they had any upgrades available. To my surprise, they did! For NO Cost, she moved us to a Superior Balcony room. The room was one deck below and is slightly larger then the normal balcony. Score! When we got into the room, we lived it. It's quite large and lots of storage space. The beds were comfortable and when pushed together seem bigger then a queen. The balcony was bigger then the one on our NCL ship. The decor was updated and everything seemed to be in good shape. Flat screen tv was nice and the bathroom (while small) was functional and nicely decorated. The bathroom did have a funky smell at times thought. But at least it didn't last and it didn't flow into the room. Overall...nice room!
Room Attendant: Bruce was friendly and attentive. We had him empty our fridge since we didn't want to deal with the mini bar charges and wanted to use it for our water and stuff. We requested ice and he had the bucked filled every time we left the room. We didn't even know how he knew we stepped out. Rooms were made up timely and turn down service was awesome. Towel animals and all.
Main Dining Room: we chose 6pm dining and were a bit nervous about the seating arrangements. Would we like dining with people we don't know ? Well, when I called and got the upgrade, the agent asked if we wanted a table for two. I jumped at the chance and sure enough, we had a reserved table for two every night. Our service staff was great. Friendly, professional and seemed to really care about you. Arleene and Gabriel. While the food wasn't the best quality we ever had, it was better than expected. Salads were good and the lobster tail one night was huge and delicious. We ate 4 out of the 5 nights here. They also serve breakfast and lunch in the main dining room, but didn't try it. The dress code was surprising. They say no shorts on any night, but we saw people wearing shorts, tank tops, sweats too. That was a bit strange. The first night was 'casual' i wore jeans and a nice polo shirt. I didn't feel out of place. Some people dressed up every night, some didn't. The second night was formal. We didn't go to the main dining room, so not sure if anyone cheated. Day 3 was smart casual. I wore kaki pants and a button down shirt. Day 4 was white casual. I wore jeans and a white t-shirt (nicer one). Day 5 was casual. Jeans and a polo shirt.
Portofino: this is the Italian up charge restaurant. $20 per person. It's a nice place, but we found it wasn't really worth the additional fee. Our server was a bit cold and not that attentive. My water glass was empty on many occasions. At the end of the meal, he disappeared for 15 minutes. We won't eat there again.
Windjammer: the buffet. The place is your typical buffet. I did find the setup really nice. The seating area felt like a restaurant and not like a dining hall like out NCL ship did. Breakfast was the same every morning, but what can you really do different? Bacon, sausage, waffles, tater tots, potatoes, omelettes and made to order eggs are available. Lunch has hamburgers and hot dogs with fries every day. The main hot dishes switch every day, but I did find that the variety was lacking a bit. Lots of repeat stations. Dinner had many of the same soups and some of the same items as the main dining room. They could have been a little more attentive in Windjammer and some of the food wasn't kept up to a hot temp.
Johnny Rockets: fee of $4.95 and gets you anything off the menu except for shakes and drinks. Food was hot, fresh and the best burgers on the ship. A must stop. Servers were really nice and friendly.
Room Service: slow and a limited menu. We found the food quality to be fair and not as good as it should be.
Pizza in the Promonade: free and available late. Ey also have panini and some salads and italian munchies. We found the pizza 'ok'. Maybe on the same level as Piaa Hut hand tossed. It's a take what is available place.
Cafe Promonade: 24/7 munchies includes sweets and mini sandwiches. Great for grab and go.
Pools were fun and the decks had plenty of room overall. The gym was really nice too.
The casino was fun and we seemed to do better on the last two days.
3d movie was great (Harry Potter Deathly Hallows part 2) and they ran a few more 3c movies.
In the Air was great. A Cirque type show. Make sure to book your spot online.
Saturday Night Fever was a great production. Awesome sets and good acting. Not.a fan of the story, but it's not Royals fault.
Encore ice show was also very good.
I would like to say that I was surprised that many of the crew that we passed walking the halls and decks harly said hello to us. They would look right through or turn the other way. The maintance guys, house keepers, and 'general' manual labor workers always said hello and smiled.
Disembarkation: we chose self carry. Meet in Studio B at 7:30. Be prepared for a long line ( it does move fast when they let you off) and be prepared to carry your luggage down 2 flights of stairs. You can take he elevator, bit gets messy with the line.
Labadee: good for relaxing. Nice beach and free BBQ. Not bad.
Falmouth: the city was dirty, smelly and didn't feel safe. The port is new and has your typical shopping. Tram tour was good at $15. Not a port I'd hit again.