112 Barcelona to Europe - Western Mediterranean Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We booked for the West Med cruise departing from Barcelona calling at Provence (Marseilles), Villaefranche (Monaco & Nice), La Spezia (Pisa & Florence), Civitavecchia (Rome) and Naples on the Liberty of the Seas. I would recommend ... Read More
We booked for the West Med cruise departing from Barcelona calling at Provence (Marseilles), Villaefranche (Monaco & Nice), La Spezia (Pisa & Florence), Civitavecchia (Rome) and Naples on the Liberty of the Seas. I would recommend that prior to departing you register to the online Royal Caribbean system to be able to check in online. We tried to change our registered bank card for this on here but couldn’t so I ended up calling the helpline (very helpful) to do this but you can do this at the port and doesn’t take much time. We did find it hard trying to find out some information before we left such as formal nights, what was actually in the rooms and got most of it from reviews so for you guys hopefully this will help. There is lots of storage in the staterooms and hangers are included. There is a hairdryer in each room but no iron or ironing board due to health & safety. There is also no tea / coffee making facilities in the staterooms which was a shame for the odd morning if you fancy a cup of coffee whilst getting ready – you can order this through room service but by the time you’ve waited… You can’t get water bought to your room, you have to get it yourself from a bar which at 6am isn’t the best option! We departed from Barcelona at 5pm and were able to board from 11am until 3.30pm. It was hard to find this information when we were trying to book flights. We checked in online and printed the tags to attach to the bags that we wanted taken to our stateroom. There is no bus directly from Barcelona airport to the port so we got a taxi which cost about €35. After leaving the bags you queue and go through a security area before heading to a long line of desks which was very organised. All in all from getting out of the taxi to getting on the ship was no more than 30 minutes. We tried to go down the ‘no photo’ queue but were ushered to the photo queue and not given an option. Staterooms weren’t ready until 1pm so everyone is directed to the Windjammer restaurant on board (there is nothing at the port to do that was obvious). It was help yourself buffet and was very, very busy. The ship was impressive and was not full. Towels are available near the pools which was a bonus but again not advertised anywhere prior. Majority of people got dressed up for the two formal nights (night 2 & 6) with quite a large portion of men in tux’s and women in floor length dresses. You can be casual the rest of the nights but can’t wear vest or shorts in the main restaurants. We paid for my time dining but it wasn’t worth it. You couldn’t just walk up and get a table between 6.45p to 8.30pm and had to pre-book and as a result we normally ate at 8.45pm. We were confused about the gratuities and what drink package we had actually gone for. Drinks in most of the bars / restaurants are around $6 to $12 each. If you do not have a drink package then you have to pay 10% US VAT and a 15% gratuity on each drink and these are all added to your sea pass (credit card for your stateroom to avoid paying cash on board). So a $6 drink become $7.50. You can purchase the drinks package on board or beforehand which is what we did online. The select package is the most basic alcoholic one and is fine if you’re only going to drink beer and / or wine (up to $8 per glass) and don’t want cocktails or spirits. The premium package is the best option as includes all beers, wines up to $12 a glass, premium cocktails up to $10 a drink, bottled still water and soda. We went for ultimate which was as premium but also included freshly squeezed orange juice and premium tea / coffee so nice to have a latte and not pay extra. So you look at the bar menu and if the price is under your package price it’s included, if it’s over then it’s added to your bill. You don’t pay any extra gratuities or VAT if you have bought the package. There is a multitude of bars on board. Olive or Twist on deck 14 was good for mojitos, casino generally wasn’t good for drinks but our favourite was Vintages on deck 5 which had a vast array of fine wines with excellent staff (Robert) and we ended the majority of evenings here and met some great people. And there was a wide range of ages on board so not the cliché of cruises being for the older generation at all! The windjammer restaurant is a good buffet and has a wide selection. We ate here each day for breakfast as is open until 11am for this. Due to being on my time dining we were placed on the main restaurant on deck 5. The food in here was OK and quite good for mass catering but some of the dishes were touch and go. The staff were great and we had a good laugh with our waiter (Mohammad). If you like something a little different then it’s worth paying the supplement for the two fine dining restaurants. Chops Grille had excellent steaks and well worth the supplement, this was busy so worth booking on line before you leave home or within the first couple of nights being on board – dress code is smart. Personally I preferred the Italian restaurant Portofina. The menu choice was great and food fantastic and not what I was expecting on board and the desserts – well… Our waiter Egit was hilarious and helped make the night. Again dress code is smart and both restaurants are silver service. Don’t bother with room service for breakfast, we did one morning as were disappointed. Charged for freshly squeezed orange juice even though on Ultimate package, it was cold and if we’d had to paid for it I would’ve complained. We did get annoyed for the last two nights being reminded by all staff that we would be emailed a survey to complete and can we put their names and great scores. This became a little tiresome and was the only downside to our night at Portofina. As it turned out you only get 7 days to complete this post holiday and we didn’t get chance on our return, we’ve email Royal Caribbean but so far they haven’t responded which we feel is pretty poor. The staterooms were spacious and comfortable. We had upgraded to a balcony which was nice and good to have the door open. The only downside was when you were docked and depending on what side the exit / entrance was on if you had your door open you could hear the constant beeping from the sea passes being swiped as people got on and off or the industrial side of the port in operation which could get quite irritating especially at 6am! Generally all the ports were industrial which is not what we were expecting so there wasn’t much to look at. There was a train strike at Villaefranche so we went to Nice rather than Monaco which was a shame, however Villaefranche was lovely in itself and it was nice to be tendered and go into a small port rather than walk / get a bus through an industrial port. Florence and Pisa were quite a distance from La Spezia which was a shame but again La Spezia was nice too with a great market. Rome is a good hour on the slow train or 30 minutes on the fast train and I would recommend checking train times prior to getting off if you want to go to Rome, many of us returned just at the last minute! I’d also recommend pre booking any tickets for anywhere you want to visit at any port to save you time and hassle when you’re there. After a long tiresome day at Rome we decided to tour Naples instead which was nice but after seeing photos of Capri wished we’d gone there instead. Overall would we go on a cruise again? Probably not. It wasn’t as relaxing as we had anticipated and we felt obliged to get off at the ports. The staff were friendly and helpful generally but it was expensive and we would have preferred more sea days.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We chose this as our first cruise because it ticked all the boxes for us. 1. It was in the Med. Not known for rough seas so hopefully no seasick problems. 2. It covered the period of our silver wedding anniversary. 3. The stops allowed ... Read More
We chose this as our first cruise because it ticked all the boxes for us. 1. It was in the Med. Not known for rough seas so hopefully no seasick problems. 2. It covered the period of our silver wedding anniversary. 3. The stops allowed me to do 2 things that are on my bucket list. (The Colosseum / Pompeii) 4. It was 7 days, so if we didn't like it by day 3 there wasn't too long to endure it. We had a couple of days in Barcelona first, which was only spoiled by the tourist bus, which only had 50% of the audio plugs working. The journey to the ship was an experience, with all the taxis jostling to get there quickly. Embarkation was quick and incredibly efficient. Luggage taken from us on arrival, and a friendly check in clerk. Then a walk past the first of around 100 photo points and we were on. OMG it's a big ship. Dis-embarkation was just as speedy and organised. We were due to get off at 8:00 and by 8:25 we were at our Barcelona hotel. Rather than do a day by day / everything we ate or drank report, I'll be more general. Cabin. Deluxe stateroom with a balcony (7596). This was as we expected, having looked at pics of it for 7 months. Bed was very comfy, TV worked fine, secluded balcony, with no smoke and very little noise from adjacent cabins. AND AS FOR OUR CABIN ATTENDANT. She was an absolute diamond. Margarita was a smiling, friendly, efficient, wonderful customer facing representative of the Cruise Line. Food. Main Dining Room...... We were MTD which enabled us to be flexible, and to meet different people every night. We had some great mealtime conversations with couples from all over the USA and from Ireland. The food choice was varied, well prepared and always tasty. I never left the table wishing that there had been more. Windjammer.......... Reasonable food and a wide selection. Sometimes it wasn't always as hot as I would have liked, but that's always a problem with me and Buffet style meals. We mainly went here for breakfast. The staff in both dining areas were once again friendly, helpful, and nothing was too much trouble. Entertainment The shows were OK, with a particular mention for the Ice Show, where the skaters were so very talented. My only complaint was the Saturday Night Fever show which we thought was over-loud, (and we weren't sitting in front of a speaker) We left that one early. For us the shining light was David Curtis at the piano in the Schooner Bar. He's without doubt one of the most talented entertainers I've seen, being a brilliant pianist, an engaging comedian, and having a speed of thought that was amazing. Every night was different, but equally entertaining. The last night of our cruise was the last night of his Summer contract so we had the bonus of some of the ships singers joining him. If you're ever on the Liberty, make sure you see his show, but go early to get a seat. Excursions Very well organised, no problems or hiccups. My only complaint,(and it's not RCI's fault), the Trevi Fountain is covered, empty, and not worth visiting. As this was something my wife really wanted to see, she was very disappointed. The Spanish Steps were also a little disappointing, with people sitting all over them and nothing like the image that I expected. The Colosseum, and Pompeii were incredible. The leaning tower of Pisa is, for us, an hour's visit at most, with 50 minutes of that hour spent walking around people having their photos taken pretending to hold the tower up. Final thoughts. Would I do it again? Yes but with possibly only one organised excursion, to Sorrento. What was the low point ? Leaving our camera by the pool and someone finding it & keeping it. But there's always the chance of low life on any vacation. (Went into Nice and bought another) Glad we did it, and I'm now hooked on Pina Coladas and Mojitos. W&W   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We (myself and my husband) have sailed with Royal Caribbean ships, mainly voyager class and freedom class 8 times. This was our ninth cruise and second on Liberty, The ship and cabin and public areas as always were lovely, clean and fresh. ... Read More
We (myself and my husband) have sailed with Royal Caribbean ships, mainly voyager class and freedom class 8 times. This was our ninth cruise and second on Liberty, The ship and cabin and public areas as always were lovely, clean and fresh. The staff in general were attentive and friendly, however there were noticeable differences and reductions in service as follows: - 1. Dining room was only open once for lunch - we much prefer this to the Windjammer - the only other option on RC ships, and as we stayed on the ship at many ports, we had to go ashore many times for lunch when we wanted to stay on the ship. The dining room also CLOSED at 8.30 many mornings - this did not suits us at all, as we only eat breakfast in the dining room, and on occasion wanted a lie-in when we were not going ashore - we were on holidays after all. The dining room previously stayed open until 9.30 - 10 am on previous cruises. RC also need to tackle the issue of the service areas - these need to be hidden from view of passengers, trays / trolleys piled with used dishes, leftovers is totally unacceptable. 2. Entertainment - overall the standard was high, shows were great, however only saw the cruise director once, no attendance by any of the main entertainment team at the poolside white party as other cruises. Some music / entertainment did not happen as scheduled, and also the standard of the music in the piano var - the schooner was very poor. In fact the Schooner Bar was empty most nights. 3. Guest Services - One queue for all queries, questions, issues and members is unacceptable. Some passengers had minor queries had to queue for over 40 minutes with passengers who had queries regarding accounts, or who wanted to book tours etc. There were separate queues on previous cruises. Why do RC still not allow irons, or provide irons in cabins free like other cruise lines? Overall, the staff seemed hurried, stressed and generally having low morale, and with the lack of commitment of the entertainment team to the enjoyment of the passengers would make me question whether I would travel with RC again or go back to another cruise line. Please RC you need to listen to your passengers.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Flew direct from Toronto on Air Canada Rouge Sat. , August 23. Arrived in Barcelona on schedule Sun., Aug. 24 at 10 AM. Husband is partially disabled. We travel with a scooter as he cannot walk too far & his balance is not good at all. ... Read More
Flew direct from Toronto on Air Canada Rouge Sat. , August 23. Arrived in Barcelona on schedule Sun., Aug. 24 at 10 AM. Husband is partially disabled. We travel with a scooter as he cannot walk too far & his balance is not good at all. On arrival in Barcelona as usual a big headache as we had to wait until the entire plane was emptied & for the scooter to arrive. It always amazes us how this happens as it is the last to be put into the cargo hold of the plane!!!! & even the pilot said it should be the first thing off. NOT!!!! We collected our luggage, found the RC reps & were directed to our accessible transfer to the ship. The ramp to the ship had a number of dips where my husband's scooter got stuck & subsequently would not run again for at least 24 hours. Luckily we had reserved a 4 wheeled walker for the week so he was at least able to get around. We had a wonderful young fella who pushed him & the scooter onto the ship. Thanks again..... Why are they unable to make the ramp absolutely flat with no dips?? The 1st stop was Marseilles. We did an accessible tour through RC with Jeanne & a driver in a van with a ramp for the scooter. It was an amazing excursion as she was very knowledgeable as well as being a very nice person. Very enjoyable day... Next stop was Villefranche for Nice. We tendered in so my husband stayed on the ship while I did a tour to Monaco / Monte Carlo. Was also an amazing tour. Had a great time, met a family from New York who let me accompany them around so I wouldn't get lost. Lots of steep sidewalks & stairs. Only hurt for a few days.... wouldn't have missed it for the world.. Next stop was LaSpezia for Florence - it was to be a wheelchair accessible tour through RC BUT the only part accessible was the lift on the bus. Jon the guide after a long drive led us to square in Florence where my husband sat on his scooter for 3 hours until the guide returned to take us back to the bus. The large cobblestones were not accessible because they were not even at all. An absolute waste of $$$$ & time. Next stop was Civitavecchia for Rome. We did a private tour with Driver In Rome. Our driver/guide was Giancarlo. Really nice guy. Took us to all the required sites & some. Very knowledgeable. We had a guide also for the Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's. Her name was Stefania. She was a walking encyclopedia of all Vatican, etc. Went above & beyond - even pushed husband's wheelchair so I could take pics. Thank you again to Driver in Rome & Giancarlo & Stefania for making this day so unforgettable. If ever we return to Rome, they will be our first choice... Worth every $$$... Last stop was Naples. Again through RC - was to be wheelchair accessible but again only the lift was. Had an altercation with the bus driver at the pier. The RC shore excursion person Nik sorted it out & off we went. After seeing what the tour was, I would say that the entire bus wished they had stayed on the ship. All we did was drive up & down streets where basically all the buildings & statues, etc. were covered in graffiti. Apparently it is a big drop off area for the refugees from North Africa. Extremely dirty city. Have filed a complaint with RC regarding both Florence & Naples handicapped accessible shore excursions. It's been 6 days now & no reply.... apparently they don't care...... Nik the shore excursion guy indicated that he would suggest they cancel that particular Naples one. We had a handicapped accessible promenade stateroom #8315. Really nice room. Loads of room to turn the scooter around. Everything you would need. Missed having a balcony though.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Just arrived home from a 7 night cruise on Liberty of the Seas around Spain, France and Italy. The ship was clean, food OK, but Botticelli's Restaurant certainly wasn't the fine dining experience we'd expected. The My Time ... Read More
Just arrived home from a 7 night cruise on Liberty of the Seas around Spain, France and Italy. The ship was clean, food OK, but Botticelli's Restaurant certainly wasn't the fine dining experience we'd expected. The My Time dining, just doesn't work - long, frustrating queuing just to get a table, slow service, poorer than average food. Guest Services really need a shake up, again, long queues, slow, disinterested staff - an experience to be avoided if possible. Small swimming pools, over-crowded pool side, extremely dangerous under foot due to unmopped wet patches. The Catacomb Club lacked atmosphere - one night, the dance floor was entirely monopolised by a child of approximately 7. The 18 year age restriction clearly flouted. The best bits - waking up in a new harbour or port each morning, the cocktails, a delightful and consistently pleasant and efficient Ukrainian girl working at the Champagne bar. Meeting fantastic fellow cruisers. The worst bits - queuing for just about everything, an impression that the guests were a necessary evil from many of the staff, a complete lack of organisation when boarding and disembarking the ship, a lack of clarity with regards to make the most of our time aboard ( we found this information in a glossy magazine hidden in a cupboard on the morning we were leaving, alongside a receipt belonging to a previous guest detailing his bank details - made us wonder about the level of cleaning in the cabin) Misleading advertising - We purchased a photograph taken of us during one of the formal evenings. This was advertised as 14.95 euro's. On settling my bill at the end of the cruise, I had been charged 25 euro's for the picture. On requesting an explanation, I was told that the advertised price was an "estimate". It was made quite clear to me, that I had no option but to pay the elevated price. Doubt I'd use or recommend Royal Caribbean again, lovely ship, many staff need re-training, re-motivating and taught the value of good customer service. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We are from Topeka, Kansas, USA. Overall, this was our 12th cruise, the 9th on Royal Caribbean, with the last 7 on Royal. In 2006, we did the Mediterranean Greek Isles Cruise on Royal Caribbean (RCCL) cruise, but we chose this cruise for ... Read More
We are from Topeka, Kansas, USA. Overall, this was our 12th cruise, the 9th on Royal Caribbean, with the last 7 on Royal. In 2006, we did the Mediterranean Greek Isles Cruise on Royal Caribbean (RCCL) cruise, but we chose this cruise for different excursions at the same port. The Ship itself. The Liberty is clean, comfortable and bright. Embarkation. We started from Oklahoma City then to Atlanta to Barcelona. Even with a later departure from Atlanta due to rain, we arrived on the day of embarkation with no issues and plenty of time for the Barcelona city tour with drop off on the pier, which we previously scheduled. RCCL Choice Air works quite well. The RCCL greeters met us after we claimed baggage and exited customs. (Seeing them is ALWAYS a comforting sight! They know we are coming.) Check-in at the pier was quick and simple. Dining We ate in the main dining room every night at the early seating. We considered the food to be very good. We thought several items on the menu were new, or at least we did not remember them from previous cruises. Overall, positive dining experiences We thought the Windjammer was OK, but we tried to avoid it, if possible, in favor of the main dining room for breakfast. The main dining room is much more relaxed, a seat is more easily found and assigned, and the food is better. The main dining room breakfast also has a buffet.. We found service in the main dining room, for breakfast, was less than that we experienced previously. They seemed to be confused and orders were sometimes slow or incomplete. Our dinner waiter said the traditional parade and song by the waiters has been discontinued. Call me a curmudgeon, but I'm glad it's gone Public Rooms Very clean and comfortable, but noisy. I went to the Viking Crown to read and look out over the ship but the recorded music there was loud, so I went to the game room to read, which was finally a quiet place on the ship, but the chairs were hard and staff came to rearrange the room. There are very few public quiet and secluded places on the ship. During the day, nearly all venues have loud recorded music. Cabins Our cabin was comfortable. We were hoping for a fold out couch as the third bed for our son, but instead got the standard pull-down bed from the ceiling. The cabin had a door to the adjoining cabin, so we did not even have a couch upon which to toss our stuff, but rather a smaller chair. Entertainment The live stage band was very good. Nightly shows The male guest headline singer was VERY loud, from amplification. The female lead in "In the Air" was also much too loud from electronic amplification. Both cases caused the overall performance to be somewhat mediocre. Being louder does NOT make it better. The singers on the Promenade bridge, for gatherings in the Promenade, were pretty good. Hector the magician was the best cruise ship magician we've ever seen. Very good, Hector! The Saturday Night Fever musical was well produced and well executed. The ice show was excellent, well done...better than we have seen previously on other cruises. The "In The Air" show was entertaining and well executed, but it was easy to see the RCCL dancers were not taking much risk, as we would naturally expect. The dramatic risky theater was performed by the "guest" aerial artists, who were quite skilled, strong, and elegant. The Ice Show was well produced and well executed...better than what we have seen previously. Excursions: My advice has always been to study the excursions on the Royal Caribbean web site (and the locations from other travel sites) and book them in advance via the RCCL website or via a call to RCCL. We did that and our tickets were waiting for us in our room upon arrival. This was even more important since the first port is the day after we leave. The Excursion Desk was usually crowded with long lines. With so many consecutive excursions, one does not need hassle or sold out trips. In my opinion, RCCL does an excellent job organizing and facilitating tours. Yes, the tours are a bit expensive, limiting or regimented, but I'd much rather buy a tour through the ship and have them know where I'm at, with their local representatives, sometimes even with ship staff.. Booking tours via RCCL reduces many risks. Also, an organized tour does offer advantages, which I'll mention later. At least for this cruise, RCCL has a new policy. One is required to identify themselves and sign a roster, once on the bus. Now, if someone is missing, they know who. Also, a card is given to each of us on the bus noting the name of the tour operator and emergency phone numbers. This is a good and very welcome addition. Barcelona BRB3: This is an airport pickup, tour, and drop off at the pier. We were pleasantly surprised. We were expecting a simple guided bus ride past many sights, and there was that, but there were also a few times we were able to get out, walk, and tour a few places, especially a few old churches. Be sure to read the documentation, know if your flight arrival time will permit this, and then send details to RCCL as they direct. Marseilles MR44: Marseilles City Tour. Very nice tour of the city. Villefranche VF07: Nice and Eze I enjoyed old Nice with its tight maze of narrow streets with shops. Our guide was good but somewhat scatterbrained. It was only after a 45 minute walk on our own that she remembered to give us the cards with the emergency contacts. Miraculously, everyone returned to the meeting place on time. Be sure to take a few Euros, because toilets are not free. We did not have a Euro on us (mistake!). The attendant did not want to take a dollar until my wife convinced him a dollar is worth more than the half Euro cost. Also, you'll need a few Euros in Eze. To go on the overlook in Eze, one must pay an extra few Euros. This was not noted anywhere in the documenation. Our guide did say it was not compulsory, but we felt the cost should have been included and therefore we felt a bit cheated. Even so, the Eze fortress is interesting Florence LL01: Historical Florence & Accademia Museum. We thought this was a very good tour and certainly as specified in the documentation. We learned lots and saw many points or artifacts about which we'd always heard. Rome CV01 Rome, The Eternal City: A very good tour; as specified in the documentation and more. Again, we had a knowledgeable guide and we learned quite a bit. There is definitely an advantage of a tour group -- we bypassed LONG lines at each venue, all were crowded. Our guide thought the lines were only about 1.5 hours. [on our 2006 trip, our guide thought lines were about 4 hours long.] The Sistine Chapel was packed with people sholder-to-sholder and guards were constantly admonishing people, over a PA system, to be quiet -- no talking at all- and to NOT take pictures. Even so, many people did both. This excursion was well worth the time and cost. I did find it ironic, interesting, or perhaps a historical reference, there is a gift shop inside the Coliseum on the second level. Naples NP36 Panoramic Naples: We chose this tour because we'd already seen other points on our previous trip and Naples itself sounded interesting. Even though the documentation states it is designed for people with mobility challenges, we do not have such challenges and it did not appear many on the tour were so challenged. We did have a good guide and learned a bit, but Naples could use a good stiff sweeping. Service The service was sharp and friendly. No issues. The servers seemed very concerned they get a 10 rating. OK. I gave them a 10, but any manager knows a 10 is reserved only for going exceptionally out of ones' way, costing you to make me better or feel good or special. A 10, should be, by definition, rare. Otherwise you are simply meeting expectation - doing your job, albeit very well. I could go on, and did for RCCL. Other Observations The total standard gratuity for a day per person is now automatically charged to your on-board account, if it is not prepaid. This is a welcome change making the process easier, albeit much less personal. We did get envelopes for extra WOW service, but did not use them. The WOW service is what you do to make me feel special or unique, not simply what I have paid for. There is a persistent pursuit of your pocketbook. The cruise industry seems to be trying to find more ways to extract money from their guests. I understand the reasoning and accept that, but please make sure there is high value. For example, on our first Voyager cruise in 2002 the Johnny Rockets did not have a cover charge, now it does...for the same dining experience. RCCL is now trying to reduce paper, which is good and I applaud that, so the coupon books in your cabin are gone in favor of them associated with your SeaPass card. That's good, but that also means the coupon for 15 minutes of free internet is also gone. On the sea day we attended the free seminar on how to alleviate lower back pain. It was informative, logical, and presented well. We also learned the solution is sold only in the States but also happens to be sold here in the workout center, and is sold on this cruise at a discount. Wow, I should have known better..... Regarding the approach to reducing paper: the survey is now via a link from your email. That's good. It gave me more time to compose my thoughts, comment more, and even vent a bit to RCCL, from home. The card stock folder for your photographs is gone in favor of a flimsy clear plastic envelope. I understand and accept, but that makes packing to protect the picture more careful. Regarding pictures, we tend to avoid the photographers except on formal nights, pose on several stations, and finally choose only one family photo.. [RCCL does not usually make much extra from us!] As we were getting ready to board after initial check-in at the pier, we were directed to the traditional "first entry picture", but there were two lines to the ship noted by "Photo" and "No Photo". We chose to continue walking and avoid the trite photo [Sure. After traveling 24+ hours that is a picture we really want!] The attendant strongly encouraged us to get our picture taken stating it was to "...activate our card.." Uh, no. He seemed somewhat disgusted as we walked by. Disembarking Easy, fast, and well organized. I did feel a bit uncomfortable leaving our luggage at a marked truck with guys speaking a language I don't know, to be taken separately to the airport, rather than putting it on our bus. However, I understand the reasoning and it works well. Our luggage, monitored by RCCL staff, was waiting for us as we got off the bus. No problems at the airport. Summation Overall a good cruise. We enjoyed ourselves and had a very good time as a family. Food was great...improved. Service was friendly and helpful. Excursions were well organized and worth our time. The live music across the ship was expert and well done. The stage shows were new to us and much better than what we've seen recently. We always felt safe on the ship and on tours, but as always, take precautions against pickpockets...they are everywhere, know we are tourists, and appear as tourists. Mostly we cruised for the destinations and with six consecutive often long excursions (one upon arrival on departure day), the ship was simply a mobile floating hotel, albeit a very nice one. We'll cruise again with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Firstly, let me say I never expected to go on a cruise! I thought cruising was for wealthy people who were a little above the rest of us - yeah, right - how wrong can you be?! My husband and I booked a week long cruise on Liberty for our ... Read More
Firstly, let me say I never expected to go on a cruise! I thought cruising was for wealthy people who were a little above the rest of us - yeah, right - how wrong can you be?! My husband and I booked a week long cruise on Liberty for our 25th wedding anniversary, and I devoured everything I could find about cruising before going as I felt a little overawed. There were some questions I couldn't find the answers to, but reading reviews and watching videos helped hugely. So, from an honest viewpoint, here's my take on my cruise. I loved it. I loved the ship - the size of it shocked me every time I boarded or disembarked and I loved the fact that there was so much to do and see all the time. Liberty is showing her age and is just about to head off to the US for a refit, we were told. By showing her age, all I mean is that there were some grubby marks on the walls in some restaurants and some of the shops and bars on Royal Promenade looked a little tired. However, overall, it was spotlessly clean and well cared for and very pleasant. The pools and deck areas were beautifully taken care of. We booked a balcony stateroom and I'd tried to find out what would be in the room, but still hadn't worked out some of the info...so here's what I couldn't work out before: There ISN'T a kettle/drink making equipment (but you could take drinks from any restaurant back to your room or order via room service and it really didn't matter - even to a Brit who is addicted to tea!). There IS a fridge. We removed all the room service stuff and filled it with the wine we were allowed to take and with the water bottles we got on ship. You CAN take any drink from any restaurant/bar back to your room...so I didn't need the 2 bottles of champagne I brought on board - I could take my cocktail or champers or whatever back with me to enjoy on the balcony or while getting ready, or whatever. There are LOADS of hangers and clothes space - nobody told me that before, but there was no problem about hanging up all our posh clothes!! You DO get complimentary toiletries. There was a body wash/shampoo dispenser in the shower and bars of soap too. Room Service was utterly reliable, even when we had to be off the ship at 7.30, they were punctual and the food was as good as it was in the Windjammer breakfast but so much more convenient. Those were the things I hadn't been able to ascertain beforehand, so I thought I'd mention them all. The staff were overall a delight. Our room steward was simply a delight and earned a 50 euro tip for being so thoughtful and helpful to us. He went out of his way to help and even brought us champagne flutes for the fizz we'd brought aboard. Oh and there's another thing. RCL say you can take one bottle of wine per person and that it's OK. It is - but they will hold your suitcase on embarkation day and you'll have to be taken downstairs to the bowels of the ship by your steward to collect your suitcase. This is because YOU have to unpack the bottles, they're not allowed to. Once they're satisfied it's only wine and not spirits, they'll then ask why you've brought them. I simply replied that he website stated we could and they let me go with my case. Not sure what the point of their question was....but there we are. The room was well appointed, plenty of room to move about, the bathroom was a good enough size and we were very pleased. We didn't use the balcony as much as we'd expected to as it's a bit bland with simply 2 chairs & a low table, but to stand out there last thing at night or to check out the new port the next day - it was definitely worth the extra money. When it comes to reviewing food, my husband & I kind of disagree. He liked the Windjammer buffet, I didn't. The range of food was incredibly good and most of it was reasonably pleasant, but I hate that kind of scrum environment. There were about a million staff who were brilliant and who, sadly, had to sing to us at our final breakfast (what on earth???), but to be surrounded by so very many people, I didn't find it relaxing. Most of the rest of the time, we were booked into Boticelli's. The restaurant itself is nicely glitzy and again, excellent staff - 2 to a table - but because of the sheer size of the place and the number of staff moving about, it's not relaxing either. On our first night, we were incredibly lucky and got a window table which meant we focussed on the sunset, but after that we were seated in the main part of the room and it was just too busy, sadly. The food was good, we did enjoy everything we ate and there was stacks of choice, but it didn't win my heart. We did try Johnny Rockets one night and I would say not to bother. The food was nice but there was no atmosphere at all and it all felt very fake. Plus, my husband had the soft drinks package and still had to pay $4.25 for a milkshake on top of the entrance cost - not worth it. On one special evening, we booked into Chops Grille and it was worth every penny of the $40 cover charge. We were served by the loveliest waiter who couldn't have done more for us. The food was mouthwatering and the atmosphere and ambience of the restaurant everything we hoped for. I had the filet mignon and OMG, it was amazing! The wine selection was great and plentiful, our only regret is that we didn't pay the cover charge and go more than that one night! If you're thinking about booking the speciality restaurants, my advice is not to hesitate. It's soooo worth it! As I mentioned, my husband doesn't really drink alcohol, so booked the 'Soda Fountain' unlimited soft drinks package. Apparently it covers coca cola. I'm not sure what on earth they were serving, but it wasn't like any coke we've ever drunk. The only comparison I can some up with is those little bottles of fizzy drinks called Panda Pops that we had when we were kids. It was VILE! After the first 2 drinks, he didn't bother. He was allowed 7 Up, sadly he doesn't like it and he wasn't allowed bottled water - so basically, he stopped using the package within the first day of being on the ship. Seriously disappointing. I, however, do drink alcohol and bought the Premium Package (don't be surprised if the staff refer to this as PP) and it was totally worth it! The list of drinks included is longer than I could possibly tell you and to be able to order prosecco (or in some bars, champagne) and cocktails as and when was an absolute delight. Unlike many All-Inclusive holidays, the cocktails are the real deal and are delicious! My favourite place on the ship to curl up with a book and a drink was the Champagne Bar closely followed by Schooner Bar. Faroud and Yuliya in the Champagne Bar were fabulous fun and Nikola in the Schooner Bar had a memory for names and faces that astonished me! That's a real skill when giving great customer service. Embarkation and disembarkation was so smooth and quick that every airline I've ever travelled with could learn a thing or two. Great service. We booked our tours with CruisingExcursions.com and I've just written them the most complimentary email I think I've ever sent. Fantastically informative and pleasant tour guides, tiny tiny groups (some days only 4 of us) and guides who really do listen to the guests and take into account their preferences, sense of humour etc - Cruising Excursions are the tour guides to go for, without doubt. 4 days of tours cost us £357 for 2 people and I would recommend theme to all. So - sorry to have bored you rigid with so much information, but I'd loved to have read a really detailed review like this before I went, and if anyone has any questions, please do ask!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We are a European couple (not Italian, not Spanish) and this was our 5th cruise, our 2nd with RCCL and the other times with Norwegian, always in the Med and always in summer. A lot has already been said in other reviews, so I'd like ... Read More
We are a European couple (not Italian, not Spanish) and this was our 5th cruise, our 2nd with RCCL and the other times with Norwegian, always in the Med and always in summer. A lot has already been said in other reviews, so I'd like to focus on the couple of things which I feel could be improved. - Dining: we always breakfasted and sometimes lunched in the Windjammer, and I would not call the variety of food available inspirational. It's not bad, but neither is it particularly noteworthy. In this sense, Norwegian is a much better option. Chops was simply excellent if you like meat, and I would thoroughly recommend their Forest Mushroom soup as a starter. Portofino was a disappointment.We were led to expect Italian food, but there is little of true Italian food. I can only call it "Italian creative cooking". By way of example, the Tiramisu is certainly not an Italian tiramisu (so why call it so?), the French creme brulee is not finished in the French style, and the carpaccios were not particularly noteworthy. Johnny Rockets, for burgers, is excellent. - Cleanliness: when we boarded and on a couple of other days, the floor in Windjammer was sticky (it reminded me of fast food joints). - Entertainment: compared to other cruises, including on the Navigator a couple of years ago, we felt that the variety and quality of the entertainment options had suffered. This goes for both the theatre options as well as the live music ones. David the pianist in the Schooner Bar is very entertaining, but apart from him we felt that the other live music options were not really attractive. An overall comment for the benefit of European travellers only: everything appears to be conceived with American guests in mind, starting with the dining, the beverages (including the horrendous coffee - if you want proper coffee you will need to pay extra for it), the training staff is given, the "liability avoidance" notices everywhere advising you to watch out (e.g. warnings on the bottles of champagne that the cork could cause harm when it pops) and the type of entertainment (we didn't know many of the 70s and 80s and country songs being sung in the Schooner Bar and in Olive or Twist, for example). And yet, this cruise was filled by a majority of guests from Spain, Italy, Britain and the Middle East. All in all a very enjoyable cruise, but Royal, there are some things you can certainly improve. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I found this cruise almost faultless, despite hearing that Royal Caribbean had reduced their standards in practically every area. Although prices have clearly increased for their European cruises, in my experience the standards on board ... Read More
I found this cruise almost faultless, despite hearing that Royal Caribbean had reduced their standards in practically every area. Although prices have clearly increased for their European cruises, in my experience the standards on board Liberty of the Seas were better than ever. The check in process was all done on arrival in Barcelona Airport which made embarkation on to the ship (via the exit) a pleasure. Despite the large size ship, I found service levels from staff excellent and on par with the personal approach I received on smaller Vision class ships. I found the food very good both in the Windjammer and the Botticelli Restaurant and room service. My Time Dining worked perfectly for us and the waiters were great every time. I called the number each day to book and was successful within 15 minutes of time requested. I had the beer & wine package ($40 per day) which was very good with all the well known Bottle beer brands available on it and the their choice of wine was drinkable too. I felt that prices for drinks had come down anyway on board anyway. Beer $5 or 5 for $20 to me is good for European cruise bar prices. The shows in the theatre were well presented (ex Britain's Got Talent contestants, a Spanish magician and the highlight Saturday Night Fever)- they are what they are and pass an hour in the evening. The plethora of lounges always had something going on. The entertainments team throughout the cruise very very good. Disembarkation was pain free as we met at the designated lounge, when called, we were escorted to the luggage area and to the coaches waiting to transfers us to Barcelona Airport. No melee trying to get on a coach (as I had heard), all very civilised. So overall I am delighted with my experience and relieved that Royal still have the "Wow" factor, as more than ever they really need to keep on top of the competitors biting at their heels.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
The first issue was that we were not able to stop at Marseilles due to a dockworkers strike. We did get port fees and tours refunded. When this happened on another cruise line, we received an OBC and they added another port. This was our ... Read More
The first issue was that we were not able to stop at Marseilles due to a dockworkers strike. We did get port fees and tours refunded. When this happened on another cruise line, we received an OBC and they added another port. This was our first time using My TIme Dining -- first night was amazing -- wonderful service by the window. It went down hill from there. We were a family of 5 -- and placed often between 2 larger tables -- where once in, could not get out -- and often forgotten by the waiters. First time this happened but it happened most nights - not impressed with my time dining. We ordered room service one morning because we had an early excursion -- it never came -- we called 3 times -- response was 5 minutes. We left - it was never delivered. Our room steward took it upon herself to follow-up we did get some chocolate covered strawberries but did not feel comfortable trying room service again. We bought some limoncello at the Naples port -- which of course we had to check. Royal did not have an easy area to get to the table to check resulting in my husband dropping and breaking the bottle. We could not replace this item. Poor process on Royal's part. Our biggest issue was actually with Crown and Anchor Society -- we are platinum but had never attended an event. We tried to attend the Welcome Back part -- attire was casual that night. The staff blocking the door not only told us we could not go in but was very demeaning toward us. We had returned late from a tour and my husband happened to be wearing shorts. Granted this was Europe but shorts had not been a problem in the past in the dining room. We stopped at Guest Services to complain - he apologized for the rude behavior but told my husband he would not be allowed in the event or the dining room. My husband changed -- we went to dinner where we witnessed several men in shorts. Royal needs to clean up its conflicting policies. Overall it was a great family cruise -- we enjoyed it -- however, we did not receive the level of service that RC has provided in the past and we had come to expect. Our room and room steward were awesome though. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was our first cruise with RCI, although we have tried other cruise lines. Liberty of the Seas is big and beautiful. Even when the seas were rough, I hardly felt any movement. There is lots (Lots!) to do on board, and as with most ... Read More
This was our first cruise with RCI, although we have tried other cruise lines. Liberty of the Seas is big and beautiful. Even when the seas were rough, I hardly felt any movement. There is lots (Lots!) to do on board, and as with most cruises these days, you can be as busy or as quiet as you want. Lesson #1 - On Liberty of the Seas (and I suspect the other ships in this class for RCI) don't book the 2nd or 3rd deck. These decks do not allow access for the length of the ship, which means there are times when you have to walk in the opposite direction you want to go, take an elevator (or the stairs) up to at least the 4th deck, then walk the length of the ship to get to where you want to go. This applies to the dining rooms if you are in the front half of the ship, or the Platinum theatre if you are aft. Lesson #2 - Don't be afraid to ask the cruise ship staff for some assistance. When we got to Civitavecchia, we discovered that the train workers were planning a strike. The trains were running early in the morning and we had no problem getting into Rome. However, all the trains were cancelled in the afternoon, and we ended up taking a taxi back to the port at cost of 140 euros!. We realized afterwards that we should have asked for assistance from the cruise staff, and would probably have been able to hitch a ride with one of the shore excursion buses for a fraction of the cost. Lesson #3 - Many retail stores in France are closed on Mondays until at least 2 PM. This is a way of life there and it doesn't matter how many thousand tourists are in town. We found this out visiting Aix-en-Provence. It's a lovely old town, but really boring when all the shops are closed! Lesson #4 - Some of the privately booked tours are terrific value even though they may be slightly above the price of the ship's shore excursions. We used RomeinLimo tours for an excursion to Pisa and Florence. Our guide and driver, Elizabetta, was sensational! And because we were a smaller group (7) in a smaller vehicle, we got around more easily and saw more than we could possibly have done with a larger bus tour. I highly recommend private tours for the convenicence and flexibility. Our full-day tour was 100 euros per person. Lesson #5 - The descriptions of meals in the menu in the main dining rooms are not always what you get. E.g. - Beef stroganoff turned out to be beef stew with rice. On the other hand, the meals at the specialty restaurants, Portofino and Chops Grille, were exceptional and well worth the additional cost. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Before this trip, I poured over reviews on this cruise line/ship and would like to pay it back with this review of our recent Liberty of the Seas cruise out of Barcelona on Oct 13-20. This was a 7 night cruise with 5 ports of call: Toulon, ... Read More
Before this trip, I poured over reviews on this cruise line/ship and would like to pay it back with this review of our recent Liberty of the Seas cruise out of Barcelona on Oct 13-20. This was a 7 night cruise with 5 ports of call: Toulon, Villefranche, La Spezia, Rome, and Naples. We are a family of 4 from the US (My husband and I are 40 yrs old and 2 daughters, ages 11 and 10). This was only our second cruise. Our first being the Disney cruise 7 years ago. Embarkation: Very easy. We booked a Jr Suite (9626) and embarkation took probably 20 min. I was very surprised by this. We were probably on board by 1pm. One note about bringing wine on board. I read (and devoured information) that we were allowed 2 bottles of wine per cabin on embarkation day. So hubby and I each packed 1 bottle of wine each in each of our carry-on and got through security with no questions asked. We also had some bottles of water but surprisingly, security didn't question one thing. After going through security, you enter a duty-free shop. What?! Why is this AFTER security? Believe me, I was pretty happy but then thought, maybe we have to got through security again? No, not the case. The lady in the wine shop told me that we were allowed TWO bottles of wine PER PERSON. WHAT!? I think she had her facts wrong but thought we could blame it on her if we were stopped. So, we bought two additional bottles of wine and had a total of 4 bottles of wine to enjoy on the cruise. There was no additional security after Duty-Free. Truth be told, we were pathetic and couldn't even drink all 4 bottles and ended up giving 1 bottle to our attendant at the end of cruise, lol! Ship: I was a bit underwhelmed with the ship when we first boarded and toured around. The Promenade was not as impressive or grand as I thought it would be. I have to say, as the days went on, the ship grew on me. I don't have much to compare it to as we are not experienced cruisers but I would describe the ship as average to above average. There are some lounges, bars and public spaces that are very pretty indeed. Nice ship just no "wow" factor. Cabin: Our Jr Suite (9626) was quite big! I was very surprised by this. The cabin was bigger than a lot of hotel rooms. Also, the closet is ginormous! Walk-in closet with more than enough room for the 4 of us. Plenty of closet and drawer space too. We even had drawers that went unused. The bathroom was just okay. Ours had a funny, mildewy smell but we got used to it. The shower had really good pressure, no complaints there. The balcony was a good size but we actually didn't use it as much as I thought we would. Our attendant was phenomenal, very helpful and respectful of making up the room when we weren't there. Halfway through the trip, we took advantage of the $25 laundry bag special. Stuff underwear, socks, T-shirts, etc in the bag, all for $25. Food: After all the reviews I read, I had very low expectations for the food and I have to say my expectations were met. Too bad they weren't exceeded!! We had buffet breakfast in the Windjammer the first morning and never went back. It was truly awful and so crowded!! The breakfast in Rembrandt was better the next day but honestly, we just had muesli and fresh fruit and that served us well. You could order off a menu but they had a buffet that you could just get most hot foods yourself. The buffet did not look good so we pretty much stuck to muesli and cereal for the kids. Too bad. The next 3 days in the Italian ports were busy days so we ordered room service on those days. It was always delivered on the latter end of the time window (which was fine). Choices weren't plentiful, just cereal, breads, juice, coffee. Honestly, it was fine. For dinner, we chose My Time Dining and I'm so glad we did! Can't believe I analyzed that decision for more than a minute. We were very grateful not to be stuck to a time. 6pm would've been too early for those busy port days and 8:30 too late for a lot of the shows. With MTD, we just showed up in Botticelli (this is where they put MTD's, it's the exact same as Michaelangelo's one floor up. We only ate here 3 nights and all 3 nights were seated immediately. I had made a reservation for these nights but I never adhered to it and showed up sometimes 30 minutes later. They didn't seem to care. Two of the 3 nights, we had the same server. The food in Botticelli's was just okay. Some good, some not so good. The starters seemed to be better than the main courses. Specialty restaurants - We ate at Chops Grille on the first night and it was awesome! Truly top notch food, well-worth the surcharge. We also ate at Portofino's. After eating there one night, we loved it so much we came back for another dinner. Steak and seafood that is out of this world. As good as any 5 star restaurant you've ever been to. Finally, we ate at Johnny Rockets for one dinner. I don't even like Johnny Rockets in the States but the kids really wanted to eat here and honestly, a burger sounded kind of good. The location of Johnny Rockets is weird. It's up on the pool deck, out of the way of everything. Even our server said she didn't like working there because it's so removed. The food was good, not the best burger you will have by a stretch, but pretty decent. For $5 surcharge/per person this was worth it to change it up. But why didn't they put Johnny Rockets in the Promenade? That would make more sense. They should really get rid of Ben & Jerry's (so 1990's also who wants to Ben & Jerry's on an Italian cruise when you've got the world's best gelato at every port?) and also the Cupcake Cupboard. This place is a joke! As a treat one night, we all came here for cupcakes and they were the worst cupcakes I've ever had, no joke. Very dry, I think they were made on the previous cruise. Of course, we would never do the cupcake decorating class as that seems like such a waste of money when there are so many other things to spend money on. Finally, we ate a late lunch at Sorrento's Pizza (also in the Promenade) on embarkation day. I had read that people thought this was the best pizza they'd ever had. Huh? They obviously, didn't get off the boat and grab a pizza in Naples. But seriously, the pizza was about on par with school lunch pizza. Truly, it was that average. I don't mean to gripe so much about the food as we always found things to eat, but it took a little work (and extra $ at the specialty restaurants) to do so. Drink: We did not get the alcohol or wine package as we knew we wouldn't be on the ship that much with so many ports of call. Just a heads up for those of you wondering about prices, the first time we went up to the bar, we saw the menu that said beers were $4.25. We thought "hey, that's not so bad!". Well, that $4.25 when you are all said and done with the 10% Spanish VAT and 20% gratuity is actually $7.55. Yikes! Now, THAT is a lot IMHO. So, we enjoyed our wine that we brought on board in our room before dinner and all had Arnold Palmer's for dinner, LOL! No really, we had drinks here and there but certainly kept our bar bill in check. For the kids we got one soda package to share and I'm glad we did. Yes, you heard that right, the kids shared the soda package and I'm not ashamed one bit! At $45 for soda for 7 days, and having spent nearly $5000 with RC, I think they should've included soda. Disney does this. We weren't on the ship very much and probably had one coke/day. I think RC made money off our one $45 soda package so don't judge us, just do it yourself:) Kids Club: Our cruise apparently had only 200 kids onboard so kids club was so quiet that they had to combine the 6-8 year olds with the 9-11 year olds. Our 10 and 11 year old were not thrilled with this. They went to kids club on the "at sea" day and did not like being grouped with the younger kids. However, they LOVED the arcade and I think they spent most of our shipboard credit here:) They also met some other girls their age at the pool and arcade that they hung out with throughout the week. Tip: twice during the week, in our nightly compass newsletter, they announced the next day would be 50% off arcade games. Keep this in mind and maybe have your kids hold off for spending all your money on these days:) Shows: Really good! We saw Up in the Air, Saturday Night Fever, and the ice show. All were very entertaining and worth it to try to get to. Saturday Night Fever was so professionally done, could've been something we saw on Broadway. The set design was that good. My kids loved all the shows as well, very family friendly. Activities: We didn't participate in many activities but let me tell you, you will not be bored on this ship! Take a look at the cruise compass when you get onboard and you'll see what I mean. There is something for everyone. Since this particular cruise was so port-intensive, we just didn't have time to sample many of the activities but wish we could have. Also, I have to mention, I booked this cruise because of all the great kid amenities, i.e. climbing wall, flow rider, ice skating rink, mini golf, etc. Guess how many my kids got to sample? My kids only went ice skating once and that was it! They thought the flow rider looked too dangerous (btw, I wouldn't do it either. Looked fun but kind of hard), and they just ran out of time for all of the other activities!! Service: The service on the ship was wonderful. We met so many friendly people and they really went out of their way to help us. These are people who are away from their families for 10 months at a time and many of them have young children/babies back home. Take a moment to get to know these wonderful people. We did and met some great people! Ports of Call: Toulon - really nothing special. I don't know why RC stops here. Do yourself a favor and take it easy as the next few days are insanely hectic. It was a hassle to get into the town of Toulon and all the the various means cost $. We walked about 15 min to a water taxi, had to wait for over 30 min and pay $20 euros total to take us into town. Once in town, wasn't much to do as market wasn't open. Just walked around and went back to boat. Villefranche - we really enjoyed this port and no reason to do an expensive RC tour here. Tender boats take you to the port and this was easy and free. 5 min walk to train station and then 20 min ride to Monaco. We had a great day in Monaco. Went up to the Botanical Gardens for a great view of the city and sea and then took bus to the palace. Really recommend visiting the palace. Included audio guide which was very informative and interesting. Casino was also nice to see although kids weren't allowed inside. La Spezia - We booked a tour with RomeInLimo to see Pisa and Florence. Wow, jam packed day! Pisa was more impressive than I thought it would be although we were very rushed. Florence, of course, is amazing. This was my 3rd visit to this city, so everything we saw was really for the kids benefit. Rome - Booked another tour with RomeInLimo. Highly recommend this company! Look them up on Tripadvisor. I would not have wanted to be on one of those RC bus tours - yuck! With RIL, we had our own tour guide and van. He was able to take us to all the spots in the city that a bus would not be able to get to. Naples - Booked a tour of Sorrento, Positano, and Pompeii with SeeAmalfiCoast.com. We liked our tour guides better with RomeInLimo but these sites were truly beautiful and I'd never been to the Amalfi Coast before so I really enjoyed it. Weather was spectacular in all these ports too! One note about re-boarding the boat after ports. I was under the impression that you were beholden to RC for bottles of water but we always bought water in ports and brought them back on ship with us. They never questioned or stopped us once. I did see they snagged some larger bottles of alcohol from folks and had them marked for storage (will return when cruise is complete) but I wonder if you bought smaller bottles of alcohol, if they would stop you. I say this because we bought a smaller, irregular shaped bottle of limoncello as a gift, along with several small bottles of olive oil, and once again, never stopped us or questioned us. I think they are looking for just the big wine bottles? Debarkation: We decided to carry our luggage off ourselves and so glad we did. We could leave when we wanted to and not have to wait in some lounge to have our names called and then go find our luggage. We got off the boat pretty quickly but the taxi line was HUGE!! It was over an hour wait until we got a taxi. If you are scrambling to go to the airport, I think they have transfer options that would be better for you. We were going into the city for one more day of sightseeing before our flight home the following day, so taxi line it was! Summary: We had a really fabulous vacation and made great memories with our kids that will last a lifetime. Would we sail on this particular ship again? Probably not. Will we go on another cruise again? Probably, but not for a couple of years, only because there are so many other kinds of vacations that we enjoy (beach, adventure, skiing, etc). Would we recommend this cruise and ports of call? I actually would. I think it's a great way to visit all of these destinations without having to pack and unpack your bags. It was the perfect vacation for the kids because they got to enjoy all of the shipboard amenities which my husband and I were able to give them a little freedom and enjoy some time by ourselves too. Was the cruise a good value? NO!! I think overall, the cruise is pretty expensive in relation to what is actually included and what is extra $. For our family of 4, airfare to Barcelona, 4 nights in hotel in Barcelona, 7 night cruise, excursions, food, etc, we probably spent $15k. Yikes! Really great vacation but don't be fooled into thinking this is a great value. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Almost a last minute choice we booked this cruise directly with RCCL - our third cruise, but first with Royal Caribbean. We had two, neighbouring Junior Suites, connected through the balconies. The suites were in great condition, and they ... Read More
Almost a last minute choice we booked this cruise directly with RCCL - our third cruise, but first with Royal Caribbean. We had two, neighbouring Junior Suites, connected through the balconies. The suites were in great condition, and they were clean. Check/in and security check was probably the fastest I ever experienced so far. As I read before in CruiseCritic, I expected some shopping possibilities at the Barcelona Terminal after passing security, and we bought some booze and took them on board without any problems. Cabins were ready only after around 13.30 hrs, so we spent the time with having food in the quite cramped Windjammer and strolling around the ship, inclusing the fantastic Royal Promenade. It is a great place, where you simply forget that you are on a ship.... The security drill was taken very seriously, and the ship departed soon. What I missed a bit was the departure party by the pool, that I got used to when cruising with Norwegian. The Junior Suites were amazing; lots of space, storage areas (large closet), coffeemachine, and minibar (no alcoholic drinks). Our cabin steward, Denis, did a very decent job and was always available. Cruising with Norwegian before, we preferred flexibility, so we opted for the My Time Dining, which meant that we could decide when to take dinner. From the 3 main dining rooms we were allocated to Boticelli, and were usually served by two wonderful waiters, Peamkait and Sharon. They were amazing, very friendly and did everything that we felt comfortable and enjoyed dining. Most of the breakfasts we had in the Rembrandt dining room, so we avoided the hassle in the Windjammer. The mix of passengers were quite international on this cruise, Americans, followed by British, Spanish and Germans. Navigation across the ship is really easy, as there are large touch-screens in several places, assisting you to find your way around and informing about what's going on at any given moment on the ship. The Liberty has some amazing features: the ice-skating rink (half an hour sessions, it is fun), the surf-simulator, minigolf-course and the climbing wall. So it was no problem at all to spend time on the ship. The Promenade is a fantastic feature, this is the centre of activities in the evenings, with bars, pubs and shops. In many evenings I enjoyed the guitarplay of Marty in the pub who regularly made the guest sing.... On other evenings there were fantastic dancing patries in the Promenade, and the last evening the Dreamworks parade was spectacular. From the evening shows we saw the In the Air (quite nice) and the magician show (forgettable). The Ice Show was fascinating and very professional. We also tried the Johnny Rockets diner and I must say that the amount of food was simply overwhelming...it was a nice experience bringing back us in time... The pool areas were never crowded, and we would have enjoyed even more time around. The H2O Zone is a hit with youngsters. The Liberty is a wonderful ship, with loads of things to do, including the several bars, pubds, the casino, the videoarcade, just to name afew to spend free time - or in your balcony. When it comes to the staff and service, we found that most of the waiters and the cabin stewards were very attentive. As opposed to our previous cruises with NCL we found that the staff on RCCL is a bit more international, with more nationalities. Disembarkation went very quickly, in fact we almost missed our Barcelona city tour that we booked via teh ship. Thanks to the guest services we managed to catch the group. Royal Caribbean and Liberty was a very nice expecience and the cruise was a memorable one. The ports: Docking in Toulon. The 10 mins transfer (via boat) right across the pier costs 16 euros, but you are advised to make an advance booking by the ship as the boats leave every hour only. Toulon is a not-so-interesting place, you can walk around, have a croissant/coffee, stroll in the small streets, visit the shopping mall or take the funicular to the top of the hill.There is a military base around so if you are lucky you can see a submarine. Villefranche - tendering. We booked a half day tour via the ship to St. Paul de Vence and Nice, and it was perfect for us. St. Paul is a lovely little medieval town, with (quite pricey) shops along the narrow streets, and wonderful view. Perfect for a relaxing walking around and have coffee/ice cream. The tour started and ended with driving through Nice, to experience some of the famous sights and the sea promenade - Boulevard des Angles. La Spezia - docking. This is a rather industrial area, so you need the port buses to take you to the entrance of the port. We booked Joe Banana Limos (also in Rome/Chivitavecchia and in Naples) and this was probably the best decision. The service of JBL was fantastic, the drivers were absolutely professional, friendly, nice and knowledgeable, and we were provided with comfortable minivans with A/C for the day's tours. Highly recommended! From La Spezia we were taken to Pisa, and then off to Firenze for a full day tour. JBL organised the day's programme for us, according to our wishes. Chivitavecchia - docking. Again, with Joe Banana Limos, and we had a wonderful tour of the sights of Rome with our driver who took us to places off the beaten track and favoured by locals. Including the best coffeeshop by the Senate.... Napoli - docking. Another day with Joe Banana Limos, visiting Pompeii and Sorento. JBL organised for us a personal tour guide in Pompeii on request and last minute and it was a very good choice, so we managed to see the most important places within 3 hours. This was followed by a relaxed shopping tour (and delicious local pizza) in Sorento.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Just back from our first European cruise, and it was wonderful! Embarkation was a breeze. We're Platinum status and had priority check in. Found our Promenade stateroom quickly, and our excursion tickets were waiting for us along ... Read More
Just back from our first European cruise, and it was wonderful! Embarkation was a breeze. We're Platinum status and had priority check in. Found our Promenade stateroom quickly, and our excursion tickets were waiting for us along with our Meet & Mingle invitation. We had main seating (6:30) for dinner, and had a table for two as requested. Our waiter Elvis and assistant waiter Daniela were outstanding. We found the food very good. We ate in Chops one night and it was excellent. Windjammer was good, or as good as buffet ever is. Liked some of it, not others. Our room steward Jo was also exceptional. Always ready to open our door for uss and made sure we had plenty of ice readily available. With the automatic billing of tips, I was afraid the "motivation" for exceptional service would be affected. But it wasn't any less than our 5 previous RCI cruises! We booked Shore Excursions thru the ship, and enjoyed them all. Tour guides were very good. Our excursions were: *Aix-en-Provence -- nice tour, but no real time for wandering and shopping. *Nice and St. Paul de Vance -- Nice was seen thru the bus, but St. Paul de Vance was wonderful! 16th century walled village turned into art galleries and shops. Charming and fun! *Historic Florence & Academee Museum -- nice walking tour, including The David which was remarkable! Nice lunch at a local restaurant. *Imperial Rome -- Fast paced but wonderful tour that hit the highlights including Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and Roman Forum. Also included a delicious lunch! *Amalfi by Motor Launch and Pompeii -- boat ride up Amalfi Coast was fabulous and relaxing! Town of Amalfi was charming! Then went to Pompeii which was absolutely amazing! Only complaint: the stupid visit to the cameo factory. Pure commercialism and the only real complaint of all the tours. Nice lunch at local restaurant. Ship Entertainment: we thought the shows were either excellent or very good, especially In The Air and Saturday Night Fever. Didn't see headliner show (Viva Voce). Debarkation and airport transfer was organized and quick. Overall, another wonderful RCI cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
My wife and i just returned from a Med cruise on RCCL's Liberty of the Seas that ran from September 29 to October 6, 2013. We booked a balcony room on an upper floor. The room was of an adequate size, as cruise ship cabins go. Having ... Read More
My wife and i just returned from a Med cruise on RCCL's Liberty of the Seas that ran from September 29 to October 6, 2013. We booked a balcony room on an upper floor. The room was of an adequate size, as cruise ship cabins go. Having a balcony was nice but honestly we used it far less than I anticipated. To us, this particular cruise was less about enjoying the ship and more about seeing the wonderful places we were stopping at daily. The bed was comfortable. My main complaint about the room was that the shower leaked a lot of water onto the floor of the bathroom. Also, the room could have used one or two additional electrical outlets. During the course of the cruise, we found our cabin stewardess to be almost invisible but our room was generally kept in pretty good order. The Liberty of the Seas is actually a very pretty ship and the Promenade has a fantastic European street feel to it. A number of restaurants and bars add a sidewalk cafe vibe that is very appealing. In addition, there was a nice assortment of shopping available. My only criticism on this is that some of these venues became totally overloaded at times. The ship encourages people to use these public spaces to congregate, which is fantastic, but they simply don't have enough seating capacity most of the time. You end up with a coffee in your hand and no place to sit down and drink it. I cannot comment on the ice skating, the dock climbing, the surfing, etc because we did not use any of that. One of the biggest reasons people go on a cruise is because they have an expectation of being fed well. I am afraid this is generally the biggest disappointment on this ship. The main dining room food never exceeds mediocre. On several occasions, my wife and I sent bad food back for a suggested "better" alternative. We were always equally disappointed with the alternative, gave up, ate a little, and left the rest for the trash bin. I will say that the wait staff in the main dining room is quite good. The food in the Windjammer was even worse. A large percentage of it was completely inedible. Things like sausage were jammed with fillers, scrambled eggs appeared to be the worst powdered eggs I have ever encountered. The few items that were actually edible were often scarce. The Windjammer service was also horrible. You could not get anyone to clean a table and you had to fetch your own drinks because no one was ever available, etc. There were an inadequate number of tables to accommodate demand. At one point, someone got on the loud speaker and literally asked everyone to hurry up and get out to make room for others. I have been on about six cruises before and have never seen anything like it. RCCL should invest in some cattle prods to increase their table turnover efficiency! The food in the paid restaurants (we went a couple times) was better. However, I would honestly say it was only on a par with the main dining room food on many other lines. The dining room food on Princess or Holland America easily equals what you must pay extra for on RCCL. These paid option restaurants should be a step up for something special; not an escape from the horrible food in the "all-inclusive" venues. I do not expect good entertainment on cruise ships and RCCL met my expectations. My wife and I do enjoy the comedians frequently appearing on other cruises but they were completely absent here. This could be because there were a lot of Europeans and Chinese on the cruise and comedy often does not carry over culturally (or linguistically). Most of the options presented did not appeal to us so we simply passed. The one show we attended was the Saturday Night Fever show which was mediocre. One nice thing was the appearance of Dreamworks characters from Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and Madagascar. While we did not have kids with us on this trip, this was definitely great for families. Honestly, this was a very culturally diverse group of passengers. I am not sure it was possible to entertain everyone on board so I forgive RCCL on this area. We took two shore excursions arranged through the ship and two we arranged with Share a Shore Excursion with others on Cruise Critic. After the first excursion in Provence, I cancelled our scheduled excursion in Nice. I was miffed that my headset did not work in Provence and i was given a completely inadequate credit from the line to compensate for this. The tour in Naples provided by RCCL was good but i think the tour guide's constant sneezing led to me being sick two days later. If you have a chance to use Share a Shore Excursion in Italy, you should. They were superb. Logistically, RCCL did an excellent job of painlessly getting people embarked and disembarked. Totally clear process and absolutely polite and efficient people executing the process. Bravo on this point.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Point of reference: this was my 9th cruise with Royal Caribbean Overall it was ok...but no wow moments or anything to rave about. Embarkation: Was really smooth (arrived at 12pm) - Barcelona has a great terminal and infrastructure. ... Read More
Point of reference: this was my 9th cruise with Royal Caribbean Overall it was ok...but no wow moments or anything to rave about. Embarkation: Was really smooth (arrived at 12pm) - Barcelona has a great terminal and infrastructure. Photography: Neat feature was they usually swiped your sea pass card when they took pictures of you. Then you could go to a kiosk and call up the pictures they took of you and then you could order the ones that you wanted to. Was really efficient and didn't have to go through all the posted pictures to try and find mine. Unfortunately this feature wasn't well advertisec..I literally found it by mistake. Dining: Did late dining 9pm - found that was pushing it. Also it seemed like the show times were out of whack with the dining times (usually there are shows for early seating and late seating) but that didn't seem to be the case at least not on this sailing. Seemed a little hap hazard and a few times I missed out b/c there wasn't a conveniently timed show. Food: Pretty standard RCI menu...food quality was a little uneven at times..ordered escargot on 2 different nights and the quality varied (from good one time, mediocre the 2nd time) which was a little surprising. Guest Relations staff: Really good, well informed and quickly resolved any questions or problems you had. Really impressed. Crown and Anchor Service was disappointing: Usually you get a note in your cabin about the Crown and Anchor events. On this sailing it was buried in the overview section of the compass (and not on the activity list) - so basically if you didn't know to look for it, you'd miss the events. At the priority disembarkation lounge - unlike other cruises, no rep in the lounge to tell you what tags were being called...you had to keep checking outside displays and then had to join the line-up, so no priority disembarkation..you're better off going to the usual meeting place for your timeslot. Would I sail on the Liberty again - yes but my expectations are tempered unlike other ships (Serenade and Freedom) which met and exceeded my expectations in terms of quality of service and cruising experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
As the title says I feel my cruise went from good to average on various points,this was my first cruise and I really had no idea what to expect. Boarding in Barcelona was straight forward enough and took about 35/45 min from arriving to ... Read More
As the title says I feel my cruise went from good to average on various points,this was my first cruise and I really had no idea what to expect. Boarding in Barcelona was straight forward enough and took about 35/45 min from arriving to being on the ship after finding our cabin we went to the windjammer for lunch,buffet style self service and to be honest a bit of a cattle market the food was canteen standard but plenty of choice . The ship its self was spotless and the staff polite and helpful,our stateroom attendant was first class and kept us amused with towels folded into various animals and left on the bed most nights. The food in the main dinning room vaired from average to good but they need to learn how to cook steak twice I asked for medium and twice it was well done, waiting staff were first class and after one night knew your name what you liked to drink and happy to chat about your days activities . Entertainment on board was first class with the ice show and a production of Sat. Night Fever particularly good. Excursions, I took 2 RCC excursions one to Monaco and one to Florence and Pisa, in my opinion RCC excursions are overpriced and if you do a bit of research you can find cheaper alternitives as I did for Rome and Pompeii (CBM TOURS ) . Overall would I cruise with RCC again, yes but think I will try another line first to see what else is out there . Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
On my prior cruises I had incredible experiences. I found literally one person that had a great attitude. He was the bar server at dinner. The other bartenders and servers rarely even smiled. It was so disappointing. Not one person on our ... Read More
On my prior cruises I had incredible experiences. I found literally one person that had a great attitude. He was the bar server at dinner. The other bartenders and servers rarely even smiled. It was so disappointing. Not one person on our entire trip could say that they had a great experience. Also, the food... It was consistently of poor quality. The fish was overcooked every day. The "extra charge" restaurant "Chop" had the toughest NY Strip I have ever had. It was like a cut of meat from Ponderossa. Literally 1/2 inch thick. The best food was at the Jade/Windjammer buffets, which makes no sense at all. They nickel and dime you for EVERYTHING. The "Premium Unlimited Alcohol" package is anything but "Premium" I didn't realize that Patrone, Belevedere and Grey Goose were too high end to be included. I totally get not having Macallan 30 but seriously not Belvedere? The shows... Oh boy... The "comedian/ventriloquist" was anything but a comedian. Fluent in many languages but not at all funny. People in the audience were leaving throughout the entire performance. I stayed until the end hoping for a recovery. There was none. The "Piano Man" at Schooners was rude and disrespectful to multiple passengers. As he sat there and drank through his entire show. Too bad. The karaoke leader at "On Air" was amazing. Very friendly and got the crowd going. Only problem was it was usually only 1 hour. How does that make sense? My room wouldn't lock and I asked my room attendant if she would call maintenance. She said of course. I never saw her again until Saturday where she provided me with my gratuity envelope. My room was always clean and tidy but nothing over and above any expectations. I have never cruised Royal Caribbean prior and my friends all said this was their worst experience as many of them are Diamond members. Maybe it's just a bad ship or crew but after my other cruises this was a joke. Wi-Fi... If you want Wi-Fi be prepared for $.75 per minute. Or for only $399 per day you can have unlimited... Seriously? You want a towel for the pool? Make sure you sign it in and out with your card. Are we going to steal them? LOL My Regent cruise was amazing and not much difference in price. Oh well at least the ports were beautiful and easy to get info and access to attractions.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and particularly the ports of call. We had a very nice Promenade View Stateroom with a very helpful attendant, Lillianna. The food was very good. Plenty of it and much was included. We were suprised that ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and particularly the ports of call. We had a very nice Promenade View Stateroom with a very helpful attendant, Lillianna. The food was very good. Plenty of it and much was included. We were suprised that there was no charge at all for room service too. There was plenty to do onboard although I thought the itinerary was light on when it came to opportunities to meet others. This is not the ship's fault but we found the crowd a little unfriendly. As other posters have pointed out, RC know no shame when it comes to attempting to extract as much money as possible from you in ways that were, at times, sneaky. Offers of cocktails that appeared to be free were frequently very expensive and the laundry service was twice the price if you asked for it to be returned sooner. We were surprised by the constancy of these attempts. Yes, RC is a business.....but additional profits from holiday makers seems a little mean-spirited to me. The cost of ship organized shore excursions are nothing less than extortion. Despite this, we had a nice time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We did the August 11 sailing which stopped in Corsica instead of Villefranche. It coincided nicely with Napoleon's birthday celebration, but the person at the excursion desk seemed unaware of that. Corsica was a fantastic port. No ... Read More
We did the August 11 sailing which stopped in Corsica instead of Villefranche. It coincided nicely with Napoleon's birthday celebration, but the person at the excursion desk seemed unaware of that. Corsica was a fantastic port. No tendering and you just walk off the ship into the center of Ajaccio. There is a public beach less than 10 minutes walk. Too bad we were only there until 1 pm. In any case, we had a great time on the Freedom of the Seas a couple of years ago, so decided to try the Liberty. The two ships are pretty much identical, except Liberty seemed a little more run down. Here's a summary of what we liked and were not as impressed with: Likes: 1) embarkation - Despite being a smaller terminal than Port Canaveral, we were processed quickly. Our cabin was already ready and the bags came within a couple of hours. 2). We were traveling with a toddler and I wasn't sure how well Royal would accommodate him. Well, there is a fantastic nursery on board, and since we were in the mediterranean instead of the Caribbean, it wasn't as busy. I dropped my son off a couple of times in the evening and also used the nursery during one of the excursions. Always 2 people on duty and the nursery is stocked with all sorts of baby gear from feeding utensils to strollers. They even lent us a bag of toys for the cabin.3) something for everyone- there were so many activities on board whether you want to catch up on some reading or party up by the pool. We enjoyed the Saturday Night Fever show and the character appearances. My son and husband also took turns on Flowrider. Needs improvement: Windjammer: the food on this cruise unfortunately reflected what so many other members of this board have said about Royal Caribbean. Not very good. Breakfast in the main dining room ( if you can catch the daily shifting 2 hour window) wasn't too bad, but Windjammer was perpetually crowded and understaffed. It took forever to get drinks or have your plates cleared. And forget about having the tables wiped down. Excursions: totally agree with the previous reviewer about the exorbitant prices charged for transfers. Luckily, I'm a do it yourselfer, but what if you don't have time to research other options? At toulon, I was really put off at the $16 per person charge to transport us to the port area. Toulon is not exactly the jewel of France and it would have cost us $64 to go into the downtown. We ended up just staying on the ship that day. All in all, it was a great trip. Sunny days and perfect temperatures. Even Rome was only in the 80's when we got there. So much to see, you won't be able do it all. Hopefully we'll return again someday. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We travelled to Barcelona on an easyjet flight from Belfast. It was part of the package offered by the travel agent and worked smoothly for us. When we arrived in Barcelona airport we picked up our luggage and were greeted by RCI ... Read More
We travelled to Barcelona on an easyjet flight from Belfast. It was part of the package offered by the travel agent and worked smoothly for us. When we arrived in Barcelona airport we picked up our luggage and were greeted by RCI staff.They led us to another area of the airport - where we were surprised to complete port check-in. This didn't take very long and we were then taken to the lovely cool coach to travel to the ship. Our luggage was taken to a large truck and transported separately to the ship. We were awed by the size of the ship as the coach drove us into the port. Having already completed the check-in process and been given our seapass cards we passed through security quickly,straight onto the ship. The staff were friendly and welcoming, informing us that our staterooms would be available at 1 pm. We decided to go to the Windjammer for lunch - it was busy enough to have a buzz but not too busy to find a seat. The food was attractively presented and much appreciated by four hungry travellers. We finished lunch and relaxed for a little while before going to find our cabins which were on the hub on deck 7. They were just ready so we were able to drop off our carry-on luggage,freshen-up and change into our lighter clothes. Then we headed off to do a tour of the ship. The touch-screens situated at the stair wells on each level were very useful for navigating our way around. You could see exactly where you were and see the route you needed to take to your next destination. Well done RCI !  We visited the Cafe Promenade for some coffee and cookies which were very pleasant and kept us going till dinner. DINING- we chose My Time Dining and found it worked very well for us. We were seated at a table for 4 next to the window (516). Our waiters, Gabriel and Michael, were brilliant, looking after us incredibly. Gabriel's knowledge of the menus and ingredients was extensive, and he quickly got to know our likes and dislikes. He was always spot-on with his predictions of what we would choose,and tempted us with the offer of an extra dessert brought to the table 'just for a little taster'. Sometimes we gave in to the calories ;). Overall, the menus always had plenty of choices for our various tastes, the food was beautifully presented, and delivered hot to the table, with the appropriate amount of time between courses ( not too long, not too short). We only ate in the windjammer on the first and last days of our cruise,and one day after a morning trip. The food was good and plentiful, I just don't really like eating off unbreakable plates. We did try the cappuccino cake for dessert one day - it was awesome! On another occasion, we had lunch in Sorrento's. The pizza was great! We breakfasted in the MDR every morning. The buffet was always well stocked , and were able to order eggs etc directly from the kitchen or help ourselves to them from the buffet. ENTERTAINMENT: We were excited for the big shows and we weren't disappointed. 'In the Air' was truly awesome - the dancers were very energetic and enthusiastic. Saturday Night Fever was really enjoyable and the Ice Show was great - especially the guest star Katya. Don't miss it, if only for her. We didn't visit the casino or the nightclubs, but we loved to sit in the Champagne Bar sipping our drinks and people watching. The Flow-Rider and climbing wall were very entertaining, kudos to everyone who had a go! EXCURSIONS : we chose to go on our own for several of the ports - Toulon we just left the ship and enjoyed a browse around the town, then went back to the ship to relax. It was a nice area. Villefranche - we tendered off the ship, made our way to the train station and took the train to Monaco. We used the Hop on Hop off tour bus. It cost approx '18 each and we felt it was well worth the money. The day was spoiled for us when our friend realised he had been relieved of his mobile phone - somewhere between standing waiting for the train and getting on it. Even though we had been warned about pickpockets and had been very careful all day, unfortunately he let his guard down for a few moments and that was just enough time for the pickpocket to act. Be careful folks! La Spezia (Florence) : we chose a ship's tour to Pisa. It was a good morning out and the tower was interesting to see and read about. We were also able to visit the church and admire the ceilings and statues there. Our guide was knowledgeable and had a quirky sense of humour which we appreciated. Civitavecchia - Rome. This was our longest tour and it was hot and exhausting! We chose the ship's tour -"Rome on your own" . We had some free time to go to the Trevi fountain, the Spanish Steps and a few other spots on our own. We then met up with the rest of the group and the guide to go to St Peter's Square. Due to the crush of people we chose not to go inside the Bascilica. We then returned to the coach and proceeded to the Colosseum - again the heat was excessive and most people were glad to return to the coach. Naples- we chose to do the Isle of Capri on our own so that we could have a slower start. We left the ship around 9.30 am and followed directions to the ferry terminal and booking offices. There were individuals there who tried to dissuade us from going to Capri and go to Sorrento instead, so be sure you know where you're going! We boarded the ferry ( which was late arriving and even later leaving!) and made ourselves comfortable. Eventually we set off , make sure you take your travel sickness pills if you need them ;). On-board we were approached by a very nice gentleman who offered to take us on a tour of the island on a 20- seater coach. We were a little wary but after a little discussion we decided they wouldn't have allowed him on the boat if it was a scam (?) so we decided to take him up on the tour. What a good decision. We had a wonderful stress-free day and loved the island. On his advice, we went up to Monte Solaro on the cable car ride, got some great shots of the views and enjoyed the peace. We spent some time in Capri town ,enjoying gelato and window shopping, before returning to the ferry. DISEMBARKATION: This was a very smooth process for us, until we reached the exit! After collecting our luggage we made our way outside to the coaches where chaos ensued! There were no signs telling us which coach to head for, no info on how it was going to happen or what todo with our luggage. We dragged it to the first rep (RCI) who pointed us to a coach. The rep there said no,no,no! Take your luggage back to the door and put it in the truck! Back to the door - no truck! Eventually, a truck turned up and we left our luggage in their capable (?) hands and trundled back to the coaches. Finally, we got on the coach ( nobody took our names etc) and then we waited...... What for? Nobody told us! After about 15 mins, 2 people strolled up, got on the coach, the driver started the engine and we were off.....not. Only one seat so we couldn't drive with someone standing. And they had to get off again and wait for another coach. Made it to the airport at last. No idea what happened to the two people. Hope they're not still waiting for a coach lol! CONCLUSION: We had a great cruise, food was excellent, the staff went out of their way to be helpful and pleasant , The ship is stunning and very easy to navigate. Our staterooms were comfortable and clean, we couldn't have asked for more. We loved it! Thank you everyone on the Liberty of the Seas.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We had a 3 night stay in Barcelona prior to departing on the Liberty of the Seas for a 7 night Mediterranean cruise with stops in Toulon, Nice/Villefranche, Florence/Pisa, Rome, and Naples. Favorites in Barcelona included: Sagrada Familia ... Read More
We had a 3 night stay in Barcelona prior to departing on the Liberty of the Seas for a 7 night Mediterranean cruise with stops in Toulon, Nice/Villefranche, Florence/Pisa, Rome, and Naples. Favorites in Barcelona included: Sagrada Familia (book guided tour online in advance); Picasso Museum and surrounding neighborhood; Park Guell; Montserrat (day trip); and an FC Barcelona game at Camp Nou if they are in town playing. RC's Liberty of the Seas: -Flowrider, Kids Clubs, iPad touch screen calendar of events on every floor--perfect for our kids ages 10-17. -Clean, newer rooms and great dining options with variety of bars and evening shows for adults (Saturday Night Fever and Up in the Air were fantastic.) -Day at sea on last day provided perfect opportunity to enjoy this beautiful ship Ports: -Toulon: nothing special and first stop...stay on ship if you have been touring around Barcelona and enjoy the quiet time because from there on, it's nonstop -Nice/Villefranche: booked private tour with Ingrid at Kultours. Loved her! Saw tiny but spectacular village of Eze, old town Nice, Monaco and St Paul de Vence. -Florence/Pisa: we took kids to Leaning Tower of Pisa through RC tour and loved it; inlaws did Cinque Terre tour and also had a great day -Rome: did RC Imperial Rome tour to see Forum, Colosseum, Vatican and Trevi Fountain. Wish we had booked private tour with Rome In Limo instead. See same sights, but less waiting on a very hot day in August. -Napes: did private tour with Rome in Limo and saw Pompeii ruins, Amalfi coast, Sorrento and Positano. Great day! Highly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
This was my first ever cruise and I quite enjoyed it. Embarkation from Barcelona was easy and it only took us ten minutes to get on the ship. Upon boarding, we got lunch from the Jadé/Windjammer buffet and enjoyed it well. Room on deck ... Read More
This was my first ever cruise and I quite enjoyed it. Embarkation from Barcelona was easy and it only took us ten minutes to get on the ship. Upon boarding, we got lunch from the Jadé/Windjammer buffet and enjoyed it well. Room on deck seven, shared with my sister and grandma, was a wee bit small, but in comparison, next door was my father and his second wife (born from his first wife, by the way), and their room was pretty cramped. Sailing got a little bumpy. There were some nice dinner options in the dining room. The food was a bit on the fancy side. Perhaps more so in Portofino, which is a premium restaurant, but I did not enjoy that place as much. I ended up skipping dessert some nights to make sure I get to my activities at the 12-14 club on time (I am 13). Staff are very welcoming and the atmosphere in both teen venues were really cool. Activities ranged from "not my cup of tea" to "yes, this is my cup of Earl Gray and it is the best-made tea ever so don't touch it". Scratch DJ Academy was one of those in the latter. I did not win, but it was pretty fun. Parents, if you have teens, lose them for a bit; they may well have a blast! My sister was not so keen on Adventure Ocean's Voyagers programme, however. Our steward was very friendly and was of major help, particularly when I got lost once. Entertainment was OK but not brilliant. The stage shows were alright. Perhaps Saturday Night Fever is a bit OTT for a family audience, however. The parades and the sail-off party from Barcelona was just really cheesy, though. It was terrible. The pub is good in the evening for a drink (be it a beer for dad or a soda for me) and to socialise with the rest of your party. Dallas, the guitarist, was also good, but he played the same songs each night. Speaking of soda, get the soda package. It is so much cheaper than just ordering a Coke without it. I know because I saw the prices. RC have a good taste in film too; The Social Network on the movie channel was pretty good from what I saw. The cabin was two decks above the promenade, and since it was on that side, Nan sometimes had difficulty sleeping. Pisa On Your Own was an alright excursion. Be sure to take a cheesy photo holding the tower whilst you're at it! I particularly liked Villefranche for some reason, but I don't understand why. Make sure you visit the town anyway. Remember, its just a tender boat away. Overall: not bad at all. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Just returned from our first cruise with Royal Caribbean on Liberty of the Seas. Before leaving I was a little worried as some reviews had not been so good especially about smoking and children. However during the whole cruise we did not ... Read More
Just returned from our first cruise with Royal Caribbean on Liberty of the Seas. Before leaving I was a little worried as some reviews had not been so good especially about smoking and children. However during the whole cruise we did not have one issue with either. Our cruise departed from Barcelona was very straightforward and within 20 minutes we were onboard. However when we first arrived at the port there seemed to be a lot of people outside sorting out luggage tags, this could all be sorted out if they just send you your luggage tags prior to departing but I am sure that this is due to cost saving. Once onboard we went to the Windjammer to have some lunch and was delighted to see the different types of food available. An amazing choice and this continued throughout the entire cruise. I am not one for buffet food but it was lovely and the staff so helpful and friendly it made the atmosphere very enjoyable so we continued to eat breakfast and lunch most days in the Windjammer. At 1 pm our cabins were ready and some of our cases had already arrived. We were staying in a Junior Suite on Deck 9 (midship) and Prakesh our steward came to greet us. He was always friendly and extremely attentive and could not do enough for us. The cabin was spacious and even when the sofa became a bed at night for our two children to sleep on we still had plenty of room. It was spotlessly clean on our first day and remained this way until we left thanks to our Steward. All ports of call were lovely especially Villefranche and we took the tender into port and then walked for 5 minutes to the train station for a 15 minute journey to the amazing Monaco, a fabulous place with so much to see and do (definitely a place not to be missed). We decided not to go to Rome as we felt for a family of four there is too much to see and do in Rome and so we enjoyed the ship with only half the people on board and we all thought this was the best decision. We did the Pisa on your own tour and felt the tour guide was very informative during our hour long journey but sadly we only had one hour at Pisa itself so there was no time to go up the tower or visit all the other buildings within the square. at Naples we took a taxi to Pompeii who then picked us up 2 hours later. I cannot forget to mention that the Shows were amazing, and certainly as good as many West End shows. Saturday Night Fever was just brilliant and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. We ate every night in Michaelangelo's at 7pm. We had a table for 4 and quite possibly had the best waitress ever. Daniella was lovely and friendly. She greeted us every evening with a smile, spoke to my children as if they were her own and couldn't do enough for us, for example I asked for some lemon on the first night for my water and from then on it was on the table to greet me. She was quick to discover our likes and dislikes and would advise accordingly. My only gripe was that not everyone adhered to the dress code. I appreciate that it is just a suggestion, but it did not seem right that on formal night when most men wore suits (not tuxedos like P&O) that quite a few people came in to dinner in jeans and t-shirt. I felt that this was a real shame, I think it is lovely to go back to your cabin after a day of sightseeing or sunbathing to get changed and go for dinner in beautiful surroundings. (Maybe its just me!!!). All in all we had a brilliant holiday, certainly a few things could be better but its not very often you can have a holiday that is perfect but this was not far from it.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Taxi from the Poblenou area of Barcelona to the port cost 25 euros. Embarkation very quick and easy as we are gold members we skipped the queues and went straight to the front. RCC tried to make us wait to have our photo taken but we ... Read More
Taxi from the Poblenou area of Barcelona to the port cost 25 euros. Embarkation very quick and easy as we are gold members we skipped the queues and went straight to the front. RCC tried to make us wait to have our photo taken but we politely declined. Boarded ship at around 1245 and were advised our balcony stateroom was ready. After dropping off our hand-luggage in our impressive room (7370) we explored the ship and then went to the very busy Windjammer restaurant . The whole ship is very impressive, we enjoyed the Hoof & Claw pub with the nightly singer (Dallas Cord) also enjoyed the Boleros Bar below the promenade deck where staff again were very friendly and helpful. Staff around other areas of the ship were hit & miss with some being very friendly to others being so/so. Our son (age 13) really enjoyed the teen club and took part in the afternoon & evening activities through until 1am, he was encouraged to mix with the other teens from many countries around the world. My son used the flowrider, the impressive basketball court and the ice rink. He hurt his knee the second last day and was taken to the medical centre - staff & doctor there were excellent and my son had both crutches & wheelchair to use on his last day, so didn't spoil his holiday too much. During the day (after exploring the ports) we opted to sunbathe most days on the top deck. No problem getting a sun lounger and the bar staff regularly passed by offering "bar service", and funny waiter offering "the more you booze the better the cruise". Didn't go to any of the shows but others said they were quite good. Most people on the ship dressed up for the first formal night and not as many on the second one, which suited us too. Mixture of nationalities on board with many Americans, Norwegians, Spanish, Japanese and also Lebanese, Vietnamese .... Have read from others that the lifts were busy, yes I would agree but you didn't wait too long and this is a good reason to use the stairs and burn off the extra calories. Used the gym a few times, it was well equipped and nice and cool. We bought the premium drinks package as we like to have the option of beer, wine & vodka. This worked out cost effective for us even though we don't drink to excess. This is our second cruise (last year Grandeur of the Seas) , enjoyed both cruises and will cruise again with RCC as not impressed with reviews about other ships.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Liberty of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 3.5 3.9
Entertainment 3.5 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.3
Family 4.5 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.7
Service 3.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

Find a Liberty of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click