Before departure: the port where we left in Fort Lauderdale is poorly maintained. Almost 4.000 people on a line to get in the ship and two filthy bathrooms that not even cockroaches would like to visit there. Expect a long line and about an hour to get in the ship. You may not mind if you are traveling without kids. We had two with us.
Inside the ship first day: everything very clean and well maintained in the Liberty of the Sea ship. The crew were very friendly all the time. Unfortunately, the ship is not a smoke free environment so if you are sensitive to cigarette smoke you have to choose pathways to go around the ship ( non smoking areas ) to avoid get in contact with the smoke.The casino area is where you smell cigarette the most. Our room was in the same level of the casino. I felt sea sickness on the second day and it was a little tricky to find those bags or medication for it. In my opinion those things should be available like water fountains or trash cans. Alcohol gel available everywhere. Several shows and activities to participate. Specially if you don't have kids with you.
About the all-inclusive food: Pizza available 24 hours but do not expect something that worth the calories. Breakfast with a great selection of fruits, beverage, pastries, etc. Dinner and lunch were not as delicious as the name of the dish sounded on the menu. Instead of quantity I would rather taste the quality of ingredients. Water bottles are for sale; not included. I was concern about the quality of the water served during meals but no problems with that. The alcohol beverages also not included and not interesting either. We asked for a "Brazilian caipirinha" which is basic vodka, lime and sugar and we could not recognize the flavor of none of the ingredients. We had a delicious meal at the steak house they have in there but we had to pay for that.
Gratuities and tips: we made the mistake to pay in advance during the book of our trip and in our final bill there were extra gratuities included. I would highly recommend not to pay the gratuities and tips during the booking process. It will cost you less if you pay there directly to your servers.
The water activities: water was cold. December might be not the best time of the year for a cruise like that. They have heated Jacuzzis though. But all the swimming pools had really cold water.
Kids club: I thought that would be the selling point of the cruise for us. Well, it was a regular place to drop off kids while you have dinner. Not much exciting things to do once in there. My kids find ok. And everyday they did not want to come back. I expected more exciting activities since they offered a "kid's club" style care. The arcade was lame. Several machines were out of order. My kids had a one hour cupcake class. I asked clearly to the person who was about to teach the class when should I come back to pick them up. He said in an hour. When I came back 8 minutes before the one hour the class was supposed to finish, my kids were waiting in a dark room. I found very inconsiderate with guests specially because they were children and I was not late. So, the level of professionalism and care of people who work with kids in this ship is very low.
Belize and Cozumel beaches : in Belize we could not even take a tour because they do not have beaches for tourists to visit. They have several excursion to see crocodiles, the blue sea hole, etc... Nothing we could do safely with kids. Besides that, the customer service people on the cruise let us know that Belize is not safe place to walk around. So, what's the point of making a stop there? Also, you have to get a small boat to reach the Island because they do not have a port. My opinion is that Belize is not interesting and not convenient for families with small children, seniors or people with disabilities.
In Cozumel we bought the excursion they sold in the ship. The place was "Playa Mia". The food, beverage and bus transportation were included. Again, it was not a good deal. The food was bad in quality and variety. Beverages were made out of store bought fruit box; like the ones I send to school for my kids everyday. And the person preparing the drinks poured the ice in my cup with his hands touching all other ice cubes stored in a big plastic bag. I was glad I had Hepatitis vaccine all up to date! Margaritas were served in plastic cups and tasted like really bad lemonade. We paid extra for the snorkeling and the experience was pleasant. I felt a little grossed out when the guy gave me the equipment coming out of a bucket with a soap blueish water and said: "wear it!". Again, I was glad my Hep vaccines were up to date. Regarding, hygiene and quality of services Mexican beach places are not even close to US standards. So, watch out for that. The Cozumel beach Playa Mia was not bad but it was not impressive either. I bet if I booked another excursion directly on the Port I could get better deals and more beautiful beaches. Skip Playa Mia. Not worth it.
If you need medical assistance in the ship: we need to see a doctor for our son who was running a fever and vomiting. We had to pay for the consultation. You skip the bill only if it is gastroenteritis caused by the foods you had in the ship. We spent the last two days of cruise taking care of my 7 year old. The doctor seemed insecure to give an anti-vomiting medication so he could feel better soon.
The last day in the ship: Expect a real change in treatment as you prepare yourself in the morning to leave the ship. We had until 10 am to leave but before that the cleaning and maintenance crew started to be on guard outside our room door waiting for us to leave fast. I felt rushed. It was uncomfortable to see those guys asking me if they could enter my room to change filters and so on...At least one crew member blocked was blocking stairs and elevators so nobody could go anywhere except to the exit door. I understood that procedure but also made me feel rushed. My son was still vomiting a lot and I had to see the doctor an hour before leaving the ship. It was a little difficult cause they do not open the door to the medical center on the last day. I explained that I had to fly back to west coast in a 6 hours flight and would like to help the kid with his malaise. Then finally the adorable nurse let me in and gave him the medication for the vomiting. An hour later he felt much better. Don't expect much from the medical assistance in the ship. They are there just for emergencies.
Overall Liberty of the Sea Cruise in December 24-29, 2014: It is not a cruise I would take again. Belize was not worth it the trouble of getting off the ship; the weather was not the best of the year ( cold); Cozumel excursion to Playa Mia was not worth the time and money; food in the ship was abundant but again, who prefers quantity over quality? I don't. Kids club was not what you would expect as a fun place to leave your kids; the way they rushed you to get off the ship the last day was not a nice thing to experience.
So, if you are traveling with kids choose cruises that have higher rating for kid's friendly environment. Skip beaches that do not have port or are poorly maintained like Belize. Go on cruises during seasons when the weather is warmer so you can enjoy the water activities. Don't pay for gratuities and tips in advance. Research before you get in the ship about the excursions to the islands you visit. Internet is expensive in the ship.
The ocean view cabin is small, of course, but you feel less movement of the ship.
Poorly maintained port. Disgusting, filthy, with insufficient bathrooms for large crowds traveling with kids. In this cruise there were about 4.000 people and more than an hour waiting in the line to check in!