Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review by ftwtong
- Sail Date: March 2019
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
Embarkation was much smoother this time that last. For a full ship at spring break, they got us through security and on to the ship in very little time. It was well organized and they had many people eager to help. We walked onto the ship at 1:00pm and headed up to deck 8 to see if our room was ready. We met our cabin attendant, Liliana, who was working hard and did have our room ready. She told us they were a little behind schedule because they had replaced all the mattresses on deck 8 (new bed for us!). It was also topped with a very nice mattress pad which made for a great sleep. We put away our carry on and headed to Sorrento's for some pizza. It was much less crowded than the Windjammer buffet and had great pizza, olives, and salads. We struck up a conversation with a crew member and he asked about our dinner plans. We had booked the BOGO offer where you dine in specialty restaurants nights one and two, but we had not received notification of which we were eating in that night. I let him know our preference and what time we wanted to eat and he made a call to make sure it was exactly as we wanted. When I returned to my cabin, I had a call waiting for me confirming those reservations he made. It was an unexpected level of service that started us off great.
Our cabin was a balcony on deck 8. It was my first time in a balcony. Our room had an adjoining door to my parents room next door, so we had a chair in place of a couch, which gave us a little extra room. We also had our attendant open the divider for our balcony so we had a larger shared balcony. The bathroom was typical of cruise ships, small but efficient. Our bed slept great. There were lots of hidden cabinets and places for our things. Overall, the room was well appointed, efficient, and well maintained.
We had many good meals on the ship during the week. Most mornings, we had the continental (free) room service delivered to our room. It was nice to sit on the balcony with a pot of coffee and some pastries to start the day. On port days, we would go have breakfast in the Main Dining Room. We found out that many people didn't know this was an option every morning. It was not ever very busy and we enjoyed the hot breakfast and great service. We also would have lunch in the MDR port days. Some others in our party would go to the Windjammer buffet and they said the food was very good. With the ship so full, it felt pretty crowded in Windjammer, so I opted for other dining locations. My son would get milkshakes daily from the Ben and Jerry's. They were an additional fee, but totally worth it. We also grabbed sandwiches and snack from Cafe Promenade, and the food was good.
On night 1, we ate dinner in Chops steakhouse. The service and food were great. I had the filet, which was cooked perfectly and tender. My father had the ribeye and said it was delicious. The appetizers, salads, sides, and desserts were also wonderful. We left feeling very full and satisfied.
Night 2 we ate at Giovanni's Italian. It was our favorite meal of the trip. The manager welcomed us and told us we were family and he intended to make us feel that way. Our waiter was incredible. They wanted us to try ALL the food, so they brought us all of the appetizer and pastas they offered. We only had to choose our entrees. I had the filet again that evening and it was even better than Chops. My son had the Eggplant Parm and he devoured it. My surprise was how much I enjoyed the octopus appetizer. I had never tried it before and would not have if they hadn't brought us everything. Any item that we loved and ate all of, they would bring more. It was a warm and fun dining experience. I can't recommend them more highly.
All other dinners were in the main dining room. We had My Time Dining and I made reservations for all nights at 7pm for the 9 of us. Our servers were Ana and Paula and they took great care of us. My son started loving curry when we traveled on Brilliance of the Seas and was disappointed to not see it on the Liberty menu. Ana found this out and let him know they made curry each night for the crew and he could have some (which he did). If you are a curry fan, be sure to ask for it. They made wonderful curry. Everything we ordered was very good. On formal night, I had prime rib with a side of lobster and they offered to keep bringing more lobsters. I appreciate the variety of foods from traditional to more exotic. The best appetizer I had was the burrata, which was as good as any I had in Italy. I found all food on the ship to be very good.
We went to a few shows, but not all. Production value was very good. We liked the ice show a lot. Be sure to come early for a seat. It is a smaller venue and it fills up. The comedian was very funny. My aunt loved Saturday Night Fever and In The Air. My son loved getting to ice skate on the ship. He is a hockey player and brought his own skates. They have teen skating on night 2 and the open skating later in the week. This also fills up, so line up early. The climbing wall was fun and they have speed climbing competitions. Pools were full this week but many in our group still enjoyed them. This ship had many activities available like bingo, trivia, surf simulator, water slides, contests, and so on. There is truly something for everyone.
On the last sea day, we did the Bottomless Galley Brunch. It gave us a galley tour, bottomless mimosas, and brunch. I had taken a galley tour on Brilliance that was very extensive, so I was surprised at how brief this one was. Still, it was enjoyable and the food was good.
For our ports, we did Cozumel and Grand Cayman on our own and an excursion through Royal Caribbean for Jamaica. In Cozumel, we took a taxi to Nachi Cocom. Taxis are regulated and prices posted. It was a short ride to Nachi. We booked this several months in advance, which was a good thing because they were booked up. They only allow 130 people per day to visit. We had a beautiful spot on the beach with loungers, an umbrella, unlimited drinks, and lunch. They also had a big pool and hot tub with a swim up bar. For an additional fee you could snorkel, have a massage, or go parasailing. My son and uncle parasailed and loved it. The drinks were appropriately strong and very good. It was a calm and relaxing atmosphere. If you want loud music and a DJ, you should probably find another place. However if you want a day in paradise, visit Nachi. We enjoyed the meal in the restaurant. They also offered to bring us our food and let us eat at our spot on the beach. When we were ready to return to the ship, they got a taxi for us. I highly recommend this resort and I will return.
In Grand Cayman, we booked the Rays, Reef, and Rum Point excursion with NativeWay Watersports. When we got off the ship, we found the white tent with independent excursions under it. Native Way did not have a sign, but after asking around we found them. Sharon welcomed us and got us connected with our driver. We were taken to the marina and boarded our boat for the day. We had a total of 25 people on our boat, which was far less than the ones with RC excursions. We started at Stingray City and had a great time. The crew was very informative and made sure we had safe and memorable interactions with the rays. They also took photos for us.The water was crystal clear and we had a beautiful day. After about an hour we went to a snorkel site. We were provided with snorkels, masks, flippers, and life jackets if we needed them. The fish were beautiful and the snorkeling was easy. We were the only family on the boat that had Rum Point and the others had Starfish Point, so we got to visit Starfish point as well. It was about a 20 minute stop and we did see starfish. The crew made sure that we knew how to handle the starfish in order to not endanger them. The crew seemed very concerned about making sure all the sea-life we encountered was handled in a respectful manner that did not harm them. We then went to Rum Point to be dropped off for lunch and the boat took the rest of the people back to the ship. Our meal was very good. I had jerk chicken which was better than what I had later in Jamaica. We also purchased mudslides, which were said to have been invented in the bar at Rum Point. At the designated time, Sharon picked us up and drove us back to the port with tales of the island. We had a memorable and fun day in Grand Cayman.
In Jamaica, we went with the Royal Caribbean excursion called Blue Waters Beach Escape. It was an all inclusive excursion that included transportation, entry to the beach, lounge chairs, all we could drink, and lunch.There was not much shade on the beach and they rented out umbrellas or cabanas for additional fees. We found one of the few trees and set up under it. The beach was beautiful, but they were clearly packing as many people into the beach as possible. After we had our spot, they moved more chairs in front of us and set up umbrellas they had rented which blocked our view of the water. That was disappointing. We had a server that brought us drinks, but they were very small and not very good. We ended up getting a bucket of Red Stripe beer instead of mixed drinks after tasting them. We did get in the water some, but it was VERY grassy on the floor with lots of seaweed. We gave up on the water after about 15 minutes of trying to find a spot without vegetation. It was a windy day which made the water quite cloudy. At 11am, they told us to go eat. The food was weird. They had jerk chicken and curry chicken, but it was more bones than meat. They also had fettuccini noodles with hotdogs (odd) and a huge amount of bland beans and rice. We tried the food, but didn't eat much of it. We ended up getting an early shuttle back to the boat. Probably if our first two port excursions hadn't been so amazing, it wouldn't have been such a contrast. Still I found I much prefer independent excursions to ship excursions.
My son (14 years old) traveled with me. He really enjoyed the ship. He does not like youth programs on ships, so he didn't participate in the teen program. He did do the teen night for skating and the teen rock climbing competition. The staff made him feel like a king. Anything he wanted, they made happen. It was hard to leave the ship the last morning because it felt like we were leaving family.
Disembarkation was very easy. We did the self carry option off the ship. We all went down for breakfast in the main dining room at 7am and it wasn't crowded at all. We had a very nice final meal on the ship. About 7:45am we went to our cabins, got our bags, and walked off the ship. We were through customs and picked up by Lighthouse Parking by 8:15 and on the road at 8:30. Very smooth and easy. I look forward to having another great Royal Caribbean experience in the future.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Nachi Cocom Beach ClubWe booked with Nachi Cocom and had a wonderful time. We took a taxi from port, which was safe and easy. Taxi prices are regulated and everyone speaks English. I can't say enough great things about Nachi Cocom. It was a peaceful day in paradise. The staff was friendly, the beach beautiful and uncrowded, and the drinks were great. I highly recommend them.View All 102 Nachi Cocom Beach Club Reviews
BeachWe booked Blue Waters Exclusive Beach with Royal Caribbean. The beach was beautiful, but very, very crowded. Once we got in the water, it was very cloudy and had a lot of seaweed. We found the mixed drinks not very good, but did enjoy the Red Stripe beer. The meal they served was very poor. We left early.View All 137 Beach Reviews
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SnorkelingWe had a wonderful day with Native Way. We had an uncrowded boat with a very good crew take us to swim with stingrays, snorkel, visit starfish point, and then to Rum Point for lunch. They were professional and made sure we had a wonderful time. I will certainly be using Native Way again.View All 308 Snorkeling Reviews
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