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This cruise was on Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas, seven days, starting April 28, 2019. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We have done three cruises on Carnival Freedom and Carnival Valor (twice), both are smaller ships than the Liberty of the Seas. This cruise left from Galveston, TX. We drove four hours from our home near Dallas and arrived late on Friday night before the cruise. We spent two nights in Galveston allowing us to spend all day Saturday visiting the sea wall, Pleasure Pier and shopping. We arrived at the cruise port approximately 10:00 AM on Sunday morning for departure. We purchased the Key package for this cruise. This program allows faster embarkation and debarkation right behind the platinum members. Perks of the Key program allowed us to drop our carryon bags at the theater to be delivered to our state room and a free lunch at Chops Grille. The Key also included internet service for one device for each person. We explored the ship and found it easy to get around and well kept. We found the ship layout easy to remember and navigate. There did not seem to be as much congestion at the elevators as we had seen on our previous cruises. There are six elevators near the forward theater and six elevators near the aft dining rooms. The ship was clean, I did not see any areas that needed attention. Some things to help you navigate is that you cannot walk from bow to stern through deck 3 due to the location of Studio B. Deck 14 lounges can only be accessed by the port side elevators at the aft of the ship. All of the food available on the ship was good, and the service was excellent. We had My Time dining reservations for 5:30 every evening in the main dining room. It was very easy to change the time or cancel our reservations as needed both on the app and at the dining room door. On the app you had to cancel your dining first then could schedule a new time. We ate in the main dining room three nights, specialty restaurants three nights and one night at the Windjammer buffet. For breakfast and lunch, we usually went to the Windjammer except for two lunches in specialty restaurants. On previous cruises, we usually eat every evening in the main dining room. This cruise was our first time using the specialty restaurants. We purchased the three dinner package for $79 per person. We ate dinner at Chops Grille (steakhouse), Sabor Modern Mexican, and Giovanni's Table (Italian). We had lunch at Chops as part of the Key package on embarkation day. We also took Sabor’s guacamole and margarita class on the last sea day, this class included a small margarita and lunch for $28 each person. At both Chops and Giovanni’s, we found the service to be excellent and the food good but not worth the price in our opinion. Sabor was by far the best meal we had on board. Both the service and food was incredible, but Mexican food is our personal favorite. We had planned on also enjoying Johnny Rockets but never did make the time to eat there during this cruise. We think the buffet food was slightly better than our previous Carnival cruises. And my wife enjoyed the extra flavor of free drink that changed daily at the buffet on Royal Caribbean. But we think the main dining room has slightly better food on Carnival. Although the food is very good in the specialty dining, we don’t think the specialty restaurants are worth the price if you are trying to stay on a budget. For entertainment we went to all the main shows with the exception of missing two late night shows when we had early mornings scheduled the next day. All of these shows were good as far as production value. Shows included: “In the Air”, “Saturday Night Fever” and “Encore! An Ice Spectacular”. Live music was available around the ship at scheduled times in several areas. We interacted with the shore excursion desk, main desk, and next cruise office while on board and they were all very helpful and responsive where they could be. At the Next Cruise office we wanted to see about upgrading our cabin on our upcoming December sailing, but they were unable to help with our existing booking. While I understand they are there to sell new booking, I wish they could also be able to modify existing bookings. Shopping and spa services seems to be equal in quality and quantity as other cruises. The Liberty of the Seas offered more fun features than our previous cruises such as two water slides, the Tidal Wave raft ride, the climbing wall and the Flowrider wave simulator. My wife fell in love with the Flowrider and that may be the deciding factor for our future cruises. The app available on our phones had some serious drawbacks. It was great for deck plans. The calendar of activities has potential but was inaccurate a lot of the time. Definitely check it against the Cruise Compass delivered to your state room as the app was missing activities and had inaccurate start times on several activities. The movies listed in the app were almost never the correct movie that was going to be showing. The sort feature on activities could only be sorted by one category at a time or “show all” and “recommended”. I would really like to see the ability to choose multiple categories to avoid having to do multiple searches. The “show all” on port days includes pages and pages of shore excursions in the list. Our first port was Roatan Honduras. We did an all-inclusive beach day at Sol y Mar. We think the cost was high for the limited features available. Not a bad location but I would suggest looking over all the levels of packages available and knowing what features are in your package before you arrive. And if you are interested in snorkeling have it included in your package instead of paying extra once you are there. The beach was nice but small. There is no pool. Lockers are not free. Waiters/bar staff are friendly and helpful. One waiter even waded out to waist level to deliver beers to our group. We were not expecting that and all of us rushed out to meet him. Second port was Belize City. We took the Barrier Reef Snorkeling Wonders excursion. It was a four-hour tour which consist of a 45 minute boat ride each way to a SMALL private island, 30 minutes of rushed, crowded snorkeling with not much to see (fire coral way to close for comfort) and then two hours of beach time with no amenities and limited seating available. Beautiful island but very rocky. Make sure you keep your swim shoes with you as you have to give up your fins before coming out of the water. It was very painful to walk back to our bags. Food and drink was available at extra cost. The tour did pick us up from the ship and deliver us back to the ship without the need to tender to get to the tour. Once back on ship we took a tender to the port to do some shopping. Very little to do around the Belize City port and shopping prices were high. Our third port day was at Cozumel, Mexico and was the very best excursion we had. We did the Three Reef Snorkel by Boat. Three and a half hours and we were never out of view of the cruise ship so travel time was very short. Almost the entire excursion time was in the water snorkeling. We joined the excursion at the end of the pier and walked a short distance to the excursion boat. We went out to the first location as the crew distributed snorkeling gear and assisted anyone new to snorkeling with the gear. We had about 45 minutes in the water drifting with the current as the guide showed us the wildlife. Then we grouped up and the boat came to us to pick us up. We moved onto a new location with again about 45 minutes in the water before boarding the boat again and heading to the third location. Each area was a little different and interesting. There was a crew member taking pictures with very reasonable prices on the photos to be sent via e-mail. We had our photos in our e-mail the very next day. Crew members were available to accompany anyone that needed to stop early and head back to the boat. There were bathrooms available on the boat. Water and soda’s distributed halfway through the day. Two fresh water showers at the aft of the boat when we were done for the day. The boat usually holds up to 60 people and only 21 were on our excursion so it might feel more crowded in during busy seasons. This was the best snorkeling excursion we have taken yet.

Cruising to Snorkel

Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review by Xtentions

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Promenade View Interior
This cruise was on Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas, seven days, starting April 28, 2019. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We have done three cruises on Carnival Freedom and Carnival Valor (twice), both are smaller ships than the Liberty of the Seas.

This cruise left from Galveston, TX. We drove four hours from our home near Dallas and arrived late on Friday night before the cruise. We spent two nights in Galveston allowing us to spend all day Saturday visiting the sea wall, Pleasure Pier and shopping. We arrived at the cruise port approximately 10:00 AM on Sunday morning for departure.

We purchased the Key package for this cruise. This program allows faster embarkation and debarkation right behind the platinum members. Perks of the Key program allowed us to drop our carryon bags at the theater to be delivered to our state room and a free lunch at Chops Grille. The Key also included internet service for one device for each person.

We explored the ship and found it easy to get around and well kept. We found the ship layout easy to remember and navigate. There did not seem to be as much congestion at the elevators as we had seen on our previous cruises. There are six elevators near the forward theater and six elevators near the aft dining rooms. The ship was clean, I did not see any areas that needed attention. Some things to help you navigate is that you cannot walk from bow to stern through deck 3 due to the location of Studio B. Deck 14 lounges can only be accessed by the port side elevators at the aft of the ship.

All of the food available on the ship was good, and the service was excellent. We had My Time dining reservations for 5:30 every evening in the main dining room. It was very easy to change the time or cancel our reservations as needed both on the app and at the dining room door. On the app you had to cancel your dining first then could schedule a new time. We ate in the main dining room three nights, specialty restaurants three nights and one night at the Windjammer buffet. For breakfast and lunch, we usually went to the Windjammer except for two lunches in specialty restaurants.

On previous cruises, we usually eat every evening in the main dining room. This cruise was our first time using the specialty restaurants. We purchased the three dinner package for $79 per person. We ate dinner at Chops Grille (steakhouse), Sabor Modern Mexican, and Giovanni's Table (Italian). We had lunch at Chops as part of the Key package on embarkation day. We also took Sabor’s guacamole and margarita class on the last sea day, this class included a small margarita and lunch for $28 each person.

At both Chops and Giovanni’s, we found the service to be excellent and the food good but not worth the price in our opinion. Sabor was by far the best meal we had on board. Both the service and food was incredible, but Mexican food is our personal favorite. We had planned on also enjoying Johnny Rockets but never did make the time to eat there during this cruise.

We think the buffet food was slightly better than our previous Carnival cruises. And my wife enjoyed the extra flavor of free drink that changed daily at the buffet on Royal Caribbean. But we think the main dining room has slightly better food on Carnival. Although the food is very good in the specialty dining, we don’t think the specialty restaurants are worth the price if you are trying to stay on a budget.

For entertainment we went to all the main shows with the exception of missing two late night shows when we had early mornings scheduled the next day. All of these shows were good as far as production value. Shows included: “In the Air”, “Saturday Night Fever” and “Encore! An Ice Spectacular”. Live music was available around the ship at scheduled times in several areas.

We interacted with the shore excursion desk, main desk, and next cruise office while on board and they were all very helpful and responsive where they could be. At the Next Cruise office we wanted to see about upgrading our cabin on our upcoming December sailing, but they were unable to help with our existing booking. While I understand they are there to sell new booking, I wish they could also be able to modify existing bookings.

Shopping and spa services seems to be equal in quality and quantity as other cruises.

The Liberty of the Seas offered more fun features than our previous cruises such as two water slides, the Tidal Wave raft ride, the climbing wall and the Flowrider wave simulator. My wife fell in love with the Flowrider and that may be the deciding factor for our future cruises.

The app available on our phones had some serious drawbacks. It was great for deck plans. The calendar of activities has potential but was inaccurate a lot of the time. Definitely check it against the Cruise Compass delivered to your state room as the app was missing activities and had inaccurate start times on several activities. The movies listed in the app were almost never the correct movie that was going to be showing. The sort feature on activities could only be sorted by one category at a time or “show all” and “recommended”. I would really like to see the ability to choose multiple categories to avoid having to do multiple searches. The “show all” on port days includes pages and pages of shore excursions in the list.

Our first port was Roatan Honduras. We did an all-inclusive beach day at Sol y Mar. We think the cost was high for the limited features available. Not a bad location but I would suggest looking over all the levels of packages available and knowing what features are in your package before you arrive. And if you are interested in snorkeling have it included in your package instead of paying extra once you are there. The beach was nice but small. There is no pool. Lockers are not free. Waiters/bar staff are friendly and helpful. One waiter even waded out to waist level to deliver beers to our group. We were not expecting that and all of us rushed out to meet him.

Second port was Belize City. We took the Barrier Reef Snorkeling Wonders excursion. It was a four-hour tour which consist of a 45 minute boat ride each way to a SMALL private island, 30 minutes of rushed, crowded snorkeling with not much to see (fire coral way to close for comfort) and then two hours of beach time with no amenities and limited seating available. Beautiful island but very rocky. Make sure you keep your swim shoes with you as you have to give up your fins before coming out of the water. It was very painful to walk back to our bags. Food and drink was available at extra cost. The tour did pick us up from the ship and deliver us back to the ship without the need to tender to get to the tour. Once back on ship we took a tender to the port to do some shopping. Very little to do around the Belize City port and shopping prices were high.

Our third port day was at Cozumel, Mexico and was the very best excursion we had. We did the Three Reef Snorkel by Boat. Three and a half hours and we were never out of view of the cruise ship so travel time was very short. Almost the entire excursion time was in the water snorkeling. We joined the excursion at the end of the pier and walked a short distance to the excursion boat. We went out to the first location as the crew distributed snorkeling gear and assisted anyone new to snorkeling with the gear. We had about 45 minutes in the water drifting with the current as the guide showed us the wildlife. Then we grouped up and the boat came to us to pick us up. We moved onto a new location with again about 45 minutes in the water before boarding the boat again and heading to the third location. Each area was a little different and interesting. There was a crew member taking pictures with very reasonable prices on the photos to be sent via e-mail. We had our photos in our e-mail the very next day. Crew members were available to accompany anyone that needed to stop early and head back to the boat. There were bathrooms available on the boat. Water and soda’s distributed halfway through the day. Two fresh water showers at the aft of the boat when we were done for the day. The boat usually holds up to 60 people and only 21 were on our excursion so it might feel more crowded in during busy seasons. This was the best snorkeling excursion we have taken yet.
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Cabin Review

Promenade View Interior
Cabin 2T 7257
Our cabin was available at the time Royal said it would be and our checked luggage was near our door at that time. Our cabin was a Promenade View Interior. The cabin though small was well laid out and clean. It had two small loveseats, one situated just under the promenade view window. We did not have any issue with noise and only heard anything from the promenade during afternoon naps but never enough noise to disturb us. I wish there had been a bit more storage in the room. There was one closet with only five shelves down the side of the closet. There were only four small drawers under the tv and a small drawer in each of the two night stands. Our stateroom attendant was wonderful. She made conversation and was friendly each time we saw her and she ensured we had everything we needed throughout the cruise.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Snorkeling
    We took the Barrier Reef Snorkeling Wonders excursion. It was a four-hour tour which consist of a 45 minute boat ride each way to a SMALL private island, 30 minutes of rushed, crowded snorkeling with not much to see (fire coral way to close for comfort) and then two hours of beach time with no amenities and limited seating available. Beautiful island but very rocky. Make sure you keep your swim shoes with you as you have to give up your fins before coming out of the water. It was very painful to walk back to our bags. Food and drink was available at extra cost. The tour did pick us up from the ship and deliver us back to the ship without the need to tender to get to the tour. Once back on ship we took a tender to the port to do some shopping. Very little to do around the Belize City port and shopping prices were high.
    View All 173 Snorkeling Reviews
  • Snorkeling
    We did the Three Reef Snorkel by Boat. Three and a half hours and we were never out of view of the cruise ship so travel time was very short. Almost the entire excursion time was in the water snorkeling. We joined the excursion at the end of the pier and walked a short distance to the excursion boat. We went out to the first location as the crew distributed snorkeling gear and assisted anyone new to snorkeling with the gear. We had about 45 minutes in the water drifting with the current as the guide showed us the wildlife. Then we grouped up and the boat came to us to pick us up. We moved onto a new location with again about 45 minutes in the water before boarding the boat again and heading to the third location. Each area was a little different and interesting. There was a crew member taking pictures with very reasonable prices on the photos to be sent via e-mail. We had our photos in our e-mail the very next day. Crew members were available to accompany anyone that needed to stop early and head back to the boat. There were bathrooms available on the boat. Water and soda’s distributed halfway through the day. Two fresh water showers at the aft of the boat when we were done for the day. The boat usually holds up to 60 people and only 21 were on our excursion so it might feel more crowded in during busy seasons. This was the best snorkeling excursion we have taken yet.
    View All 424 Snorkeling Reviews
  • Galveston
    We walked the sea wall, went to the Pleasure Pier and shopped.
    View All 659 Galveston Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Galveston Cruise Port Review
  • Beach
    We did an all-inclusive beach day at Sol y Mar. We think the cost was high for the limited features available. Not a bad location but I would suggest looking over all the levels of packages available and knowing what features are in your package before you arrive. And if you are interested in snorkeling have it included in your package instead of paying extra once you are there. The beach was nice but small. There is no pool. Lockers are not free. Waiters/bar staff are friendly and helpful. One waiter even waded out to waist level to deliver beers to our group. We were not expecting that and all of us rushed out to meet him.
    View All 388 Beach Reviews