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This is our fourth cruise out of Galveston, and the second time on Liberty of the Seas. Overall we had a great time. Some thoughts... Embarkation: The port signing is poorly laid out, and can be confusing. We missed the lane for dropping off the luggage, so we circled back around a second time. Go early because the traffic gets awful later in the morning. We dropped off the bags, parked over at Lot B, and the shuttle dropped us back at the terminal - about 15 minutes from bag drop to terminal (at 10 am). The line inside the terminal was long but moved along. It was about 45 minutes from walking in to getting past the bag scanner. From there we moved into the check-in room. The line there was much shorter and moved faster (again, early in the day). We moved through, checked in, had our picture taken and headed to the on ramp. Not horrible, but we thought Carnival's embarkation was much smoother. And then we were on the ship! We made our way to the buffet, along with the other 4,000 passengers. As expected, the Windjammer was crowded and busy. Staff were trying to help people find tables, but space was tight and everyone had their carry-on bags. Other than one jerk who thought the world should stop for him, most people were trying to be patient and make their way through. Food was good, we found a table and had lunch and chilled until the room announcement was made. Cabins: We had a balcony and an interior on deck 9. The rooms were clean and ready for us. We unpacked and enjoyed the balcony until muster drill. They really need to have some big fans on deck for muster drill. The deck is so crowded, and the heat was awful and I can see where the older folks might get sick. The cabin steward was in and out every day and kept the towels replaced, the bed made, and the ice bucket full. We had towel animals three nights, which we liked, but we ALWAYS had ice in the bucket which we really really liked. :-) We had pre-ordered one of the Royal Gifts liquor deliveries which arrived promptly on the day after embarkation. The cabins were standard - clean, enough storage, the a/c worked fine, no complaints. MDR: Mixed feelings about the MDR this time. We like to go because it is usually fun to be pampered and waited on. But this time our little family was in the back against the window behind three giant groups of elderly people, probably thirty altogether at three big tables. The sun was blasting through the window and there was some problem that prevented them from lowering the shade so we roasted for the first three nights (once we changed direction we lost the sun and it was better). Our view out the windows was the inflatable lifeboats. A necessary thing to have, but it wasn't like lowering the shades would mess up the view. Because we were jammed back there, it was hard to get to our table, it was hard for the waiters to get in and out to us. We felt bad about squeezing past the old folks, because it was so hard for them to move or let us by. The groups had at least two birthdays every night, and for some reason most of them were named "John." So we sang "Happy Birthday" to John, over and over and over again. It's not RC's fault that these three giant groups of the John club decided to celebrate their birthdays on the cruise, but it would have been a lot better if they had just given them a little more space for their walkers and canes and sat us elsewhere. The waiters were nice, and did their best, but between having to squeeze past the big group and being stretched thin, it was not the level of service we had previously. The head waiter came by and chatted most nights. He was very nice, and I think understood that our location was not optimal. I saw more people really dressed to the nines for formal night than I have ever seen on a Galveston cruise. Usually it's "please don't wear shorts and maybe wear your nice flip flops" and this time there were people in fancy long prom-type dresses and suits, even a couple of tuxedos. We wore suits and church-type clothes and were right in the middle of the pack. MDR Food: Good to very good. Not great, but nothing wrong with it. Typical cruise food - steaks and shrimp and soups and desserts. Some extra vegetarian/vegan options would be nice. The best things we had all week were the crabcakes and calmari appetizers. The fish entrees were consistently good, but very similar - fish with sauce plus starch and veg. The NY strip was consistently good, and one of the best we have had. Nicely seared on the outside and at the right temp every time. Rare was almost purple inside, and med-rare was beautiful and bloody. Delicious. Desserts were good - standouts were the Grand Marnier Souffle and the Creme Brulee. The no-sugar-added desserts were consistently tasty and good. Windjammer: Food good to very good. We really like the layout of the Windjammer as compared to Carnival. There are multiple smaller stations so you don't have to go through the entire line end-to-end to just get one thing. The cookies are always great and we made multiple trips upstairs just for cookies. A nice variety and selection of items, serving trays were kept full and fresh. Plates were cleared quickly and tables kept clean. At peak times staff were pro-active about helping guests find tables - I was approached by one staff member who suggested that I give him my sweater and he would use it to save a table for us. Very much appreciated. Also at peak times - breakfast on port days - they were gently "encouraging" passengers to finish up so that others could eat. When it was full they were holding back a line at the entrance to keep the crowd from being out of hand. The gatekeepers at the door were friendly and cheerful in what has to be a thankless job of "encouraging" / "suggesting" / forcing guests into sanitizing their hands on the way in. Ports: Overall fine, it's the Caribbean - you go for sun and sand and that's what we got. Cozumel - we took a taxi downtown, stopped at Mega for candy and souvenirs and then walked over to the shopping area. (Mega is great for anything you might have forgotten, or cheap snacks or small souvenirs. Flip flops, sunscreen, candy, bottled water, etc. They have a grocery store too if you want to make your own picnic lunch. Prices are in pesos but they will press a button and convert to dollars. The exchange rate they offered was 19/$1, which we though was very good.) Bought some handbags, and the non-shoppers enjoyed a bench in the shade with a book while the shoppers wandered about. Had lunch at a sidewalk place facing the water on Rafael Melgar street and then took a taxi back to the ship. We've gone to Paradise Beach before and loved it, but this time the shoppers won out. :-) We like Cozumel, it's a clean, safe, tourist-friendly stop. Grand Cayman - tendering process was quick. I got in line for tender tickets at 8:30. The line was crazy long but moved really fast. The tendering was not supposed to start until 10:30 so we we not expecting to get off until 11:30 (boat #21) but we were called by 10:40 and were in port by 11. The port area is very chaotic, and outside the fence is worse. The vendors are very aggressive and it was a bit unnerving. We were back inside and agreed to an island tour with one of the companies there. We had a quick trip around to Hell, the rum cake store and the dolphin place (15 minutes at each, plenty of time for the pictures and back on the bus). After that the driver dropped us at Calico Jack's for 1.5 hours and picked us back up. We liked Calico Jack's, had some lunch and drinks and spent time in the pool. One caution - the prices are listed in Cayman Dollars, not US, and the total will include gratuity. So take the menu price times $1.25 and then add 18% to get the total, so that you avoid sticker shock. We got back tot he port about 3:30 and walked straight onto a tender boat and back to the ship. Get there early to avoid the wait. Fallmouth - We took a RC tour - "Green Grotto and Dunn River Falls". Overall, very good. The bus was air conditioned, the hosts were polite but brusque and kept us on the schedule. The guide at the Grotto was terrific! Informative, enthusiastic and very good with the small children in our group. The cave tour was interesting. We would have preferred more history, but he adapted the talk to accommodate the many small children in our group. Dunn River Falls was pretty, but crowded and touristy. The climb up the falls was fun, but there were so many tourists there that it became somewhat of a forced march up in order to keep the line moving. A slower pace with fewer people would have been nice to be able to enjoy the beautiful area more. The port area is new and very nice. Onboard Entertainment: Mixed reviews...The casino is nice, but they really tightened up the slots for the last two sea days. We had a good time and pretty much broke even. The Schooner Bar piano player is nice to listen to but it gets crowded in the evenings. We saw two comedians, both were good. There was also a juggler/comedian which was better than it sounds. We skipped Saturday Night Fever because we saw it last time and didn't really enjoy it. The aerialist show was nice but not great. BUT. The Eagles tribute band was amazing! We really enjoyed it and the crowd was really into it. Daytime entertainment was mostly port shopping talks and port excursion talks. A couple sessions about the history or ecology of the ports would be a nice change. Voom internet worked well and we had good service all over the ship. Ship in general: A pretty ship, clean and well kept. We enjoyed sitting outside the pizza place on the promenade and people-watching. Debarkation - Super smooth and easy. We walked straight through, less than 30 minutes from getting in line in the dining room to walking out of customs. Miles and miles better than Carnival's debarkation nightmare. All in all we had a great time and loved the ship. Definitely will be back.

Cozumel-Grand Cayman-Falmouth

Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review by melissa84

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
This is our fourth cruise out of Galveston, and the second time on Liberty of the Seas. Overall we had a great time. Some thoughts...

Embarkation: The port signing is poorly laid out, and can be confusing. We missed the lane for dropping off the luggage, so we circled back around a second time. Go early because the traffic gets awful later in the morning. We dropped off the bags, parked over at Lot B, and the shuttle dropped us back at the terminal - about 15 minutes from bag drop to terminal (at 10 am). The line inside the terminal was long but moved along. It was about 45 minutes from walking in to getting past the bag scanner. From there we moved into the check-in room. The line there was much shorter and moved faster (again, early in the day). We moved through, checked in, had our picture taken and headed to the on ramp. Not horrible, but we thought Carnival's embarkation was much smoother.

And then we were on the ship! We made our way to the buffet, along with the other 4,000 passengers. As expected, the Windjammer was crowded and busy. Staff were trying to help people find tables, but space was tight and everyone had their carry-on bags. Other than one jerk who thought the world should stop for him, most people were trying to be patient and make their way through. Food was good, we found a table and had lunch and chilled until the room announcement was made.

Cabins: We had a balcony and an interior on deck 9. The rooms were clean and ready for us. We unpacked and enjoyed the balcony until muster drill. They really need to have some big fans on deck for muster drill. The deck is so crowded, and the heat was awful and I can see where the older folks might get sick. The cabin steward was in and out every day and kept the towels replaced, the bed made, and the ice bucket full. We had towel animals three nights, which we liked, but we ALWAYS had ice in the bucket which we really really liked. :-) We had pre-ordered one of the Royal Gifts liquor deliveries which arrived promptly on the day after embarkation. The cabins were standard - clean, enough storage, the a/c worked fine, no complaints.

MDR: Mixed feelings about the MDR this time. We like to go because it is usually fun to be pampered and waited on. But this time our little family was in the back against the window behind three giant groups of elderly people, probably thirty altogether at three big tables. The sun was blasting through the window and there was some problem that prevented them from lowering the shade so we roasted for the first three nights (once we changed direction we lost the sun and it was better). Our view out the windows was the inflatable lifeboats. A necessary thing to have, but it wasn't like lowering the shades would mess up the view.

Because we were jammed back there, it was hard to get to our table, it was hard for the waiters to get in and out to us. We felt bad about squeezing past the old folks, because it was so hard for them to move or let us by. The groups had at least two birthdays every night, and for some reason most of them were named "John." So we sang "Happy Birthday" to John, over and over and over again. It's not RC's fault that these three giant groups of the John club decided to celebrate their birthdays on the cruise, but it would have been a lot better if they had just given them a little more space for their walkers and canes and sat us elsewhere.

The waiters were nice, and did their best, but between having to squeeze past the big group and being stretched thin, it was not the level of service we had previously. The head waiter came by and chatted most nights. He was very nice, and I think understood that our location was not optimal.

I saw more people really dressed to the nines for formal night than I have ever seen on a Galveston cruise. Usually it's "please don't wear shorts and maybe wear your nice flip flops" and this time there were people in fancy long prom-type dresses and suits, even a couple of tuxedos. We wore suits and church-type clothes and were right in the middle of the pack.

MDR Food: Good to very good. Not great, but nothing wrong with it. Typical cruise food - steaks and shrimp and soups and desserts. Some extra vegetarian/vegan options would be nice. The best things we had all week were the crabcakes and calmari appetizers. The fish entrees were consistently good, but very similar - fish with sauce plus starch and veg. The NY strip was consistently good, and one of the best we have had. Nicely seared on the outside and at the right temp every time. Rare was almost purple inside, and med-rare was beautiful and bloody. Delicious. Desserts were good - standouts were the Grand Marnier Souffle and the Creme Brulee. The no-sugar-added desserts were consistently tasty and good.

Windjammer: Food good to very good. We really like the layout of the Windjammer as compared to Carnival. There are multiple smaller stations so you don't have to go through the entire line end-to-end to just get one thing. The cookies are always great and we made multiple trips upstairs just for cookies. A nice variety and selection of items, serving trays were kept full and fresh. Plates were cleared quickly and tables kept clean. At peak times staff were pro-active about helping guests find tables - I was approached by one staff member who suggested that I give him my sweater and he would use it to save a table for us. Very much appreciated. Also at peak times - breakfast on port days - they were gently "encouraging" passengers to finish up so that others could eat. When it was full they were holding back a line at the entrance to keep the crowd from being out of hand. The gatekeepers at the door were friendly and cheerful in what has to be a thankless job of "encouraging" / "suggesting" / forcing guests into sanitizing their hands on the way in.

Ports: Overall fine, it's the Caribbean - you go for sun and sand and that's what we got.

Cozumel - we took a taxi downtown, stopped at Mega for candy and souvenirs and then walked over to the shopping area. (Mega is great for anything you might have forgotten, or cheap snacks or small souvenirs. Flip flops, sunscreen, candy, bottled water, etc. They have a grocery store too if you want to make your own picnic lunch. Prices are in pesos but they will press a button and convert to dollars. The exchange rate they offered was 19/$1, which we though was very good.) Bought some handbags, and the non-shoppers enjoyed a bench in the shade with a book while the shoppers wandered about. Had lunch at a sidewalk place facing the water on Rafael Melgar street and then took a taxi back to the ship. We've gone to Paradise Beach before and loved it, but this time the shoppers won out. :-) We like Cozumel, it's a clean, safe, tourist-friendly stop.

Grand Cayman - tendering process was quick. I got in line for tender tickets at 8:30. The line was crazy long but moved really fast. The tendering was not supposed to start until 10:30 so we we not expecting to get off until 11:30 (boat #21) but we were called by 10:40 and were in port by 11. The port area is very chaotic, and outside the fence is worse. The vendors are very aggressive and it was a bit unnerving. We were back inside and agreed to an island tour with one of the companies there. We had a quick trip around to Hell, the rum cake store and the dolphin place (15 minutes at each, plenty of time for the pictures and back on the bus). After that the driver dropped us at Calico Jack's for 1.5 hours and picked us back up. We liked Calico Jack's, had some lunch and drinks and spent time in the pool. One caution - the prices are listed in Cayman Dollars, not US, and the total will include gratuity. So take the menu price times $1.25 and then add 18% to get the total, so that you avoid sticker shock. We got back tot he port about 3:30 and walked straight onto a tender boat and back to the ship. Get there early to avoid the wait.

Fallmouth - We took a RC tour - "Green Grotto and Dunn River Falls". Overall, very good. The bus was air conditioned, the hosts were polite but brusque and kept us on the schedule. The guide at the Grotto was terrific! Informative, enthusiastic and very good with the small children in our group. The cave tour was interesting. We would have preferred more history, but he adapted the talk to accommodate the many small children in our group. Dunn River Falls was pretty, but crowded and touristy. The climb up the falls was fun, but there were so many tourists there that it became somewhat of a forced march up in order to keep the line moving. A slower pace with fewer people would have been nice to be able to enjoy the beautiful area more. The port area is new and very nice.

Onboard Entertainment: Mixed reviews...The casino is nice, but they really tightened up the slots for the last two sea days. We had a good time and pretty much broke even. The Schooner Bar piano player is nice to listen to but it gets crowded in the evenings. We saw two comedians, both were good. There was also a juggler/comedian which was better than it sounds. We skipped Saturday Night Fever because we saw it last time and didn't really enjoy it. The aerialist show was nice but not great. BUT. The Eagles tribute band was amazing! We really enjoyed it and the crowd was really into it. Daytime entertainment was mostly port shopping talks and port excursion talks. A couple sessions about the history or ecology of the ports would be a nice change.

Voom internet worked well and we had good service all over the ship.

Ship in general: A pretty ship, clean and well kept. We enjoyed sitting outside the pizza place on the promenade and people-watching.

Debarkation - Super smooth and easy. We walked straight through, less than 30 minutes from getting in line in the dining room to walking out of customs. Miles and miles better than Carnival's debarkation nightmare.

All in all we had a great time and loved the ship. Definitely will be back.
melissa84’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 6D 96xx
Clean, comfortable, plenty of room on the balcony. Quiet. We could sometimes hear music from the pool deck in the afternoons, but it was faint enough to be pleasant. No noise from neighbors or above/below. Occasionally could hear a bit of hall traffic but there were tons of kids on our cruise.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins