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This is my first review on Cruise critic, but I have been on 8 cruises in my life. This is our 7th time with Royal Caribbean and second time on Liberty of the Seas. I am going to try to give you the most detailed and honest review I can. A little background... We are almost Emerald Status (will be after our Feb cruise) and are traveling as a family of 4. My wife, 5 year old son, and almost 2 year old daughter. We book 2 adjoining Ocean View Cabins ever since the kids were born. 1. I am terrified of them being on a balcony and 2. We like to have the extra space and extra bathroom. Embarkation: We live about an hour and 20 mins away in NE Houston. We left the house around 10am and got to the cruise port terminal at 11:20. Due to the young children (strollers) we have to wait in line and drop off our bags to a Porter rather than going immediately to park. Not that big of a deal as this day we were early enough that the traffic and line into the terminal only took about 5 mins. After I dropped off the bags, my wife and kids waited for me at the terminal. I went and parked the car solo in Lot B. It is $85 for the week. I then took a bus back over to the terminal and we all got in line to enter the building. This is where I started to get a little ticked off. We have been Platinum status on the past 2 cruises and were able to cut the giant line to go immediately to security. This is a perk of being Platinum or higher or being booked in any of the suites. Apparently this rule changed about 2 months ago. Now due to the nickel and dime “Key” program you now have to wait in the long line. Took an hour to get to security. Imagine how much fun that was for my 5 year old who had to pee and my 2 year old who can only sit still for so long. I was not happy about this change at all and I wonder where is the loyalty RCCL? Apparently you can just pay for status now. After getting on board, my wife and I immediately go to the nursery and kids club. Reason being, you need to fill out paperwork and get signed up for slots. At the nursery they only accept 4 slots for babies and 4 slots for toddlers (which I think was from 20-36 months). Luckily we were able to get all the time slots we needed since we got there early. (That’s insider info and if you are on our Feb cruise you better save us a slot!) :) Rooms were ready around 1pm ish and we went down to drop off backpacks and start getting ready for dinner. Our Room Steward (Ian Lewis) was phenomenal. Best one I’ve had on any cruise. He grabbed all our bags and had them waiting for us by the door so we could start getting ready for our 5:30pm dinner time. Everyday Ian made sure a bucket of ice was there in the morning and evening. (We drink a lot of water). I recommend bringing a hydro flask or 30oz yeti cup to keep filled on your nightstand at all times. Ian was great with the kids and made them towel animals every night. Our room was always spotless. Much appreciated!!! Main Dining Room: Due to the age of our children we typically don’t do any of the specialty restaurants. (You are welcome, haha) Instead, 1 of the nights that nothing really stands out on the menu my wife and I will order a Filet from Chops in the MDR. It costs $20 each, but is well worth it in my opinion. I have celiac disease and as you can imagine it must be a huge pain to stay Gluten Free on the ship. RCCL is actually really good about identifying GF options in the MDR. They usually can have the chef prepare a particular meal you want in a GF version. Including cheesecake for dessert!! That being said, I still will warn you to be very careful in WindJammer (Buffet). I had a few episodes that I can only conclude must have been from cross contamination. On the first night I told our Assistant and Head waiter of my allergy. Took a few days, but by day 4 they had the GF bread waiting for me at the table every night. Much appreciated! My suggestion (which I’ve done in the past), is let the Matre D know about your allergies on the first night. They will make sure everything is perfect. The AW and HW are always over-worked and stressed with the amount of tables they have. It didn’t used to be this way, but clearly another cost saving tactic by RCCL. MDR food has definitely deteriorated over the year’s and esp since last year. Salad was soggy or didn’t have enough dressing. Food over or under-cooked. These are things that you must have patience for as they are trying to feed 3300+ people. That being said, it seemed like every night we were asking for a new steak, or extra dressing. Kind of disappointing. Overall I would rate the food a 7 out of 10 stars. At least they had escargot for my wife, her favorite! Kids Club: 10 out of 10 stars!!! The reason my wife and I love cruising so much is the kids clubs. We spend the day as a family of 4 at the pool or walking the ports or on excursions. Then after dinner we drop the kids off from 8pm-12am (or somewhere in there). That way my wife and I get 7 date nights in a row!!! Unheard of right! The nursery staff was excellent. They loved our daughter and she loved them. We would get her in her PJ’s and take her up at 8pm. She would typically play for an hour or less and then make it quite clear she was ready for bed. They would either rock her to sleep in her stroller or put her in one of the cribs. We would pick her up by midnight and take her back to the room. She never woke up. It was great! Their cost is $6/hr during the day and $8/hr after 6pm. Well worth it! PS tips are appreciated! My son is in Adventure Ocean, which is 3-5 year olds. They have a Max capacity, but I want to say it’s in the high 20’s-30’s depending on the amount of staff they have at that particular time slot. It was never an issue for us and he loved going there! After 10pm they charge $7 an hour. Always keep them busy with crafts, games, coloring etc. My son couldn’t wait to show us what he made that day. He usually would fall asleep on one of the pads or benches around 10pm, then I would carry him back to the room when we picked him up. PS his normal bed time at home is 7pm, but hey, it’s his vacation too! Windjammer: We would go to the windjammer for Breakfast and lunch just about everyday. Food wise I would give it a 7 out of 10. Lots of options. I liked how now you order an omelette and they deliver it to your table via a number vs the old way of standing around in a huge crowd waiting for your number to be called. That being said, some days it took 15-20 mins to get delivered. Lunch I thought was better than Breakfast food wise. Everyday I would ask for GF bread which they keep behind the counter and make a sandwich and a salad. My wife and kids always had something different and liked the options. Pool: The kids splash park area is awesome. 2’ deep pool with a waterfall, 2 kids water slides, bunch of splash pad type fountains. My son loved it and wanted to be there all day. Here is the problem. Our almost 2 year old... They don’t allow children in water diapers into the main splash pad area or pools, which I get, for sanitary reasons. The thing is she didn’t want to be contained in the VERY small diaper area. She wanted to run and play with her brother. The thing I find annoying about this is kids pee in the pool all the time, so what’s the difference if she pees in her diaper? Maybe it’s just me... Multiple days my wife and I had to take shifts and keep them separated, until she threw a fit and then we would have to take her out of the pool area all together. Usually full blown tantrum. On 2 separate occasions we were able to get her into the nursery around her nap time so we could spend tantrum free time with our son. The lifeguards watch like hawks so good luck trying to sneak your diaper kids into the splash park. That’s all I’m going to say about that... The “big” adult pools are fine and always crowded as expected. We never had an issue finding a couple of lounge chairs, but I did see some people circling for a while. Expect 30 min waits for the bigger slides in the back of the ship and I have no clue about flow rider, but I know it had a long wait too. Drink Package: Highly recommend it. My wife and I RARELY drink at home. I’m talking a glass of wine every 2-3 months. That being said, there is something about being on a cruise ship that makes us want to indulge like college kids at our first Frat party! Haha jk, but we do like to try different things and that’s the beauty of the drink package. If you order a drink you don’t like you pour it out and order something else. We would have at least 1 sometimes 4 drinks at the pool during the day, a pre-dinner cocktail, wine at dinner, post drop off the kids at the club (celebration drink), maybe a drink at the show, and a few after that at various bars. When you add that all up you save a ton of money compared to the $12 per drink they charge you. Here’s the kicker, water bottles (huge)!, High end coffee’s, fresh squeezed juice, sodas. (All included) Even though we rarely drink soda unless it’s mixed in our cocktail, it’s highly worth it to get the package. When I did the math I think it was 5.5 drinks a day. We did that in water bottles alone. If you are on the fence, I recommend getting it when they do their 30% off sale emails they send out every other day. Shows: Apparently same shows as the past 5 years. We rarely go to them since we’ve been there done that, but we always enjoy the “Love and Marriage” show. It was pretty good on this cruise too. Ports: Cozumel: We’ve been here half a dozen times. This was the only port we did an excursion. It was the Deluxe Beach Break at Playa Mia. 9 out of 10 stars. The kids loved the water park (guess what? Water diapers are allowed)!!! We loved the bigger water slides, 10X faster and more fun than the ones on the ship. There is a coarse sand beach to lay out on, snorkeling ($13 to rent the gear), an inflatable water park in the ocean for the bigger kids. They all loved it by the way! Lunch was pretty good, my only gripe was that the “well” alcohol gives me a headache so I only had 1. You can buy the higher shelf stuff for $6 a piece, which I didn’t mind at all. We had a great time and will be going back there again in February. Grand Caymen: We took the kids via tender around 1pm to shore to do some shopping. My 5 year old fell asleep in his stroller on the way over and woke up on the way back, so he never got to actually “see” the island haha. We stuck around for about an hour or 2 and came back. Bought some overpriced plastic crap that will break in a week, but hey the kids were happy! PS this is why we always take 2 umbrella strollers. Even at 5 years old you never know when a kid is gonna be wore out from the sun and need a nap. That way the rest of us can press on! You’re welcome! Falmouth: Did the same as above, walked around and dealt with a 2 year old who threw tantrums when Daddy said “No” at almost every store. They each got 1 thing, I’m not that mean of Father... Piece of advice, stay in the main shopping area that is fenced in. If you make the mistake (Like we did) of going outside of the port area you will quickly become hassled for everything from weed, taxi tours, beggars, you name it we saw it. After 5 mins of realizing we made a big mistake we went back into the gated shopping area. Phew... Disembarkation: Wasn’t bad, but a longer wait than we had experienced in the past. I’d guess about an hour from ship to car. Maybe we just had a bad time slot? Who knows. If you have an early flight definitely do the self help. We don’t have that option as 3 suitcases, 2 strollers, a pack and play, and garment bag would be too much to handle. Oh ya and the kids too! Haha So, we are booked on this ship again in February. Since it’s 100X better than Enchantment and the only good option out of Galveston right now. Don’t even look at Vision. I am hoping some improvements will be made, but my wife and I have figured out what works best for us. Hoping round 3 will be just as smooth and more fun! Hope this review helped. Happy Sailing!

Family Friendly Ship!

Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review by Crazycruiser2

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This is my first review on Cruise critic, but I have been on 8 cruises in my life. This is our 7th time with Royal Caribbean and second time on Liberty of the Seas. I am going to try to give you the most detailed and honest review I can.

A little background... We are almost Emerald Status (will be after our Feb cruise) and are traveling as a family of 4. My wife, 5 year old son, and almost 2 year old daughter. We book 2 adjoining Ocean View Cabins ever since the kids were born. 1. I am terrified of them being on a balcony and 2. We like to have the extra space and extra bathroom.

Embarkation:

We live about an hour and 20 mins away in NE Houston. We left the house around 10am and got to the cruise port terminal at 11:20. Due to the young children (strollers) we have to wait in line and drop off our bags to a Porter rather than going immediately to park. Not that big of a deal as this day we were early enough that the traffic and line into the terminal only took about 5 mins. After I dropped off the bags, my wife and kids waited for me at the terminal. I went and parked the car solo in Lot B. It is $85 for the week. I then took a bus back over to the terminal and we all got in line to enter the building. This is where I started to get a little ticked off. We have been Platinum status on the past 2 cruises and were able to cut the giant line to go immediately to security. This is a perk of being Platinum or higher or being booked in any of the suites. Apparently this rule changed about 2 months ago. Now due to the nickel and dime “Key” program you now have to wait in the long line. Took an hour to get to security. Imagine how much fun that was for my 5 year old who had to pee and my 2 year old who can only sit still for so long. I was not happy about this change at all and I wonder where is the loyalty RCCL? Apparently you can just pay for status now.

After getting on board, my wife and I immediately go to the nursery and kids club. Reason being, you need to fill out paperwork and get signed up for slots. At the nursery they only accept 4 slots for babies and 4 slots for toddlers (which I think was from 20-36 months). Luckily we were able to get all the time slots we needed since we got there early. (That’s insider info and if you are on our Feb cruise you better save us a slot!) :)

Rooms were ready around 1pm ish and we went down to drop off backpacks and start getting ready for dinner.

Our Room Steward (Ian Lewis) was phenomenal. Best one I’ve had on any cruise. He grabbed all our bags and had them waiting for us by the door so we could start getting ready for our 5:30pm dinner time. Everyday Ian made sure a bucket of ice was there in the morning and evening. (We drink a lot of water). I recommend bringing a hydro flask or 30oz yeti cup to keep filled on your nightstand at all times. Ian was great with the kids and made them towel animals every night. Our room was always spotless. Much appreciated!!!

Main Dining Room:

Due to the age of our children we typically don’t do any of the specialty restaurants. (You are welcome, haha) Instead, 1 of the nights that nothing really stands out on the menu my wife and I will order a Filet from Chops in the MDR. It costs $20 each, but is well worth it in my opinion. I have celiac disease and as you can imagine it must be a huge pain to stay Gluten Free on the ship. RCCL is actually really good about identifying GF options in the MDR. They usually can have the chef prepare a particular meal you want in a GF version. Including cheesecake for dessert!! That being said, I still will warn you to be very careful in WindJammer (Buffet). I had a few episodes that I can only conclude must have been from cross contamination. On the first night I told our Assistant and Head waiter of my allergy. Took a few days, but by day 4 they had the GF bread waiting for me at the table every night. Much appreciated! My suggestion (which I’ve done in the past), is let the Matre D know about your allergies on the first night. They will make sure everything is perfect. The AW and HW are always over-worked and stressed with the amount of tables they have. It didn’t used to be this way, but clearly another cost saving tactic by RCCL. MDR food has definitely deteriorated over the year’s and esp since last year. Salad was soggy or didn’t have enough dressing. Food over or under-cooked. These are things that you must have patience for as they are trying to feed 3300+ people. That being said, it seemed like every night we were asking for a new steak, or extra dressing. Kind of disappointing. Overall I would rate the food a 7 out of 10 stars. At least they had escargot for my wife, her favorite!

Kids Club:

10 out of 10 stars!!! The reason my wife and I love cruising so much is the kids clubs. We spend the day as a family of 4 at the pool or walking the ports or on excursions. Then after dinner we drop the kids off from 8pm-12am (or somewhere in there). That way my wife and I get 7 date nights in a row!!! Unheard of right!

The nursery staff was excellent. They loved our daughter and she loved them. We would get her in her PJ’s and take her up at 8pm. She would typically play for an hour or less and then make it quite clear she was ready for bed. They would either rock her to sleep in her stroller or put her in one of the cribs. We would pick her up by midnight and take her back to the room. She never woke up. It was great! Their cost is $6/hr during the day and $8/hr after 6pm. Well worth it! PS tips are appreciated!

My son is in Adventure Ocean, which is 3-5 year olds. They have a Max capacity, but I want to say it’s in the high 20’s-30’s depending on the amount of staff they have at that particular time slot. It was never an issue for us and he loved going there! After 10pm they charge $7 an hour. Always keep them busy with crafts, games, coloring etc. My son couldn’t wait to show us what he made that day. He usually would fall asleep on one of the pads or benches around 10pm, then I would carry him back to the room when we picked him up. PS his normal bed time at home is 7pm, but hey, it’s his vacation too!

Windjammer:

We would go to the windjammer for Breakfast and lunch just about everyday. Food wise I would give it a 7 out of 10. Lots of options. I liked how now you order an omelette and they deliver it to your table via a number vs the old way of standing around in a huge crowd waiting for your number to be called. That being said, some days it took 15-20 mins to get delivered.

Lunch I thought was better than Breakfast food wise. Everyday I would ask for GF bread which they keep behind the counter and make a sandwich and a salad. My wife and kids always had something different and liked the options.

Pool:

The kids splash park area is awesome. 2’ deep pool with a waterfall, 2 kids water slides, bunch of splash pad type fountains. My son loved it and wanted to be there all day. Here is the problem. Our almost 2 year old...

They don’t allow children in water diapers into the main splash pad area or pools, which I get, for sanitary reasons. The thing is she didn’t want to be contained in the VERY small diaper area. She wanted to run and play with her brother. The thing I find annoying about this is kids pee in the pool all the time, so what’s the difference if she pees in her diaper? Maybe it’s just me... Multiple days my wife and I had to take shifts and keep them separated, until she threw a fit and then we would have to take her out of the pool area all together. Usually full blown tantrum. On 2 separate occasions we were able to get her into the nursery around her nap time so we could spend tantrum free time with our son. The lifeguards watch like hawks so good luck trying to sneak your diaper kids into the splash park. That’s all I’m going to say about that...

The “big” adult pools are fine and always crowded as expected. We never had an issue finding a couple of lounge chairs, but I did see some people circling for a while. Expect 30 min waits for the bigger slides in the back of the ship and I have no clue about flow rider, but I know it had a long wait too.

Drink Package:

Highly recommend it. My wife and I RARELY drink at home. I’m talking a glass of wine every 2-3 months. That being said, there is something about being on a cruise ship that makes us want to indulge like college kids at our first Frat party! Haha jk, but we do like to try different things and that’s the beauty of the drink package. If you order a drink you don’t like you pour it out and order something else. We would have at least 1 sometimes 4 drinks at the pool during the day, a pre-dinner cocktail, wine at dinner, post drop off the kids at the club (celebration drink), maybe a drink at the show, and a few after that at various bars. When you add that all up you save a ton of money compared to the $12 per drink they charge you. Here’s the kicker, water bottles (huge)!, High end coffee’s, fresh squeezed juice, sodas. (All included) Even though we rarely drink soda unless it’s mixed in our cocktail, it’s highly worth it to get the package. When I did the math I think it was 5.5 drinks a day. We did that in water bottles alone. If you are on the fence, I recommend getting it when they do their 30% off sale emails they send out every other day.

Shows:

Apparently same shows as the past 5 years. We rarely go to them since we’ve been there done that, but we always enjoy the “Love and Marriage” show. It was pretty good on this cruise too.

Ports:

Cozumel:

We’ve been here half a dozen times. This was the only port we did an excursion. It was the Deluxe Beach Break at Playa Mia. 9 out of 10 stars. The kids loved the water park (guess what? Water diapers are allowed)!!! We loved the bigger water slides, 10X faster and more fun than the ones on the ship. There is a coarse sand beach to lay out on, snorkeling ($13 to rent the gear), an inflatable water park in the ocean for the bigger kids. They all loved it by the way! Lunch was pretty good, my only gripe was that the “well” alcohol gives me a headache so I only had 1. You can buy the higher shelf stuff for $6 a piece, which I didn’t mind at all. We had a great time and will be going back there again in February.

Grand Caymen:

We took the kids via tender around 1pm to shore to do some shopping. My 5 year old fell asleep in his stroller on the way over and woke up on the way back, so he never got to actually “see” the island haha. We stuck around for about an hour or 2 and came back. Bought some overpriced plastic crap that will break in a week, but hey the kids were happy!

PS this is why we always take 2 umbrella strollers. Even at 5 years old you never know when a kid is gonna be wore out from the sun and need a nap. That way the rest of us can press on! You’re welcome!

Falmouth:

Did the same as above, walked around and dealt with a 2 year old who threw tantrums when Daddy said “No” at almost every store. They each got 1 thing, I’m not that mean of Father...

Piece of advice, stay in the main shopping area that is fenced in. If you make the mistake (Like we did) of going outside of the port area you will quickly become hassled for everything from weed, taxi tours, beggars, you name it we saw it. After 5 mins of realizing we made a big mistake we went back into the gated shopping area. Phew...

Disembarkation:

Wasn’t bad, but a longer wait than we had experienced in the past. I’d guess about an hour from ship to car. Maybe we just had a bad time slot? Who knows. If you have an early flight definitely do the self help. We don’t have that option as 3 suitcases, 2 strollers, a pack and play, and garment bag would be too much to handle. Oh ya and the kids too! Haha

So, we are booked on this ship again in February. Since it’s 100X better than Enchantment and the only good option out of Galveston right now. Don’t even look at Vision. I am hoping some improvements will be made, but my wife and I have figured out what works best for us. Hoping round 3 will be just as smooth and more fun! Hope this review helped. Happy Sailing!
Crazycruiser2’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Ages 3 to 6
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 3N 3320
See above
Deck 3 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins