20th anniversary trip on Liberty of the Seas: Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review by abseas

Liberty of the Seas 5
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20th anniversary trip on Liberty of the Seas

Sail Date: August 2010
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
My husband and I went to Jamaica on our honeymoon 20 years ago. For our anniversary, we wanted to climb the falls at Dunn's River with the kids this time, but also wanted to see other places so we decided on a cruise. This is our 3rd cruise, 2nd one with RCCL. Day 1 Embarkation: We were not looking forward to this as our last experience in LA last year was pretty frightful. Much to our surprise, it was totally painless. We had spent the week prior in the Tampa and Orlando area enjoying getting our roller coaster fix so we had a rental car that needed to be dropped off. By the way, be careful with renting a car if you need to return it to a different city than you rented it from. We had an internet receipt giving us a total price of $315.00 for a minivan for the week that clearly noted the pickup location as Orlando and the drop off at Miami, but when we got to the counter (at 12:30AM) we were told that we needed to pay $150.00 extra for a drop off fee. We were told that nothing could More be done about it at the pickup location and that we had to sign in agreement or cancel. Obviously, at 12:30 in the morning with 3 tired kids, cancelling was not an option so we signed for it knowing that we would have to battle it out in Miami. Luckily, we were able to get the charge dropped when we returned the car in Miami. Anyways, we spent the night at Embassy Suites by the airport because they had a free shuttle to the airport to return the car and we could take advantage of the free breakfast. It was a nice hotel and the breakfast was great as usual. We were able to arrange for a taxi pickup the night prior and for a family of 5 with a fair amount of luggage, it cost $25.00 to get to POM. We arrived to POM at 11:40AM and our luggage was quickly taken by the porter. There were a few short lines that moved very quickly and we were on the ship signing waivers for the FlowRider by 12:40PM...totally painless. If you are planning on using the FlowRider, I would suggest heading straight there to sign paperwork and get your wristbands as it got very busy very quickly.

We looked around the ship for a little while, grabbed lunch and shortly after 1:00pm, we were in our rooms. The ship was almost identical to the Mariner which we sailed on last year, but bigger and had the FlowRider. We had 2 staterooms: 7710 which is a balcony room at the very back looking out backwards and 7499 which is an inside room just down the hall. We really enjoyed the back balcony. The view is a little obstructed but we really liked it. The room attendants for both rooms were great (Wilburn and Joel). The muster drills do not involve wearing life jackets anymore which was a nice surprise so that was quick and easy and before we knew it, we were sailing away. We had a nice view of the very crowded South Beach as we were sailing away.

We had the 6:00PM dinner seating in the Rembrandt dining room. Our table was #341 near the windows. My family is very picky with food so it was sometimes difficult for them to find something that they liked, but overall the food was good. Genevive and Ansley were great. We really enjoyed their service and they really tried hard to make everyone happy. Of note here, on the last dinner we noticed that the dining room was emptier than usual. We found out that night that there are people who skip that night and do not leave tips at all for the staff. We were appalled at hearing this as the dining staff does not get paid otherwise and depend on those tips. They work constantly to assure that everyone has a great time, tipping them is really not an option in our opinion. Formal nights are Monday and Thursday with Thursday night being shrimp and lobster night. We ate at Chops one night, which was very good. It was surprising again to see that people ignore the dress suggestions and age requests with no kids under the age of 13 years. The patrons on this ship all seemed to make their own rules, which was disappointing.

Day 2 Sea Day: We spent some time by the pool area which was very crowded. Our 13 year old and 16 year old spend all day in the teen areas, FlowRider and a little by the pools. Our 9 year old hung out with us outside but did join the Adventure Club that evening which she enjoyed. She wouldn't go to the kids' clubs on our previous cruises so it was nice to see her enjoy them this time.

Days 3-6 Port Days which I'll review later. As far as shows went, we only went to the ice show and the Love and Marriage show. The ice show was great, as usual. The ice shows are Monday at 5:00PM, Wednesday at 7:00PM and Thursday at 5:00PM. The 1st 2 shows always fill up fast so you have to get in line early. We lined up at 6:20PM for the Wednesday show and they ended up turning people away because they were full. The Thursday show is always empty from what we hear. I would think that RCCL could come up with a better system so that everyone could be accommodated without standing in line for 30-40 minutes. The Love and Marriage show was entertaining and was held in a large room so plenty of people could attend.

Day 7 Sea Day...last day is always depressing. We just hung out. There were lots of activities and ice skating was open for most of the day.

Disembarkation: Not as smooth as embarkation but still not too bad. We were not in any hurry as we were just headed back the Embassy Suites and planning to spend the day looking around Miami. This was the only day that the weather got the best of us as it rained all day so we didn't do much.

Overall, we loved the the ship, the staff and the ports. We are sad that the Liberty is moving to Europe next year. Less

Published 08/11/10

Cabin review: D17710 Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony

7710 Aft balcony. This cabin in at the very back of the ship. The balcony was a decent size and had 2 lounge chairs, 2 regular chairs and a small table. It was great for just relaxing and a great place for drinking my morning coffee. There didn't seem to be a lot of storage space but we made it work. The closet elevator is a ways away but that's to be expected being at the very back and worth it. 7499 inside room. Typical inside stateroom with ample space for our 2 boys.

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Port and Shore Excursions

We booked the Xrail trip through RCCL as it was actually cheaper to go through the cruise ship than it was to go through the company itself. This was a sand rail trip through dirt and mud. It is 2 people to a sand rail so I drove with our 9 year old, my 16 year old drove with our 13 year old and my husband drove with someone else. They warned us that we would get very dirty but they didn't warn us that the mud would stain the clothes and be so hard to clean up. The trail was a blast. We rode out to a cave area with a swimming hole that houses many bats...pretty creepy yet kind of cool. The trail had many mud puddles which you can decide to go slowly and get less muddy or gun it and take your chances with the mud. Most of us gunned it and were covered in mud. Had I known that there were only 2 outside showers to clean off with and that the people ahead of us would spend 10 minutes each under the shower, I would have thought twice about getting so muddy. People had no consideration at all for all the people waiting to rinse off. As it was, my daughter and I barely got to rinse off and my sons had to fore-go the shower as they turned off the water when the buses arrived to take us back. Everything was covered in mud. I would recommend bringing clothes that you can throw away along with a old pair of flip flops that you can leave behind. The website said that you needed closed toe shoes but that turned out not to be the case. Your shoes really get trashed and it would be nice not to have to transport all your muddy stuff back. I loved the trail itself and driving the sand rail, but there just wasn't the ability to clean off that I would have liked. On the way back to the ship, we asked the driver to drop us off at a nice beach area which he did. I think the name of it was Paradise beach. It had outdoor showers, which we desperately needed, a nice beach restaurant and a nice beach area. We relaxed and had a few drinks and then caught a taxi back to the ship. The water was an amazing turquoise color and so warm. Overall nice place and fun excursion if there was just a better place to clean up. Don't forget your bug repellant if you decide on taking this tour as they are plentiful. The guides for the trip were great.

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We booked a private sail through Naughtical Charters. We booked the half day charter on a 45 ft sailboat. Our guide's name was Nick. We had our choice of what to do so we picked sailing out to the deep or original stingray area and the coral reef area. The sailing was beautiful and the water was amazing. It was a little intimadating at first to jump in the water with all the stingrays right there, but once we did, it was amazing. Nick played with them first and feed them. They would come right up to him and kiss him. Once we were all in, they all swam around us and with us. It was so incredible. Our next stop was the coral reef area (this is where my waterproof camera decided to die). There wasn't as many fish to look at as I expected the the coral was very cool. Overall, great excursion.

We booked a private tour through Mark Morris Tours with Courtney Taylor. At the port, we noticed that all the tours booked through the cruise line had priority and were all taken out to the buses right away, but the outside tours were all kept inside the gates waiting in the hot sun. We probably waited for about 45 minutes to an hour before we were called. We were a little disappointed and nervous at first because we were told that our tour would not be with Courtney Taylor himself, but with his assistant, Michelle. At first, I wasn't happy about it because I had done hours of research and looking online to find the best tour for us and I had booked well in advance. I think that Courtney ended up doing the large group tour and Michelle got our party of 5. Luckily, Michelle was wonderful and we had a great day. We had an air conditioned van with just our family. Our first stop was Dunn's River Falls. It has changed alot since we were there 20 years ago and much more commercialized but it was still fun. They take pictures all along but if you have a waterproof camera, I would definitely bring it. Our next stop was river rafting. The water was quite chilly but we had a great time. We rode on inner tubes with a 22 year old guide and his little 5 year old brother came along, who was adorable singing "You Are My Sunshine" as we floated along. There was one stop along the way for drinks and a deck to jump from with a little shopping. Michelle was promptly waiting for us at the end of the river and we were off to the Blue Hole. This ended up being our favorite with rock jumping, a rope swing and amazing water. Michelle was very mindful of the time and informed us when we needed to get going in order to grab lunch and get back to the ship on time. We did some quick shopping, grabbed some jerk chicken and we were back to the ship with no problem. Courtney called to speak to us to make sure that we had a good time and to make sure that everything was okay. Thanks Michelle. We had a great time.

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