Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review by Bishop64
- Sail Date: December 2011
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Large Oceanview Stateroom
We flew into Fort Lauderdale around noon and had to be on the Ship by 3 PM, which was not a problem at all. Instead of paying big bucks for Royal Caribbean Transfers ($29 a piece for the four of us would have been $116 round trip) we decided to take a local taxi. The trip is only about 2 to 3 miles; so including tips it was $20 to go to the port, and later $20 to go back to the airport. $40 round trip on a taxi is much better than $116 for RCCL transfers from my perspective.
Embarkation was a breeze. We were on the ship in 30 to 40 minutes max. (A year before, on our Carnival cruise this process was a "mad house" that took close to 2 hours to get on the ship.)
We were greeted with much hospitality and smiling faces as we boarded the ship and went straight to our rooms. My wife was impressed with the color scheme and cleanliness, while I was impressed with the large balcony and extremely comfortable beds. We freshened up a bit and went to lunch at Windjammer.
Windjammer is a nice buffet with a large variety of foods. We sat by the window and enjoyed both the food and the view. We still had a couple of hours before departure so we walked around the beautiful ship and got a bit acclimated.
I love the Royal Promenade on deck 5! It's like a mall on the ship! I also found a quaint little spot in the Viking Lounge on deck 14 with a marvelous view. We ended up sitting by the pool and waiting for departure. Once it was time for departure, we went to the very front off the ship to watch the maneuvering of that massive ship from its slip into the sea.
After cheers and celebrations we headed back to our room and were surprised to find our luggage had already arrived. (With Carnival, a year before, we didn't get our luggage until very late the first night.)
We headed for dinner at our 6 o'clock seating at table 353 in the Rembrandt Dining Hall. The food was always fabulous. The waiter and his assistant were good but not great. Several times he placed my son's food in front of me, and my order in front of my son, and we had to switch plates more than once. Also, on one night I ordered two appetizers, and they only brought my salad, but not my shrimp cocktail. I had to remind them of my shrimp cocktail and it was brought after my entree had arrived. Our 13-year old is a bit picky and didn't want anything on the menu, but he found out that he could also order chicken fingers, mac and cheese, and spaghetti, he was good to go. We ate in the Rembrandt our first two nights. On the third night we ate dinner at Windjammer, and on our fourth night we ate at Chops (which was outstanding and highly recommended!)
Most mornings for breakfast we ate at Windjammer and sat by the windows (it is a beautiful view and the variety of foods should please anyone.) One morning we did go to the Rembrandt Dining Hall for breakfast so we could get "table service" but our table was so close to other guests that we felt inhibited in our conversation and didn't particularly enjoy the experience enough to go back the next morning.
Each evening late, I would order room service, which arrived about 30 minutes after ordering. You can order by phone or by using the menu on the television. My boys thought the pizza was not all that great, but I really enjoyed the fruit plate and variety cheese plate, the cookies and beverages.
Sorento's Pizza is the best pizza on the Ship by far.
Seattle's Best has the best coffee on the Ship.
Johnny Rockets is good and well worth the $5 cover charge. We didn't buy the "Soft Drink Package" but we did order a coke at Johnny Rockets for and additional $2 and it is all you can drink, not $2 for each refill, which is nice.
Chops is well worth the money! One of the best filet mignon steaks I've ever eaten. Service is fabulous, the side dishes are nearly enough for two people and the deserts are huge!
The ice-skating show was outstanding! (Hold your reservation online early or you might not get a seat.) The skaters and jugglers were exceptional!
We also enjoyed Saturday Night Fever on our last evening (Get your reservation online before you sail, or very soon after getting on the ship!) The show lasts about 80 minutes with no intermission, but was very good!
The parade on deck 5 was really nice, but was only performed once, so make sure you know when it is available. Kids will really like it!
Tips for your Wait-staff and Room Attendant are not automatic. We decided to put cash in the envelopes provided on the last night. We gave our tip to the Room Attendant our last morning. We left the Wait-staff tips in the "tip box" near Guest Relations on deck 5.
Disembarkation was a breeze, especially compared to Carnival the year before (which was a nightmare).
My only complaint may be that the wait for the elevators can be very long at times and we ended up using the steps more times than not, which can be bit exhausting after a while.
Overall the cruise on Liberty of the Seas was outstanding and exceeded our expectations.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
CozumelThe Jeep/Snorkel Tour had been recommended to us by a friend that had been before, so we took their word for it and bought the same excursion. Once we got off the ship, we huddled with our Jeep group and signed a couple of waivers (be sure to bring your drivers license). Then we walked for about 10 minutes to the place where you can snorkel if you want to. Our group had probably 40 or more people altogether, and I'd say 30 of them snorkeled. Me, my wife, and our two kids did not attempt to snorkel, so we sat at a couple of tables and watched everyone else who did snorkel. For those who are new to snorkeling, you can stay in the shallow area while the others go out deeper, but once the group goes out deeper, those in the shallow area must remain in the shallow area. This part of the tour lasted about an hour.View All 1,055 Cozumel Cruise Port Reviews
When the snorkel portion of the tour was over, we walked across the street to pick up our jeep. Each jeep carried four people with one designated driver. (I think I did see one jeep with only two people, but if two more people had been on the tour, they would have all four been in the same jeep.) The jeeps are all standard transmission, and it had been ten or more years since I had driven a stick-shift; it took me a few minutes to get adjusted, but after that, I was fine.
Our first stop was at a place that included a small Mayan historical monument and some shops. The tour guide gave us a 10-minute talk on the historical value of the monument and then we had about 20 minutes to shop.
Afterwards, we drove on a road right beside the coastline and it is absolutely gorgeous; the water has the most beautiful greenish tint. Just outstanding views along the coast! Our first stop (after driving for maybe 20 minutes was at a beach. On one side of the road is a little shop, some restrooms/showers which are kind of primitive, and on the other side of the road is the beach. Since the tide was rough with rip currents, we only got in the water knee deep or waist deep. My wife just sat on the beach (bring your own pool towel from the ship) while me and our two boys enjoyed the surf. This portion lasted about 30 to 40 minutes. We changed into some dry clothes at the "showers" and returned to our jeeps.
Off to our next stop. All of the jeeps follow the leader, single file, jeep behind jeep, driving along the coastline again to the Tequila House. Once we parked the jeeps, we went on a little tour of how they make tequila. At the end of the tour you get to try some free samples (and of course, they want to sell you more of their fine product, and you can if you want to.) Not everyone on the tour choose to enjoy the samples, but instead sat at some nearby tables or browsed through the little shop.
Once we returned to our jeeps we headed off to our next stop which included lunch. (I need to mention that at any time we were required to drive through a town or a city, it was a little bit of a challenge to keep all of the jeeps in a single group without other drivers merging into our convoy; plus there were traffic lights that would catch the back of the convoy and separate us. However, every time we were separated, it was only for a few minutes because the head driver would pull over, allowing the entire jeep convoy to reunite.) The place we stopped for lunch had a nice pavilion which provided shade, there was a pool nearby, some hammocks, a volleyball net, and even a trampoline. The paper-plate lunch included some nacho chips with melted cheese, soft-shell tacos with strips of beef, bell pepper, and slithers of onion, and also some cheese quesadillas. At the front of the line the servers put the food on your plate and give it to you, then you go find a place to sit. The food was good, and you could go back for all you want to eat, some kind of fruit punch was provided with the meal. After eating we had about 20 minutes to sit and enjoy the surroundings.
We all returned to our jeeps and followed the leader back through town to the place where we originally picked up our jeeps (across from the snorkel spot). Once you get out of the jeep, you give a tip to the leader and head back to the ship. Note: the return trip to the ship is the same 10 minute walk you had that morning, but this time the Mexican tour guide is not with you; you find your way back to the ship by remembering the path you took earlier. It is best to stay with some folks in your group on this return trip to the ship.
When you arrive close to the ship, there are some shops for souvenirs, but we didn't have extra time, and had to go straight to the ship in order to not be late for our sail back to Fort Lauderdale.
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