Liberty of the Sea - Pre-Christmas Cruise: Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review by akaCruiser

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Liberty of the Sea - Pre-Christmas Cruise

Sail Date: December 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Liberty of the Seas Dec 19 to 24

Dec 18 -- Day before the cruise
DW, DD's (ages 7 and 4) and I flew into Ft. Lauderdale on AC 938 @ 8:10 AM flight and arrived at around 11:35 AM. We were travelling with our family friends (DH, DW, and DS -- age 8 years old) who we cruised with five years previously. After contacting the hotel shuttle we then waited to be picked up and shortly after 12:40 arrived at the Marriott Spring Hill Suites that we stayed before three years ago when we sailed on the HAL Eurodam in Dec of 2008. While waiting for the room to be ready, we had lunch and after lunch we checked into the hotel and had a power nap before getting some take-out before calling it a day.

Dec 19 -- Day 1 -- Departure from Ft. Lauderdale
I got up at 7:30 AM to repack the luggage and we able to head down to the lobby to get a hot breakfast with the DD's. There we met up with our friends and the sister of our friend who was also going to the cruise (also a family of More three). After eating breakfast we then returned to the room to finishing packing and apply the cruise luggage tags before heading back to the lobby to wait for the Cruise Port shuttle to arrive for 10:30 AM. The shuttle arrived at around 10:40 AM and we arrived at the Cruise Port at around 11:15 AM. At the Port, the Island Princess was also docked (going to Panama).

We then dropped off the checked in luggage and proceed to the terminal to get screened and obtain our Sea Passes. We were done in a short period of time and were able to board the ship around 11:45 AM and proceeded up to Windjammers for lunch on Deck 11. We stayed until 1 PM, as an announcement was made that the cabins were ready and we all then went to Deck 7 to our cabins. All three cabins were on the Starboard side with ours being 7348 (very close to the back of rear bank of elevators and the Library) and our friends being 7376 and 7378, respectively.

After dropping off our carryon baggage we then walked around the ship and visited the Royal Promenade were the kids wanted to have ice cream and being that Ben and Jerry's was open, we order some. After the ice cream we then took the kids up to the Deck 12 for the Kid's club and registered them for the Kids program. At around 3:30 PM we returned to the cabin to prepare to the emergency drill that was scheduled for 4 PM. After the drill was completed at 4:20 PM, we then when back to the cabin and then up to Deck 14 in the Viking Lounge to have the informal Meet and Greet with the Cruise Critic members.
After the M&G, Liberty began to move away from the pier at around 4:35 PM and when returned back to the cabin we saw that two of the three checked luggage arrived to the cabin allowing us to start unpacking and at around 5:30 PM we went to the Library to watch the parade. After watching 15 minutes we returned to the cabin and met with the Cabin Steward -- Anthony Scott after which we then go ready to go to dinner for 6 PM.

Dinner was done around 8 PM and our Waiter staff was Parmod and Carlos. Meal was uneventful and the three older kids went to the Kids program at around 7:35 PM. After walking around the ship we then picked up the older DD at around 9 PM and returned back to the cabin to call it a night.

Dec 20 -- Day 2 -- At Sea
We woke up early to attend the 8 AM Character Dinning on Deck 3 Main Dining Room. We pre-booked prior to the cruise and as we entered into the Dining room they actually scanned our Sea Passes to confirm the booking. At the table, they already had a plate of chocolate baked goods and the menu consisted of various chocolate themed breakfast eats. During the one hour event, three characters appeared from the Madagascar movie, the Lion (Alex), animal with black and white stripped tail, and the Hippo (Gloria) at 15 minute intervals. Each character went from table to table for pictures, hugs and stamped autographs (by the accompanying helper). You could either order off the menu or get your breakfast from the buffet located at the center of the dining room.

After the breakfast, we returned to the cabin to wear some socks as we decided to go to the Rock Climbing wall. At around 9:30 AM we went up to Deck 13 and signed in for the rock climbing (we already completed the waiver form online prior to boarding) and was issued a pair of climbing shoes, after which we then were assisted into a harness and fitted with a helmet. Both older DD and I tried the rock climbing wall and both were successful in ringing the bell at the top. DD being full of energy then tried a second time but only succeeded in getting 2/3 of the way before stopping as her arms were getting tired. After doing the wall, older DD wanted to head back to the kids club. We then dropped off the DD and returned back to the cabin for a break. At around 11:45 AM, I picked up DD from the kid's club as our friends were at the splash pad and both DD's wanted to join them before going to lunch. After quickly changing into their swimsuits we then headed to Deck 11 and the DD's proceed to the splash pad, but only for a brief time as it was very windy and thereby making the water cold. Older DD decided to stay in the hot tub, while younger DD stayed with DW. While waiting for DD to get out of the hot tub, I got some soft yogurt ice cream and give one to younger DD. At around 12:20 PM, we returned back to the cabin to change and went back to Deck 11 to Windjammers for lunch.

After lunch we then returned to the cabin to stay until 2:30 PM as we had booked the 3 PM ice show located on Deck 3. We enjoyed the 50 minute ice show and after which got back to the cabin to get ready for the dinner as it was formal night and we wanted to be ready in order to have some time to get some photos done. Prior to leaving the cabin, a maintenance guy came by to exchange the bar fridge as it was not working. We completed the photo session just in time to then head into the dining room right at 6 PM. After dinner I was talking with Parmod and found out that he has been working for four years with RCCL and only on the Liberty.

Right after dinner I then return back to the cabin to change prior to attending our first show starting at 9 PM in the Theater on Deck 4, but only found a Rabbit towel animal was sitting on the bed and both DW and DD's not to be seen. I then returned to Windjammers and was able to locate them. It was not pleasant as we had to cross through the Casio and there was a lot of smoke smell lingering. All four of us initially went to the Theater, but only older DD and I stayed for the duration of the show. The show featured a lot of acrobatics and made use of many ropes that the performers would hang off of or be swing from while being pulled to the top of the theater.

After the show older, DD and I returned to the cabin and we called it a night as tomorrow we are going to the private island for a day at the beach.

Dec 21 -- Day 3 -- Labadee, Haiti
Room service arrived around 7:35 AM with our breakfast. By the time we finished eating, got dressed and applied sun screen it was already 9:10 AM. I then went to Deck 11 to sign out some beach towels (limit of two per Sea Pass) and proceed to Deck 1 to meet up with the rest of the family before passing through security and exiting off the ship and onto Labadee. It has been over eight years since being on Labadee and there is now a pier that the ship can dock. Previously we would need to tender off the ship to go to the island. It took us around seven minutes to walk from the pier to the main area were we hopped onto a tram that took us to Barefoot Beach (the other side of island -- the old beach area). We then spent the next couple of hours playing and swimming before drying off and boarding the tram to return back to the Dragon's Cafe for lunch. After lunch we then walked back to the pier to board back onto the ship at around 1:05 PM. The family then returned back to the cabin for a quick shower and a change of clothing.

At around 1:50 PM, I took younger DD with me to watch a movie at the main theater on Deck 4, but she didn't enjoy it, so we left the movie and headed up to Deck 11 for some soft ice cream were we spotted our friends who were at the splash pad. After catching up on their morning activities DD and I then returned to the cabin to find that DW and older DD were at the balcony enjoying the weather and doing some reading. We all then changed in order to do some ice skating which was suppose of start as of 3:30 PM. A line up already began prior to the 3:30 PM time and as the result we were unable to go until the next session that started at 4:15 PM. All four of us had a chance to do a few laps around the rink before call it quits. We then returned to the cabin to change for dinner and went to Deck 5 to see what the stores were selling as a sale be going to be held starting at 5:30 PM. After a quick walk around, we went to the dining room shortly after 6 PM to have dinner.

During dinner younger DD fell asleep and when dinner was done we then took her to the cabin and put her into bed. Tonight's towel animal was a Snake and the luggage departure tags were provided. I then took older DD to the 9 PM show. The show was called Revolution -- A tribute to the Beatles band. DD enjoyed the music and when it was over we then returned back to the cabin as it was already past 10 PM and DD was tired. Before the beginning of the show, the Cruise Director presented some interesting facts on the number of passengers and from which country. The 4100+ passengers were from 64 countries and the breakdown of the passengers were Canadians around 140+; Mexicans around 190+ and the US 3,300+

Dec 22 -- Day 4 -- Falmouth, Jamaica
We decided to not join any excursions, while our friends choose to go to Duns River Falls. As younger DD woke up early, I took her to Windjammers for breakfast, were we caught up with our friends who were just finishing their breakfasts and was waiting for the ship to dock and clear customs. It wasn't until 9:20 AM did an announcement was broadcasted that the gangway was now open. After finishing our breakfast, we then returned back to the cabin to take DW and the other DD to breakfast. After breakfast was done, the two DD's wanted to swim in the pool and we then returned back to the cabin to change before going back to Deck 11 to the pools. Meanwhile I had a chance to talk with Anthony (the Cabin Steward) and found out that he has been working with RCCL for more than 24 years and today, his family was going to visit him at Falmouth during his four hour break while at port. We stayed at the pools until noon time and returned back to the cabin for a quick shower and then back to Windjammers for lunch.

After lunch, older DD wanted to attend the kid's program and as such we then dropped her off around 2:05 PM. We then took younger DD off the ship did a quick tour of Falmouth shopping area. We entered in a couple of the stores to look at some watches, but in the end decided not to purchase anything and returned back to the ship at around 3:45 PM. After we returned back to the ship we then headed up to Deck 11 to get some soft ice cream for DD and around 4:45 PM, we picked up DD from the kid's program. By 4:40 PM, our friends had returned from their outing and booked to skate for 5:00 PM. By the time we arrived at the rink the next available time was 5:45 PM.

After the skate, we immediately went to the dining room for dinner. After dinner in talking with Parmod, we were informed that he is a newlywed of three months and that he and his wife are working together on the ship (she on Deck 3). They have their own cabin (standard practice for working married couples). We then returned to the cabin, before going to Deck 4 to review the photos we took the previous two nights ago. In the room was a towel Monkey hanging on our curtain with my wife's swimming goggles on the Monkey. After selecting the four best pictures (and using our Gold Member coupons), older DD and I then went to attend the show "Saturday Night Fever -- The Musical" in the Platinum Theater starting at 9:15 PM. After the show, I took DD back to the cabin and got her to sleep as the show didn't finish until was 10:50 PM.
Shortly after I headed up to Deck 11 around the pool area as there was a late night buffet and an all white pool party. I surveyed the food choices, pick up a sampling and returned back to the cabin to try it before calling it a day.

Dec 23 -- Day Five -- At Sea
The family got up and attended the second character breakfast and arrived at Deck 3 Main Dining Room at around 8:10 AM. Our friends decided not to attend and as the result at our table a new family of four from Chicago sat at our table. This time the three characters at the breakfast was Shrek, Puss n' Boots, and Princess Fiona.

After breakfast I then went to Deck 5 to drop off my form to bill the tips to the ship board account and to purchase some $10 T-shirts for myself, the kids and the Niece and Nephew. DW also picked up a zip up jacket for $10 (regularly $68). We then walked around the promenade to see what else was on sale. After checking out the shops and finding nothing to purchase, we then returned back to the cabin to gather and return the books that we borrowed from the ship's Library which was located on Deck 7 and only a short distance from our cabin. After dropping off the books, we then went up to Deck 13 to play a round of mini golf and after seven holes decided to quit as it was very hot and sunny. We then headed back down to Deck 11 to Windjammers for lunch. After lunch we then returned back to the cabin and our friends knocked at our cabin shortly after to notify us that they changed their departure luggage tags to a later time as we are not flying out tomorrow and needed to catch the rental shuttle.

After getting the new tags from Guest Services on Deck 5 we began the process of repacking our clothes. DW gave the kids a bath before dinner as I started to sort and pack the luggage. At 5:50 PM, Anthony knocked on the door to provide us the tips vouchers and my next cruise confirmation letters. By the time 6 PM, the majority of the packing was done and we went to Deck 4 for our last dinner on the ship. After dinner, we returned to the cabin to finish off the packing and at around 8:35 PM, older DD and I then left to attend the 9 PM Farewell Show. At finished around 10 PM and we then returned back to the cabin in order for DD to change and go to sleep. I then completed the packing and labeled the luggage, before putting them out for pick-up.
I then call it a night and set the alarm to go off for 7:30 AM, as I will be getting some breakfast before getting off the ship.

Dec 24 -- Day 6 -- Ft. Lauderdale
I woke up and got ready for breakfast thinking that the alarm was for 7:30 AM, but to my surprise, I found out that I was actually early by an hour. I then went back to bed and got up again around an hour later. After DW got ready we then woke up the DD's and contacted our friends to head up to Windjammers a little after 8:15 AM. We then continued with our breakfast and finished at around 9 AM and went down to Deck 4 MDR to wait for our number to disembark from the ship. We were notified at around 10:15 AM and we all left the MDR to Deck 1.

After a 15 minute wait as the card scanner was malfunctioning, we were allowed to disembark from the ship and preceded to head into the terminal to pick up the luggage and pass though US customs and immigration. The line to the luggage area was very long and it took almost 20 minutes before we reached the luggage area and another 15 minutes before getting to the customs officer. The Cruise Port was very busy as there were seven ships in total -- Oasis of the Seas, a couple of Carnival (Freedom), a couple of Princess' ships, HAL Eurodam, along with Liberty.

We then need to wait for the Car Rental shuttle to pick us up. It was past 1:15 PM, before we were able to pick up the rental and proceed to the Vacation resort to continue with our second part of trip before returning back to Toronto on Dec 31 via AC 919. Less

Published 02/03/12

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