233 Miami to Caribbean - Western Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Transfers I made the mistake of purchasing airport to cruise port transfers via Royal Caribbean before making my hotel reservations. It would have been much easier for me to use the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Hotel’s ... Read More
Transfers I made the mistake of purchasing airport to cruise port transfers via Royal Caribbean before making my hotel reservations. It would have been much easier for me to use the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Hotel’s shuttle service. In addition, the wait for the Royal Caribbean shuttle was far too lengthy. It would make much more sense if they had smaller vehicles that made more frequent trips, as opposed to waiting to fill a bus. Check-In It went very quickly and easily, but that’s because I have Gold status.The only negative is that the agent’s camera did not work, which caused a short discussion and a need to stop elsewhere before boarding. Baggage Delivery This was a nightmare. I checked in around 1:30. My bag did not arrive for about 5 hours. I had the early seating for dinner. When my bag had not arrived by 5:30, I got concerned. I was told to go down to the 2nd floor. My bag was not there. They told me to go back up to 5, across to the other side of the ship, then down to the 1st floor. Again, my bag was not there.I am amazed that bags are not scanned throughout the process. This could allow a customer to find out exactly where their bag is. I also could not believe that I had to walk all over the ship instead of having someone make a few phone calls on my behalf. It also makes no sense that there is no connection between the cabin on the customer’s baggage tag and which dinner seating they are reserved for. This would allow for prioritization of baggage delivery so that customers with early seating or early reservations at Chops or Portofino would be the first customers to receive their bags. I later complained at Guest Services and I was told that bag delivery can take until 8:00 pm. I do not recall seeing that in any documentation provided. Main Dining Room I checked in to be taken to my table on the first night. I was asked if I knew where my table was. I then found out it was because they did not know how to find a table. I was finally seated at my table. A table for 9, with 3 couples in their 70’s, me and 2 empty chairs. I am in my 50's and was traveling alone. I don’t know why I was not seated with single people, or at least more age appropriate people. Service was quite slow every dinner. I had to ask multiple times for a Diet Coke. The buildup to a very lame Shrek performing Gangnam Style was quite a worthless attempt at entertainment. The strip steak was tasteless and tough. All other food was good to excellent. Shows The Cruise Compass indicated that ‘In the Air’ would be the 2nd evening’s show but instead it was a Motown show. The show was excellent, as was ‘In the Air’ the following night. I just don’t understand how something like this gets miscommunicated.‘Saturday Night Fever’ was scheduled for the 5th night, even though the 70’s party was earlier in the cruise. The 2nd performance was not held for the early seating due to high waves. An announcement was made about the cancellation but very few people heard it. I would have assumed they could have performed a scaled-down version, even if meant just standing still singing. Return to Fort Lauderdale Airport I went to my “holding area”. The first couple of groups to disembark had already been announced and no new announcements were being made. The staff could not confirm if the transfer buses were ready and waiting. They had no idea if the assigned group was related to the time of the customer’s departing flights. Then all of the groups were cleared to leave the ship at one time. This just resulted in customer’s getting nervous about missing their flights, and longer lines going to baggage claim and through Customs. There was no signage and no personnel providing direction to the transfer buses. When I finally found a bus, I had to tell the driver 3 times that I was flying American, not America West (which merged years ago with US Airways). I waited a long time for the bus to leave and the bus was far from full. Again, just like on arrival, smaller vehicles should be used so they can depart more promptly and return for the next load of customers. The driver dropped off the customers at 2 spots. The 1st was a distance from terminal 1. The 2nd was between terminals 2 and 3. It would have been better to make a stop at each terminal, right at the terminal. Beverages I purchased the Premium Alcohol package. It would be a lot easier if there was more of a self-service way to get a bottle of beer. For example, scan your card, select your beer. Limit the use to every 30 minutes, so a customer does not get beers for multiple people. The same idea would be good with soft drinks. The bars seem to never have a supply of all of the beers. On the last night, at Schooner’s, I asked for Bud Light, Miller Light, Coors Light, Michelob Natural Light, before having to accept Amstel Light. How do you run out of all of these brands?   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We parked at Premier Parking USA, it was $67.00 for the week. When we arrived there was a line of about thirty people with luggage standing in the sun and there seemed to be no one in charge. However, within a few minutes three additional ... Read More
We parked at Premier Parking USA, it was $67.00 for the week. When we arrived there was a line of about thirty people with luggage standing in the sun and there seemed to be no one in charge. However, within a few minutes three additional vans pulled in and we were loaded and quickly arrived at the port. This company does like for you to get off the ship early when you return and they were a little slow on the pick up. We left one of our bags with valuables in the van and they did have it for us. We would use them again. We gave our bags to the porters and it took us no time at all to get onto the ship, the suites have priority embarkation and debarkation so no waiting in line at all. We went to our cabin 7268 on the empress deck. This cabin is very roomy, the bathroom is nice with a jacuzzi tub, nice dressing area and lots of room for clothes, etc. This cabin is located very near to the atrium and whenever anything is going on at the atrium bar you will hear it in this cabin, even with your TV on. We called on the second day and were told there were not any other cabins available in our category. The next day we were shown a balcony cabin on the 6Th floor, but declined to move, the space was more important to me than the noise. We got a phone call for the next several days asking about the noise... Yes we still hear it. Eventually they gave us a 15% discount off of our cruise and offered a 10% discount on future cruises if booked within the next year or so. I would recommend not booking this cabin or any cabin close to the atrium you will hear noise, sometimes very loud. We requested a large table but were placed at a table for four, we believe that with a larger table you have a better chance of finding table mates with common interests. Our dinner the first night in the main dining room felt very rushed, the servers did not wait for us to finish a sentence, they interrupted conversations every time they came to the table, the food was just OK. Breakfast we had in our stateroom every morning but two. Room service was good and was delivered within 20 minutes of ordering. Once we went to the main dining room for breakfast, our server was very nice, food was good, but service was unusually slow, coffee refills, ketchup that kind of stuff took a while. We ate at the lido one morning, I am not a big fan of the lido deck. The pizza near the aft pool was good. The Mongolian wok, was good, but the line took thirty minutes, maybe an efficiency expert could do something to fix this. This seemed to be popular so add one or two more guys cooking at peak times. We enjoyed the steakhouse, and ate there 5 of of seven night. The cabin is, was great as were all the servers, our food was always spot on and it was an enjoyable experience every night. We did do the "Chefs Table" one night and that was a fun experience, the food was all very good and it gave us a great look at the scale and complexity of the preparation going on in the kitchen. We were a group of 14 and after the kitchen tour which did include a cold and hot appetizer and some champagne we went to a private dining room for the remainder of the meal. We were served two different wines and I believe just one champagne, would have liked to see a little more wine pairing, but all in all would still recommend this. The thermostat in our room broke and it did take three days to get someone to fix it, not sure why, the cabin steward kept telling us engineering had been by, but don't know what they did the first few times. I was reluctant to call downstairs because of my complaining about the noise, and really feel awkward complaining, but if you have an issue do call I am pretty confident they want to make you happy. We did use a butter knife to keep the balcony door open one night and that warmed it up for us. If you don't have a ship excursion the tendering process can be slow, so just be prepared to be patient. We enjoyed the piano bar and tried to see a comedian one night, but there was standing room only, so if you are going get there early. We did enjoy the aft pool, the staff was vigilant in upholding the no children rule, but as usual lounge chairs are at a premium. They did have stickers in the morning that they would apply to empty chairs noting the time, this seemed to be a good idea. We got off the ship pretty quickly in Miami, but like the Miami airport the custom lines are long. Please note that unlike Ft. Lauderdale the porters do not have a separate line so no time advantage in getting one. We always enjoy cruising, I hope that I have been able to give some information that will be helpful. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
I just returned with my family on Liberty of the Seas from the 6-night Western Caribbean itinerary. It was a great trip and the ship and staff exceeded expectations across the board. My wife has cruised several times and I had been on ... Read More
I just returned with my family on Liberty of the Seas from the 6-night Western Caribbean itinerary. It was a great trip and the ship and staff exceeded expectations across the board. My wife has cruised several times and I had been on one other cruise but we (two daughters 3 & 8) have never taken a family cruise before and this was our first experience with RCCI. This turned into a long review but I wanted to return the favor to all of those who have posted detailed reviews in the past.First of all, many thanks to those who posted input, reviews, comments, and past cruise compasses that have been posted here - it made our trip all the better and I knew exactly what to expect. I am not an experienced cruiser but I do, however, love to research and plan meticulously with all of the resources available. Before setting foot on Liberty, I had a pretty good idea what to look for and what I wanted to do. We were cruising during peak spring break season so, as expected; there were a ton of other families with school-aged kids - infants, toddlers, grade school and high school. We certainly felt like we were in the right place and RCCI really does a nice job to appeal to all ages of cruisers.And now the good, the bad, the ugly...Honestly, there was no Ugly. There was certainly an overwhelming amount of Good, if not great, and, in my opinion, only a few items I would classify as Bad that I would love to see improved.Embarkation - Smooth as could be. We stayed in Miami the night before and arrived at the pier via taxi at 10:30 am. Once inside the terminal, our documents were checked and we were pointed up the stairs to await check-in. We were among the first in the terminal and we could see the front of a quickly growing line. We ended up waiting about 30 mins for check-in to start and once the line moved we were on board by 11:30. Because of our early arrival and boarding, we were literally among the first 40 people on board. Priority 1 for us was to go immediately to Guest Services to make babysitter reservations. Based on info I received from researching CC on this cruise we wanted to make sure we could get a sitter so my wife and I could enjoy some of the later-evening activities during the week. There was no one else in line at GS and we had our babysitter reservation requests within minutes and then headed up to the Windjammer for lunch. Once we fed at the proverbial trough that is the Windjammer, the crowds were starting to build so we set off to get the girls registered at Adventure Ocean (Kids Club). The bulk of the rest of the afternoon was spent exploring this floating wonderland, and getting settled in for the week to comeFood: I realize that food is the most "in your face" aspect of cruising and among the most hotly debated topics among cruise fans. My expectations were rather low after reading much of the feedback on declining food quality on RCCP. Generally speaking, we found the food and the overall dining experience to be wonderful. We used My Time Dining and our dinner reservation was linked with another family that made our total party as many as nine people (4 adults / 5 kids). Throughout the week were able to make reservations or walk up when we wanted as a group of 9 or even smaller parties of 2, 4, etc. We used the Main Dining Room for every dinner except one when we went to Portofinos (sans kids). Dinner in the MDR was typically good (food quality - good to excellent, selection - average to good, service - good to excellent). The meal never seemed slow or did we ever find ourselves waiting for the next course. The staff was very friendly. They got to know our names, including the kids, and they made our dinner feel like it was a meal in their own home. I was impressed and we were all very well taken care of. Dinner at Portofino's was also very nice - great food and a very diverse selection. It is a nice departure from the big main dining room and has an intimate, small restaurant feel - certainly worth the $20 up charge. The hardest part was deciding what to have. Typically when we are torn between dinner choices when cruising, one of us will order two entrees. In the MDR, this is a non-issue, however, in Portofino's an extra entrEe comes with a $10 additional charge - surprised, yes, deterred, no. The waiter also put a hard sell on a unique type of wine decanter that I had not seen before - I thought the approach was a bit tacky and pushy but, OK, I know RCCI is in the business to make money, just let me enjoy dinner without being shaken down to buy more stuff. That said, the meal was fantastic and was on par with any I have had at many other decent Italian restaurants around the states. Windjammer / Jade - there has been plenty posted about this and I have no new revelations. It is your typical buffet restaurant at sea. Plenty of options of varying quality and, at peak times, limited places to sit. While I understand there is probably no way to please everyone when trying to feed 3000+ people in an economical, efficient, and safe way, I found myself avoiding the WJ if I could. I can't go all negative on Windjammer, because the staff was great, very helpful in any way they could (finding seats, keeping tables clear, entertaining the kids, always good every time I was there). I think the bad rap that the WJ gets is less about the actual food but more about the people. A lot of hungry people trying to eat different things from different stations - Some areas with lines, some without, some people cutting and reaching in front of others, some grazing to find the perfect olive or piece of crispy bacon from a huge pan of food - Different styles, appetites, cultures, manners, speeds, and ages all trying to service the basic need to eat. Good news is with all of the other great options on the ship, the WJ is not the only game in town so you can find alternatives. We did the MDR for breakfast every morning and found it to be a nice quiet and low key place to start the day. We even did the Dreamworks character breakfast there on one morning my kids loved it. Good character time and photo opportunities. FYI - I found that you can actually make reservations for this online in advance, look under Specialty Dining for options under your online cruise planner. One tip - be there at or before the 8am start time. Arrive any later and they may give your reservation away - space is limited. My one complaint about dining is the wine selection for both the MDR and Portofino's. For a ship that size, I would have expected a more diverse wine selection in the dining rooms. While there was a nice mix of California wines, the selection of French and Italian wines was very limited. The same was true with only a few Australian wines and virtually nothing from Spain or South America. That said, the bottles we did have were very good and I found the bottle pricing to be quite reasonable. Cabin: We had an interior stateroom with a 2-pullman bed configuration to accommodate the four of us. Space is very efficiently used. Beds and bedding were surprisingly comfortable. The AC was silent and the room was mostly quiet to outside noise. The bathroom space is decent and the shower uses an efficient set of circular sliding doors Our cabin was on deck 7 near the aft elevators. I think decks 7,8,& 9 are great choices because they are essentially between the main areas on deck 11 and above (pool, windjammer, sports deck, health club/spa) and deck 5 and below (promenade, lounges, casino, theater) and can easily reach those areas via stairwell. Yes the elevators can be crowded and slow. Peak times seemed to be between 5-10pm when everyone was shuffling between afternoon and evening activities, meals, etc. Staying on decks 7-9 makes, for most people, taking the stairs a very easy alternative to get anywhere on the ship.Royal Promenade: The Promenade is the backbone of the ship. Truly like a main street in a small town. Bookended by The Promenade Cafe at one end and Sorrento's at the other, the Royal Promenade is really cool destination no matter the time of day. The Cafe is so nice and convenient - like a Starbucks, comfy, reasonably quiet, never seemed overly crowded and always something to satisfy from doughnuts and other breakfast treats in the morning to small, tasty sandwiches and cookies the rest of the day. Seattle's Best Coffee is among my faves, so this made it even better. At the other end, Sorrento's was a great go-to stop for a nice lunch alternative or a late-night pizza fix. The pizza was pretty good, especially when they had daily specials beyond the typical pepperoni and cheese options. I would highly recommend some great salad fixings - the olives and sundried tomatoes were fantastic and the ameretto cookies were a tasty treat. The atmosphere and theme here is a nice departure from the typical generic pizza options on most cruise ships. It was not uncommon to see a group of teens too young for the lounges who wanted to hang out with new friends to socialize over pizza and snacks - not unlike any other local pizza place back home. Other Promenade highlights were the Cupcake Cupboard and Ben and Jerry's - both very quaint and the sweet smells coming from each are irresistible. My daughters loved stopping into the Cupcake Cupboard each day to see the daily selection. While they had several of the same flavors every day, there were usually 2-3 daily specials that changed from day to day. Vintages and The Hoof and Claw Pub are also prominent spots on the promenade that I will discuss in the Bars/Lounges section. The promenade was also the location of the Captain's Reception, the Dreamworks Parade, some Adventure Ocean events (Circus and Pirate Parade) as well as the 70's disco party - All of which were very well done and seemed to easily accommodate anyone who wanted to attend. On the Formal Nights, it was nice to stroll as a family down and back on the promenade before and after dinner to enjoy the atmosphere and take in everyone else dressed up and showing off their finery. For most, an evening stroll is an experience that has been lost to busy family schedules and the migration to the suburbs, but it is nice to be able to do that on such a large cruise ship. We had our girls dressed in similar outfits and received many flattering comments on their appearance and behavior. Pool / H20 Zone: On our two at sea days, the pool deck was crowded but not impossible. On day 2, our first at sea day, it was extremely windy and probably cut the day by the pool short for many of us. While it was sunny and warm, it was very windy and hard to keep towels, hats, books, etc. from blowing away. Day 6, out second at sea day was nearly perfect and, as expected, the pool deck was packed. We were lucky enough to get a spot early because by 11, there were few, if any, open chairs. Yes there are chair hogs who put towels on chairs at some ungodly early hour expecting to hold that location while they are gone for hours at a time but I did see the deck patrol actively collecting towels from unattended chairs. On the days in port, the pool was virtually empty until later in the afternoon when many were returning from excursions. The deck staff is a great mix of waiters retrieving drink orders while others were clearing empty glasses and bottles. While the deck space is crowded with chairs it was rarely cluttered with garbage. The self-serve frozen yogurt bar was a popular spot and in the event of a spilled cone, the deck staff was on the spot with a mop to have that area clean in a matter of seconds - I was impressed. With all the bare feet and kids packed into crowded spots with glass and food I never saw any significant issues with food messes, broken glass, etc. The big-screen TV is a great addition but totally underutilized. Only once during the 6-night cruise did they offer a movie (Mama Mia, at midnight?!) and the rest of the time it showed landscape scenes, the same 20 trivia questions, and the same stream of music videos. Fortunately, our first day was also the regional finals for the NCAA men's basketball championships and they did show the games which was really cool. Pool, beer, sunshine, and sports - what's not to love? Adventure Ocean / Kids Club: We found this to be a great option for the kids. The facility is nice, clean, organized, and spacious and I found the staff to be very professional and great with the kids. Whenever we my girls went to the Kids Club, they enjoyed every minute of it and many times didn't want to leave. My oldest participated in the Adventure Ocean circus which is a cute show the kids do on the Promenade (simple costumes, face paint, and corny skits but they get to be in a show and the staff really make it fun). Both girls did the Pirate Parade (face paint, decorated bandannas) which they are led by the staff up and down the promenade singing clever pirate songs and dances - very cute for the 3 to 8 crowd and their respective parents. They typically only went to the kids club in the evenings and we never did the adventure ocean meal option so I can't comment on that. The Adventure Ocean is on the same deck as the Arcade. A decent variety of games, but VERY expensive - $0.75- $1.75 per play. Three air hockey tables but no foosball or I would have loved that old bubble hockey game - ok, I'm old school. Even Ms Pac Man was $0.75 (It is a 30 year old game, $ 0.75, Really?!) To play, you charge credits on a sea-pass card that can be pre-loaded on machines in the arcade. Bars / Lounges: There are plenty of options around the ship and I was lucky to visit just about all of them at least once. The Schooner bar and Boleros book-end deck 4 with the Casino in the middle. The Schooner was nice and comfortable and only really got busy late in the evening when the piano entertainment was going on. He was great by the way, very talented and did a nice job playing old favorites and getting the crowd to have some sing-along fun. It was also the location for daily trivia contests which we found to be a fun, cool escape from the hot sun during the day. Boleros was highlighted by Latin music and dancing. There was typically a lively band which attracted some great dancing in the evenings. The On Air Lounge on deck 3 is the sports bar location during the day and the karaoke bar at night. Many TV monitors with ESPN on during the day - rarely crowded, and plenty of spots to sit and watch sports. Within the On Air Club are these two very clever do it yourself CD / DVD karaoke booths that allow you to pick a song and make your own video singing it. The On Air lounge was also the location of Family Wii tournaments (bowling, etc.) which were fun to do on a big screen with a group of other passengers. Vintages on the Promenade is a very nice wine bar. The self service option is easy and convenient however the selection is a bit varied - some reasonably priced wines by the glass that you can purchase and serve yourself in 1, 3 or 5 oz servings. There were some very pricy options as well - Opus 1 for $120 per glass and a Lafite Bordeaux for $250 per glass?! Despite that, the atmosphere is nice. I attended an excellent Martini tasting / mixing class that was informative, engaging, and very tasty. There were usually different types of wine tastings each afternoon / evening that I did not attend but heard great things about. Hoof and Claw Pub on the Promenade has a great atmosphere and theming in the spirit of a British pub (dark, nice features in the woodwork and dEcor). My issues with the H&C are with the limited draft beer selection (only Murphy's Stout and Heineken). They have a nice selection of cans and bottles but nothing more exotic than Bass, Harp, or Boddington's This location seems to attract the smokers and has a reputation as being too smoky. It never bothered me but it also never got that crowded. The guitar entertainment was OK but it never seemed as fun or entertaining as musicians in so many Irish pubs I have visited in my travels. Connoisseur's Club - if you are a cigar smoker, this place is an oasis - I loved it - quiet, very comfortable and a good selection of cigars (sorry no Cuban's) and whiskey's / cordials / after dinner drinks. Soft club chairs, sofa's and plenty of places to sit and enjoy a cigar and chat with old friends and new acquaintances. While is it open as a cigar smoking room 24/7, the bar is only open from 8pm until late. It was never crowded and was well decorated with some nice atmospheric touches (nice ash trays, cigar aficionado magazines, informative menu / cigar information sheet, decent ventilation). The Catacombs - I was only there one night - typical cruise ship nightclub, good bar, decent DJ, plenty of dance and sitting space. It was not too dark as to not see anything and not too loud as to not be able to have a conversation. Olive or Twist (Viking Crown Lounge) - Great location, on deck 14 with a panoramic view above the ship and the pool deck. Quiet and comfortable during the day with good music options at night (DJ or even live music). They had some great jazz on the last night that I enjoyed very much. Good staff, attentive and a nice big bar with plenty of places to sit. Shows / Entertainment: I read many mixed reviews about "In the Air" and the "Encore" Ice show and had low expectations. WOW - Both shows were fantastic. We were really blown away by both. The talent of the featured performers in "In the Air" was truly amazing and I really liked the mix of music, visuals, and aerobatics in the show. I admit, I thought it started a bit weird but it really got going and I found myself enjoying it - great level of entertainment for a cruise ship. Encore, the Ice Show was amazing on so many levels. First, the size of the ice and being on a moving ship has to make it that much more difficult. We saw no falls, no slips, and only perfect execution. I enjoyed the theatrical theme and the Las Vegas, Rock n Roll Finish was very cool. The thought of an Ice Show on a ship in the middle of the ocean is just amazing. On the last night, the featured dance couple and featured male acrobat from "In the Air" each came back to do a bit in the Farewell show that was equally impressive. I was so glad we got to see that. I didn't see either the comedian or the juggler (guest headliner). There was another guest headliner who did a vegas-style variety show that I heard was fantastic but never got a chance to see. Activities / Events: My biggest accolades from our Liberty cruise are for Gordon, the Cruise Director, and his staff. They really put on some fun events that had appeal for the whole family. During the day, they were everywhere - From the daily trivia contests (Harry Potter, Sports, Places, 80s Music - great themes and the staff kept these little contests funny and fun) to family Wii events to the pool side activities (Belly Flop contest, line dance lessons), they had something for everyone. They were friendly, engaging, and very funny. The highlights that we enjoyed were the 70s Disco party on the promenade - the DJ was first rate and the Cruise Director and his Staff led the dancing / show dressing as familiar 70s music acts and leading the party - great fun. A few nights later was the 80's dance party where the staff dressed as various 80s music video icons and led the dance party from the stage at Studio B while also going into the crowd to welcome participation from all. Another fun event was the Dreamwork's Move it Move it Parade - a Disney-style theme park parade on a ship - just awesome. Great music, a lot of participants and plenty of space to get to see everything - the kids really loved it. We also did the open ice skating at Studio B one afternoon (it was only offered on two occasions - once for a Disco skating party on 70s night and again in the afternoon of our last at sea day). It was run by the cast of the Ice Show and it was cool to see them up close helping out by handing our skates and helmets for the skaters to use. They really are very talented and my daughter thought it was so cool to see them off the ice.My only issue with some of the activities were the late start times. Many events didn't start until after 10pm and some not until after 11 which made seeing and doing many of the more fun events prohibitive to those who are early risers or those who don't have babysittiing (my kids like to be up early and at the pool, breakfast, etc.)Casino - Very big with plenty of gaming variety - slots, video poker and plenty of table games with reasonable minimums / limits. There was always space to play and only the craps table ever seemed crowded. Dealers were usually very friendly and always asked about our day, what we did, what we should do the next day, etc. I actually found that level of engagement with all of the on board staff - very nice touch. They genuinely seemed interested in our experience and were quick to offer recommendations. The slots played tighter than anywhere I have ever been so don't expect to win there. Roulette was fun with many tables available also plenty of blackjack (both 8-deck shoe and single deck) with $6 minimum tables. 3 card poker as well (never played that game so I cannot comment). Sports Deck: My kids are a too young for Flowrider and the Climbing Wall but we did watch for a bit and it was very well run and cool to watch, especially the Flowrider - great fun to see those start and stand for a few seconds before wiping out. It definitely got cheers from the people watching. The mini-golf was very nice, never crowded and it had both normal sized putters and smaller ones for kids. A great way to have fun and enjoy the view from the top of the ship. There were usually games constantly going on the sports court (basketball , volleyball, dodgeball, etc.). A lot of adults and teens out there all day and night. They even had is set aside to be used by the Adventure Ocean kids on a few evenings. Shopping: Like food, shopping seems to be another "in your face" aspect to cruising. At least half of the Royal Promenade space is devoted to shopping - typically high-end merchandise (perfume, jewelry, activewear, formal clothing and accessories, and liquor - in a duty free forum). There is also a Royal Caribbean logo and ship-specific merchandise shop. In addition, there were usually daily sales on tables set up in the middle of the Promenade with one or more product types (watches, earrings, etc.) in a sidewalk sale-type promotion. Aside from the onboard stores, there were daily printed shopping guides and port maps, lectures, and on-board TV shows dedicated to pointing passengers to RCCI-approved vendors in each of the ports of call (Diamonds International, etc.). One flyer that was distributed with the Daily Cruise Compass packet for the day we were in Cozumel was issued like a warning. It advised passengers that it was "an imperative" for passengers to "allow a minimum of three hours" of time to explore the shopping opportunities Cozumel had to offer ( I am paraphrasing but they did use those terms). Our group found humor in extreme nature of the message and we all shared a laugh talking about it at breakfast that morning. Anyway, if duty-free shopping is your thing, you will love it.Ports of Call: My kids are a bit too young for adventure-type excursions and I could not get them interested in visiting Mayan ruins. They would rather go to the beach or hang out near the port to shop and get back to the pool on board or the kids club so I cannot comment on any of the excursions. Belize - The appeal of Belize is lost on me. I know the reef there is among the best in the Western Hemisphere but Belize City is rather modest and without doing an excursion, it is hard to justify more than an hour there. We didn't find anything unique or a particularly good value about the shopping and the food there near the pier was not very good. I did like the local Belikin beer and the chance to visit Belize but beyond that, this port didn't do much for me. Costa Maya - Costa Maya is a made-for cruise ships destination equipped with a user friendly shopping area at the pier with a big pool and swim up bar and a nearby small fishing village / beach and a variety of snorkeling /diving or Mayan ruin excursions. Again, nothing unique in the shopping beyond the typical Mexican-type souvenirs and the usual duty free and collection of jewelry stores. Cozumel - A lot of excursion options from beach to snorkeling / diving to adventures and Mayan ruins along with shopping and eating in some of the fun spots in downtown Cozumel. We like going into town and looking in the shops while enjoying some local flavor at Pancho's Backyard. For us it was a mostly a low key day allowing us to get back on the ship and enjoy the pool area without the crowds. Staff: Overall, the staff was fantastic. Everyone was very nice, courteous, helpful and seemed to enjoy their jobs. The Cruise Director and Activities staff were really first rate - fun, always on, and everywhere on the ship. Gordon and Marvin and their staff really made the onboard activities a lot of fun for all ages. I cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed everything.Babysitting: Or Lack of Babysitting - This was my major issue with our cruise. After being among the first on board and presumably among the first to make any type of Babysitter requests we were not able to get ANY of the five nights we requested babysitter for. We were told that it was first come / first served and there were none available. I practically lost it with Guest Services telling them I was one of the first people on board and went immediately to guest services with my request - no satisfaction. I thought this was completely unacceptable and it really prevented my wife and I from fully enjoying the later in the evening activities together. Our kids are not the late night types and we did not want to leave them awake in the Kids Club later than 10pm. The lack of available babysitter issue will be the one thing that will keep me from returning to a RC cruise with my family any time soon. It really was a disappointment. When we were asked if/when we would cruise again by one of the staff I was very clear that the Babysitter issue will keep my family from RCCI until my girls are old enough to not need their services. Overall, the Liberty of the Seas experience was fantastic and I would highly recommend to anyone, and despite the babysitter issue, we made the most of everything and we could. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Went on Liberty of the Seas Feb. 27th, 2011. We are in our early 50's and are traveling with another couple about the same age. We traveled by air and landed a day early on Saturday. We rented a car from Dollar and went to Scuba ... Read More
Went on Liberty of the Seas Feb. 27th, 2011. We are in our early 50's and are traveling with another couple about the same age. We traveled by air and landed a day early on Saturday. We rented a car from Dollar and went to Scuba Direct Diving Shop, and Ron Jon's at an outdoor Mall in Ft. Lauderdale. We also went out to a nice Mexican restaurant for dinner. We stayed at Hilton Garden Inn for a reasonable price in Miramar, FL. Excellent Hotel out of the busy city, but not too far. Ate a good breakfast the next morning (not knowing how long it would take to board ship) and turned in rental car at Dollar location at Miami Airport. Dollar has free shuttle to Port. This took minimal time and was extremely convenient. Arrived at the Port of Miami about 10:50AM; We were processed and on board in 30 minutes. It was very easy and very organized. We had paperwork already filled out for SeaPass card on line. Ship is beautiful. The only time it was crowded was at the Windjammer on Sunday while boarding. Everyone wanted lunch after boarding! We checked the Dining Room for our table location, then on to explore the ship. Rooms were ready to occupy by 1PM. Our luggage arrived by 2:30PM. Muster drill was at 4PM. It was very quick, and we were back in our rooms by 4:45PM. We watched the ship pull out of the harbor and went to dinner in the Dining Room. We had a window right by our table and enjoyed this so much. We were able to see such a great view each night at dinner. Our Waiter and Assistant Waiter were excellent. Food was good all nights and I thought it had improved slightly since our last cruise on Freedom 3 years ago. First day at Sea we worked out in the gym facilities. This is an excellent gym with great equipment. I walked the walking/running track outside. Since we were up early there were not too many people there, but it became more crowded later in the morning. The giant movie screen shows videos of beaches as you are walking on walking track. It was great! We ate breakfast in the Windjammer. This was quick and we had lots of choices. We then took two spots in the Solarium for adults only. It is deserted until about 10AM. We had pool and hot tubs to ourselves. It was a beautiful day with warm temperatures. I had really worried about temperatures being warm enough in late February but they were fine. It was in the low 80's. Formal night was very elegant. Lots of good picture backgrounds to choose from. Everyone was very excited to be dressing up! On both formal nights, they have good choices for pictures but these were not pushed on us at all. We did eat at Chops one night, sitting by a window. Amazing experience and one we will do again! After dinner shows each night were great and very good quality. We especially enjoyed the Comedian and "The Beatles". "In the Air" . The Ice Show was extremely good also. Liberty is supposed to have "Saturday Night Fever" as a Broadway Show starting in April which will be wonderful. One of the highlights for me was the Big Screen for Movies under the Stars. They had Secretariat playing one night and "Grease-Sing a long" another night. It was dark so hard to tell how many people were watching, but when the first song came on, there were about 400 people singing along. It sounded fantastic! I hope they continue to have this movie and others to sing along! Ports of Call: Belize-We had heard that Belize was an excellent place to dive. My husband is a Master Diver so we booked the 2 Tank Dive thru the ship. (there was very limited choices of diving excursions that were not affiliated thru the cruise ship for Belize.) Scheduled time for the excursion was to meet at Ship Dive Shop at 7:30AM. They did not leave Ship Dive Shop until 8:20AM. The tender boat picked all divers up at the ship then drove Tender the 30 minutes to their Dive Shop to pick up equipment and divide divers into groups. There was a Discover Scuba Group that went with a smaller boat. I rode along as a non diver and paid an additional $26 to do this. At their Dive Shop they had bathrooms, a small store with limited refreshments and a small restaurant. There was also a very small beach if I wanted to stay there. I opted to go with the dive group on the boat. We used the same boat tender to take Divers to the Dive site. This took an additional 30 minutes to get to the Dive site. Using this boat was unusual because equipment had to be moved around because of the seats, stairs to get on and off the boat, etc. There were refreshments of water, punch, watermelon and pineapple, chips and hot sauce provided. The divers were divided in 3 groups of 7 with one dive master each. I think that they were divided by their capabilities. My husband's group was the first group down. They had to put all equipment on, then climb stairs to get off the boat. This was very hard and cumbersome with all equipment on. Usually in a dive boat, there is a landing and an area to jump into water or sit and fall backwards to get into water. The dive group stayed down more than an hour and one person ran out of air and had to use the dive-master's supply for the last few minutes. My husband's air was under 500 and he has never cut it that close. The Dive Master did not check all divers' air supply or indicate that they needed to go to a safe zone before ascending to the top. The dive itself was good, but not great. They did see fish, and some saw a crab, but not anything like we have heard about Belize. While divers were in water, all air tanks, etc. were relocated by another worker and stacked for the next dive. After all groups were back up, the boat slowly moved to another location for the second dive. As it turns out, this was the same dive site, just a little further down. We just went in a circle. They saw the same things. Again, the air limit and dive time was pushed and all safety issues were not followed. No roll call was ever taken, and one person came up early. I am not sure if any dive master ever checked to make sure if this diver had gotten back to the boat. My husband was exhausted from climbing in and out of boat with all equipment and pushing dive time and air supply. He was questioning if he would dive the other two ports later in the week. After the last dive, we then took boat back to dive shop which took 30 minutes, then back to ship which took another 30 minutes. This excursion was 8 hours instead of the advertised six hours. There was a lot of down time, waiting time to readjust equipment of tanks, etc. We would not do this excursion again. Costa Maya-We booked a 2 Tank Dive Excursion for my husband thru www.cancun-discounts.com. I booked a non-dive excursion thru them to the Pez Quadro Beach Club for $26 for the day. This was for all refreshments, non-alcoholic. We took a $2 per person taxi ride to this beach. This was an excellent beach; not very crowded. There were plenty of chairs, tables, and umbrellas. I had a very peaceful and relaxing time. This beach club was the meeting place for my husband to come to for his dive before going out on the Dive Boat so he knew where I was going to be. He met with the Dive organizer and went on his dive. This was an excellent 2 Tank Dive. The Dive Master was excellent. They went to two very good locations and saw all kinds of sea life. Turtle, Angel Fish, Lobster, Lion Fish, Eel, Crab, Large Sponge, Coral, and much more than he saw on the Belize dives. This was much more relaxed, professional, and worth the money. My husband was not exhausted when finished, but pumped to come back again! We will definitely be going to Costa Maya again to dive and using this same Dive Master and Beach Excursion! Cozumel-Again, my husband took the 2 Tank Dive with the Ship. This was more organized and they left the ship at the appropriate time. It was a good dive and he got to see several things. After he came back from his dive at 1PM, we went shopping at the pier. Cozumel's prices were far better than Costa Maya. This was a big pier site. We also took a taxi for $13 to "Paradise Beach". (there is a posted chart for Taxi costs) This taxi ride was very scary. Drivers follow way too close and go very fast with no working seatbelts. Paradise Beach was nice, the pool very pretty but it was very crowded. They require you to rent 2 chairs and purchase at least $10 worth of refreshments/food. Again, rode the taxi back taking our lives into our hands. Disembarkment-We chose to carry our own bags off ship because our flight was at 10:40AM on Saturday morning. I had booked this flight because cruise line stated that we arrived at 6:00AM. Customs was quick. We were off the ship by 6:30AM and took a Taxi to the Miami Airport. This was $24.00 for the trip for two people. It was well worth not waiting for the Ship shuttle, but getting a ride quickly because of our early flight. We had plenty of time and able to grab a bite for breakfast at the airport. Overall, an excellent vacation. Our friends were first time RC Cruisers and really had a good time. We appreciate the quality of service and condition and activities of the ship. We will definitely cruise with RC again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
My husband and I previously sailed this 6-night itinerary on Independence, and we booked this cruise to see more of the Mayan ruins in the Yucatan. We have sailed many times on RC, but this was our first cruise on LOS. We flew into MIA ... Read More
My husband and I previously sailed this 6-night itinerary on Independence, and we booked this cruise to see more of the Mayan ruins in the Yucatan. We have sailed many times on RC, but this was our first cruise on LOS. We flew into MIA from California, and spent Friday night at the Downtown Miami Hilton. We were joined by some friends from the east coast and Canada, who we have cruised with many times before. Rather than wait for the hotel shuttle, we opted for a cab from the hotel to the pier -- and were on board by 11:00 am. The embarkation process went very smoothly. However, I really wish that RC would either let you drop your bags in the room upon boarding, or give you a place to check your bags until your room is ready. Everyone milling around with all their carry-on baggage for hours can get quite hectic. The ship itself was beautiful, very clean, and well maintained. We loved our E-1 aft balcony cabin, and our cabin steward was fantastic. We had been a little apprehensive about the addition of the Dreamworks characters, as well as the new pool-side movie screen. It was nice to discover that the movie screen was not blaring at all hours, and the new character cast was not at all intrusive. Our group of six decided to try My Time Dining, and we were pleased with the experience, overall. We were able to get the same table at the same time every night, and we had an outstanding wait staff. We did eat at Chops the last night of the cruise, and we had lunch at Johnny Rockets one day. We thought both venues were worth the added expense. The one recurring problem we had was getting anything approaching rare steak/prime rib in the MDR -- everything came out medium to well done. Even sending things back did not help. On the other hand, the desserts and pastries were some of the best I've ever had on an RC ship. We don't go to many shows, but we caught the Ice Show (Encore), and we managed to stay up late enough to attend The Quest -- both were very enjoyable. We found that the one drawback to MTD is that all of the evening activities are scheduled around early/late seating. We missed a few activities that we normally would have attended, such as the Captain's reception. On this cruise, we decided to stay on the ship the day we were in Belize. We spent a very enjoyable day in the Solarium, enjoying the cantilevered whirlpools. In Costa Maya, we took the RC combo ruins tour to Dzibanche and Kohunlich. It was a long day (8 hours) on a tour bus, but the ruins at both sites were amazing -- well worth the trip. In Cozumel, we took a cab to an all-inclusive beach (Ocean Resort), where we had a very relaxing day. We had great weather for the entire week. There was a little wind and "chop" on the two sea days, but no real problem. Considering the size of this ship, disembarkation went very smoothly. We were in a cab and on our way to the airport in no time. Our only real regret on this cruise was that we did not book it as a back-to-back. Six days was just not long enough! Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
We just returned from our family & friends cruise to Belize, Costa Maya, and Cozumel on Liberty of the Seas. There were 27 of us. It was great! We really enjoyed it. The ship was amazing, so many things to do, the staff is fantastic. ... Read More
We just returned from our family & friends cruise to Belize, Costa Maya, and Cozumel on Liberty of the Seas. There were 27 of us. It was great! We really enjoyed it. The ship was amazing, so many things to do, the staff is fantastic. I was sooo skeptical of a cruise especially traveling with a toddler (20 months). I researched everything, some answers I was looking for I did not find so I included my 2 cents. I do not recommend taking a child in diapers (see below) or if you want to spend lots of time with your family and friends a cruise may not be your best bet for a large group. On a day at sea you can hardly get chairs, let alone together. Low Down on Drinks Drinks $14, the specials of the day were $12 (Margarita, long island, were 2 I remember) Smoothie bar is the way to go, get a smoothie and have it topped with rum $6 vs. the other bars Beers $5 Wine- The wine package was worth it, if you like wine. You can share it with your table, and you can take it with you if you don't finish it or leave it for the next day. Only some wines are available for purchase by the glass ($6-$9). Cheaper bottle started at $39. Low down of traveling with a Toddler (20 month old) - Get a larger room than an inside cabin. Inside cabin with a pack-n-play is a squeeze, it fits BUT you have to manuver around it while your child is sleeping and that is hard. Plus you have to take it down every morning. - Our monitor did not work, we had lots of family around our room, and we couldn't go to another or sit outside the door while our son fell asleep. - No swimming for your toddler. There is only a small "pool" (3inches of water) with one sprinkler that is not fun for an active toddler. Diapered & swim diapered children are not allowed in the H2O zone, or any other pools. My son wanted to keep going into the sprinkler section, he saw all the other kids in there. - This is enforced too - Fridge does not stay cold enough for the milk, so get it at dinner or from room service right before you want to use it - Everyone was so friendly to us and our son, they remembered his name, what he liked, just like the adults. - The babysitting service are available for $10 an hour, but only in your room, and I didn't want my son confined to our small room. Wish I would have brought - Nightlight - Alarm clock - Walkie Talkies Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
My wife and I were in a large business group of roughly 150 people. We flew to Miami, stayed overnight at the Airport Fairfield Inn, and then took a bus to the cruise port the next morning. The hotel was fine, although it was tough finding ... Read More
My wife and I were in a large business group of roughly 150 people. We flew to Miami, stayed overnight at the Airport Fairfield Inn, and then took a bus to the cruise port the next morning. The hotel was fine, although it was tough finding a local place to eat dinner. We did find a reasonable place after a few looks around, but the location of this hotel isn't as good as some others. I would, however, stay here again because it was clean, staff was good, and they really took care of our large group with no worries). Embarkation was very smooth. So long as you had your Set Sail Pass and supporting documents, it was 1-2-3...and you were on the boat. Total embarkation time couldn't have been more than 20 minutes....tops. This ship had so many different activities it was hard to keep track of them all. That, overall, was great. We didn't do a lot of them outside of the entertainment, though. This was a shorter cruise, we were tired, and ended up enjoying the quieter things, like reading, dining, strolling, etc. Many of our group reported great fun on the Flowrider, climbing wall, ice skating, pool activities, you name it. The promenade was about the coolest thing I've ever seen on any cruise ship. Shops were good, too, although it was typical cruise stuff like watches, bags, booze, and other boring stuff. Be kinda fun if somebody got creative and put a lingerie shop on one of these. I think they'd find revenue from the men go through the roof... We dined in the Rembrandt dining room, at the Windjammer, the Pizza place (can't remember it's name), and at Cafe Promenade. All good. Not "great," but the selections were always good, and we, I think, enjoyed the buffet more than anything else (plug for Carnival here...we cruised on the Freedom in June in 2010, and I've never had better dining on a ship than that). Fitness center was the best I've ever used on a ship. It is very large, very well laid out, the equipment was generally in good shape, and the views of the sea from it were spectacular. The staff was good...in fact, I'd say they were all very, very much above average compared to other cruises. They knew our names, they took the time to provide good information to us, and really did whatever they could to make our vacation fun, easy, relaxing, etc. Ports were good. Itinerary was also good...although, having done an eight-day cruise with five sea days....I prefer a longer cruise with more days at sea. That's where the fun is! The only disappointment we had was with the entertainment in the Platinum Theater. We hit each of the major shows but the last one, and they were were all, for the most part, below par. I don't know what it was, but the voices, although good, were not focused on. Rather, we had to sit through a bunch of wierd stuff that wasn't worth our time or entertainment dollar so-to-speak. Royal seriously needs to revisit the entertainment on this ship. We did not attend any of the adult stuff. Didn't appeal to us. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Just back from Liberty of the Seas, Western itinerary. Cruising were my husband 37, myself 33, my son 19 months old, my parents 67 and 68. We flew down to Miami the night before and stayed in Miami Beach. Took taxis to the cruise ... Read More
Just back from Liberty of the Seas, Western itinerary. Cruising were my husband 37, myself 33, my son 19 months old, my parents 67 and 68. We flew down to Miami the night before and stayed in Miami Beach. Took taxis to the cruise terminal and arrived a little around 11:15 AM. We were on the ship by 11:45 AM. It was a very quick and easy embarkation. No problems. We did board after the eastern itinerary, no Belize stop before us. We had a balcony stateroom 6632. Nice room close to the aft elevators, which we needed with our son. We were also right above the promenade and our dining room. It was a good location. We had anytime dining. We ended up eating 1 night at Portofino, 4 nights in the main dining room and 2 nights at the buffet. All the meals together were average. Portofinos was the best and the first formal night in the MDR was good. However the other nights in the MDR were fair only. To be honest I was surprised at some of the meals they served out of there. The buffet was awesome for breakfast and lunch. Dinner was also good at the buffet. You always have to deal with the crowds at breakfast and lunch but that is the way it is. My son had pizza from the Pizzeria Sorrento's and loved it both times. We also at there and had sandwiches from the cafe, which were good. I have cruised Celebrity and Princess before and still think their food is better then RCCL. It's a personal preference not fact. The ice show was awesome. And we got to see the first ever Dreamworks parade on LOS. We didn't see any other shows. LOS is in dry dock this week working on their improvements. They already had the touch screens up and running on some floors. The nursery is going in next week and the outdoor movies are being added. I really like the pool deck layout on LOS. The H2O zone is great for the kids and the sports pools are very nice. The shallow areas that then have the drop off to deeper areas are a good idea. They have plenty of hot tubs too. The adults only area is great too. Nice pool and large hot tubs as well. All the staff were very nice and friendly. Had no problems with any crew members. We used in room babysitting for my son a few nights and had very nice girls take care of him. We also went to Royal Babies and Tots programs and thought they did a great job. We missed the nursery by one cruise, it will be up and running next week already. All the public areas were very clean. We really liked the promenade. Vintages wine bar was a favorite as well as the English Pub. They do a great job on a ship so big having lots of areas to disperse the people too. only time the promenade was crowded was during the shopping sales and parades. The Viking Lounge/Olive and a Twist were nice quiet areas to have a drink and watch the ship pull out of port. Played a few nights in the casino. Had at least three blackjack tables $6 and under. My dad played craps on one $5 table. We stopped in Costa Maya, Belize, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman. Costa Maya is a new port and they have a long way to go to reach the level of some other stops. The beach was still nice for a few hours and the water was warm and clear. We did not get off in Belize. It was a tender and I thought it would be a long ride for my son. My parents did say other then shopping, there isn't much to do there if you don't book an excursion. Cozumel is always great. it was our 4th time there. We went to Paradise beach this time and loved it. Grand Cayman is always nice. The bluest water you will ever see. We had wonderful weather the whole week. Disembarkation was not a problem what so ever. We were off the boat in 10 minutes. We were in the first group because we had a flight leaving at noon from Miami. They announced our group at 7 AM. They had two gangways going. One for US citizens and Canadians and one for everyone else. We breezed through the US one. Customs was no problem. I know there have been several posts about problems after stopping in Belize. Maybe they fixed it now or maybe it was because there was no cruise after ours since they were going to dry dock. Whatever the case, it was one of the easier disembarks I have experienced. Overall a great experience on LOS. I would go back again on any Freedom Class hip. Just hope they improve on the food in the MDR. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
January 30, 2011. Arrived at Port of Miami at 1:30pm. We live on the Gulf coast of Florida, so it's a simple 2.5 hour drive to the port. Parked the car and went to stand in the line. There was a sign posted at the door that read ... Read More
January 30, 2011. Arrived at Port of Miami at 1:30pm. We live on the Gulf coast of Florida, so it's a simple 2.5 hour drive to the port. Parked the car and went to stand in the line. There was a sign posted at the door that read something like: Boarding will be delayed due to custom regulations or something to that effect. WELL- 2 hours later the line finally started to move. In the 2 hour wait, I did see hundreds of crew members running off the boat like rats off a sinking ship!!!! Not sure what that was all about!!!! Bur I wished someone from RCC would have had the common sense to tell us WHY we had to wait 2 hours to board the ship when shortly after arriving to the pier, we did see some folks out on their balconies!!! Never did get a straight answer. None the less- we finally boarded at 4pm, put my carry on in the cabin and went to the Windjammer to get something to eat. 2 minutes after we sat down, an announcement overhead alerted us to the dreaded life boat drill. What a rush for people when we boarded so late. Our cabin: Superior Balcony 214 sq ft with 68? sq ft balcony was beautiful. I loved the room, the roominess and the balcony. Plenty of space. We unpacked and then started to roam the ship. Beautiful, beautiful ship. Impressed with the size, space and decor of the ship. The food: My only disappointment the whole week. The food at the WJ was just so so at best and the food in the Main DR was not much better. Stay away from the top sirloin steak- it was not edible at all. I have to say that the majority of my 37 cruises have been on other lines like Carnival, NCL, Holland, but the food was soooo much better on those lines then on this ship!! One little pet peeve was that this ship had NO ice tea or lemonade drinks on the pool deck like Carnival. If you wanted a glass of ice tea from the main pool area in the middle of the ship, you had to walk quite far to the WJ to get it, and that was only IF the WJ was open. Not sure why they couldn't provide this service for people. Entertainment: We went to the :Ever after: fairy tale show on the first formal night- it was just OK to me. The singers were good but I really didn't care for the fairy tale theme. The next night we say Finis Henderson, Impressionist singer from Las Vegas. I thought he was very good. Sang several different types of songs. Did a great job. We also went to the Ice skating show one night and that was great. I always feel bad when the skaters fall down on the ice- but they were great and the costumes were fantastic!!! We saw the famous Belly Flop contest- the 350# guy won and splashed the most. The outside band by the pool was great. The pool and the hot tubs were fantastic. Ports: Belize- been there 6 times- stayed on the ship and enjoyed the pool deck with about 3 other people. Costa Maya- same thing. Cozumel- took a taxi to Paradise Beach for the day. Had fun!!! Overall: I really liked the ship, the shows, the decor, my cabin, the FANTASTIC SERVICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The food left a lot to be desired!!!!!!!! It wasn't the worst food that I've ever had, but far from the best!! I guess I just expected far better from this line!! This was my only disappointment. Overall- we had a great time and would do the RCC line again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
This was my third trip on Royal Caribbean but 1st on the Liberty. After we booked our friends decided to join us so this would be a first traveling with friends: Boarding: I've read the nightmare stories and my friend had ... Read More
This was my third trip on Royal Caribbean but 1st on the Liberty. After we booked our friends decided to join us so this would be a first traveling with friends: Boarding: I've read the nightmare stories and my friend had the same experience, however i can say only great things about boarding. We were dropped off by a car service at 12:30 and were in our stateroom by 1:00pm. The best i've had yet on any cruise line. Stateroom: We had adjoining balconies with our friends and really enjoyed that. Even without the balconies opened, a single balcony is a nice size compared to others. Rooms were decent size. Dining: I wish i could rave about our dinner service like i've had in the past, but that was far from the case. Our waiter was the worst i've had on any cruise line. He didn't seem to enjoy anything, and was very very slow. One night we waited 45 minutes for drinks. After 3 nights he still didn't remember our names or anything about us. The menu choices were a bit disappointing as well. Even the nights they had nice choices (prime rib) it came out overdone. We did end up eating at Chops 3 nights and I have to say that it's such a fantastic experience. The waitstaff and manager were first class and i'd highly recommend doing this. I wouldn't say the service issues were ship wide as other guests raved about it. Service at the pools/bars/windjammer is fantastic. Disembarking: Piece of cake. 20 minutes off the boat and found the luggage. Excursions: this was a weak point. I think the size of the boat makes the organization less than satisfactory. We waited each time for 40 minutes in the meeting areas for them to get organized Overall: I didn't let my experience in the main dining room spoil any of the fun and would still consider going back on Royal Caribbean. I do think they've cut alot of corners in the past 4 years and would like to see them stop being so cheap. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
This was the first cruise for us on this Ship. We favor RCI over both Carnival and NCL. We chose this ship and itinerary because it stopped in Belize during a week that we could both get off of work. We attended almost every show. The Ice ... Read More
This was the first cruise for us on this Ship. We favor RCI over both Carnival and NCL. We chose this ship and itinerary because it stopped in Belize during a week that we could both get off of work. We attended almost every show. The Ice skating show was absolutely fantastic - I never thought that I would enjoy an ice show that much. We ate our dinners in the Betrocelli dining room on "my time" and enjoyed them very much. We often lunched at the buffet on deck 11 and snacked often at the coffee shop on 5. We booked 2 excursions through the cruise line on the days that our ship tendered us to shore and 2 excursions by ourselves on the days that the shipped docked port side. We had an issue with one of our RCI excursions and received a 25% credit within 24 hours. My wife had to use the medical services which were professional and courteous. I decided not to pay an extra 30 dollars to get one small package of pepto bismal because the nurse was not in the office one morning. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
As our first RCCL cruise in 2010 on Freedom of the Seas was glorious fun, we booked a second one, with every intention of booking a third while onboard. It was such a major disappointment, however- and so upsetting, due to unbelievably bad ... Read More
As our first RCCL cruise in 2010 on Freedom of the Seas was glorious fun, we booked a second one, with every intention of booking a third while onboard. It was such a major disappointment, however- and so upsetting, due to unbelievably bad customer service, that it repeatedly left me in tears- that we sent a 9-page letter(!) to the CEO, Adam Goldstein, to which we received an insulting and abysmal response. We are in the hospitality business, with an historic Inn in WV, so we know a bit about what it takes to create an excellent customer service experience; our week on the Freedom of the Seas in 2010 was wonderful thanks to truly exceptional customer service at all levels. As this cruise coincided with our 6th wedding anniversary, I added a $142.00 "Anniversary Package" as a surprise for my husband; it was a surprise, all right, but not a good one. RCCL totally messed it up, leaving me in tears, and Guest Relations was snarky and nasty about it, as they were during this entire cruise. Over the course of the week we received numerous, long-winded messages on our stateroom phone from a variety of "Guest Services" personnel, each one insisting that we were wrong and they were right, and that RCCL was in no way responsible for anything. Finally, and way too late for it to have any meaning, we were grudgingly offered a dinner at Portofino- food only(!)- at which the waitress, who we have to assume meant well, told me "I can see that you were beautiful when you were young". As I was 51 at the time and not exactly an ancient crone, I was so stunned by her comment that I sat there with a stupid smile on my face as tears filled my eyes. I said nothing, but my husband looked at her and said "She's still beautiful". This was my grand, romantic anniversary cruise dinner. I can't recall what we ate... RCCL didn't bother to invite us to the "Welcome Back" cocktail party for Crown & Anchor Society Members, and the response by Ms. Guest Relations to our query as to why was to simply shrug her shoulders at me. When I told Guest Relations that after our wonderful experience last year we were sadly disappointed this year, she cut me off mid-sentence, sarcastically saying, with a smirk, in front of other guests: "Then you won't take another cruise, right"? Stunned by her nastiness, I said, "No, we'll just cruise with another company". This week-long customer service fiasco colored our entire cruise- and not in a good way. During our week on the Liberty we met with numerous other guests, most of whom were complaining about the terrible service. This is an awful way to meet and "bond" with other passengers! We were actually told by other guests- who spoke Spanish- that "the service is better if you speak Spanish". This is absolutely unacceptable. From the moment we embarked in Miami, RCCL staff began telling us that the Liberty was going into dry dock the minute our cruise was over. This was news to us, but we heard this at least once a day, sometimes several times a day. One crew member even told a group of us that the staff "hated dry dock" because "2 weeks without tourists we don't make any money". As the ship was obviously in need of serious repairs (non-working elevators, non-flushing toilets and urinals in flooded men's rooms, catching my shoe in a raised stair-edging in the piano bar and flying forward down the stairs (one waiter tried to help by pulling at my foot while I lay face-down on the stairs, until I finally begged him to stop before he broke my ankle, at which point I managed to pull my foot out of my shoe and then my shoe out of the stair edging), and, finally, the flashing "strobe" light in our stateroom ), it was obvious that the ship was definitely in need of repair, but also that the crew couldn't have cared less about the guests on this voyage. The smiling and helpful crew on our previous RCCL cruise- who one and all truly seemed to be "into" their jobs and having a good time at them- had been replaced by sour-faced staffers muttering to each other in the hallways, cursing at the top of their lungs in the bar (see below), and being only superficially-and barely- nice to guests when required. They were busily packing up long before we disembarked; it started during our dinner on our last evening at sea, when, as the photo kiosk reminded us that evening (as we unsuccessfully tried to purchase photos), as far as RCCL was concerned, our cruise was already over. Security personnel who do not understand English are a Serious and dangerous problem. So serious that it dawned on us that perhaps the RCCL Security man we tried unsuccessfully to communicate with when re-embarking the ship in Grand Cayman was pretending not to understand us- also a totally unacceptable situation. On our previous RCCL cruise we had the pleasure of dealing with Israeli security personnel; he was charming and fluent in English, as well as being a total professional, and by his very presence and manner made us feel both safe and secure. The security personnel on this cruise made us feel neither, a rather alarming experience. My husband wound up spending basically our entire first day at sea (and the only day we had to enjoy the sun, as it turned out) running around the ship making and then cancelling reservations, a frustrating waste of basically an entire day, because the Salon refused to rebook a hair appointment so that we could attend a wine dinner we had booked. Given that we spent well over $1000 in the spa and salon during our trip on both men's and women's services, we felt this was absolutely wrong- and the icing on the cake was that I was the ONLY person in the salon during my two appointments! It never dawned on me that the staff wouldn't work with us to reschedule appointments so we could attend additional events (and spend additional money). Because the evening events on this cruise were apparently designed around early diners, there were numerous events aboard ship that we had hoped to enjoy that we couldn't- basically every night. Another disapppointment. A cruise should be a vacation with multiple opportunities to enjoy what the ship has to offer at appropriate and convenient times for both families and adults, not a rush-around, cattle-car experience from hell. My husband encountered a men's restroom with its floor filled with water (and presumably urine) from an overflowing, clogged urinal, as well as several out-of-order men's room toilets. Had we encountered anything like that on our first RCCL cruise we would never have booked another. This total lack of necessary service was interestingly counterpointed by overzealous pool and other bar staff who repeatedly removed full or half-empty drinks from our tables. Close your eyes for one minute or turn away for a moment to talk to someone and your drink was gone. Yes, they were replaced upon our asking at the bars, but this was both annoying and embarrassing. We never received either toiletries or "turn down" chocolates in our stateroom during this entire cruise. This was inexplicable, as the attendant's cart on which both the toiletries and chocolates were displayed sat outside our stateroom day after day. Finally, on the last day, I gave our Stateroom Attendant a note, asking if there was a reason we had never received either. In response, I received a phone call from yet another "Guest Relations" staffer while my husband was resting. I asked her to please respond in writing, as my husband was resting and it was not a good time for me to take a call. Naturally, I never received either a response or an explanation. Some days we got four towels, some days only two, leaving an empty rack. To say the stateroom service was odd is an understatement. But yes, we still tipped, idiots that we obviously are. From Day One of our cruise we were bombarded by requests to tip, starting with a letter to that effect on our bed the first night! On our previous RCCL cruise we didn't receive a note on our bed about tipping until mid-way through the cruise, and considering the extraordinarily poor service we received on this cruise, this angered us. Having read in a tourism B-2-B publication about issues with RCCL guests not tipping, I now understand why. The excursions we booked on our previous RCCL cruise were wonderful- the absolute highlights of our vacation. This time RCCL destroyed most of them. Our excellent first tour to Mayan ruins in Costa Maya, Mexico was spoiled by "Rita", the RCCL Excursion Manager, and other members of the RCCL staff, who stood by the ship clapping and yelling at our group to "hurry up" as we were walking back to board the ship. Rita also made sure we knew, the second we got off the tour bus, that we couldn't stop to buy anything else, but had to "run" back to the ship as fast as possible; it was like being on a 5th grade class trip, but a cruise is not a 5th grade class trip, nor is it a military exercise. If we want to be herded like cattle, bossed around like sheep, and reprimanded like unruly children, we don't need to spend many thousands of dollars for the privilege and plan for it all year long. (To add to the insult, there were trolleys available- we saw them sitting by the ship, with drivers!- that could have taken us from the tour bus right to the ship, had RCCL really needed us back in such a hurry. To top it off, after boarding, we got to listen to repeated pagings for guests who were still not aboard, making it clear that the patronizing clapping and rushing of our group was not necessary). Our second excursion, tubing and ziplining in Belize, would have been grand, except that the ziplining portion was so overcrowded that we not only spent most of our time waiting on line, but the sour-faced, overtaxed ziplining staff literally pushed us off the platforms before the previous zipper had arrived safely at the next platform! Amazingly and fortunately, no one was hurt, but several came close to being hurt, including my husband, and frankly, that's nuts. And all because it was overcrowded and rushed. I booked our third excursion, to the Playa Mia resort in Cozumel for the "Mexican Cuisine Workshop and Tasting", specifically because this was the only excursion available in any of the ports that offered the opportunity to JetSki. After the class we were told by the Playa Mia staff that the JetSkis were no longer available, and that they were "surprised" that RCCL still had it listed on their website. As we saw Sea Doos in Grand Cayman and one was even on display on the Liberty, but we weren't able to do it anywhere, we were very disappointed. Our final excursion, to go snorkeling and to Stingray City in Grand Cayman was an RCCL-caused fiasco from the beginning, owing to an hour-plus delay by the tenders, as RCCL allowed the first one to leave the ship half-filled, leaving us sitting in a half-filled tender for an hour. When we finally got to the pier we were ordered- and I do mean ordered- by the tour personnel to "run after the man in the yellow hat" as our tour was leaving without us! Our group did just that, only to be told to run back to the man who'd told us to run in the first place. Then we were herded onto a bus that didn't have enough seating for everyone in our group, and were ordered to "move over and make room" for a family of 5 people, which was impossible. Some of our group were then put onto another bus, and by the time we got on the road for our 10am departure tour, it was after 12 noon. Due to RCCL's mismanagement, our snorkeling wound up being 15 ghastly minutes in water so stupefyingly overcrowded with tourists that all we did was bump into other snorkelers. Unlike on other such snorkeling excursions, we had no guide, no food to help draw in the fish, no nothing. I'm an experienced snorkeler, and I saw literally nothing, and spent my 15 minutes constantly bumping into other snorkelers, for a truly miserable and scary experience. Having looked forward to snorkeling in Grand Cayman for two years we were deeply disappointed. The boat was filled to capacity with VERY sour-faced cruisers- not one smile among any of them. We were then taken to Stingray City, which wound up being the highlight of our trip, and it was extremely enjoyable, marred only by being ridiculously overcrowded, with people constantly bumping into each other. We paid $30 for the CD of photos taken of us with the stingrays, and when we got back to the ship we met other cruisers who had been on another RCCL Stingray City excursion and had been asked for $50 for the CD and thus didn't buy it; they were quite upset. This is absolutely unacceptable. It was to "Rita", the lead RCCL Excursion staff member, that I went when I had a problem. Bad idea. Her response was another "RCCL Customer Service Shrug". One small thing doesn't matter. 20 "small" things, coupled with a number of big things, however, becomes a Very big thing, and ruins a vacation. The last night of the cruise, however, took the prize for ugly: As we sat at the Casino Bar on our last night at sea, we were joined at the bar by approx 10 RCCL staff members, whose ever other word- literally- was "f*ck". At no time did the bartender do or say anything to remind them that they were sitting next to guests, and since we recognized several staffers, we knew that they were aware that they were sitting with paying cruise guests and simply didn't care- and wanted us to be Very aware of that fact. We thus got to listen to them cursing and swearing and having a grand and foul-mouthed time of it until the bar finally shut down. It was quite the experience. Having been told by staff that the casino closed when it was empty (which we already knew wasn't true, as it was literally closed down on us one night as we were playing the slot machines), we watched the casino close down despite having two tables completely filled with active, playing gamblers! (On our cruise last year the casino was open all night and was a lot of fun; on this one it was never open all night, and evidently nothing else was either, for late at night the ship felt sad and empty, silent and devoid of people). RCCL's final touch was the morning of our departure, when we stupidly thought to have a last, elegant breakfast of Eggs Benedict in the dining room as we had done on our previous RCCL cruise. Instead, we were herded through three almost-empty dining rooms and shoved into a corner at a table with 3 other guests, after which we were trapped in by 6 more, and then fed a pitiful Denny's diner breakfast. We could get neither Eggs Benedict nor a Bloody Mary- nor much of anything else. Mid-breakfast I had to walk around the half-deserted dining rooms to try to find a waiter in order to request Tabasco sauce. Even Denny's doesn't have service that bad. This is our last memory of a vacation that was deeply disappointing from start to finish. There were several good things, and several people who did provide excellent customer service: Vintage, their wine bar, had an excellent head sommelier. We had an excellent time participating in Chefmakers "Cooking Around the World" event; the instructor chef, Michael Gusman, was excellent, the service was superb, and we not only learned a lot, we enjoyed splendid food in wonderful company. The Acupuncturist, Timothy Schlenk, at the Spa, was excellent, and extremely helpful to both my husband and I, and perhaps the most valuable thing we took from this cruise. The Spa's "Couples Massage" was also excellent- truly one of The best massages we've ever had. The Shopping Desk Manager who was Truly helpful, and the ONLY member of the RCCL staff on this cruise whose attitude and abilities reminded us of the stellar service we received on our RCCL cruise last year. Another "small thing" concerns selling drinking water- at $3.50 a bottle!- to cruisers, when, in our opinion, drinking water must be GIVEN to cruisers leaving a ship in tropical ports where drinking water is not a luxury. Drinking water is a total and absolute medical necessity in the tropics, especially for people not accustomed to living in the tropics. This was Especially upsetting in Labadee on our last RCCL cruise, as Labadee had no potable water. It was angering to find this policy still in place on this RCCL cruise, especially after we learned of at least 2 people who had passed out and collapsed. Cruisers are often older people, and people unaccustomed to living in the tropics; not providing them with drinking water in the tropics is dangerous, as well as ethically wrong. After disembarking from the Liberty, and when we were finally seated in a café in Florida, my husband turned to me and said, "NOW it feels like we're on vacation!" That said it all, and what it said broke my heart. Bottom line: We are cruising again, and looking forward to it, as we know how great it can be, but not with RCCL, a company that is obviously in trouble, as 300 emails in my inbox daily touting their "bargain" cruises ("one week cruise for $385!") can attest to. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Great cruise of the Western Caribbean! Stops were Costa Maya, Belize City, Cozumel, and Georgetown-Grand Cayman. This ship was going into dry dock when we got off. There was no disruption in service and you couldn't tell anything ... Read More
Great cruise of the Western Caribbean! Stops were Costa Maya, Belize City, Cozumel, and Georgetown-Grand Cayman. This ship was going into dry dock when we got off. There was no disruption in service and you couldn't tell anything was happening. Flew in the day before and stayed at the Springhill Suites at the Cruiseport. Hotel is always full of cruisers and a nice atmosphere. Used Ace Tours and Transport for transportation both ways. Price was $70 for 2 people each way. I think this was high and wikll try QLS Transport next time. Meet & Mingle was fun and hosted by Rich, the Activities Director. Always nice to finally meet face to face with posters from the board. Rich was very knowledgeable and answered questions during Q & A. He also provided some tips about leaving the ship due to our trip through Belize. Mike Szwajkowski is the Cruise Director and one of the best! Has a slightly warped since of humor I suspect but is great at his job. Had been to these ports before but did excursions not previously done. Snorkeling at El Uvero Beach (CM36) in Costa Maya was OK. Not as many fish as I expected and water was pretty choppy. Described as for beginners but I don't agree. Did the City and Sanctuary Tour (BEC3) in Belize. Would recommend this to anyone. Very informative and is exactly as described. Did Cozumel Highlights & Shopping (CZI7), This was also great and would recommend it. Stops were as described. One of the main reasons I choose this trip was for the stop in Georgetown. This was our 5th time to do the Nautilus Tour & Reef Snorkel (GC08). You see more fish on this trip than anywhere else I have been. The area is very calm and the Nautilus is easy to get off and on to. Food is the same as every other RC ship which is fine for me. Waiter and Assistant waiter were fast and efficient, great service. Cabin attendant did an outstanding job and the room was always clean. Ice Show was similar to other ships and a must see. Shows were good but the comic was the weakest. Royal Caribbean has improved the Diamond coupon book from last year. Now includes a free picture again plus 30 mins free internet. You also get a 20% discount off any internet minute package and phone from ship for $2.00 per minute instead of 7.95. Many other coupons are also included. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
My family and myself were on the January 2, 2011 Liberty of the Seas sailing. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale as coming from El Paso, Texas it is much less expensive than flying into Miami. We also like to fly in a few days early. I figure if ... Read More
My family and myself were on the January 2, 2011 Liberty of the Seas sailing. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale as coming from El Paso, Texas it is much less expensive than flying into Miami. We also like to fly in a few days early. I figure if I am going to fly that far I am going to make my trip as long as possible. We rented a car from National that I could then drop off at the Miami Airport. We stayed at the Homewood Suites. If you do not want to rent a car they do have a complimentary shuttle to and from the airport with additional services to area restaurants and shopping. The staff at the hotel were very helpful and friendly. We arrived at the port at 1:00 P.M. We waited in line for about 30 minutes for security. Once we were passed security the line for Diamond members passed quickly. We had been on this ship the previous year so we were familiar with the layout. We found our staterooms. We are a family of six so we had booked a balcony and two promenade inside staterooms. Our balcony was very nice. The inside cabins were a bit on the small side with little storage. For the two boys that was OK, but was a bit of a challenge for the two teenage girls. Overall we had a wonderful time. There will never be the perfect cruise. We go with the attitude that any day not at work is a great day!! While I would say that the staff on Liberty was friendly, they just did not seem happy. Everyone always said hello , but it seemed more like they were told to say hello rather than just wanting to be friendly. We had an excellent stateroom attendant. I am sure that it was a challenge to keep up with my four children. Entertainment - The ice show and productions shows were awesome. It is amazing what those skaters can accomplish in such a small venue. The Royal Caribbean band was one of the best cruise bands we have ever heard. The singers and dancers were great. The weak point of this cruise was the main headliner. His name was Kenny James and was a winner in the 80's on Star Search. While he was a talented man, his show lacked pizazz. Maybe he needed back up singers? We had two comedians, both funny just wish we could have heard more from them. Food - While we did not starve, we were not wowed by the food. We ate breakfast in the main dining room as I do not like fighting the crowds in the Windjammer. They have now set up a buffet line in the main dining room, so that you can order from the menu as well as choose items from the buffet. Lunch was either off the ship or in the Windjammer or Sorrentos. I believe that my boys consumed two pizzas a day as in between snacks!!! While the breakfast and lunch was good, dinner was slightly disappointing. We had nights when the soups and appetizers were better than the entree. It seems also that they have reduced the number of entree choices. Activities - The major reason we choose Royal Caribbean is for the activities on the ship. I do believe that we participated in everything. Sign your children up for all the activities early on the first day so that does not slow them down from participating in the activities. There is a limited amount of time each day allotted to the larger activities such as the rock climbing wall and flow-rider. This ship is amazing. The cruise director was hilarious. We walked into the opening night show a little late and he was speaking. He was so funny I thought he was the comedian. We took advantage of the future cruise on board credit and booked the Oasis for next December. We are loyal to Royal. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Background: My husband and I have been on five previous cruises with Carnival, RCCL, and Norwegian. This was our first time cruising with our girls ages 8 and 10. We expected to have a lot of fun on this cruise and our expectations ... Read More
Background: My husband and I have been on five previous cruises with Carnival, RCCL, and Norwegian. This was our first time cruising with our girls ages 8 and 10. We expected to have a lot of fun on this cruise and our expectations were not only met but were exceeded. Hotel/SAS Transportation: Flew into FLL day before, took SAS transportation to Miami and stayed at Marriott Spring Hill Suites (Arts/Health District). Hotel was clean, not a lot of amenities but the price was right for a pre-cruise hotel. There is NOTHING within walking distance of this hotel. Close to BaySide ($8 taxi). SAS Transportation was great! They were right on time and communication was excellent! Embarkation: Took a short cab ride to the port the next morning and got to the pier around 10:00ish. Lots of passengers getting off of Liberty and hailing cabs, etc. Have your cab drop you off in front of Terminal G, that is where you will go in. The building is open. You can leave your luggage with porters before you walk up to the building. Once inside you will show your passports to Immigration then proceed to the upstairs where you will wait until RCCL opens at 10:30. Once they opened, we went through security and then to the check-in counters for SeaPass cards, etc. At 11am they announced the ship was clear and we boarded the ship. Very easy...no wait...not a lot of people. By 11:15 were eating lunch in the Windjammer. Ship: This ship was awesome! Would cruise this class of ship again in a heartbeat! Easy to find your way around - beautiful ship. Did not feel packed or crowded despite all cabins being full. This is a perfect ship for parents with kids and/or large groups. This ship has something for everyone. Cabin: We had adjoining Promenade cabins #8261 & #8263. When we booked, the difference between one balcony cabin and two connecting inside cabins was not very much. Well worth it...as cabins can be pretty small when you have 4 people sleeping in them. Of course, you will spend very little time in your cabin but having the extra storage space and extra bathroom/shower was great. Cabins were very clean, nicely appointed and cozy. Did not hear any sounds from the Promenade either. Dining: We thought overall the food was great! In the dining room, the food was delicious with great selections every night. Our waiter, Singgih, was outstanding! Not only did he provide excellent service to both me and my husband, he went out of his way to pay special attention to our daughters by making various animals out of napkins, joking with them, and out right spoiling them with extra shrimp, cherries, and "special" desserts just for them. Windjammer (carved turkey is really good), Cafe Promenade (sandwiches are really good), and Sorrento's all had good food. We did not eat in the specialty restaurants because we were really happy with the food and service in the dining room. Entertainment: The Fairy Tale show in the Platinum Theater was just awful. I'm sorry...the overall concept was interesting but it was not executed well. It was like a train that went off the rails...it just kept getting worse and worse. Costumes were lousy and the screeching/singing from the female Golden Goose was....well not very golden. I will say, that the male acapella version of "Yesterday" was very good. The "Temptations" show was good and I would highly recommend El Gaucho - very entertaining! Didn't make it to any of the other shows. Activities: The 80's music trivia was a lot of fun as well as the 80's Dance Party in Studio B and "Quest" was a must see and do. Children's Club/Activities: Exceeded my expectations and we are Disney fans! Initially, my daughters DID NOT want to go to the kid's club, Adventure Ocean. We forced them to go at least ONE time and they were so glad they did! From a parent's perspective it was very safe and they had awesome activities for them (even my husband was impressed with the activities). My girls met friends and had a lot of fun. I would highly recommend Adventure Ocean - it was great! Port & Shore Excursions: Costa Maya - This was our second time here and although the Malecon (walkway) is an improvement I don't feel the need to go here again. The port area shops are nice and the people are friendly but once in the village of Majahual you will be constantly approached by the locals to look in their shop, braid your hair, massages, play a guitar for you, etc. We took a taxi to the village ($2pp, have to walk out past the security gate to get one) and were conveniently dropped off at a "friend's" restaurant/beach area. We did the whole "save your seats on the beach for you in exchange for eating and drinking at our establishment" thing. Costa Maya is not very authentic (maracas are made in China), more of a build it and they will come kind of place. Check it out if you have never been so you know but set your expectations low. Belize - Did a snorkel excursion through the ship. Snorkeling boat picked us up right from the ship and took us to Rendezvous Cay. I actually liked it very much and so did my kids. The staff were very helpful and informative and snorkeled with us. Not the best snorkeling I have seen, but good and interesting. The island was cool and was loaded with conch shells! Cozumel - Unfortunately, didn't see anything but the pier shops. Kids were very tired and just wanted to be on the ship (go figure). Grand Cayman - Did the snorkel reef/wreck excursion. Met tour on the pier and walked about 150 yards to the boat. This snorkel tour is good for a beginner or someone who wants really easy snorkeling. The boat doesn't really take you anywhere. The reef and wreck sites are right there in the harbor. Snorkeling on the wreck was interesting and we saw a lot of fish when the boat operators threw bread into the water. Disembarkation: Very easy and lots of options. Didn't feel like we were being kicked off of the boat. We had an 8:45-9:30 departure ticket. Got up, went to dining room for breakfast by 8:30, came back to cabin to collect our stuff and basically walked off the ship. There was a little bit of a line for immigration but not too bad. Luggage was easy to find as the port terminal has carousels (like in the airport) that are numbered and match your disembarkation ticket number. SAS was there in less than 10 minutes, picked up some passengers at two Carnival terminals and then we were off to the FLL airport. One thing to keep in mind....these airports are jammed with cruisers. VERY VERY long lines to check in and long lines for security. Give yourself at least an hour to check luggage and go through security. Summary: We had a great cruise and would highly recommend this ship! After sailing on past cruise lines and then RCCL, I have to say...they just do it right. Was everything about this cruise perfect...no...but it came pretty close. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Our review of LOS Jan 02 sailing, western Caribbean from Miami. This was our 3rd cruise, but the first with our sons and their girls. The girls are a current daughter-in-law and two future daughters-in law . All of the Kids were embarking ... Read More
Our review of LOS Jan 02 sailing, western Caribbean from Miami. This was our 3rd cruise, but the first with our sons and their girls. The girls are a current daughter-in-law and two future daughters-in law . All of the Kids were embarking on their first cruise. Our previous cruises were on the NCL Crown to Bermuda and in 2009 the Serenade of the Seas to Alaska. Pre-cruise we flew with Air Canada and stayed at the Hampton Inn Blue Lagoon. This hotel suited our needs very well. The included breakfast was great and the weather warm enough to sit outside to eat it. Transportation to the port was with Florida Sunshine transportation in a van with a luggage trailer. The scheduled pick-up was 11am but they arrived about 30 mins late. This was not a problem as their representative was at the hotel aiding in the loading of a large bus for one of the NCL ships. She was able to inform us of the delay. We were not in any rush so the delay did not bother us at all. we recommend FST for transfers. This cruise had a passenger list that represented 51 countries. There were a lot of foreign languages being spoken on board for the week. I met a couple of CC members although the M&M was to brief, many disappeared quickly and did not stay to say hello. Embarkation was quick and painless. We arrived at the pier at approx noon, checked our bags at the curb, and then inside for check-in. There were 8 of us, 6 on deck 2 and 2 on deck 8. All of us were on board and at the Windjammer before 1PM. After lunch we were off to the rooms and then to explore the ship. The luggage showed up as expected later in the evening. Food. We all thoroughly enjoyed that food at all venues all week. Given some of the negative food comments I have read it seems we have a more tolerant opinion than some. In our opinion the MDR food was very good and received rave reviews from all at our family table. Our waiter, Adrian, and assistant Jose were both top notch. The Windjammer always had a great selection with something for the 8 individual tastes, in particular I enjoyed the carvery as did many of the others. Sorrentos and the Promenade Cafe also were welcome additional sources for more calories with an emphasis on the cookies and Hot Chocolate plus the pizza, white chocolate mousse, etc, etc. Not a single person was ever hungry or complaining about the food, instead they always seemed to have what they wanted, needed or not !! We enjoyed Chops on Friday night, wow, what great food and desserts. The Filet melted in the mouth, best steak we had ever eaten. An outstanding experience. Entertainment: The CD was Mike who is from Canada, used a very familiar Canadian theme tune for his entrances to the stage. With only 3 cruises to our credit we are not qualified to make CD comparisons but Mike was very good. Again the shows received top marks from all. Our middle son ended up on stage with the opening night comedian. The headliners were top notch with the Comedian later in the week being the highlite. The production shows were actually very good. We did not have the same quality while on the SOS in 2009 so the LOS shows were a welcome improvement. Of course the ice show was special, in particular the girl with the hoops routine. There were 800 Canadians on board and most of them seemed to be in attendance for the show we attended. It was amusing when Mike's Toronto Maple Leafs sweater was booed by the fairly large contingent of Montreal Canadians fans that were in attendance. Ports of call and excursions. We went with Native Choice to the Mayan ruins in Costa Maya. A very interesting tour that included a stop for road side, fresh, juicy, and sweet pineapple. The tour guide was Joel. It was something well worth doing and we would recommend both the destination and the tour company. In Belize, 4 of our party went to Bannister Island, 2 went with a ships diving excursion. These two have had the privilege to dive in the south Pacific and other locations. The rated the Belize dives as second only to Fiji. For us Belize was mostly a ship day. We did tender to the tourist village. The tendering process was easy and painless. I did go outside the gate and walked as far as the swing bridge. I have done the reading on the Belize boards about safety and the vendors outside the gate. In my opinion, there are way too many vendors along the streets outside the gate but they were friendly and I never felt threatened. In fact I stopped to chat with 3 or 4 of them. You do get tired with the constant "offers" though. In Cozumel, 6 of our party had booked a snorkel tour with Cozumel Water Sports. However CWS had overbooked the excursion and the 6 were denied boarding 15 minutes before departure. A very disappointing turn of events. They were promised a full refund but here we are almost a week later and the refund is still not complete. CWS still owes us $320 but the money will ultimately be refunded either by CWS or VISA since the service was nor provided and a formal complaint was lodged at the time with VISA. The good news is that they made lemonade from the lemon. With the help of a cabbie, they located a great snorkel location right from the beach near the cruise port. Cab fares and equipment rentals totaled $60 for the shore snorkel excursion they created for themselves. While this was going on, DW and myself were on the strip shopping and exploring. In the end it was a good day. At Grand Cayman, 4 did the Sting Ray City, 2 visited friends that live near Spots Bay on the island and 2 had lunch at Breezes before doing more shopping and exploring. Tendering was a bit of an issue since the ship did not stop at Georgetown due to wave height in the harbor. Instead we went to Spots bay which has a small pier. The biggest problem was when the passengers came back. The line up for the tenders was extremely long but It did move fairly quickly though and we sailed on time. Debarkation was predicted to be a long and tedious process. We choose Express departure because of the horror stories. Instead, after joining the line at 06:45 we were quickly off and at MIA by 08:30. Another couple had tag #3, they were off by 08:45 and on their way to FLL easily. In summary, the cruise was a wonderful time with family. The weather was fabulous, embarkation and debarkation were painless, the crew were great, the food was excellent. We have no complaints. Even the smokers stayed away from our balcony allowing us full enjoyment. Even the normal smokey locations such as the casino were surprising in that the smell was barely detectable most of the time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
This will probably be a long review as I know people are interested in the new additions on Liberty after drydock. First of all we are a family of 5. My husband 42, myself 38 and my dd 11, ds 6 and dd 3. This was our 7th cruise having ... Read More
This will probably be a long review as I know people are interested in the new additions on Liberty after drydock. First of all we are a family of 5. My husband 42, myself 38 and my dd 11, ds 6 and dd 3. This was our 7th cruise having sailed Carnival, Disney and 4 Royal Caribbean cruises We flew in 2 days before the cruise to Orlando. We stayed at the Embassy Suites in Lake Bueno Vista for $69 per night which we booked through hotwire. Very happy with the hotel as it included a great breakfast with made to order eggs etc. We went to Magic Kingdom on the Saturday. Sunday morning we got up early and headed to Miami in our rental car. We arrived at Miami airport and took the car rental shuttle to the Port of Miami and the nightmare embarkation that I read so much about at this port began. We arrived at 1 pm and walked up to the entrance where the lineup began. The sign read that there was a customs delay and boarding would begin at 1:30 but this did not happen. We stood in the entrance for 2 hours. Finally around 3 we went through security and entered the check-in line. We finally boarded at 4pm, we dropped our bags in the room and had to go straight to Muster drill which was out on the deck, no life jacket needed. Fortunately this was done quickly and we had a quick bite to eat as we were very hungry and had not eaten since 7am and then began our tour. The liberty looked very clean and fresh. We then went to the sail away party which consisted of dancing with most of the Dreamworks characters, kids had a blast and our cruise began, trying to forget the day we had just had. We had main dinner seating so we had to head for the dining room still not having time to unpack. We were very happy with our dinner companions as Royal Caribbean did a very good job of matching us up with a couple our age and 3 kids similar in age to ours. Unfortunately we had a new waiter and new assistant waiter. This was a problem the entire week. Although they were both very sweet the service was just too slow which was a big problem when you have 6 kids at a table. We were just getting appetizers when other guests were on dessert. We were never offered coffee and had to ask for it everytime and took forever to arrive. The food was the usual RCI menu which I enjoy, however I found the desserts a little lacking this cruise. We did complain to the head waiter who tried to speed things up and often had to go get food and coffee for us himself. Very disappointing. Most nights the kids just got tired of it and missed dessert to go to Adventure Ocean as they didn't want to miss certain activities. Service in other areas of the ship was very good, especially our stateroom attendant Pinella and the waiters in the Windjammer. Anyways after dinner we toured some more, signed up for Flowrider and Rock climbing and headed to Adventure Ocean for their welcome and signup session. Kids stayed for a bit and had a great time. We missed the welcome aboard show as we just couldn't fit it in which was disappointing. Before bed we went to the hot tub on the main pool deck area as it was still too cool to swim in the pools. (Weather in Florida was cool that day) The first thing I noticed as I slipped into the warm and inviting hot tub and looked up at the stars was the noise of a television. I looked up and there was the big tv screen I had heard was coming. It was blaring a football game and I thought YUCK, that is last thing I want to hear or see when I am sitting in a hot tub on a ship looking up at the stars. It covers the Liberty sign up on the bridge so you cannot stand on the bridge and look over the pool deck which I didn't like either. Oh well that is just me and my husband loves television so he was ok with it. Day 2 was a sea day and we were excited to get out and enjoy the ship. We went to a character breakfast in the Reflections dining room at 8am which we signed up for the night before at dinner. They seated us in the back corner of the dining room and placed a plate of decadent chocolate pastries on our table which were amazing. We were also given a special Madagascar breakfast menu. Some of the dining staff came out and danced with one of the Madagascar characters. You could tell this was their first time doing the dance but they looked like they were having so much fun! Each of the Madagascar characters came out one at a time to each table so each child got to have a picture and a hug. Pictures are done with your own camera. We then headed to flowrider as it is usually not tow busy the first morning as people need to sign up and find it. My 11 year old dd and husband loved it. I took my other kids to play mini golf and my 6 year old ds tried the rock climbing wall which he loved and returned many time throughout the week. We spent the rest of the day swimming and kids spent more time in Adventure Ocean. Tonight was formal night and meet the captain. Our dinner was late again so we missed meeting the captain Tonight's show was Ever After which was a modern version of fairy tales and my kids loved it. Day 3 was Belize. We got off the ship with a group of 6 adults and 8 kids that we had made friends with. We did not want to spend the whole day in Belize so we found a driver that would take us on a 2 hour tour. We got him down to $60 per family so that was ok. We got back on the ship and went to the pool for a swim. Today was the new Dreamworks Move it Move it Parade which was at 3:30 and 5pm. We went to the 5pm parade which was awesome and then went right to the Crown and Anchor Welcome back party at 5:15. Tonight's show was a vocal impressionist which was ok not great. Tonight was also the 70's party which we went to for a few minutes but we were too tired and went to bed. Day 4 is Costa Maya. We got off and took a taxi to Majahal to the Malecon strip. We had a great day on the beach with a few good drinks and some local food. Tonight there were 2 ice shows at 7 and 9pm. First come first serve. We ate a quick dinner and skipped dessert and actually got into the 7pm show which was fantastic. At 8:45 we took the kids to Movie Under the Stars. The movie was The Secretariat. They swam and watched the movie while the adults relaxed watching the movie. This was the only night they did this and I would have liked to have a movie for the younger kids as this movie was a little old for them. Tonight was also the Love and Marriage Show, Dancing Under the Stars, Boogie boarding and rock climbing under the stars. Day 5 was Cozumel, my dd got off for a bit to do some shopping but the kids just wanted to stay on the ship today so we did. I was shocked at how quiet the ship in in port. We did flowrider in the morning as it was quiet but it closed at 11am. All the shops were closed and there was nobody around including crew. We enjoyed the pool deck to ourselves and the kids went to Adventure Ocean. The kids also went to the main stage theatre to watch How to Train a Dragon in 3D. Tonight was the second formal night and lobster night. The show this evening was In the Air which we missed and wished we hadn't but the kids were had things they wanted to do in Adventure Ocean.Quest was also this evening which we love and the cruise director Mike changes it up a bit which we really enjoyed. Day 6 was a sea day and a chance to do the things you haven't done yet. Flowrider, rock climbing, pool decks were all packed. The show was a comedian which we missed as we were watching the kids at the disco. Embarkation was smooth, we got off at 9:30 and got through customs quickly. My kids and I had a fantastic time. We loved the new dreamworks experiences. There are character breakfasts, meet and greet photo ops,sail away with the characters, the parade and the characters periodically visit the kids club. The cupcake cupboard was cute but we did not try any. We enjoyed movie under the stars but I would prefer not to have the tv screen although during the day you didn't hear it much as the band and dj are playing music. The 3D experience was great and liked that addition. The cruise director Mike was great and we enjoyed his morning show on the tv in the morning giving useful tidbits of information. My kids LOVED Adventure Ocean. They participated in circus shows, pirate parades, games on the sports deck, dancing at the disco, but especially enjoyed making new friends. The pool areas were great but the H2O zone was a little cold so my little one didn't use it which was disappointing as that was a main feature we thought she would enjoy. Kids also loved the ice-cream station Sprinkles by the pool. I forgot to mention that we had 2 inside connecting rooms which was amazing and we will definitely always do connecting rooms. The kids had their own room, bathroom and space for their stuff and we had a great nights sleep with our kids within ear shot and a few steps away. You would never know there are 4000 plus people on the ship. The ship has alot of areas so you never feel crowded.The only day it felt busy was on the last sea day. Lastly the crew was fantastic and everyone was friendly. We would definitely go on Liberty of the Seas again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
We traveled on The Liberty of the Seas on January 16, 2011 for seven nights. This was our second cruising on the Liberty in less than a year. Our group totaled 13, aging from nine to fifty-two. My husband and I booked a junior suite, and ... Read More
We traveled on The Liberty of the Seas on January 16, 2011 for seven nights. This was our second cruising on the Liberty in less than a year. Our group totaled 13, aging from nine to fifty-two. My husband and I booked a junior suite, and will certainly do it again. The walk in closet provided tons of storage. You did not need to squeeze between the bathroom door and the closet door when getting ready. It made showering and dressing so much easier. It also has a tub, which was nice. DAY ONE: EMBARKATION We arrived early (We all spent the previous night at the Hilton Garden Inn at Dania Beach), and got on board with practically no waiting. Special mention to John Steele of John's Car Service (www.johnscarservice.com) for getting us down to MiamiWe all reconvened for lunch at the Windjammer, and then some ship exploration. Kids were in the pool and at Flow Rider ASAP. This was a big football day, so the ship set up The Sphinx for viewing both games. Better part of the day was spent there. DAY TWO: AT SEA The usual day at sea activities went on poolside. We claimed a spot early and except for using the pool, or going in for lunch, we stayed put. (I would never save 13 chairs!) Flow Rider was a big hit with the four kids in our group. The main pool deck was full, but there were chairs available here and there at the kid's pool and at the Solarium. DAT THREE: COSTA MAYA Through "ShoreTrips" (www.shoretrips.com) we arranged a beach day at " Luna de Plata "(www.lunadeplata.info/mahahual-majahual-costa-maya). We walked through the portside shopping village, where we picked up taxi vouchers and were off. This small hotel has a beach with cushioned lounges under umbrellas. A kayak and snorkel equipment was included. Our particular package included drinks and an appetizer each. Since we were 13 people, we received waves of appetizers during the afternoon and never felt the need to order lunch as we planned. The staff was at first a little overwhelmed by the size of our group, but everything smoothed out and was great. Locals selling trinkets and wares were evident but moved on and were not obnoxious. Massages on the beach were available for extra (very negotiable). When we were ready to leave, the staff called for a taxi van and we were back at the pier. DAY FOUR: BELIZE CITY This tender is a good twenty minutes. We were met by our guide for a private cave tubing experience (again through ShoreTrips). It was an hour ride to the caves, but Clarence and Junior were very engaging and provided us with a comprehensive history of Belize. We arrived at the site, where we were outfitted with life vest, hard hat with light and a tube. We then had to walk a trail to get to the caves. This is a forty five minute walk. The walk wasn't strenuous so much as awkward. Since I am under 5'2", it was very hard to carry the tube with a diameter the same as my height. I literally had to hold my arm above my head to carry it. This got old very fast. However, once we were in the water, it was unbelievable (it was like an Indiana Jones Movie) . Our private group was clipped together for the voyage. (Non private tours had many, many people who had to link feet under the arms of the person in front of them. You may not even know this person.) Clarence and Junior explained the Mayan rites that were performed in the caves. They also held our group back at points so we wouldn't be overwhelmed by the larger tours. They also had to literally stand up and pull us through the shallow areas - butt's up!. We also went through one more cave than the larger tours. At the end of the ride is a large rock formation that you can jump off into the river. It was a big hit with the kids. After that we changed and left the site to go have lunch. We went to a local spot called "Amigo's". This was a colorful spot and the lunch of stewed chicken, beans and rice, and cole slaw was good. We got back in time to catch the second to last tender. We all (sans kids) had dinner at Chops that night and everyone enjoyed it. It is worth the cost because the pace was slower and the food was hot (a problem, for obvious reasons, in the main dining room). DAY FIVE: COZUMEL Some in our party took a taxi to a private beach, some chartered a fishing boat (apparently there are no fish in Cozumel), and the rest just visited the nearby shopping. Senor Frog's was okay. The staff works very hard to make it look like you are having a good time. Very steep check came at the end because the prices are not in US dollars. A margherita ended up $15.00(US) and not at all boozy. DAY SIX: GRAND CAYMAN Much better tender than Belize. Another great Shoretrips excursion to Sting Ray City. We were once again our own group. The van driver let us stop at a liquor store on the way to the boat where we picked up beer and rum (to spike the fruit punch). The tour provider didn't have a license to sell, but we were told we could carry it on. The crew put it on ice for us, no problem. It was great to pull up to the sting rays in our group of 13, and watch masses of people coming off cruise ship sanctioned excursions. We had such great individual attention. Big kudos to Capt. Carlos, Dayton, and Jason of "Tours Cayman". After the stingrays we moved to a snorkel spot. Back on land, a van ride back to the pier, and we moved on to "Margaritaville" for a late lunch. Just average. The burger was a frozen patty and the fries were frozen shoestrings. I would have no objection if it wasn't so expensive. By the way, the pool inside the restaurant looked filthy and at least one parent in our group wouldn't let their daughter go in. If you have kids, avoid the place, so you can avoid the drama if you nix the pool. We should have gone to someplace native. DAY SEVEN: AT SEA More pool lounging, more flow rider. My husband and I did a "ChefMasters" class. You didn't really prepare a meal as much as you stirred prepped ingredients together. It was fun to go inside Portofino's galley though, and the chef was very nice. He answered all our questions, even one's about worst kitchen disaster, etc... He is classically trained and far away from his family in Australia. We left with our cloth aprons, and the bottle of champagne that greeted us for mimosas. DAY EIGHT: DISEMBARKATION Pretty easy. After breakfast at the Windjammer, we waited in the theater until our number was called. Walked off, spent one minute at customs and went down and picked up our luggage. FOOD: The main dining room food is just alright. Not hot enough, but understandably. If anyone was late to the table it sent the servers over the edge. Nobody was ever more than five or ten minutes late, and with a group our size, I consider that an acceptable variable. The wait staff always wanted your order the minute you sat down. Too rushed for my taste. I know people complain that The Windjammer serves the same food every day, but it is varied enough that you don't need to repeat. Also, the lunchtime featured hot entrEe was different. We had breakfast in the main dining room one morning. It was exactly, down to the placement of the parsley garnish, as room service breakfast. But it was good to be out of the hectic atmosphere of The Windjammer at breakfast. OTHER: A big hit with our party was the daily trivia in the Schooner Bar. We attended both the 5pm and 8pm and had a blast. On nights when it is "name that tune", it gets very crowded. Arrive early. "Quest" was fun. A good nighttime show. The production shows are just so-so. Maybe I have watched too many RCCL shows to be impressed anymore. I could not follow the theme in "Up in the Air". The underwater sequence was good, but the rest was mishmash. Never used the spa. Had fun in the casino. On the last day at sea the slots were loose in the afternoon, but much tighter at night. Play early, leave early. Some in our party complained the roulette tables were too crowded and they should have opened more up. Lastly, what is the sewage smell? We had the same problem on deck 6 in May, and this time on deck 9. The steward and the crew were dismissive of the complaint. Obviously, it is a problem and RCCL should be upfront about it and address it. Maybe the week in dry-dock will fix it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
First let me start by saying we did 2 back to back cruises in the same cabin, a Junior Suite (JS). The first was the Western Caribbean and the second the Eastern Caribbean. My in-laws were traveling with us and this was their first ... Read More
First let me start by saying we did 2 back to back cruises in the same cabin, a Junior Suite (JS). The first was the Western Caribbean and the second the Eastern Caribbean. My in-laws were traveling with us and this was their first cruise (they were only on the Western Caribbean Cruise). There were 2 formal nights on each 7 night segment and our in-laws only wanted to go to one of them. So my husband and I booked a JS cabin. We did this because in our brochure it clearly stated, "Full breakfast, lunch and dinner room service" - with menus available for in-room dining. This is supposed to be a perk to booking a suite and this perk is included for the JS category according to the brochure. We decided we would have a dinner from the dining room on our balcony with our in-laws the other formal night. To our surprise, when we got to our stateroom, we noticed the spacious balcony with only a small foot tall cocktail table. All this space an no decent table to eat at. Even inside the room the table was too small. At this point I'm thinking, "How are we even going to enjoy breakfast on our balcony??" Every cruise ship we've enjoyed breakfast on our balcony. So I asked the cabin steward if we could get a bigger table -while flashing a $20 bill. We usually tip at the beginning of a cruise and have always found we get excellent service. Then at the end of the cruise we tip the recommended amount plus some. He said what was out there was all we could get and each balcony in our category had the exact same furniture. So then I asked how I was supposed to enjoy the full dining room experience on my balcony without a table. He said that wasn't an option in our category. I said that our brochure advertised it. He asked me if I had the brochure and so I pulled it out and showed it to him. I don't think he was expecting me to have the brochure. He read it and then said there was nothing he could do and that we would have to go to the Guest Relations desk. I didn't give him the $20 I had in my hand. And so we went to Guest Relations...There was on person at the desk (whom I won't name) that we continued to work with at this point. We explained to her that we would like a table that could accommodate eating on the balcony and told her why. She also said that category doesn't get full menu service. We showed her the brochure. I asked her, "if the brochure means it's just the average joe regular room service, why does it state 24 room service for all the other categories of state rooms, but for the suites it states full breakfast, lunch, and dinner room service?" She said there is a difference and agreed with what the brochure said. I asked if she would like a copy. She said no. Then silly me, not really believing her, asked her 2 more times before we left the counter. I guessed I pissed her off because she said, "I said NO!" Okay - we left.That evening there is a message on our phone from the person at the desk asking to bring my brochure up so they could make a copy. I really sensed this would happen. Back to the desk...They took a copy of the brochure and said they had to send it state side (FL headquarters) for them to make the decision. She said the captain wasn't allowed to make exceptions like this. I told her, if this is an exception, then your brochure is false advertisement. The next day we were informed they could make an "exception" on eating from the dining room in our JS and would have menus sent to our room. Wonderful! We tipped her $20. We assumed since we got the exception that they would provide a table for us to eat on.So we went back to our room and asked our steward to bring the menu for the second formal night and that we would be eating on our balcony that evening. I also inquired if they would bring a table when we ordered. He said no. Okay - back to Guest Relations...Talking with lady at guest relations we brought up the lack of table issue. She wasn't sure what she could do about the table. Okay, what was the point of getting an "exception" if I have no where to eat?? I asked if we ordered food would they bring us a table to eat on and then take the table back afterward (Celebrity did this with us on a different cruise - but they were nice enough to leave the table there for the whole cruise). She said they don't do that, but would ask if there was a spare table somewhere on board. And we left...Then we get into a he said she said game. Supposedly the Head Deck Attendant said he would get us a table - according to the lady at Guest Relations. When we asked the Head Deck Attendant, he didn't know anything about it and said Guest Relations didn't talk to him. All I wanted was a nice dinner on our balcony with our in-laws for the second formal night! I'm thinking - why did I book this room?? We are now day 5 into our cruise and have an excursion to the Tulum Mayan Ruins in Cozumel. Second formal night is day 6. My husband and I bailed on our excursion in search of a table in Cozumel. We knew we would not get a refund on our excursion and didn't ask for one. We found a nice plastic table that was big enough to seat 4 people. It was white with plastic legs that you had to put together. Perfect!! Now getting onto the ship should be interesting.We go to board, and the table doesn't fit in the X-Ray machine. So they asked us what it was. We said we bought a table. They asked if they could open the box and inspect the contents. They did and onboard we were!! My husband assembled the table in no time. It was perfect! It really made the balcony complete. Now... what would happen when they came to clean our room? Would the steward report us? Well, pretty sure he did. Because they needed to make sure it wasn't a fire hazard. They did this behind our backs - I didn't care so long as they didn't take my table! We had a wonderful dinner on our balcony on day 6. Our in-laws enjoyed it. We used the 2 balcony chairs and pulled out the 2 chairs in the room for dinner. Then we started getting calls every other day from Guest Relations to make sure everything was satisfactory (this continued into the second leg of our cruise). I'm guessing they found out we bought a table. The lady at Guest Relations also sent us chocolate covered strawberries. Now for a little bit more details on the rest of the cruise. Food wasn't that good. The Indian food was the best - they served it nightly in the dining room, but it was the same basmati infused clove rice with the same curry sauce with just a different protein or vegetable every night. The restaurants with a fee where all good. The fact that this ship has a horizontal atrium instead of a vertical one like other cruise lines, leaves for only 2 places for elevators - typically other cruise lines have 3. This causes major problems waiting for elevators. We usually took the stairs as a result. Getting off the ship in some ports almost took 2 hours. They ask you to meet at a theatre and wait until you are called. This on more than one occasion took at least an hour to be called. I yelled BINGO! when we were called. That seemed to catch on, because everyone else started doing it as the cruise went on. Avoid the Biomaya Canopy Experience in Costa Maya. It's a 5 hour tour. Only 15 minutes of zip-lining though. The rest of the time is spent on the long bus ride out to the place and returning. Then waiting for everyone else to zip-line. In Belize we did the Barrier Reef Snorkel and Beach. There was a very strong current that day. So make sure you wear one of their life jackets. You have to swim about a 1/2 mile to get to the good snorkeling and you can't touch bottom. I would only recommend for really good swimmers. The Dolphin Push, Pull & Swim & Turtle Farm was worth every penny in Grand Cayman. This is not to be missed!!!On the second cruise we did the Lord Sheffield Tall Ship Adventure in St. Maarten. Unfortunately there had been some bad weather and the ocean had very low visibility so we didn't snorkel. Only a few tried it. So we enjoyed the tall ship. Getting back we hit some rough waves and several people were puking. One person was at the front and decided to try to puke over the side. I say try, because it didn't go into the ocean it sprayed everyone on the ship! The guy next to me was covered in it. If you think you will be sick - please go to the back! :-)I will say that I've never seen such good shows on board a cruise ship. I was impressed. Don't miss the ice show! So, would I go again? Nope. I now know that I'm no longer glamoured by big ships. And I'll never cruise with Royal Caribbean again. Oh and if any of you are wondering about the table, we left it on the balcony. I hope they left it there for the next people to use. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
I really just have one important message. RCL needs to work on the main course at dinner. The line does not seem to realize how important this is. My perception and the one heard from others over and over was that the food was average at ... Read More
I really just have one important message. RCL needs to work on the main course at dinner. The line does not seem to realize how important this is. My perception and the one heard from others over and over was that the food was average at best. The truth is that breafast was really good, lunch was really good, the apetizers were sometimes excellent, the deserts were good, it's really just the main course at dinner that was between fair and poor. Unfortunately for RCL it's easy to get breakfast and lunch right. They get no credit for the abundance of fresh fruit or the wide array of choice of good food at lunch. Everyone, including me, seems to focus on that main course at dinner. We expected to be wowed and we were underwhelmed. Everything else was great. The Florider was awesome. Tip - book a private lesson early in the cruise, it's only $60, and early in the cruise no one else will be booking the lessons so if you can book with 2 other people in your party they will hold the lesson. Officially they say they have to have 4 for a lesson but they will do it with just 3. That's 20 minutes on the Florider per person, you won't believe how fast you will progress. We love RCL for the sports and the activities. And Liberty did not disappoint. Volleyball tournament, rock climbing, putt-putt, scuba diving, we loved it all. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
We're first time cruisers, and traveled with two childrend, ages 6 & 4. We booked this trip as a way to do something special for the kids. Chose this particular cruise and cruiseline b/c of the Dream Works commercials. Our kids ... Read More
We're first time cruisers, and traveled with two childrend, ages 6 & 4. We booked this trip as a way to do something special for the kids. Chose this particular cruise and cruiseline b/c of the Dream Works commercials. Our kids LOVE Dream Works movies and think the characters are "cooler" than Disney. Our ship, Liberty of the Seas, was beautiful. It was bigger, newer and nicer than any other ship we saw. In fact, it blew the other ships away in eye appeal. Everything was spotless inside and out. Our boys were too small for the Flow Rider and the rock climbing wall, but they loved the mini-golf and the arcade, and especially enjoyed the great H2O Zone splash park area and the little lazy river and hottubs in the kids' area. We also enjoyed the large 3-D movie theater w/ Dream Works movies. The service on the ship was great. we never saw a frown on anybody's face, everyone was eager to assist us. The entertainment we saw was the ice skating show, and it was flat-out AMAZING. I'm talking 5-star entertainment w/ extremely talented skaters. But with all of that praise in mind, we were sadly disappointed with the Dream Works experience. Perhaps my expectations were way too high, but we were expecting to see Dream Works characters all over the place, all the time. I assumed the characters would be there to greet us as we boarded the ship and would be there at the Kids' Club constantly. I envisioned Poe (from Kung Fu Panda) giving the kids funny karate lessons and Shrek teaching them how to act like Ogres and Hiccup (from How to Train Your Dragon) teaching them to "ride a dragon", etc, etc, etc..... There was nothing like that at all. In fact, it was basically a typical adult-oriented cruise, with approximately 5 short appearances by the Dream Works characters in addition to the one grand parade of characters. Again, we chose this cruise instead of a Disney cruise, so I was expecting a somewhat disney-esque experience. We bought 4 plane tickets to Miami, instead of simply driving to New Orleans or Galveston for a non-Dream Works cruise. So overall, we left disappointed in spite of the wonderful ship and the beautiful weather. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
We sailed out of Miami on the Liberty of the Seas during its final cruise before going to dry dock in the Bahamas. For our first time ever, we were upgraded from an inside cabin to a Balcony cabin. That was a wonderful gift from Royal ... Read More
We sailed out of Miami on the Liberty of the Seas during its final cruise before going to dry dock in the Bahamas. For our first time ever, we were upgraded from an inside cabin to a Balcony cabin. That was a wonderful gift from Royal Caribbean! We found out on the Monday before our sailing date and were excited whenever we thought of it during the rest of the week. When we entered our cabin, the first thing we noticed was how spacious it felt. It was easy to maneuver about the cabin and I could comfortably dress while my wife put on her make up. Our cabin attendant, Allison was wonderful. She helped us out in a number of different ways. A note about the upgrade. Although I had been advised that any pre-cruise orders I made would follow to my new cabin assignment, unfortunately they did not. So, if you are fortunate to receive an upgrade, you may want to check with guest relations when you board to ensure your pre-cruise orders are changed to your new cabin. This situation arose for my tuxedo order and my need for an extension cord in my cabin. We had decided that this cruise would be all about the amenities of the ship-no plans to disembark at any port except Cozumel. In Cozumel, we enjoy a restaurant at the City Plaza for its fish tacos, guacamole and Mariachi performers. Once again, the restaurant experience was a joy. And, as always, Cozumel was easy to navigate- quick trip to town via taxi ($7 fare each way) and return. We did not visit Costa Maya, Grand Cayman or Belize. The Liberty of the Seas was just as wonderful as we remembered from our previous cruise. There were a couple of things that happened because of the impending dry dock, but nothing really bad. We had wonderful dinners and our dining partners were a joy to see every evening. We shared many stories about our days' happenings and got to know some very interesting people. It turned out that the two couples were from the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio, only from opposite sides of the city. They had not met until this cruise and enjoyed exchanging experiences from living in the Cincinnati area. We learned a lot about Cincinnati chili. Our server, Bruno, and assistant server, Dwayne, were very considerate and made each meal a delight. With regards to the impending dry dock, the crew began working on the ship during our cruise. There were minimal inconveniences for us with the rewiring of the ship, but on occasion I walked by some area where the hallway was blocked by men on ladders and cables along the hallway. I could get by and the workers were always polite but I do not know what affect this had on the people in those cabins. Late at night, there was some tile work done in the hallways around the elevators, but the areas were safely closed off and the work was not noisy. For us, the greatest inconvenience was the closing of one of the cantilevered jacuzzi in the solarium. This jacuzzi was closed for five days and resulted in the only other solarium jacuzzi being very crowded. On balance, these were not great inconveniences and really did not affect our enjoyment of the cruise. We were pleased that Royal Caribbean tried to minimize the impact of these efforts and handled them in a very safe manner. It was a joy to return to the Liberty of the Seas and be treated so well by Royal Caribbean. When one travels, adventures will come your way. You have to decide how you will react to them. We had looked forward to this cruise for many months and as my wife said on Sunday as we disembarked, "I already miss our cruise, when can we do it again?" Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Our journey actually started a year before the cruise. Each year, we book a cruise in advance, pay it off as we can, including air fare and excursions. Ninety days before we have everything paid except the expenses we incur on board the ... Read More
Our journey actually started a year before the cruise. Each year, we book a cruise in advance, pay it off as we can, including air fare and excursions. Ninety days before we have everything paid except the expenses we incur on board the ship. In the year prior to the sailing we look for our ship in the Roll Call section on Cruise Critic.com www.cruisecritic.com. The website puts you in touch with other who will be sailing with you. On this sailing we had enough to have a Meet and Mingle, as well as plan events while on board the Liberty. We had a Bon Voyage party, Meet and Mingle party, Cabin Crawl (1 person from each class permitted the group to view their room), Slot Machine Pull (each person donated $10.00 and then had 5 pulls on the slot), and finally an End of the Cruise get together. Now the review..... Liberty is an awesome ship. She is clean, well maintained. the staff aboard Liberty was by far the best I have experienced to date!!! Everyone went out of their way to make our cruise experience the best possible. The final show was as close to a Broadway show that I have ever seen (Standing Ovation). The Ice show was spectacular and as always Quest was a riot! The Windjammer is what you would expect any buffet to be, no surprises there. The Main Dining Room exceeded my expectations,from the staff to the food I can't compliment them enough. Embarkation was the quickest yet, I love leaving out of Miami, very organized! From the time we arrived to getting on the ship, it only took 1/2 hour. The Diamond Club was a nice welcomed surprise, and our hostess was the best!!! The thing that amazed me most was how Royal listens to their client base. The Cash Accounts have been totally revamped. No need to wait in long lines when you get on the ship to post money to your account. You are automatically given an account credit, if you exceed it you need to pay that amount to get additional credit. If you don't exceed it you pay what you owe at the end of the cruise. Leaving the ship was fairly easy but took some time as we all know. No big deal as we were at the airport in plenty of time to catch our flight home. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
It cannot be denied that the Liberty of the Seas is a magnificent ship. R.C. L. is at the top of their game with their innovative ships. Sadly, some changes have taken place over three years. We sailed on the Liberty before (2007) so I ... Read More
It cannot be denied that the Liberty of the Seas is a magnificent ship. R.C. L. is at the top of their game with their innovative ships. Sadly, some changes have taken place over three years. We sailed on the Liberty before (2007) so I feel competent to comment on changes we experienced on our 2010 Christmas cruise. I noticed that other people have reported similar findings, another reason which compelled me to write. Embarkation: Not good. After a lengthy time clearing the ship which resulted from the inability of passengers to disembark, embarkation was further delayed because the Seapass Card machines broke. Embarkation was brought to a halt. Endless lineups brought back memories of Disneyworld ride lines on a busy day. Isolated incident for us on Dec. 19? No, I read the Seaspass machines were also broken on the 12th and people waited in endless lines for them to be fixed. Disembarkation Not good. It was reported that there was a problem at Customs, so after Tag #5 was called (numbers went to 16), we were held back 2 hours. It was officially reported that they were running 30 minutes behind. Not true... People were panicking in the 'holding room /dining room', that they would miss their flights. I read some reviews and guess what..... same thing the week before and people DID miss their flights. Again, not isolated. You can imagine the bedlam at the cruiseport with thousands of people unable to get on the Liberty while hundreds of people were still left on the ship. Almost missed our flight too, but made it in time. Stressful end to a great holiday. Solarium There seems to be problem with people sitting in hot tubs for hours at a time, only to leave to get new steins of beer? What, no drinking in the hot tubs you say? I saw on more than one occasion the 'deck patrol' staff (ironic in and of itself) being told about drinkers in the hot tub. They seemed to agree with the patrons and then quickly leave the scene. Children also frequented the adult only whirlpools. I can't fathom why R.C.L. don't heat their pools. They could learn something from the Princess Cruise Line. With 1200 kids aboard the Liberty, only a handful of kids could brave the frigid water in the children's waterpark area. ... so the adult-only whirlpools looked appealing to them. 'Deck patrol' staff seemed more willing to take on the kids than the drinkers. Ports of Call All good: booked all privately and wrote about them in another area of this site. Getting off the ship was easy in all ports, even those which were tendered, Belize and Grand Cayman. Costa Maya - Booked The Native Choice Tours Extreme tour: Chaccohben and Lagoon tour...really great $75 p.p. Belize - Booked cave-tubing.com..... excellent.....$45 p.p. Cozumel - Nice - went to Paradise beach $57 in total for three.- Taxi both ways ($26 - 13 each way), 3 chairs under an umbrella ($6 - 2 each) and two lunches ($25 in total) Grand Cayman -Really great. Moby Dick Tours for snorkeling and sting ray City ($40 p.p.It may sound like I am complaining. Rather, I am simply offering comments on changes I have experienced. Will I sail on R.C.L. again? Yes! I look forward to the Allure in March. Royal Caribbean needs to heed advice to KEEP them at the top of the cruiseship game. If R.C. purports itself to be the 'Nation of Why Not?', then, why not take to heart the advice of loyal customers? Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
My husband and I took this cruise in December for our honeymoon. We had never been on a cruise before this and we were not quite sure what to expect. Let me say, we were hooked as soon as we got on the ship! Starting from the ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise in December for our honeymoon. We had never been on a cruise before this and we were not quite sure what to expect. Let me say, we were hooked as soon as we got on the ship! Starting from the beginning.Embarkation was super easy and quick. We read what to expect ahead of time but we found the process to be painless and rather quick. We got to the port around 11 that morning and were on board within 30 minutes. Once through the port, we were directed to a number of tables where we could make reservations. Because I like to be prepared, we made our reservations before leaving home for Chops and our mytime dining times. We found our daily dining time (that we chose) was not really set in stone and we were able to change our dining times a couple of times throughout the week to better fit our plans. Once on board, I realized that I needed something that was in my checked luggage and panicked. I went to customer service and they did everything they could to help me with my dilemma! It was amazing because what could have started the trip out on a sour note was easily taken care of by the staff on board. We explored the ship and were amazed by all of the amenities. We stopped at the bar and had an amazing frozen mojito (which would become my go to drink throughout the week) that was surprisingly less expensive than a drink where we're from (we live in the metro DC area). We were able to get into our rooms after 1:30ish and were pleasantly surprised-with how small it was! We realized that that was fairly standard and something to be expected on a cruise ship unless you're in a suite. We thought the interior was very nicely decorated and when we got our luggage were able to put everything away in its place. We definitely over packed but we now know this for future cruises. The safety drill was short and painless and we were soon leaving Miami. We had another great experience with service and that was from our wonderful cabin steward! He was amazing the entire week so much so that we left him an additional tip outside of the amount suggested by the cruise. On the first day I asked if we could have robes ( I didn't realize they were for passengers that were high members of Crown and Anchor) and he informed me that they were typically set aside for return passengers and people in suites. He told me he would see if there were any additional and would try to help us. I told him to not worry, that I didn't know and it wasn't that big of deal. We went to dinner and when we returned there were two robes for us. That is the kind of thing that will have me coming back again and again to Royal Caribbean. I really cannot speak highly enough of our cabin steward!Our first night in the dining room was a little rough because we wanted a better seat (couldn't hurt to ask!). Luckily, we were obliged on the following days by being seated by one of the windows so we could look out at the water. Fabulous! Our wait staff was amazing! The head waiter and assistant were super attentive and we loved them. Whenever I wasn't sure about something on the menu, our waiter would simply bring us the options I was considering so I could try them. We never felt rushed to leave or anything and the food all came out hot and quick! Well done! We never had any issues with finding seats around the pool and I like that you have to exchange your towel to help cut down on people holding chairs for phantom people. The poolside entertainment was great; the cruise director staff was unbelievably good! There were also plenty of seats around the running track if the pool was too crowded. The gym was wonderful (we had every intention of working out except I forgot my workout clothing!) and the cardio machines provided a great view of the water while working out. We ate in the Windjammer everyday for breakfast or lunch (while we were on the ship) and I made it my mission to eat dessert whenever it was offered (I definitely gained 10 pounds on our honeymoon!). Some of the desserts ranged from excellent to okay but that's to be expected when it's mass produced. I'm not as much of a foodie as my husband is but we were always able to find something we enjoyed. I'm more of a stickler for service and we had no complaints, whatsoever. We also ate at one of the specialty restaurants and it was superb. The service was excellent and the meal was delicious! Besides, where can you get a 3-4 course meal at a steakhouse in the US for $50? Well worth the money and I would definitely recommend it! We used the amenities but didn't try the rock wall or florider. I was afraid of wiping out in front of everyone on the florider and I lack upper body strength for the rock wall. We participated in the various trivia games they set up around the ship, gambled, and utilized the quiet areas. The CD was hilarious! We loved the Love and Marriage Game and were bummed that we missed Quest because we were exhausted-we're definitely not missing Quest on our next cruise because the highlights looked hysterical! The ports were great and we did two ship planned excursions in Costa Maya and had one planned in Georgetown. Our only observation was that Belize City was definitely a port that needed an excursion-our oversight. We explored outside the "gate" in Belize City and eventually tendered back to the ship early. Cozumel was great because we just went to the beach. I think we paid $12-15 for a cab to and from the beach. Once at the beach club, I think it cost $2-5 for the chair rentals. Not too bad since we just wanted to relax. I never felt bombarded by vendors or anything and we enjoyed our wait service at the beach club. Great prices and awesome guac! The water was really bumpy one night which prevented us from stopping in Grand Cayman the following day because the port was closed. No worries though because the CD staff went into overdrive planning activities for passengers to do during our unplanned day at sea. I'm not sure if I missed anything but it was just a wonderful cruise and an experience that has made us cruisers for life. So much so, that I'm hesitant to try any other cruise line now and we're already booked for our next cruise to the Mediterranean. We would definitely recommend this ship and cruise line to anyone that places service and overall experience over all else. While there are cruise lines that may have comparable ships at a lower cost, we wouldn't sacrifice the service and amenities we experienced for that reason. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Liberty of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 3.5 3.9
Entertainment 3.5 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.3
Family 4.5 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.7
Service 3.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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