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961 Bayonne (Cape Liberty) to Caribbean - Eastern Cruise Reviews

We haven't been on an RC cruise in 10 years and hadn't had a vaca in 5, so did this one up right. Booked a royal suite smack dab in the middle of the stern, all unlimited premium beverage packages, even parked our car in the ... Read More
We haven't been on an RC cruise in 10 years and hadn't had a vaca in 5, so did this one up right. Booked a royal suite smack dab in the middle of the stern, all unlimited premium beverage packages, even parked our car in the airport close-in parking instead of long-term. We're going all out! The first thing we noticed was the upholstery in the suite, the couches both were so stained they were brown even though the true color was green, and the pillows were torn with stuffing coming out. Ruh roh not good for a suite. Later we discovered the coffee maker didn't work either, took 4 days to get a replacement. But the view and air conditioning were very good. Food was typical what we remember from the last cruise- in the main dining room was over-rated french style selections, the first night we each ordered steak and lobster ($35 each). The lobsters were pathetic DO NOT ORDER LOBSTER. Maybe 1-1-2 ounce of meat in the tail, I don't know if it's due to the fact they are flash flozen in boil bags or just lobsters have shrunk over the the years (not! I'm being sarcastic). Later in Chops Grille the waiter tried upselling lobster and we had him bring some of the frozen tails out, they are all that small. DO NOT ORDER LOBSTER. Shrimp yes, especially in Chops, but not lobster (shrimp in Chops are the same size as the lobster and you get 4). The steaks were very good, probably prime or choice but very tender and well cooked. The WindJammer had pretty good food IMO but as Gold Pass cardholders we were supposed be able to sit in Chops grille rather than fight with the the masses for a table, only Chops didn't open until 8am so for excursion days it was useless. Also having to stand in line only to be told no more MY Time reservations available at time we wanted was bad, again we paid for upgraded service but it wasn't there when we needed it. We don't do the shopping/shows/other boat type activities but the people attending those seemed happy. We booked our own excursions (jet ski, snorkeling and deep sea fishing) ourselves and they were all awesome. Ports were typical Americanized tourist ripoff shopping zones until you got a cab and got out into the country. The fitness center was first class! Lot's of different cardio machines, a couple freeweights, many strength machines and, for men anyway, a steam room and a sauna with showers nearby. The ONLY REASON we took this trip was the promise of live Texas Hold em dealers and tournaments. Well by "tournament" they meant $100 entry into a satellite tournament, winner gets to play for a potential free cruise. Only the first 3 tables played, nobody would enter after that so I dunno if they even played the final or just gave the 3 winners a coupon. Regular Texas Hold em was limited to 1 table and didnt' start playing until 8:30pm so there was always a waiting list. This pissed us off as often there would be idle dealers standing at game tables (e.g. 3 card poker) with nobody playing while we had a waiting list. Someone explained the payoffs are higher for RCCL at those other games, they don't make as much dealing poker even with a 10% rack, well my counter to that is they are there to provide entertainment for their guests, if we want to play poker let us play poker. All in all I'd say the trip was ok but not worth the price of a suite. We are not likely to go on RC again because of this and the main reason we went was somewhat spoiled (poker). But if you are on a budget and willing to stay in one of the less expensive cabins and like all the stuff they offer on board, the shopping and whatnot, then this is probably a good way to spend your time off. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We enjoyed our 10 day cruise! Cabin was great, staff was fantastic, from cabin steward to Sky Bar bartenders! Dining room was very good, we ate there 6 of the 10 nights. Enjoyed Chops and Portofino as well, preferring Chops. ... Read More
We enjoyed our 10 day cruise! Cabin was great, staff was fantastic, from cabin steward to Sky Bar bartenders! Dining room was very good, we ate there 6 of the 10 nights. Enjoyed Chops and Portofino as well, preferring Chops. Windjammer/Jade was fine for what it is. We expect the type of food served and it is what it is. Do order your eggs "to order" though, whether an omelette or fried eggs. Better than eggs at stations. Room service for breakfast one morning, food was cold. Didn't order again. Drinks great, NO problem getting drinks at any bar, no problem getting lounge chairs either. If stuff was there for a long time, brought to attendant. Saturday Night Fever was fabulous, only saw a few shows, the darn World Series got in the way! Casino was great for what we played, never unable to get a seat at the table. Generally a slight decline in public area cleanliness, things I looked for specifically. But still RCCL like we know it and love it! Looking forward to book # 7 on this line someday soon! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The new parking was nice and convenient. Check in was ok but could have been a little faster. Interior promenade cabin was nice and cabin steward was awesome. Dining room was excellent for dinner, breakfast and lunch. Diamond lounge ... Read More
The new parking was nice and convenient. Check in was ok but could have been a little faster. Interior promenade cabin was nice and cabin steward was awesome. Dining room was excellent for dinner, breakfast and lunch. Diamond lounge was a little slow service but there were a lot of people. Plenty of activites on the ship and the cruise director and staff were very good. Internet service was terrible. Getting off the ship was a little slow and there were very few porters and custom agents. Halloween parade was nice with a lot of good costumes and participation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our second sailing on a Royal Caribbean ship. Our first was last year on Explorer. Overall we loved the ship, thought it was in great condition and had a lot to offer. This was the biggest ship we have ever sailed on and I ... Read More
This was our second sailing on a Royal Caribbean ship. Our first was last year on Explorer. Overall we loved the ship, thought it was in great condition and had a lot to offer. This was the biggest ship we have ever sailed on and I have to say I think we would not sail on anything larger than this. If you were at one end of the ship and had to get to the opposite end you could tell how large it is. Also the ice rink on Deck 3 cuts up the deck so you can't get across if you are forward on Deck 3 you will need to go up to Deck 4 (Deck 4 has the casino where they allow smoking so if you want to avoid that you will need to go up to deck 5) or Deck 5 to cut across and then go back down to deck 3. This was a 10 night Bermuda/Caribbean cruise. We only booked it because good friends of ours who we met on a cruise were booked on it and RCCL has these great BOGO sails. We got a great price so decided to go. The food in the Windjammer for lunch seemed goo the first half of the cruise and then my the middle seemed to go down hill. Having said that it was much better than the Windjammer on our Explorer cruise. Unfortunately the same could not be said of the Main Dining Room for Dinner. We though the food was not as good for dinner. There were 3 nights I couldn't even eat my entree. Very disappointed with the MDR at dinner. We mostly went to the MDR for breakfast but found the Windjammer was also good for breakfast. Especially the fresh made omelets. If you can go later when the crowds die down that would make it easier. Service arond the ship varied from good to terrible. I am not sure if they just don't have enough staff or what. They had only 2 people working up at the Viking Crown Lounge between 5 - 7 pm. One was behind the bar. It took forever to get a drink. Our stateroom attendant Leroy was very good. Our waiter and assistant waiter were good but nothing spectacular. They did their job. We did enjoy the Diamond Lounge perks as we are Elite+ on Celebrity we carry over as Diamond on Royal Caribbean. What we didn't enjoy is you only get 1 day free internet use (24 hours continuous) and the internet was terrible on this ship. Took us forever to get on and connect and do anything. At for entertainment, we though the RCCL singers were poor. Saturday Night Fever with them in it was not good at all. Also Guest Entertainers were not that good. Not sure if we got what we paid for since they had such a big BOGO sail, but I always hear how RCCL has such good entertainment. You could tell that by the two RCCL cruises we have been on. Celebrity's entertainment has been better than theirs. We did not do any shore excursions - cruise line or private. We have been to all these places numerous times before. Embarkation was fine. We got to the port around 10:30 AM. We drove and were the first cruise to be able to use the new parking garage in Bayonne. The garage is wonderful and right next to the terminal. It is still $19 a day. We did have to wait to get on the ship. They did not start boarding until after 11:30 AM. Disembarkation was a little more hectic and they shut down the exits around 8:20 AM for a while because they said the terminal was too full. Mostly because there were only 3 Customs Agents working. We got off around 8:35 AM. Found out luggage, made it through customs and got to our car in the garage in around 25 minutes. We would try one more RCCL cruise but if the food on that cruise is not any better we will probably not sail them again. If anything the cruise line should put out good food at every meal, not just sometimes. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was a repositioning cruise from New Jersey to San Juan with stops in St. Maarten and Tortola, and was our 5th cruise on the Summit. We thought our expectations could not be exceeded, but they were. We noticed a significant ... Read More
This was a repositioning cruise from New Jersey to San Juan with stops in St. Maarten and Tortola, and was our 5th cruise on the Summit. We thought our expectations could not be exceeded, but they were. We noticed a significant improvement in smiles and service. We experienced our best ever cabin attendant (thanks Muhajir.). The Maitre d' in Blu, David, was amazing. He was everywhere helping, chatting with everyone, pouring wine when necessary. Sophia, the other Maitre d' was also wonderful. Our favorite waiter, Billy, from Jamaica was assigned Blu this cruise so this was a bonus. The officers were friendly, one coming over and welcoming us back since he recognized us from the February cruise this year. Captain Kate was just great, personable, approachable, funny. Honestly, we have always felt the crew on this ship makes it our ship of choice. You can't appreciate the difference it makes until you have experienced it. The food was outstanding. The beef tenderloin could be cut with a spoon, and all the lamb dishes were expertly prepared. The guest entertainers were very good as were the guitarists, vocalists, duos, etc. However, we are tired of the production shows. The house band, Funk It Up was not to our liking. There have been much better groups in the past with more variety of music. The Activities Manager (wish I could remember his name) from England was the funniest we have experienced. Do not miss him in the Liars Club activity. The Summit is scheduled for Dry Dock in March 2016 but we thought the ship was in excellent condition, clean, sanitary, even the toilets in the pool area are kept spotless with cloths for drying your hands and paper towels by the door for use on the handles. Although they put new loungers by the outside pool this year along with all new pool towels , the loungers at the indoor pool are very worn so I do hope that changes with the dry dock. Overall we could not have asked for a better cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The vessel was clean but rust is starting to appear outside on the promenade deck around the life boat davits and piping. Crew service was very good except for the shops on board. The soft furnishings need to be redone as well as the ... Read More
The vessel was clean but rust is starting to appear outside on the promenade deck around the life boat davits and piping. Crew service was very good except for the shops on board. The soft furnishings need to be redone as well as the interior decoration of the dining rooms, and the attempt at Modernism with the art work throughout the vessel should be done away with. The interior is starting to look tired and dated but kept very clean. The vessel reminds me of a Carnival ship with the over the top décor but toned down to some degree. Food was of average quality. I enjoyed eating in the Jade and Windjammer where I personally thought the food was somewhat better. The Windjammer is at the aft of the ship with nice panoramic windows and a great view of the sea. I did not use the photographers, spa, extra cost dining venues, shore excursions (the ship was the destination for me as I had been to all the ports many times). I spent my time in a deck chair on the Promenade deck reading and listening to music, in the casino (Don't Play The Slots-They will bleed you dry as you are a captive casino guest). The tables were okay and fun with all the standard offerings and bets ran $1.00 on Roulette numbers to $5.00 to $10+ and the other tables. The Craps table was a real reality show with all the characters playing. Yes, we did miss Saint Martin due to a health emergency and I did not see any adjustments to my ship account for this. This incident did anger a large number of passengers, but you will experience this more and more as we live longer than prior generations. It gave us more time at sea which I enjoy greatly. One could tell the natives were restless and testy by the time we finally reached San Juan. On this itinerary, the average time in port was only half a day at the most except for Bermuda. Such a short time port really defeats the purpose of stopping there. This itinerary appealed to me because of all the sea time. I did not even get off the ship during the cruise. The weather was delightful and the humidity was less in the islands than on the the sail back to Cape Liberty. There were a gazillion of bored, rude, sassy, and mean kids on board hogging the spa pools and anything else that had anything to do with water, BUT if you plan to sail when children are on Holiday, prepare yourself to cope with these urchins. Personally I thinks kids should not be allowed on a cruise until 16 years old. Room service had quite a few selections for cabin breakfast from Continental to Downhome, but selections often arrived cold. The selections for other than breakfast were very limited but tasty. Overall, I had a pleasant time watching my fellow passengers, napping, and generally relaxing on the very uncrowded Promenade Deck enjoying the sound of the waves against the ship's hull as the bow sliced through the waves. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was my 33rd cruise, and around the 7th on Royal Caribbean. I've cruised on Norwegian, Celebrity, Carnival, Holland America and, although it doesn't exist anymore, the Bermuda Star. Though I can't say it was my best ... Read More
This was my 33rd cruise, and around the 7th on Royal Caribbean. I've cruised on Norwegian, Celebrity, Carnival, Holland America and, although it doesn't exist anymore, the Bermuda Star. Though I can't say it was my best trip, it certainly wasn't my worst. I traveled with my husband, 2 daughters (ages 17 and 21) and my 87-1/2 year-old mother, and to say the least, we adore cruising! We had adjoining cabins, 6254 and 6256. My mother and older daughter are Diamond members; the rest of us achieved that status while on the cruise, so the next cruise, we will be able to share in those privileges My mom and daughter enjoyed their complimentary drinks every night in the Diamond Club; when the Club manager found that 7 days into the cruise that my mom and daughter were traveling with others, he kindly let us join them for the last 2 nights in the Lounge. A giant shout-out to Jorge for that kind gesture! My fellow passengers comprised every age group, ethnic group, and nationality imaginable. There were a boatload of kids on this cruise. I heard stories about the children misbehaving, but from what I saw, the youngsters were very well behaved. Embarkation was crowded; I can't lie -- there was a long line. But, the new terminal is so much nicer than the old warehouse/hop on the bus/hop off the bus combination they used to have in Bayonne! We live on Long Island, so we parked the car at the pier. They are in the process of building a new indoor parking garage. The ship is gorgeous. spotless, well maintained and filled with friendly and helpful crew members. Our cabin had lots of storage space and a very comfy big bed. It is very easy to find your way around the ship, thanks to the touch screens by every elevator. The touch screens also tell you the activities going on during that time period, and the menus at the restaurants. The daily program was filled with dozens of activities, many requiring a fee, and lots and lots of trivia! There were some interesting onboard lectures and a Q&A with senior officers, including the Captain. The pools and hot tubs were always crowded, and it was difficult to get a chair by the pool before 3 PM. My older daughter climbed the rock wall, but we did not take advantage of the Flow Rider or the ice rink. We did go mini golfing, however. Oh, and my daughters enjoyed the Latin dance classes and karaoke. If you like Dreamworks characters, you'll find them roaming about the ship. One of my favorite places to go was the front of the ship at night, for amazing stargazing. The shops onboard were good. There was one expensive clothing store that always looked empty. When they ran a $10 sale of a 2 for $20 T-shirt sale, good luck trying to get through the crowds taking up much of the space in the Royal Promenade! The service was wonderful. Kudos to our cabin steward, Diogo, who would take his key and open our door for us whenever he saw us. Our assistant waiter, Clarence Anderson and our waiter (for 6 out of 9 nights after our regular waiter had an accident and injured herself), Gabriel Martinez, were wonderful. Gabriel was such a hard worker; he was a manager at the Promenade Cafe as well as Sorrento's Pizza, and when he wasn't working his regular job, he'd work as our waiter in the dining room. He truly went out of his way to serve us, even brewing us tea with tea bags when we found out they didn't serve ice tea at Sorrento's! The intended ports for this trip were Bermuda, St. Maarten, San Juan and Labadee. I say "intended" because a few hours out of Bermuda, a passenger took ill and the ship had to turn back, so we could not make it to St. Maarten in time. A lot of folks were not happy about this, but I, like others, went with the flow and enjoyed the extra sea day. By the way, all passengers were reimbursed something like $2.74 as a port charge refund! In Bermuda, my younger daughter and I had a fun day at Horseshoe Bay. Please take the bus there for $9.00 round trip; it's so much cheaper than taking a taxi or a shore excursion. My husband went on a scuba diving shore excursion near King's Wharf, but said he did not see many fish. In San Juan, we did our usual activity -- we went to the Coach Outlet on Calle Cristo for some amazing bargains. Please don't miss the Native Snack food truck at the park near the ship -- the food is sooo good and sooo cheap! For about $7 we had an empanada, an alcapurria and a pionono! The pionono is a sweet plantain pancake stuffed with either beef or crab. I want one right now! I wish we had more time in Puerto Rico -- we were there from 7 to 1, which really means 7:30 to 12:30. Finally, Labadee -- my favorite spot in the Caribbean. Although we did not do any activities other than float on a mat at Nelly's Beach, we had such a wonderful time. My advice to you is not to go to the artisans' village because they annoy the heck out of you. Rather, go to the craft market in the building with the red roof; there's no harrassment and the selection is beautiful. I have to say, the loyalty perks for Crown & Anchor members are not as good as on other lines. All we got was a welcome back party, and a separate reception for Platinum level and up. On other lines, we have enjoyed free wine tasting, backstage tours, and kitchen tours. One good Diamond perk is the ability to get free photos of any size that they take of you onboard. Apart from that, the Crown & Anchor discounts are meager and tied to a purchase. The Cruise Critic party was very nice -- with visits from the cruise director, Dru, and the Activities Manager, Katie. I met some nice folks there! The food? Not the best I've ever had, but not terrible. There was a good selection in the main dining room, although not in the buffet. (I'd definitely say go to the buffet every night at 6:00 for some excellent sushi.) I'd say the best dining room food was the lobster tail, the rack of lamb and the fisherman's plate. Soups and appetizers were always interesting and desserts were very good. Where this ship excels, however, is at breakfast and lunch in dining room. Eggs Benedict on a crabcake? Yes! A Turkish style chicken wrap with hummus? You bet! All great! By the way, we did not go to any alternative restaurants. Entertainment: The ice show is a must see, although this particular show, entitled "Enccore!" is disjointed. We saw a 90-minute complete production of Saturday Night Fever. It was very enjoyable, but sometimes I felt I was watching a high school musical because the cast was so young. There was only one other production show (I wish there were more) -- a strange but entertaining Cirque de Soleil type show called "In the Air." It had a lot of flying and acrobatics and dance -- it was definitely a movement show, as opposed to a singing show. The guest entertainers were Resurrection, a Journey Tribute Band (great if you're into Journey), Jeff the Juggler (Jeff Taveggia), ventriloquist Brad Cummings, magician Jason Bishop, comedian Jeff Nease and impressionist/singer Greg London. All good -- maybe I'm getting jaded -- but not really memorable. The ship also had events such as the Quest and Battle of the Sexes, and a bunch of other game shows. Dancing with the Stripes was a hoot! We also spent time in the piano bar, the Latin music lounge (Boleros) and karaoke in the On Air Lounge. I wish there was a farewell show. Maybe they just do that on the smaller ships? A negative: There were too many incidents of people saving seats -- and when I say seats, I mean entire rows. Another negative: The wait for the elevators was long. On the upside, the elevators are very fast. Disembarkation took a while. The line got backed up. And, no longer do you fill out a survey requesting what time you wish to get off the ship; it is now determined by where your stateroom is located. So, to wrap it up, yes, I definitely recommend the Liberty of the Seas to all of you. There is always something fun and engaging to do. Everyone is eager to please, and if you smile they will certainly smile back. And given the fact that the future cruise office was always crowded (my mom bought a cruise for me and my husband for April 2016 while onboard), people really enjoy Royal Caribbean! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Food was horrible. Meats were constantly overcooked and too salty. The welcome aboard lunch was worst than kids cafeteria food. The food is more or less the same everyday. Every breakfast lunch and dinner....Basically the same food. ... Read More
Food was horrible. Meats were constantly overcooked and too salty. The welcome aboard lunch was worst than kids cafeteria food. The food is more or less the same everyday. Every breakfast lunch and dinner....Basically the same food. Carnival and Norwegian's food was much better than this. The rooms were outdated. The exhaust above the shower was filled with dust. The shows weren't that good. There were too many music concerts and limited family friendly concerts. A medical emergency for a passenger resulted in the ship turning back to Bermuda when it should have just requested for a helicopter if it were truly an emergency when he staff said the helicopter was too expensive $40k causing a 12 hour delay and a missed St. Maarten port. St. Maarten was the reason we booked the Liberty of the Seas cruise as opposed to another and for the hundreds of dollars we paid for port tax/fees (in the end we stopped at 3 instead of 4 ports), we were only refunded less than $2 per person for skipping that port. They didn't replace the missed port with longer stay at another port or go to a nearby island but rather skipped it overall with just a useless sea day of the same boring activities. The baby play room (The Fuel) was absolutely boring with limited toys split amongst many babies and limited hours. The baby pool for diapered babies was even more of a joke as there was only this small space with one sprinkler. There was nothing else for babies to do so make those spaces better please!! There were no water slides and the ice skating rink was tiny. The sprinkler ice cream melts immediately regardless of how fast you eat it. The service staff at the guest service desk was avoiding questions about missing the port and said to contact the company afterwards. Just a horrible experience and would not do Royal Caribbean again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We just got back from Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas. We had an excellent time. Our party consisted of myself, my husband, his sister and our two 20 something year old daughters and their friend. Although the ship is due to be ... Read More
We just got back from Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas. We had an excellent time. Our party consisted of myself, my husband, his sister and our two 20 something year old daughters and their friend. Although the ship is due to be renovated shortly, it was in relatively good shape. The food varied from ok to very good. We enjoyed the meal at the specialty restaurant, Chops, very much. That means a a lot since we traveled with two people that are food critics. The staff was fabulous. Our room attendant, Christopher, actually anticipated our needs, supplying us with an extension cord and distiller water without us even asking. Our waiter, Charles, and assistant waiter, Robert, were extremely eager to please us! This alone made for wonderful trip! The bar staff in Olive or Twist (Blondie) and the Champagne bar were also very accommodating. We loved the two Jazz performances in the Olive or Twist lounge! This is not a regular feature, but it should be! Most of our time was spent in the Schooner Bar listening to Joe Hollywood. We also enjoyed listening to the excellent guitar playing of Manuelo. The Journey concert was an unexpected treat, especially as they wound up singing in the Piano bar! It was like sitting in on our own personal jam session!! The only negatives of the entire cruise was that there was a medical emergency and we had to return to Bermuda. Due to the medical emergency we did not go to the premier port of St. Maarten. We were compensated 1.20 per person. This was extremely disappointing as we were looking forward to that port! We would have gladly given up Puerto Rico to keep St. Maarten. There were many quarrels among the passengers which we had not experienced before. Fights were mainly over saving seats during the shows and the saving of lounge chairs at the pool. All in all we had a good cruise and are looking forward to our next Royal Caribbean Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
In 2014 we sailed on the Carnival Liberty. We were not liking the new American Table menu with fewer choices available in the master dining room and service last year was very slow so we decided to give Royal a try. We have been on the ... Read More
In 2014 we sailed on the Carnival Liberty. We were not liking the new American Table menu with fewer choices available in the master dining room and service last year was very slow so we decided to give Royal a try. We have been on the Explorer of the seas approx. 6 years ago and had a very positive experience. The ship was a older back then but the food and entertainment we enjoyed. Fast forward to 2015. As a prior reviewer had pointed out, Royal's food was very good 5 to 10 years ago. When we boarded at 1:30PM we had not had lunch and were looking forward to having some nice choices. The Windjammer was the only option and I must say if you really like Hometown Buffet you may enjoy it, but quite frankly we found It to be lower than cafeteria quality food. The hamburger and hot dogs were sitting in a tin in its own grease, the few sandwiches that they had did not look appealing and the salad bar options were very limited. The local Stop and Shop or Shoprite would have been better options for a fresh sandwich or salad bar. The other days at sea were slightly better but well below the standards you would expect when paying $1600-$2000 a person. The buffet on the Carnival ship we sailed offered far more options at the Buffet, in addition to the Mongolian wok, pasta bars, Guy's burger's, burrito and taco bars, far more selections and the quality to my surprise was a step up from Royal. My cruise with Royal for a family of 3 in a balcony room topped $6,000. Guess what - we had a better time on Carnival for 1/2 the price - We had been on the Dream, Breeze, Magic, and in 2004 the Liberty. The Liberty was our least favorite but the food was still better than Royal. I went to deck 5 to the café for a sandwich. The sandwiches it turns out are all premade and although not stale by any means, if you order a turkey sandwich and don't like cheese or some on the condiments you are out of luck. Again you are spending big bucks to cruise so you should get the same quality as if you were going to your local deli and paying $7-$10 for a sandwich. That's what we were expecting and we were disappointed. The Carnival ships that had a deli all make it fresh and to order and they were quite good. My wife went for the Pizza. Although the pizza was not terrible, it reminded her of Ellio's. As far as the dining room food and service, we found it to be hit or miss. Much better than windjammer, but still not great. We were pushed into my time dining even though we requested early dining. We ended up with different waiters every night. Royal did try and accommodate us, but since this was a full ship we ended up waiting generally 20-30 minutes for a table every night unless we came to the dining room around 5:15-5:30 which was too early. My wife has a fish allergy. I can eat fish but I am not a fish lover. I found the grilled Salmon to be OK and the lobster was good. My wife had a harder time finding food on the menu that she wanted to eat. The menu is very repetitive but she did find some items to her liking but it was not easy. We ate at the steak house and that was our best meal and my family did enjoy it. We spoke to many on the ship who have been loyal to Royal and have cruised many times, and they all agree that there has been a significant decline in the quality of the food including the dining room. Overall Windjammer gets an F grade and the dining room C from my wife and a C+ from me. The service in the dining room from the wait staff was overall decent, dinner average 1 hour 15 minutes which is reasonable. Entertainment was good, we enjoyed the shows. Some were better than others. Overall Royal excels over Carnival in this area, and we admit that except for the Punchliner comedy club on the Carnival ships, the Royal ships win this battle. Entertainment is B+. Excursion - we took 1 excursion which was a beach, airport, and snorkeling adventure - $69PP. I must say that this was a total rip off. We stopped about 100 yards from the beach so I did not get to go on the beach. If you did not go snorkeling which I did not want to do, you sat on the boat and looked at the airplanes land. If you were on the beach you had a much better view of the planes. We could see the planes land, but you could go to your local small airport and get the same experience for free. Since the excursion really only delivered on one of the tour elements, this excursion gets an F grade. I enjoy relaxing on my cruise. My adult daughter accompanied us and met up with people from a prior cruise. She had a good time but also commented that the food was a disappointment. She was out sunbathing. For those who do not think that food is an important component of the cruise, my find this cruise to be enjoyable. For us, we enjoy entertainment, food, and relaxation. We had prebooked an Anthem cruise for 2016 since it was a new big boat, but we hear that many people are dissatisfied with this cruise so we will probably be cancelling and trying another cruise line for 2016 (probably Carnival). Overall Grade C Value for Money D Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Just returned home from a 9 day cruise on LOS. The majority of the cruise was highlighted by WOWS but there was some OWWS (especially in the dining area) that should be addressed by Royal Caribbean. We stayed in a Junior Suite ... Read More
Just returned home from a 9 day cruise on LOS. The majority of the cruise was highlighted by WOWS but there was some OWWS (especially in the dining area) that should be addressed by Royal Caribbean. We stayed in a Junior Suite stateroom (1674) which was a beautiful & spacious room. The deck offered us great vies of the sea & ports and our stateroom attendant Jason did an excellent job of keeping the room clean, tidy and neat. I must stay the entire ship was kept extremely clean in all public areas and overall the staff was extremely friendly. The dining we experienced was a mixed bag. Main dining (Big Problems) - We were seated at table 105 on deck 4 and this was by far the worst service we have ever encountered on a cruise ship. RC should be ashamed of themselves for having these three food attendants on their payroll. We dined there the first two evenings of the cruise and experienced water glasses not refilled once during the meal, cold food served, dishes not cleared off the table for the entire meal, wrong drinks brought out and on the second evening my wife ordered a medium temperature steak and was served a well done piece. Not once after serving the meal did our waiter come back to see if our meals were to our liking. Also, on the second evening two of the people in the party of 4 were asked if they desire coffee and the other two were ignored. As a result of these experiences we stayed out of the main dining rooms until the last night of the cruise. On the last night of the cruise we went up to Gerson and Milton on deck 3 and they obliged us with a nice table (305) at the late seating. During this meal we were treated like royalty as we should have been the entire cruise. As many reviewers have mentioned, the food in the main ding room is just OK and really could use some variety. Specialty Dining (Best part of the cruise) - On night 3 we had previously made reservations for Portofino and this proved to be the best move we ever made. We had the pleasure of being served by Yigit and an overly friendly staff in the restaurant. Yigit provided such excellent service that we dined at Portofino two additional times during the cruise. Yigit is not only one of the best waiters I have experienced on a cruise ship, but in my entire life of dining out. In addition to great service all of the meals we ate at Portofino were excellent. The steaks were cooked just right (my wife recommends the filet) , the lamb chops were to die for ( and so good I ordered them the night I dined in Chops). Another highlight on the Portofino menu is the Seafood Spendino which is a shish ka bob style of salmon, lobster, scallops, and shrimp. If you are sailing this ship be sure to make a reservation for this restaurant and ask for Yigit to be your waiter. You will not be disappointed and it is worth the additional $$. We did also eat at Chops and found the food OK, but not as good as Portofino. We did splurge for the $10 breakfast at Chops (which includes a drink). The meal includes steak and eggs plus a buffet including big colossal shrimp, lox, assorted fruits, cheeses, pasteries, etc. Well worth the $10 per person. We also had dinner at Johnny Rockets one evening and this proved to be one of the most fun evenings on the cruise. Prince Daniel should be complemented on the excellent way he manages his staff and takes care of his customers. Two of the shore excursions we booked were the Regatta Yacht Race in St. Marteen and the Over the Water Beach Cabana. The Yacht Race proved to be a lot of fun and something different from the beach or shopping trips. The Cabana did make out stay at Labadee alot more comfortable as we had time to get out of the hot sun. If you desire one of these please take note that you cannot pre book them online and must race up to guest services the second you board the ship as they sell out quickly. Throughout the cruise the bartenders at the pools mixed excellent drinks and the service by the drink attendants was exceptional. Additionally, we visited the Champagne Bar daily and would like to thank Kristina for the excellent service she offered us throughout the cruise. Additionally, I would like to thank Evgenni (bartender at the Platinum theatre) for some of the best vodka martinis I have ever drank. On the entertainment side the Saturday Night Fever show was a must see, and the ventriloquist was very entertaining. All in all we had a great cruise to celebrate our 25th anniversary with the only real low point the service we experienced in the main dining room. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
It's pretty sad that your concluding statement after an RCI cruise is "Gotta Sail Like a Norwegian" but it's true. FOOD Royal Caribbean's food was good, 10 yrs ago. Cruise food = good. Food now? RAWR. Lack ... Read More
It's pretty sad that your concluding statement after an RCI cruise is "Gotta Sail Like a Norwegian" but it's true. FOOD Royal Caribbean's food was good, 10 yrs ago. Cruise food = good. Food now? RAWR. Lack of variety as people say everywhere in the reviews everywhere. The selections in soup are VERY limited (on some days they're not even available during lunch). Aged Hand-Cut Manhattan Steak was on the Classics dinner menu in the Main Dining Rooms so yes it was there waiting for anyone every night. However on our 2nd night, we witnessed something horrible. A table near ours had about 8 and they all apparently ordered this dish medium rare. All of them got it 30 minutes after starters were eaten up and they were all hard as rock and so well-done that the meat was gray. Needless to say, all of them were returned (I heard them complaining about the bonus side of a rigorous jaw exercise). So their waiter brought another set back. Guess whattttt??? Yep. Well Done (no pun intended). So they all went back to the kitchen again. Next thing you know the manager himself comes out to serve and oh boy. It was better this time, but it was still not medium rare. Fourth time's the charm especially when the chef comes out herself to serve. BTW Cafe Promenade & Sorrento's are the pride of the ship. Free Pizza always (surprisingly they are pretty good), and the Cafe is great if you ever get thirsty and want some [free] drinks that are not worth the hassle in the Windjammer. Just keep your fingers and eyes off the menu boards on the wall and you will get free food. You know on cruise ships, we are all a happy family that cultivate pathogens right? That's why you are obligated to obey the "Washy Washy or no Yummy Yummy" rule by heading straight towards a hand sanitizer station before Yummy Yummy. On the NCL ships they have those and they also have people holding spritz bottles to catch those stray outlaws, on the LibofSeas - Nope, just creative rhymes (which I love). THE GRAND PROMENADE - aka the Ship's 5th AVE After all that propaganda about it being spectacular, beautiful, any shopaholic's dream - even Norwegian's smaller ships had more shops and more varied selections of merchandise on board. ITINERARIES - overall - time constraints - mostly allowed only 5 hrs on shore 1) King's Wharf, Bermuda I was here about 9 years ago, but with NCL. They had staff from the ship on land directing us to excursions and helping us buy tickets or directing shuttle buses to the pick up area to save us time and trouble of walking so far. RCI you ask? Nope. We guests were on our own. Confusion. Pointing fingers and we ended up trekking about150 feet all the way to the visitor center where we about $16 roundtrip shuttle "BUS" tickets (It turns out you don't have have to do that, but if you just go up to the "bus" driver you get one-way tickets for $7 - a total of $14 for a "roundtrip"). Not helpful. Don't waste your time (or money) and just go to Horseshoe Bay; pink sand duh. 2) St. Marteen - Shopping shopping shopping (No need to go to the shopping seminar to be honest because even if you are one of the 75 staterooms to get your hands on the Treasure Pack of "savings" it didn't help at all; just put on you negotiator suit to bargain) 3) San Juan, Puerto Rico; Pretty. 'Cept even if you get out 7:30 AM sharp (the moment the gangways open) because you figure that you should take advantage of the short 5 hrs you have, nope. Sorry. Nothing opens until 9:30. Sorry. 4) Labadee, Haiti. Stop lying people. There was more rock than sand. The staff were all frowning and seemed the opposite of friendly. We wanted to take one of their shuttles to Columbus Cove, so we asked the staff. They directed us to a trail and we had to trek up a rocky path over a hill. Thanks. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We just returned from a family trip on the RC Liberty of the seas. This was the fifth cruise for my immediate family (2 RC, 2 Carnival, 1 NCL). This was an extended family trip and there were 11 of us altogether, ages ranging from 12 to ... Read More
We just returned from a family trip on the RC Liberty of the seas. This was the fifth cruise for my immediate family (2 RC, 2 Carnival, 1 NCL). This was an extended family trip and there were 11 of us altogether, ages ranging from 12 to 80. Everyone had a really good time. Here is a breakdown: Embarkation/disembarkation: Super easy. We got dropped off at port liberty around 11:30, waited in a line behind about 4 families (about 5 minutes), checked in and went on board. No waiting. Had lunch in the Windjammer and our rooms were ready by 1. Disembarkation was just as easy. There was a line to get through customs but it moved fairly quickly. Around the ship: The ship itself is very nice. It is kept very clean at all times. I think the layout of the ship made things very easy to find. There is a nice promenade deck with stores, bars, pizza, Ben and Jerrys and more. Plenty of places to grab a sandwich, drink, soda, water, etc. Of all the ships we have been on, this one had the greatest availability of water and iced tea (no charge). The coffee shop had amazing cookies and really good sandwiches that are also no extra charge (specialty coffee is extra). Being a non-smoker, the one complaint I would have is the casino on deck 4. Smoking is allowed in there and the smell carries out to the surrounding areas. The casino is also in the middle of the deck so at times you have to cut through to get from one place to the next and the smell of cigarettes could be overwhelming. The staff around the ship could not have been any nicer or more helpful. Staterooms: We had a Jr. Suite on deck 10. The cabin had plenty of room for four of us. Really nice full bath and huge walk in closet. The stateroom attendant kept the room very clean and was always readily available when we needed something. The room was very clean. Dining: The Windjammer had a nice selection for breakfast and lunch. Seemed like there was something for everyone. I never encountered a line of more than 2-3 people so it was easy to get through the buffet and we could always find a seat somewhere. The wait staff kept the restaurant free of dirty dishes- it was rare to see a table left with dirty dishes on it. Dinner- We had a 5:30 seating in the Rembrandt restaurant. The food was good- nothing spectacular but decent. I did feel like the selections were disappointing though. There were several nights where none of the selections really appealed to me, so I chose the most appealing of the unappealing selections. The appetizers and desserts were pretty good. Again, the food was good, just not great (in our opinion, Carnival has the best food at sea). The waiter and assistant (Alban and Luckner) were awesome! They were always there to make sure things were good. Entertainment: The shows were very entertaining. Saturday Night Fever was their broadway style show and it was good. It was rated PG13 and it definitely had some parts that weren't suitable for children. Given the number of children on board, I would've liked to see it toned down a bit and made PG. Otherwise, the shows were good. There was a comedian, illusionist, juggler, just to name a few. The ice show was also worth seeing. They talked about the "Liberty singers and dancers", but there weren't really any shows that highlighted them other than Saturday Night Fever. I would've liked to see another good signing/dancing show (ie, music through years, etc). Otherwise, there was always live music around the ship, which was very good. The 'island music" by the pool was very good and really added to the vacation feel of the trip. As for other things to do- there was trivia, game shows, shopping seminars, bingo, casino, etc- typical cruise type activities. Fitness Center: I loved the fitness center. I went twice in the morning and it was crowded but it was almost empty in the afternoons. It is a nice, large, clean facility with plenty of treadmills, weights, etc. I also took a Pilates class a couple of the days and really enjoyed it. Ports of call: Bermuda- nice port. We went to the beach that is in walking distance of the ship. It is $5 to get on the beach and you have to rent chairs and umbrellas for the day if you want them. Chairs range from 5 to 15 depending on the type of chair. They also have snorkel equipment, mats, etc for rent. Even with the chair fee it is cheaper than taking an excursion from the ship. After that we walked around the shops a bit. St. Maarten- Nice stop. There is a lot to do- beach, shops, restaurants. You can take a taxi over to the airport beach and watch the planes take off and land right above you or take a trip to the French side for good food. We took the water taxi ($7 roundtrip/person) and had a few appetizers at one of the restaurants. If you like to drink, beer is much cheaper ($1 - $1.50) on the island than on the ship! San Juan- Loved this port. Our only complaint is that there is too little time here. We docked at 7 so we could get off the ship by 7:30 and all-aboard was 12:30. Many of the stores weren't even open until 10. There is so much history and so many things to see that a few more hours at this port would be nice. We did go to the chocolate store, which I highly recommend. We had a sampler basket that came with churros, chocolate croissant and two chocolate cakes with chocolate dipping sauce. All were amazing. The "choco frio" is also a great, filling drink! Labadee, Haiti- This is RC's private beach. The beach and surroundings were gorgeous. A little piece of heaven. Complaints here were lack of water available (unless you wanted to buy it at the bar). RC sets up a picnic lunch which is included in your cruise and they have drinks (water, iced tea) at the picnic stations, however, it is only there during the time the food is out and it is only at the picnic stations. It is very hot there and hard to stay hydrated. The excursions on the island are greatly overpriced but most excursions are. They have the world's longest zip line over water. It is very high and you are driven up the mountain in a jeep. I think it takes about a minute and a half to come down the zip line. Our kids loved the experience, but it costs $100/person. They also have an aqua park with blow up toys in the water (trampoline, slide, etc) but this costs $20/person for 1 hour. The worst part of this stop is the Artisan Markets. This is where the locals have set little open air stores set up but they bombard you the second they think you are even heading in their direction. You can't even look at one store without being harassed by the person who runs the next store. They all try to steer you towards their store and you can't even enjoy just looking. There is just a constant barrage of locals coming up to you. Now, if you like this sort of thing and love to bargain, this is the place for you. You can get really good deals through bargaining if you can put up with the constant annoyance. I'm actually surprised that RC allows this to happen. Pools, hot tubs: The lounge chairs are all claimed by 7:00am so go early if you want one. RC does not enforce the "no saving chairs" policy. But the hot tubs and pools weren't really crowded, just people laying out. The Flowrider was a huge hit with the kids in our party. They spent most of their time there and remarked that, if not for the Flowrider, they would've been bored on the ship. Keep in mind, they never got involved in any of the teen activities on board, so I'm sure there is plenty to do for kids that want to visit the kids club/teen hangout, etc. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Imagine owning a home with, say, 3 extra bedrooms. You have a lot of relatives and friends who come to visit and stay for, oh, maybe 4 days or 5 days, maybe 7 days, maybe 9. When they leave (after, of course, you’ve fed them and ... Read More
Imagine owning a home with, say, 3 extra bedrooms. You have a lot of relatives and friends who come to visit and stay for, oh, maybe 4 days or 5 days, maybe 7 days, maybe 9. When they leave (after, of course, you’ve fed them and entertained them every day), you have about 4 hours to clean the rooms, get your house back in order, buy food, because the next batch of guests will be coming in shortly. Lots of work, huh? Multiply that by about 1,000, and that’s what a cruise ship crew faces all the time – no breaks, pretty much 365 days a year of having guests. Having just completed a 9 day cruise, I remain amazed at how well the staff is able to keep up with all they face. I found Liberty to be in fantastic shape; the crew is always working to keep her looking sharp – painting, varnishing, cleaning. Think about your own house like I mentioned above. What would it look like if you constantly had visitors, even if you hired a crew to do the work? I don’t think anyone can be fully justified in complaining about occasional small problems that happen on board (cabin issues, etc.). When you think of the turnover, the amount of work involved, I find it almost miraculous that any cruise ship can be kept in such great shape. For a comparison: we stayed in a well-known 3 star hotel pre-cruise. When I went to take a shower the faucet handle came off in my hand – couldn’t turn the water on. It was fixed shortly, but those things can happen (in a hotel, at home, on a ship). Our tablemates onboard had no hot water one day when they went to shower (problem fixed quickly). Should you really criticize the operators of what basically amounts to a small city because a few small problems might come up? Cruising out of Bayonne this time was much better than 2 years ago. The new terminal, while not comparable to some Florida ports, is nice, parking is pretty easy, things seem organized. I don’t like paying $19 a day to park, but try parking anywhere near NYC – it’s not cheap. There are cheaper lots that will shuttle you to the port; we chose the convenience of having our car right there for a few dollars per day more. Balcony Stateroom 1236, Deck 10: we lucked out. We booked a guaranteed balcony cabin and ended up with this. It’s forward, Starboard side. We were a bit concerned with its location: high deck, front of the ship – especially after experiencing rough seas on our last cruise out of Bayonne. We’ve never gotten seasick, thought this might be the time, but the cabin was great – no extra movement, quiet location near Forward elevators. I would book this cabin again in a heartbeat with no reservations. Food: we never had a meal we didn’t like. Portions are maybe a bit smaller, more pasta dishes (cheaper food?) than before, but still all the usual staples (prime rib, lobster one night, steak or salmon always available as a main entrée). Windjammer offerings: it’s a buffet, not sure what you could add to the breakfast selection other than what they offer. Lunches and dinners had plenty of choices (we missed our DR dinner one night due to a late excursion; had dinner in the Windjammer with lots to choose from). Room service menu stinks (see – I’m not just a Royal shill - could be more options in my opinion), although the breakfast room service menu was pretty good. No watermelon on the buffet last day – I want my money back!! Speaking of watermelon: coming home we stopped in a grocery store; they had a little fresh fruit bowl for $5. I probably ate 3 or 4 fruit bowls like that each day. I can’t knock Royal for running out of something I was gorging myself on all week. Entertainment: Wow! Here’s part of what we saw: Comedian Michele Balan; Royal’s Singers, Dancers, Aerial Shows; Ice Show; Saturday Night Fever; Illusionist Jason Bishop; Savannah Jack (in about 14 cruises think this was the best show I ever saw on a cruise ship); Greg London; Las Vegas Tenors. The final night’s show (last year we did a cruise, had a 20 minute farewell show) was an hour long and included “The dangerous Comedy of Wilde and James” (comedic jugglers). I would consider that as 5 headline acts, plus the play, plus the Ice Show. One note: we didn’t see the full show of the illusionist because the theater was standing room only most nights. On recent cruises we’ve seen half-filled theaters; not this time. You might need to be very early to get a seat. Other activities: I thought they were copious amounts of trivia, game show knock-offs, other events, other musical entertainment (Matt Ye at the Piano, a must-see). There was always something happening. The Casino was even nice to us – hit a good payoff on a penny machine the last day to break even. What else? Disembarkation fairly smooth, no problems. Great Room Steward (Roy Joy). Wait staff good, not great (seems Royal is stretching them a bit thin – never met our Head Waiter until the last night of a 9 day cruise?). Ship, as mentioned: spotless. Fellow passengers: overall an excellent group, very well-dressed (most people I’ve seen dressed for formal night in a while). 99.9% of the cruisers were great. Some chair hogs, weird scene at Karaoke because some people wanted to watch the Basketball playoffs in the lounge where Karaoke was supposed to take place (please keep your excessive use of the “f” word home when you cruise). Someone stole a magnet from our cabin door, but those were by far the exceptions to the overall behavior. Cruise reviews are subjective. I think in recent cruises I’ve talked to about 50 people comparing Carnival and Royal; all said Royal was much better food quality. Then we had breakfast the last day with a couple who said Royal’s food was no good, Carnival was like eating in the specialty restaurants. To each his own; I think I’d pay more attention to the 50 or so rather than the one couple. Getting back to my title, “Imagine”. Imagine you went on a 9 day cruise. The food was great, the company was great, the entertainment was the best you ever saw on a 7 to 9 day cruise, you enjoyed yourself and had no complaints. Can you imagine that? I don’t have to, because I did it on this cruise. Hope you can have the same results on your future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Loved this cruise. have done 6 before. There was always a quiet room in the ship to relax, and even thought there were alot of people on board as it was sold out it never felt crowded. Food was the usual cruise food, i dined in dining ... Read More
Loved this cruise. have done 6 before. There was always a quiet room in the ship to relax, and even thought there were alot of people on board as it was sold out it never felt crowded. Food was the usual cruise food, i dined in dining room every night and enjoyed the options. We did the flow rider, rock wall and cupcake decorating on board. It was all alot of fun. I kept my chair by the H20 zone as the water was very refreshing as was the pool in that area. Adult pool stayed an adult pool, not like on other ships where kids fit their way in. There is also pool people to make sure noone is saving chairs. The mall was nice, mostly had watches everywhere. Sold the usual t shirts, bracelets, more watches. Johnny rockets we couldnt eat there. we didnt like the taste of burgers, others felt it was to salty. 4.50 pay one price, eat as much as u want. Cabin was nice and beds were comfy. ours looked over the mall. Entertainment was awesome, all of it, every show was great. Our excursions in bermuda...we shopped in hamilton and then swam in snorkel park right off boat as sun came out 3 hours after we arrived because of rain. We have been ther before and love Horseshoe bay. beautiful beach. In St Martin ( st. Maartin) we took cab to Maho beach where the planes fly over your head. very exciting. stayed about 3 hours. small beach, and tiki hut there u can rent an umbrella off to side by bar. 3 hours is more than enough. Took cab back ( cab ride 9 bucks a person) to town and shopped in all these small stores and walked back to boat. There was also a beautiful beach by these stores that was beautiful. shops close at 530-6 so go earlier. Lots to see. In San Juan, well we did the rainforest drive/hike. got in bus, went driving for 40 minutes, which was actually the best part, and entered rain forest. stopped at a stream, then loaded back up to visitors center. 40 minutes there. short 20 minute walk through a semi circle and then to gift shop. we saw a caterpillar and a spider. way home stopped at waterfall in rain forest, 20 min. boarded up and on way back stopped and Lou's and sally's (?) some mom and pop shop that probably pays bus company under table to have all tour buses stop there, and conveniently credit card machine is not working that day. Im glad i did rainforest cause id wish oh i wish i wouldve did that, but i would never do it again. bought bathing suits and rain ponchos, but didnt need them..in haiti..its hot...hot hot. let me tell u my son (22) loved it. bring your snorkel. we actually did aqua park for an hour alot of fun. Listen im pretty tough woman but those men in pink shirts, they are creepy!! They run at you with hey where u from come look at my shop and then they continue to follow you. There is a big gift shop where u arnt hassled at all, use that for souveniers. They were very annoying. There are dancers, and beaches, bring your water shoes. A tram takes you back and forthe and of course the ship does a cook out. ribs chicked, burgers etc. Our ship had alot of older people and less young kids as we sailed in June. Getting on and off was easy, we walked off with our bags. I would definitly board this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
My family just disembarked from the Liberty of the Sea two days ago and had a terrific time. Like the nut case that I am I made notes from time to time so that I could wright an accurate review when I returned home. This usually happened ... Read More
My family just disembarked from the Liberty of the Sea two days ago and had a terrific time. Like the nut case that I am I made notes from time to time so that I could wright an accurate review when I returned home. This usually happened while I was lounging by the pool with a big coconut full of rum in my hand or standing on deck 12 waiting for the sun to rise. Cruise reviews have been important to me in preparing for cruises and I like to return the favor when possible. My wife and I are 50 and 51 and we sailed with our three adult children, 21, 22 and 24. We were in an outside cabin with veranda and the other three shared an interior cabin. We sailed from Port Liberty, New Jersey on June 4 for Bermuda, St. Maarten, San Juan and Labadee Haiti and returned on June 13. Living in Connecticut, we wanted to try the port as it’s only 2 ½ hours from home and eliminating air travel would greatly increase our vacation options. Port Liberty The port is in a very populated area of New Jersey and traffic was heavy starting at the George Washington Bridge, it added almost an hour to our drive but I expected it and had left early. There are better routs to take to avoid this and I’ll certainly do more research the next time. The port is simply one way in and one way out with parking areas in between, very easy to navigate. The baggage unloading area is very large and baggage handlers take your bags as soon as you pull up (Don’t forget to tip, those guys work their tails of) so all you have to do is park. Parking for 9 days cost us $171.00, the area was well lit, gated and staff were on duty. I’m told there are other private parking areas away from the port, but for only a few dollars less. I like the idea of the gated lots and will most likely choose to stay with it, I also liked that it was also about 100 feet from where I unloaded my bags. The port was clean, organized and well-staffed and before we even stopped walking through the door we were directed to check in. Being gold Crown and Anchor members our line was very short, within a very short time we were walking on board the ship. My overall experience was positive and I’d certainly use Port Liberty again. Liberty of the Sea. The ship is beautiful and in great condition. I’d have to dig really deep to find anything negative to say about it. The Promenade is built to make you feel like you’re walking down the street of a small town or village. You’ll find shops, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, guest relations and more here. The Hoof and Claw quickly became my favorite bar as it’s built to resemble an English pub. Stephanie was almost always behind the bar with a big smile and quickly learned what we liked. The coffee shop has excellent sandwiches and late night snacks and is the place to go for coffee before the Windjammer opens at 7:00 am. Everything on the ship looked brand new and there were no signs of disrepair. I saw the crew cleaning day and night throughout the ship and the hard work showed. I wasn’t sure about cruising on a larger ship because of the number of people aboard and the possibility of big crowds and longs lines, but it wasn’t that bad. The lines did exist during shows and trivia games but it was manageable with proper planning and a little patience. There aren’t as many elevators on this ship as you’d think and there were some wait times of up to a few minutes. This doesn’t seem like a long time but when you’re in paradise it seems like an eternity. As I’ve said in other reviews, there’s rarely a line at the stairs and there always on the same floor as you. Dining This was the first time we’ve used My Time Dining and I was skeptical. I liked having the same wait staff each night and building the relationship that makes the main dining room special. I found that I didn’t know enough about it and didn’t need to be concerned at all. My Time Dining is no different except in that you aren’t locked into the same time every night, unless of course you want to be. Once on board you can go to dining room and either reserve your favorite time for the entire cruise or you can tailor it to your own schedule. You’ll get to reserve the same table and wait staff if you want to but with the advantage of flexibility. At diner our first night it took our wait staff about 5 minutes to engrain themselves into our cruise experience. The personalities were wonderful and the conversation perfect. Before we left the table they knew the names of all 7 people in our group, what we drank, where we were from and what foods we preferred. We look forward to seeing them each night and were thrilled to run into one of them during an excursion. We included them in a family photo after dinner one night and it’s one of our favorites of the trip. Charles, Bernie and Sushant, thank you for the attention you paid to my family during the cruise, you guys are the best. The food at the main dining room was very good and the serving style is what you’d expect at a high end exclusive restaurant, this may explain why some reviewers didn’t care for it. We’re pretty flexible and found everything to our liking. The windjammer is a great place to go for an early breakfast. You’ll find hot trays of almost every breakfast food imaginable. The omelet chef will make your favorite omelet or find something that’s already been made. The fruit was always fresh and there was always someone to ask if a question came up. Lunch and breakfast were a different story and I can’t recommend either. I don’t eat at fast food restaurants and both lunch and dinner were tailored that way. The lunch served on deck during our days at sea was perfect for pool side dining and the cooks certainly knew what they were doing. Room service is great and something to try every now and then. My wife ordered fresh fruit one night and my children used it quite often. They all said that the amount of food per order was more than enough (If I hadn’t fallen asleep I could have known first hand) and the quality was very good. Deck 5 for early morning coffee. Cabins Our exterior cabin was very nice and in good condition. There were no immediate signs of age and the carpet looks new. It smelled fresh and ready to go as soon as we walked in. The curtains were a bit wrinkled but it looked like a previous occupant may have tied them back for some reason. The Veranda was larger than I’ve seen on other ships and also very clean. Our cabin attendant wasn’t up to cruise standards and this was a disappointment since we’ve always had great attendants in the past. She rarely came near our cabin unless I personally asked her and clean towels were hit or miss. I often saw her in other areas talking on her telephone. The cabin attendant that took care of my children’s cabin was fantastic and was tipped very well for her efforts. The cabin was a bit narrower then we've seen on other ships, but just a little. The bed was very comfortable and had a few different thicknesses of pillows to choose from. The veranda was a bit larger then I've seen and was clean and in good shape. The bathroom was easy to get used to and was better put together then other I've had. There was quite a bit of storage under the bed and in the large closet. My wife and I had four large bags and some smaller carry-on bags and had room to stash every one away and out of site. The cabin had the same one power outlet as all the rest so I was happy that I brought a power bar for charging things. The shower had a curved sliding door rather than a curtain, always a nice touch. The six draws were large enough for several days’ worth of clothes and the there was plenty on counter space. On Deck On deck life is wonderful and Royal Caribbean works very hard to keep it that way. The decks are power washed every morning before sunrise and the deck chairs are wiped down and straightened. The pools and hot tubs are cleaned, the trash is emptied and windows are washed. After all this the entire deck is inspected by crew members in white coats. I’m a very early riser and saw all of this happen each day while waiting for the sun rise. Deck parties were great fun and I’d recommend attending at least one. The punch is about 70 percent rum so be careful and hang on to something. The big television (The size of bus) is on all night and shows the big games. The NBA finals were on during our cruise and fans were able to spread out and watch in style. The adult pool (Solarium) was my lounging area of choice, the bar was close by and the lack of yelling, splashing children worked for me. The main family pool is where the shows and games are held. While there is more seating here, it's louder and not as relaxing as I like. The kid’s pool offered quite a bit of activity and was full of things to keep them busy. Along with the shallow pools is a huge play area full of squirting water sprinklers. There were a surprising number of hot tubs on board and I never found them unavailable. They were clean and some were open all night. Coconuts drinks (In actual coconuts) sold on deck are maybe the most horrible thing to ever be in my mouth. Pineapples drinks however are very good. Smoking is a bit of a problem. I'd prefer that smoking was eliminated on board and didn't like walking through clouds of cigarette smoke. Groups of smokers gather together and form smokers clubs on deck and don't think about others around them or what way the wind and smoke are going. This is something for all cruise lines to think about. Pool Towels They make you bar code scan pool towels to keep track of them. I don’t know if they really charge you for towels that aren’t returned ($25.00 each)but I didn’t want to find out so I kept track. Shows The shows were very good, not all to my taste but very good all the same. Remember to lighten up a little and at least try a few. Remember, they serve drinks at every show… Seats fill up very early so don’t wait until the last minute. Did I mention the drinks… Days at sea Days at sea should be looked at as an excursion and planed for the same way. You can’t expect to get your first choice of lounge chairs by the pool if you sleep until 9:00 in the morning. While there are literally hundreds of chairs available all are not close to a pool. If you plan on sitting by the pools and enjoying all they have to offer you’ll need to be on deck no later than 7:30 am, after that you’re on your own. Passengers start occupying lounge chairs by the pools around 6:00 am. I encountered some very angry passengers as they arrived at the pool after 9:00 am and found it full. One woman was furious and started yelling to anyone who’d listen. Others would look around bewildered that they didn’t have chairs waiting for them. There’s just so much sun a body can take so the rest of the day is free for whatever. Remember that the shows fill up faster during these times as well. Try to find towel clips for deck chairs before boarding, they’re great for keeping your towel down in the wind. This may sound like a small thing but it’ll surprise you when the time comes. Pictures The process of finding and retrieving your cruise photos is much unorganized and frustrating, be prepared. Labadee The off ship highlight of my trip was Labadee Haiti, this place is a paradise. The beaches are a little rocky and while swimming you’ll encounter coral that has broken away from the reef, no big deal. The water is clear and warm and you can walk out about 100 yards to the breakers even at high tide. Wear water shoes that cover your entire foot to provide protection from injuries by the coral. You can use your sea pass here the drink package comes right along with you. I’d recommend getting off the ship as soon as they let you (About 8:00 am) and claim one of the blue sun screens right away, they’re great for putting together a home base for the day. The last one had just been taken when my family arrived to the beach and an employee went and brought out two more for the five of us, a tip well-earned in my book. The weather was perfect the entire day and the pic-nic lunch was very good. The drinks were cold and plentiful. One strange event occurred when we walked to the straw market to look for souvenirs. The locals are allowed to sell their goods to the guests and do so with quite a bit of energy. They swarm the guests while they walk through the straw market and pressure them to buy from them with stories of hungry families, starting new business and my stuff is the best. It was unsettling and I’m not sure why it’s allowed, so we headed back to the beach and back to paradise. When it was time to re-board the ship I have to admit that we would have liked to have had more time and hated to leave. Leave them wanting more was certainly the right philosophy here. Just some things that I noticed. The Karaoke shows in the evening seem to bring out the passengers demanding to most attention for themselves. They can and will be difficult to get along with as they show off with a microphone. We saw one near fist fight that brought security and then days and day of hard feelings, there are plenty of other things to do. On longer cruises some passengers start to get anxious to get back to their lives towards the end and manners start to slip away a bit. More than 5 days at sea is a lot, build yourself up to the longer cruises. The bar stools on deck are made of solid wood and kill your butt, just saying. The Hoof and Claw and the Vintage are excellent if you like fine wine and other drinks as well. At the Hoof and Claw you can sit out front like a small town pub and people watch, great place for when you need a break. Being late for the ship to depart a port isn’t taken lightly, there were passengers on this cruise that returned late were fined for their actions. Wrap-up To wrap this review up I can honestly say that this was the one of the best family vacations I’ve ever had. Royal Caribbean is an excellent cruise line and really goes the extra mile for their passengers. The ships are clean and well-kept and except for the rare slacker their staff is fantastic. I’m a picky traveler and expect things to be sensible and well thought out, my family laughs at me for it but it’s just my way. Royal Caribbean has surpassed my expectations once again and as before, I look forward to sailing with them again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our 11th cruise, so we are NOT newbies! We have been on 5 Carnival ships, 3 NCL and this was our 3rd RCCL. The Liberty of the Seas is a beautiful ship. Unlike my husband, I tend to find the positive in any situation. I guess I ... Read More
This was our 11th cruise, so we are NOT newbies! We have been on 5 Carnival ships, 3 NCL and this was our 3rd RCCL. The Liberty of the Seas is a beautiful ship. Unlike my husband, I tend to find the positive in any situation. I guess I should start with the PROs, )because that's who I am) PRO: *We arrived at the port by 11:30AM, by 12:15, we were onboard. The lines went quick. *Our luggage was at the stateroom door by the time we were done with lunch. *Stateroom attendant introduced himself, gave me his card, so I wouldn't forget his name *Our balcony was huge!! (we had an E3 on deck 8) (Last NCL Breakaway, your knees hit the glass when you sat down!) *Lunch in the Windjammer was like most buffets. A little something for everyone. *The pools were very nice. They had an adult section, with 2 hot tubs hanging off the side of the ship, 2 common pools, with 3 hot tubs in that area and the H2O water zone for kids, which was very cool (wish I had brought the Grandkids, they would have LOVED it) *The Royal Promenade was very pretty, shops, a bar, a coffee place, Ben & Jerrys...all the regular stuff. *We had dinner in the Windjammer, it was ok, regular buffet food. (fish, chicken, pasta, potatoes, gravy, rolls, breads and this is the first ship that the cheesecake was actually good!! *The bar staff were excellent. Made sure I got my moneys worth when ordering a drink. (I drank Captain and Diet Coke with 3 limes) *Our stateroom attendant was very kind, brought me ice everyday, and kept our room spotless. He called us by name whenever we saw him. *We chose to walk off with our own luggage. We went to our designated place at around 7:15 and were outside the port by 8AM OK....now for the CONS CONS: *When I booked this cruise, I intentionally booked a Balcony because we smoke. Not once did RCCL tell me you can't smoke on your balconies anymore. I checked their book and it still states you CAN smoke in your balcony. So, until they change that book, I DID smoke on my balcony. Of course we were careful and respectful and took care of our ashtray when done. *The staterooms, altho nice, had no coffee maker, no basket of little extras in the bathroom, no ice bucket (you had to ask for this) and the cable went in and out so much, it was difficult to watch anything, except Royals channels, they worked great!! You can watch them trying to sell excursions with no problem! *In the 9 days we were on this cruise, they never ONCE cleaned our balcony glass. I've been on cruises when at port, they are cleaning the outside of your glass. By the end of our cruise, you had to stand to see the water, the glass was so dirty!!! *Breakfast and Lunch in the Windjammer was almost identical every single day. The only difference was the Jade counter, they had Chinese, Mexican, etc....something different everyday. Husband was upset, they had no toaster and had to eat bread with his eggs. Unless you stood in a long line for eggs to order, you were stuck with powdered eggs, that were watery, or pre made fried eggs with no yolk for dipping. He was not happy!! I just made the best of it! Same thing with lunch, same everyday. Hotdogs, hamburgers, fries, maybe chicken or fish, but always the same!! Salad bar was good! *They pre pour your drinks in the Windjammer too. Watered down iced tea or lemonade and if the Windjammer is closed, the only place you can get a free glass of anything, was down in the Promenade. Which was very busy. *John was so unhappy about the "toast" situation that we decided to go to the dining room for breakfast. We ordered eggs, over easy, toast and sausage. When our food came out, the waiter told us he was sorry, but the toaster broke and offered us untoasted English muffins instead. UGH, he was NOT happy. But we ate anyway and as we were leaving the dining room, we noticed there was a small buffet set up there too. And there was a toaster!!!! One would think the waiter would have said "Sir, if you want toast, you can go over there and toast some" NOPE...he didn't even tell us. *The Royal Promenade was very nice, always busy, could hardly walk through at times. Between the shows and sales in the center, some days it was impossible to get through. ( I got pushed more than once) *The elevators are Forward and AFT....because the whole center of the ship, is the Promenade. It made for ALOT of extra walking!! Especially if you were mid ship, like us. *The free ice cream, you can get this anytime on any ship I've been on. Except this one. It didn't open until 11AM and it closed in the early evening. They only had cones. No dishes, no spoons. It was that cheap ice milk but the frozen yogert was good. *We weren't impressed with the food in the main dining room either. John ordered Jumbo Tiger Shrimp one night. He took a big bite, and they had left the shells on them. I don't eat Seafood but John said its the first time the shells had been left on. Normally, they leave the tails on them but NOT the whole shells. He got a mouthful!! Not happy again!! I have to say the Prime Rib was great, so were the Lobster Tails on the last night of the cruise. *The shows were so so. They had a guy who sang well, also an illusionist. He was good but it took so long for him to finally get to the punch, that you lost interest. Some folks were literally falling asleep!!! We didn't see the Ice show, I heard it was wonderful though. I am not a complainer. Like I said before, I try to find the positive in any situation. I had a good time on my cruise. However, I had to listen to my Husband bitch a lot!! My very first cruise was on the Monarch of the Seas in 1998. It was so much better than this one and I truly feel Royal Caribbean has gone downhill. We will not be taking RCCL again, they have lost our business. I will stick to CARNIVAL. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
There were 6 of us(3 couples) who have cruised on the Explorer of the Seas together in the past. My husband and I are seasoned cruisers(56). We hired a driver who took us to Port Liberty,NJ. to sail on the Liberty. We arrived at ... Read More
There were 6 of us(3 couples) who have cruised on the Explorer of the Seas together in the past. My husband and I are seasoned cruisers(56). We hired a driver who took us to Port Liberty,NJ. to sail on the Liberty. We arrived at 10:30am.The check in process was seamless and we were having lunch in the Windjammer at 11:30am. Our rooms were ready at 1pm on the dot. The entire ship was beautiful and almost always spotless. We did notice at dinner there were crumbs at the same place for 3 nights in a row but not other issues found. Our table waiters Ernesto and Sebatian were excellent and very attentive as was our cabin steward(name escapes me). We did take an excursion in Bermuda and had a wonderful time. It was very much worth the money as we took a boat along the coastline and were given an excellent commentary on Bermuda and it's history,saw many beautiful homes and visited an aquarium. We had a great time. Our meals were varied from the Windjammer,MDR,Sorrentos. We did not spend the extra for the finer dining as we were very much satisfied with the food that we had. All of the shows were excellent as we went to all of them! Disembarkation was slow as there seemed to be a long wait after out time for disembarkation passed. Once off, all went smoothly. We definitely desire to do this cruise again but perhaps visit different islands. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This cruise was the 3rd for my wife and I (all on RC), and it was the second time we have taken this itinerary from NJ. We previously did it in 2012 on The Explorer of the Seas. In general my wife and I enjoyed ourselves.. but that was ... Read More
This cruise was the 3rd for my wife and I (all on RC), and it was the second time we have taken this itinerary from NJ. We previously did it in 2012 on The Explorer of the Seas. In general my wife and I enjoyed ourselves.. but that was in spite of numerous issues we had on and off the ship. I will say right now that I can not recommend this ship and will never step onboard again. I also will reconsider my loyalty to RC if this is representative of what they are becoming. Definitely several steps down from our great experiance in 2012. **The Port** We use a car service to get to/from the port. It seems to be a pretty easy to get to with very little congestion around the area. The only line we had to deal with of note was the security line during embarkation. The people at the check in desk don't seem to know much since they stuck a drink package sticker on our seapass cards (we didn't buy a package) and had no idea what it was. Getting off the ship is also pretty easy. Less than an hour after our number was called we were in the car heading away. Make sure you have good suitcases though, as my inexpensive one got it's wheel torn off by the handlers. ***The Ship*** Firstly.. let me say the positives.. the ship was big and beautiful. It was well maintained and very very clean. The cabin staff were very friendly and helpful. This cruise was packed.. totally sold out.. yet there seemed to be room for everyone. Sure it was usually a long wait to get on a elevator, and the good spots around the pool were hard to get, but I didn't feel the crowd at all. The pools and jacuzzis were really nice and there was plenty of room for everyone. We loved that there was a separate kid area so we didn't have to deal with all of em in the hot tubs with us. In fact, even though there were sooo many kids on board they were not a bother at all. The outdoor video screen was pretty cool and we enjoyed watching movies poolside. In fact one of my favorite things to do on the boat was just relax in the pool or hot tub at night while everyone else was at dinner or partying. We didn't go to any of the shows but the people we talked to that did said they were wonderful. While I will speak more about food later, let me say right here that the Chops grill had the best steak I've had at a restaurant ever (and in my area near NYC that is saying a lot). The aged steaks are very pricey but I am glad I did it. The ship is equipped with Wi-Fi and we did buy an unlimited plan. It was a bit pricy but worth it since we were able to stay in touch. The service is a little slow (don't expect video chat or really any kind of media) but adequate for chat, email, facebook, etc. We spent about the same money last time on voice calls back home so this was an improvement. Now.. lets get to the bad stuff. First and worst of all was the food included with the ticket. I was very very disappointed with the windjammer. Granted it is buffet but the last time we were on RC the buffet was pretty good. This time I would rate it as barely edible. Plus the menu hardly changed from day to day. Breakfast was at least 90% repeat, while lunch and dinner were probably around 75%. Sure there were two or three things I found that were really nice (Strawberry Bisque, Gorgonzola pasta sauce for example). But generally I disliked most of what I put on my plate. To make matter's worse it appeared that things started to run out about halfway through the days and they seemed to just have the same 5 or 6 ingredients put together different ways and given different names. By day 7 I regretted every mouthful of food I put in my body and stuck with fruit or rice. The dining room was decent but not what I would expect for that level. Probably at least one step down from what we had in 2012. Portions were small, and the quality of some of the meat was just questionable. Their "aged" steak that was available every night was thin and grocery store quality. Again there were a few appetizers that were totally wonderful.. but generally it was a letdown. So really it looks like Cruising is becoming like low cost air travel... lower quality food included but if you want something "special" you pay through the nose.. $140 for two to eat at Chops (one drink a piece, two aged steaks, plus cover charge and tip).... thats about what it costs at home for a stand alone restaurant. Another bad thing with this ship was the horrible service at the photo department. To make a long story short they had issues making the digital CDs which resulted in a significant argument the last night between my wife and the photo manager (who was very nasty). These people just don't care and are totally overwhelmed. The technology and their process to produce product is very bad. We ended up paying 180 bucks for 10 low quality digital files (only 8x10 prints possible without some photoshop magic) and walked away with a CD that was still missing images we wanted. Considering the amount of money invested in Salon appointments and outfits just to look nice for photos they didn't seem to give a crap once the money was in their hands. Getting to our excursion in St. Martiaan was a nightmare. They funneled over 1000 people down and up the narrow aisle of the theater just to pick up stickers. 1 hour delay cost us shopping time later. Not good RC.. not good at all. We had numerous issues with our seapass cards throughout the vacation. I lost count how many times we needed to get something fixed. One final bad point... RC really has stepped up the whole "Selling" thing on ship. It is no longer just the overpriced stuff on the promenade. Now they have people hawking the drink plan or the salon services in nearly every common area. You can't go in or out of the windjammer without getting pestered. It is a beautiful system actually.. make the "photographers" available and push the formal nights.. get people to spend money at the salon to look good (maybe even buy a overpriced dress) and then at the end they'll be dumping outrageous sums of money on the prints or CDs. So as far as the ship goes.. The bad food, terrible people at the photo department, and handful of other issues we had really just put a black cloud over the whole trip. After all the money we spent I'd have expected a better experience. ***The Itinerary*** For Bermuda they give you enough time to go out and explore a bit. Don't feel obligated to do one of the cruise excursions (which are overpriced). All you need is a $5 bus token and you can go just about anywhere. They also have ferries. One popular destination is Horseshoe Bay. It costs us $18 for two round trip (as opposed to $100 from RC). Some of the stuff around the dock is quite the tourist trap so if you really want to have lunch head out of town. St. Maarten is a shorter visit but you do have some workable time. Get out on the water but beware there is a significant current wherever you go (the snorkeling really is "strenuous"). The beaches by the airport are pretty neat as the planes land right over your head. If you are into jewelry the shops around the port have very nice blue diamond pieces (bring cash, and be prepared for haggling and hard selling). You don't really spend much time in Puerto Rico so really there isn't much you can do (not to mention having to get off the ship at 7am kinda sucks). DO NOT leave the Old San Juan area. Just forget it. And don't even consider the "rainforest" visit.. it's nothing more than a tourist trap. They take you on a bus ride through some of the worst ghettos you've ever seen. When you get to the "rainforest" it's just green leaves and a small waterfall. Instead just walk around and enjoy the culture and shops. Have lunch. Haiti is beautiful and the water is amazing. The sun is unrelenting though. Be prepared for crowds everywhere. Whatever you do, DO NOT GO TO THE "NATIVE" BOOTHS. These are the little stands behind the artisan building. DO NOT go there unless you wish to be accosted and harassed. I have no idea why RC continues to allow these people to act the way they act but it was frankly scary. For the excursions.. the sandbar or island cruises are nice and lots of fun. Be prepared for everyone and anyone to have their hand out for a tip when they give you even the slightest amount of help. The four days at sea are a bit much but necessary due to how far this trip goes. By the time you hit the last two days everyone is just sick of each other and bored. Those are also the days that RC starts dumping all the "designer" junk on the promenade. DO NOT buy anything.. it's either junk, or very very overpriced (Gucci bags that are marked up and discounted to $160 are really $75 online). Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We have cruised 25 times prior to this trip on various cruise lines and are currently Diamond members of Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor. We decided to reserve a Junior Suite this time and even though it was a little expensive, it was ... Read More
We have cruised 25 times prior to this trip on various cruise lines and are currently Diamond members of Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor. We decided to reserve a Junior Suite this time and even though it was a little expensive, it was very enjoyable with lots of storage space. It seems as if every time one of their ships goes in to get refurbished, the dance floors get smaller and the bars and pay restaurants get bigger and more plentiful. The activities, dance lessons in particular, are getting fewer and fewer. On this last cruise, there were no country line dance lessons even though there was a good country band, and only two ballroom dance lessons. The Country band was good, but I challenge anyone to try to do a two step or country waltz on the dance floor where they played. The other venue, with a slightly larger and definitely more appropriate dance floor could not be used I was told because of noise complaints from cabins above the Sphinx lounge. Was this never considered by the designers of the Royal ships? The tea on this ship as well as the last Celebrity ship was terrible. Have they never heard of Tetley or Lipton. Even 2 teabags in one cup didn't do the trick. The last cruise we were on showed outdoor movies and if you didn't choose to watch them outdoors, you could watch them in your cabin any time for free. No so with Royal Caribbean. It was difficult to find anything on the menu I would consider eating on two separate evenings. The food was mediocre at best and couldn't compare with Celebrity except for the last meal. The production musical, "Saturday Night Fever" was one of the best shows I have ever seen on a cruise or anywhere else for that matter. Several other shows were also pretty good. The children's pool and play area looked great for small children. Overall, one of the main reasons I cruise is for ballroom and line dance lessons and a place to dance during the evening. I was very disappointed with this cruise and hope they add these activities and venues in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We love cruising. Unfortunately this cruise was not our favourite. We booked Liberty of the Seas Eastern Caribbean cruise to celebrate a milestone birthday. We travelled from Vancouver, BC; it was part of a 3-week vacation including New ... Read More
We love cruising. Unfortunately this cruise was not our favourite. We booked Liberty of the Seas Eastern Caribbean cruise to celebrate a milestone birthday. We travelled from Vancouver, BC; it was part of a 3-week vacation including New York City and North Fork, Long Island, which were fabulous! This was our first RCL cruise. I do a lot of research before booking our vacations and found the Liberty to have pretty solid reviews so did not hesitate. But we have cruised Regent and Princess several times and found them to be superior in every way, except for the entertainment. In this regard Liberty far surpassed our expectations. We experienced the best entertainment on board this ship. We attended all the main shows: Ice show, Air show, and Saturday Night Fever, which were all high quality, professional shows. Our cabin on the 9th floor was great. Ample living and storage space with a really good-sized balcony. Our cabin steward's service was very good - he provided a mattress foam for added comfort. Our bed was very comfortable. The worst experiences we had was the food in the "included" restaurants, the Spa, and the smoke in the casino. The food in both the Main Dining Room and Windjammer Buffet was mediocre at very best. So much so that we only dined 2 of 9 nights in the Main Dining Room; the other 7 nights enjoyed excellent food at the Specialty Restaurants: Chops, Portofino and Johnny Rockets - all of which were top quality but at significant added cost. To have excellent food included in the already high cost of cruising is something we expect. After all, food, service and ports of call are the highlights of being on a ship in the first place. For us this was a big negative. The spa was not my idea of first class. I am a spa person - love it - and go often. I booked a couples massage for us and while my husband's was good he said, mine was "very" amateur. I was sorely disappointed. The waiting area was nice but once led to our couples room, what a let down. It wasn't spa-like at all. It felt like someone threw 2 beds in a room as an afterthought. And the worst was the incredible up-sell by the therapists at the end of the service. There is typically up-selling to some degree at most every spa but this was way over the top. Any relaxation achieved during the treatment was immediately offset by the "I must insist you buy this - it is what you both need" - a huge turn off. We wanted to get as far away from them as possible. For the price, an epic fail. The casino is in the worst possible location, mid-ship, so that smoke permeates not only the casino but all parts of the surrounding public areas. It was disgusting. The casino is located in a key walkway from the shows to the Promenade (3 floors are open air and joined by staircases so the smoke moves freely. After a show one must walk (or run) the gauntlet of smoke to get to the other end. Either that or walk up or down a flight of stairs to another floor, or take an elevator, which after a show is lined up to the rafters to get onto. A terrible design, especially problematic for people with allergies or asthma. Neither should children be exposed. The Ports of Call (Bermuda, San Juan, St. Maarten, and Labadee) were lots of fun. Bermuda was our favourite. We don't like to book group excursions, preferring more private trips. We hired a driver/cab to take us on a tour. We just walked off the ship and booked him. We talked to several cab/tour drivers and this fellow, Mr T., was our favourite. He was amazing! A 4-hour tour encompassed an array of sights to all the main towns and attractions and also little out-of-the-way places, providing a nice narrative on the island's history as we went. Some of the homes (of movie stars and VIP's) were an interesting sight. All in all the cruise was fun. But RCL, in this case, was not the best choice for us. Spending the money on a cruise is not a problem if the quality is there. Last year we cruised the new Princess Regal - it was excellent and worth every penny. Regent ships are also fabulous. But Liberty of the Seas was a little disappointing. It is a pretty and clean ship but overall our money would likely be better spent elsewhere. It was a special occasion after all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Wow just finished this cruise an as #26 it was the best so far. In fact we liked it so much we have book it again for June 2 this year. I know your going to say hey this is hurricane season but I know and we are going to chance it anyway. ... Read More
Wow just finished this cruise an as #26 it was the best so far. In fact we liked it so much we have book it again for June 2 this year. I know your going to say hey this is hurricane season but I know and we are going to chance it anyway. This ship is so stable we like it even better than the Explorer. There were 7 of us and when we arrived at 11:00am and we were whisked through registration and on board and in the room before 12:00 and then up to the windjammer for a quick bite and wander around the ship till it was time for orientation and watch her go out and under the Varazono bridge. Wow she just clears it. Embarking: Arrived at terminal and was pleased to find the great changes. Easy on and off. By the time we got on board our luggage was at the door. Food was great at all venues and we are going to try some different one this time. Entertainment was great, the best we have ever seen. Went up to the outrigger hot tubs later that night and met some of the ice skating actors and found out to our joy that some were from Toronto and Calgary and Vancover and Montreal. Yeah Canada you have done us proud keep up your good work. Disembarkation: Was a treat no problem. Called at 8:00 am and in the car and on the road within the hour. Fastest time ever. Just had to mention our room Steward Howard and our head waiter Carl Cain and his assistant as well as our wine steward. Looking forward to seeing you again next week. Thanks for making this our best cruise ever. See you soon. Gerry Grace Tracey Pauline Linsey Dan and Marlene the crazy Canadians Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We are in our mid 50s and only two of 19 Australians on this sailing. Whilst we are regular cruisers and are hard and fast Azamara and Celebrity fans we really enjoyed our Liberty experience. There were however pros and cons. We chose this ... Read More
We are in our mid 50s and only two of 19 Australians on this sailing. Whilst we are regular cruisers and are hard and fast Azamara and Celebrity fans we really enjoyed our Liberty experience. There were however pros and cons. We chose this sailing after celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary in NYC on May 4, so this sailing was well timed for us. The ship I feel was the destination. Enjoyed the sea days but not the ports of call so much. The stays were very short and we felt we could have used more time in st Maarten and San Juan. Whilst Lababee was 'pretty' I couldn't get myself past the ridiculous prices and the history of Hati and the contrast I know exists between the 'have's' visiting and the islands 'have not'. I won't say any more but it rested heavily on my conscience. What we enjoyed (and there was lots) Chops Grille, food and service was outstanding!, our Junior Suite on deck 9, extremely comfortable, loved the coffee machine, in fact there was nothing that we didn't like about the room. The 'in the air' , Ice shows' and Saturday night fever were great. Actually there was no RCL entertainment we didn't like. The promenade was stunning. Onboard shopping fine, Photoshop well organised. The CD Luke is an asset to the ship. Parades were fun, 70s party was unreal! Loved the ambience and the mood in the two diamond club venues. Met lots of lovely people. Appreciated the helpfulness of guest relations and their good manners to me despite the people preceding me being extremely rude and complaining about the most trivial of things. We we didn't enjoy: the complainers that complain about anything! I can't believe what some people complain about, get real, plan to enjoy yourselves rather than going out of your way to find fault. You only make yourselves miserable and there was plenty of miserable people around. For heavens sake they are catering for 4100 people and I think they do it very well. Sure there were little hiccups along the way but it's how you interact with other human beings that will find you an appropriate resolution. The windjammer food was okay if you like buffets. Our my time dinning experience wasn't that of our experiences on Celebrity and Azamara (and RcL could take some lessons) but at the end of the day the ship was full and you weren't going to starve. Struggle with just how much people piled on their plates only to leave most of it untouched in many cases. We weren't blown away by the main dining room food but it was probably more our own choice of menu items. Yes the dining room chairs could do with a face lift but I'm sure they would be on the maintance plan. All in all we really enjoyed the cruise, would happily sail on the Liberty again. The things that were not fantastic are only very minor and it's probably down to luck or bad luck. Met some wonderful people. Loved that Crown and Anchor recognised our loyality to their sister companies. Very impressed with the overall "look and feel" of the ship. Well done RCL. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was my fourth RCI, and 25th cruise overall. I took my elderly Mom on this cruise for Mother's Day. This was my first cruise on a Freedom Class ship, although I had been in a similar, but slightly smaller, Voyager Class ... Read More
This was my fourth RCI, and 25th cruise overall. I took my elderly Mom on this cruise for Mother's Day. This was my first cruise on a Freedom Class ship, although I had been in a similar, but slightly smaller, Voyager Class (Mariner OTS) back in 2003. The layout was very similar, and I instantly felt 'at home' upon embarkation. The one thing I missed was the lack of a "Peek-A-Boo" bridge overview. The rest of the public area's were great, except for having to brave the gauntlet of smoke when crossing through the Casino Royale on Deck Four. I wish they would put a passageway on one side of the casino to circumnavigate that problem, with out the need to use Deck Five, but I doubt they will ever do that, because they might lose luring a few "contributions" from those just otherwise passing thru. Embarkation and Debarkation went very smoothly. In fact, since the ship repositioned to Bayonne from Fort Lauderdale without passenger's, they began boarding at the earliest time I have ever seen...10:00! And of course, the cabins were all ready for us, so no need to tote our carryons to the Windjammer. This cruise only carried about 173 children, mostly pre-school age. Very nice, and the reason we like to cruise in May and October. The rest of the passenger's included a very large proportion of Crown and Anchor repeater's of all levels. We were delighted to run into some folks that we cruised with before, and reprised our winning trivia team with them. Since we have taken so many cruises to these same ports, this cruise was more about enjoying the ship, so we did not take any shore excursion', other than a little shopping around the port in San Juan and Philipsburg. Just got off and then back on in Bermuda and Labadee... Dining...we had early dining in the Rembrandt main dining room, and had a table for two, number 156. Our server's were very good, and since my mother requires a low-sodium diet, we ordered the next night's meal at the end of each dinner. I was somewhat disappointed in the quality of the steaks served. They were what one might get in a 'cafeteria', not an elegant dining room. While I didn't expect prime, aged cuts that 'Chops' served at a premium price, I did hope to get something in-between, as we did get last December in the 'Grande Restaurant' aboard the Quantum OTS. Other than that, the food was okay. The Windjammer was also acceptable. Nothing great, just okay.... I also enjoyed raiding the cookie jar at the Cafe Promenade.... I did not try any of the extra fee dining locations. Entertainment.... I enjoyed the Platinum Theater production of "Saturday Night Fever", and some of the headliner shows, but could have missed some other's. The Ice Show's was also a favorite. The various bands, and music around the ship offered great variety. Enjoyed the piano bar in The Schooner, and the country music up in the Viking Crown Olive or Twist Lounge, as well as the disco down in the Catacombs. They also had a Latin band in Bolero's, and on nice days, a pool band. Cruise Activities... The Compass was packed with plenty to keep us happy. Especially the trivia games. Our team "We Don't Care", won more than our fair share of them, including the Progressive Team Trivia. The prizes awarded were very lame, but it was really fun to play. The Cruise Director and his staff did a superb job conducting them. I also took the All Access Tour of the ship. I felt it was worth the cost, although I was disappointed they did not give us any souvenir gifts. like I received in the tour of the Quantum and similar on other lines. The evening game shows, like Newlywed game, family feud, Majority Rules, etc., and finally The Quest (adult scavenger hunt) were also entertaining, as was the themed party nights...50's and 60's rock and roll party in the Sphinx, All white attire poolside party, and the '70's Disco Inferno Street Party in the Royal Promenade were well received. The crew...the Captain, and the entire crew were superb. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Just returned from a 10 day sailing on RCI Liberty of the Seas. When we booked the cruise our only option was 2 staterooms due to our family size of 5. No other options were available to get us all in one stateroom. We were sold connecting ... Read More
Just returned from a 10 day sailing on RCI Liberty of the Seas. When we booked the cruise our only option was 2 staterooms due to our family size of 5. No other options were available to get us all in one stateroom. We were sold connecting staterooms, 1 having a king bed and the other having a king bed and sleeper sofa. To our surprise, upon getting to our staterooms, neither had a sleeper sofa, just two king beds. There were two bunk beds that dropped from the ceiling but both had signs on them that stated "not permitted for use under the age of 6." When I asked where I should have my 4 year old twins to sleep, 1 employee suggested that they sleep on the floor. This really upset my family and I and is totally unacceptable. The manager of customer relations suggested that my wife and I sleep in the bunk beds and have the twins sleep in the king bed. This option was not acceptable nor one we wanted to entertain for 10 nights. Who wants to go on a cruise and sleep in a twin bed? Not us! The major upset was the deception of the RCI staff that booked our vacation. They should have never told us that there was a sleeper sofa in the room. Furthermore, they should never book a stateroom of this class with children under the age of 6. To my surprise, there was another family in line with me with the same issue. They had a room several doors down from us with the same issue. They were told of different sleeping arrangements when they booked the cruise as well. I would have never booked the cruise had I known of the sleeping arrangements. Being our first cruise with RCI I can say we are very unhappy. I have never had this experience on other cruise lines (i.e. NCL). The customer service manager offered us $400 towards a future sailing but we would have had to book and pay for the cruise within the next 3 months. At this point RCI was not in our foreseeable future so we did not take him up on this option. Overall the cruise was good. The food was good in the dining room and phenomenal in Chops Grill. The entertainment was good but not as great as NCL. The kids program was excellent and comparable to other cruises. The promenade was very nice. Overall a good cruise but upset with the cabin and deception of the RCI sales team. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015

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