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Sail Date: February 2015

Its interesting to read other reviews of this cruise. Were we on the same ship? As a seasoned "Celebrity" cruiser, I was initially disappointed with the small size of the ship etc. However, I soon got to like it and enjoyed easily ... Read More

Its interesting to read other reviews of this cruise. Were we on the same ship? As a seasoned "Celebrity" cruiser, I was initially disappointed with the small size of the ship etc. However, I soon got to like it and enjoyed easily finding my way around. Our embarkation experience was amazing - probably due to timing. We did not get to the port until about 2pm and breezed on to the ship. Our cabin (4068) was perfect - Marlon our attendant was silent and efficient. Noise from the Centrum could be heard only when the door was opened. Not a problem. Our dining experience in the main dining room was perfect - everything it could be. Sedrick and Sanjyot were totally on the ball, our table location by the window was lovely. Food was excellent. Not that impressed with Windjammer, but I was always able to find something to eat. The room was crowded so I took my food to the outer deck, which was delightful. The Captain was outstanding - his command of English superb, he was charming and very visible. The cruise director, Steve was also a plus - his enthusiasm and energy amazed me. We had such fun - the disco night was the best cruising entertainment I have had. The formal entertainment was disappointing, but we realize that these shows are organized well in advance by an on-shore company. The juggler was very funny.

My one small complaint about the cabin was the "mini bar stuff" which clutters up the small counter area. No-one in their right mind would spend $5 on a packet of cookies when there is abundant food available on the ship. Please dispense with this, or give us the option to have these items taken away.

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Sail Date: January 2015

This was my third cruise, and my first with Royal Caribbean. Our party consisted of 6 of us, a family trip of my wife and I, my parents, and my sister and brother in law. Overall, our experience was good to excellent, from wonderful ... Read More

This was my third cruise, and my first with Royal Caribbean. Our party consisted of 6 of us, a family trip of my wife and I, my parents, and my sister and brother in law. Overall, our experience was good to excellent, from wonderful excursions, above average service, entertainment which seemed to improve throughout the cruise, and activities which seemed to strike the fancy of the different interests of our family. Was it perfect? I'd have to say no. The first night's aerial act was cancelled due to rough seas, the adult comedy show was a bit too adult, and our cabin (and cabin steward) were adequate but not spectacular. Also, the ships layout was difficult in ways to navigate, and seemed somewhat lacking. With no aft staircase, with an awkwardly placed shopping area, and with no complimentary food option in the centrium, I was not overly impressed. That being said, there was also a lot to really, really like about this cruise, and RC deserves much commendation for the many things it did well.

Beyond day 2 the entertainment seemed to improve exponentially from day to day. The ventriloquist (Jay Johnson) was really, really funny and wholly entertaining. The Magician from America's Got Talent was also very good (bringing both his talent, and his personality into his show), and the comedian who closed out was among the funniest I've ever heard. I thought the second of the Singers and Dancers numbers (tribute to Broadway) was the better of the two... though I'm not sure how one can have a tribute to Broadway, and ignore the contributions of both Andrew Lloyd Webber and Schönberg & Boublil? Somehow, having a Broadway tribute without a single number from Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Starlight Express, Les Miserables or Miss Saigon?

Overall, my wife and I were both impressed with the three specialty restaurants, the Aquarius dining room, and with the Windjammer. The food at all venues was very good, the highlights being Chops Grille and Izumi. The issue, I thought was the lack of other complimentary food venues, especially in the centrium. My study of more recently launched RC ships has shown that the cruise line has largely corrected this problem, but on the Vision, there are no options apart from Ben & Jerry's, which is not included.

Overall, we enjoyed this cruise, and enjoyed it very much. Vision is an older ship, and it has some issues. But it also has a lot to offer, and the cruise line offers a great deal through it.

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Sail Date: January 2015

I am beginning to notice some defeciencies that Royal Caribbean will need to address. I still like their mission, at least I think their mission is to provide value to the adult cruiser. Terminal 1 at Port Canaveral is enormous, and ... Read More

I am beginning to notice some defeciencies that Royal Caribbean will need to address. I still like their mission, at least I think their mission is to provide value to the adult cruiser. Terminal 1 at Port Canaveral is enormous, and there seem to be some growing pains associated with passenger drop off. Some experience there should help. However, the worst thing abou this cruise was the last thing we encountered. That is self assist disembarkation. It was a shambles. I suspect far more passengers elected this route (for a number of reasons) and the staff was simply not prepared for it. I must also say some passengers had far more gear than they could handle in resonable circumstances. This didn't help. Assembly points were changed without prior notice and there were about 1000 passengers all trying their best to get to where they were directed. It was a dire mess.

Portifino's was very good. The upcharge was worth it if you long for a better dining experience. The food was of higher quality, the preparation was better and the service was ample. The main dining room seems to have more and more Sysco suplied food items like chicken cordon blue. It was poor supermarket quality and should not have been on the menu. Many appetizers arrived at room temperature when they should have been hot or cold. I know serving a couple thousand people at a time is difficult, but this needs improvement.

The staff is good. They all work hard to serve the passengers. Some additional training may help. For eample, the becks are hosed down each night. But the chairs are not wiped off. Some chairs hold a substantial amount of water. Towels are plentiful, but the passengers should not need to clean off the deck chaises each morning.

The shows are good and the liquor is, well, expensive.

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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015

We previously sailed on Royal’s Independence on the Seas. We enjoyed the cruise so much, we decided to try Liberty of the Seas, and booked while onboard.

Overall, we had a wonderful trip, and this is a beautiful ship. I am ... Read More

We previously sailed on Royal’s Independence on the Seas. We enjoyed the cruise so much, we decided to try Liberty of the Seas, and booked while onboard.

Overall, we had a wonderful trip, and this is a beautiful ship. I am a big fan of the Freedom Class ships. My favorite part about the entire trip was our enormous balcony cabin.

The service on this ship was also absolutely, positively, outstanding. They made us feel at home and that we were never a bother. We loved everyone we encountered on the ship. We enjoyed the venues, the food and the entertainment.

Here is a breakdown:

PRE-HOTEL STAY

We arrived two days early and stayed at the now Residence Inn (formerly the ii Lugano) on the intercoastal. It is pricier than some of the standard hotels, but it was absolutely lovely, and I would highly recommend. The rooms were beautifully decorated, and offered a washer/dryer, kitchen and large spaces with a huge balcony. They also provided a hot breakfast in the morning. They do not offer free transportation, but the concierge will set up transport for you.

We found the location to be excellent if you don’t mind being a bit away from the cruise port. It was next to a BoKampers, and there was a Walgreens nearby. There were several little restaurants nearby that you could walk to. The hotel also has a restaurant on site.

EMBARKATION

Embarkation was a lengthy process, filled with many lines. We didn’t experience this on Independence. It took about an hour and a half, but we were finally heading toward the ship. On Indy, there were no lines, we just walked up to the desk, which was amazing. Not so much this time. I wish they offered Faster to the Fun like Carnival. It is worth the extra cost to avoid lines.

SODA/ALCOHOL PACKAGE

We love that Royal allows you to choose from several different packages. EACH person gets to choose whether they want a package or not. It is NOT required that each guest in the same cabin purchase the same package as required on Carnival. I purchased the water package and the soda package.

ENTERTAINMENT

I loved the entertainment on Independence, it was a bit more fitting for what we prefer. It had more juggling/comedian and live musical entertainment. Liberty had Saturday Night Fever, a juggler, aerialists, and other singing/dancing, but quite as suited to our taste. Although it was very good, it wasn’t our preference. My entire family loved and just raved about the ice show. That was likely the favorite of all. This is amazing and a MUST do on any ship that provides the option. Don’t miss any ice show, it is just a wonderful experience.

SHIP

The ship is beautiful and does provide a WOW factor that Royal is known for. The promenade is gorgeous, and allows for many spots to sit and enjoy meeting others or people watching.

We loved the solarium area, but when laying out, there isn’t much of a breeze, so we preferred to head up to the higher decks. I still love that they have swings that overlook the ocean. We never found a spot to sit there, but they were obviously well liked by many.

The gym was very large and spacious, and they offer numerous classes to partake in for an extra fee.

Since I was with family, I didn’t previously realize that if you bring young children, you can “sign out” toys to take to your cabin. This is wonderful because it could save you an extra bag of toys!! I was very impressed, as was my cousin. She did utilize the babysitting service one evening and said they were very good to her 18 month old.

On Independence, I didn’t notice head pounding music, however, the music was blaringly loud on the lido deck for Liberty. It reminded me of being on Carnival, and that is one of the reasons I felt Royal superceded. It wasn’t the case this time around. The atmosphere wasn’t quite as nice as it was on Independence.

STAFF

The staff on this ship were superb, top notch and absolutely wonderful. I honestly cannot say enough about this crew. In fact, I would go as far to say that they were far superior to the staff on Independence. I was impressed with our wait staff, Robert and Lissette. I told them that they are the reason people cruise, they make you feel like family. They make you want to return to the dining room.

Our stateroom attendant, Harrold, was wonderful, and everyone onboard was always offering a greeting to you to welcome you back. All of the stateroom attendants we saw were extremely friendly and welcoming. Part of my family were on a different side of the ship and their stateroom was tended by Warbert, and he was just wonderful also. He would let me know if they had left, or would leave a note in their room for me. He always went out of his way to assist.

We were thoroughly pleased with the service and staff. I even commented to guest services that we had to get more cash because we ran out of tip money since everyone was so kind!

CABIN

We had an E1 cabin on the aft with an amazingly, huge deck. Our balcony made the trip. We came with a large family group, so it worked out perfectly. I don’t believe we had ever used our balcony as much as we did on this cruise.

If you choose a cabin on the aft, do realize that you will walk farther to the elevators. I would not recommend if you have difficulty with knees, feet or hips. It is definitely a hike, but I felt it was well worth it!

Our cabin was a bit tighter than my dad that was next door. We had a smaller couch, but it was fine for the two of us.

POOLS/HOT TUBS

The solarium pool was quite nice, as you could sit on the edge in water without getting in the actual pool. What I found odd is that the pool is 6 ft 11 inches deep. Most of the people were just there to cool off, and you couldn’t possibly swim laps, so I’m unsure why that depth was necessary.

I love the splash area for the kids, and it’s obvious they do as well.

The cantilevered hot tubs look amazing, although we never tried them.

LOUNGE CHAIRS

There seemed to be plenty of chairs available on sea days, which is sometimes problematic. We didn’t encounter this on the ship, so that was nice.

The solarium is a great place to lay out if there is a breeze or the ship is moving. Otherwise, it doesn’t get a lot of air and becomes very hot. The cushions also get extremely hot in the sun.

FOOD

I always miss Carnival’s Guy’s Burger. We did go to Johnny Rockets, and it was much better on Liberty. Although, there is a $5.95 charge for it. It was well worth the cost, and I would highly recommend.

Main dining room – great service, many options, great dessert options, and the food was very tasty. I primarily had baked potato and chicken. The food was very good, and they catered to my allergy issues. Even in the lido, you could find a chef that was willing to help you decide what you could/couldn’t have, based on allergies.

We used room service for breakfast, and it was always very timely.

We felt the options in the Windjammer on this cruise were a bit more limited, but the food was good. We also appreciated that there were wait staff around to help you if you needed anything. This was a nice touch.

Sorrentos – I didn’t try it, but my dad said it was good.

FOOD ALLERGIES - I suffer from nut/tree nut/sesame/coconut allergies/fish and shellfish, which can be deadly. Please contact your travel agent or the special needs department and they will assist you with these types of issues. Our head waiter would provide the menu each evening and then I would decide what I wanted the following day. They do a nice job of making certain that you are kept safe.

ACTIVITIES

This is what sets Royal apart. They have basketball, mini golf, shuffleboard, dodgeball, ice skating, pig pong, make your own rock video, flowrider, rock climbing, video arcades, splash pools, and all sorts of options to keep you busy.

We absolutely loved watching people on the Flowrider. When they have the competitors, it is very entertaining. It’s hard to believe you are on a ship.

SPA

AAAAAHHHHHHHH need I say more? This was the highlight of my trip. I didn’t do a standard massage, rather a special they were offering with a facial, neck/shoulder massage, foot/calf massage, and some other offerings. It was A M A Z I N G. The knots were gone in my neck once I was finished.

FROZEN YOGURT

On Carnival, it’s offered 24 hrs a day, but on RCCL, only until 6:30 pm. It is YUMMY!!

CASINO

We only went to the casino once on this cruise, but it was very large and offered many slots, and other options.

MEDICAL STAFF

Unfortunately, my aunt had a swollen wrist the day after we boarded the ship and was in terrible pain. Fortunately, she purchased cruise care and will be reimbursed for the charges. PLEASE ALWAYS BUY insurance!! It is not worth the risk!! The staff were very helpful and x-rayed her and put her in a splint. I purchased some topical anti-inflammatory cream in Cozumel and that made her 100% better!

DISEMBARKING

Disembarking was rather terrible. We didn’t have an issue getting off the ship, but there were so many ships in port that it took an extremely long time to get through customs. It was line after line after line, and I was just thankful we made it to the airport in time.

PORTS – Western Caribbean – Cozumel & Costa Maya

Cozumel - We took a tour of the Mayan Ruins in Tulum. We had been before, but wanted to see it with our family. We took a ferry ride and then a bus over to Tulum. The prior tour was not crowded, but this one was. If you have any issues with walking, I would not recommend. I noticed some people were having a difficult time with all the walking. If you have never been, I would recommend. If you have, I would do something else to avoid the crowds.

Costa Maya – there is a shopping area similar to Grand Turk once you get off the ship. There is a large pool and all sorts of little shops and a Carlos and Charlie’s. There is also a little trolley that shuttles people back and forth to/from the ship. We enjoyed the area tremendously. The people are very friendly.

TIPS:

Some of my family had never sailed on Royal previously. They were a bit confused by what all was included and what was not with regard to the pizza, café, ice cream, cupcakes, etc…I can see how this would happen.

The signage and the touch screen computers are very helpful when navigating the ship. Be sure to utilize if you aren’t sure where to go.

Happy sailing!! If I have missed anything and you have further questions, feel free to ask!!

 

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Sail Date: January 2015

Enjoyed our cruise. A great getaway from the winter weather.

Arrived at pier, but was lead onto an incorrect line. It was the entry line after you check your luggage.

So we carried on our luggage all through the process ... Read More

Enjoyed our cruise. A great getaway from the winter weather.

Arrived at pier, but was lead onto an incorrect line. It was the entry line after you check your luggage.

So we carried on our luggage all through the process and wondering why no one was taking our luggage.

We find out later there was a different area for drop off of luggage. Even though we had to lug the luggage, it was ok because we were able to take it to our room, unpack and ready to enjoy ourselves. We had great dinner seating and the waiters were excellent. Could not please us enough. Went to Belize on tour, two city tour. The tour guides were also very good, explaining everything about the country and everything that we passed along the way. In Cozumel we went to Paradise Beach. Great place to spend the day at the beach and pool. Good for families and adults. A lot of water sports to do or just enjoy the pool. Very inexpensive.

One little glitch was when we went to see about booking another cruise. We had some things and places in mind but the person there was not that helpful, She suggested when I return home to call. Did mention about the reduced deposit but I did not feel comfortable. So all in all it was a very good cruise and we are looking into something in the fall, besides two other cruised we have booked.

 

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Sail Date: November 2014

Departed Nov 16th for the 7 night cruise, This was the one with the Roatan Honduras, Playa Maya and Cozumel itinerary. Embarkation and parking was a nightmare, worst I have ever seen. Clearly boarding 2 ships is more that Galveston can ... Read More

Departed Nov 16th for the 7 night cruise, This was the one with the Roatan Honduras, Playa Maya and Cozumel itinerary. Embarkation and parking was a nightmare, worst I have ever seen. Clearly boarding 2 ships is more that Galveston can handle. I used port parking and I had prepaid but it was still a traffic jam. I suggest using an off site parking lot, that transports you to the pier, they can get you in and out faster than the port lot. It was raining and we had to stand out in the rain waiting for a shuttle to take us to the ship.

Once onboard the ship was nice, and the staff and passengers were friendly, but clearly RCI has cut back on crew and wait staff, getting a drink when we got onboard was impossible and we couldn't find a seat in the windjammer..

We booked this cruise only 1 week before sailing and since its only a 9 hour drive we set out Saturday drove to Houston and got at the port at noon on Sunday. We got our cruise for $298.00 each and had an outside room on Deck 3, We usually have a balcony room but for the price we thought we would "rough" it. The stateroom was of normal size, and layout and actually very convenient. Cant complain about the room or price. This was my first time out of Galveston but I have noticed the price of these cruises are very affordable.

This was also my first time to use " my time dining", and I found it very convenient. we had the same waiter every night and seemed to get faster service than those with an assigned time. The food was good but nothing special for a cruise. Windjammer always very busy, and we dined one night in Chops, it was great but had to spring for another 30 bucks each. I would generally say food was a little below what I expected.

My wife enjoyed a spa day, I visited the steam room daily, unfortunately it rained on our sea days and only had 2 generally nice days all week, Cant blame that on the cruise, but I heard those who bought balcony rooms complain they couldn't even go out (guess it made my cheap room an even better value.)

We did have some extremely good staff at the Boleros Tequila Bar. The cruise directors staff were nice but not out of the ordinary and the entertainment below normal, the special entertainment was better than the onboard folks. Special mention does however go to the Ice Skating crew for a great show. The singer in Schooner bar was so bad I couldn't stand to get a drink there. Decent shopping, nice ship, but nothing special (except Boleros bar and ice skating)!

 

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Sail Date: May 2014

DW & I (late 50's) sailed RCL’s Vision of the Seas 4-day cruise, Port Everglades to Cozumel & back (2 sea days), over Memorial Day weekend 2014. I’ve never seen better cruising weather, 4 days of just blue skies, ... Read More

DW & I (late 50's) sailed RCL’s Vision of the Seas 4-day cruise, Port Everglades to Cozumel & back (2 sea days), over Memorial Day weekend 2014. I’ve never seen better cruising weather, 4 days of just blue skies, light winds & calm seas. Even the Captain commented on his last noon Bridge Advisory.

What a great start: Embarkation was the easiest ever. We were at the terminal 10:30 a.m. & right up to check-in. Done in 5 minutes & DW asks, when do we begin boarding? Answer: You can board now, cabins are not ready but the bars are & the Windjammer is open for lunch. And by 10:45 we were enjoying cocktails by the pool. Savvy thinking by RCL; more bar revenue, & everyone - staff & passengers - avoids the embarkation herd effect.

The recently refurb’d VOS looks & feels brand new. Our outside cabin (Deck 2 Aft) was a bit small but certainly functional for 2 people, featuring wood, blue hues & colorful artwork. Very efficient cabin steward & the $5-spot assured we always had ice (signage on your vanity says ice must be requested). Engine noise & vibration were slightly noticeable especially when under way, but you’re just above the engines aft or thrusters forward on a low deck. New flat-screen cabin TV, but choices were, surprisingly, lousy. No interactive technology for tours or tab review, no movie rentals; just news, TNN & RCL informational loops.

Dining was good, especially the first nite with Prime Rib & Escargots. We had 2 dining issues & I must say the RCL dining staff members I dealt with both “owned” the problem & resolved it to my satisfaction. Indeed, all ship staff to a one were professional & pleasant.

The Drink Packages proved popular, as you could tell by the many folks who always had a drink in hand even early in the a.m. One foreseeable consequence though on the first nite was the worst bathroom throw-up scene I’ve ever encountered.

No Pizza. What? Except for room service trays we saw in the hallway, no venues served pizza. We didn’t miss it.

Outside Promenade was unusable for my daily, almost-exercise walkabout, as the bow was closed (permanently) & other sections often cordoned off for maintenance. But there were plentiful deck chairs & it was pleasant to just sit, relax, breathe the sea air & watch the ocean go by.

Small, always crowded gym. The running track on top deck was pretty much impassable (crowded with sun-lovers & their chairs) on sea days.

And Tip Envelopes are back; even if you pre-pay your gratuities (automatic $12.50 pp per day) you’re “reminded” that you can give something extra to that special staff member.

We tried the self-help early disembarkation & learned if you do it, wait 20-30 minutes after it begins or you will hardly be able to get off an elevator & into the slow-moving line.

Really can’t go wrong on RCL. Bons voyages always, extom.

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Sail Date: March 2014

We've never cruised before and didn't know what to expect. We wanted time away from work and the kids and were told that a cruise would be a good value.

I booked through an ad with Intercontinental Hotels Group. We received and ... Read More

We've never cruised before and didn't know what to expect. We wanted time away from work and the kids and were told that a cruise would be a good value.

I booked through an ad with Intercontinental Hotels Group. We received and upgrade to a balcony room and found that it was definitely worth it. We both had trouble getting a lot of time off of work, so we flew down from Newark to Ft. Lauderdale on Thursday morning, but arrived in plenty of time for the cruise.

Day 1:

Check-in took awhile but it wasn't bad. They kept everyone moving. They take your photo getting onto the boat, which seemed a bit ridiculous with us being all disheveled, schlepping our coats and carry-ons.

We settled into our rooms, freshened up, and went to visit the Vitality Spa for the tour. It seemed nice and I had wanted to get the husband a massage as a late birthday present (the trip was his actual present). He seemed intrigued by the hot stone massage and suggested that for both of us. I booked it. I didn't get the name of the woman who did the booking, but she was a very pushy salesperson who really pissed me off. Honestly - she was the only real negative on the trip. I'll get to that later, but when she handed me the slips for the reservation, I said "we both wanted hot stone, you have me down for Swedish." She replied that she had to put it in that way in order to get the discount. I also told her that I wanted both charges to be billed to me, not just mine. Anyway, after making the reservations we left and went to lunch.

The Windjammer was already hopping. Food was good. It wasn't gourmet, but I didn't expect that a buffet would be anything spectacular. It was good, though. We walked around after lunch, out on the deck, finally getting sun. BTW, my only minor food quibble: Jade is supposed to be Asian, right? Most of the food wasn't, and when it was, it was Indian. I really like Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, etc. A little more variety in the Asian department would have been nice.

We were in cabin 1532, a balcony stateroom towards the front of the ship on deck 10. It was lovely. we had a queen couch which folded out (we didn't need that) and the two twin beds were pushed together into a king. The balcony made the vacation for us, because there were many times when we just needed to chill and watch the water. I think the stateroom attendant came in and cleaned the room every single time we left, haha. She was fantastic. Yes, the bathrooms are small, but they are efficient, clean and definitely not bad. The air return in them is good, too, so shower steam and bathroom odors are quickly absorbed. I am fanatical about that and brought a can of Febreeze air effects, which helped to freshen the entire cabin at times. I had ordered a bottled water package and the water was there, all ready for us, when we boarded. This was another thing I won't do, since we barely used what I ordered. I think we went through 4 bottles, max.

DH had to bring his laptop for work and signed up for a wireless package. Work will reimburse him but damn, it's expensive and slow.

We tried to make it up to the Sky Bar to meet up with other Cruise critic members but didn't quite make it before Muster. That was hilarious. A couple of seasoned cruisers were complaining mightily about being away from their drinks.

There was so much to do, it was amazing. we showered before our massages, went upstairs, and waited. The husband was called in first. He thought we were doing this together and seemed a bit confused, but went off to have his massage. Then I was called and sure enough, it was for a Swedish massage. I didn't complain to the massage therapist. She was obviously young & in questioning her I found out she was new. I should have asked for the name of the person who had done the original booking, but I didn't. I did enjoy the massage and when it was over I met the husband outside. He was thrilled, felt relaxed and happy. We went back to the room to clean up & go to dinner.

We had My Time reservations in the Botticelli dining room. Our waiter, Ionut, and our assistant waiter, Abraham, were attentive, kind and helpful. I'm allergic to crustaceans but not other seafood, and they adjusted some of the dishes accordingly. For the most part, I thought the food was excellent. I had a steak the first night, duck on the second, rack of lamb on the third, and cod & scallops on the 4th. All were perfectly prepared. The appetizers were great, too. Loved the escargot, the tapas plate and the scallops. Some of the desserts were great, others were good but not great, but that's fine, I shouldn't be eating dessert anyway, haha.

We had the wine, beer and soft drink beverage package. I enjoyed a glass of wine with dinner each evening. I have no alcohol tolerance and I'm not a drinker, so I think we could have saved the cost of the package and ordered a la carte. I don't think the husband had more than 3 glasses of wine or a couple of beers on any given day. I did drink a lot of diet coke & sprite zero, but not enough to justify the package. My one guilty pleasure: the protein shakes on deck 11. I'd get a mango or strawberry shake with 70 grams of protein, perfect for someone who has had weight loss surgery.

Even though we were tired, we wanted to participate and see what was going on. The 70s dance party on the Promenade was great! We really got into the energy of the evening and enjoyed dancing in the "street." The cruise director, Jerome, and his staff were all great and very high-energy. I think we fell into bed after midnight, very happy.

Day 2:

We were at sea all day. We had breakfast at the buffet, hung out a bit in the hot tub, and participated in some of the day's events. We attended a trivia game about movie characters in the Schooner bar. We went to the shopping talk by Kelvin (seemed a bit of a hard sell to certain very expensive, high-end stores). If you're looking for basic souvenirs, this is not the talk for you. If you're looking for expensive jewelry, watches, gemstones, etc, go for it.We walked around quite a bit, exploring the whole ship. We went to a bunch of different activities and I can't even remember them all! It was formal night and we dressed for dinner. It was great to see so many people dressed up. We weren't exactly formal (he wore slacks and a sport coat, I was in a cocktail dress, but we didn't seem out of line with anyone else.

One thing I really enjoyed: we went out to watch The Hobbit on the big screen, sitting on the deck chairs. He gave me his sport coat (I was chilled) and we just had a great time.

Day 3, Cozumel:

We had tickets to Chankanaab for the Snorkel tour. Oscar, our guide, was very pleasant. I think we had a bit of a late start. Other than the one family with the extremely whiny kids, it was a very pleasant experience. I've never snorkeled before, and thought it was great. I loved seeing the fish, the lobster, the sea urchin and the other things under the water. After snorkeling we had lunch, and attended the tequila tasting (ick) and the Sea Lion Show (great). Then we went back to the pier, and headed out to the shops. Of course all the shops are very high pressure. I think the places recommended by the ship were out of our price range. The one we really liked was Alberto's, a silver place where the guy makes it himself, so it's not all the same stuff you see in the other jewelry shops.

We picked up presents for the kids. On the way back, we were in one jewelry place and stopped to look at some stuff. Somehow he was talked into buying me a pair of Mexican Opal earrings. I can't complain about that, they are lovely and I was extremely touched that he did that. Money is tight right now and I thought that was out of our budget but he did it and I love them. Love him, too. OK, enough mushy stuff, lol. Back to the review.

At the pier we bought a mug, a couple of t-shirts, a couple of bottles of tequila for friends, and we stopped at the Humane Society booth to make a donation. The adorable puppy up for adoption was soooo cute! She was an adorable terrier mix. Considering the amount of critters we already have, I wasn't adding another to the mix, but boy, was she cute. If anyone gives you change in pesos, consider putting that into the donation jar.

The Love & Marriage game show in the evening was an absolute laugh riot. I haven't laughed so hard in ages.

Day 4:

At sea again all day. I got up extra early to get sunrise pictures, and I saw a dolphin! I was thrilled. We went to a lot of trivia games during the day, hit the pool & the hot tub, and had a blast. We went to the Encore! ice show, it was great. They have some really talented people there. By the end of the day I was dragging! At dinner we heard that we'd be going back to snow in NJ, so we weren't thrilled about that, haha.

After dinner we went back to the casino for a bit. Then we went back to the room to get ready to go to Saturday Night Fever, and, well, I fell asleep. :( We missed the show. I'm disappointed about that but hey, reason to go back, right?

Day 5:

Got up early. We went to breakfast, packed and did a final walk-around. We opted for self-carry at 10 (but left at 9:30) because my Dad was picking us up. We left (well-deserved) tips for our waiters and our cabin attendant. Took a long time to get off the ship but once we were off it was fine.

I have to say, I'm really glad we had a balcony. It made for some very nice quiet time, where we could sit, talk, watch the ocean and relax. We had so many special moments, it was truly a time for us to reconnect. We'd like to go back with the kids, but for now, we are glad that we had this interlude.

 

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Sail Date: January 2014

I consider myself an experienced cruiser – not an aficionado by any means, but I’ve been on 6 or 7 over the years. Obviously I am a fan. Actually, about half of those have been on Royal Caribbean, with the last one about 4 ... Read More

I consider myself an experienced cruiser – not an aficionado by any means, but I’ve been on 6 or 7 over the years. Obviously I am a fan. Actually, about half of those have been on Royal Caribbean, with the last one about 4 years ago giving me a pretty great experience (the other lines were Carnival and Celebrity if you are curious).

However, this most recent experience was enough to make me say I’ll likely never book with Royal Caribbean again. I set sail on the Liberty of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale in late January. It was a family event – our group was about 70 people. We are a fun group that can roll with the punches and make the best of things – the only reason the vacation wasn’t a total bust.

At first glance the Liberty looked like a great option, one of the largest in RC’s fleet I believe. Let’s start with the positive…the activities on board and the ship itself were great. The public areas were well designed with plenty of fun bars, shops and restaurants to hang out in (personal favs were Schooner Bar and the Hoof & Claw English Pub). The casino was very good with friendly dealers who willingly taught me the basics of craps. Yay! The pool area was awesome – if crowded –with plenty of hot tubs and a rock wall. The FloRider surfing set up was an absolute blast! Finally, some of my group utilized the child care services and reported excellent experiences on that front.

Unfortunately, everything goes downhill from here. Upon closer examination, cleanliness was a huge issue on board. Despite the instructions in the form of verbal abuse from staffers to use the Purell stations prior to entry into dining areas. Upon checking into our staterooms my father found what looked like pubic hair inside some of the drawers. Over the 4 night cruise our stateroom was cleaned only twice. Another example, the first night at dinner there was a hair in my cheese plate. I’m relatively understanding …in a busy kitchen things happen, I called the waiter over to let him know about the issue and request a different dessert. He proceeded to imply that it was my hair that had fallen in (completely different colors by the way). I was not amused and told him so – after which he went around to the other side of the table and attempted to blame me again to my family members. It was an early indication of the atrocious customer service that was to come. With this level of apparent disregard for cleanliness on board it comes as no surprise that this line has been in the news recently for health related outbreaks. Thank goodness no one got sick in my group.

Moving on…If you are like me, one of the things you look forward to most on a cruise is the food. Oh the food! Midnight buffets, burgers by the pool, main dining room smorgasbords and even the specialty restaurants…bring it on. Someone jokingly said if you don’t gain 2 pounds a day on a cruise you are doing it wrong. My past cruise experience led me to believe that I was in for a 4-day long amazing culinary adventure…I could not have been more wrong. The food on the Liberty of the Seas was TERRIBLE. To be fair, the casual buffet in the WindJammer for lunch and breakfast was good…your usual fare. The main dining room is where I had the majority of my problems. The seafood was fishy and rubbery across the board – it all tasted like it had been leftover from previous sailings. It was old and on the verge of going bad. To add insult to injury everything had that too hot, rubbery taste we all associate with excessive use of the microwave. OK, lesson learned – I’ll stick to land based cuisine…it didn’t help. Nothing was ever cooked to order properly. On multiple occasions my medium rare order came out charred and well done, while my neighbors well-done was close to bloody. Of the 4 nights we had dinner only the last had any actually tasty dishes. The last night…also known as tip night – call me cynical but I feel those 2 things may be related. I didn’t personally dine at Chops or Portofino (the specialty restaurants), but members of our group did and reported back that they were only marginally better.

Now let’s talk about that terrible level of customer service I mentioned earlier. Again, based on prior cruises, I was expecting pretty good customer service. Maybe not Disney level, but it is a cornerstone of this industry and I would expect representatives of the cruise line to take it seriously. Nope, the staff of the Liberty of the Seas was not helpful or friendly…in fact they were downright combative at times. It started in the main dining room – I’m sensing a trend here. The wait staff was horrendous. Every single night at our table they either got an order incorrectly, didn’t bring someone’s order out, brought out random extra orders or forgot to take someone’s order entirely. They were also incredibly slow at filling water glasses or taking additional wine orders. Not to mention the hair incident.

The beverage staff was equally awful at many of the on-board bars. They seemed to all be moving at the speed of sloth, it took a staggeringly long time to get a drink anywhere…even when we were the only people in the bar area. Bartenders will frequently roll their eyes at you, or condescendingly ask “what’s the magic word” when you order a drink. Side Note: I’m generally polite and a prior server – I tip well and always say please, which that guy would have heard if he bothered to pay attention to anything. Expect to be blamed for any problem you bring to someone’s attention – even at the guest relations desk. We had a small billing discrepancy I needed to clear up at the end of the journey. The rep behind the desk was completely rude and abrasive.

I have never been so disappointed in a company. The level of quality for my experience as a whole was so far below my expectations it was shocking. I love going on cruises, I’m sure I’ll go on many more in my lifetime – they just won’t be with Royal Caribbean.

 

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Sail Date: December 2013

2 hours plus to board... Not immigration fault too few RC check in staff

No available food after boarding except Serrento's pizza with long lines....

1st night bar = casino, club, everything shut down at 2am. Yes you ... Read More

2 hours plus to board... Not immigration fault too few RC check in staff

No available food after boarding except Serrento's pizza with long lines....

1st night bar = casino, club, everything shut down at 2am. Yes you heard me called concierge asked about food and bars... CLOSED.

I show for 4 nights in main stage.... Comedian/magician 1 show at 7:30pm on last night

Chops specialty restaurant sent back two veal chops which we couldn't cut.. chief came out he couldn't cut ... apologized nice guy but we had enough.

Men's rooms all over ship smelled like urine ( I am not fussing about stuff like that but it was simply not clean.

Golf simulator down entire trip.

Ship beautiful and nice, well maintained

Disappointed in RC and will not go on large ship out of Ft L again.

Getting same problem staff didn't know which level to direct us to get off with bags ...

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