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7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Galveston

7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Galveston

Liberty of the Seas
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Liberty of the Seas

Liberty of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International


Great family-friendly programming on a large ship that is relaxing even with little kids


Food was underwhelming at times and the nightly entertainment was hit or miss

Bottom Line

Liberty of the Seas boasts a fresh feel and provides a fun vacation for all ages

Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: August 2019
This is our fourth cruise out of Galveston, and the second time on Liberty of the Seas. Overall we had a great time. Some thoughts... Embarkation: The port signing is poorly laid out, and can be confusing. We missed the lane for ... Read More
This is our fourth cruise out of Galveston, and the second time on Liberty of the Seas. Overall we had a great time. Some thoughts... Embarkation: The port signing is poorly laid out, and can be confusing. We missed the lane for dropping off the luggage, so we circled back around a second time. Go early because the traffic gets awful later in the morning. We dropped off the bags, parked over at Lot B, and the shuttle dropped us back at the terminal - about 15 minutes from bag drop to terminal (at 10 am). The line inside the terminal was long but moved along. It was about 45 minutes from walking in to getting past the bag scanner. From there we moved into the check-in room. The line there was much shorter and moved faster (again, early in the day). We moved through, checked in, had our picture taken and headed to the on ramp. Not horrible, but we thought Carnival's embarkation was much smoother. And then we were on the ship! We made our way to the buffet, along with the other 4,000 passengers. As expected, the Windjammer was crowded and busy. Staff were trying to help people find tables, but space was tight and everyone had their carry-on bags. Other than one jerk who thought the world should stop for him, most people were trying to be patient and make their way through. Food was good, we found a table and had lunch and chilled until the room announcement was made. Cabins: We had a balcony and an interior on deck 9. The rooms were clean and ready for us. We unpacked and enjoyed the balcony until muster drill. They really need to have some big fans on deck for muster drill. The deck is so crowded, and the heat was awful and I can see where the older folks might get sick. The cabin steward was in and out every day and kept the towels replaced, the bed made, and the ice bucket full. We had towel animals three nights, which we liked, but we ALWAYS had ice in the bucket which we really really liked. :-) We had pre-ordered one of the Royal Gifts liquor deliveries which arrived promptly on the day after embarkation. The cabins were standard - clean, enough storage, the a/c worked fine, no complaints. MDR: Mixed feelings about the MDR this time. We like to go because it is usually fun to be pampered and waited on. But this time our little family was in the back against the window behind three giant groups of elderly people, probably thirty altogether at three big tables. The sun was blasting through the window and there was some problem that prevented them from lowering the shade so we roasted for the first three nights (once we changed direction we lost the sun and it was better). Our view out the windows was the inflatable lifeboats. A necessary thing to have, but it wasn't like lowering the shades would mess up the view. Because we were jammed back there, it was hard to get to our table, it was hard for the waiters to get in and out to us. We felt bad about squeezing past the old folks, because it was so hard for them to move or let us by. The groups had at least two birthdays every night, and for some reason most of them were named "John." So we sang "Happy Birthday" to John, over and over and over again. It's not RC's fault that these three giant groups of the John club decided to celebrate their birthdays on the cruise, but it would have been a lot better if they had just given them a little more space for their walkers and canes and sat us elsewhere. The waiters were nice, and did their best, but between having to squeeze past the big group and being stretched thin, it was not the level of service we had previously. The head waiter came by and chatted most nights. He was very nice, and I think understood that our location was not optimal. I saw more people really dressed to the nines for formal night than I have ever seen on a Galveston cruise. Usually it's "please don't wear shorts and maybe wear your nice flip flops" and this time there were people in fancy long prom-type dresses and suits, even a couple of tuxedos. We wore suits and church-type clothes and were right in the middle of the pack. MDR Food: Good to very good. Not great, but nothing wrong with it. Typical cruise food - steaks and shrimp and soups and desserts. Some extra vegetarian/vegan options would be nice. The best things we had all week were the crabcakes and calmari appetizers. The fish entrees were consistently good, but very similar - fish with sauce plus starch and veg. The NY strip was consistently good, and one of the best we have had. Nicely seared on the outside and at the right temp every time. Rare was almost purple inside, and med-rare was beautiful and bloody. Delicious. Desserts were good - standouts were the Grand Marnier Souffle and the Creme Brulee. The no-sugar-added desserts were consistently tasty and good. Windjammer: Food good to very good. We really like the layout of the Windjammer as compared to Carnival. There are multiple smaller stations so you don't have to go through the entire line end-to-end to just get one thing. The cookies are always great and we made multiple trips upstairs just for cookies. A nice variety and selection of items, serving trays were kept full and fresh. Plates were cleared quickly and tables kept clean. At peak times staff were pro-active about helping guests find tables - I was approached by one staff member who suggested that I give him my sweater and he would use it to save a table for us. Very much appreciated. Also at peak times - breakfast on port days - they were gently "encouraging" passengers to finish up so that others could eat. When it was full they were holding back a line at the entrance to keep the crowd from being out of hand. The gatekeepers at the door were friendly and cheerful in what has to be a thankless job of "encouraging" / "suggesting" / forcing guests into sanitizing their hands on the way in. Ports: Overall fine, it's the Caribbean - you go for sun and sand and that's what we got. Cozumel - we took a taxi downtown, stopped at Mega for candy and souvenirs and then walked over to the shopping area. (Mega is great for anything you might have forgotten, or cheap snacks or small souvenirs. Flip flops, sunscreen, candy, bottled water, etc. They have a grocery store too if you want to make your own picnic lunch. Prices are in pesos but they will press a button and convert to dollars. The exchange rate they offered was 19/$1, which we though was very good.) Bought some handbags, and the non-shoppers enjoyed a bench in the shade with a book while the shoppers wandered about. Had lunch at a sidewalk place facing the water on Rafael Melgar street and then took a taxi back to the ship. We've gone to Paradise Beach before and loved it, but this time the shoppers won out. :-) We like Cozumel, it's a clean, safe, tourist-friendly stop. Grand Cayman - tendering process was quick. I got in line for tender tickets at 8:30. The line was crazy long but moved really fast. The tendering was not supposed to start until 10:30 so we we not expecting to get off until 11:30 (boat #21) but we were called by 10:40 and were in port by 11. The port area is very chaotic, and outside the fence is worse. The vendors are very aggressive and it was a bit unnerving. We were back inside and agreed to an island tour with one of the companies there. We had a quick trip around to Hell, the rum cake store and the dolphin place (15 minutes at each, plenty of time for the pictures and back on the bus). After that the driver dropped us at Calico Jack's for 1.5 hours and picked us back up. We liked Calico Jack's, had some lunch and drinks and spent time in the pool. One caution - the prices are listed in Cayman Dollars, not US, and the total will include gratuity. So take the menu price times $1.25 and then add 18% to get the total, so that you avoid sticker shock. We got back tot he port about 3:30 and walked straight onto a tender boat and back to the ship. Get there early to avoid the wait. Fallmouth - We took a RC tour - "Green Grotto and Dunn River Falls". Overall, very good. The bus was air conditioned, the hosts were polite but brusque and kept us on the schedule. The guide at the Grotto was terrific! Informative, enthusiastic and very good with the small children in our group. The cave tour was interesting. We would have preferred more history, but he adapted the talk to accommodate the many small children in our group. Dunn River Falls was pretty, but crowded and touristy. The climb up the falls was fun, but there were so many tourists there that it became somewhat of a forced march up in order to keep the line moving. A slower pace with fewer people would have been nice to be able to enjoy the beautiful area more. The port area is new and very nice. Onboard Entertainment: Mixed reviews...The casino is nice, but they really tightened up the slots for the last two sea days. We had a good time and pretty much broke even. The Schooner Bar piano player is nice to listen to but it gets crowded in the evenings. We saw two comedians, both were good. There was also a juggler/comedian which was better than it sounds. We skipped Saturday Night Fever because we saw it last time and didn't really enjoy it. The aerialist show was nice but not great. BUT. The Eagles tribute band was amazing! We really enjoyed it and the crowd was really into it. Daytime entertainment was mostly port shopping talks and port excursion talks. A couple sessions about the history or ecology of the ports would be a nice change. Voom internet worked well and we had good service all over the ship. Ship in general: A pretty ship, clean and well kept. We enjoyed sitting outside the pizza place on the promenade and people-watching. Debarkation - Super smooth and easy. We walked straight through, less than 30 minutes from getting in line in the dining room to walking out of customs. Miles and miles better than Carnival's debarkation nightmare. All in all we had a great time and loved the ship. Definitely will be back. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Excellent Service, Very Clean Ship, wonderful pool & kids splash area. Our 7 & 9 year olds had a blast! Smooth & fairly quick embarkation from Galveston. We were lucky to have 2 adjoining rooms & really appreciated ... Read More
Excellent Service, Very Clean Ship, wonderful pool & kids splash area. Our 7 & 9 year olds had a blast! Smooth & fairly quick embarkation from Galveston. We were lucky to have 2 adjoining rooms & really appreciated the extra space. We stayed on deck three and had a great experience. We never felt the ship moving—very smooth sailing. The shows were great! We went to see Saturday Night Fever, the ice show & the Air show as a family and all enjoyed them. My husband and I saw a comedy show one night while the kids were in the kids club—it was so much fun. Grand Cayman & Cozumel were awesome! Our kids went to the kids club a few nights but honestly they didn’t love it. They were happy to be able to stay together though, since they were supposed to be in different groups due to their ages (7 & 9) but they let my older daughter move down. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I researched everything about this cruise before we left. Hours and hours of research. So, now that we have concluded our cruise (returned today), I wanted to give you all those details and information while it's still fresh in my ... Read More
I researched everything about this cruise before we left. Hours and hours of research. So, now that we have concluded our cruise (returned today), I wanted to give you all those details and information while it's still fresh in my mind. Would I personally go on this cruise again? Absolutely not. Where do I start........ Parking is a little bit of a pain, probably depending on when you arrive. We didn't get there until around noon and the street in front of the cruise terminal was at a crawl. Book your parking early!! I waited and most lots were full. However, we went with the actual Port of Galveston parking (indoor garage) and it was perfect. It was right across the street so we could just walk and didn't have to deal with a shuttle bus. It was $105, and by booking online, you save $5 so it was $100. The line to get onto the ship was long, but moved faster than I thought it would. It took about an hour. Print out your sea pass paper before you go! The line for those without this was much longer. Also make sure you put all your passport info, credit card charging info., etc. into their system BEFORE you go. We got onto the ship at 1:30 and rooms were ready! I'll review the rooms in the other section at the bottom of this review. We headed to the buffet, and it was a crowded mess. Honestly, it drives me crazy how people are so rude. They cut in lines, they stand in the middle, they push, the list could go on. There was no where to sit. It was awful and at this point I was really regretting booking a big ship. Suitcases arrived around 6. We booked the 3 specialty restaurant package. The restaurants were good, but not fabulous. I am a huge foodie and love to cook, so I'm probably much more critical than others. The Italian place was the best, with Chops coming in second. The other nights we did the "My Time" dining and made a reservation. That worked out well and we never had to wait. Dress code: NO ONE CARES (which is very sad)! That's pretty much what we figured out. Some people wore shorts and hats to the dining room and no one said a thing. On formal night, the majority of people did not wear formal clothes, but wore Church type clothes. There are no washers/ dryers to use, as some other ships have. You can have them do your laundry for $35, all you can stuff in a small bag they give you, and they simply wash, dry and fold. Not worth it in my opinion, but in a pinch, it's there. If you try to do laundry in the sink, beware that things take forever (days) to dry because of the humidity. Drink packages.....(My opinion): We had a party of 5 (2 adults, 3 teens). We purchased the refreshment package and it was $26 per day/ per person. Definitely not cheap, but the alcohol package was really pricey with tips added, etc. I would NOT buy this again. The lines to get drinks were long, and it was honestly a pain. Plus, the days you aren't on the ship, you don't use it much. We did use it for some specialty coffees (available in Cafe Promenade). I did use it for fresh squeezed OJ some mornings, but everyone else in the family thought it tasted weird. It was quite sweet, and not what I expected. (Fresh OJ is available in Windjammer at a little station). We used it for some virgin drinks and sodas. But overall, we would have been better off just paying for each drink as we wanted one. Even sodas were a pain to get because you had to go to a bar and wait behind the lines of people getting alcoholic drinks made. Food: Just OK. We've been spoiled with other cruise lines where the food was really good...(Regent Seven Seas, Celebrity, (even NCL was way better). It wasn't bad, it was just OK. No other way to really describe it. Sorrento's pizza was probably the best and we all loved getting pizza late at night. Shows: They were pretty good. The comedy shows were probably the best and also the most crowded. You don't need tickets or anything to any of their shows. Just show up about 15 min. early and grab a seat. The ice skating rink was really small, so our kids had no desire to skate. It would be best for little kids. Slides: Our teenagers said they were so slow and stopped mid slide. They did not try the one with the raft type thing because the lines were insane. Speaking of lines and crowds, they were AWFUL everywhere. There were also many times when we were bored on the ship. Pool is tiny. Lounge chairs go quickly so I just got up early each day and enjoyed my coffee out near the pool. It was calm and peaceful then, which I loved. Bring towel clips because it gets windy. WIFI was HORRIBLE! We purchased it for all of us and it seemed to always have issues. It was down for more than 24 hours one of the days. The other days, it was so slow and would only work on certain areas of the ship. For example, it would not work inside rooms or on balconies. The ship is old and showing it's age. They do a good job keeping it clean and for the most part, the employees seemed happy. I felt like everything was an "extra" charge, and in the end, this trip was more than double what I thought it would be. Disembarking: GOOD! We had an early flight from Bush. We knew we took a risk booking that early, and then Delta changed their flight schedule and made it even earlier. Our flight ended up being at 10:50, so we needed to get off ASAP. We carried off our own luggage. We went to the theater room at 7:15. Around 7:35 we were able to start walking out. Since we parked across the street, we were in our car and on the road at 7:50. It worked out perfectly. Read Less
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