1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Overall cruise experience was great! 6th time cruising and I have only cruised with RC. Food in windjammer was one of the best out of the 6 cruises I’ve taken. Entertainment was THE BEST out of the 6 cruises. MUST SEE – Saturday night ... Read More
Overall cruise experience was great! 6th time cruising and I have only cruised with RC. Food in windjammer was one of the best out of the 6 cruises I’ve taken. Entertainment was THE BEST out of the 6 cruises. MUST SEE – Saturday night fever and hyno-tainment! New to cruising – wait to shop on ship until end of cruise. They always run sales on clothing, bags, jewelry etc. Cabin -This is my 6th cruise, second time in an interior room and let’s just say I will not book an interior room again. Personal opinion, I felt like interior cabins got pushed under the rug - stains on towels & sheets. They didn't put a mattress pad on top of the two twins making a king, you had a valley where the beds met. Our lights in bathroom and desk area lost connection or breaker blew? Hair and dirt in drawers. Night before vacation was over - heard very loud noises coming from bathroom area – neighbors must have had an issue, couple of minutes later, our toilet overflowed/backed up causing water & other “things” everywhere which took over and hour and a half to get taken care & cleaned up around 10 PM night before getting off ship. On the bright side, everything was brought to staffs attention and every issue was taken care of immediately. Excursions - 1st stop - Roatan, Honduras - We booked last minute for the Gumbalima Park. HIGHLY RECOMMEND! such a cool experience. We already had a snorkel excursion planned and beach/speedboat excursion booked at the 2 other ports, so we thought to try something different. Bittersweet, again, excursion was awesome but knowing after the fact we weren’t able to snorkel at the other ports, I wish we would have went snorkeling. 2nd stop - Belize City, Belize - All water excursions were cancelled for Belize because of rough waters, luckily, we found out early morning the day before we were at port so we could rebook something else. We went to Kukumba Beach, it is a manmade beach which was pretty cool. The slide was awesome! There is a restaurant, bar and gift shop located at this beach. Tons of activities for all ages. I am also surprised they still tendered instead of skipping island because of the rough seas. The port is really nice, shops and bars! 3rd stop - Cozumel Mexico - always a great time in Cozumel! Again, water excursions were cancelled. Our excursion got cancelled but didn't find out until we were supposed to meet for our excursions at 10:15am, off the ship at 7:45am. We docked and were allowed off boat at 7:30am, RC made announcement at 8:30 am on the ship when more than half the boat was off that all water excursions were cancelled. When we finally were told our excursion was cancelled we had only 2 options to book, panoramic bus tour or dune buggies. We booked the dune buggies (4 people per buggy). Dune buggies was fun. It was called Dune buggies, beach and snorkel. Luckily since all water excursions were cancelled, we weren’t allowed to go snorkeling or to the beach. The beach is rocks…like big boulders covered in seaweed. The snorkeling…..doesn’t look great unless they take you away from the shoreline. Maybe it looks different if there weren’t rough seas but from what I saw, I am glad we didn’t “beach” and “snorkel”. The beach club you go to is ok. They have many mini stands (food, souvenir, essentials stand, bar and fish therapy). There is also a pool, but it looks like it’s just the ocean water. The beach club also shares an excursion with the captain your own speedboat. It might get busy there.. Food – We only ate in the windjammer and Sorrento’s. Some people say we miss out on the best part about cruising which is the MDR. However, it was so nice going to the windjammer every night on our time. Every night was a different theme, so you could get the same old thing (hot dog, burger etc) or mix it up every night. Dessert was always on point. Service was great. We have had no issues with breakfast lunch or dinner in the windjammer. The staff stayed on top of clearing tables during the busy time so everyone could sit. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We booked this cruise for our honeymoon and had a very memorable vacation! Friendly people, very nice ship, overall it was fabulous! The food in the Windjammer was excellent and we ate there for most meals (only went to the formal dining ... Read More
We booked this cruise for our honeymoon and had a very memorable vacation! Friendly people, very nice ship, overall it was fabulous! The food in the Windjammer was excellent and we ate there for most meals (only went to the formal dining room once). Only note is that the food is very tasty but also quite spicy! Pack your Tums! I love spicy food so it didn’t bother me at all. The bar staff was a little bit slow at times but made great drinks and were friendly. Costa Maya was a really neat port and I would look forward to going back.... beautiful beach and authentic Mexican town. Cozumel is more of a place to shop but we had fun at Senor Frogs & Margaritaville. We were not able to visit Roatan due to unforeseen circumstances but the crew didn’t miss a beat and we had a fun extra day at sea. Sailing out of Galveston was great! No regrets there... easy embarkation and disembarkation and much less crowded than Miami. We will definitely be back to Galveston for our next cruise. It would be hard to find anything negative to say about the trip without getting overly picky. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
i loved the anytime MDR dining room for dinner...great food and service....not as much for breakfast and lunch....liked the buffet at windjammer for those.......great shows...The worst problem and I kno9w it was spring break was the number ... Read More
i loved the anytime MDR dining room for dinner...great food and service....not as much for breakfast and lunch....liked the buffet at windjammer for those.......great shows...The worst problem and I kno9w it was spring break was the number of out of control ch8ildren especially after curfew and in adult ony areas...I wasnt able t really enjoy some pools hot tubs etc due to being overcrowded with kids..even in adult only areas all the people wr great especially bartenders and servers and cabin people....officers were not as friendly an some of thosse overseeing the dining areas were more interested in hearing what was good then what we really had to say... i did nnot book rc excursions as i fet they were over crowde and overprced but the private nes were awsome....I wish we had two days at eachh port..one to do the tourist things one to vegetate on a each or jujst relax.... all in all I can t wait to go again.. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
I have sailed on most cruise lines and have always enjoyed the experience. I was impressed with the ships design and activities available but everything comes at a cost and I found that sell, sell, sell, was the objective of the crews ... Read More
I have sailed on most cruise lines and have always enjoyed the experience. I was impressed with the ships design and activities available but everything comes at a cost and I found that sell, sell, sell, was the objective of the crews company at every opportunity and at the expense of less time helping passengers to enjoy the fun experiences like no dancing hosts and no deck party organisers. I must say I missed the hospitality that I found on many of the other cruise lines. I believe if changes are not made, this will be more costly in the long run but I may be wrong as this seems to be the American way and accepted by most on board who were American. The wave rider, the climbing wall and the water slides were all fantastic. for younger children the water park and the mini golf seemed ideal with several opportunities to meet cartoon Characters roaming the ship to attract not only the kids but the opportunity to sell photos. The best sales person on board could sell a fridge to an eskimo and he ran the Art auctions and I could not believe the amount of money that changed hands no wonder they take up a large space on the ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
My brother talked me into the first cruise with Royal Caribbean. I loved it. I cruised every year for three years, skipped a year and took another. Four cruises all with RC. Every one a winner. It has been three years since and I ... Read More
My brother talked me into the first cruise with Royal Caribbean. I loved it. I cruised every year for three years, skipped a year and took another. Four cruises all with RC. Every one a winner. It has been three years since and I booked the fifth cruise with them. I was so disappointed. The food went from class A to a C. Breakfast was usually luke warm at best. Lunch was bland. Dinner was outstanding and now it is pretty good at best. Worst yet was the ambiance of the dinning. It was a treat to dress nicely for dinner with chandeliers and world class service. The first night might be casual since luggage was not delivered until late in the day. No problem. Then it was Smart Casual or Formal the other six nights. Cool. This time it was two formal nights, one smart casual and four casual. Their dress code is no longer in force and I felt totally out of place in my suite and tie with all those around me in polo shirts and jeans. Casual nights they allowed shorts, t shirts and baseball caps. It was a MacDonald's experience with the children at the next table in their t shirts, baseball caps and shorts eating hamburgers with ketsup dripping to their plates. I was so sad that Royal Caribbean had lowered their standards that far in three years. I guess that filling the ship takes priority over quality. Last but not least is the non stop sales pitch for everything. Advertisements dropped in your room every day. Pitches for the specialty restaurants. Pitches for the trinkets. I challenge people to compare prices to those found at home. I can purchase my favorite cologne cheaper in my local grocery store than what was offered on this ship. I am over and done with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
My best friends, who always take a cruise in Royal Caribbean, highly recommend me to have this experience so I accepted and booked for New years eve Cruise at the Liberty of the Seas . It was more than I expected for the first time ... Read More
My best friends, who always take a cruise in Royal Caribbean, highly recommend me to have this experience so I accepted and booked for New years eve Cruise at the Liberty of the Seas . It was more than I expected for the first time cruise, even the weather was not favorable there were a lot of things to do in the ship. I spend a great time with my friends, we enjoy the shows , "On Air", "Ice Skating Show" and "Saturday nigh fever". There were to awesome parties at promenade , New year count down and Saturday party was a great experience and the animators are excellent. Breakfast at windjammer was nice and has different food options, because of the season was a little bit crowded but general we found a place to sit and enjoy the time. Dinner was spectacular for me at Michalangelos , I felt very pamper, excellent service for our waitress Edgar and Varun, as we are Mexican they surprise us with authentic Mexican salsas taste was a great detail for us. As I said there are lot of things to do in the cruise so no time to be bored, many options for different ages. Cozumel Is a beautiful Island and because we already know the Riviera maya we prefer to spend the time in the main downtown, In case of Roatan we decide to took and expedition for our own and we went to east end , where we did a walk down over the place and I must said is very charming place, also we went to the top of a mountain and the sightseeing was amazing, Costa Maya is a really nice place has everything for the tourists we stay a couple of hours in the place and decide to do by our own an expedition to the beach , the name is Mahahual and is such a nice place , the beach is like a pool and the colors of and the cristal water where you can see the little fishes, its an amazing place. In general the cruise was excellent and worth what I paid for this vacations. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I have traveled with Royal Caribbean several times before and every time I have had the same excellent experience whether it be the staff, the food, or the activities I always am busy and have a wonderful time. It is a very good cruise ... Read More
I have traveled with Royal Caribbean several times before and every time I have had the same excellent experience whether it be the staff, the food, or the activities I always am busy and have a wonderful time. It is a very good cruise line for any size family, because they are really there to look out for you and your little ones no matter how old. I love the food and usually eat 5-6 meals a day stuffing myself each and every time. If you want to eat before dinner you can head to the windjammer and get in a snack before you sit down with excellent and friendly waiters. The ports of call are all set up very well with taxis waiting to take you wherever you want to go. I recommend this cruise and any Royal Caribbean cruise to anyone looking for a great time and friendly people to be around 24/7 (including the other guests aboard :) ). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
went On cruise as diamond plus member which was downgraded. Loyalty program ia not worth the time for what you get and feel better Cruises.elsewhere on other lines. It seems the whole cruise is one big marketing ploy for corporate to push ... Read More
went On cruise as diamond plus member which was downgraded. Loyalty program ia not worth the time for what you get and feel better Cruises.elsewhere on other lines. It seems the whole cruise is one big marketing ploy for corporate to push its merchandise on its captive audience. Contacted cola or flue while on board and when I went to medical was informed would be 136 usd to see doctor. I explained I had taken cruise insurance. The receptionist said would have to pay fee so I left and just stayed in bed for the next few days. The menus choices seem not to be up to standards of even a year ago. There are fewer choices at all three meals and fewer venues that serve. Royal Caribbean was my first cruise line and I stayed loyal and got to be diamond plus memebe only to find it was not worth the money and time to achieve this level as I believe Royal Caribbean has not been loyal to its crown and anchor members. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
This was my sister's and mine 1st cruise together on RC. She has taken several and I this was my 2nd. The ship was gorgeous. The main dining hall sparkled with many lights and chandeliers like out of Beauty and the Beast. Service ... Read More
This was my sister's and mine 1st cruise together on RC. She has taken several and I this was my 2nd. The ship was gorgeous. The main dining hall sparkled with many lights and chandeliers like out of Beauty and the Beast. Service exemplary! Our room steward was the icing on the cake. Elizabeth always wore a smile on her face, a song followed her. She always had our room super clean and her towel animals were so cute! One could probably eat off the bathroom floor if one wanted to. I think the only thing I would change about our trip was that most of the daily activities were of a selling a product kind. Jewelry, Spa stuff, health stuff, stuff for your feet, etc......many things even the Galley tour cost money. I looked for arts and crafty kind of things to do, dance lessons, lectures, flower making, ice sculpting, cake decorating contest between staff.....there was not much to do during the day except waterslides/rides, rock climbing. So days were spent lounging at the hot tubs, sauna and the steam room. These were very nice.....just would have like some hands on things that I could perhaps take home with me as souvenirs. The night shows were out of this world spectacular! Broadway music ice show, Air show, Saturday Night Fever show and Paul Bowman were all great! I think the scavenger hunts at night were a little raunchy....and they let children stay through them and they had adults in there under clothes and missing tops walking around in front of the children.......inappropriate if you ask me. But, it is a gorgeous ship. The service was very good. Met some interesting people and ate some super fine food. Good job RC!!!!! The excursions we took were very good. I totally recommend the snorkeling in all ports, as well as the secret cave in Cozumel. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Not going to bore you will the stuff everyone knows. Embarkation: Ship was delayed due to weather. The process of check-in was smooth. Didn't actually get on the ship until after 1pm. Cabins were ready at 3pm. RCCL credited ... Read More
Not going to bore you will the stuff everyone knows. Embarkation: Ship was delayed due to weather. The process of check-in was smooth. Didn't actually get on the ship until after 1pm. Cabins were ready at 3pm. RCCL credited everyone a $20 obc for lunch due to the delay. They sent out message asking those en route to not arrive the terminal until like 2:30pm. Cabin: We occupied cabin 8389, an inside cabin. The cabin was clean and tidy. Probably one of the best beds we've slept on in our 35+ cruises. Clement our cabin steward was excellent. Food: Very impressed with the Windjammer and Jade. Giovani's was excellent. We chose tradition late seating and was assigned to the Botticelli on deck 5, table 561. Main dining food was okay. A few mishaps, but then I am very picky sometimes. Lunch in the Rembrandt was pretty good as well. Drinks: I've figured out pushing of the drink package. They push the package then offer no service. In the old days of cruising bar staff were everywhere, not so much anymore. Most times when sitting by the pool we had to get our own drinks. Entertainment: The shows we attended were good, the headliner Saturday Night Fever was pretty good. Casino: Tightest casino we've ever encountered. Slots, tables and roulette paid very spotty, worse casino experience ever. I know, our fault for gambling;) Ship: Overall very clean. The Promenade was nice. The shops were the typical onboard shops. Staff: Across the board very friendly. The female casino bartender seldom smiled, nor did the female server in the Schooner bar. All officer staff were very courteous and personable. Let me drift back to dining room quickly. The wait staff are over tasked. No more getting to know you etc. I have to say, our head waiter knew our names after day one. Knew what each person, six in all, was drinking and drinks were brought to the table almost immediately. A few mess ups on orders. As I stated earlier, I am quite picky. One night I ordered the Royal Crab Cocktail, I was brought a shrimp cocktail. When I questioned my order our waiter looked on his book and acknowledged the mistake. Asked if I wanted it changed, I said no, the shrimp will be fine. After eating my shrimp he then brought a Royal Seafood Salad attempting to correct his mistake. I gave it to one of our table mates. My point here is leave well enough alone, but if you insist on correcting your mistake make sure it is correct. He brought the wrong item twice. Simple case of attention to detail. Safety: Life Guards at every pool/water feature to include the Solarium pool. There was a pool supervisor (my term) that routinely checked on each life guard to insure they were alert etc. Disembarkation: Pretty easy peasy. Customs was the bottleneck. However, if everyone had there documents prepared and ready it would be a walk in the park. Always have those that pack their sea passes and need to find them to get off the ship. And those that fail to have their customs declaration and passports outs. FYI, Texas now has new rules pertaining to custom taxes. A tariff of $3.75 is imposed on every pack of cigarettes over your allowed 200 cigarettes (one carton.) The same applies to alcohol over your allowed limit of one gallon, I forget what the tax was, sorry. Overall: We were satisfied with each aspect of the cruise. Yes there were a few marred/stained chairs, a few rough spots on carpets, some cosmetic eye sores, but all in all a great cruise. Our philosophy is that if we had 3,600 people passing through our home each week, we'd have a few eye sores as well. Again the food was good, well prepared and plentiful. If anyone complains there is nothing to eat, you're too darn fussy. Feel free to post specific questions, I'll answer them if I know the answer. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was my husband and my 3rd cruise. We've previously been on the Oasis and the Freedom. We by far prefer the Freedom class ships. The Liberty was amazing - probably our most favorite ship so far. Really the only negative we had ... Read More
This was my husband and my 3rd cruise. We've previously been on the Oasis and the Freedom. We by far prefer the Freedom class ships. The Liberty was amazing - probably our most favorite ship so far. Really the only negative we had was the Galveston Port. This was our first time going out of this port so we didn't really know what to expect and it was pretty bad. It was very chaotic and it took us forever to get parked and get inside to go through security and check-in. When we arrived back at the port after the cruise, it was even worse. My husband and I did the self carry since we had a 12 hour drive home that day and the self carry was supposed to get us out quickly. It took us close to an hour and a half to get back to our car and get on the road. It just wasn't very organized or efficient. Aside from the port, the remainder of our cruise was amazing. The ship itself was beautiful and the perfect size. We loved the 3 water slides - those were great! My husband and I really enjoyed those while we were at a port because the lines were much shorter. Aside from the water slides, the rest of the ship was very similar to the Freedom, so we really enjoyed it. We spent a lot of time by the solarium as well. We learned that the best way to do it, if you want to get a good seat at the solarium, is to go to breakfast first thing (always go to the main dining...it's much better than the Windjammer), then go to the pool. We'd hang out until about 11:30, then get lunch at the Windjammer because it's less crowded and when we get back from lunch, we almost always found seats because others went to lunch. The cabin was great as well - our favorite thing is when housekeeping leaves us towel animals. We love those. For dining, the food is always amazing. We really enjoyed the main dining for breakfast, the Windjammer for lunch, and the main dining for dinner. The waiters/waitresses we had every day were fantastic and we love that you can order as much food as you want. Entertainment is always great too! We love the comedy shows and they had 2 on this ship, which we really enjoyed. We were really disappointed with the Love and Marriage Gameshow though. We've gone to those on our previous 2 cruises and loved it. The other cruises, the contestants would sit on stage and the husbands would go off stage while the women were asked questions. Then the men would come back out, they'd ask them the same questions and see if the answers matched up. Then the women would go off stage and the men would do it. We love it usually. But this cruise director did it differently. He had them all sit on stage, he'd ask them all questions, and they'd write down their answers. It was less entertaining and we didn't enjoy it one bit. If we notice we have that cruise director on another cruise, we'll definitely forego the Love and Marriage Gameshow. We didn't like the way he did it. The service is always great on the ships. The pool bartenders are by far some of the most outstanding. They are on their feet all day and always have a smile on their face. We usually find one pool bartender and stick with them, tipping as generously as we can (we know gratuity is included but we prefer to give more to specific bartenders/people). The pub is our favorite bar for a drink after dinner. My husband loves the James Bond Martinis and I usually drink a beer, glass of wine, or a cocktail. The ports were also great. In Honduras, we found a fishing excursion (not booked through the cruise line) that we really enjoyed. We also went to Maya Chan Beach in Costa Maya (you need to reserve this ahead of time through their website). It was another excursion we found outside of the cruise line. We went shopping in Cozumel and got a few things that we really loved. All in all, we had a great cruise and will definitely be going on many more with Royal Caribbean. I think on our next cruise, we may try the Quantum class but I am hesitant since we love the Freedom class. The slightly smaller ships, like the Freedom class, are great because they're big enough to have all the things we need/want, but small enough to where you don't feel like you're always bumping into people (we felt overcrowded on the Oasis). Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Overall we had a great experience. The following staff did a commendable job in exceeding our expectations - Suresh (Head Waiter) - Savino (Waiter) - Made (Waiter) - Rosmidi (Waiter) - Joel (Waiter - amazing) - ... Read More
Overall we had a great experience. The following staff did a commendable job in exceeding our expectations - Suresh (Head Waiter) - Savino (Waiter) - Made (Waiter) - Rosmidi (Waiter) - Joel (Waiter - amazing) - Iputu (House-cleaner) - Rakesh (Photographer) These guys worked so hard to keep up with our demands. Note that we had a group of 25 people traveling together. Many of us had dietary restrictions. But, the main dining staff seemed always happy/ready to accommodate our demands. Thank you Iputu for your great service and recommendations. Everytime we came back to the room, the room was cleaned and ready. The entertainment staff was amazing. The shows were great. We really enjoyed the ice Skating show, comedy shows, the broadway show, magician/comedy show. I wish they had the ice Skating rink opened for more days. Both the times we visited the rink, it was already booked. So, we couldn't really experience it. The flow-rider and Rock-climbing experience was also great (this was the first time I ever tried either) I wish they had more options at the WindJammer for vegetarian/vegan people. We didn't have a great experience at the Next-Cruise desk. The person who assisted didn't really seem interested. Thank you Rakesh (photographer on the 5/4th deck) for some great shots. I am sure we'll be back for another cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
LIBERTY of the SEAS - April 10 -> 17, 2016 - Western Caribbean Saturday, April 9, 2016 - Travel day Good morning from beautiful downtown LAX. It is about 9:15am and my plane is set to take off at 10:55am. I’m actually kind of ... Read More
LIBERTY of the SEAS - April 10 -> 17, 2016 - Western Caribbean Saturday, April 9, 2016 - Travel day Good morning from beautiful downtown LAX. It is about 9:15am and my plane is set to take off at 10:55am. I’m actually kind of excited, as this will be my first 787 flight. Best of all, I’m in first class. When I originally booked this flight, it was a 757 and the price was (and is) less than one third of what it is now. So a little about myself. I am Diamond Plus. This is my 13th cruise with Royal Caribbean and thirtieth cruise overall. I am platinum on Carnival, and I have also cruised on Princess and NCL. This is my first time on the Liberty of the Seas. However, I have been on the Freedom of the Seas twice. I’m in a Grand Suite this time. I have also been in the Royal Family Suite on the Freedom of the Seas. Nonetheless, normally I travel in a balcony cabin. However, I have become a little disenchanted with Royal Caribbean starting with the day I booked this cruise. I was not impressed at all with my experience in the Royal Family Suite on the Freedom OTS in June 2007. So I decided to do my homework and then I booked this cruise on embarkation day on the Explorer repositioning cruise from New Jersey to Florid in November 2014. I had printed out the price of the cabin from the Royal Caribbean website which was a little more than $4,000. The Loyalty Ambassador booked me at a little more than $5,000, but I get a $200 onboard credit. I showed the Loyalty Ambassador the printout of the website price, but she said that this was the best she can do. After the two-week cruise on the Explorer I contacted my travel agent and had her rebook the cruise for a little more than $4,000. However, Royal Caribbean told her that I would lose the $200 onboard credit. Okay, I’m still saving $800. But as far as I am concerned, the Loyalty Ambassador lied to me about the best deal. In the end Royal Caribbean did not take away my $200 onboard credit. Since then, Royal Caribbean has offered fake sale after fake sale. Royal Caribbean increases the price of the cruise, then offers a discount, which ends of being very close to the undiscounted price original price. For example, if a cruise normally cost one thousand dollars, Royal Caribbean would increase the price to $1,500 then offer one third off, which makes the cost, wait for it, you guessed it, $1,000. Because of how I feel about how the Loyalty Ambassador treated me on the Explorer of the Seas, I did not purchase a future cruise on my last Royal Caribbean cruise (Freedom OTS in April 2015), nor will I on this cruise. Besides, Royal Caribbean has changed the rules on opened ended future cruises purchased onboard to the point that I think it offers no additional value to me. Given the games Royal Caribbean is playing with the pricing, I’ve decided to check out other cruise lines. My last cruise (earlier this year) was on Princess (giving me three) and my next cruise is on NCL (that will also give me three). Then next year I’ll be on Princess again. I’m not saying I will not return to Royal Caribbean, I will. But it seems now is a good time for me to explore other lines. I’ve been on five different cruise lines and hope to increase that to eight different lines in the near future. Then I will reevaluate which cruise line I wish to be loyal most loyal to. The Liberty of the Seas has recently been upgraded during a dry dock earlier this year. It has three new water slides, though one is not working yet. My main interest, besides visiting Belize for the first time, is to evaluate if the additional cost of the full suite (which gets me a gold SeaPass card) is worth double the price of a balcony cabin (which is about $2,000). So, with my background out of the way, my trip started at 8:00am when the limo driver arrived. Why a limo? Because I’ve had it with unreliable taxis and rude dispatchers. The limo people are much more reliable and professional and from home to the airport are only a few dollars more than a taxi. From the hotel in Houston to the cruise port it is actually less expensive than a taxi. Well the boarding call is being made, so I’ll be back at you in Houston. I made it to Houston in one piece. The 787 was really neat, but from my point of view it was more evolutionary than revolutionary. There are no window shades. Instead with a push of a button you can control the tinting of the windows, from clear to dark blue. One hundred twenty-volt AC power is easily accessible behind the seat where there is a little shelf. The seat goes from full upright too full horizontal. There is a note not to put anything on the shelves in front of the passenger during taxi and takeoff. The person sitting next to me found out why on takeoff. With the nose pointed up, the shelf is pointed down and his book fell off twice hitting him in the shin. You would think that someone who is able to afford a first class seat would have figured it out the first time the book fell and hit him. The music offerings were a little strange, so I didn’t listen to any. The free headphones were nice (very comfortable). There was a movie I had my eye on, but when I realized it was longer than the flight time remaining, I decided to wait until it appeared on my home cable system (we had a strong tail wind and arrived about thirty minutes early). In fact, I had my luggage and was in the taxi on my way to the hotel about three minutes after the plane was supposed to arrive. At any rate, I ended up watching the plane move across the map for a while, then played some of the games (trivia, FreeCell, and Bejeweled 2). Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I could line up five in a row in Bejeweled, the thing froze (and I already had the high score). I just realized I haven’t installed Bejeweled two and three on my laptop computer. I’ll have to take care of that before my next cruise. I do however have my current favorite game, Civilization, installed on my laptop computer. I checked into the hotel and realized it was the same one I stayed at in April 2009, which is the last time I cruised out of Galveston (both times I booked the hotel via Hotwire). After checking in I decided to check out a steakhouse I looked up a few days ago from home. The only problem is, all I remember about the steakhouse is about where it located and that is it. I don’t even remember the name. I walked in the direction I remember I had to walk and didn’t see any steakhouses. As I headed back toward the hotel I saw a sign that looked like a steakhouse sign. It was hidden from view when I was walking the other way. Sure enough it was a steakhouse. A little on the expensive side ($105 with a tip), but the food was good and the service was great. I had ice tea, bacon wrapped shrimp, creamed corn, fourteen ounce rib eye (I didn’t know ribs had eyes) pecan pie and one (small) glass of scotch whiskey. Then I walked back to the hotel, checked out the books on the coffee table (this is a true two room suite - I got it for $84 on Hotwire), and then worked on this. Which reminds me, because people like lots of details in the review, I work on the review while on the ship. And since people like having pictures, I also post pictures with the review. The only problem is, posting pictures is boring and time consuming. However, I have learned how to post some photographs and offer a link to others, so I can now post some of the pictures, and for those that like to see more photographs, all they have to do is click on the links at the end of the review. Well, it is about 8:30pm and I am a bit tired, so I’ll catch up with you tomorrow morning. Good night. Sunday, April 10, 2016 - Embarkation day I woke up around 6:00am. Watched TV for a while. Then showered and dressed and turned my cell phone on around 9:00am. At 9:01 the limo driver was here. He is not due until 9:30am. Oh well, I checked out and hopped into the limo. Originally I scheduled the limo for 9:45am. However, our roll call group kept referring to all the construction and traffic, so I rescheduled for 9:30am. We flew, well actually drove, right through. The biggest problem I had was convincing the driver that I was not going to terminal one (the Carnival Magic was docked there) but rather I was going to terminal two. While driving I told him I was on Royal Caribbean. He tells me they both use the same terminal. I know this is wrong, so I tell him I’m on the Liberty of the Seas. It uses a different terminal then the Carnival Magic. As we arrived, I point out the Liberty of the Seas. As we continue driving (both ships use the same entrance - but not the same terminal) we end up at a red light between the two terminals. I point out that the two terminals are not connected. He turns into the entrance and gets in the Carnival Magic line. I again have to point out that he is taking me to the wrong ship. Finally we arrive at the correct place. After all of that, getting into the terminal (from the limo) was easy. We were early (it was about 10:15am) and nobody was in what I though was the suite line. Turns out I was in the Diamond line (nobody was in either line) and as soon as I got to the front the line there was a receptionist ready to check me in. After checking in I started working on this, but only got half way through the above paragraph before it was time to board the ship. I went straight to my cabin. I found someone who claimed to be my room steward. I told him I wanted to drop off my carry-on bags and then I would leave. He was apparently new and decided he had to get his supervisor’s permission for this. I’ve never had this happen for the last twenty plus cruises (on Royal Caribbean or any other line). The supervisor approved it. I put my bags in the closet and headed out to take pictures. By this time it is about 11:00am. Since the rooms were open, I took pictures in one of the owner’s suites (the owner was not there yet) and the Royal Suite. I’m half way done taking pictures in the Royal Suite when I realize there is someone else in the cabin. It is a maintenance man doing maintenance, and he is ignoring me. I finished taking the pictures I want without getting the maintenance man in any of my pictures. He should have at least challenged me, but as I said, he ignored me. Up on deck twelve I saw someone untangling some beads. The roll call group agreed to wear beads. We talked a little, then I continued taking pictures. Finally ended up in the Windjammer, so I decided to get lunch. Then, as a gold card passenger, I know I could use one of the specialty restaurants to eat. It was full and nobody was checking whether I had a gold card or a lead card. Fortunately I ran into more people wearing beads and they made room for me. So far the beads are doing more for me than the gold card is. As I finished lunch, the announcement that the rooms were ready was made. So I went down to check on my luggage. No luggage yet. So back outside to take pictures then back inside to check on my luggage. No luggage yet. Back outside to take more pictures, then back inside to check on my luggage. No luggage yet. By this time it is 3:00pm and one, the muster drill is at 3:45pm and two, everyone next to me has their luggage, so I decided to wait inside. The doorbell rings and my chocolate-covered strawberries arrive and later some fruit arrives. Along with the fruit is a napkin with knife and fork wrapped up inside of it. I’ll explain why I mentioned this later. But still no luggage. The Masters is on and even though I’m not a golfer, it is a major tournament, so I decide to watch it. When the muster drill is over (it was fairly short) I go back to the cabin to find one of my two bags has arrived and the leader board has been turned upside down. The prior leader was leading by five or six shots and when I get back at least two others are ahead of him. I later found out he had landed in the water two or three times, and that cost him the tournament. When I get back from the muster drill I find one of my pieces of luggage and I also find out I have a new room steward, I mean stewardess. I tell her I want ice, I am missing a piece of luggage, I only received one of my shore excursion tickets and I have late dinner. I start to unpack when I look out the window and notice everything outside the window is moving toward the aft part of the ship. We are underway. I want to unpack, but I finally I decide I am missing sail-away and head to the Sky Bar. But I don’t see any beads, so I head to the helicopter pad. Nice view, but I don’t see anything worth photographing. Back to the Sky Bar, but now sail-away is over and nobody is there. I would like to go swimming, but my bathing suit is in the luggage that is missing. I decide to go look for my luggage. It is not lost and found (there is a lot of luggage with no cabin numbers in lost and found). I ask if there is a “naughty room?” Yes, on deck one. Well despite what everyone says, it is not a room, it is a hallway. I give them my cabin number, but nobody says anything. I start looking around for my luggage. Just when I have given up hope, I find it. They send it through the x-ray machine. Do I have anything electrical? No. They send it through the x-ray machine a second time. Do I have anything electrical? No! I do in my carry-on, but not in my checked luggage. They send it through the x-ray machine a third time. By now my luggage is glowing a nice shade of yellow, orange, and red. Do I have a knife? Yes, a very small one. The security guard asks me a question. I ask her to repeat it. She wants to check the knife. Okay (I thought she had asked me about a machete - this knife is barely big enough to be a knife). I show it to security. They laugh (no, I am not kidding, they are laughing at my “knife”). The blade is about 1 ¼ inches long. Why do I have it? I’m not sure if this is a real question or if they are just curious (once they laughed at it I knew I would get to keep it). I treat it as a real question, but the answer (which is the truth) is going to sound strange. I am on an excursion where I get to feed some monkeys and we get to stop at the store to pick up some apples, grapes and bananas and I need the knife to cut the fruit. Okay. Now remember I mentioned the knife that came with the food. That blade is about six inches long. That is okay, but my little one and one-quarter inch knife it going to have me on the terrorist list? Something is wrong here (okay, they are not putting me on the terrorist list, but you get the idea). Now I’m not upset that they flagged the luggage for the knife. They are just doing their job. I’m not upset that they laughed at my knife, a bigger one would work better on an apple, but they might object at the sight of a four-inch blade. What I am unhappy about is that after asking three people about my missing luggage, nobody told me where it was. Sometime after 8:00pm they finally called me (I was at dinner at the time and I already had the luggage, including the miniature machete, in the cabin). I found out around 10:00pm by which time I would have been pretty upset thinking that my luggage was lost. So with the luggage issue resolved I then decided to check on my missing shore excursion. I go into Diamond Lounge which is where the old sports bar used to be. I was unaware that the suite lounge is now where the old card and game rooms are (I know now). At any rate I am the first one in line. After spending a long time speaking with a lady about shore excursions, the Diamond Concierge is then able to help me. Watching him work I begin to realize why it everything takes so long. I have written three page letters with fewer keystrokes. Finally I am informed that my reservation was cancelled and refunded. Why? He will have to contact Miami for that. At any rate there are still openings and he rebooks me. But now it is on my SeaPass card instead of my credit card (hopefully, since this is just one more thing that Royal Caribbean never told me about and thus I cannot verify the refund until I get home and can check with my bank). That just means I’ll spend that much less onboard. It is interesting that the Suite Lounge is bigger than the Diamond Lounge, even though there are more Diamond and Diamond Plus passengers then suite passengers. It is true that the Suite Lounge has no card reader. However, when I went in there was a guard at the door. So let’s see, what else happened to me today. I wore my Cruise Critic shirt. Some of the people who saw it are also members and asked for my screen name. Some people saw it and make comments indicating that they thought I was a professional cruise critic (small “c” rather than capital “C”). One person said, “I like your website.” It was easier to just say thank you then to explain my real connection (for those of you reading this, no, I do not work for Cruise Critic). One couple actually engaged me in a conversation. They have been on Carnival and Royal Caribbean and thought Royal Caribbean was the best. Did I agree? Clearly this was the wrong day to ask me that, but I gave an honest answer. I said no. I said I look at what is promised and what is delivered. I said that Carnival does not promise much and delivers on that promise. Royal Caribbean promises a lot and does not deliver all that they promised. For example, if you are in a suite on Carnival all that is promised is a larger room and priority embarkation and debarkation. Carnival delivers on that promise. Royal Caribbean promises treat you like a king and a queen, but falls short of that promise. Is Royal Caribbean better then Carnival? Yes, Royal Caribbean does offer more, but also charges more. Then I brought up NCL. She had never heard of NCL. So I used the full name, Norwegian Cruise Line. She still hadn’t heard of it. Had she heard of any the advertisements about Freestyle? He had. So, which is the best? I told her that would be Crystal, Seabourn, Silversea or Regent. However, you will pay more. I then mentioned that Celebrity is owned by Royal Caribbean and it fits between Royal Caribbean and the luxury lines. The same with HAL which is owned by Carnival. I’ve been in a suite on NCL (and in fact my next cruise is also in a suite on NCL). NCL promises more than Royal Caribbean does, and delivers on that promise. So let’s compare prices. My last cruise on NCL was in a suite and lasted 13 nights for $6,000. This was the second leg of a repositioning cruise from Hawaii to Los Angeles to Miami and finally ending in Europe. Clearly $6,000 for 13 nights is better than $4,000 for a week. However, the cruise was underpriced. As final payment became due one of the cabins I was in was put back into inventory and resold for $10,000. My next cruise is eleven nights and the cost is $5,600. So I am paying $571 per night for the cabin I am in now. The NCL cabin will run $509 per night. In all fairness, the Grand Suite is a little bigger on the inside. What makes the NCL cabin so nice, for me (besides knowing I’ll be treated like a king) is the balcony. Not only is it bigger, but it is also forward facing. Last time I was on a full transit of the Panama Canal. This time only a partial transit of the Panama Canal. However, since I am in a suite, I know I’ll be on the part of the ship that goes through the canal (HA HA). Finally it is time for dinner. The main restaurant takes up three decks (three, four and five) at the back of the ship. I’m on deck four next to the center so that I have a good view of the staff when they gather on the steps to sing and say good-bye. I’m at a table for six, with a very nice couple and three empty chairs. I covered for the three missing people by saying they fell overboard when the ship started moving. The couple cruises every other year and they are platinum. Once they found out how experienced I was they started asking me all sorts of questions. When they found out I was in a suite there were even more questions. I told them I had pictures and that I would show the pictures to them tomorrow night. Nothing on the menu jumped out at me (that could be good or bad, depending on how literally you interpret that). I ended up ordering off the classic menu (the every night offerings). I had the pasta as an appetizer (which is just a smaller portion of the main dish) and the chicken breast. The lady ordered the classic steak and ended up with the prime rib. Oops! She liked the prime rib so there was no complaint, though they did point out the mistake to the waitress (as they should). Of course the waitress offered to get what she originally ordered, but she had already eaten the prime rib, she liked it, was not complaining and wasn’t hungry enough to eat another main course. I got to entertain them with some of my stories, such as the person who wrote a review about the cruise that was completely ruined because there was dust on top of the door. I don’t even check the tops of the doors. Now if there is a body under the bed that is a different thing. So I told them about the person who stuffed towels in his pant legs, put the pants partially under the bed, and added shoes to the bottom of the pant legs. The only problem is, you need a hidden camera to see how the room steward reacts. Then there is the joke about how you can tell the drunks when the ship is rocking? The drunks are the ones who are walking straight. Or, how you can shower by squirting the soap on the sides of the shower and then spin. For those of you unfamiliar with the standard Royal Caribbean shower, it is a tube with clam shell doors. The tube’s diameter is not much more than the width of the average person. Well, it’s been an interesting day, and not in a good way. Fortunately tomorrow is a day at sea, so I’m looking forward to the meet and mingle (which I still have not been notified about - at least I know when and where, so I think), checking out Splashaway Bay (which looks a lot better than the H2O Zone) and relaxing. So until tomorrow, good night. Monday, April 11, 2016 - Day at sea Well, we are southbound and I’m on the port side of the ship, which means my windows face east. So I am awake at the crack of dawn, which is about 6:45am today, and I have the pictures to prove it. After that I showered and got dress. Then I reviewed some of the paperwork I have and checked the TV. The good news is my account is showing the purchase of the missing shore excursion, so I should get that later today. The onboard credit is not showing, but that should show up later today. The bad news is that the ship information channel is not working. It still shows the ship in Galveston and we are somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. So I upload my photographs, review them, and then work on this. About 10:00am the room stewardess shows up and so I head over to the Suite Lounge to take pictures, which should put me near the Olive & Twist for the Meet & Mingle at 11:00am. I’m done taking pictures at 10:30 and I’m wondering what all those people are doing in the Olive & Twist. Then I recognize someone and realize that the meeting must have been moved up to 10:00am. Great, I just got over my disappointment from yesterday and now I find out that I may have missed something I was looking forward to. So now I’m upset again. I sit down and watch a raffle take place that I don’t have a ticket for. It’s not a big deal, especially since the only thing I wanted was gone after the first ticket was drawn. But then at the end someone gets up and gets up and starts talking about the roll call, and I realize it is going to involve me somehow. I’m a bit of a wise guy (okay, more than a bit) and someone mentioned something about digging up some information about Galveston. So I asked, where are we going to dig? And he provides a link to a website. So I reply that I bought a shovel for digging. I’m told to return it. So I say that I can’t return it because I engraved my name into the shovel. Well, then it took off. Everyone was adding the words engraved shovel to all their posts. New people who joined the roll were left wondering what all the talk about shovels was about. Now I was not the only “wise guy” in the roll call. Toward the end people were thanking some of us for making the roll call so much fun. I’ve had people say my posts were funny before, but this was the first time I’ve been thanked for making the roll call fun. So at any rate four of us are called up to the stage and given plastic engraved (taped on paper) shovels. Very cute and a very nice touch. And best of all, now I’m not upset any more. Still, I think I’ll avoid suites on Royal Caribbean for now on. They are bad luck. For lunch I had a plate full of pasta and a hamburger and I’ve taken it back to my cabin along with a glass of ice (water I can get, ice is worth its weight in gold) and have lunch on my balcony. Well, it is 2:00pm, and I’ve got my bathing suit and waterproof camera, so I’m going to check out the new Splashaway Bay and the working water slide. I’ll catch up with you later today. This is funny. I’m walking down the hallway in one direction. Three woman are walking toward me in another direction. I step into a doorway to let them pass. Guess which cabin they are in. What are there, eighteen hundred or so cabins? What are the chances I pick their cabin door to step aside in? All three of them were laughing out loud once it became clear what had just happened. I was able to get a few extra photos of the Splashaway Bay with my waterproof camera. Then I saw a ship just ahead of us off the starboard side. I can tell it is a Princess ship because of the carrying handle on the back (and also because a Princess ship will be with us in Roatan). Then I went to the adult water slides. We already know Tidal Wave is not working (and I didn’t see anyone working on it). But apparently on Sunday (that would be embarkation day) the green slide stopped working also. So let’s see, three water slides were added to the ship. One has never worked, and isn’t scheduled to begin working for another month. Another had been working, but now that it is a few months old, it has stopped working. So there is one working slide (for now). I was not allowed to take my camera, watch, or Crocks on the slide. At least I was able to take by bathing suit. There is a spiral staircase up to the top of the slide. I guess there are twenty people in line and it takes about fifteen minutes until it is my turn. The slide was okay. However, the landing area is smooth. It was like trying to stand up on ice, without ice skates. After that I went back to the cabin, washed off and changed into nicer clothing for formal night. I had something to give to the Loyalty Ambassador and I wanted to check in with the Diamond Concierge and at the very least say thank you (with a tip, he has been a fantastic help). He has been a fantastic help. Well the Loyalty Ambassador is nowhere to be found (yes, this is his normal business hours - the sign says he is helping someone else). So I go to the Diamond Lounge and thank the Diamond Concierge (Jorge Gutierrez) and gave him a tip. He didn’t have a reply from Miami yet, but he didn’t expect it until tomorrow. I mentioned that I could not find the Loyalty Ambassador. He said he would take care of it for me. So far he has been good for his word, so I gave him in Diamond Plus tour request. For me, this is the biggest Diamond Plus perk, a bridge tour. Then I went to the Suite Lounge for a special suite passengers’ event. The guard is at the door again and I flash my gold card. Inside what do I find? The captain is there. Soon most of the top officers arrive. The only other one I recognize is the hotel manager. I end up having a chance to talk to the captain and ask him a couple of questions. Apparently this is a suite perk. Suddenly I see a real live suite perk that has some value to me. Unfortunately the free drinks (and the sun) are getting to me, so I head down to my cabin to work on this and relax before dinner. There are still only three people at the table tonight. The couple I sit with have a drink package and it is obvious that he has taken full advantage of it. He didn’t do or say anything he will regret later, but it was obvious this was not the same gentleman I met last night. It was an uncomfortable dinner for both his wife and I. Yesterday we were talking about suites. I told the couple I am sitting with that I had pictures. Tonight I brought my computer so that I could show the pictures to them. I have pictures of the Royal Suite, one of the Owner’s Suites and my Grand Suite. They were very impressed. The wife decided to put booking a suite on her bucket list. I had a small chicken salad and the classic steak. I wanted it cooked medium and it was more like medium well. However, it was good. The drinks I had in the Suite Lounge were getting to me, so I decided to go back to the cabin and just go to sleep. Overall it had been a much better day then yesterday. So until tomorrow morning, good night. Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - Day at sea Woke up in time for sunrise. Unfortunately the sun rise was not that impressive. Since I didn’t get a plate full of fruit yesterday (I got a plate of cheese and some other goodies, which I ate) I went to the Windjammer to get breakfast. Then I brought it down to my balcony so I could enjoy breakfast on my balcony. After that I put my blue make up the room card out and worked on this until the room stewardess showed up, then I left so she could do her thing. I went up to the Suite Lounge just to see what was up. I enjoyed a nice cold glass of ice water out on the balcony overlooking the basketball court. Then I walked around a bit just to waste time (to give the room stewardess more time to finish) then went back to the cabin. There I read most of the paperwork that had been given to me. So let’s see what is available. First of all, there are thirteen light switches for the lights inside the cabin. That does not include the light switches for the bathroom, the desk or the balcony. Sometimes it is a challenge to figure out which light switch to use to turn off the lights. For those that want to know, there are two outlets on the desk (for those that want to charge more than one item at a time). As to all the concern about electrical equipment, I’ve got small power strips (three outlets), a surge protector (for use in the hotel, not on a cruise ship) and a long extension cord (so I can use the laptop computer on the balcony if it is cool enough (I’m referring to the weather, I like it cool). There is a sign that says, “Want your bed separated? No problem.” Separated from who, me??? Where will I sleep? Well, I believe I also have a sleeper sofa. I’ve got five life jackets (four adult and one child), so I assume the cabin sleeps four. Actually I didn’t know you could have suite beds separated into two twins. But watch out, the bed has rounded corners and the frame has square corners. My shins can confirm this. If you are Diamond or higher, there is a Diamond Lounge. The Diamond Concierge is there from 8:00am to 10:00am on sea days and 7:00 am to 9:00 am on port days (he is off on starboard days). Hors d’ oeuvres and bar drinks are available from 4:30pm to 8:00pm. In addition the following is also available: Continental breakfast during his office hours in the morning. Daily menus are available in the Diamond Lounge. The Diamond Concierge will make reservations for any of the specialty restaurants, sport activities, shore excursions, spa and salon appointments. Business services such as faxes, copies etc. You cannot bring non-diamond guests. There is a whole binder full of stuff for suite guests. Since I forgot my copy machine, I took photographs of each page (that is how I had to do it in my spy days before portable copiers were invented). There are special savings for Diamond Plus members: Purchase a dinner in one of the specialty restaurants with a cover charge on the first or second night of the cruise and the second cover charge will be waived. Buy any wine, beer or soda by the glass and get a second one free (hopefully the second one come in the glass rather than by the glass). Buy one, get one free Johnny Rockets milkshake (apparently both of these come in the glass). One complementary non-alcoholic specialty coffee drink with the purchase of dinner in any specialty restaurant. Three free spin to win at the casino (I wonder how strong you have to be to spin the casino). 30% off casino tournament entrance fee (excluding poker tournaments). Two free days of Internet usage or $80 off any Internet purchase which is valid for one device and two individual 24 consecutive hour sessions (for those of you who wish to spend 48 hours surfing the net). $10 off a $30 bag of wash and fold laundry on eight or more nights cruise (this is a seven night cruise). $5 off of any dry cleaning or pressing services of $25 or more. One free $30 wash and fold bag on five or more nights cruise (does this include eight or more nights?). 20% off one tuxedo rental package. Spend $25 or more on Royal Caribbean Logo products and receive 15% off (what are you going to do with 85% of a logo?). Free, any size photo of your choice from your existing printed photograph selection. 10% off a digital photo package or photobook (standard events only). 20% off any spa or salon service - not applicable for medi-spa or discounted services (so I guess you can’t use the 20% off coupon on any service where you use the 20% off coupon). Book a signature spa service while in port and receive a complimentary add on treatment (the catch here is, how are you going to book the spa service while you are in port?). Stateroom phone discount of $2 per minute (you can imagine how much it costs if $2 per minute is just a discount). And of course the big one. Three free drinks each night (4:30 to 8:00pm) at almost any bar (meaning all the bars except the dining room, specialty restaurant, Windjammer or the bar that you are at). On day five is a Top Tier Event. Now I would think a top tier would be Diamond and above. But no, top tier is any tier above gold (gold is the lowest tier). Sunday I got a surprise. Okay, Sunday I got lots of surprises. This was a good one. Apparently my agent is giving me a free specialty dinner for two (she knows I’m single). So I choose lunch today at Sabor. I really threw the person who answered the phone for a loop when I pointed out I was by myself. Well, do I have any friends? Yes, but they are not on this ship. Did I meet anyone? Yes, but I don’t think her husband would appreciate my inviting her to lunch just because we stood near each other during the muster drill. I’ve eaten at Sabor for lunch on the Freedom of the seas and it is (and was again today) very good. I would highly recommend it. It is a Mexican restaurant. After lunch I planned to do a little swimming. However, the sun, heat, worry, and running around got to me and I just relaxed by watching TV (sort of - I was half watching and half napping). At least the ship’s information channel has us out of Galveston and near Cozumel). I did get up in time for Saturday Night Fever (it’s on Tuesday night???). It was very low energy and I like high energy. It is longer than usual (82 minutes). But it was good (for a low energy show). No videotaping but still pictures are okay, and I’ve got a camera and lens combination that works well in low light. I got lots of good pictures. Then it was time for dinner. I was the only one there. So the waitress took my order. Then the table next to me invited me over to their table. Then the other couple from my table showed up (sober this time). Then they got invited over to the table I was now at. They have an eight top and only four of them have shown up so far. So now there were seven of us and our waitress had nothing to do (well she did have other tables). So I did a little less swimming then I planned, but otherwise it was a good and relaxing day. Tomorrow is a shore excursion. I’ll be visiting with my second cousins. So until tomorrow, good night. Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - Roatan I guess I was a little more tired than I thought. I woke up after sunrise. No time to dilly dally this morning, as I have an independent shore excursion this morning at 10:00 ship time (9:00am local time) with Victor Bodden. I figure if I leave the ship around 9:00am ship time it will give me enough time to check things out and still be at the meeting place on time. This morning I decided to check out another suite perk, breakfast at Chops. The menu includes some very nice offerings, including steak and eggs. I had a custom made omelet and ice tea. This is a very nice suite perk. After breakfast I went back to the cabin to pick up the food for the monkeys and then down to deck one to disembark. I quickly toured the port area. A lady was getting her feet cleaned by algae eaters. At least that is would they would call them if you went to an aquarium store. I’m not sure what they call the fish here (they are fresh water fish that are about two inches long). The fish eat the dead skin as long as you hold your feet still. Move and the fish will scatter. The trick is, what the fish are doing tickles. Ten minutes was fifteen dollars, twenty minutes was twenty dollars and thirty minutes was twenty-five dollars. A couple of months ago I had the same thing done to my hands at Sea World for free (included in the price of admission). After looking around I found a couple of things I would like to purchase when I return. I found the Victor Bodden booth. I was told they just left and would return in five or ten minutes. Just left, I am thirty minutes early? Turns out what was meant is the other people I am with are looking around (just like I was) and they will return in five or ten minutes (and they did). So we left on our tour about twenty minutes early (an advantage of private tours). Well, the iguana farm is in one direction and the monkeys are in another direction. We headed toward the iguanas first. However, our first stop was to pick up some monkey food. We really over did it. One bag of peanuts and one bag of grapes would have been more than enough. We had five times that much, plus bananas, fruit, apple and banana chips (dried apple and banana pieces) which we ended up sharing with the other people there plus the staff (as we could not bring it back on the ship). I was here in April 2009 and was basically repeating what I had done before, just with more food this time. I was only interested in feeding the monkeys but the other two wanted to see the iguanas. So the iguanas was our first stop. There are five ships here today, totaling what I believe is about sixteen thousand people. Both locations were crowded. At any rate the iguanas proved to be more interesting than last time because this time someone was selling iguana food, two very large leaves for one dollar. This proved to be the land version of dropping bread in water full of fish. It was a feeding frenzy with iguanas running over and climbing over each other to get a bite of this leaf. I think I spent three dollars on food. I’ve got pictures and video of the action. Fortunately the iguanas are vegetarians, so I still had ten fingers when this was over. Next we went over to Victor Bodden’s monkeys. There are more than I remember. Though the monkeys like and eat the peanuts, they seem they like the grapes better. They suck the juice out. The parrots liked the peanuts. I don’t think any of the monkeys were hungry when we were done. The whole thing was thirty-five dollars each plus ten dollars for the iguana farm. It lasted about three hours and was very enjoyable. This is my second Victor Bodden tour and one of the things I really like about it is that you can customize your tour. We basically had a private tour guide for three hours. Upon our return I picked up a couple of souvenirs and head for the ship. I drop off everything in the cabin and head for lunch, which I bring back to the cabin and enjoy lunch on my balcony. Then I change into my bathing suit, grab my waterproof camera, and head for Splashaway Bay. The bucket is dumping and I want to get soaked and get some close up pictures of the bucket dumping its water. Then head back to the cabin, shower, work on this and just relax until dinner time. Today all three of us are at our own table. We share stories of what we did. For dinner I had the pasta as an appetizer and I ordered the Chops steak (that cost an extra $20 with tip). After dinner a nice surprise was waiting for me when I arrived back to my cabin. My crystal for hitting 210 points. Which reminds me. Jorge (the Diamond Concierge) left me a phone message telling me that he confirmed that my original Belize shore excursion was refunded to my credit card. I was hoping to find out why that happened. I did not ask to have it cancelled and I ended up buying it again. So any way, everything that went wrong on the first two days has been corrected (and I ended up not using my mini knife). Tomorrow I have an early shore excursion which includes a long tender ride (I’ve been told it is about five miles - this is my first time to Belize). It must be a short trip to Belize, as we are only doing 8.5 knots. So since I’m tired and it is 10:00pm, I’m going to hit the hay. See you tomorrow morning. Thursday, April 14, 2016 - Belize I have an 8:15am shore excursion today. Since the Chops’ breakfast does not begin until 8:00am, I don’t have time for a Chops breakfast today. So I settle for a banana, which is fine since I don’t normally eat breakfast. I’m in group eight, on the Wildlife Adventure tour. We are the seventh group call to the tender boats. One thing I noticed, there are only lifeboats on this ship, no tender boats. Thus all tendering is being done by local commercial tenders. One good thing about this is that the commercial tenders are open and airy, not closed and stuffy like the ship’s tenders (if it had any). Still it is 9:30am before we get to Belize, as it is a long tender ride. There it is a fairly long wait until we board the bus. It is an old bus, but the air conditioner works. It is a long ride to the zoo. It is a nice zoo, but not world class. There are three problems however. The zoo uses fences and electric wires to keep the animals in. That means most of the viewing is done through wires. Inside the cages is all natural vegetation, so the animals are hard to find and see. Which brings up problem three. Though this is a fairly small group of nineteen people, once an animal is located, there at least nineteen people that all want to see it at the same time from the same place. From the zoo we go to the river to have lunch (no, we don’t eat the river). Lunch was okay as far as tour lunches go. We had chicken, rice, beans, a small salad, and a drink. Then it is a boat ride down the river to a small town where we board the bus back to the tender dock. Along the river we see various wildlife, such as monkeys, birds, alligators, and landing 737s. Yes, the local airport landing path goes right over the river. We are back at the tender dock just after 3:30pm and the last tender to the ship is 4:30pm. Fortunately all of us are aware that the ship is one hour ahead of local time, since the tour guide thinks we have a two hour window, not a one hour window. A major drawback to Belize is that one loses two hours round trip because of the tendering. Also note, when approaching (and leaving Belize, the captain is not lost. The channel the ships have to follow was laid out by a drunken snake. I was trying to figure out what the captain was trying to do, as the ship made one turn after another until I realized the ship behind us was doing the same thing. I figured both captains could not be that crazy (or drunk). I later spoke to the captain and confirmed that the channel through the reef was not straight. Tonight is our second formal night. After a tender port? I think after Cozumel would have been a better choice, but nobody consulted me on this issue. I have a few pictures taken, two of which I like and buy. The captain cannot come to the formal night because he is busy trying to figure out how to leave Belize without making the evening news (got to stay in that channel when leaving Belize also). I’m the only one at dinner tonight, which is good because I’m dead tired and the faster I finish dinner the faster I can go to sleep. I’m done in less than one hour. Belize has two seasons (the same two Panama has), hot and hotter, and they are both humid. All I want to do is sleep. I’ll be back at you in the morning. Friday, April 15, 2016 - Cozumel (also tax day) Today is a day I am really looking forward to. The last time I was in Cozumel I swam with the manatee. It was great, my new favorite. My old favorite is feeding the stingrays at Stingray City. I book the 10:00 visit with the manatees online at a discount. The problem is, when you book you have to state which hotel or ship you are on. You can’t book without providing this information. You also can’t book if you are on a ship. The ship doesn’t offer the swim with the manatee as a shore excursion, so I decided to slightly misstate things. I said I was at a hotel and the name of the hotel was the “Liberty of the Seas” (since the ship really is a floating hotel). It worked. Booking online gave me a 10% discount. It got better once I got to the park. But before I go to the park there were two things I wanted to do. One, have breakfast, which this time was steak & eggs at Chops. The other thing was to find out if we are one hour head of Cozumel or not. For Roatan and Belize the Compass (which is the ship’s newspaper) said we were one hour head. However, for Cozumel it did not say this. I saw Jorge (the Diamond Concierge) on my way to breakfast. He said Cozumel in the same time zone as Roatan and Belize so he thought the ship would be one hour ahead, but he would have to check. My reply is that Galveston is in the same time zone also. I saw Anis (the Concierge) in the Suite Lounge. I asked him and he used a very simple method to get the answer. He logged on to the computer and checked the local time. Cozumel and the ship’s time are both the same. So after breakfast I head out to Chankanaab Park (also known as Dolphin Discovery). The taxi ride was $12 each way. Once there I didn’t have to pay anything extra for admission and I got a 25% discount on the 12:00 swim with the manatee session. Yes, I am doing the same thing twice. I have four wrist bands. Yellow and Pink are admission bands (apparently the park is both a commercial park (like Sea World) and a national park (like Yosemite). So there are two admission fees. Perhaps that is the reason for the 25% discount, since apparently the $59.00 swim with the manatee includes the price of admission. Who cares, I’m in. I was here is 2004 and did the swim with the dolphin and swim with the seal programs. The last time I was here was March 2013 and that is when I swam with the manatee. The swim with the dolphin program has clearly become more popular. Unfortunately so has the swim with the manatee program. In 2013 there were three of people and two manatees. Today there were fourteen people in the first session and four manatees. I don’t know how many people were in the second session. I would guess at least eight. Fortunately, the manatees eat 10% of their body weight per day. So a 450 pound manatee eats forty-five pounds of lettuce and I don’t think both groups combined came to that amount, and there are four manatees. So I didn’t have to worry about the manatees being not hungry (or fed-up - ha ha). In the first group there was a group of eight family/friends and six of us not with the group. So the family/friends where sent to feed three of the manatees while the other six of us interacted with the fourth manatee. When we finished interacting with the manatee, the two groups switched. As I finished feeding the manatees I wondered what to do next. Squirting the kids in the other group seemed to be a good idea. I can squirt water from between my two hands, a skill that takes some time to perfect. So the kids tried, but they could not squirt me back. Then I noticed two stalks from the lettuce. I know the manatees will eat that also. So ask for the two stalks and get to feed the manatees again. A word of warning. You are not allowed to bring your own camera. They will take plenty of pictures of you. Their taking the pictures is free. Your taking the pictures is not. I believe you can buy individual pictures (print or digital) but I wanted them all in a digital format. No problem, that came to $70 for each session ($140 total for both sessions). It cost more for the photographs than it is for the swim with the manatees experience. Between the two sessions I ended up with 96 photographs of me with the manatees. That works out to about $1.46 per photograph, which isn’t a bad price on a per photograph basis. After my second swim with the manatees, I decided to walk around the park and take pictures. I don’t think I covered all of the park, but I believe I was able to photograph more than ninety percent of the area that most people would be interested in. As I got ready to leave I noticed that the 2:00pm swim with the manatees was the smallest group. Small groups are nice, however, the manatees’ appetite insures that if you have a head of lettuce, you will find that one or more of the manatees will become your friend. After boarding the ship I showered, dressed and then grabbed my good camera and went back out to photograph the outside of the ship, as this is the one port where I can stand on solid ground (not a bobbing tender) and take a clear photograph of the ship (no dock, people or small boats in front of it). On the way out I saw the hotel director who recognized me, and noticed that I was walking away from the ship. I assured him that I was not going far and would be back on time. After taking a few photographs of the ship I headed back and found the hotel director. I showed him one of the pictures I took. Back on the ship, I was feeling good. I had fun with the manatees and I had my clear full broadside ship picture. Well, all of this came crashing down with one phone call. The shore excursion to Bush Airport, which includes a brief tour of NASA, has been cancelled. So now I have a flight home, but no way to get to the airport. After having solved all of the Sunday problems and after a very enjoyable time in Cozumel, this has me down in the dumps, even though I realize that the worst case is a three hundred dollar taxi ride by someone who learned how to drive in New York. This time I head to the Concierge (Suite Lounge). One, can he get me to the airport on Sunday? Two, can he book me into Giovanni’s Table tonight (I need a nice quite meal)? He gets me a table at 6:30pm. I give him a tip and say THANK YOU! He seems fairly confident that he can get me to Bush Airport. I don’t share his confidence, but I am willing to wait until tomorrow morning to see what fate awaits me. I work on this for a while and then head for dinner. I have a cheese plate appetizer and steak for the main course. My waiter lets me have the pasta main dish as an appetizer also. He says it is very good, and it was, as was the steak. I leave him an extra tip and head to the cabin. I want to work on this. However, even though it is now about the time I would normally have dinner and I want to work on this, that phone call (and the sun) has zapped the will and energy from me. I end up watching TV for a while in bed and eventually fall asleep. Saturday, April 16, 2016 - Day at sea I wake up at the normal time, first at 4:00am and then again about 6:30am. Even though I want to go to Chops for breakfast, I don’t get out of bed at 8:00am. Finally I get up around 8:30am, shower and dress and head up to the Suite Lounge. The concierge is on the phone, and then it suddenly hits me, I never received my invitation to the bridge tour. So while one concierge is on the phone, I run over to the other concierge and find out I am on the 9:30am tour and it is now 9:22am. I run over to the Concierge who tells me he is still working on it. I ask how long he will be here (to 11:00am) and tell him I’ll be back. I have to be somewhere else now. A quick note, even though Royal Caribbean has eliminated the multiple daily announcements about various ways you can spend your money, the advertisements have not ended, they just come in other forms, messages on the TV, voice mail messages, and flyers. Some of those flyers come in envelopes. Make sure you at least look at them. My bridge tour invitation was in an envelope that I didn’t open until I started packing. I was lucky to make it to the bridge tour which I was looking forward to and had I known, I would have got out of bed earlier so that I would have had time to have breakfast at Chops. I make it in time for the tour which was very enjoyable. One of the cadets conducts the tour (I get a picture with him). But we only have a half hour as there is a 10:00am tour. At 10:15am is the Captain’s Corner, which I also enjoy attending. However, when I get there I run into the Captain (don’t worry, neither of us were hurt) and I end up talking to him. This has two unintended consequences. One, I don’t have any more questions to ask and two, all the good seats have been taken. By 10:30am the questions are ridiculous and I decide to go to the Suite Lounge to find out if I am going to be waving to my plane as it takes off. The Concierge came through again. I’m on the bus to the airport. No tour, but at least I’ll make my flight. I have a 4:20pm flight (designed for the tour schedule) and I’m figuring the bus will get me to the airport around 10:30am. Still it is a lot less than a three hundred dollar taxi ride (the bus is $47) and I have my laptop, so I’ll have plenty to keep me entertained. I gave the Concierge another tip. So with that I end up chatting with another Gold Card passenger until lunch time. I take lunch back to the cabin to enjoy on the balcony. After that I put on my bathing suit so I can ride the green water slide which has been fixed. The green slide is faster. However, both slides are fun. Tidal Wave is still not working, but I did talk to one of the people working on fixing the slide, so something is being done. Back at the cabin I showered and started the packing process. I then attended the 2:00pm ice show. It was okay, but not as good as other ice shows I have seen on other Royal Caribbean ships. Then back to the cabin to finished packing and then I worked on this until dinner. I had two sliders as an appetizer and the pasta as the main dish. Usually I have ice cream for dessert (anything cold) but tonight I had the key lime pie after verifying that the filling is yellow. Yellow filling is real key lime pie, green filling is not real key lime pie. The wait staff put on their second show and then it was time to head back to the cabin and put the luggage out for collection. Tomorrow not only are they going to kick us off the ship, but they are going to make us get up early to do it. So, until tomorrow morning, good night. Sunday, April 17, 2016 - Debarkation day I have to be in Studio B for an 8:30 debarkation. So at 7:30am I head to the Windjammer for breakfast which I take back to the cabin and enjoy on the balcony. By 8:15am I am in Studio B with many others. Our time keeps getting pushed back until finally at 9:30am they start to call the groups. However, there is no one verifying that the people getting in line are in the groups that have been called. This creates a backup getting into the terminal. Going through customs is no better or worse than other ports. The bus to Bush is full and leaves at 10:30am. This hour delay might be a problem for some, but by the time I get to the airport I still have a four hour wait, so I work on this for a while. Since I am just sitting here at the airport watching planes go up and down, it is time to reflect on the past week. Royal Caribbean, which is known for its service, fell well short in that regard in my opinion. However, that is just my opinion. You will have to decide how you want to view what happened. Did the two concierges come through for me? Yes. Should they have had to save the day for me? Not in my opinion. Bad service resulted in two people providing exceptional service. However, good service means that I don’t have to waste time getting someone to fix the bad service. I’ve been on thirteen cruises with Royal Caribbean and the only two times I have had problems is when I am in a suite. And no matter what you think of the service the concierges provided to me, I was still upset and or worried at a time I was supposed to be on a carefree vacation. Still there was a lot more to the cruise than problems. The room steward, waitress and assistant waiter were great. I tipped them extra. It was a great perk to have breakfast in Chops and to hobnob with the Captain and Hotel Director. The Suite Lounge was a nice quite place to meet and chat with others. There are other suite perks, but these were the two I enjoyed. The islands visited (technically Belize is not an island) where good. I would not mind returning to Roatan or Cozumel again. I know I am going to Roatan again in December. Belize would be a lot more interesting if two hours were not lost during the round trip from/to the ship. Look at it this way, one week has 168 hours. Flying cross country uses up less than sixteen hours or less than ten percent of the total trip. Spending even one hundred minutes out of an eight hour port visit tendering from/to the ship is still wasting more than twenty percent of the time (unless one really enjoys tender rides). Cozumel is one of my favorite ports. I would have loved to spend more time in Cozumel. As I noted, Chankanaab Park offers a lot. There are also a couple of all-inclusive beaches on Cozumel that many people rave about. And how about the ship. I think the Liberty of the Seas came out of dry dock looking better than when it went in. Have I been on the Liberty of the Seas before? No. However, I’ve been on the Freedom of the Seas twice and it is what the Liberty of the Seas was. I think the Splashaway Bay is better than the H2O Zone and that the water slides (when working) are the first water slides on a Royal Caribbean ship that an adult can enjoy. I also enjoyed the addition of Savor as a third optional extra cost restaurant. So, did I enjoy the cruise? Yes, but not as much as I could have had Royal Caribbean lived up to its reputation for outstanding service. So as I said earlier, this will be my last cruise on Royal Caribbean for a while, not because of this cruise, but because of the games it is playing with pricing (fake sales) and the new website which is very user unfriendly, which makes looking for a cruise very difficult (again, in my opinion). For those that are interested, my final onboard bill was $86.40. This includes $97.75 spend for food and drinks onboard, $111.65 for gratuities (really a service charge), and $109 for the shore excursion that was cancelled which I had to rebook once onboard. Of course there was also the $99 credit for the shore excursion to the airport that was cancelled and the $200 onboard credit which meant I really spent $385.40. While I sit here typing this apparently United decided to change the gate assignment. It is getting close to boarding time and there is no plane here. I check at the gate and the next flight is to Denver in two hours. I find a United employee who tells me the plane is at gate 33 (I’m currently at gate forty). So off I go to gate 33. I check in at the gate. No need, just get in line, boarding starts soon. This is an A319 and it is not nearly as nice as the 787. On top of that, apparently it was not the original plane when I picked my seat. So when I discovered the change, the only window seat left was in the 1F. The problem with that is, there is no seat in front to store things under. This means I would have to put my computer in the overhead bin. This means I would have to climb over someone to get my computer. Fortunately there is plenty of legroom making that a little easier. What made it even easier is the guy sitting next to me had the same problem. When he got up I got up I got up. Same when it was time to land. That worked out great for both of us. Being in 1F allowed me a view of the entry door. There is a handle marked “RME” and on the door it is marked “A D”. So while everyone was boarding I sat there trying to figure out what “RME” and “A D” meant. When the stewardess closed the door and pushed down the handle, I finally realized it stood for “ARMED”. If the door is opened while armed, the escape chute will deploy. Now as you know, the senior stewardess is in charge of first class. So this is kind of funny. Between the two seats is a small tray for holding glasses of whatever (water, orange juice, wine …). Something under it was loose. I was fiddling around with it when suddenly it opened. It is a second drink tray. Very handy. Naturally we took advantage of my new discovery. After serving everyone else, the stewardess, who must have seen me fiddling with it, ask me how I opened it. Apparently this hidden tray is a well-kept secret, apparently only known to one passenger and one stewardess (and anyone reading this). So how do you open it? You push it in and it pops out (sometimes you have to push it in a few time to get it to pop out). So, if you are ever flying first class in a United A319 and you want to impress your stewardess, just pop out the hidden tray and enjoy the extra room for the drinks. The flight was unremarkable (which is good). I managed to sort the pictures from the first two days, so I still have seven more days of photographs to sort through. For those that are interested I took over two thousand photographs. We landed and I went to baggage claim and waited. While waiting I looked up and notice a suite case that looked just like mine. Then suddenly I realized there were two bags that looked just like mine. At that point I realized what had happened. My bags went on an earlier flight. So I grabbed them. I didn’t realize there was a guard. She asked my last name. I gave it to her and she let me take the bags. She also mentioned that someone had tried to take one of them. This is a problem when you get to the airport too early. Bags tend to be put on planes based on destination, not based on flight number. I’ve had this happen before with Delta when going to Kona, Hawaii. I do appreciate United checking on who was taking what bags. This review is a summary of one person’s experience. It is not the gospel for what anyone should expect when cruising with Royal Caribbean. Nonetheless, I hope people find this review helpful and/or entertaining. Here is a link to the review on the main boards which includes the photographs ... http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2364155 You may have to copy and paste it into your address bar. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Pros First off staff was very friendly. Ship was spotless and clean. Comedians and shows were amazing. Dinning room food was great. Buffet food was bad the quality of the food was not good. Drink package was great all you can drink! ... Read More
Pros First off staff was very friendly. Ship was spotless and clean. Comedians and shows were amazing. Dinning room food was great. Buffet food was bad the quality of the food was not good. Drink package was great all you can drink! Great ship! Loved it. Pools were great. Cons- The cruise director didn't do a great job promoting the night life for younger people. There was no one in the club and it was boring. The only time is was fun is when we had the white out party on the main pool deck. The director could of had more people to the younger events if he promoted. Yet, I still had a great time just wish there was a better night life for the younger crowed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This was my second cruise on a Royal Caribbean ship, and I must say, even for a slightly older ship, it was first class all the way! My first RC cruise was on the Quantum, which even though it was brand new, classy, and glamourous, the ... Read More
This was my second cruise on a Royal Caribbean ship, and I must say, even for a slightly older ship, it was first class all the way! My first RC cruise was on the Quantum, which even though it was brand new, classy, and glamourous, the service was not 100% there. I used to cruise on NCL, but after a terrible experience on the Gem, I will probably stick to Royal. This was a totally spontaneous, solo cruise. I needed to get away from N.Y.C. I purchased the last room on the ship. A junior suite, no less, the day before it was to sail, for a good price. I have been in a junior suite once before on NCL Breakaway, and was not impressed. It was really no better than a balcony room. I was excited to try a junior suite on RC. Embarkation was quick. I got there at 11:30, through a short security line, and even shorter priority boarding line. I was on the ship by noon. I went to their pizza shop on deck 5 instead of the buffet, of course, and waited till 1 for the rooms to be ready. Here is when I was totally impressed... The Junior Suite: when they say Royal Wow, they mean it. It was a really large room, two big windows, extra long balcony with a table, two chairs, and two loungers. The bed was huge! It also had a big sofa, lounger, TV, make up table, coffeemaker, cabinets, drawers, large bathroom with tub, and the coolest part, a big walk in closet! It had one side with metal racks, the other hangers, and a lot of floor space for my shoes, and luggage. The room attendant was great. He always had my room ready, clean, and with towel animals. I was alone half the time. I met up with some new friends along the way. The activities I attended ranged from interesting lectures, trivia, to dance classes. I love to dance, and the ship had some great parties at night. If not, at least there was a decent club to dance at. When I wasn't dancing, I was walking around, or at the gym to stay fit. The gym was a pretty good size, and had plenty of machines. Good time to be there was early afternoon. Less crowded. The food was pretty good, too. I would eat my breakfast at the Windjammer. I eat healthy, and found plenty of healthy options. Lunch was also at the Windjammer, or a slice of pizza at Sorrento's. Dinner was on my time. I had my own table every night (but would chat with people around me), at the Botticelli dinning room. I enjoyed most of the food. My waiter, Daryl, was fabulous! He always was helpful, and attentive. The entertainment was pretty good. I only missed out on the ice stating show, which I heard was great, but I'll check it out next time. Saturday Night Fever was okay, but I think I enjoyed Mama Mia a little better on my last cruise. The comics were funny, and they also had some good magic shows. Our port stops were Bermuda, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, and Labadee. I have been to Bermuda before, but missed out on Horseshoe Bay. It was nice, but a bit crowded. I took a little bus there ($16). I enjoyed the hot beach, but went back early to do some shopping in Kings Warf. St. Maarten was great! It rained that whole morning, but I still took a cab to Maho Beach to watch the airplanes. I go to Maho Beach every time I'm there. I had plenty of time to walk around Philipsburg with my new cruise friends. In Puerto Rico, I took a bus tour of Old, and New San Juan. We also had time to check out the fort. I think I'll skip a tour next time, and walk around town on my own. We didn't really have time to do that since we were only there from 7 to 1. Labadee is really nice! I got a chair, and just relaxed till lunch time. They serve a good buffet on the beach. I didn't go on the zip line (next time), but walked around the shopping area. A word of advice: they are very pushy, so be careful. I did my usual New Yorker walk, and luckily wasn't bothered too much. Some people were forced into buying things. I'm skipping that area next time. I enjoyed my last sea days going to trivia, lectures, and dancing with friends. Didn't buy much in the shops. Mostly relaxed on my huge balcony with a book, or music. Disembarkation was actually semi organized. I left my room at 7 (self checkout), got in a long line (but we could put our luggage down, and sit), and was out just before 8. Security was a breeze, then out, and into my car, back to New York. I really enjoyed my vacation, and was really impressed with the service. Even though the price is a little more than NCL, I think it's worth it. For the foreseeable future, I will be sailing with Royal Caribbean. I enjoy the food, accommodations, and service. I will be sailing again on the Liberty in September, but to Canada/New England. This time in an interior room to save money for my next cruise, after that, on the Anthem. Stay tuned. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
So... went there with my mama and my papa. 10 days cruise from Cape Liberty. It was great. I believe we booked the last room available on the ship for that cruise, because I kept looking after booking the cruise and they kept saying all ... Read More
So... went there with my mama and my papa. 10 days cruise from Cape Liberty. It was great. I believe we booked the last room available on the ship for that cruise, because I kept looking after booking the cruise and they kept saying all the rooms were sold out. We booked a little bit late and had to take what was left, but we don't regret it since we don't have much time to travel otherwise. Embarkation was really fast and easy, took less than half an hour, toilet excursion included (it's free too). First thing to do when you get onboard - Windjammer baby! Buffet was great the first 7 days. Got tired of all the food after that. Don't think it's RC's fault. Shouldn't have eaten 3 plates at every meal... again, toilet excursions are free onboard! The boat was really nice. Much nicer than our previous cruise boat (Majesty of the seas). Among my favorite places on the boat : Royal Promenade, Spa in the adult section, Fitness center, Ping pong center, Flowrider, Ice cream station, Toilet center. The ship was clean. You can tell that those people are working hard to keep it clean. They even take the time to say Hi most of the time. But does that worth 400 canadian dollars of gratuities? I guess so. The places we visited were amazing (Bermuda, St-Monokini (St-Marteen), San Juan, Labadee). If you do your homework before the cruise, you can absolutely plan your own excursion and profit from what the locals have to offer. Buses tour were 7 $ each way per person everywhere... That's really cheap to me... Just plan where you really want to go and it'll be great. The most beautiful place we've been to is Horseshoe Bay Beach, in Bermuda. If you never been to the Bermuda, I believe it's the first place to go. This is also were I saw the most beautiful girl I've ever seeen!!! She even smiled at me and set herself just in front of me on the beach. It was the most beautiful day of my life. Back on the boat, I realized she was cruising on the same boat... with a crew member... almost ruined the rest of my cruise... just kidding... plenty of fishes in the royal caribbean seas. Service was better on the Majesty of the seas since I believe people are more happy on cheaper cruises... that's just my opinion... Average age on the boat was, maybe... 83 years old... Haha! There were many old people. I believe we were 6 people under 30 yo. But, every cruiser were really nice on that boat anyway. So, the cruise was really nice. Nothing to complain about, since there's much bigger problems in life than cruising on one of the biggest ship on Earth. If you can't enjoy a cruise, I believe you have to get yourself a different set of value... Only regret... should have taken a shot on that girl... 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: April 2015
Liberty of the Seas – Sail Date April 25th - 5 Night Western Caribbean Cruise As always my reviews are lengthy but very informative hopefully this information will help you in your future cruise endeavors. I have broken down the ... Read More
Liberty of the Seas – Sail Date April 25th - 5 Night Western Caribbean Cruise As always my reviews are lengthy but very informative hopefully this information will help you in your future cruise endeavors. I have broken down the individual categories to assist in identifying key areas of the ship – crew and ports. Ft Lauder Dale Port: Unequivocally the worst port I have ever been at – we have sailed more than 7 times and I cringe when my wife tells me we are leaving out of Ft. Lauderdale. The construction around the Port appears to be completed which was a huge Traffic Relief. You must pass through a Customs security gate while driving through and they will ask for Boarding Pass / Pass Port or Identification before proceeding. Personally I like the added security it is very quick so unless you have something to hide this is a very fast process. Once you enter the passenger areas it gets extremely confusing – the Pylons are scattered to make lanes and there are Police and Parking enforcement all over waving their hands so you have to pay particular attention to who you are watching or they start yelling. Also the passenger drop off appears to be the last of the buildings on the docks – furthest from the parking structure so it’s best to find a porter drop your luggage with them and go to the parking structure – you will have to walk back and it is probably a 5-10 minute walk. Once inside the building you will have to go through another security check point – metal detectors etc. and then you will see the lines for the Cruise Sign in Desks. This is where it gets bad. We are platinum passengers with RCCL in other ports there were separate lines for Gold Members / Platinum / Emerald / Diamond etc. at this terminal you are all together for check in there is no separate lines, Now I am not degrading any passengers however when you sail enough and get these perks it would be nice to get your status services upgraded – no different than upgrading a plane ticket. – After check in we were pointed to a long long line similar to a bank line but 20x longer. Here we stood for 30 min. Where as in the Orlando port there were plenty of seats to sit. Once the Doors opened it took us to another room (Small and unable to hold the same amount of people that were standing) this is where I informed my wife to keep walking toward the RCCL rep and we showed him our platinum status and he let us proceed immediately on board. So if we didn’t ask or approach we would have been sitting for who knows how long. Bottom line very poor loading process – it lacks communication and structure. Disembarking OMG – RCCL what are you thinking this was 10x worse than boarding. Since we drive to our ports and park - we always choose to leave the ship early to beat traffic and crowds. The standard procedure is – Get your customs paperwork completed the night before – and advise on the TV whether you are leaving early or not. We did not have this option – What we did have was a note in the flyer which said. “For those passengers leaving early please meet on deck 3 and be prepared to have to carry your luggage down a flight of stairs. Elevators will only be available for handicap assistance” I was besides my self-thinking “No way is that possible – Carry your luggage down a stair case” Well the next morning we went to deck 3 and sure enough it was jammed packed already and we arrived at 6:30am – We waited for about an hour – it was 7:30 before we could start the disembarking procedure. As we started moving we walked pass the elevators and there it was – About a 3rd of the passengers trying to carry bags of luggage down “not one flight of stairs” but actually 3 Flights – We started at deck 3 and had to go all the way down to deck 1 – I am not kidding you when I say I seen people falling – luggage falling down stair cases – Elderly people getting pushed etc.. It was absolutely Ludacris RCCL would even attempt this – It was mass kayas and honestly if no-one got hurt I would be surprised. – Once you were off the ship you had to walk with your luggage across the dock almost 3/4 length of the ship outside – Thankfully our weather was nice. Then once inside the building, you had an additional walk through to customs. Absolutely Insane – This needs to be Fixed! Liberty of Seas As always we head right to the pool deck and get our annual sendoff drink – We were met by a bar waiter Malcom Colaco – he made our whole cruise go beyond service expectations, he was very friendly very professional always laughing smiling and even took a couple minutes to talk when he was busy. KUKDOS Malcom you are the best, and a special thank you to Ashish Jadhan who assisted Malcom when he was busy. Who ever sails on the Liberty Ask for Malcom – you won’t be disappointed After our Drink we toured the ship – we have sailed on this same class ship a couple months prior so we knew the layout of the ship – She is a beautiful vessel – very clean and great crew. The only downfall that I noticed which was new to us was that during certain parts of the afternoon sail days the crew would set up a Mig-shift bar along the pool deck which caused a really nasty traffic jam – and they put it on the smoker side of the ship – Now we do smoke so it didn’t bother us to stand in this line but for those persons who didn’t smoke I seen it unfair to them to stand in this area. Ideally they should have moved it to the nonsmoking side to make it more user friendly. I am sure they lost allot of business by those who didn’t smoke and didn’t want to stand there. Stateroom For our first time ever we stayed at the front of the ship Deck Nine Stateroom 9502. It was fantastic, because this rooms are set along the front and edge corners of the ship means you get about another 10-12 square feet which doesn’t seem like much but I will say this – We generally have to unpack our luggage and put suitcases under the bed or in the closet – In this room we put them in the corner and never came close to tripping or having them get in our way, the only down fall is – at night you have to keep your drapes drawn if your cabin lights are on – because the reflection from the room lights interferes with the bridge which is right above you – The Captain had to call our room one evening to remind us LOL. Even with that it is not a show stopper. The other concern having these rooms is keep in mind you are at the front of the ship so if there is a venue you want to go to that is at the back you are walking the whole length of the ship to get there – Again Not a Show Stopper. We will definitely try to book these rooms more often. Liberty of Seas Crew Overall the crew was exhausted – Its not a question of “Looked like they were” or “Seemed like they were” – They absolutely were exhausted. This is one of the concerns I always talk about in my reviews. These people are working 12-15 hours a day to give everyone a nice vacation experience. I don’t hold anything against those crew members who may not have reached expectations of some of the passengers – They were exhausted and gave all they could. A+ in my book Windjammer The hard fact is - Its buffet food everyone, you are not getting a 5 star Michelin dining experience in a buffet restaurant nor will the food approach this criteria either. It is not the greatest and certainly not the worst – You may have to find something you like and go with it – but please don’t expect – out of this world Buffett Food. It is unrealistic. Also a special Thanks to Sedrak Beneth Crispin the windjammer Supervisor – He was absolutely awesome and great person to talk to. He has some great stories so if you see him ask him about living in Wisconsin during his student transfer days. Johnny Rockets Hats off to Hazel Hodgson – She gave us a great Lunch dining experience – She was exceptional in her service and represented RCCL extremely well – Thank you Hazel. Specialty Restaurants We normally don’t visit the specialty restaurants but the first day on board they offered a discount so we tried Portifinos – Being of Italian / Sicilian Decent I loved most of the specialty dishes – my wife is more picky and went for the steak. Noel Ricketts was our waiter and his service and professionalism under the guidance of Georgiana Petru was fantastic. Thanks so much for everything. Customer Service Oriel Garrido assisted us at the Customer Service Desk and what a great job she did – not just with us – we watched as some disgruntled passengers approached her and she diffused the situation very quickly and they left smiling. Now that’s GOOD! Nice Work Oriel Our first stop Belize Just so everyone is aware – When any cruise ships go to Belize it is important to know that Belize is the home of a Great Coral reef – Which means you must tender off the ships you’re on. In our case it was the tender ride to Belize was 30-45 min one way. Any excursions on shore where a min of 1 hour ride up to 1.5 hours – So lets do some math. You port for 8 hours, there is a 30-45 Min tender (Plus Waiting in Line for the Tender) so lets say 2.5 Hours to tender off and back to ship. Your 8 Hours is now 5.5 Hours. If you have to go on an excursion trip 1 hour one way you use another 2 hours so your 5.5 hours is now approx. 3.5 providing there is no wait time – So your total excursion time is between 3 and 3.5 hours but your total travel time is around 4.5 – 5 hours. I am not discouraging just keep that in mind – because the tendering process is not that great – We chose to stay on board. Overall Experience Overall our experience on board Liberty was great however we noticed a big difference between 5 day and 7 day cruises. Personally we will not do any more 5 day cruises – We prefer 7-10. Five Day cruises seem to be too short – just as you are getting into your vacation it seems to be ending. The Liberty is a great ship and we will continue to cruise with RCCL. Passengers on Board Liberty (MY RANT) SOME passengers on board are “Simpletons” it absolutely disgusts me that on every cruise we take we see some passengers treat workers like they own them. It is not only embarrassing for me to watch these Passenger but it is embarrassing to the human race. These cruise line crews are there to make your vacation comfortable and enjoyable, they are not there to take criticisms and insults and walk away with a smile while you get off on your ability to stand on top of the hill for a moment. It is appalling and disgusting. We actually heard a women say “OMG I must be drunk I am actually tipping these guys to bring me drinks” on another occasion we witnessed passengers dirty a table – leave all there cups – cigarette boxes – pool towels and other garbage and walk away – and the trash can was 2’ away from them. It is an absolute shame that Human beings can’t respect other human beings – It is absolutely unacceptable in my book. The next cruise you take try to put your selves in the crews shoes – At sea for 9-12 months a year – not seeing your family – living quarters smaller than your cabin and your sharing with others, 12-15 hour work days and then dealing with the public! – Don’t pacify this as "it’s their job" – Those of us who are blessed with good careers and the ability to take these vacations need to be more open minded. Either way these are human beings and they needed to be treated as such. I am 100% positive that they passengers we hear complaining and disgruntling crew members or cruise lines wouldn't last 1 Shift with these people. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
RCCL was the top of my choice list so there was no question which cruise line, just which cruise. It never let us down. We embarked in Rome for the 7 day Western Medditeranian. Embarkment in Rome was a small group of about 500 only and it ... Read More
RCCL was the top of my choice list so there was no question which cruise line, just which cruise. It never let us down. We embarked in Rome for the 7 day Western Medditeranian. Embarkment in Rome was a small group of about 500 only and it was swift and efficient from the shuttle bus to the ship. We were sipping drinks by the main pool, 15 minutes after checking in. We chose Late May because we wanted less kids on this cruise (no school holidays) POSITIVES: Where to start? to many to mention. Staff were absolutely OUT OF THIS WORLD. Friendly, happy and more than happy to go over and above their job. Honestly, Ive never ever experienced consistent service like this ever. The ports were great, and well coordinated with no wait time at all to disembark. Premium Drinks package: was well worth every single penny. It include all top shelf spirits and just about everything we wanted was available at any bar at all opening times including the casino. The cocktail waiters were creative and delivered all that i gave them on my own personal menu. DINING: The food was totally amazing through and through. I heard a lot about Windjammmer which was not favourable, however for the breakfast we found it more than adequate and lunch and pre dinner ( ESP the Sushi bar) was amazing spread of food. Its a buffet, so for a buffet, it was super all in all. It catered to everyones palate. We chose not to dine in the other restaurants. Room service was exceptional and fast. The Rembrandt dining room was STUNNING, you really felt you were on the titanic in a very formal setting for dinner every night and of course, our table happened to be the most exciting with the most eclectic crowd of strangers, who were like old soul mates. RANDOM but AMAZING. I liked the set dining time but next time choose an earlier time as we missed a few shows having 9 pm dining. We just got lucky with our pot luck table of 10 amazing people, we really did. There was never a moment where the quality of food or service faltered in any of the dining rooms, bars, pool or our room. After hours service was just perfect with the promenade 24 hour cafe, we used it a lot!! ENTERTAINMENT: there was so much on offer it was hard to cover everything, but we tried. Trivia 80's music, Abba trivia. My only critic was the hour was not long enough. From Jazz Night to Bingo to Beatles trivia to all the little health talks and fitness stuff, it was all great. The ice skating was a great family show, The "in the air" show was really awesome. We sadly missed saturday night fever, but hey our dinner table was to awesome to miss our 9 pm slot. ( WE hear that SNF was amazing show though) Karaoke after dinner was super fun, however i felt that of the 2 nights we went, one was pumping with talent, atmosphere and so much fun that they shut the place down smack bang on the timed schedule when the room was not being used afterwards. We all wanted to continue and that was an anti climax. i think the host really needs to know what the crowd wants and just go with the flow. Other evenings after dinner we sat in the piano bar with DAVE CURTIS. the most fantastic interactive piano man ever. really got his crowd worked up and we had the best 3 nights with him. great talent and just superb entertainer, who really works his crowd to interact with him. He played for a full 4 hours every night except 1. The entertainment by the pool (given not so many kids) was good, however there were times when we felt it needed more for adults. i.e. live music, or better choice in movies or perhaps more movies early in the day rather than after lunch. The one thing the pool lacked was the offering of tid bits or french fries or just small nibbles. But Honestly, it was so easy to run to windjammer and get a plate of sushi, or fruit or a sandwich so i understand that this really is not necessary, however even nuts would have been great. We spent a lot of our days by the pool rather than shore visits and for the 35 plus crowd, i felt there was not enough to get the crowd to mingle. We wished there was more to do for the singles on the cruise. Although I'm very sociable and find it easy to meet people, sometimes its nice to just have all the single people together. single nights or just meet and mingle organised by the ship in the many bars that were available. (NO meet and greet or mingle on this ship for us) Never did we feel 4500 people were on this ship, not in any of the entertainment venues or bars. Only on sailing day, in the Windjammer for lunch and thats the only time. BARS: were all just fabulous, each offered its own special theme and flare and entertainment. it just never disappointed. The Catacomb was a little disappointing, it was hard to know what type of music theme was playing until you got in and i felt that if this was a little more planned i.e. a 70's or 80's we would have enjoyed that more, but thats an age thing. They did have a silent rave party but it just did not appeal to us. NEGATIVES: not many at all: However the biggest was, the walk from the train station. RCCL needs to coordinate a pickup from the train station, just like they do the drop off on disembarkment day. Its a good 20 minute walk and with cases, its so hard. No taxis are available, so we had no choice but to make the walk to the port. on a hot day and with kids this would be a nightmare. MEDICAL SERVICE 4 hours a day for 4,500 people was not good enough we felt. my sister needed medical assistance and on both occasion it was closed. However housekeeping organised a wheelchair promptly after we filled in the appropriate papers and paid a deposit which was refunded. EMBARKMENT: WE embarked in Rome and we felt that the whole embarkment momentum was defiantly left for Barcelona embarkment and the Rome people of only 500 or so got the short end of the excitement stick. However, with only 500 getting on and off, it had its advantages too. SPA: nail tecnician was disappointing given her experience. 3 popped off with 2 days and at 100 dollars a pop i was very sad. She did fix 2 of the popped off nails gladly, however either the material was old or my fingers just did not like the products. (i doubt that though) The latter part of my negatives are really minor but the train station transport needs urgent attentions. last NEGATIVE: THE CRUISE WAS TOO SHORT Overall this was the absolutely most amazing first experience cruising. I have travelled extensively around the world and hands down this was highlight, of my travelling life. I will never forget, IM HOOKED thanks RCCL you certainly live up to all your reviews plus some, ITS EXCEPTIONAL. I think i have sold you about 30 customers in the week alone since i got back to work in my salon and I can honestly say, OUTSTANDING STAFF. thanks so much for a wonderful trip with my sister. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Transfers I made the mistake of purchasing airport to cruise port transfers via Royal Caribbean before making my hotel reservations. It would have been much easier for me to use the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Hotel’s ... Read More
Transfers I made the mistake of purchasing airport to cruise port transfers via Royal Caribbean before making my hotel reservations. It would have been much easier for me to use the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Hotel’s shuttle service. In addition, the wait for the Royal Caribbean shuttle was far too lengthy. It would make much more sense if they had smaller vehicles that made more frequent trips, as opposed to waiting to fill a bus. Check-In It went very quickly and easily, but that’s because I have Gold status.The only negative is that the agent’s camera did not work, which caused a short discussion and a need to stop elsewhere before boarding. Baggage Delivery This was a nightmare. I checked in around 1:30. My bag did not arrive for about 5 hours. I had the early seating for dinner. When my bag had not arrived by 5:30, I got concerned. I was told to go down to the 2nd floor. My bag was not there. They told me to go back up to 5, across to the other side of the ship, then down to the 1st floor. Again, my bag was not there.I am amazed that bags are not scanned throughout the process. This could allow a customer to find out exactly where their bag is. I also could not believe that I had to walk all over the ship instead of having someone make a few phone calls on my behalf. It also makes no sense that there is no connection between the cabin on the customer’s baggage tag and which dinner seating they are reserved for. This would allow for prioritization of baggage delivery so that customers with early seating or early reservations at Chops or Portofino would be the first customers to receive their bags. I later complained at Guest Services and I was told that bag delivery can take until 8:00 pm. I do not recall seeing that in any documentation provided. Main Dining Room I checked in to be taken to my table on the first night. I was asked if I knew where my table was. I then found out it was because they did not know how to find a table. I was finally seated at my table. A table for 9, with 3 couples in their 70’s, me and 2 empty chairs. I am in my 50's and was traveling alone. I don’t know why I was not seated with single people, or at least more age appropriate people. Service was quite slow every dinner. I had to ask multiple times for a Diet Coke. The buildup to a very lame Shrek performing Gangnam Style was quite a worthless attempt at entertainment. The strip steak was tasteless and tough. All other food was good to excellent. Shows The Cruise Compass indicated that ‘In the Air’ would be the 2nd evening’s show but instead it was a Motown show. The show was excellent, as was ‘In the Air’ the following night. I just don’t understand how something like this gets miscommunicated.‘Saturday Night Fever’ was scheduled for the 5th night, even though the 70’s party was earlier in the cruise. The 2nd performance was not held for the early seating due to high waves. An announcement was made about the cancellation but very few people heard it. I would have assumed they could have performed a scaled-down version, even if meant just standing still singing. Return to Fort Lauderdale Airport I went to my “holding area”. The first couple of groups to disembark had already been announced and no new announcements were being made. The staff could not confirm if the transfer buses were ready and waiting. They had no idea if the assigned group was related to the time of the customer’s departing flights. Then all of the groups were cleared to leave the ship at one time. This just resulted in customer’s getting nervous about missing their flights, and longer lines going to baggage claim and through Customs. There was no signage and no personnel providing direction to the transfer buses. When I finally found a bus, I had to tell the driver 3 times that I was flying American, not America West (which merged years ago with US Airways). I waited a long time for the bus to leave and the bus was far from full. Again, just like on arrival, smaller vehicles should be used so they can depart more promptly and return for the next load of customers. The driver dropped off the customers at 2 spots. The 1st was a distance from terminal 1. The 2nd was between terminals 2 and 3. It would have been better to make a stop at each terminal, right at the terminal. Beverages I purchased the Premium Alcohol package. It would be a lot easier if there was more of a self-service way to get a bottle of beer. For example, scan your card, select your beer. Limit the use to every 30 minutes, so a customer does not get beers for multiple people. The same idea would be good with soft drinks. The bars seem to never have a supply of all of the beers. On the last night, at Schooner’s, I asked for Bud Light, Miller Light, Coors Light, Michelob Natural Light, before having to accept Amstel Light. How do you run out of all of these brands?   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
If you don't have a lot of time are looking for a fun cruise just to relax and unwind than this is for you. I wont bore you with all the thing this ship has to offer I'll just give you the facts no fluff. First of all I ... Read More
If you don't have a lot of time are looking for a fun cruise just to relax and unwind than this is for you. I wont bore you with all the thing this ship has to offer I'll just give you the facts no fluff. First of all I recommend getting some status with RCCL. If you don't already have a Crown and Anchor membership get it. After one or two cruises you will be at least gold and you get all kinds of free stuff. You wont have to wait in long lines to embark or disembark. Free drinks, upgrades, discounts, member only area's need I say more? The Ship... It's easy to find you way around on every deck they have touch screen TVs to guide you through you day. Not sure what to do or what's going on find one of these bad boys and you are all set. Explore the ship go for a walk and look around you will be amazed at all the things to see, from Art on the walls, to sales in the shops. If you get lost the crew is very helpful. (Hint James the Cruise Director Loves Peanut M&M's He will buy you some free drinks) If you are a SUN GOD get to the pool early and save a spot. If you drink to much and wake up late good luck finding a good spot by the bar. The Food...OK If you are a snob, of just picky eater then stop reading and go away. If not then read on...There is more food on the ship than you can deal with if you are watching your weight that's good because it's going to go up. I never ate in the Dinning rooms for Breakfast or Lunch to many choices like the Windjammer Cafe, Johnny Rocket's, The Pizza Shop, The Deli, and Room service. Order what ever you want if you don't like it send it back and get something else. It's that simple. Don't fret or pout you paid for it enjoy. O yes FREE ICE CREAM ALL DAY MAIN POOL DECK! I liked the Strawberry the best. Dinner in the Dinning room was great every night not one bad meal. I liked the Sea Bass the best and the pork loin was excellent. Ate at Chops Grill on the last night it was worth the $60 we spent Fillet & Halibut to die for. If you are a wine drinker get a wine package before you get on board it will save you some cash and you won't have to sneak some on. The Shows...Go see all of them! Get there 30 to 40 minutes early to get a good seat. If you make your reservations online for the shows before you sail it's easier but still show up early first come first serve on seats. The Comic good, The Ice Show good, The Variety Show good, Saturday Night Fever Excellent. The Newlywed Game laughed so hard almost peed my paints. The Quest funny as hell a must. If you go sit up front and get on a team! The Casino... Very nice had a good time lots of people who can't play. If you play Black Jack or Poker sigh up for the tournament good pay out. The poker is all electronic no cards or chips. The Bar in the center of the casino is great for people watching.The Bars.... Lots of them had a drink at every one of them liked them all. Oliver Twist was laid back, The Catacombs was the night club, Scorners Lounge was great for a before dinner drink. The Irish Pub was a nice twist. The Gym... Looked great. Need I say more? The Spa...Funny very funny. No go enjoy...Overpay Overall we loved the ship and crew. We had a great time and met some fantastic people, but we make our own fun and we keep our own memories, and that my Opinion. You might feel very different on your cruise and that's ok too. Just remember I would rather be on a ship full of fool, than in a car full of idiots Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
Firstly, let me say, I never liked the thought of a cruise - probably as a result of impressions gained when growing up as a child (i.e. cruises were for pensioners, full of unbearable overdressing, social climbers & nouveau riche ... Read More
Firstly, let me say, I never liked the thought of a cruise - probably as a result of impressions gained when growing up as a child (i.e. cruises were for pensioners, full of unbearable overdressing, social climbers & nouveau riche etc.. whom you'd be forced to talk to due to lack of escape routes :) ) I have to say happily that view is not at all how modern cruising is. It's actually a top class easy going hotel with all amenities and entertainment conveniently a short distance from your door (well at least it was on the Liberty!). You can overdress or hang around in shorts.. interact or not...you can eat nearly any way you like .. (burgers or lobster & all in between) .....your choice. ....that brings me to the main joy of cruising for us - we can all do what we want when on board, & meet up for common interests. We were traveling as a party of 3 (15yr old teenage daughter, husband and myself) I'll try and organize this review into sections. This was our first ever cruise. We'll be going on more! In particular this was a HUGE hit with my 15 year old daughter, as we could give her the freedom to practice being an adult! In port we could communicate with our cell phones, but at sea - you need other options if you're the fretful type. We kept bumping into our daughter with groups of teens around the ship, so no worries. Generally saw her every 3 or 4 hours in the room anyway (getting changed etc.) THE SHIP: The ship never felt crowded. I've read many reviews about the two bigger ships (Allure and Oasis) and it appears that the facilities are not large enough to cater for the volume of people these ships carry at capacity. Liberty is not like that, there's always room, and you can always get in to see the shows or eat in your restaurant of choice. The standard of decor is pretty good, nothing seemed shabby. There was always staff cleaning wherever you went. The hygiene seems high. Lots of facilities on board to suit all tastes. I was never bored with the ship or facilities, I didn't use them all, but between us, we pretty much used everything. I suspect a 12 day cruise would be about right, as by then you would have exhausted all options. 7 days seemed a little short. There were elevator issues/crowding on embarkation after a days out, and also at heavy use times (dinner, breakfast). It appeared the logic of the lifts could get confused and suddenly decide to cancel all pressed buttons and go down instead of up or vice-versa! However, I simply used the stairs at this time, which was probably required exercise after all the food overindulgence. THE STAFF: I have no complaints about the staff at all. They all tried very hard. Exceptional service by our cabin attendant, Portofino and Chops staff, even generally in the main dining room. The only issue is in the Windjammer restaurant, where I think some staff were showing signs of flagging & disinterest towards the end of the cruise. I suspect this is an issue with the tipping system. More about that later. Even the security staff that patrol the ship at night to hoosh all the teenagers back to their rooms at 1:00am are pretty nice. I had to locate my daughter at 1:40am (she was back every evening by about 1:15/1:30!) They told me they were trying their best to get the kids back to their rooms, but no sooner had they got them out of one area, than they went off to another. Not surprising really - difficult on a ship of this size to find out where all the teenagers are hiding ...in the most obscure places (I know the sky chapel was one of them by the way!) GRATUITIES: RCI .. you need to change your system. We prepaid and went on my time dining. RCI give vouchers in the end of cruise for you to give to your head waiter, assistant waiter, cabin attendant of your choice as I recall. This doesn't work at all well for the my time dining option, as we never had the same waiter. Also, the Windjammer staff get nothing. This isn't good for moral. A more generic voucher system would be better... (i.e. a voucher value which we could give to the all the Windjammer staff) We gave extra to people we thought deserved it anyway. THE FOOD OVERALL: Right, I've read a lot of complaints about the food in the Windjammer. I found it absolutely fine. It's a buffet, not a gourmet meal. If you want gourmet go to Portofino or Chops. We ate at the Windjammer a number of times. I often made forays up to get a plate of cheese, breads and fruit and take it down to our room with their free lemonade (which I really liked!) All the food on the boat was over the pass mark. WINDJAMMER: I think it's very churlish of people to moan about the food here. It had a good selection each day catering for all sorts of tastes. Breakfast had a wide variety of choices. Whilst I didn't personally like the bacon(too salty), scrambled eggs(too dry) or sausages(used to UK/Ire sausages.. which these were not) I did find the corned beef hash, mushrooms and omelette to be perfectly acceptable. All types of bread, waffles, french toast, cereals, cakes, fruit, porridge, cheese, hams etc. Surely anyone can find something they like in the huge array of food? During lunch or dinner, there seemed an acceptable choice, from burgers, pizzas to curries, chicken concoctions, salads etc, and the 'Jade' part always had various asian dishes on offer. One big complaint. They were selling small single bottles of Alice Wine .. very nice.. but very very difficult for the staff to obtain as they were kept under lock and key by the restaurant manager. Each time you requested a bottle, they obviously had to get the manager to open up the magic box and get the drink. Absurd. Are the staff stealing the bottles or something that you can't trust them to get a bottle from the bar?!!! Generally you ended up getting the wine sometime after you'd finished your meal. Not the staffs fault, The system is wrong. PORTOFINO: Absolutely fine. Food top quality. I had two fish choices for my meal. Both were well cooked and well presented. Can't recall what husband had, but he was happy. Staff excellent. Memish the manager, ensures that nothing is too much trouble. I would advise Portofino to adopt the vegetable selection style they have in Chops however. CHOPS: Whilst slightly lower key than Portofinio, I have to say the food seemed even better. Odd considering a lot of folks have said it's not as good. Perhaps they've had a change of chef. We both had the Onion/Cheese soup .. wonderful, followed by steaks. The selection of vegetables was better than Portofino (you can choose the veg you want), and my husbands fillet mignon was out of this world, I had opted for a different type of steak, not as good, but still fine. JOHNNY ROCKETS: Good. Exactly as I'd expect. nothing more, nothing less. Burger bar. Burgers are fine. Fries are fine. Service a little slow and not quite as on the ball as the rest of the ship, but still acceptable. SORRENTOS: Daughter loved this. Thought the pizzas were wonderful. I didn't eat there as I don't like pizza! CAFE PROMENADE: Perfect for that very late night munch of various sandwiches/cakes and tea!! They need to keep the water fresh & hot in the water machines for tea making though, else it gets that 'lack of oxygen' taste in the coffee/tea which isn't nice. OTHERS: I don't do cup cakes or ben and jerrys... I'm sure they're fine, dd loved the ice cream. THE BARS: All seemed fine. The only issue I have is that we purchased a 'wine package' of 7 bottles. That's one for each night between my husband and I. I only discovered on day 2 when I didn't order the bottle of wine in the main dining area, but decided to have it later on in one of the bars (olive & twist I think), that I couldn't do so. Apparently wine package bottles can only be ordered in the main eateries. I had to make a dash down to Portofino just as they were closing for the night, where Memish kindly retrieved an nice bottle of Shiraz for me. Bit silly really, you should be able to have your wine where you want. ENTERTAINMENT: Good. We went to all shows except the Ice show (which daughter went to, and she thought it was pretty good). The production quality was very high. The singing at times a little so so, but then I'm very picky in that department. We used the casino. That was ok. They do operate a double zero on the roulette table which means your odds are not as good. Husband attended a 'craps' lesson. He was happy. Parades seemed good, but I only looked down on them from a deck up, as it looked a little packed for my liking, and I've seen enough Disney Parades to last me a lifetime anyway! Saturday Night Fever was good, wonderful set. The lead was a little weak though (being too short and not enough presence for the character of Tony). Enjoyed the 'In The Air' show. I had prebooked online all shows, but it didn't seem necessary in the end. ACTIVITIES: We used the Spa - I had Ionitherme (like slendertone) and a facial :) Both were super, staff very pleasant. Daughter had a teenage Spa (pedicure etc..) & her hair done. Very good. Very expensive though. There is some 'sales' attempts at products, but your fine if you just accept you're not buying.. it's not over pushy blurb. Husband & I used the Gym. Very good. Loved the fact you could use the treadmill looking forward out to sea (I note that this isn't the case in the new bigger ships! silly RCI .. should have kept that!) The gym has a wonderful view. Flowrider, ice skating, rock climbing etc.. daughter used. No complaints. Seemed to enjoy it. There were lots of other things to do. Salsa classes, belly flop competitions, karaoke, bingo etc.. we didn't do these. For teens : Fuel, The Living Room and the video arcade were well attended - everyone seemed happy from what I could see. Make sure your child/teen attends the first day meet. VERY important. DD made lots of friends and is still in touch with quite a few through FB now. POOLS: The jacuzzis hanging over the side were ok.... occasionally got a bit packed, so you had to pick your time. The pools looked like ditto, but I don't like pools and didn't use them. Daughter seemed to have a good time in them though. The free ice cream is pretty good, considering it's frozen yoghurt! EXCURSIONS: Didn't do any official ones, but made our own way. Easy enough to do. The cost of the excursions looked excessive to me. PORTS: TOULON: Didn't get off (can't see that in the port reviews list either!) Phew!! Think that's all! Thanks RCI for a very, very good first cruise. Now.. where to next year! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
This was my 5th cruise and 1st one being alone I arrived about 2pm to get on the ship and that all went well. It took about 30 minutes to be on the ship so not bad. They did check my water bottle at security to be sure there was nothing ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise and 1st one being alone I arrived about 2pm to get on the ship and that all went well. It took about 30 minutes to be on the ship so not bad. They did check my water bottle at security to be sure there was nothing but water inside. I heard from a tablemate that night they had one bottle of beer taken from them at security. The room was nice and lots of room as I was alone. My luggage arrived about 6pm and I had a 1.75 liter bottle of rum in each of 2 bags and both made it no problem. I was told some people had their booze taken from them but I was lucky I guess. The next day I did get a message to call my room attendant. I was told by him I was not allowed to bring my own liquor on board and there may be a room inspection before noon by his boss and if alcohol is found it will be taken so I had to put it in my luggage then after noon each day it went back in the fridge. It seems to be hit or miss about getting liquor on board what I have red and heard. The food overall was good in the dining room but far from the best I have had on a cruise. I had the 8:30 seating which gave me time after a port stop to relax before getting ready for dinner. The port I really did not like was Belize, as I spent about 15 minutes on shore then headed back to the ship where there were other people going back with me that had just arrived also, so I was not alone in my impressions of the place. I was alone and really felt unsafe and so many people trying to sell guide trips etc it just was not worth the bother. I really wish I had of read up on what to do at each port before I left home that is my only real advice. The weather was too windy so we could not tender into Grand Cayman so we missed that stop, I was looking forward to it but I had been there before at least. Getting off the ship was easy after the cruise. I choose to walk off the ship with my luggage about 6:30 which you can do between 6:15-7:00 AM and there was a 15 minute wait at US customs. The people with a US passports get off at the front of the ship and all others like me get off at the rear of the ship. Overall I would fully recommend the ship and the cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
About us: I traveled with my friend Claude. We are 2 lifelong buddies in their mid and late fifties. He has cruised 4 times. This was my 26th cruise. We drove from my home in South Florida directly to Miami Harbor. Before I talk about ... Read More
About us: I traveled with my friend Claude. We are 2 lifelong buddies in their mid and late fifties. He has cruised 4 times. This was my 26th cruise. We drove from my home in South Florida directly to Miami Harbor. Before I talk about the cruise itself, let me touch up on what appears to be cost-cutting measures that are slowly creeping into the cruise experience. A few people have broached the subject in these reviews. I just thought I would add my take on things. Here we go. Last year on the Freedom (March 09), there were always a small tray of little sweets and munchies available at the cigar lounge. That was not the case on the Liberty in Dec. 09, or on this trip. I don't really care because I don't eat those things, but Claude enjoys them. When we asked about this, we were told: not on this ship. On previous cruises, each stateroom was equipped with a binder listing all the ship's services, a pen, a writing pad and 2 postcards of the ship. That's gone. We`ll discuss postcards later on. There is now a $3.95 charge for room service between midnight and 9:00AM. The little chocolates on the pillows are a thing of the past. Come on... how much did it cost to put a little sweet on my pillow at night? Think about it: one can go to the buffet and have ¾ pound of bacon at breakfast but there are definite savings in cutting out 2 miniature chocolates per stateroom per night? That little gesture endeared a lot of people and it cost almost nothing. Crown and Anchor members used to receive a free embroidered baseball cap at the beginning of each voyage: not anymore. And don't even try to find a postcard of the ship anywhere onboard. This actually became a kind of treasure hunt activity for us. The staff at the General Store apologized profusely and sent us to the Photo Gallery. They have pictures of the ship at the Photo Gallery, but they're not postcards. They were too busy to apologize and sent us to the Guests Relations desk. At the Guests Relations desk, we were told we would find them at the General Store. And then, this feeling of dEjà vu settled in and we gave up, for some reason. There used to be a time when a bartender would give you a bowl of nuts, popcorn, or chips to graze on while you enjoyed your drink. Not anymore. The insufferable Martha Stewart will tell you that it is the height of bad manners to serve alcohol without a little amuse-gueule but she doesn't work for RCCL, does she? Do any of you remember a huge bowl of mints available as you left the dining room at night? Well, that's a thing of the past. Don't talk about it, you'll just show your advanced age. If you want a mint after dinner, bring your own. Something I never noticed before: you can't purchase a lighter or booklet of matches anywhere on the ship. Heaven forbid you should lose your lighter because you'll be relying on the kindness of others until you can buy one during the next port of call. When asked why those items were not on sale, we were told it was a matter of ship's security: preposterous! I had my cigar kit's torch lighter with me and I didn't feel threatened or threatening to anyone. Please don't get me wrong. We had a wonderful cruise in spite of the few items I have mentioned above. Someone at RCCL probably realized that they could do away with the Crown & Anchor giveaways, the mints, munchies, service directories, postcards and the customer would still be happy with his cruise. It's just old cruisers like me that mourn the passing of a kinder, gentler, more pampered cruise experience. The newer crowd can't miss what they never knew. THE CRUISE ITSELF: Sunday, Dec. 7, 2010: Miami Harbor. We arrived by car at 10:00AM. We left our 2 suitcases with baggage handlers and parked the car in parking garage G. From there, we crossed the street and entered RCCL's terminal. Our passports were checked and we were granted access to the terminal. We went upstairs where we waited for the security station (metal detector and X-ray of carry-on luggage) to start admitting arriving passengers into the terminal. We were told that Immigration officers were working onboard the ship, which delayed boarding a bit. We boarded the ship at 11:30AM. The embarkation process, as a whole, was painless. We were in the Windjammer at 11:40AM. If you wish to use My Time Dining during your cruise, please make sure you book it through RCCL's web site as soon as your reservation is shown on said web site. I always booked My Time Dining as soon as I boarded the ship and never had any problem. I'll know better next time. A dining room manager named Habib told us in no uncertain terms that he could do nothing for us, except place our names and cabin number on a waiting list. He dutifully noted our info on a piece of rumpled scrap paper he found in his desk. It didn't look very official, or promising. We never heard about this issue again. I am guessing we were just 2 names on a piece of scrap paper that ended up in the garbage as soon as we had left the My Time Dining registration desk. We didn't know where we'd have dinner that night but it wouldn't be at 6:00PM, as assigned by RCCL. Neither Claude, nor I can have dinner that early, best suited for the elderly and couples with small children. At any rate, we were not very happy, but we didn't allow that to ruin our cruise. Cabin: We were in Cabin number 6263, Category PR, with a view on the Royal Promenade. As with most run-of-the-mill cruise ship cabins, it was a slightly cramped, efficient and utilitarian cabin with lots of storage space, drawers and shelves. The cabin had a king-size bed that could not be separated into 2 individual beds, 2 small sofas, one of which is positioned in front of the bay window that overlooks the Royal Promenade. The bathroom is only slightly bigger than a phone booth used to be, but not by much. It also has a desk, a mini refrigerator, a flat screen TV and a hair dryer. That cabin has an adjoining door into the next cabin. On embarkation day, someone next door tried three times to open our adjoining cabin's door until I knocked on their front door and explained that if they tried again, I would call security: end of problem. I strongly believe in clear rules of engagement. The cabin's location makes it easy to see the activity on the Royal Promenade, one deck below ours. However, the windows were so dirty, we could hardly see outside. Our cabin attendant (Camelia) introduced herself promptly after we arrived. We discussed the dirty window situation. She assured us that the window was clean on the inside. We knew that. She also pointed out she could do nothing about the outside. We agreed with her on that point. She also told us that over time, a haze had developed between the two window panes. Nothing could be done about that. We agreed with that. However, she promised to report the problem to maintenance. I asked about obtaining a safety container for my used insulin syringes. It arrived the following morning. So far, so good. We attended the mandatory emergency lifeboat drill. One does not have to wear their life jacket anymore during that drill and that's a good thing. Slackers and stragglers beware: attendance is taken at that drill and absent passengers are rounded up the next day for a make-up drill. All told, it was over in 15 minutes, at which point the captain dismissed us. Our cruise holiday could start in earnest. We watched Miami slip by as the ship made her way to the ocean, along McArthur causeway. Our dining predicament was eventually fixed by Andrie, a dining room manager, who arranged for us to have dinner at 8:30PM in the main dining room, table 352 for 2 guests, on deck 3. The arrangement was acceptable and we settled into what seemed to be an honest, workable compromise. Had it not been for his beneficial intervention, we might still be walking the decks, wondering where we might find a decent sit-down dinner. We met our waitress, Senecia from Trinidad and her assistant Amiel from Columbia. Dinner itself was very pleasant. Following dinner, the evening's activities were split between listening to a Phillipino classical guitar player in Boleros (deck 4). The Soka parade on the Royal Promenade was next and the evening concluded with a fine cigar at the Connoisseur cigar club on deck 5, where Brenda took very good care of us. We retired around 1:30AM. Monday, Feb. 8, 2010: at sea. The day was spent reading by the Solarium's pool. By the way, that Solarium pool is ice-cold, much like on my Dec. 13th cruise on that very same ship. Hello... RCCL, I know you read this: what happened to heated pools? Although no thermometer was at hand, I can seriously tell you, without getting into too much details, that based on shrinkage, that water was no more than 74 degrees F, if that! The rest of the day was spent buying a few trinkets to bring back home and a few drinks at the Hoof and Claw pub. This was the first formal night. We both hate formal nights. I spend my workdays in a suit and tie; I won't start dressing up on my holidays. My friend and I don't do formal nights. We do not advocate showing up at the dining room in ripped jeans and a tuxedo-print T-shirt, far from that. They'll get 2 guys in freshly pressed dress pants, dress shirts with no ties and fashionable freshly polished genuine leather shoes. What you see is what you get, as Flip Wilson's character Geraldine used to say. After dinner, we stopped for formal portraits. Claude and I stood in front of a Liberty of the Seas backdrop. We had to laugh when the photographer asked us: "Just Friends or partners?". Their open-mindedness is reassuring. We chose the "Just Friends" option. I'm such a clown, the couples waiting in line were in stitches as the photographers posed us. She was laughing, too. Then came a genuine deception. We made our way to the Connoisseur cigar club only to find it occupied by a luxury watch presentation hosted by a representative of a Big Box Jewelry Store, whom I shall not disclose in this review, lest they get publicity from it. These people were talking about buying 5-figure watches as if they were contemplating the purchase of a candy bar. I was thoroughly incensed. Imagine: Royal Caribbean allowed Big Box Jewelry Store to turn our cigar club into a den of bling sellers and pretentious posers and gawkers! That room is the only place on the ship you can savor a cigar in peace. Why didn't they hold that 3rd party presentation in one of the ship's conference rooms? It's just not right. And please, don't even contemplate contacting me if you are against cigar smokers in the cigar room. I finally retired around 2:00AM. My friend called it quits around midnight. Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010: docked at Costa Maya. We arrived at the dock in Costa Maya around 9:00AM. The Norwegian Spirit arrived around 10:00AM directly across from us, on the other side of the dock. We went ashore and looked around. We didn't buy anything, save for a few postcards and a refrigerator magnet. Costa Maya is really and truly nothing more than an open-air mall. It gets you off the ship, but you quickly return on board if there is no inner shopper in you. Before we disembarked, I stopped at the Purser's desk to tell them about the dirty window situation. Within 45 minutes, a team of maintenance workers was maneuvering a hydraulic lifting apparatus and a crewman cleaned all our windows, on both sides of the Royal Promenade. What a relief; we can now see outside. Now, that's service. We took the time to go down there and thank the workers personally. We returned to the ship around 1:30PM and spent the rest of the afternoon working on this log and reading in the shade on deck 11's Solarium. The returning guests' party was held in the Sphinx lounge (deck 5). It covered the usual topics: welcome and thank you all, new ships, new itineraries, who in this room has the most cruises aside from Super Mario who has 263 cruises and currently lives on the ship, etc. We sat at the bar, at the back of the room. It gave us a good view of the proceedings. The room was not filled to capacity. The complimentary drinks were few and far between. So were the little appetizers usually served at these functions. More cost cutting? One can only guess. As soon as the last word was spoken on the stage, the head waiter signaled with a hand gesture across his throat and all service stopped dead in its tracks. We then headed for dinner, followed by the Dancing In The Street party on the Royal Promenade, which is always very enjoyable. Cigars at the cigar lounge concluded the evening's proceedings. Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010: anchored off Belize City. It's a very overcast, gray day but it didn't rain. The sea's water was milky, indicating that a storm may have preceded us here. Usually, you can see the bottom in this anchorage area; not that day. As usual, I did not go ashore in Belize City. Claude did. He was not impressed but he did get himself a cigarette lighter with "Belize City" printed on it. All in all, he spent 3 hours off the ship, including the return trip by tender. Meanwhile, I had breakfast at the Windjammer, read by the Solarium's pool, spoke with fellow cruisers. Amazingly, a member of CruiseCritic.com had read my previous December review of the Liberty of the Seas. I may also have snoozed for 30 minutes. Before dinner, we stopped at the Photo Gallery, where we purchased 2 great 8X10 pictures. We also purchased 2 book-type frames, each containing an 8x10 of the ship and an opening for the photos we had just purchased. The pictures and the frames were on the pricey side but you only live once. I scanned the pictures when I returned home so we each have a set. Hint: Costco does great enlargements at very affordable prices. We had dinner in the dining room with our delightful waitress, Senecia and her non-descript, monosyllabic assistant. He didn't talk to us: he grunted. At best, he will mumble one word. For example: "Row" meant "Would you like a roll?". Also, "Hmmm" means "Would you like more water?". And, of course, "HMPHRX" means: "Are you done with that?". He had us conversing fluently in his system by the time we disembarked. Thankfully, Senecia was charming and always made time to come chat with us at the end of the meal. I wanted to take her home with me when I left. After dinner, we headed for the cigar lounge where conversation with our fellow stogie fanatics kept us up until 1:30AM. Thursday, February 11, 2010: at the dock in Cozumel. The sun is shining and the temperature was very hot all day. We had both been to Cozumel a host of times. We did not go ashore. The day was spent reading somewhere on deck in the shade, mostly in the Solarium area. Interestingly, the Solarium area is off limits to kids and the staff enforces the rule quite firmly. After dinner, we headed to the cigar lounge for stogies and lively conversation with the friends we had made in there. We retired around 1:30AM. Friday, February 12, 2010: at anchor off Georgetown, Grand Cayman. We arrived at the anchorage around 10:00AM. We went ashore for a leisurely walk in the streets of Georgetown. The place is impeccably clean. One can only feel secure wandering the streets here. We stopped for a beer, watched the day go by and returned to the ship around 3:00PM. Tendering was efficient, both ways. As a Crown and Anchor Society Platinum member, I had been invited to the Platinum, Diamond and Diamond Plus party at 7:45PM in the Sphynx lounge on deck 5. Claude tagged along. What a difference with the Crown & Anchor Society's event! Waiters actually asked what you'd like to drink and ordered it from the bar: no weak rum punch here. Platters of hot and cold appetizers were passed around just about every minute: no need to ambush a waiter. The cruise director acted as MC, headlining for the director of onboard reservations and the captain. Both speakers were interesting. We were then treated to a few words from Super Mario who boasts 263 cruises on RCCL. It was over quickly and we headed for dinner. The evening was concluded in the cigar room and we retired well after 1AM. The ship had been extremely stable until now but we did feel a bit of motion during the night and all day Saturday, as we sailed back to Miami. Someone suggested that it was a commie plot by Fidel Castro, who had purchased a wave machine to bother American cruisers off Cuba's shores. We laughed. One could feel a bit of motion but nothing strong enough to stop the hordes of last minute shoppers from scrounging through the stores and last minute displays for something to bring back home with them. Who can blame them? The temperature outside was windy and noticeably cooler than in Grand Cayman. The cruise staff organized lots of activities and shopping is always in order on a cruise ship. For us, the day was spent reading indoors on deck 4, having breakfast and dinner in the dining room, packing the suitcases after dinner and repairing to the cigar lounge for one last evening with our cigar-smoking friends. We retired around 11:30PM. Since we were returning home by our own means, we had chosen Express Debarkation. The process could not have been simpler. Skipping coffee and breakfast entirely, we were on deck 4's promenade at 6:15AM with our luggage. The line started moving around 6:20AM. We had our keycard swiped one last time and got off the ship. We cleared U.S. Customs and Immigration in record time. We exited the terminal, crossed the street and packed the luggage into the car. We were leaving the harbor around 6:45AM. We had breakfast with my wife by 8:00AM. I hope this review helps you somehow. Please do not hesitate to email me at lourspolaire148@comcast.net if you have any questions, leaving the 148 out of my email address. I get less junk mail that way. May the seas always be calm when you're sailing. Respectfully submitted, Sylvain. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
Where to begin here!  5/16-5/23 Friday Night was spent In Miami At the Mariott Hotel.  Accomodations were gorgeous, The room was big and spacious!  Food was pretty expensive, but worth the money for sure!Boarding the cruise was actually ... Read More
Where to begin here!  5/16-5/23 Friday Night was spent In Miami At the Mariott Hotel.  Accomodations were gorgeous, The room was big and spacious!  Food was pretty expensive, but worth the money for sure!Boarding the cruise was actually very painless.  We didn't have to wait around at all.  We arrived early around 1030 to board the ship.  Getting through security was not hard at all.  We only waited about 20 minutes to actually board the ship where we headed right for lunch.  Lunch was at the windjammer which is a giant buffet.  If you can't find something to eat in the windjammer you must be crazy.  There are countless options for breakfast, Lunch, and even dinner!  Not to mention iced tea, water, and lemonade are supplied!  They also offer the Soda cup the first day ONLY for you soda drinkers out there.  I headed to the pool after lunch to catch some rays... There are basically 3 areas of pools.  The first one is called the H20 zone where mainly the familys with children seemed to hang out.  Than the center pool seems to be where the younger teenagers to 30's seemed to hang out.  and than there is an adult pool where it seemed like married couples seemed to hang out.   There are hottubs gallore!  The only complaint I had about the pools were there was  like "prime" realestate surround the pools with the chairs.  It was hard to find someplace to sit around the pool if you wanted to be close. Our Cabin had a Balcony which i must say was really nice to have.  You can sit out there at any point of the day and just take in the seas!  I was stuck in a room with my parents.  The couch pulled out into a bed.  And the only complaint i had of the room was the lack of room after the bed was pulled out.  There was no room to traverse especially at night.  So i could be sleeping and if my parents wnted to go to the bathroom they essentially had to climb over me to get to the room.  other wise the attendants and room was really nice. During the day they have activities such as rock climbing, basketball, the infamous Flow rider which is a surfing/boogy boarding simulator, Mini Golf, Basketball, Dodgeball, Simulated golf, sexy leg competitions, dancing on the pool deck, all were so much fun!  There is also a day spa which is pretty pricey but well worth it from what im told.  There is also an extensive gym which i went to a few times.Dinner was of course very elegant.  I do have to say one of my only complaints about the whole week was the service issued by our service staff.  The wait on some things just seemed like it took forever!  They seemed pretty overwhelmed at times.  But regardless the service was still about average.  And the food was magnificent.  I tended to try different things that i had never consumed before at dinner.  We were seated at the Rembrant dining room which was just gorgeous.  Although stuffing 7 of us at a tiny dinner table was not prudent.  I definitly felt cramped at times..The night life was always happening.  We usually ended up going to the piano bar every night where a guy plays songs and everyone basically sings along.  Theres also a night club/Dance club called the catacombs which is usually hopping with people aged 18-35.  there is a martini bar, a karaokee bar, a salsa bar.  Just about a bar for anyones taste.  The shows at night times are priceless,  They have a 70's dance night which is a huge party in the promenade (the main center of the boat).  A "village people" crew dances and lip sings.  Also an 80's dance night, a newly wed game, and a game show night are some attractions.  Entertainment was an A+ in my book.Im sure i am forgetting something about this cruise but it was definitly something to remember.  I would recommend the Liberty of the Seas to anyone who is thinking about cruising Our First port was Labadee, Haiti  I didn't see it listed on there port list.  We started off the excursion getting tendered to the island.  We did jet ski's which i really enjoyed!  They tend to go really really fast for you thrill seekers out there.  The seas in haiti however do tend to get choppy so if you want to get some air on your jet ski you'll have no problems!  After the jet ski's we went for some beach time.  you HAVE to wear water shoes on this island seeing as how its pretty shelly and rocky in the seas.  The water was really nice also.  Lunch was supplied by RCCL which was your basic hamburg hotdog, Ribs feast.  Iced tea and fruit punch were supplied.  My only complaint from this island was the haitian flea market.  The People there just HARASS you into trying to buy things.  You can just be minding your own business and next thing you know they have put two bracelets and a necklace on you and try to get you to buy them.  You can definitly haggle prices if that is your thing, but im warning you its a pretty uncomfortable situation even if you just want to look at the merchandise.  We stayed in CocoCay our last excursion day.  what a gorgeous private island this is..  Water is crystal clear.  Beaches are gorgeous,  There is a nature trail which is very well kept and has some wildlife.  this was a beach day and we took advantage of it getting in some snorkeling and swimming.  lunch was provided by royal carribean.  I truely have nothing bad to say about the island.  Just a gorgeous place.  The shopping here was adequate, no one hassles you at all Read Less
Liberty of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 3.5 4.0
Entertainment 3.5 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.3
Family 4.5 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.7
Service 3.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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